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Cormann to take on Sinodinos’ duties

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann will take on the duties of Assistant Treasurer Senator Arthur Sinodinos while the ICAC investigation into Australian Water Holdings Pty Ltd (AWH) continues.

Senator Sinodinos told the Senate yesterday that he will stand aside from the front bench.

“I rise to make a statement in regard to the current inquiry into Australian Water Holdings Pty Ltd by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in New South Wales,” Mr Sinodinos told the Senate.

“I have been called as a witness to the ICAC and as I have said on the public record on numerous occasions, I will be cooperating with the inquiry.

“I do not want this sideshow to be an unnecessary distraction to the important work of the government which I am proud to serve.”

The ICAC inquiry heard on Monday that Senator Sinodinos, then NSW treasurer of the Liberal Party, was installed on the board of the Obeid-linked AWH in 2008 "to open lines of communication with the Liberal Party".

It heard that Senator Sinodinos, who was earning $200,000 a year for "a couple of weeks' work", stood to enjoy a "$10 or $20 million payday" if AWH had won a lucrative contract with the NSW government.