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Push to expel Eric Roozendaal from ALP after ICAC allegations

Expulsion push: Eric Roozendaal leaves the ICAC after giving evidence in September. Photo: Daniel MunozFormer NSW treasurer Eric Roozendaal is facing a push to expel him from the Labor Party following allegations at a corruption inquiry he was involved in a campaign to undermine his ALP colleague Jodi McKay at the 2011 state election.
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Mr Roozendaal, who quit Parliament last year and was embroiled in the recent Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into illegal political donations, has been charged under party rules with conduct that has brought the ALP into disrepute.

Labor’s administrative committee will consider the matter on Friday and is set to refer it to the party’s internal appeals tribunal, chaired by lawyer Gerard Ng.

NSW Labor assistant secretary John Graham and Australian Services Union secretary Sally McManus, who laid the charge against Mr Roozendaal, have been arguing the case for his immediate expulsion.

However, it is understood general secretary Jamie Clements felt there was too little evidence in relation to Mr Roozendaal – against whom no official finding has been made by the ICAC – to warrant his immediate suspension or expulsion.

Instead, the administrative committee will refer the matter to the tribunal, delaying any potential expulsion or suspension for weeks or possibly months. The ICAC is not due to deliver its final report until January.

The commission heard evidence that Mr Roozendaal had been part of a campaign to discredit Ms McKay, the then ALP member for Newcastle.

Ms McKay was opposed to the construction of a coal loader being lobbied for by prominent businessman Nathan Tinkler.

Mr Roozendaal and his then ALP colleague Joe Tripodi are accused of assisting Buildev, in which Mr Tinkler was an investor, in a smear campaign against Ms McKay.

She lost the seat to the Liberal Party’s Tim Owen, who has since resigned from Parliament after admitting to accepting thousands of dollars in banned political donations during the campaign.

Mr Tripodi has been expelled from Labor after being found corrupt by ICAC in a separate inquiry.

Ms McManus said she was surprised Mr Roozendaal had not resigned from the party.

“Where anyone puts the interest of property developers and the interests of the rich and powerful in the country before working people then they put themselves in my opinion outside of the Labor family,” she said.

Ms McKay was recently endorsed by Labor as its candidate for the state seat of Strathfield at next year’s election after Opposition Leader John Robertson intervened to avoid a rank and file preselection, which she was likely to lose.

Mr Roozendaal was suspended from the ALP in 2012 after a separate ICAC inquiry but reinstated after no finding was made against him. He did not respond to a request for comment.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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