Australian Health minister Sussan Ley resigns over luxury apartment scandal
Canberra, Jan 13 : Australian Health Minister Sussan Ley resigned on Friday after using a taxpayer-funded trip to purchase a luxury apartment on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Ley’s replacements in the health, aged care and sport portfolios would be announced next week. Arthur Sinodinos would stay on as Acting Health Minister until then, ABC News reported.
“Australians are entitled to expect that politicians spend taxpayers’ money carefully, ensuring at all times that their work expenditure represents an efficient, effective and ethical use of public resources,” Turbull said.
“We should be, as politicians, backbenchers and ministers, we should be as careful and as accountable with taxpayers’ money as we possibly can be.”
Ley stepped aside from Cabinet on Monday amid two investigations into her travel expenses, which included billing taxpayers to attend two New Year’s Eve events hosted by a prominent Queensland businesswoman and donor.
Ley was also criticised for purchasing the 795,000 Australian dollars ($595,852) luxury apartment, claiming it was an impulse purchase, ABC News reported.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Turnbull has announced a new compliance body to oversee parliamentary expenses.
“The government believes that the work expenses of parliamentarians, including ministers, should be administered and overseen by an independent agency,” he said.
“It will monitor and adjudicate all claims by MPs, senators and ministers, ensuring that taxpayers’ funds are spent appropriately and in compliance with the rules.”