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International: Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly held held five additional portfolios

6:00 pm on 17 August 2022

Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly held five ministerial roles during his tenure. 

Morrison appointed himself as the joint minister for the health, finance, treasury, home affairs, and resources in the two years before losing power in May.

In a Facebook post, Morrison defended his actions, saying it was during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that he "acted in good faith in a crisis.

He admitted that appointing himself to most of the portfolios had been unnecessary, claiming he had forgotten about doing so.

"There was a lot going on," he said.

But Morrison says his decision to assume the resources portfolio was different because he needed to gain the powers to overrule his minister and block a controversial gas project.

"Once having been given the authority to consider this matter I advised the Minister of my intention to do so," he said. "I believe I made the right decision in the national interest."

Current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says it is "completely extraordinary" that these appointments were kept secret from the public. 

Some ministers including the then finance minister Mathias Cormann were also reportedly unaware they were sharing portfolios with Morrison.

Albanese said he would be receiving legal advice on Morrison's actions from Australia's Solicitor General.

Public interest journalism funded through NZ on Air.