In his speech against being censured, Scott Morrison inferred he hadn’t been questioned by journalists about arrangements for ministers who fell ill from covid-19. Yet the press conference of March 9, 2021 was his opportunity to explain to the Australian people what he’d initiated.
Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison today became the first national leader to be censured by the House of Representatives over five secretive ministries he’d requested from Governor-General David Hurley, Scott Morrison censured over secret ministries, as former prime minister decries reprimand as ‘political intimidation’
One part of his defence inferred that journalists hadn’t asked him about arrangements for ministers who fell ill during the pandemic.
However, at the press conference of March 9, 2021 he addressed the issue of ministerial unavailability. On that day, Attorney-General Christian Porter and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds were on leave for non-covid related issues. Also struck down with an infection was Health Minister Greg Hunt.
Hunt had previously agreed to a joint health ministry in 2020. The Guardian Australia reported in August, “Greg Hunt, the former health minister, was understood to have discussed plans for Morrison to be appointed health minister in meetings with then attorney general Christian Porter in early March 2020.” Scott Morrison faces probe over secret ministry claims as government seeks legal advice.
By Morrison’s own words, there was no reason for Australians to believe that ministers on leave from covid-19 or otherwise would not have their duties performed by another member of the government.
The transcript from that date from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Doorstop – Pyrmont, NSW, shows:
Journalist: Should Australians be concerned that two of the eight members of the National Security Committee are currently on leave?
Prime Minister: No, they shouldn’t, because I have highly competent ministers that are taking over their duties in the meantime. I have a very accomplished legal professional in Michaelia Cash and a former Minister for Industrial Relations who is taking on the responsibilities of the Attorney.