Allegations being investigated by ICAC are serious enough for Premier Barry
O'Farrell to ask the Crime Commission to begin proceedings for a freeze
order on the assets of key participants Ian Macdonald and former CFMEU
leader John Maitland.
('Selling off the farm before ICAC's call', Daily Telegraph, 18 Feb, p. 1,
Under the Criminal Assets Recovery Act the Crime Commission can apply to
the Supreme Court for an order to restrain assets. The Court must grant the
order if it believes that there are reasonable grounds for suspicion that
assets were acquired as a result of serious crime activity, including
Dr Kaye said: "Allegations before ICAC involving Mr Macdonald and Mr
Maitland are serious and potentially involve hundreds of millions of
"Reports that both men are in the process of selling their farms must
trigger the Premier into action.
"Asking the Crime Commission to seek a freeze order from the Supreme Court
would not interfere with the ICAC investigation.
"The Premier does not have to intervene in the proceedings to kick start
the process leading to a freeze order.
"ICAC would be unaffected by a freeze order.
"If nothing is done, the farms could be sold and the value of the assets
disappear overseas and out of the reach of the state's laws.
"If the allegations are proved in a criminal proceedings, both men could
face seize ordesr on their assets. Unless the Premier acts now, there might
not be much left to return to the public purse.
"The people of NSW are sickened by what they are learning from the ICAC
hearings. Putting a chain around these farms would help restore some
confidence in the state's political and legal processes," Dr Kaye said.