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Pezzullo sacked as Home Affairs boss

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Who is Michael Pezzullo? Claims of political interference were levelled at the Home Affairs boss earlier this year. He's now been sacked.
Who is Michael Pezzullo?

The head of Australia’s security and immigration department has been sacked, following political interference claims.

The Federal Government announced an inquiry into Michael Pezzullo following a joint investigation by 60 Minutes and the Nine newspapers in September. The investigation accused Pezzullo of using his power to influence government decisions.

Public servants must act independently from political parties.

Who is Michael Pezzullo?

The Department of Home Affairs, led by Pezzullo as Secretary since 2017, has responsibilities across areas like immigration, cybersecurity, border security, and counter-terrorism.

The investigation into Pezzullo’s conduct centred around years of text messages with Scott Briggs, a lobbyist and influential Liberal Party figure with direct ties to former prime ministers.

The report published texts suggesting Pezzullo used Briggs to attempt to influence decision-makers in the Turnbull and Morrison governments.

Public investigation

The Government launched an independent inquiry into Pezzullo following the allegations of misconduct by Nine. Pezzullo was stood down after the inquiry was launched.

The inquiry found Pezzullo broke the code of conduct for Australian Public Service employees, which requires workers to “take reasonable steps to avoid any conflict of interest”.

The findings of the inquiry triggered Pezzullo’s sacking. It was the recommended action to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Pezzullo’s termination was finalised by the Governor-General on Monday morning.

A permanent replacement for Pezzullo is yet to be named.

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