Health Minister Sussan Ley has resigned from the cabinet and all ministerial roles over her parliamentary expenses controversy.
Announcing Ms Ley’s decision, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the embattled MP had made the “right judgement” by resigning from her position as Minister for Health and Ageing and Minister for Sport.
Ms Ley has been embroiled in controversy since it was revealed she purchased an $800,000 apartment on the Gold Coast in 2015 while her travel to Queensland was paid for by taxpayers.
She wrote to the Prime Minister to offer her resignation on Friday, but denied she had broken any rules.
“I am confident that I have followed the rules, not just regarding entitlements but most importantly the ministerial code of conduct, and I do not object to the material that I have provided being made public,” Ms Ley said.
But she accepted “community frustration” and “even anger” over the issue and conceded it had been a distraction for the government.
My letter to the Prime Minister pic.twitter.com/InrnTc0Vod
— Sussan Ley (@sussanley) January 13, 2017
The prime minister also announced the government would form an
The new body would be
Mr Turnbull said the entitlements system would also be “modernised”
“We are dealing
Further details about the new expenses authority will
Acting Opposition Leader Penny Wong said Labor gave “in principle” support to the proposals announced by the prime minister.
expenses,” she said.
Senator Wong said Ms Ley “had
Travel expenses controversy
Ms Ley’s resignation came after she announced on Monday she would temporarily stand aside while an investigation into her travel expenses was conducted.
She claims she made the purchase while she was travelling on ministerial business and had not pre planned the transaction, saying it was made “on a whim”. That trip cost taxpayers $3,125.
However it was later revealed Ms Ley claimed travel expenses for a two-night stay on the Gold Coast in September 2014.
During this stay – nine months before her 2015 apartment purchase – Ms Ley inspected and made two unsuccessful bids on a property in the suburb of Advancetown.
It was also revealed Ms Ley charged taxpayers for two trips to a New Year’s Eve party on the Gold Coast in 2013 and 2014.
Mr Turnbull said Senator Arthur Sinodinos would continue to oversee the Health, Ageing and Sport portfolios until a further announcement was made next week.