Federal Labor MP Anthony Byrne is the first witness to begin questioning a public hearing against corruption commissions investigating abuses of taxpayer-funded staff and community grants.
Aging last week revealed that Byrne, Holt’s longtime MP and a former faction ally of the disgraced Labor powerbroker Adem Somyurek, was instrumental in ensuring that the independent broad-based anti-corruption commission had access to video recordings that were covertly and lawfully made in his federal voter office.
The footage raised allegations that Somyurek was involved in alleged branch-building and other inappropriate behavior, including ordering taxpayer-funded voters and ministerial staff to carry out party-political activity during official working hours. Somyurek has denied wrongdoing.
IBAC is investigating allegations that Victorian officials are engaging in corrupt behavior by ordering ministerial and electoral staff to carry out party-political activities during tax-financed working hours.
It also investigates allegations that public money intended to fund community associations was misused for party political work or “other improper purposes”.
The hearings began Monday morning.
Ellen Schreiber, a former constituency officer and Assistant Secretary of State, will be questioned Tuesday. Adam Sullivan, a former constituency officer and ministerial adviser, testified Wednesday.