Victorian anti-corruption observers have decided not to prosecute Victorian Labor lawmakers who are deliberately using taxpayer funds extensively and maliciously.
On July 20, the independent Extensive Anti-Corruption Commission and the Victorian Ombudsman were released. Joint report Details of an investigation into alleged branch stacking within the Labor Party’s Victorian branch.
The report finds evidence of a variety of unethical behaviour, including hiring unqualified people in publicly funded roles, affairs, forgery of signatures, bullying, and attempts to disrupt the government’s subsidy process. However, the observer did not introduce the members involved to the director of the prosecution office.
Anti-corruption groups explained that the above acts were not fully or clearly explained by existing legislation on illegal activities in public office.
“We consider the act terrible, but the difficulty of proof is such that we cannot recommend prosecution.” According to the report..
“Rather, it will now be a problem for each member’s privileged committee to decide whether the nominated parliamentarian has deliberately discredited Congress.”
Branch stacking not limited to one labor group
In addition, the report found that branch stacking practices were not limited to one faction of the Victorian Labor Party. But evidence of illegal activity only points to moderates of former Labor lawmaker Adem Somiurek.
“There was no concrete evidence to determine the extent of misuse by other factions,” the report said.
After the release of The Age and Nine Network, Victorian authorities began an investigation. Secret tape In June 2020, Somiurek handed over cash and used parliamentary staff to create fake branch members, demonstrating that he had accumulated political influence.
This practice, known as branch stacking, does not violate the law, but it does violate Labor rules.
After media coverage, Somulek resigned from the Labor Party before being expelled, and his faction allies Robin Scott and Marlene Kyles also resigned from the Victorian cabinet.
All three MPs refuse to cheat.
No evidence was found for Prime Minister Daniel Andrews
The report had adverse results against Somiurek and Kairows, but found no evidence against Prime Minister Daniel Andrews and other witnesses.
Overall, authorities questioned Somiurek and six other Witnesses at a hearing, and another 26, including the premiere, were interviewed privately.
Report The Prime Minister agreed that the stacking of branches was not limited to one faction, but was full-scale, but denied any personal knowledge or involvement in such practices.
After presenting findings on the unethical behavior of the members of the Labor Party involved, the report reports on the introduction of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee, the narrowing of the scope of work permitted by constituency officers, and the members’ close relatives in the constituency. Twenty-one recommendations were made, including a ban on the employment of persons.
The Victoria State Government has implemented a new rule prohibiting voters from campaigning during working hours after the “red shirt” scandal, but the rule does not include the work of non-election factions.
When he joined the Labor Party in the 1990s, Somiurek said he was knowledgeable about the stacking of branches and that practice was “deeply embedded” within the party. He also admitted that there was a “faction operative” among his staff.