Prime Minister Anthony Albanese teases an inquiry into Scott Morrison’s actions

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese indicated that an investigation could be launched following the explosive news that his predecessor Scott Morrison has secretly taken over five ministries.

Morrison was appointed as a member of the ministerial portfolios of health, finance, interiors, treasury and industry, science, energy and resources between March 2020 and May 2021.

The former prime minister has since defended his actions and said he needed “emergency powers” in the event of “extreme situations” at the height of Covid.

The Attorney General will issue a legal opinion on Monday, describing what happened, how it happened and whether there will be any legal repercussions for Mr. Morrison.

Camera iconFormer Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly held five ministerial portfolios. Gaye Gerard / NCA Newswire Credit: News Corp Australia

But Mr. Albanese said that even if Mr. Morrison’s actions were deemed legal, he would seek to investigate or propose further reforms so that “such a thing can never happen again.”

“I am not going to anticipate the advice we are receiving, but it is very clear that we need to look closely at what has happened here,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

“It was an attack on our parliamentary democracy and what the Attorney General will give his opinion on, of course, are the legal issues.

“There are separate questions about how our democracy works, about conventions and whether the conventions have been canceled and whether the necessary reforms are needed to ensure that something like this can never happen again. “

Mr. Albanese stated that although there was no indication that Mr. Morrison had done something illegal, he described what the former prime minister did as “beyond” understanding.

“I have not yet seen any suggestion that anything illegal has happened, but what is very clear is that the conventions have been completely canceled and ignored and the Westminster system of our democracy has been undermined by the decisions made by the former prime minister.” , He said.

Camera iconPrime Minister Anthony Albanese has continually criticized Scott Morrison’s actions. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

“I don’t understand how this can happen, not only how it actually happened, but also how you might even think about doing such a measurement.”

Earlier in the week it emerged that Morrison had approved $ 828 million in industry grants while serving as industry minister.

Albanese said the government will honor all contracts signed during this period, but will judge other agreements or arrangements “on their own merits”.

“The Department of Industry will honor all contracts that have been made,” he said.

“There are a number of these programs that have been announced but not contracted, even during the election campaign, and the department is evaluating their merits.

“These decisions will be made very soon after the department’s opinion.”

Mr. Albanese declined to comment on Mr. Morrison to block a Pep-11 oil and gas exploration license on the NSW coast using his ministerial resources powers because the matter was before the courts.

Mr. Albanese also raised the prospect of a royal commission on Australia’s response to the Covid pandemic, an idea he teased earlier in the week.

He said a possible royal commission will focus primarily on the federal government, but will also look to state governments.

“It would be primarily the federal government, this is what we have responsibility for,” Albanese said.

“But the interaction between the different levels of government was obviously essential for the response to the Covid pandemic.

“The response from the various governing bodies, the way it worked, the different jurisdictions and which revealed some of the problems with our federation, can often be quite difficult with overlapping responsibilities.

“I couldn’t imagine a circumstance where, having had a global pandemic once every century and an extraordinary response with the greatest economic stimulus we’ve ever seen in Australia, you would just move on and have no review of what went on. well, how things could be improved and what lessons could be learned.

Mr. Albanese did not provide a timetable for the execution of this royal commission, but said he “would like to do something as soon as possible”.

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