Scott Morrison’s official biography updated, attracting criticism

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Former prime minister Scott Morrison’s official parliamentary website has been updated to include his secret ministerial positions, attracting widespread criticism.

Unbeknown to the public, Mr Morrison had himself appointed to positions in the health, finance, home affairs, treasury and industry, science, energy and resources portfolios during his time as prime minister.

With the exception of the then health minister and then resources minister, no other ministerial colleagues knew of the appointments.

The secret appointments were revealed in the book Plagued, written by Simon Benson and Geoff Chambers, earlier this year, and attracted widespread criticism and a probe by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Mr Morrison defended his actions, saying he took the measures as an extreme precaution due to the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Camera IconScott Morrison’s official parliamentary biography has been updated. Credit: Supplied

His official parliamentary biography has now been updated to include the dates in which he was appointed to the positions.

In a thread on Twitter, users have slammed the former prime minister, saying they were “incredulous”.

“I diagnose a severe case of relevance deprivation syndrome,” one wrote.

“Shocking to see it in official records now. Still can’t believe he did that,” another wrote.

The biographical pages are not updated by individual MPs or senators, rather by parliamentary officials.

Camera IconFormer prime minister Scott Morrison came under fire earlier this year for not publicly disclosing his additional ministerial appointments during his time as leader. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman Credit: News Corp Australia

It comes a day after his former health minister Greg Hunt defended Mr Morrison’s secret appointment to his own ministry, among others.

Mr Hunt told Sky News that it had been a “contingency” and Mr Morrison had never sought to exercise any powers in the health portfolio.

“The prime minister, when he announced the Biosecurity Act, announced that he was the co-holder of those powers under federal health,” he said.

Earlier this week, the prime minister’s department announced it was investigating whether Benson and Chambers’ book contained confidential cabinet information.

A department spokesperson said it had referred the possible leak to the Attorney-General’s department to consider whether “relevant criminal provisions” had been breached.

The book details comments made by Mr Morrison at a meeting of the National Security Committee in April 2020 when escalating tensions with China were discussed.

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