CANBERRA -- Labor Senator Sam Dastyari has given an explanation, of sorts, on why he asked a Chinese Government linked company to pay a personal debt, saying he "had a bill" and he "did not want to pay it".
The Senator has not gone into hiding following his resignation late Wednesday from the Opposition front bench, speaking to a Channel 9 crew waiting outside his Sydney home.
The Labor Party owes me nothing and I owe the Labor Party everything. Bill Shorten and the team don't deserve this distraction.— Sam Dastyari (@samdastyari) September 7, 2016
Senator Dastyari stepped down saying he'd become too much of a distraction to his Labor colleagues, but has been criticised for failing to explain why he asked the company, Top Education Institute, to pay a $1670 debt for travel expenses.
"I had a bill. I did not want to pay," he told Channel 9's Sophie Walsh.
"Frankly that was wrong. That is a mistake. I have got to be honest with you, I am paying a price for mistake."
Asked what was going through his mind when he had them pay the bill? He replied: "Well look frankly I think it is pretty obvious not a lot, at the time.
"I did not reflect on it at the time."
He refused to say whether there were are other bills, not on the pecuniary interests register, paid for by Chinese companies.
"Everything has been fully disclosed," he declared.
As for how the Senator views his actions in light of his career pause, he gave this characteristic understatement: "I incredibly kinda regret it."