I can’t understand why Labor’s indefensible, possible illegal, use of taxpayers’ money to fund the 2014 election campaign in Victoria hasn’t got more traction in the press.
It’s a complete ripper – Labor rorting the rules by reassigning taxpayer-funded electoral officers to campaign for Labor; in particular, by training and organising volunteers to beg for votes in marginal seats.
It’s pretty obvious that this was against the rules; after all, these electoral officers were not even working in the electorates to which they were assigned.
To give the Greens their due, they have worked hard to have this issue exposed. The Libs too have complained loudly and publicly.
All the time, the Andrews government has used taxpayer money to resist all attempts to have the spending of the money in this way investigated; in this instance, by the Ombudsman.
There have been two court cases thus far and now Labor henchman and enforcer, Martin Pakula (the AG in Victoria) wants to take the case to the High Court.
Of course, all this legal manoeuvring makes it only more apparent that Labor in Victoria has a lot to hide and will go to almost any lengths to cover up the racket.
Watch this space.
THE Andrews Government will ask the High Court to stop the Ombudsman probing the Labor Party’s alleged misuse of parliamentary resources.
Ombudsman Deborah Glass was asked by the Legislative Council to investigate allegations Labor MPs misused staff budget entitlements in the lead-up to the 2014 state election.
The Supreme Court last year cleared the way for Ms Glass to investigate, declaring it was within her jurisdiction.
The Andrews Government appealed that decision and lost in December.
Attorney-General Martin Pakula said on Wednesday that the government would now seek leave to appeal to Australia’s highest court.
The Herald Sun revealed the extent of the rorts-for-votes scheme, including that MPs in safe seats “gave up” taxpayer-funded staff to be used to campaign for Labor in marginal seats.
The allegations were made by Labor whistleblowers, who said electorate officers paid for by the parliament were actually used to campaign for the ALP.
Mr Pakula said the Court of Appeal’s decision to allow Ms Glass to investigate gave the Parliament too much power to require the Ombudsman probe any matter, including the actions of private companies and individuals, which would compromise her “day to day work”. (SURE)
But Greens leader Greg Barber, who moved the motion in the Legislative Council asking for the Ombudsman to investigate, said it showed Labor would “do anything to avoid an investigation”.
“There are genuine questions to be answered about a possible misuse of taxpayer funds here,” Mr Barber said.
Mr Pakula said the Ombudsman “has been and remains free to conduct her investigation” but that government MPs in the Legislative Assembly would assert their privilege in the matter.
“The High Court consideration of this matter need not impede the Ombudsman from fulfilling her statutory obligations to report to the Parliament on the current referral forthwith,” he said.
Mr Pakula said the government would also try to change the Legislative Council’s referral to the Ombudsman so that she would have to probe the use of parliamentary resources and entitlements by the Coalition and the Greens.
Shadow Attorney-General John Pesutto said the cost of the government’s “attempts to cover-up allegations of serious wrongdoing” would be millions of dollars.
“Victorians will rightly ask why Daniel Andrews is so desperate to shut down any investigation into Labor’s alleged systematic misuse of taxpayer funds to pay for its campaign staff,” he said.