The indication that it will be near December before the NSW independent Commission Against Corruption delivers a finding on the behaviour of Arthur Sinodinos surely makes it imperative for Tony Abbott to make his suspension as assistant treasurer permanent. Having a key player in the economic debate on the sidelines for three quarters of a year is just a nonsense. And that is without factoring in the damage being done to the Liberal Party by the involvement of Sinodinos, a former Treasurer of the NSW state branch, in the unfolding fund raising scandal being imposed by ICAC.
Let me repeat what I wrote at the end of last month:
It’s not so much what Arthur Sinodinos told ICAC that he knew. Or even that he proved to have one of the worst memories ever to speak on oath. It is just that the whole business of the New South Wales Liberal Party and its web of influences and fund raising gets worse and worse. Tony Abbott needs to take decisive action to stop the affair smearing himself.Making the temporary ousting of assistant Treasurer Sinodinos permanent is a necessary step in doing that. If he wants to be kind to an old friend then the perfect excuse is to say that the ICAC enquiries are taking too long and that the needs of economic management mean the post must be filled. So, reluctantly, Arthur has agreed to step down. And quickly.