Arthur Sinodinos

Federal Senator Arthur Sinodinos gets the Cardinal George Pell treatment from a corruption inquiry

I’ve been watching the evidence come out in relation to Federal Senator Arthur Sinodinos at the hearings at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) over the last few days and one thing is for certain and that is Mr Sinodinos’s political career is over.

Mr Sinodinos has stepped aside from his front bench position today until the end of the ICAC corruption inquiry.

In some regards it seems very similar to what is happening with Cardinal George Pell at the Royal Commission into child abuse. There they have had numerous witness’s over the last few days point the finger at Mr Pell in preparation for Mr Pell’s turn in the witness box next Monday. I am sure Georgie boy is starting to sweat.

Even the church’s own lawyer Peter McCann from the law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth nailed Pell when he said from the witness box “Mr McCann told the Commission he had no doubt the instructions he received through Cardinal Pell’s private secretary, Dr Michael Casey, came from the Cardinal himself.” (Click here to read more) If Pell was a politician he would have been gone a long time ago. What does the church do? They promote him to the Vatican in Rome and he will be gone not long after next Monday.

Now back to Mr Sinodinos as he too is due to hop in the witness box sometime in the hear future at the ICAC. Some of the current evidence against Mr Sinodinos is very damaging at the very least:

“A company linked to the Obeid family with high-profile Liberal Party figures on its board gouged millions of dollars from the state-owned Sydney Water, including for limousines and political donations, the Independent Commission Against Corruption heard on Tuesday.”

“Assistant Federal Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos was on the board of the Obeid-linked infrastructure company Australian Water Holdings when it was stonewalling attempts by Sydney Water to inspect its books.”

and: “Senator Sinodinos’ $200,000 salary and  bonuses were also allegedly covered by Sydney Water.” (Click here to read more)

And it gets worse as there evidence before ICAC that Mr Sinodinos could have made $20 million if he could help further facilitate the corruption.

“While a Liberal Party executive, Sinodinos was given a 5 per cent share in AWH at no cost. He was to be rewarded with another 2.5 per cent  if the soon-to-be- elected NSW Liberal government approved the PPP proposal. This would have made Sinodinos up to $20 million richer.” (Click her to read more)

It is certain that more damaging and incriminating evidence will be made public either before Mr Sinodinos hops in the witness box or when he does. That is why he had to go now. It is a very similar situation to George Pell as far as their time being up is concerned and the way the evidence is coming out, bit by bit until they bite the dust. Both Sinodinos and Pell were potentially very damaging to Tony Abbott as well if you recall my post on Pell and Abbott.

The Labor Party demanded that Arthur Sinodinos either make a statement to the Senate or stand aside from his front bench position of Assistant Treasurer which Mr Sinodinos has done. The Labor Party were right in making that demand but it is not lost on me that the leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten who is currently being investigated for rape by the Victoria police, will not make a statement or stand aside.

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17 replies »

  1. Is there still anyone we can trust? But if he is involved in something unsavoury, at least he has stood down, which is more than can be said for Craig Thomson!

    Now that Thomson has been found guilty, does that mean we had an illigal government?

  2. Shane, you write “But it is not lost on me that the leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten, who is being investigated for rape by the VIC POL, WILL NOT MAKE A STATEMENT OR STAND ASIDE” this to me is strange. The MSM have refused to mention his name in the press, therefore leaving the LNP stranded in this matter.

  3. Shane, Thank you for your continual work to keep us/the public aware that power can make ordinary people corrupt… Over and over again!

  4. The hypocrisy of Bill Shorten in parliament accusing Arthur Sinodinios.
    Who has only been summoned to provide information to the commission. He has not been accused of anything. Labor’s hypocrisy in not demanding Craig Thomson, and the Peter Slipper step aside. Thomson was facing charges at the time,
    Bill Shorton should step aside until the ongoing Victorian Police investigation into-1980’s “alleged” charges are dealt with.

  5. Keep up the good work Shane. Still there is no need to constantly end all stories with Labor bashing you have covered them in detail no need for a passing swipe at the end of every topic.

  6. Can you answer this for me please Shane. In what way is a person, who is not a member of parliament, lobbying government for a joint public private partnership, which if successful they will benefit from, illegal?
    What company director would lobby for a project that they didn’t expect to profit from?

    Forget the Obeid connection because I can guarantee you no board member of BHP knows all the shareholders, especially ones that have gone out of their way to hide their connections via front companies, just look at it from a straight legality point of view.

    Not making excuses for anyone found to have acted corruptly, just want to know what the illegality is and how it differs in this case from every other lobbyist that stands to profit from their pleadings.

