ICAC put spotlight on Bob Baldwin

PARLIAMENT: Paterson MP Bob Baldwin.THE Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has put a spotlight on the relationship between federal member for Paterson Bob Baldwin and Buildev director Darren Williams.

The commission heard that Mr Baldwin wrote a letter to “implore” the state government to support Nathan Tinkler’s proposed coal loader.

Mr Tinkler is a part owner of Buildev and the letter, dated April 2011, was also emailed to Buildev director David Sharpe, who replied “Thanks Bob letter looks good”.

Mr Baldwin has not been called to the ICAC witness stand and sent the Examiner this comment addressing the email.

“Buildev showed me their coal loader proposal and I supported it because at the time the coal industry had slowed and jobs were needed in the Hunter,” Mr Baldwin said.

“I also supported it because at the time the Newcastle Coal Consortium had no intention of building the T4 coal loader, and from my recollection it was only after Hunter Ports put forward the proposal, that there was interest again in the other project,” he said. “I will always continue to support well-planned projects that have the potential to stimulate our local economy … “

It was also reported last week that Mr Baldwin and Mr Williams were involved in a private property transaction.

A block of land at Nelson Bay owned by Mr Baldwin was sold to Mr Williams’ wife, Fiona, for $750,000 in 2007, following unsuccessful attempts to build on the property.

Just 10 months later it was back on the market and sold at a loss for about $700,000.

According to reports, Mr Baldwin and his wife, Cynthia, bought the Nelson Bay block in 1999 and lodged several development applications for a two-storey home, which were knocked back.

During this time a dispute over illegal clearing and earthworks on the site had Mr Baldwin, then a Port Stephens councillor, ordered to fix $250, 000 in damages to a neighbouring property.

Mr Baldwin also addressed previous ICAC claims he was planning to “firm up” Cr Sally Dover to support a Buildev development at Boundary Road, Medowie.

He said he did not contact Sally Dover to “coerce” her into supporting anything.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.