Stuart Robert breached ministerial standards over donor links
Stuart Robert was found to have breached ministerial standards over his links to a mining company owned by a generous Liberal donor Paul Marks.
On a trip to China in 2014, Stuart Robert appeared at a signing ceremony for a mining deal between Australian company Nimrod Resources and a Chinese business that involved a Chinese vice-minister. Nimrod’s executive chairman was Paul Marks, a major Liberal Party donor. Mr Robert had said he travelled to China in a personal capacity. A media release from China MinMetals Corporation claimed Robert congratulated the business on behalf of the Department of Defence.
Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Martin Parkinson conducted an internal investigation, which found that Robert had shares in a trust linked to Marks.
Robert said he had become aware of shares allocated to his trustee in a company called Metallum Holdings Pty Ltd, which also has a share in Nimrod resources. The shares were allocated before the Beijing trip. Robert said when he travelled to Beijing he didn’t think he had an interest in Marks’ company.