CANBERRA, Aug 19 — Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Tuesday that former PM Scott Morrison had been appointed to five additional portfolios secretly during the previous government term.

Albanese said that between March 2020 and May 2021, Morrison was secretly appointed to key ministerial roles, including Health, Finance, Home Affairs, Treasury Department, and also the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

“It is completely extraordinary that these appointments were kept secret by the Morrison government from the Australian people,” Xinhua quoted Albanese as saying in a press conference.

He said that there is a legal matter in the issue of resources and he’s seeking further advice as to the use of these extraordinary powers by Morrison and other examples of it.

“And we’ll be receiving a briefing. I’ve asked for advice from the solicitor-general,” Albanese said.

Morrison posted a statement on social media on Tuesday saying that the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated recession required “an unprecedented policy response” from the government.

The former prime minister also said he had endeavored to set out the context and reasoning for the decisions he took as PM in “a highly unusual time”.

“I did so in good faith, seeking to exercise my responsibilities as prime minister which exceeded those of any other member of the government, or parliament,” Morrison said. “For any offence to my colleagues, I apologise.”

In May, Albanese claimed victory for his Labor Party after Morrison conceded defeat in Australia’s 2022 federal election.


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