The Australian public deserve a full inquiry into the potential corruption of public administration through Eddie Obeid and his family's dealings. Decisions about how investigations proceed and whom they target should pay no heed to political affiliation, public profile and power. What matters is protection of the public interest and the restoration of public trust.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption's investigations involving the Obeid family are uncovering behaviour which, if proved, would undermine public trust in ministers, political lobbyists and government agencies. Based solely on what has emerged in public hearings, the self-declared scope of ICAC's inquiry is being stretched way beyond coalmining leases and gifts to ministers.
Given the surprises in evidence so far, the public is entitled to ask what more ICAC does not know about the Obeids' lobbying, commercial interests and use of mate networks to further their business interests.
The Australian public request an official broadening of its investigation to encompass all business dealings of the Obeids.
Their reach may even require a new, separate inquiry rather than a simple extension of the existing ones known as operations Jasper, Acacia and Indus.
Logic and evidence suggest a broader investigation will extend across party lines, thereby confirming suspicions that political ideology has played little if any part in the Obeids' motivations.
In the past six months it has emerged that the Obeid family received millions of dollars in ''consultancy fees'' relating to the Top Ryde shopping centre and residential complex along with five residential apartments in the complex at almost half the cost of neighbouring ones.
Pending developments currently going through planning such as the contentious Rozelle Village ‘Tigers site’ also have clear hallmarks of Obeid links and should be investigated before decisions are made that continue to affect the lives of the Australian public