Morrison pushed for boat statement: report


Residence affairs officers have been pressured into releasing a press release about an asylum seeker boat interception on election day by former prime minister Scott Morrison, a report has discovered.

The publication of the interception was unprecedented and sabotaged the protocols of Operation Sovereign Borders, making it tougher and harmful, Residence Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil mentioned.

The day of the federal election Australian border authorities revealed an asylum seeker boat had been turned again the earlier week.

Textual content messages to voters concerning the boat’s interception have been additionally despatched out by the Liberal Occasion.

Following his election, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese directed the Residence Affairs division to conduct an inquiry into the matter, the outcomes of which have been launched on Friday.

The report discovered the general public assertion was made on the request of the previous dwelling affairs minister Karen Andrews’ workplace, following a route made by former prime minister Scott Morrison.

The division was given quarter-hour to draft and publish a press release by Ms Andrews’ workplace.

However when directed to publicise the assertion on social media and ship it to journalists, officers refused.

“Not at all is the division to drop the story to chose journalists,” division secretary Michael Pezzullo mentioned in a directive on Might 21.

“The discharge as soon as cleared is to be posted to our information and media website – no extra and no much less.”

The report additionally discovered there was no proof to counsel departmental officers have been conscious of the Liberal Occasion tweet and SMS message to voters concerning the boat interception.

Ms O’Neil mentioned the report discovered uniformed Border Drive and Defence Drive members, and public servants, “acted with integrity and on the highest requirements always”.

The previous authorities sabotaged protocols that defend Operation Sovereign Borders for political achieve, she mentioned.

“Their actions undermined the integrity of this advanced operation, making it tougher and harmful,” she mentioned in a press release.

“The profound compromise of a military-led operation is with out precedent in Australia’s historical past.

“It was disgraceful, shameful, and attribute of a nationwide authorities which regularly pursued political pursuits above the nationwide curiosity.”

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