Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has responded to comments from former resources Minister Ian Macfarlane, who denies that activity under his new position as CEO of the Queensland Resources Council could breach the Ministerial Standards.
“Under the Statement of Ministerial Standards, introduced by Tony Abbott in 2013, former Ministers are not to ‘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 official dealings as Minister in their last eighteen months in office’, for eighteen months after ceasing to be a Minister.
“Given advocacy and lobbying has been the Queensland Resources Council’s bread and butter for the last 11 years he might have a hard time not breaching the Standards. It is irrelevant in this instance whether the QRC is classified as a lobbying group or not.
“Mr Macfarlane says that Prime Minister Turnbull is ‘cool with it’. If Mr Macfarlane does breach the standards, then Prime Minister Turnbull will have serious questions to answer about why he was willing to undermine the Ministerial Standards that former Prime Minister Abbott introduced.