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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Morrison declines to back Tudge after investigation into affair with staffer

The deadline for those objections was close of business Wednesday.

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In Senate estimates this week, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said it was “self-evident” from that process there was an expectation “the report will otherwise, including any conclusions or findings drawn by Dr Thom, be provided to both Ms Miller and Mr Tudge “

The Ten Network reported on Tuesday night that part of the Thom report criticized Mr Tudge for promoting Ms Miller while he was in a relationship, creating grounds for him to lose his cabinet position.

However, in December Mr Tudge said of Ms Miller, “my chief of staff and I sought to get her promoted to the level she requested”, it was ultimately unsuccessful, but she was promoted “to the senior level” when she later moved to Cabinet colleague Michaelia Cash’s office.

A source familiar with the events said Ms Miller, while Mr Tudge’s media adviser, had put in a formal written application for an open senior adviser position – a different role that would have been a promotion – but was unsuccessful.

Labor’s Terri Butler asked Mr Morrison about the report he was preparing to sack Mr Tudge once Parliament rose at the end of the week.

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“I have no intention of responding in relation to inaccurate reports in the media,” the Prime Minister replied.

“The matter is in process and is not concluded. I think it is only reasonable and fair to all of those, including the minister and others, involved in the matter that I do not make any further comment on that process until it is concluded.”

The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age revealed last weekend Mr Tudge intended to stay in Parliament and contest his Melbourne seat of Aston, while his Victorian colleagues are split over his fate because of the risk of political damage to the government.

Ms Miller has said she was prompted to reveal further details of her relationship with Mr Tudge in a bid to pressure the government to swiftly implement all the recommendations from Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ review of parliamentary workplace culture.

The first piece of legislation dealing with recommendations to confirm that existing workplace safety and anti-discrimination laws apply to political staffers passed Parliament late on Tuesday night.

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