Arthur Sinodinos Resigns, Clearing The Way For Tony Abbott To Reshuffle His Cabinet

The Australian senate Photo: Getty

Arthur Sinodinos, who stepped down as assistant Federal Treasurer after he was named in a corruption investigation, has decided to resign from the federal ministry.

This leaves the way open for Prime Minister Tony Abbott to reshuffle his cabinet, possibly this weekend.

“Knowing Arthur as I do, I am confident he will be vindicated,” Abbott said today. “Nevertheless, the Government does need an Assistant Treasurer for the preparation of the Budget. I will announce Arthur’s replacement in the next few days.”

Sinodinos stood down as assistant Treasurer in March. “It’s a bit like living in a shadow place between the front and the back bench,” he said today.

His name came up during investigations into attempts by Australian Water Holdings, of which he was a director and chairman, to win government contracts. The company has been linked to corrupt Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid.

“I am confident that when the reports are finally released, I will not be subject to any finding of corrupt conduct or illegality,” he said.

The report of the investigation by ICAC was due to be released in January but has been delayed to March.

“I very much look forward to returning to the ministry in the not too distant future,” Senator Sinodinos said.

A cabinet reshuffle is almost certainly to involve the removal of David Johnston from the defence ministry, where he has widely been seen to be underperforming. There has also been speculation that immigration minister Scott Morrison might be appointed to a broad national security portfolio.