Greens seek new Morrison inquiry referral

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Former prime minister Scott Morrison faces further consequences over his secret ministries, with the Greens weighing up a fresh referral to parliament's powerful privileges committee.


Greens leader Adam Bandt said he would look to write to House of Representatives Speaker Milton Dick to refer Mr Morrison to the privileges committee over his actions.

It follows Mr Morrison being the first former prime minister to be censured, in light of his actions in secretly appointing himself to five ministerial portfolios during his time in office.

While Mr Bandt had attempted to refer Mr Morrison previously when news of the secret ministries emerged, he said further evidence had emerged in light of former High Court judge Virginia Bell's report on the ministries.

"We now know more than we did at the time of the previous referral," Mr Bandt said.

"We're having a look at writing to the Speaker to see whether there is now enough of a case to consider referring Mr Morrison."

Mr Dick previously decided there was not enough evidence to refer Mr Morrison to the privileges committee on the grounds he misled parliament.

Mr Morrison was censured by the lower house on Wednesday over the secret ministries, with the motion passing 86 to 50.

Liberal MP Bridget Archer crossed the floor to side with the government in censuring the former prime minister, while former minister Karen Andrews abstained from the vote.

Mr Morrison defended his decisions during a speech to parliament, saying the ministries were a "dormant redundancy".

"I note the criticisms made of my decisions to be authorised to administer a series of departments have been made from the safety and relative calm of hindsight," he said.

"The government's response to censure and prosecute this motion is to engage in the politics of retribution and nothing less."

Laws to ensure the details of all ministerial appointments are published promptly will be introduced to parliament by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus on Thursday.

Ms Bell's report found the lack of disclosure of Mr Morrison's appointments "was apt to undermine public confidence in government".

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