Gold Coast MP Stuart Robert has vowed to recontest in the next election for the Fadden seat amidst controversies of his stake in a mining company’s shares.
An investigation conducted by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s secretary Martin Parkinson found that Robert has violated the ministerial standards during his China trip 2014 as a result of which the minister had to leave his position from Turnbull’s ministry. According to The Guardian, documents released from the Department of Finance said that the minister used his taxpayer funds to travel to the inauguration of an Evolution Mining’s goldmine in a north Queensland-based company. The document also proved that he and his family had a stake in the shares of the goldmine company.
The MP’s name has come into the limelight once again around 144 days ago when it was discovered that he travelled to China to support generous Liberal donor and friend Paul Marks, who owns Evolution Mining where Robert holds shares in. In an interview with the Gold Coast Bulletin, Robert said that he wasn’t aware of owning a share in the goldmine company and blamed his trustee for making him do so.
“What I said to the parliament, that I believe I acted appropriately, was true – I wasn’t aware of the share issue at all, it was the trustee,” Robert told the Bulletin. “However, I do understand and I do appreciate that merely turning up to an event like that was probably an error of judgment.”
Robert was still not sure about whether he still owned the shares in the company. “I’ve got no criticism at all in terms of what’s happened,” he said.
“You need to take responsibility if you’ve stuffed up and you put your hand up in the air and you say, ‘I’ve stuffed up and I’m sorry and I will work harder and do better, it was an error of judgement’.”