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Former Newcastle MP Tim Owen will appear before the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunter Planning Decisions after a confidential government document was allegedly found in his former electoral office.
The multi-party committee leading the inquiry, chaired by Christian Democrat MLC Reverend Fred Nile, will hold the hearing at Parliament House.
Mr Owen is expected to front the committee at 11.30am.
Today’s hearing comes after Labor Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp told Fairfax Media last week that his staff had discovered a confidential government document in his Hunter Street office, which had been Mr Owen’s headquarters before he resigned amid corruption allegations last year.
The draft document, marked cabinet in confidence, related to the government’s possible plans for Newcastle’s heavy rail corridor.
It indicated that the government had overruled a Transport for NSW recommendation for the preferred light rail route through the city in favour of an alternate route that would be more expensive but would allow more development along the heavy rail corridor.
Mr Crakanthorp has also been invited to speak at today’s hearing.
Greens MLC David Shoebridge formed the committee last year after corruption allegations were made against several Liberal Party MPs and candidates based in the Hunter.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption heard that numerous members of the party had accepted gifts and cash from prominent Hunter property developers including Jeff McCloy.
Mr McCloy resigned from his position as Newcastle Lord Mayor as a result of the ICAC hearings.
Mr Owen was among the MPs who resigned in the fall out from the ICAC investigation.
State politicians in NSW have been banned from accepting gifts and donations from property developers since 2009.
This article first appeared on www.maitlandmercury.com.au
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