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Senior Australian lawmaker stands aside amid corruption hearing

Published on Mar 19, 2014 1:51 PM
 

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Conservative Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government suffered its first major setback since winning power last year when the assistant treasurer stood aside on Wednesday amid corruption allegations from his time in state politics.

While not formally a member of Cabinet, Senator Arthur Sinodinos plays a senior role in Abbott's government and is a power broker from New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state.

Sinodinos will retain his seat in the national parliament.

He is the highest-ranking government official to be caught up in a wide-ranging investigation into corruption over state government contracts and land deals in New South Wales.

 
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