Scott Morrison under fire for ditching parliament for overseas gig

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Former prime minister Scott Morrison has come under fire for ditching the opening week of Federal Parliament to head overseas for a speaking gig.

In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Mr Morrison confirmed he will visit Tokyo at the same time as the opening of the 47th parliament in Canberra this week.

The former PM has not updated his register of interests and it is unclear if he getting paid for the appearance with his office declining to comment on that.

While Mr Morrison is no longer leading the Liberal Party he was returned by voters in his electorate of Cook in May, affording him a salary of $211,250 from taxpayers.

Scott Morrison's office has declined to say whether he is getting paid for the speaking spot.
Scott Morrison's office has declined to say whether he is getting paid for the speaking spot. Source: AAP/Twitter (SamanthaMaiden)

With unanswered questions about the trip, Labor's Leader of the House Tony Burke is among those who have called on Mr Morrison to reveal whether he is being compensated to forgo his parliamentary duties.

"It should be revealed," he told ABC radio on Tuesday morning. "He should make it clear".

"If someone is being paid to do another job, then I’m not sure how they get away with the taxpayers paying them to do this one," he said.

Greens leader Adam Bandt was also asked about Mr Morrison's absence on RN Breakfast this morning.

"You'd have to ask the people of his electorate if they're happy not to be represented in Parliament," he said.

Mr Morrison's office stated that he will return to Australia in time for the second parliamentary sitting week from August 1.

Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during a Parliamentary church service this morning. Source: AAP
Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during a Parliamentary church service this morning. Source: AAP

"Prior to the new government advising the sitting schedule for the remainder of 2022, I had already accepted an invitation to join other former prime ministers from Canada, the UK and New Zealand to address an international event to be held in Tokyo this week," Mr Morrison explained in his Monday afternoon statement.

"As a consequence I will be unable to attend the first three sitting days of the new parliament this week."

The 47th Parliament begins today under new Labor government

The House of Representatives and Senate are sitting for the first time since Labor won the May election with the initial sitting fortnight running from July 26 to August 4.

While there's lots of pomp and ceremony to get through this morning, there is plenty on the agenda in the coming days.

Labor plans to introduce 18 bills, dealing with aged care reform, a new carbon emissions target, paid domestic violence leave, the establishment of Jobs and Skills Australia and the abolition of the cashless debit card.

Meanwhile 35 new members and 12 new senators will give their first speeches, when they will outline what they hope to achieve while in Parliament.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers will deliver an economic statement on Thursday, ahead of the Albanese government's first budget in October.

The new Speaker of the House of Representatives will be Queensland Labor MP Milton Dick while new Senate President is expected to be WA Labor senator Sue Lines.

with AAP

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