Turnbull defends alleged conflict of interest

“They should actually be praising me” for being honest, says opposition communications minister

Federal shadow communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has been forced to defend potential conflicts of interest between private investments and his argument over the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The criticisms, from infrastructure minister, Anthony Albanese, centre around Turnbull’s private stake in Web hosting company Melbourne IT where his wife, Lucy Turnbull, is also a director. Albanese alleged that while Turnbull publicly criticised the fibre-to-the-home network, his private investments in the company would in fact benefit from the NBN going ahead.

However, Turnbull disregarded the criticisms and argued he should be in fact be congratulated for being honest about his private interests.

“[Albanese is] actually saying I should put my mouth where my money is,” Turnbull told Ray Hadley on 2GB radio in Sydney this week.

"If the proposition is that that company would benefit from the establishment of the NBN then I would have thought the fact that I am holding the NBN up to account and endeavouring to stop $43 billion being wasted would just show that I am a person of great integrity whose personal investments don’t influence his public policy,” he said.

In a statement of registrable interests to Parliament last month, Turnbull outlined the directorship in Melbourne IT held by his wife, as well as interests in ISYS Search Software.

However, the declaration did not outline how many shares, or the value of the shares held by Malcolm Turnbull in Melbourne IT.

A spokesperson confirmed the MP's portfolio included 5.4 million shares, worth approximately $10 million.

“There are people on the Labor side with shares in Telstra," Turnbull said. "I haven’t stood up and said, ‘They are only doing this because it will deliver $11 billion into Telstra’s pockets’.

“You would have to say they should be giving me a compliment for great integrity.”

Lucy Turnbull has held her role as a director on the Melbourne IT board since 2006 when the Web hosting company acquired WebCentral Group, where she had also held a chairmanship.

The criticisms come after Malcolm Turnbull and Anthony Albanese came at heads last week over the Telstra separation bill, which narrowly passed the House of Representatives without the coalition’s proposed amendments.

Malcolm Turnbull’s own history in the IT industry prior to his political career is well known, having been involved in several software companies and helping to co-found service provider Ozemail during the 1990s.

Follow James Hutchinson on Twitter: @j_hutch

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags NBNMalcolm TurnbullMelbourne IT

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Hutchinson

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?