Sunday, November 2, 2014

Taxpayers spend $150,000 a year in rent for ministerial office with no minister

Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos.
Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos. Source: News Corp Australia
IT IS the ministerial office without a minister, the Sydney CBD suite of former Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos that costs taxpayers more than $150,000-a-year. 

The Abbott Government has confirmed it is still paying the rent for the suite in the Commonwealth

Parliamentary Offices for the former Assistant Treasurer, despite the fact he has not set foot in the office for over 200 days, since he agreed to stand aside pending an anti-corruption probe.

Senator Sinodinos stepped aside from the frontbench on March 18, after months of political pressure the investigation examining Australian Water Holdings. He did not resign and hopes to return to the frontbench if he is cleared by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Senator Sinodinos confirmed that his office remains open for business but it is being used by some of his staff that are currently working for the Acting minister Mathias Cormann until the matter is resolved.

The tally for the office for the days that Senator Sinodinos has not ventured into the CBD suite is now running at nearly $80,000.

“Yes, it is occupied,’’ Senator Sinodinos said.

Arthur Sinodinos suite remains empty but government is still paying the rent.
Arthur Sinodinos suite remains empty but government is still paying the rent. Source: News Corp Australia
“It’s being occupied by my ministerial staff who service the Acting Treasurer from that office.

“I have ministerial and electorate staff and the ministerial staff operate from that office. I have a pre-existing electorate office in Pitt Street. I can’t operate from my ministerial office because I’ve been stood aside.”

Asked whether Finance Minister Mathias Cormann uses the office as a Sydney base, he said:

“You would have to ask Mathias Cormann how often he uses the office.’’

Chairman of Labor’s waste watch committee Pat Conroy said to operate two offices for minister who was no longer a minister seemed to be a waste of taxpayers money.

“It’s $80,000 being spent on a ministerial office which doesn’t have a minister,’’ he said.

“We don’t have ministerial offices created purely for staff.”

“To spend $80,000 on a ministerial office that no longer houses a ministry demonstrates this government’s lack of priorities. How long can this government go on without an Assistant Treasurer when they are paying an Assistant Treasurer’s rent ?.”

The Prime Minister Tony Abbott has indicated the door is open for Senator Sinodinos to return to the frontbench if he is cleared by ICAC.

When Senator Sinodinos stood aside in March, Mr Abbott said he would “draw no ministerial salary and have no access to ministerial entitlements”.

“Senator Sinodinos has done the right and decent thing as you’d expect and for someone who has given our country such long and faithful service,” Mr Abbott said.

“I look forward to his restoration to the ministry.”

Documents tabled in Parliament confirm the cost of Seantor Sinodinos’ office is $157,691 since the September election. The cost is equivalent to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, whose suite in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Office cost taxpayers $159,745. Mr Morrison also has a separate electorate office.

Joe Hockey, who combines a ministerial and electorate office in North Sydney spent $203,534.

Malcolm Turnbull who also combines a ministerial and electorate office spent $242,445 to rent his Edgecliff office. 2 Nov 2014

More corporate fraud in the hands of corrupt politicians.

 Plain and simple theft.

Now lets see if the police will be involved in this.

This is only a small portion of corruption being reported by the corporate media.

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