He was a Labor powerbroker, a kingmaker with an uncanny ability to bend people to his will. At the height of his power, Eddie Obeid could make and break Premiers. Now he finds himself at the centre of explosive corruption allegations that threaten his future, his family and the party that delivered him power.
This week, reporter Marian Wilkinson charts Eddie Obeid’s rise inside Labor’s most powerful faction, the New South Wales right. How did a Lebanese immigrant move from owning an ethnic newspaper business to become the most influential politician in the state?
Talking to Labor Party insiders – including senior political figures, staffers and public servants – Wilkinson examines the allegations made against Obeid and another former Labor minister, Ian Macdonald. With forensic detail, Four Corners lays out the details and timeline of alleged corrupt behaviour, setting it against the political events of the same period. The story reveals a party and a government being destroyed from within. It also makes it plain, as one former insider explains, that with Eddie Obeid flexing his power, the process of governing the State could be subverted for the benefit of a few.
“I formed the view when I left, that the Government was no longer acting in the public interest, it was acting in private interests, and if the public interest got a look-in it was purely by coincidence.”
Monday 11th March, 8.30pm on ABC1