Conroy likes golf, the football and racing


Communications Minister Stephen Conroy likes horse racing, the footy and attending the occasional Telstra corporate golf day, according to parliamentary disclosure documents recently released.

This month the Australian Parliament released to Open Australia its latest update of the Register of Senators’ Interests, an accountability vehicle through which senators such as Conroy disclose gifts that might influence the way they do their work.

Conroy’s list — available in full online (PDF) — shows that he attended a Telstra corporate golf day on 29 September.

He also received a number of tickets from companies such as Ericsson, Service stream, Intergraph and Tabcorp to attend Derby Day and Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington in Melbourne on 31 October and 3 November last year — as well as accompanying “hospitality” from brewer Lion Nathan.

The minister also attended the match between the Socceroos and Oman on 14 October, courtesy of the Football Federation of Australia (he is an ambassador for the organisation), as well as several football matches, including the grand final, in September, as a guest of the AFL and Australia Post. Earlier on in the year, Conroy attended the match between Australia and Bahrain, again as a guest of the FFA.

The Australian branch of the Davos leadership organisation chipped in for Conroy to attend the Australian Leadership Retreat in August on Hamilton Island — complete with chartered flight and accommodation.

Cisco Systems contributed tickets to the Circue du Soleil performance of ‘Dralion’ in May, which Conroy also received tickets to earlier that month directly from the circus troop. Did he attend twice? And Foxtel gave Conroy an autographed and framed Chelsea Football Club jersey in May.

Australia’s commercial TV stations — Seven, Ten and Nine, all took Conroy to events in 2009, as did Vodafone (the Australian Grand Pix). But none of the tier two players in Australia’s telco industry were listed. Conroy also went to the Australian Open courtesy of Tennis Australia, UBS Investment Bank and Australia Post.

In contrast, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam didn’t benefit from his high-profile position debating Australian telecommunications legislation — his only disclosure was that the Chinese Government paid for his transport accommodation and meals during an official delegation to the People’s Republic.

Former Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin picked up four concert tickets courtesy of Optus in August, and had his electorate office connected to a subscription television services like Sky News courtesy of representative body the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association.

And as for current Shadow Communications Minister Tony Smith? The MP’s sole disclosure was that he attended the same AFL grand final as Conroy — but with the media buying giant the Mitchell Communication Group.

Image credit: Office of Stephen Conroy