THE Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is more than three months overdue in declaring to Parliament gifts and hospitality amassed as spoils of the top job.
( Has anyone seen a declaration by Fiji’s top Ministers ?)
Parliament’s all-important pecuniary interests register, which requires MPs and senators to publicly report all gifts of more than $300 from private sources or more than $750 from foreign dignitaries within 28 days, reveals Ms Gillard has not updated her file since June 16.
Ms Gillard has provided only two updates to the register this year, a significant shortfall on the previous year when the Prime Minister detailed gifts presented by various dignitaries on 17 occasions.
The failure to complete paperwork on time includes Ms Gillard yet to declare tickets provided by the AFL for the grand final in September, with the hospitality confirmed by a separate register kept by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Grilled on the matter in question time in August last year by the Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne, Ms Gillard said: ”Of course, there is an obligation on all members of the Parliament to abide by the rules in relation to declarations of interest.”
She added, during the height of the scandal relating to Mr Thomson’s use of credit cards when he was a Health Services Union official: ”As the member who asked the question would well know, there is more than one member in this Parliament that has declared things late. Of course, people should abide by the rules.”