Skip navigation

FOR – Motions - Member for Cook - Censure Scott Morrison

The majority voted in favour of a motion that censured former Prime Minister and current Cook MP Scott Morrison (Liberal). It was introduced by Watson MP Tony Burke (Labor).


Bass MP Bridget Archer (Liberal) crossed the floor to vote "Yes" against the rest of the Liberal party, who voted "No".

Motion text

That the House:

(1) notes:

(a) the Constitution provides for 'responsible government', described by the High Court of Australia as a 'system by which the executive is responsible to the legislature and, through it, to the electorate';

(b) in the Inquiry into the Appointment of the Former Prime Minister to Administer Multiple Departments, the Honourable Virginia Bell AC found that while the Member for Cook was the Prime Minister of Australia he:

(i) had himself appointed to administer:

(A) the Department of Health on 14 March 2020;

(B) the Department of Finance on 30 March 2020;

(C) the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources on 15 April 2021;

(D) the Department of Treasury on 6 May 2021; and

(E) the Department of Home Affairs on 6 May 2021; and

(ii) did not inform:

(A) Cabinet;

(B) the relevant Departments;

(C) the House of Representatives; or

(D) the Australian public;

about these additional appointments; and

(c) as found by the Honourable Virginia Bell AC, the actions and failures of the Member for Cook:

(i) 'fundamentally undermined' the principles of responsible government because the Member for Cook was not 'responsible' to the Parliament, and through the Parliament to the electors, for the departments he was appointed to administer; and

(ii) were 'apt to undermine public confidence in government' and were 'corrosive of trust in government'; and

(2) therefore censures the Member for Cook for failing to disclose his appointments to the House of Representatives, the Australian people and the Cabinet, which undermined responsible government and eroded public trust in Australia's democracy.


Date and time: 12:06 PM on 2022-11-30
Allegra Spender's vote: Aye
Total number of "aye" votes: 86
Total number of "no" votes: 50
Total number of abstentions: 15

Adapted from information made available by

Continue Reading