Senator Arthur Sinodinos’ register of interests makes colourful reading, with a fair amount of black thrown in. There’s the framed cartoon worth more than $300 given to him in February by coal haulier Aurizon’s policy VP, John Short, who is a personal friend. There’s the Sydney Institute dinner he attended a year ago as a guest of then-coal association chief Nikki Williams.
Then there’s a shareholding in Cuesta Coal, a coal explorer that has so far escaped much attention. In February 2013 Sinodinos disclosed he’d offloaded shares in Australian Water Holdings, now subject of the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry in News South Wales. In late 2012 he’d ditched shares in NAB, where he was a senior executive for a while. But he held onto his shares in Cuesta Coal, which he chaired for an eventful year in 2010-11.