    • Well lets look at one fact. Arthur Sinodinos was initially a director and later chairman of the private company Australian Water Holdings (AWH). Sinodinos was also the treasurer of the NSW Liberals. AWH donated $75,000 to the Liberal Party and even Joe Hockey received $10,000. Hockey returned the $10,000 in February 2013 when corruption issues at AWH began to circulate. Did AWH pay for those donations? No AWH invoiced the Sydney Water to pay for them.
      Sinodinos has said he new nothing about the donations even though he was a director of AWH and Treasure of the NSW Liberals. He also says he did not know Obeid was a shareholder of AWH. So Sinodinos will be hopping in the witness stand at ICAC and saying he knew nothing about a company he was a director and later chairman of. Yet he is good enough to be Assistant Federal Treasurer. He is going to look like the biggest fool in Australia. That is why his political career is over.

      • Well and good, but it doesn’t answer the question of whether there was illegality in his actions. Unfortunately you cannot be charged with just being stupid otherwise we wouldn’t have had six years of Rudd and Gillard to put up with.
        I’ve been involved with companies large and small and there are plenty of directors that are there just for what their name brings and have no involvement or idea of what the company is doing day to day. Jack Brabham lent his name to a company on the Gold Coast, Split Cycle Technology Ltd, and was technically a director but had no idea what went on from one day to the next and wondered what happened when shareholders found out all $20 million they had put in was gone with nothing to show for it.

      • Directors of all companies have legal obligations and if they breach them they can end up with fines or even in jail. If a director wants to play the dummy defence they can but if a politician wants to play it, it is another thing as the voters will hold them to account and Sinodinos knew this and that is why he resigned.

      • So nothing actually illegal then?

        Appearing before ICAC for their support of MacDonald and the dodgy mine deal didn’t end Combet and Cameron’s careers, nor that of the Labor Senator doing all the shouting that previously wrote a character reference for Tony Mokbel, so is it a different set of values to be applied to Sinodinos then?

        Are Liberals to be held to some higher standard than Labor? Don’t get me wrong, any corruption should be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. It’s just I’m a bit fed up with how even a tiny hint of any Coalition wrong doing real or imagined (not specifically Sinodinos’s case) is major headline news in the MSM but the foulest corrupt practices by Labor get swept under the carpet by all but a few stalwarts.

      • One of the Directors at AWH, John Rippon, has admitted that the company was involved in fraud which as a director makes Sinodinos liable whether or not people believe his lies that he knew nothing. So yes, based on the admission of John Rippon, Mr Sinodinos can face criminal charges and has been involved in a crime and acted illegally.

        “Sydney Water, led by Kerry Schott, was trying to halt the massive bills that AWH kept submitting without explanation or proper documentation.”

        “Senator Sinodinos, who was then treasurer of the NSW Liberals, was one of the recipients of a 2010 email from fellow AWH director John Rippon which read: ”If only the bitch [Dr Schott] was gone we could deal with these guys.”

        Liberal Party fund-raiser and Obeid family associate Nick Di Girolamo was on a $1.1 million salary, plus a $250,000 ”sign-on” fee and a bonus of the same amount.

        Giving evidence on Tuesday, Mr Rippon was questioned about Mr Di Girolamo’s salary package being charged to Sydney Water.

        ”Do you sense anything even slightly wrong with that?” counsel assisting the inquiry, Geoffrey Watson, SC, asked. ”No,” Mr Rippon replied.

        Mr Rippon himself received a salary of $1.7 million for working two days a week.

        When asked about the hundreds of thousands AWH secretly billed Sydney Water for its attempts to expand into Queensland, Mr Rippon agreed it was inappropriate.

        ”That would be nothing more, nothing less than a fraud?” he was asked. ”Well, that’s a harsh word but probably,” replied Mr Rippon.

        Senator Sinodinos’ $200,000 salary and bonuses were also allegedly covered by Sydney Water.

        Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/liberal-partylinked-company-gouged-millions–from-sydney-water-icac-hears-20140318-350gl.html#ixzz2wYF4lT6D

  7. I find it all a tad premature to be calling this one until Sinodinas has fronted ICAC and we have the full story. Until that happens there are too many assumptions floating around and I will be withholding judgement. I am sure many want to see a coalition scalp but remember there are many Labor people that need to face inquiries and Royal Commissions. The main thing is that corruption need to be rooted out where ever it festers and whoever is involved. It seems to me, at this stage, Obied has corrupted just about everyone and everything he touches.

  8. Everything about this case Shane screams of B/S offered by the proponents. Just follow the money trail and my best suggestion to Mr Sinodinids is back to Newcastle boy and don’t be so hungry. Like the evil that Mr Graham Richardson unleashed upon the NSW parliament and the way they [ uncle Eddie and his family ] allegedly worked themselves towards a most vulnerable person. Regards.

  9. I’m late to this (again) but Sinodinis has testified and it appears he had a case of the ‘Alan Bonds’, couldn’t remember a thing. Poor old Arthur, with a memory like that he might misplace his brown paper bags stuffed with $50 notes, hope he gets better soon…

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