Australia Secret Ministries
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attends a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. An inquiry into former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison who secretly appointing himself to multiple ministries has recommended that all such future appointments be made public to preserve trust in government. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)
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Australia to prevent repeat of former leader's power grab

14 Comments
By ROD McGUIRK

An inquiry into a former Australian prime minister secretly appointing himself to multiple ministries recommended Friday that all such appointments be made public in future to preserve trust in government.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he would recommend his cabinet accept all of the retired judge ’s recommendations at a meeting next week.

Albanese ordered the inquiry in August after revelations that his predecessor Prime Minister Scott Morrison had taken the unprecedented steps of appointing himself to five ministerial roles between March 2020 and May 2021, usually without the knowledge of the existing minister.

The extraordinary power grab came to light after Morrison’s conservative coalition was voted out of office in May after nine years in power.

Albanese blamed a culture of secrecy within the former government for its leader’s extraordinary accumulation of personal power.

“We’re shining sunlight on a shadow government that preferred to operate in darkness, a government that operated in a cult of secrecy and a culture of coverup which arrogantly dismissed scrutiny from the Parliament and the public as a mere inconvenience,” Albanese told reporters.

Retired High Court Justice Virginia Bell in her inquiry recommended laws be created to require public notices of ministerial appointments be published as well as the divisions of ministerial responsibilities.

Morrison cooperated with the inquiry through his lawyers but did not personally give evidence.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton has previously said his and Morrison’s Liberal Party would support legislation that would prevent a repeat of such a secret accumulation of power.

Morrison, who is now an opposition lawmaker, maintains that he gave himself the portfolios of health, finance, treasury, resources and home affairs as an emergency measure made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
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Morrison, who is now an opposition lawmaker, maintains that he gave himself the portfolios of health, finance, treasury, resources and home affairs as an emergency measure made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic.

Even if something like this was necessary (a very big if) what is the justification of doing it in secret?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The master of Australia, would like to maintain Australia toeing the line of US foreign policy. Total control is needed.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

So even in Australia democracy is a thing of the past, wow!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

It’s the secrecy that’s the problem, if it has a good justification it shouldn’t be secret. Clarify the reason make a sound argument garner the support. But Scott Morrison is a member of a religious evangelical church and his decisions come from god during a talk in tongues episode. So him mental stability can be called into question.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well, I guess if you think the investigation of the arrogating of power to yourself is not democracy then maybe democracy is over, but I think most democratically-minded would believe that investigation is right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So even in Australia democracy is a thing of the past, wow!

Actually what see at play is true democracy in action.

A public choosing to ouster an individual from the top position - and his party - because he got way beyond himself.

Morrison thought the rules didn't apply to him failing to realize that in a democracy they do.

Some leaders understand this. Some don't.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Morrison, who is now an opposition lawmaker, maintains that he gave himself the portfolios of health, finance, treasury, resources and home affairs as an emergency measure made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic.

He should be in jail.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Surely the Australian Governor General - the representative of Elizabeth 2, Queen of Australia - should have tabled this publicly at the time when swearing in PM Morrison for these multiple extra portfolios? Why so secretive?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even if something like this was necessary (a very big if) what is the justification of doing it in secret?

Well, Virusrex, it might well be that there were very sinister and underhand things going on in 2020... but the people sounding the alarm were called 'conspiracy theorists' and even got death threats from hysterical mobs worked into a pandemonium over an alleged 'pandemic' that in the grand scheme of things wasn't much worse than the usual flu

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ScoMo is a snake, a pretend conservative who sold out his country to foreign interests so this kind of act is natural for him. As others have said, why the secrecy? He broke the trust of his Liberal colleagues and basically held Australia in contempt.

Which makes me wonder what else he did that we haven't found out about yet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So even in Australia democracy is a thing of the past

as opposed to America’s democracy ?

at least Australians accept the election result, without any violence

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Australia to prevent repeat of former leader's power grab"

Is it legal under the Australian Constitution to have, at any time, TWO sitting ministers in the same seat?

"bass4funkNov. 25 02:51 pm JST

So even in Australia democracy is a thing of the past, wow!"

I doubt the past saw much better in Rule of Democracy than we see in our 'democracies' today. What defines a 'vote'? A person, a 'voter', selects one of usually two 'candidates'. That is the 'choice' touted in political education materials liberally distributed by both of the two 'choices', Tweedledee and Tweedledom. But who selects the 'candidates'? MONEY, and 'private' guarantees' in return for money, quid pro quo. 'Guarantees' for MONEY, and 'promises' for voters. Spending an afternoon or two in a library reading the news of the past and seeing that only some of the names need be changed, but the behavior identical. Pick an era...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually what see at play is true democracy in action.

By blocking him?

A public choosing to ouster an individual from the top position - and his party - because he got way beyond himself.

apparently, not if one party tries to step in and not allow the people to decide for themselves.

Morrison thought the rules didn't apply to him failing to realize that in a democracy they do.

Some leaders understand this. Some don't.

Hmmm….seems like it goes both ways.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@bassfunk -

Thanks for your replies.

I'm not really following your comments.

Who's blocking who?

And the recent National elections saw the Morrison govt easily defeated - ie the people decided.

One of the most outspoken critics of Morrisons grab of power has been the previous Defense Minister - and now Leader of the Liberals - Peter Dutton. He is one of the most far right senior conservatives and was an ally of Morrison, but he hasn't hesitated to denounce Morrison's acts and purge the shadow cabinet of Morrison sympathizers.

Again - the acts by Morrison in secretly appointing himself to 5 ministerships, the critical portfolios of health, finance, treasury, resources and home affairs without even telling the current at that time Ministers who were his close friends.

This is above and beyond - it goes both ways - way out there.

To get a true understanding / feel for the act, imagine if the same scenario played out in Britain or The US - the fury would be volcanic.

Unprecedented betrayal of one's own faithful.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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