Former SA treasurer lobbying for Autodom OK under code of conduct

Former South Australian treasurer Kevin Foley is lobbying for the troubled automotive parts maker Autodom.

News Limited papers report that Foley has met SA manufacturing, innovation and trade minister Tom Koutsantonis on several occasions, helping facilitate the deferral of loan repayments for Autodom that Foley himself negotiated as treasurer.

"These meetings included discussion of suspending repayments on an outstanding interest-free loan," a spokesman for Koutsantonis told the Herald Sun.

"The Government has already made public the decision it made to suspend those repayments."

The SA government issued Autodom a $3 million interest-free loan, while Foley was treasurer, in January 2009. Under the lobbyists’ code of conduct, Foley representing Autodom is permissible as it is outside the proscription of former ministers lobbying on “any matter with which they had official dealings in their last 18 months in office.”

Last week Ford and Holden agreed to act as guarantors on Autodom’s debt, ensuring that they have access to the car parts that Autodom (through subsidiaries aiAutomotive and DAIR) makes.

Foley’s business represents clients including Nyrstar (misspelled as Nystar on the Foley Advisory’s business registration details), Bardavcol and Australian Submarine Corporation.

Foley’s post-politics career as a lobbyist was reported at the beginning of the year.