Just last week, Crikey exclusively reported that Arthur Sinodinos, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, had itchy feet.

This morning we’ve had the official confirmation – a media release from the Short Man himself saying Sinodinos is off:

CHIEF OF STAFF – PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE

My Chief of Staff Arthur Sinodinos will be resigning next week to take up a position with Goldman Sachs JBWere in Sydney.

Mr Tony Nutt, my Principal Private Secretary, will become my Chief of Staff.

Arthur Sinodinos has served in my office since March 1995 initially as Senior Economic Adviser, becoming Chief of Staff in October 1997. He had also worked for me during an earlier period in Opposition in 1987-89…

Nutt’s good. He’s effective and fair. It’s much harder to be positive about Sinodinos’ move.

Goldman Sachs JBWere have just helped the Government gain a windfall over the T3 sale. They pulled in a nice amount, too. Indeed, towards the end of last month finance Minister Nick Minchin says the investment banks responsible for the $15.5 billion Telstra share sale had “earned every single penny” of the more than $100 million they will collectively receive once the sale is completed. 

So yet another prominent political personage is passing through the revolving door that divides government and rainmaking in government affairs for the private sector.

It simply wouldn’t be allowed in many other countries without a cooling off period. They – rightly – consider it unethical.

Peter Fray

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