Tony Abbott finds Sinodinos’ forgetfulness harmless

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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While PM Julia doesn’t buy the act, Tony Abbott believes senior Liberal Arthur Sinodinos’s declaration of six company directorships during his time in the Senate is not that big an issue. Abbott insists that Senator Sinodinos’s failure to notice the rules was not as big an issue as others, including disgraced NSW Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid.

“There is a world of difference between exploiting an official position for personal gain and inadvertently overlooking to declare a couple of not-for-profit directorships,” the Opposition Leader said.

“Obviously there are rules and people should comply with the rules. My understanding is that Arthur made a statement to the Senate last night and my understanding is that now he believes that all the requisite disclosures have been made.”

On the other hand, PM Gillard states Sinodinos’ supposed mistake as a ‘very murky matter’.

“This is a very murky matter. It’s not one for me, it’s a question of leadership for Mr. Abbott and how he will respond,” Gillard told the reporters.

Supporting PM Gillard’s statement, Finance Minister Penny Wong said she fails to understand how one can explain forgetting about declaring six directorships.

“It doesn’t really pass the person-in-the-street test,” she told the media, pointing out that Senator Sinodinos was not a new parliamentarian who can claim to not know the rules.

Reportedly, Senator Sinodinos showed disappointment at his laid back attitude and acknowledged the journalists to remind him of his directorships. He publically apologized for his misconduct.

“I apologize unreservedly to the Senate and to my party colleagues, if I can use such a term in the Senate, Mr. President, for these oversights,” he told the Senate. “I believe at no stage were there any matters arising from these directorships which may have occasioned a conflict of interest. We always have to be very careful of these matters, because what you think is an innocent oversight can be looked on perhaps not as favorably by others. I apologize to the Senate and I promise to be much more punctilious and rigorous in pursuing these matters in the future.”

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