Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to appoint former Liberal-National Party backroom operator Bruce McIver to the board of Australia Post has blown up in the face of his Liberal Government.
It was revealed in Senate Estimates today that Mr McIver is due to attend his first board meeting on the 25th of February. The very next day he will be the guest of honour at a Liberal Party fundraiser on the 26th of February.
Mr McIver headlining a Liberal Party fundraiser is in clear contradiction of section 2.5 of the Governance and Oversight Guidelines for Government Business Enterprises which states:
In particular, the Government expects GBE boards to establish and maintain a code of conduct for directors (including any subsidiaries), employees and contractors and that GBEs, in undertaking their business, avoid activities that could give rise to questions about their political impartiality. For example, GBEs should not make direct or indirect political donations or participate in activities that would bring the Government into disrepute. GBEs may wish to consult with the Shareholder Minister(s) on any sensitive issues affecting its business activities.
Minister Fifield admitted today that he was aware of the fundraiser yet he has taken no action.
In the days before Christmas, Minister Fifield announced that Mr McIver, a man best known for backroom deals in the murky waters of the Queensland Liberal-National Party, would take up a director’s position on the Australia Post board, along with a $90,000 salary.
Today it was also revealed that despite the Governor-General formalising the appointment on the 10th of December and the vacancy on the board existing since August, the appointment was held back until the Christmas break.
No explanation has been given regarding the selection process for this appointment, who else was considered, or whether Mr McIver’s role in blocking the defection of Ian Macfarlane to the National Party was a factor in his appointment.
Australia Post is a respected national institution that has been dragged into the mud because of Malcolm Turnbull’s political games.
Malcolm Turnbull should direct Mr McIver to immediately pull out of the fundraiser.
TUESDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: RYAN HAMILTON 02 9790 2466