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Stuart Robert breached ministerial standards over donor links

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Conflicts of Interest | Liberal Party | QED
Liberal National Party

Stuart Robert breached ministerial standards over donor links

February 2016

Stuart Robert was found to have breached ministerial standards over his links to a mining company owned by a generous Liberal donor Paul Marks.

On a trip to China in 2014, Stuart Robert appeared at a signing ceremony for a mining deal between Australian company Nimrod Resources and a Chinese business that involved a Chinese vice-minister. Nimrod’s executive chairman was Paul Marks, a major Liberal Party donor. Mr Robert had said he travelled to China in a personal capacity. A media release from China MinMetals Corporation claimed Robert congratulated the business on behalf of the Department of Defence.

Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Martin Parkinson conducted an internal investigation, which found that Robert had shares in a trust linked to Marks.

Robert said he had become aware of shares allocated to his trustee in a company called Metallum Holdings Pty Ltd, which also has a share in Nimrod resources. The shares were allocated before the Beijing trip. Robert said when he travelled to Beijing he didn’t think he had an interest in Marks’ company.

Close to the wind: the trials of Liberal Money-Man Stuart Robert

What's a rort?

Conflicts of Interest

Redirecting funding to pet hobbies; offering jobs to the boys without a proper tender process; secretly bankrolling candidates in elections; taking up private sector jobs in apparent breach of parliament’s code of ethics, the list goes on.

Deceptive Conduct

Claiming that greenhouse gas emissions have gone down when the facts clearly show otherwise; breaking the law on responding to FoI requests; reneging on promised legislation; claiming credit for legislation that doesn’t exist; accepting donations that breach rules. You get the drift of what behaviour this category captures.

Election Rorts

In the months before the last election, the Government spent hundreds of millions of dollars of Australian taxpayers’ money on grants for sports, community safety, rural development programs and more. Many of these grants were disproportionally awarded to marginal seats, with limited oversight and even less accountability.

Dubious Travel Claims

Ministerial business that just happens to coincide with a grand final or a concert; electorate business that must be conducted in prime tourist locations, or at the same time as party fundraisers. All above board, maybe, but does it really pass the pub test? Or does it just reinforce the fact that politicians take the public for mugs?

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