AFP Investigation Of Stuart Robert

I welcome confirmation from the Australian Federal Police today that an investigation has been launched into misconduct by former Human Services minister Stuart Robert following my referral of February 14.

HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

AFP INVESTIGATION OF STUART ROBERT

I welcome confirmation from the Australian Federal Police today that an investigation has been launched into misconduct by former Human Services minister Stuart Robert following my referral of February 14.

It was clear from the day the Herald Sun first published photos of Mr Robert’s trip to China that a breach of ministerial standards had occurred.

But his mates in the Liberal Party, including his flatmate and Treasurer Scott Morrison, remained in denial about the seriousness of the issue for an entire week. Mr Morrison called the reports a “massive overreach” and “shocking beat-up”, while Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Mr Robert’s actions appeared to be “perfectly acceptable”.

Despite the clear photographic evidence, Mr Turnbull failed to act swiftly, and punted the issue off to his Secretary Martin Parkinson for a week.

There was never any doubt that Mr Robert had breached ministerial standards, which should have immediately been grounds for his dismissal as a minister of the Turnbull government.

It was only when Mr Parkinson came to the same conclusion that Mr Turnbull reluctantly let him go, at the same time dropping the bombshell that Mr Robert may have had a financial interest in the mining company owned by Mr Paul Marks at the time of the signing ceremony in China.

Confirmation today that the Australian Federal Police are formally investigating Mr Robert shows the seriousness of the issue that Mr Turnbull tried to ignore for so long.

Along with Mal Brough, Mr Robert is now the second sitting MP in the Turnbull government under AFP investigation, and we know Wyatt Roy and Christopher Pyne are also assisting Police with their inquiries into the Ashbygate scandal. It’s not a pretty sight.

THURSDAY, 17 MARCH 2016