By Ashleigh McMillan
Sussan Ley stepped aside as Minister for Health today amid controversy around taxpayer funded travel to Queensland.
Senator Arthur Sinodinos has been appointed Acting Minister for Health and Aged Care, and Minister for Sport.
In a statement issued today, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says Ms Ley has agreed to stand aside without ministerial pay while the investigation by the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Martin Parkinson, takes place.
‘I expect the highest standards from my Ministers in all aspects of their conduct, and especially the expenditure of public money.
‘The Secretary will thoroughly investigate the travel claims and the Minister has assured me that she will promptly provide all information and assistance sought by the Secretary for the purpose of this investigation,’ Mr Turnbull said.
In a statement, Ms Ley says she has spent 48 hours examining her travel records.
‘While attending an auction was not the reason for my visit to Queensland or the Gold Coast, I completely understand this changed the context of the travel undertaken … I will ask the Department of Finance to invoice me for the costs for the car and travel allowance claimed on Saturday 9 May 2015, including the relevant penalty applied to erroneous claims,’ she said.