• Sat. May 21st, 2022

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews secretly questioned by Victoria’s anti-corruption commission

ByChad J. Johnson

Apr 28, 2022
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews declined to confirm a report that he had been secretly interrogated by the state anti-corruption commission.
age this morning the broad-based Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) questioned Mr Andrews on issues including branch stacking and the misuse of public resources within the Victorian branch of labour.

Speaking to the media this morning, Mr Andrews declined to answer questions about the report.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews was secretly questioned by the state’s anti-corruption commission, according to a report. (Joe Armao/The Age)

“I will not comment on these matters until a final report is issued,” he said.

“I don’t comment on these questions, and you can build as many questions as you want.

“It’s okay, it’s your job.”

The Age reported that the draft IBAC report found that Victorian Labor had an “unethical culture when it comes to factional activity” and the behavior was not confined to groups of factions within the party.

The investigation was set up to determine whether taxpayer funds and money earmarked for community associations were used for branch stacking.

Branch stacking involves recruiting, and usually paying, new members for a political party and is done to bolster a faction’s influence and ensure that its preferred candidates are shortlisted.

The practice is not illegal, but it is against Labor rules to pay for the memberships of others.

The IBAC interviewed 26 witnesses, including the prime minister, in private and seven witnesses in open court.

The draft report found that cultural shortcomings within the Victorian Labor Party were “systemic” and had been tolerated or even encouraged by party leaders for many years.

He also found that the “unethical practices” extended beyond Mr Somyurek’s moderate Labor faction.

The report raised further questions about whether the party’s recent reforms would end branching and malpractice.