Addressing a press conference this afternoon, PM Malcolm Turnbull said Australians expected better of politicians’ spending
Sussan Ley has resigned from her frontbench position following intense media speculation about her ministerial travel expenses.
“Today I have made a personal decision to resign as Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport,” said Ms Ley in a media statement.
“I am confident that I have followed the rules, not just regarding entitlements but most importantly the ministerial code of conduct, and I do not object to the material that [I] have provided being made public.
“The ongoing intense media speculation has made this an incredibly difficult week. 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 and I wholeheartedly support the reforms announced by the Special Minister of State earlier this week,” she said.
“I am determined to represent my constituents vigorously, effectively and passionately in the current Parliament and beyond.”
Her replacement will be announced next week, said Mr Turnbull in his address, with Senator Arthur Sinodinos acting as interim health minister.
Australians expect politicians to spend wisely, with an “efficient, effective and ethical use of public resources,” said Mr Turnbull.
He said he would not disclose findings of the departmental review of Ley’s claiming history to the public, but thanked her for her service and for making the “right decision”.
The Prime Minister also announced a new independent agency to oversee Parliamentary expenses.