“Senator Sinodinos’ failure to appear before the Senate inquiry today is astonishing.
“For a Senator and Cabinet Secretary – perhaps the closest confidant of Prime Minister Turnbull – to snub a Senate directive to give evidence on political donations speaks volumes about the Liberal Party’s attitude towards these issues.
“Given Senator Sinodinos has ignored a clear direction to appear, delivered by the majority of Senators, the committee should now explore whether he is in contempt of the Senate.
“His letter to the committee cites the example of Senator Arbib refusing to appear at the Pink Batts inquiry. Again Senator Sinodinos is misleading the public. In the case of Arbib he was requested by the Inquiry to give evidence, yet in this case the Senate resolved to ‘direct Senator Sinodinos to appear before the committee to answer questions’.
“Senator Sinodinos is also incorrect when he asserts that ‘no attempt was made to contact his office. The Committee wrote to him on 20 April and again on 26 April.
“There are serious issues with our funding and disclosure regime and they need to be examined and reformed.
“Senator Sinodinos’ failure to appear is testament to the Liberal party’s ‘deny and defy’ approach to scrutinising political donations.
“Senator Sinodinos is becoming a problem for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. This was an opportunity for Senator Sinodinos to put his case and clear the air on the various allegations made about his activities as NSW Liberal Treasurer.”