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Meanwhile, in federal politics, Attorney General Mark Dreyfus wrote to Scott Morrison expressing concern over the “seemingly extensive disclosure of cabinet information” in the book. plaguedwhich was published earlier this year and written by political journalists from The Australian Simon Benson and Geoff Chambers.

“I understand that the authors were informed by interviews conducted concurrently during the period 2020-2022, including deliberations of the Cabinet’s National Security Committee (NSC),” Dreyfus said in the letter, which was filed. estimates of the Senate of Legal and Constitutional Affairs. hearing earlier today.

Attorney General Mark Dreyfus.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“As you are well aware, the publication is detailed in its description of cabinet and cabinet committee deliberations.”

Dreyfus identified as apparent revelations that then-Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Phil Gaetjens briefed the cabinet on Chinese economic coercion planning (at p129), and that the national security implications of COVID-19 (p130 and p147) were discussed at the NSC, which he said “includes alleged quotes from you and paraphrases discussions purportedly from those meetings.”

“Furthermore, references to an Office of National Intelligence ‘secret intelligent briefing’ (p312) would appear contrary to the confidentiality of intelligence and security agency information,” Dreyfus wrote.

He added: ‘I hope there will be no further disclosure of your period to the government that undermines national security and the integrity of the cabinet process.’


According to estimates heard last month, government officials had mentioned plagued, which provides a behind-the-scenes account of the Morrison government during the pandemic, to the Attorney General’s Department, flagging concerns that it may contain leaked cabinet information. The ministry later said it was not pursuing the case.

John Reid, First Deputy Secretary of the Department for the Prime Minister and Cabinet, told the hearing last month that there was a long-standing convention that Cabinet information should be kept confidential, but noted that the Prime Minister at the time reserved the prerogative to disclose or publish information from cabinet meetings.