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Scott Morrison has “welcomed” the recommendations of the inquiry into his secret ministries carried out by Virginia Bell in a statement this afternoon.

“I was pleased to assist the investigation with six separate and comprehensive responses to questions raised with me and my legal representatives by the Hon. Virginia Bell,” Morrison wrote in a Facebook post.

This engagement was done via correspondence as was the practice with other respondents to the survey and accepted by Hon. Virginia Bell,” he wrote.

“IN in relation to the wider issues that were the subject of the inquiry, I note that at all times as Prime Minister I sought to exercise my responsibilities in a way that would best promote and protect Australia’s national interests and the welfare of the Australian people.

“This was done at a time of significant challenge not seen since the Second World War and the Great Depression. I am pleased that through this effort and so many others, Australia was able to emerge from this period of significant crisis in a safer and more prosperous position than almost any other country in the world This was our aim.

“I note the criticism of my decision to be authorized to administer a number of departments where ministers had specific powers that are not subject to government oversight. These decisions were made during an extremely challenging period when significant haste I note that the criticism of my decisions has been made after the event and with the benefit of this perspective.

“I also note that my awareness of matters relating to national security and the national interest as Prime Minister was wider than that known to individual ministers and certainly the inquiry. This limits third parties’ ability to draw definitive conclusions about such matters.

“I also note the following matters that remain unchanged from the investigation:

– The established authorities were valid and were not found to be illegal;

– The authorities were established as a dormant dismissal and where revived relevant ministers and civil servants were employed;

– There is no consistent or well-understood process for publishing the creation of authorities to administer departments in the State Gazette or otherwise;

– No instruction was given by me as Prime Minister or my office not to publish these schemes in the State Gazette;

– No powers were exercised under these authorities, except in the case of the PEP11 decision, or abused;

– The ministers exercised their portfolio authorities fully, with my utmost trust and confidence, without interference;

– As Prime Minister, I did not “act” as a minister or engage in any “co-ministerial” arrangements, except in the specific case of the PEP11 decision and not otherwise for that department.

“On the PEP11 issue, this was done legally on first principles. My intention to do so was also informed in advance to the relevant minister.

“Regarding my communication with my ministerial colleagues on these matters, I have dealt with these issues privately with my colleagues at the time these issues were reported several months ago.

“I am pleased that this matter is now closed and I can continue, as I have done since the last election, to serve the people of Cook as their Federal Member of Parliament. Australia’s performance through the pandemic was one of the strongest in the developed world.”

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