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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Scott Morrison ‘seeking advice’ on Christian Porter’s blind trust legal fees

“The Prime Minister is seeking advice from his Department on any implications for the ministerial standards and any actions the Minister must take to ensure that he meets the standards,” the spokesperson stated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Source: AAP

Mr Porter has defended the disclosure as appearing in accordance with the necessities of the register and per the disclosure of non-public legal issues.

But former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull – who promoted the previous attorney-general to that place – has criticised the declaration. 

Mr Turnbull stated politicians mustn’t obtain cash from undisclosed sources.

“This flies in the face of every principle of accountability and transparency in public life,” Mr Turnbull instructed ABC radio on Wednesday.

“I am staggered that Porter thought he could get away with it and I will be even more staggered if the Prime Minister allows this to stand. It is a shocking affront to transparency.” 

On his register of pursuits, Mr Porter stated he had no entry to details about the conduct and funding of the trust.

He sued the ABC for defamation in March over a narrative that exposed a now-deceased girl’s historic rape allegation in opposition to a cupboard minister. 

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The now-Minister for Industry, Science and Technology emphatically denied the allegation and the case was settled earlier than trial.

The ABC paid $100,000 in prices and agreed to place an editor’s observe alongside the net story, stating the ABC accepted that some readers misinterpreted the article as an accusation of guilt in opposition to Mr Porter, and that this was regretted.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has demanded solutions on who was behind the blind trust.

“Christian Porter needs to explain today exactly where this money is coming from, and exactly how much it is and what interest there is in people putting forward this money into his trust,” he instructed reporters on Wednesday. 

“The idea that he doesn’t know … is quite frankly, just unbelievable and absurd.”  

A spokesperson for Mr Porter stated the minister’s disclosure was “in accordance with the requirements of the register and consistent with previous members’ disclosure of circumstances where the costs of personal legal matters have been mitigated by contributions or reductions in fees”.

“No taxpayers’ funds were used in meeting the costs of the minister’s actions against the ABC and Milligan, which have now concluded,” the spokesperson stated.  

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Mr Turnbull desires the stronger disclosure legal guidelines utilized to MPs citing that banks and political events had been banned from receiving money from unknown sources.

“It is so wrong. I’m astonished,” he stated.

He stated disclosure regimes had been essential to stopping the potential for corruption and affect in politics.

“This flings open the door to such extraordinary abrogation of responsibility and accountability,” Mr Turnbull stated.

Additional reporting by AAP.

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