Another Turnbull Conflict Of Interest?

Hot on the heels of a potential conflict of interest from opposition communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, and his investments in France Telecom, another possible conflict of interest investment has risen.

It is apparent that Turnbull’s wife Lucy has a shareholding in Vodafone, in information taken from a register of poltical interests published by the Sydney Morning Herald.

It is not clear whether this investment relates to Vodafone in Australia, or other overseas arms of the telecommunications company.

However it is on the register, and presents another possible investment that might be proper to divest from, given Malcolm’s role as communications spokesman. All parliamentarians are required to declare the interests of themselves and their spouses.

Ministers must divest themselves of any conflicts related to their portfolio.

Are the communications investments of the Turnbulls, affecting Malcolm’s policy positions?

Maybe, maybe not.

Given another possible conflict of interest, the question needs to be asked more firmly than before.

UPDATE: 6:25pm – The office of Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that while Lucy Turnbull did hold shares in Vodafone, she no longer holds them.

Assuming this to be correct, any possible conflict of interest with respect to these shares should now be gone, and the SMH register would appear to have out of date information.

One point still remains though.

I do still however find it curious that these shares were still taken up in 2012 – (when they were added to the register) – and apparently divested also in 2012. At all times while Mrs Turnbull held them, her husband was the communications spokesperson for the opposition.

The question of a conflict of interest remains over Mr Turnbull’s shares in France Telecom.