Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne cleared of breaching ministerial standard


“What is important is that any future job taken by a former minister is not in breach of the statement of ministerial standards.”

But an inquiry into lobbying may still be held with Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick saying he needed to see Dr Parkinson’s advice before making a decision.

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop was accused by Labor of breaching the same code of conduct after she joined the board of Palladium, one of Australia’s top aid partners.

Mr Pyne, who was defence minister before he resigned at the election after 25 years in Parliament, is working two days a month “providing strategic advice to EY, as the firm looks to expand its footprint in the defence industry.”

The government’s statement of ministerial standards declares that ministers must “not lobby, advocate or have business meetings with members of the government, Parliament, public service or defence force on any matters on which they have had dealings as minister in their last 18 months in office”.

That restriction is in place for 18 months after departure.

“Ministers are also required to undertake that, on leaving office, they will not take personal advantage of information to which they have had access as a minister, where that information is not generally available to the public,” it adds.

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Senator Patrick said he needed more evidence before updating his position.

“I need to see the evidence that the PM is relying on to reach his finding – it needs to cover off on Pyne’s [and Bishop’s] intended role, the reasons for hiring, the expectations of the parties to the employment contracts and the processes and procedures in place in the companies to prevent future breaches,” he said.

“I will hear what Minister Cormann has to say and then make a decision as to whether to ask the Senate to initiate an inquiry.”

Senator Cormann will make a statement to Parliament about the review later today.

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