Taylor defiant: ‘My job’s on the line here’

FEDERAL POLITICS:

A ministerial statement released by Angus Taylor earlier this morning has been found to be a fake – and a furious Energy Minister is determined to expose the person who has desperately tried to make him sound decent, honest and caring.

The release, published in the Daily Telegraph today, purports to show Minister Taylor taking full responsibility for a fake document claiming to outline travel costs from the Council of Sydney’s 2018-19 report.

Mr Taylor had previously hammered the council with the fake figures in trying to score a point on climate change action, saying the council spent $1.7 million on international travel and $14.2 million on domestic travel in that year.

The council’s actual annual report for 2017/18 listed domestic transport, accommodation and travelling expenses at $4,206.32 and the cost of overseas travel at $1,727.77.

The council claims the figures are exactly as originally uploaded and have never been changed and has accused the federal government of deception and skulduggery.

In today’s fake ministerial release Mr Taylor (pictured at top angrily responding to Labor’s #QT taunts earlier this week) writes: “As always, the buck stops on my ministerial desk and for that reason I take full responsibility for this disgraceful doctoring of documents from the City of Sydney website.

“It’s clear that a criminal act under NSW law may have been committed here and I’ll be undertaking a full internal investigation to see whether anyone in my department – or indeed my office – had anything whatsoever to do with this disgraceful deception.

“I am appalled that I have been tricked into making clearly false accusations against a decent and honourable politician in Sydney Mayor Clover Moore by people who have no regard for my own probity or decency.

“Heads need to roll and if I find out who did this then roll those heads will!”

An angry Mr Taylor told media this morning: “I could lose my position in the Morrison ministry over this.

“Each and every minister is committed to prospering financially as individuals and if I fail in that, God will be very, very angry with me, not the mention the good Lord above, Jesus Christ our Saviour, as well.

“I am livid that anyone would try to besmirch my name by giving the impression that I am accountable and responsible or that I would put the interests of anyone else over the pecuniary interests of myself and this government I am proud to serve.”

Brandishing the fake ministerial release and the one Mr Taylor claimed was the real one, he added: “You can see that even the font is different.

“My statement would never have used words like ‘responsibility’ and ‘full internal investigation’,” he said.

The minister claimed his original short statement released this morning said: “I have already answered questions from the Opposition on this issue.

“I didn’t do this and neither did anyone else. It never happened.

“Labor can continue to waste time on this disgraceful fishing expedition and the Morrison Government will continue to focus on the job of beginning to repair the Australian economy after years of Labor debt and deficit disaster.”