I wish to place a matter on the public record today in relation to my brother, who, through his involvement in a consortium, has acquired just over a seven per cent interest in the Ralston coalmine and its related assets.
As a result of this transaction, my brother-in-law will acquire a just over 0.7 per cent interest as well. This information has been revealed this afternoon as part of an update to the market by the companies involved.
I have taken the necessary steps to ensure that I comply with the Statement of Ministerial Standards, which includes seeking advice from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet regarding the appropriate course of action. This includes disclosing interests held by immediate family members during the deliberations of cabinet, in accordance with the requirements of the Cabinet Handbook, and arranging, as per this advice, that any decisions that involve actual conflict of interest between immediate family members, interests and ministerial responsibilities are referred to another minister.
I've also sought advice from the office of the Clerk of the Senate regarding any obligation I have to include this information on the Register of Senators' Interests. This advice has indicated that I am under no obligation to record this on the register. However, in the interests of transparency and public accountability I wish to place this development and the steps I have taken to address them on the public record.