To ensure there can be no question as to the integrity of Australia’s foreign investment review system I have decided to suspend the commencement of my proposed role with The Carlyle Group until April 2017, when my term as part-time non-executive chairman of the FIRB expires.
On 5 September it was announced that I would take up a non-executive role as a senior advisor to The Carlyle Group, in addition to my various other private sector and non-executive board positions.
The proposed appointment was pre-cleared with the Australian government on the basis that the normal protocols would deal readily with the very rare conflicts between such a role with The Carlyle Group and my role as chairman of the FIRB. These protocols are long-standing and accommodate fully the inevitable issues that arise when individuals from the private sector hold part-time roles on government boards.
However, having noted concern in some quarters and to ensure appropriate and due public confidence in the foreign investment review system, I have decided to take this extra measure.
Should a matter involving The Carlyle Group come before the FIRB prior to April 2017 I will of course recuse myself from any involvement.
5 October 2016