As per recent reports, it has been revealed that chair of the Wagonga Land Council, Vanessa Mason, has been blamed for giving NSW lands on lease out of personal interest.
It has been found that Mason has given waterfront land at Narooma to property developers Ron Medich and Lucky Gattellari just because she wanted to fulfill her predecessors wish. Her father Ron Mason wanted to sell four beachfront and lakeside properties at Narooma since 2005, but he was not able to get good property dealers.
His wish seems to have been fulfilled by his daughter Vanesa Mason. The Independent Commission Against Corruption has alleged Vanessa, her father, and other members for taking bribe to sell the land. The committee said that Mason family faces 13 breaches and some of the faults are failing to contact other council members for the deal and failing to seek legal advice in the matter.
The committee said that apart from the mentioned properties, there are other two properties as well, which have been given by Vanesa and that too without individual legal advice. The committee said that Vanesa has also received more than $38,000 in payments from her property dealers. Initially she did not agree about the payment, but later she agreed for taking the bribe.
Sergeant Robert Toovey was the one, who helped committee to know that Vanesa has taken bribe. The committee said that Ron was the main culprit in the deal, but role of his daughter cannot be denied as she has been chief executive of the council.
"You can see that it was a grave error of judgment while currently dealing as coordinator or CEO of Wagonga to be in business with Gattellari", said Geoffrey Watson, who is a member of the anti-corruption team.