“Did you know at the Liberal Party end in your capacity as Treasurer that Australian Water Holdings was making donations to the Liberal Party?”
“Not that I can recollect at the time.”
“Does that mean you may have been told that you’ve since forgotten it?”
“I cannot recollect one way or the other.”
“Does that suggest to you that you did not know that the company of which you were Deputy Chairman was making donations to the political party of which you were Treasurer?”
“It was not a process I involved myself in.”
When asked at the ICAC inquiry what responsibility he accepted for the fact that funds from illicit donors came to the Liberal party, Arthur Sinodinos at first equivocated and tried to suggest that the question was too general before eventually telling it:
“I don’t accept responsibility because I made my best endeavours for that not to happen.”
When it was suggested that funnelling donations to the federal party through the FEF at meetings when Sinodinos was present.
“If there was a suggestion, it went over my head,” Sinodinos told the corruption watchdog in 2014.
Of course, in the interests of being seen to do the right thing, Sinodinos stood down from his position as Assistant Treasurer of Australia, eventually being restored to Cabinet when Malcolm Turnbull took over.
So the recent report from the NSW Electoral Commission which mentions his name is a little unfair, because as Arthur has consistently maintained at no stage did he know anything because if he’d known something he would have done something, so the fact that he did nothing is clear evidence that he knew nothing.
His lawyers are now threatening the NSW Electoral Commission with legal action unless they remove Arthur Sinodinos’ name from all documents, so before they demand that I remove his name, I shall not be referring to him by name from this point on. However, if I say that Liberal guy who knows nothing, I don’t think you should presume that I’m referring to the aforementioned person, as the phrase, “Liberal guy who knows nothing” is far too broad to make any assumptions, just as if I said that “Liberal PM who had no idea about what was happening”, I could be referring to John Howard whose staff insisted that he wasn’t told, or to Tony Abbott.
Anyway, we shouldn’t be concerned with the petty dealings of a few funds from developers finding their way into Liberal Party coffers. I mean, just because it breaches electoral law doesn’t mean it’s corrupt or anything. The fact that a few developers chose to donate to the Free Enterprise Foundation who then allegedly pass the money on to the NSW Liberal Party doesn’t need any further investigation and the fact that the electoral commission is refusing to hand over a few million until the Liberals spill the beans is just one more example of red tape gone mad. Labor, on the other hand, need to immediately cease taking money from the CFMEU because some of their members have recently been charged with criminal offences, and, even if a number of these charges have been quietly dropped for lack of evidence, in the case of unions there’s no smoke without fire and that’s why we need extra bodies to investigate them because, well, courts demand such red tape as “evidence” and aren’t satisfied to simply take the word of someone with a vendetta as proof of wrongdoing.
As one of those Liberal guys who knows nothing about anything – and if he was told about something, he doesn’t recall if he was present when told – suggested it’d be wrong of anyone to suggest that he should know because when working for John Howard, it was his job not to know about anything damaging, because if he’d known it would have been his job to tell the PM and as the PM didn’t know, then clearly neither did anyone in the PM’s office, so Labor could just stop trying to link anything to John Howard. Clearly, when working for some company that made a large donation to the party of which he was treasurer, the company would have just presumed that he knew because he was treasurer of the party and the party would have presumed that someone at the company may have mentioned it to him in passing at the water cooler.
But let’s get down to what’s really important the Senate obstructing the ABCC bill, because we need to have a watchdog with coercive powers to stop lawlessness in the construction industry where sometimes union officials do such outrageous things as visit sites without giving enough notice for people to cover up the safety breaches. Of course, this will only be a civil body, so how it will stop lawlessness in the building industry, I don’t know, but I’m sure Mr T. will explain that in the coming weeks. (Mr T… Now there’s a good nickname for our PM. Or perhaps we should just use his initials and call him: “M.T.” Yep, the more I say it the more it suits him).
Mm, developers? Are they part of the construction industry? Will this new body be able to investigate them and any dodgy donations?
Oh, sorry, I missed the meeting where we learned that only unions break the law. Or maybe I was there and I just don’t recall…