Keith Pitt and Matt Canavan correct errors uncovered in register of interests

Paul Karp
Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

The resources, water and northern Australia minister, Keith Pitt, and Nationals senator Matt Canavan will both update their register of interests over errors in relation to interests in investment properties.

Canavan will amend his register to declare two properties worth more than $1m after Guardian Australia revealed he had relied on an incorrect reading of rules that interests disclosed to previous parliaments do not need to be re-declared.

Pitt, who was elevated to the ministry in the latest reshuffle after Canavan resigned, told Guardian Australia he made an “administrative” error in failing to declare he owns a beneficial interest in, and is the director and secretary of, Branyan Investments Pty Ltd.

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The company, which he has a joint beneficial interest in with his wife, holds a mortgage to purchase an investment property in Bundaberg through the couple’s self-managed superannuation fund. The property was itself properly declared.

Earlier in February, Guardian Australia revealed Canavan had declared “nil” interests in real estate despite owning two houses in Yeppoon, Queensland and Macquarie in Canberra.

The former resources and northern Australia minister – who quit to support a bid by Barnaby Joyce to return to the Nationals leadership – had claimed he was not required to declare the interests in the 46th parliament because he had already done so in the 45th.

On Thursday, Canavan told Guardian Australia: “The advice I relied on was that, as the properties were declared in the previous parliament and had not changed, I was not required to re-declare those interests.

“Upon clarification this seems not to be the case, so I have re-declared these properties with the parliament.”

Pitt told Guardian Australia after reviewing the register in response to questions, “it became apparent some of my entries were outdated and some entity names were incorrect”.

“For instance, I named one entity Branyan Holdings when I should have stated Branyan Investments.”

In his register of interests, Pitt incorrectly declared he was a director of Branyan Holdings, but neither Branyan Holdings nor Branyan Investments appear in the section to declare beneficial interests such as family and business trusts and nominee companies.

“I have no conflict of interest, there was never an intention to mislead, these were administrative oversights,” he said.

“It is vital that entries to the register of members’ interests are correct and up-to-date. I will be updating my entry in the register as a priority.”