48 naughty pollies have rushed to update their investment interests since Howard called for a spring clean following the revelation of Santoro’s disastrous blunders. The miscreants include Lie-berals Malcolm Turnbull, Mal Washer, Bronwyn Bishop, Don Randall and Jo Gash, and Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen.
New parliamentary secretary for health, Brett Mason is the mischievous boy for whose declaration oversights the rodent has shown unremarkable forbearance.
Senator Mason, who was promoted to parliamentary secretary for health this week in the wake of Santo Santoro’s resignation for failing to declare share transactions, had undeclared investments dating back 18 months.
Senator Mason this week declared four new managed funds investments on the register of senators’ interests – the oldest dating back to August 2005.
Senators and MPs are required to disclose changes to their interests within 28 days.
Mr Howard said he was angry that Senator Mason had breached the rules, but said he had fixed the matter before his promotion.
With warm paternal beneficence, the prime monster has decided not to sack Mason, declaring
“I think in all of the circumstances and particularly as he has repaired the breach before he was a parliamentary secretary, as distinct from Santoro, who committed multiple breaches after becoming a minister – no.”
Apparently, unless one is a minister, undeclared monetary dealings are comfortably irrelevant, with contravention of the 28 day disclosure requirement of little import to the beleaguered rodent.