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Attorney seeks advice on breach claim

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus is seeking advice after concerns were raised by the opposition in parliament over a potential breach of the ministerial code of conduct.

In parliament on Thursday, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton claimed Mr Dreyfus had a conflict of interest because of an investment by his self-managed superannuation fund.

On his register of members’ interests, Mr Dreyfus declared one of the 17 funds under his self-managed super is Greencape Wholesale Broadcap Fund.

Greencape invests in between 25 and 70 high-quality stocks, one of which is alleged by the coalition to be Omni Bridgeway – a litigation funder.

As the attorney-general is responsible for regulating courts and law reform, Mr Dutton argued Mr Dreyfus had a conflict of interest under the ministerial code.

At the beginning of September, the attorney-general announced a plan to wind back hurdles to class actions for litigation funders, he noted.

“The shareholding owned by the attorney-general has effectively doubled in value since the Labor Party came to power,” Mr Dutton told parliament.

“Is that directed to decisions being made by the attorney-general? Well, I’ll let people draw their own conclusions.”

AAP understands Greencape does not disclose to Dreyfus Superannuation where it invests.

It changes its investments frequently and neither it, nor any of the other 17 managed funds, is ever directed by the Dreyfus fund where it invests.

And at no stage does it, or any of the other 17 managed funds, tell the Dreyfus fund where it invests.

Mr Dutton also accused Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of failing to enforce his own ministerial code.

“(Mr Albanese) is failing this critical test of whether his government is demonstrating the highest standards of integrity and accountability that he has claimed to uphold,” he said.

Mr Dreyfus said he had fully complied with the code but would look into the matter raised by the opposition.

“I can assure the house that every single one of the publicly listed managed funds that my private superannuation fund invested in has been fully disclosed to this house,” he said.

“They are all investments that are broadly diversified and they are all funds in which I have no influence over investment decisions of that fund or trust.”

But deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley said Mr Dreyfus still had questions to answer.

“There is no excuse by just saying, ‘I’ve complied with the disclosures’,” she told reporters.

“This is about the conflict of interest that the prime minister said he would demonstrate strict adherence to by his ministers.”

The coalition attack comes as the government prepares to introduce laws to parliament next week to set up a National Anti-Corruption Commission.

Mr Albanese said it was important not just to legislate but to “change the culture” to one of greater accountability and integrity.

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