Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) held its second day of public hearings on Tuesday over allegations of misuse of taxpayer funded staff and branch stacking.
It came after Aged Care Minister Luke Donnellan resigned on Monday following revelations from federal Labor MP Anthony Byrne that Mr Donnellan had engaged in branch stacking.
Mr Smith said the IBAC hearings had blown the lid on the state of the Victorian branch of the Labor Party.
“The Labor Party is a complete mess and the corruption allegations in the Victorian branch… but particularly in the Andrews government emanate a waft, a stench of corruption that would concern every fair-minded Victorian,” Mr Smith told Sky News Australia on Tuesday.
Albanese to allow IBAC to take its course
“We’re in the middle of a global pandemic, the world’s longest lockdown no less, and Labor ministers are resigning for branch stacking.
“These guys are paying for branch fees for members out of their own pocket and have been doing so for years where they should have been preparing for a global pandemic and worrying about their day jobs which is governing in the interests of all Victorians.”
The second day of hearings included testimony from a then-staffer of Labor powerbroker Adem Somyurek who exposed the toxic culture within the party’s Victorian branch.
Elle Schreiber, who worked in Mr Somyurek’s ministerial office, said her former boss “spat venom at me” after she refused a job at the powerful Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.
Ms Schreiber also described how on many occasions she would spend a large majority of her day working on party membership issues for the then-minister.
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She said multiple government workers like herself assisted Mr Somyurek’s moderate faction which included approving party memberships and focusing on passing over applications from rival factions.
“Do I correctly understand the job that you were doing was to try and get your members — those aligned to Moderate Labor — through, and to prevent those from opposing factions going through?” counsel assisting the commission Chris Carr SC said.
“Yes, that is correct,” she said.
Ms Schreiber now works for Mr Byrne as a political advisor.
Another of Mr Byrne’s former staffers, Adam Sullivan, is set appear before the inquiry on Wednesday.

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