Former NSW Labor minister Eddie Obeid is returning to jail after being sentenced to at least three years and 10 months behind bars over a rigged tender for a coal exploration licence.
His former ministerial colleague Ian Macdonald was jailed for at least five years and three months, while his son Moses Obeid was jailed for at least three years.
Obeid, 77, Macdonald, 72, and 52-year-old Moses Obeid were found guilty in July of conspiring for Macdonald to engage in misconduct as a minister between 2007 and 2009.
The then resources minister was found to have breached his duties by providing confidential information to the Obeids over a coal exploration licence which delivered a $30 million windfall to their family.
In sentencing the men in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice Elizabeth Fullerton found the objective seriousness of the conspiracy “was one of the highest order”.
She said father and son were each aware of Macdonald’s actions in establishing and granting the licence over the Obeids’ family property at Mount Penny, in the Bylong Valley near Mudgee, for the family’s financial benefit.
She assessed Macdonald’s criminality as high, due to his having been a minister of the Crown who breached his duties of confidentiality and/or impartiality.
Moses Obeid’s criminality was less than his father’s, due to his having also been a minister of the Crown.
She emphasised that, unlike his co-offenders, Moses Obeid did not occupy any public office at the time of the agreement, nor did he breach the public trust.
She jailed Macdonald for nine years and six months, with a non-parole-period of five years and three months.
Moses Obeid was jailed for five years with a non-parole period of three years.
Eddie Obeid was jailed for seven years with a non-parole period of three years and 10 months.
He has previously served a three-year jail term, and two on parole, over a misconduct offence related to Circular Quay leases linked to his family’s business while Obeid was a NSW minister.