New South Wales Police has confirmed it referred the Angus Taylor investigation to the Australian Federal Police.
Authorities have been looking into a document containing inflated figures that Mr Taylor’s office used to attack the travel record of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
Mr Taylor has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
In October, the Prime Minister’s office told the ABC that Mr Morrison had no intention of referring the case to police following calls from Labor’s Mark Dreyfus to have the matter investigated.
That prompted Mr Dreyfus to write to NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller.
NSW Police confirmed it was investigating the matter in November, but at the time, Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed his minister and decided Mr Taylor had not breached ministerial standards.
“I have since spoken with the New South Wales Police Commissioner about the investigation and the nature and substance of their inquiries which he advised me were based only on the allegations referred to by the Shadow Attorney-General,” he said at the time.
Mr Taylor’s office has been contacted for comment.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said “it is obviously a serious issue”.
“You look at what was said and what are clearly the facts around this document, its creation and it being given to the media — the two things don’t add up,” he said.
“One of the issues here has been a lack of transparency.”
Doctored document saga
Mr Taylor quoted a figure of $15 million in travel costs in a letter to Cr Moore at the end of September, where he argued cutting down on “unnecessary air travel” would provide a “real opportunity for your council to make a meaningful contribution to reducing Australia’s emissions”.
But that figure was based on a doctored City of Sydney Council document.
Mr Taylor has said that neither he nor his staff altered the document, and claimed there is evidence multiple versions existed on the council website.
He sent a letter to Cr Moore apologising “unreservedly” for relying on figures in media commentary without clarifying them.
But he has subsequently declined to elaborate how he came to use the false numbers.
“Look, I’ve been very clear about this — I don’t have anything more to add and I’m not going to be distracted from my job which is to ensure that Australians get the affordable, reliable energy they deserve,” he said in November.