Labor has returned to the signed brief of sports grants, asking how it could have been signed on 4 April if Bridget McKenzie only sought the prime minister’s feedback on 10 April.
Mathias Cormann rejected the characterisation of communication with the PMO on 10 April, explaining communication was to “make arrangements with respect to announcements”.
Asked what steps Scott Morrison took to assure himself the brief was not backdated, Cormann pointed to the Sport Australia evidence the brief was “dated 4 April”.
Asked if he can rule out that the brief was backdated, Cormann again pointed to the Sport Australia evidence the brief was “dated 4 April”.
Scott Briggs, a close ally of Scott Morrison, has left the board of a consortium bidding for the highly controversial contract to privatise Australia’s visa processing system.
Briggs, a former deputy director of the New South Wales Liberal party, was heading up a consortium named Australia Visa Processing, which was one of the frontrunners for the $1bn visa processing contract.
Briggs is also a former colleague of the current immigration minister, David Coleman.
The Guardian recently revealed that the Liberals had mistakenly disclosed a $165,000 donation from a separate company set up by Briggs, Southern Strategy.
The donation was initially declared but then scrubbed from the party’s donation records after questions from the Guardian.
Labor’s Andrew Giles has seized on Briggs’ departure, saying it shows the “complete chaos” of the government’s plan to privatise the visa system.
“We also know fundamentally that this is just a bad idea,” Giles told reporters this morning.
“Australians don’t want our visa system sold off to the highest bidder. Even Peta Credlin has acknowledged that this is a threat – not only to our national security, but our border security.”
Corporate documents confirm Briggs is no longer a director of Australian Visa Processing.
The Australian Financial Review reported that he has taken a job with DPG Advisory Solutions, a lobbying firm headed by David Gazard.