Tatts revamp ‘rethink’, ICAC inquiry hears

JOHN “Ranbow Man” Cassidy and his long-time business associate Darrell Hendry are rethinking their $5 million revamp of the Tattersalls Hotel, it emerged in evidence before ICAC yesterday.

John Cassidy.

Mr Hendry said the pair were looking at “a much cut-down version of what the original [development application] was about” after assessing their return on the investment.

Tattersalls Hotel has languished ever since it was bought by Mr Hendry and Mr Cassidy for $2.65 million in 2006.

Council passed a development application for a revamp of the building in 2009.

The plans included an outdoor eating area, car-parking at the rear and extra accommodation upstairs.

But only cursory work has been done since.

Mr Hendry is one of 19 witnesses giving evidence before the Independent Commission Against Corruption into allegations Mr Cassidy acquired inside information about the hotel sale while he was chancellor of the University of New England and used it to benefit himself and Mr Hendry in the tender.

At the time the hotel was managed and operated by Services UNE.

Retired engineer Bob Gusheh also gave evidence yesterday that he inspected the hotel twice at the behest of Mr Hendry to see what work needed to be done.

He recalled how he walked round “the dilapidated hotel” with Mr Cassidy.

“John wanted my opinion of the hotel to see, you know, what’s involved, how it looks and structurally what we can do with it,” Mr Gusheh said.

The inquiry concludes today with Mr Cassidy scheduled to appear before Justice Megan Latham in Sydney.

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