Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos has refused to appear before a Senate inquiry into the controversial Free Enterprise Foundation and similar fundraising bodies, slamming it as a “political stunt”.
When I first saw Arthur Sinodinos on television, I thought he was an articulate, intelligent and rational politician, something of a rarity in Australia. But since then it became clear that there were some problems this young Arthur.
Arthur is not always across the detail
On 19 March 2014, Sinodinos stood aside from his role as Assistant Treasurer prior to giving evidence as a witness before ICAC. During the enquiry Sinodinos advised he was unaware of a $74,000 donation made to the Liberal Party by Australian Water Holdings, despite being Deputy Chairman, with a $200,000 salary. At the time of the payment Sinodinos was also Treasurer of the Liberal Party ( Source Wikipedia)
There is only so many times you can say “I don’t recall” before you start to look decidedly dodgy.
And then it was the question of his position at AWH in the first place:
The Saturday Paper reports: He is unlikely to be found guilty of any wrongdoing in the case of Australian Water Holdings, where he stood to make $20 million if the company won a key government contract. In that instance, he has pleaded ignorance. The former assistant treasurer would have it be known that he was not closely watching the business that called him chairman, that paid him $200,000 for about 45 hours of work each year. Curious but not illegal.
Politicians can bluster all they like about political stunts, but refusing to appear before a Senate enquiry makes it looks if you have something to hide.