Sussan Ley-ed off

4 minute read

Sussan Ley has resigned as federal health minister after a storm broke over her use of travel entitlements


Sussan Ley has resigned as federal health minister in the wake of a travel expenses scandal, despite repeated claims that she has done nothing beyond her entitlements.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said this afternoon that replacements for Ms Ley’s health, ageing and sports portfolio roles would be announced next week.

Senator Arthur Sinodinos will continue as acting health minister until then.

Mr Turnbull said Ms Ley, his figurehead for key health reforms for two years, had made the right decision in stepping down.

“She has made a judgment that is, I believe, in the interests of the government and she has made an appropriate judgment and I do want to say that I thank her for her service over many years,” he told reporters.

“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,” he said.

Ms Ley was appointed to cabinet as health minister in December 2014, taking over the role from Peter Dutton.

Accusations that she had abused her travel entitlements surfaced in media reports earlier this month.

They included allegations she billed taxpayers for trips to New Year’s Eve parties on the Gold Coast and a recent visit to the same area on which she bought a $795,000 apartment close to her partner’s business.

Ms Ley said the purchase of the apartment “was not planned nor anticipated”.

In a statement earlier on Friday, Ms Ley said she was confident she had followed the rules, “not just regarding entitlements but most importantly the ministerial code of conduct”.

“The ongoing intense media speculation has made this an incredibly difficult week,” she said.

“However I am conscious that it has also been a difficult week for the Government. The ongoing media coverage of politicians’ entitlements has been a diversion from the important agenda we all wish to advance at the start of this vital year for our nation and our region.

“Whilst I have attempted at all times to be meticulous with rules and standards, I accept community annoyance, even anger, with politicians’ entitlements demands a response.”

Meanwhile, the twittersphere has gone nuts. Here are a few gems.

And the cartoons have already started


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