Censure motion against Morrison

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has accused Opposition Leader Peter Dutton of enabling a culture of secrecy and cover-up within his party over the secret ministry scandal.


Parliament will be asked to support a censure motion against former prime minister Scott Morrison about his secret allocation of portfolios.

But the Liberal opposition has indicated it will not support the move, calling it a "political stunt" by the Labor government. 

Mr Albanese attacked this response and said Mr Morrison's behaviour "arrogantly dismissed scrutiny as an inconvenience".

"They should never be called conservatives, because conservatives support institutions," Mr Albanese told parliament.

"(The opposition) undermine them at every single opportunity."

The prime minister earlier said the censure motion would take place in parliament's final sitting week.

It is expected to be moved by House leader Tony Burke or Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.

Cabinet also agreed to implement all six recommendations from former High Court judge Virginia Bell's report into Mr Morrison's conduct.

"The actions of the former prime minister were extraordinary, they were unprecedented and they were wrong," Mr Albanese said. 

"The leader of the opposition has made excuses for this behaviour. He just doesn't get it." 

The prime minister said Australians deserved to know who their ministers are and have the Westminster system of government upheld by the people they elect to represent them in parliament. 

"The former prime minister wasn't responsible to the parliament, and through the parliament to the electors, to the departments that he was appointed to administer," he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

"This wasn't about a relationship between the former prime minister and his ministers ... this is about accountability of our democratic system."

Opposition government services spokesman Paul Fletcher said a censure motion against a backbencher would be highly unusual.

"This is a political stunt by the Albanese Labor government," he told Sky News on Monday.

"The proper purpose of a censure motion under the standing orders is to bring a minister to account to the parliament, it's not to be used as some kind of political payback exercise."

Mr Fletcher said while the opposition would oppose the censure motion, there were sensible recommendations in the report and the coalition would back them.

"Recommending that there be legislation to require the publication in the government gazette or similar when a minister is appointed, that's perfectly sensible," he said.

"We will look at the legislation when it comes forward, but I imagine we've said pretty clearly we would be likely to support that."

Proposals for new laws to implement the recommendations from the Bell report will come before parliament later this week.

The prime minister said it was important to ensure the actions of Mr Morrison did not happen again.

Mr Dutton has said his predecessor did the wrong thing, but breached no laws and did not gain personally from the action.

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