Roozendaal quits Macquarie St

May 10, 2013 by  
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Eric Roozendaal, the former NSW treasurer, roads minister and ports minister in the former Labor government, quit politics on Thursday.

Eric Roozendaal

Eric Roozendaal

In his departing speech he said it was “time to embark on a new journey to embrace a new, fresh direction and a new part of my life”.

Roozendaal, a member of the Labor’s right faction, has had several brushes with controversy. As roads minister he was caught driving illegally in a bus lane. Last year, he appeared at the Independent Commission Against Corruption over his purchase of a car in 2007 while he was roads minister.

He denied accusations he received a $10,000 discount from the family of Eddie Obeid, but Roozendaal was suspended from the Labor Party by Opposition leader John Robertson pending the result of the ICAC inquiry.

In his valedictory speech, Roozendaal, previously general secretary of the NSW Labor Party, said that that ICAC “did not produce any evidence that any favours were provided to anyone while I was a minister of the Crown”.

In 2009 the numbers “88”, which neo-Nazis use as shorthand for “Heil Hitler,” were daubed onto his house.

Roozendaal entered parliament in 2004 and said in his maiden speech: “I am named after my grandfather, a man I never knew. He perished in Auschwitz in 1944. As he was herded into a train, he threw his signet ring to a local railway worker, who later gave it to my grandmother. I proudly wear that ring today.

“I am here today because in 1942, at great risk, a kind Dutch policeman hid a little Jewish seven-year-old boy, his four-year-old sister and his mother for over 15 months. That seven-year-old boy was my father. In those 15 months, he and his family never saw daylight.”

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