Former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid and his colleague Ian Macdonald have reportedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded legal assistance.

The corruption watchdog is investigating the awarding of a lucrative coal exploration licence by then resources minister Mr Macdonald on a property in the Bylong Valley owned by Mr Obeid.

They are among more than 30 people who have had part of their legal fees paid by the state government during hearings before the Independent Commission Against Corruption, The Australian reports.

It's understood Mr Obeid has been granted more than $300,000 worth of taxpayer-funded legal assistance.

He's been represented by one of Sydney's most prominent senior counsels, Stuart Littlemore, QC.

Mr Obeid told the paper the NSW government was providing him assistance "as they are obliged to under the act".

Mr Macdonald is thought to have received even more money than Mr Obeid as he has appeared before ICAC on more occasions.

Mr Macdonald's lawyer, Nicholas Dan, told the paper that the former minister had received legal assistance in line with government guidelines.