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Australian ex-PM faces censure over secret ministry posts

By AFP
28 November 2022   |   11:19 am
Ousted Australian prime minister Scott Morrison will face censure in parliament for secretly appointing himself to several key ministerial posts during the Covid-19 pandemic, his successor Anthony Albanese said Monday.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on April 10, 2022. – Morrison on April 10 called federal elections for May 21, launching a come-from-behind battle to stay in power after three years rocked by floods, bushfires and the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by AFP)

Ousted Australian prime minister Scott Morrison will face censure in parliament for secretly appointing himself to several key ministerial posts during the Covid-19 pandemic, his successor Anthony Albanese said Monday.

Morrison appointed himself minister for finance, home affairs, treasury, resources, agriculture and environment, without telling the public or existing ministers.

A recent inquiry by a former high court judge found his actions had been “corrosive of trust in government” and recommended closing several loopholes that allowed the appointments to remain secret.

Despite much outrage and scrutiny over the move, however, Morrison’s actions were ultimately found to be legal.

Albanese said parliament would now try to change the law to make sure ministerial appointments have to be made public.

He also said his conservative predecessor — who lost an election in May — should be held politically accountable.

“We will introduce legislation later this week to make sure that this can never ever happen again,” Albanese announced, heaping pressure on Morrison to resign his seat in parliament.

The ex-premier has defended his actions as “prudent” and necessary during a global pandemic.

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