News Politics Australian Politics Federal police clear Angus Taylor over letter

Federal police clear Angus Taylor over letter

The Australian Federal Police has found no evidence Energy Minister Angus Taylor was involved in falsifying information. Photo: Getty
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The Australian Federal Police will not investigate Energy Minister Angus Taylor affair over an allegedly doctored document.

The AFP inquiry into Mr Taylor’s conduct has found no evidence he was involved in falsifying information.

Thursday’s statement from the federal police came a day after it was revealed the powerful parliamentary privileges committee would not investigate whether Mr Taylor misled parliament over his use of a fake document to criticise Sydney’s mayor.

Manager of opposition business Tony Burke had asked Speaker Tony Smith last December to look at whether Mr Taylor had misled parliament and should be referred to the committee.

The NSW Police financial crime squad referred the matter to the AFP in December.

The letter Mr Taylor sent to Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore criticised her for driving up carbon emissions by spending more than $15 million in council money on domestic and international travel. But the figures were false.

The 2017/18 council report currently available online, as well as previously cached versions, shows international out-of-pocket travel costs such as meals and taxis were only $1728, and domestic costs were $4206.

The minister apologised to Ms Moore but has not said where the numbers came from.

The AFP said on Thursday it had determined “it is unlikely further investigation will result in obtaining sufficient evidence to substantiate a Commonwealth offence”.

“The AFP assessment of this matter identified there is no evidence to indicate the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction was involved in falsifying information,” an AFP spokesperson said.

“The low level of harm and the apology made by the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction to the Lord Mayor of Sydney, along with the significant level of resources required to investigate were also factored into the decision not to pursue this matter.

“The AFP now considers this matter finalised.”

Attorney-General Christian Porter told parliament it was a serious mis-hit by his Labor counterpart Mark Dreyfus, who had now made 10 police referrals without any charges laid.

Mr Porter compared Mr Dreyfus to the English cricketer Seymour Clark, who holds the record for the highest number of innings batted without scoring a run – nine.

“If the shadow A-G was a cricket player, he would be the worst first-class batsman in cricket history,” he said.

Labor frontbencher Tony Burke said NSW police had acknowledged a fraudulent document had been created, which is why it was then referred to the AFP.

“A fraudulent document was created, it was then attached to a letter from Angus Taylor and used for the specific purpose of undermining Clover Moore,” he told Sky News.

“For us to raise that with the police was completely the right thing to do.”

-with agencies

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