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Attorney General Admits To Personally Offering $370,000-A-Year Job To Party Donor

George Brandis gave the plum legal job to a lawyer who had represented his son and donated to the Liberal National party.

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Attorney general George Brandis has confirmed he personally approached his son's criminal lawyer, a party donor, to offer him a government job with a $370,000-a-year salary.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

BuzzFeed News revealed last week that Brandis had appointed Theo Tavoularis, who had previously represented the attorney general's son in court, to the job in the final days before the election was called earlier this year.

Brandis has since denied he knew Tavoularis's Brisbane law firm had also donated $1,200 to the Liberal National party in 2013, one month before Brandis was made attorney general.

Under questioning about the appointment on Monday, Brandis told the Senate he personally offered the job to his son's legal representative and party donor.

"I approached him as I approach any appointee," Brandis said.

Labor's Penny Wong asked if Brandis ever flagged a conflict of interest with the cabinet over the job, which is worth $370,000 a year for five years.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

"There is no conflict of interest whatsoever," Brandis responded.

"Since he has served in that office, he has served in an extremely diligent and admired manner."

Brandis said he had spoken to the head of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal "this morning", who had "no criticism to offer of Mr Tavoularis’s performance in the role".

Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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