Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has defended his press conference appearances after being quizzed on his recent record in fronting up to the media in Canberra.
Mr Albanese spoke to reporters in the nation’s capital on Friday to outline details of the inquiry into his predecessor Scott Morrison’s secret ministries.
After delivering his remarks on the report, Mr Albanese took questions from the assembled media pack with one reporter putting it to the Prime Minister that he has not “done a press conference in Canberra for some time”.
“And you’ve come out today to criticise the former government and your political opponents. In what way is that consistent with your message of changing the way politics are done?,” the reporter continued.
Mr Albanese reacted to the question by telling the reporter “are you serious?”.
“That’s a good question but I gave press conferences once a day or twice a day: last Saturday, last Friday, the Thursday, the Wednesday, the Tuesday, the Monday, the Sunday,” the Prime Minister said.
“Every day I gave at least one press conference and on at least two occasions I gave twice full press conferences with a fair few of the press gallery here present.
“And this week, I gave a full press conference in New South Wales around the floods. So I think in terms of accountability, I assure you that the only office that I hold is the office of Prime Minister.”
Mr Albanese earlier thanked former High Court judge Justice Virginia Bell for carrying out the inquiry into Mr Morrison’s decision to appoint himself to five portfolios between March 2020 and May 2021.
Mr Morrison was secretly sworn into the health, finance, home affairs, treasury, and industry, science, energy and resources portfolios.
The bombshell revelations were only made public in August.
Ms Bell delivered her final report to Mr Albanese on Friday, who confirmed the appointments to the handful of portfolios were “unnecessary” as Mr Morrison could have been authorised into the health or finance role “in a matter of minutes”.
She also found the principles of a responsible government were “fundamentally undermined” as the former prime minister was not “responsible” to the parliament.
The secrecy of the appointments was “apt to undermine public confidence in government” and was “corrosive of trust in government”.
Mr Albanese declared he would accept all six recommendations from the inquiry, with the major one being public notice of future portfolio assignments.