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Assistant Treasurer Senator Arthur Sinodinos Stands Aside Over ICAC Investigations

The Assistant Treasurer, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, has stood aside from the Abbott ministry pending investigations by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.


Sinodinos announced his decision just before Question Time in the Senate.

Asked about Sinodinos in House of Representatives Question Time, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the decision was made by Sinodinos: “It is in the best and most honourable Westminster tradition that he do so.”

A former Chief of Staff to Prime Minister John Howard, Sinodinos was a board member and shareholder in a company, Australian Water Holdings, with links to former NSW Labor MP Eddie Obeid.

In a statement to the Senate, Sinodinos said:

“I do not want this sideshow to be an unnecessary distraction to the important work of the government which I am proud to serve.

“While this process is underway I will therefore be standing aside as Assistant Treasurer.

“I thank my colleagues for their strong support and for their ongoing faith in my integrity.

“The ICAC is an important forum, the appropriate forum, for me to answer any questions in relation to this matter.”

Sinodinos is the first ministerial casualty of the Abbott government. His departure comes just one day after the six-month anniversary of the government taking office.

Sinodinos, 57, was a Treasury public servant in the 1980s and 1990s. He acted as an adviser to Opposition Leader John Howard (1987-89) and was Senior Adviser and Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Howard (1996-2006). He was Honorary Treasurer of the NSW Liberal Party (2009-11) and Liberal Party President (2011-12). He entered the Senate in 2011 after Helen Coonan retired. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2008.


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Malcolm Farnsworth
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