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Senator Santo Santoro.

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Senator Chris Evans Labor Leader in the Senate Shadow Minister for National Development, Resources and Energy

13 March 2007

Senator Santo Santoro

As well as breaching the Ministerial Code of Conduct, Ageing Minister Santo Santoro may have deliberately misled the Senate about his financial interests.

The Committee of Senator's Interests requires all Senators to notify changes to their declaration of interests within 35 days of the change occurring.

This includes declaring the purchase of shares in private companies.

Senator Santoro admitted today that he bought 2,000 shares in the private biotechnology company CBio sometime before he became a Minister on 27 January 2006.

But an examination of Senator Santoro's declaration of interests doesn't say when he bought the shares - only that it took him another nine months to disclose the purchase to the Senate on 4 December 2006.

This was also two months after he was reminded that he still owned shares in CBio - a company directly relevant to his portfolio - on 11 October 2006.

This is a serious breach of the requirement that all Senators declare their interests to the Senate.

Not only did Senator Santoro forget to tell the Prime Minister about the CBio shares, he also failed to disclose that interest to the Senate.

Senator Santoro needs to publicly explain when he bought his shares in CBio and why it took him so long to declare those shares to the Senate.

He also needs to reveal whether he owns any other shares that he forgot to tell either the Prime Minister or the Senate about in his register of interests.

Media contact: Tim Friedrich 0417 753 219