Australia

Pyne's defence job could face Senate probe

Christopher Pyne's new job could be scrutinised by the Senate. (AAP)

Centre Alliance's Rex Patrick is confident ex-defence minister Christopher Pyne's controversial new job will face a Senate inquiry if Labor supports the move.

Former defence minister Christopher Pyne's controversial new job could face a parliamentary inquiry with a minor party increasingly confident Labor will back the probe.

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick has flagged his intention to establish Senate hearing into Mr Pyne's defence-focused position with professional services giant EY.

Senator Patrick confirmed Tasmanian independent Jacqui Lambie would back his motion, meaning there would be enough crossbench support for the inquiry if the opposition comes on board.

"There are people in the Labor Party who have now spoken out and said that they support the inquiry," Senator Patrick told Sky News on Tuesday.

"(But) I don't know whether that's a caucus position."

Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon has backed calls for an inquiry, while the party's Senate leader Penny Wong hasn't ruled out supporting Centre Alliance's motion.

Senator Patrick called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to enforce the ministerial code of conduct around Mr Pyne's appointment.

"Six weeks ago he was the defence minister and he's now been engaged by a company to grow their defence sector," he said.

He said it was unlikely he would proceed with the inquiry if the job is scrapped.

Mr Pyne's new employer, EY, referred to a statement it made last week confirming he would provide occasional high-level strategic advice.

"This does not involve Mr Pyne undertaking any activity back into government nor providing or using any information he may have received as a minister," a spokesperson said.

"Mr Pyne has made clear that he is totally aware of his obligations under the ministerial code of conduct and is committed to adhering to them."

The former MP of 26 years insists no one has been able to point to any instance of a breach of the code.

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