THE HON. MALCOLM TURNBULL MP
12 February 2016
Statement by the Prime Minister
Following media reports of a visit to Beijing by the Hon Stuart Robert MP, in accordance with the Code of Ministerial Standards, I asked the Secretary of my Department, Dr Martin Parkinson PSM, to investigate the matter and advise accordingly.
Mr Robert advised Dr Parkinson that at the time he travelled to Beijing in August 2014 he did not believe that he had any interest in or connection to Mr Paul Marks’ company, Nimrod Resources.
In the course of assisting the investigation, Mr Robert advised Dr Parkinson that on checking his records he had become aware that shares in Metallum Holdings Pty Ltd, a company in which Mr Marks was also a shareholder, had been allocated to his trustee some time before the visit to Beijing. He told Dr Parkinson that this had been done without his knowledge. He further advised Dr Parkinson that he believed Metallum Holdings Pty Ltd had an interest in Nimrod Resources.
Mr Robert recognised that this connection would create the impression that at the time he went to Beijing he had something personally to gain from the Nimrod Resources project.
As a result, Mr Robert has asked me not to consider him in the pending reshuffle of the ministry. I thank him for his service as a minister and for his candid co-operation with Dr Parkinson in his inquiry.
Dr Parkinson has given his advice to the governance sub-committee of the Cabinet.
Dr Parkinson concluded that Mr Robert had acted inconsistently with the Statement of Ministerial Standards, although he accepts that Mr Robert may not have intended to do so. He also notes that Mr Robert appears not to have received any financial benefit and that the conduct in question did not directly relate to Mr Robert’s Ministerial duties.