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Aged Care Minister resigns

After a drawn-out travel entitlements controversy, Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull announced the resignation of Health and Aged Care minister Sussan Ley last week.

Earlier in the week Ms Ley had stood aside from cabinet amid investigations into her travel expenses which included billing taxpayers for attendance at two New Year’s Eve event and the purchase of an apartment on the Gold Coast. It was later revealed she’s spent more than $13,000 on charter flights between capital cities.

In her resignation letter, Ms Ley says the ongoing intense media speculation has made this an incredibly difficult week.

“The ongoing media coverage of politician’s entitlements has been a diversion from the important agenda we all wish to advance at the start of this vital year for our nation and our region,” she says.

“I am confident that I have followed the rules, not just regarding entitlements but most importantly the ministerial code of conduct and I do not object to the material that I have provided being made public.”

“Whilst I have attempted at all times to be meticulous with rules and standards, I accept community annoyance, even ager, with politicians’ entitlements demands a response, and I whole heartedly support the reforms announced by the Special Minister of State earlier this week.”

Ms Ley was promoted to cabinet in December 2014 but it wasn’t until September 2015 she received the aged care portfolio in addition to her responsibilities as Minister for Health and Sport. Previous positions she’d held include assistant minister for education, parliamentary secretary to the agriculture minister and parliamentary secretary to the family and community affairs minister.

It is expected Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will announce Ms Ley's replacements in the health, aged care and sport portfolios this week, with Arthur Sinodinos staying as Acting Health Minister in the interim period.

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