The Greens are calling for a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into Scott Morrison’s conduct in being secretly sworn into Ministries. Greens spokesperson for Justice Senator David Shoebridge said today that this was the best way of ensuring a full and independent inquiry.
A Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry can be established by legislation as soon as Parliament returns with the full powers of a Royal Commission, including resources and ability to compel witnesses, and importantly it would report to the Parliament, rather than the Government.
The Greens have said they will consult with other members of Parliament on the proposed terms of reference for the inquiry. The Greens have previously pushed for a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the banking industry, which led to the establishment of the Banking Royal Commission.
The Greens’ calls for greater transparency come as the Speaker declined to refer the former Prime Minister to the Privileges Committee on Tuesday afternoon.
Lines attributable to Senator David Shoebridge, Greens spokesperson for Justice
“Scott Morrison has treated the people and the Parliament with contempt.
“Deception and secrecy has no place in politics, and people voted overwhelmingly at the last election in favour of accountability and transparency.
“The Greens will move for a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, with the resources and powers of a Royal Commission, that reports to the whole Parliament, not just to the Government.
“We have seen how Governments often use inquiries, with hand picked chairs and limited powers, to produce political rather than fair or factual outcomes, and we can’t afford a similar outcome this time.
“We need a full and independent inquiry into Scott Morrison’s secret ministerial appointments, where witnesses can be summonsed and documents examined.
“Scott Morrison was able to build this incredible centralised power by hiding from scrutiny. We can only force light on these shadowy powers by compelling the people who knew what happened, and when it occurred, to take the stand.
“The former Prime Minister’s attack on democratic norms and conventions needs to be met with transparency and it needs to bring accountability,” Senator Shoebridge said.