Prime Minister Scott Morrison (main picture) will order an inquiry into the decision-making process for the $660 million commuter car park program which has been heavily criticised by the Australian National Audit Office.
Sources within the Morrison Government said the PM was stung by reports that he had walked out of a news conference in Canberra yesterday rather than face questions about the program that saw Liberal MPs in 20 marginal seats directly involved and favoured in the shortlisting and allocation of project funds before the 2019 federal election.
“The PM, as a marketing genius, knows how badly voters look upon leaders who seem to be cutting and running,” one insider said.
“He clearly said he did done nothing wrong, that he was not involved in the decisions on funding allocations, and that all the relevant decisions were taken by the former infrastructure minister Alan Tudge.
“Well, to be accurate, he said he that had clearly said all that and, and as a marketing genius, he will keep on saying that that’s what he’s said, despite what others say.
“But to make sure people get the message that nothing untoward went on with the car park scheme, the PM has yet again proved what a marketing genius he is by working up a plan to hold an inquiry into the decision-making process which he had nothing to do with.
“Sorry, I should have said ‘which he has said he had nothing to do with’.
“It will be a short and sharp inquiry led by a committee of three MPs – Tim Wilson, the Member for Goldstein; David Coleman, Assistant Minister to the PM and Member for Banks; and Assistant Treasurer and Member for Deakin, Michael Sukkar.
“All three have agreed to undertake a short and sharp inquiry to clear the government of any wrongdoing.
“The PM has personally drawn up their terms of reference which he will release very soon, once he runs them past another 17 MPs.
“To save time, the PM has said he had also offered to say that he’ll happily draft the inquiry’s findings,” the source said.