Most important points
- Josh Frydenberg has criticized former Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his secret ministerial appointments.
- Mr Frydenberg said there was no reason for Mr Morrison to take his treasury portfolio.
- The findings of an investigation into the secret appointments will be handed over to the federal government on Friday.
Josh Frydenberg, ex-coalition treasurer, has released a report on how and why Scott Morrison secretly took over several ministries when he was prime minister before issuing a report on his former leader. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Morrison appointed ministers without knowledge. An “angry, hurt, confused, speechless” Mr. Frydenberg told author and columnist Nikki Savva for Nine Newspapers that Mr. Morrison still had not apologized for his actions. I don’t think there was any reason for Scott to take on the additional Treasury portfolio,” he told Ms Savva, according to an excerpt from his forthcoming book on the Morrison regime published Friday. The fact that they took it and it was not made transparent to me and others is wrong and very disappointing.
“It was extreme redundancy.”
The Solicitor General found that Mr Morrison’s action had “fundamentally undermined” the principles of responsible governance. Action was taken and who knew about it. The Advocate General felt that “It was impossible for Parliament to hold ministers responsible for the management of departments if it did not know which ministers were responsible for which departments.” Mr. Morrison has appointed himself. manage health departments; finance; industry, science, energy and raw materials; Darling; and Home Affairs.
Ms. Bell was also asked to look at how departments operate and the implications arising from the appointments for accountability and public trust in government.
It will make recommendations to the government on any changes that could increase transparency and accountability. The government has promised to start implementing any recommendations next week. Former Liberal Prime Ministers John Howard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull all expressed concern at Mr Morrison’s actions. Mr Abbott described it as “highly unorthodox, highly unorthodox” and said it “shouldn’t have happened”.
Mr Morrison updated his parliamentary biography with the ministries in early November.
Health and Finance roles began in March 2020, while he started as Industry Minister in April 2021 and Home Affairs and Finance in May 2021. Exploration project off the coast of NSW. Mr Morrison intended to use the powers only in extreme circumstances “incapacitated or in the national interest”. They weren’t made public because there wasn’t a consistent process for publication, he said, but anyway.
He said in a statement in August: “I can only say that the decisions I have made as Prime Minister have been made with the intention of protecting Australia from the many crises it faces.”