Christopher Pyne took up EY job 9 days after leaving parliament

April 2019

Former Liberal defence minister Christopher Pyne discussed defence consulting jobs with multinational contracting giant Ernst & Young while he was still in cabinet, according to Guardian Australia.

Pyne’s firm also accepted the consulting job just nine days after leaving politics. Australia is vastly expanding its defence expenditure, including a $50 billion submarine project, whose end value is estimated at $225 billion, and a $35 billion frigate project, and Pyne’s role was designed to capture a larger share of that defence spend.

The Ministerial Standards state that ministers must not “lobby, advocate or have business meetings with members of the government, parliament, public service or defence force” for 18 months after leaving parliament on matters they dealt with in their final 18 months as ministers. Pyne argued that providing occasional high-level strategic advice in his new role at EY does not equate to lobbying or involve the use of information he had acquired in his portfolio. 

As , senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Monash University, argues regardless of the statements of assurances, it can be argued that this position does not pass the “pub test”.

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