Monday, 28 Nov 2022

Secret ministries: Morrison officials asked industry department for brief on Pep-11 gas project

Secret ministries: Morrison officials asked industry department for brief on Pep-11 gas project


Secret ministries: Morrison officials asked industry department for brief on Pep-11 gas project

Senior bureaucrats from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet sought the highly unusual briefing on the controversial gas project on 8 December according to Meghan Quinn, secretary of the Department of Industry, Science and Resources.

Quinn was asked in a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday night whether or not the portfolio minister, Keith Pitt, was given the same briefing material as Morrison last December, given he was the federal resources minister.

Morrison used his extraordinary ministerial powers to overrule Pitt on the controversial Pep-11 project, without a transparent signal to voters or stakeholders that he had appointed himself responsible for the resources portfolio.

The secretary said to the best of her knowledge, Morrison only sought the briefing from industry department officials on the Pep-11 project and not any other matter in the resources portfolio while he held the ministry.

Pep-11 is a petroleum export permit covering coastal electorates between Sydney and Newcastle. It was strongly opposed by communities in seats targeted by teal independents in the run up to the May contest.

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