The politicisation of an asylum seeker boat by the former coalition government will be subject to an inquiry, the prime minister says.
Australian border authorities revealed the asylum seeker boat had been turned back the previous week, on election day.
Text messages to voters about the boat's interception were also sent out by the Liberal Party.
The controversial announcement during the election caretaker period followed a request from former prime minister Scott Morrison's office to publicly release details of the Border Force operation before it was completed, the ABC reported on Friday.
The move was an "entire abuse of proper processes" and normal protocols for the publication of boat interceptions were not followed, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says.
"This statement was made so it could facilitate the sending of ... potentially many millions of text messages to voters in a last-minute scare campaign," he told ABC radio.
"A disgraceful act from a government which was prepared to politicise everything but solve nothing."
The prime minister has asked the Home Affairs Department to investigate the decisions that led to the statement being released on election day.
But former education minister Stuart Robert said it was "hilarious" Mr Albanese was criticising the former government given Labor's own history of politicising boat arrivals.
The statement was appropriate to let Australians about the historical weakness of the Labor Party on border security, Mr Roberts said.
But he claimed to not have known the text messages to voters about the boat's interception would be sent.
"The fact a boat turned up is a statement of fact. How the information was disseminated, you'll need others to comment on having not been the home affairs minister at the time," Mr Robert told ABC radio.
On Wednesday, former home affairs minister Karen Andrews confirmed the text messages were sent without her approval or knowledge.
"I think Australian voters want to move on. The election is done and dusted, they want to get focused back on things that matter to them," Mr Robert said.
Australian Associated Press
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