HUNTER Development Corporation general manager Bob Hawes has never directly declared a conflict of interest about his Newcastle property holdings at an HDC board meeting, contrary to HDC evidence at the parliamentary inquiry into Newcastle planning issues, reports Joanne McCarthy in the Newcastle Herald.
On November 7, HDC chairman Paul Broad answered ‘‘Absolutely’’, when asked if Mr Hawes had ‘‘stated the conflict of interest and then stepped out of the board meeting’’ every time the conflict of interest arose.
On November 24, Department of Planning secretary Carolyn McNally told the inquiry Mr Hawes gave an ‘‘update’’ about ‘‘urban renewal activities, including the truncation of the railway line’’ at the request of board members at an HDC board meeting in September.
Ms McNally told the parliamentary inquiry Mr Hawes had not declared his 50per cent interest in properties at Beresford Street, and 7per cent interest in a Hunter Street property near Wickham railway station at that meeting.
In his responses to questions yesterday, Mr Broad confirmed that Mr Hawes did not disclose his property interests in a letter to former Planning Minister Brad Hazzard in February 2012, on behalf of HDC, advocating truncation of the rail line at Wickham.
NSW Greens MP and inquiry member David Shoebridge said he was ‘‘astounded at these most recent revelations’’.
The inquiry is expected to hand down its interim report later this month.