The country’s solicitor-general has determined that Australia’s former prime minister “fundamentally damaged” legitimate governance by surreptitiously appointing himself to extra ministries.
The solicitor general advised the present administration that Scott Morrison’s actions were acceptable.
But it was “inconsistent” with tradition for him to keep them a secret from the general public and his own coworkers.
In “exceptional circumstances,” Mr. Morrison has justified the measures as “essential.”
Mr. Morrison’s actions, said to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, are a “extraordinary shredding of our democracy.” Mr. Albanese launched an investigation into the situation on Tuesday.
In the two years prior to losing his position in May, Mr. Morrison was appointed joint minister for health, finance, treasury, home affairs, and resources.
Most ministers allegedly had no idea Mr. Morrison shared their portfolios with them, and he has come under fire from several of his colleagues.
Governor-General David Hurley, who served as the Queen’s agent and appointed him to the ministries, said he thought they would be made public.
According to Mr. Morrison, he only interfered with one decision, overruling one made by the previous minister of resources, Keith Pitt.
The investigation of Mr. Morrison’s appointment to that ministry and the validity of his involvement was entrusted to Solicitor General Stephen Donaghue.
Although Mr. Donaghue came to the conclusion that it was legitimate, he said that “neither the public nor the parliament can hold a minister responsible… if they are unaware that the minister has such powers.”
Mr. Albanese said that the recommendation was a “quite unambiguous critique” of Mr. Morrison’s behavior and promised to provide more information on a wider investigation in the future.
He told reporters, “What we know is that there was absolutely no openness here.
According to Mr. Morrison, his actions were intended to guarantee that the government could continue to run if Covid rendered any ministers unable.
In a news conference last week, he added, “Thankfully, we didn’t need to break the glass. They were placed in there as a safety as a ‘break-glass-in-case-of-emergency’.”
“I believe there was a significant chance that… such abilities may be misconstrued and misunderstood, which would have led to unneeded anxiety in the midst of a pandemic,” the author said.