News National Labor employees accuse party of taxpayer rort

Labor employees accuse party of taxpayer rort

Premier Daniel Andrews is under fire for payments during his campaign.
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The Victorian Labor government is facing claims it improperly used parliamentary staff and funding during the party’s successful 2014 election campaign.

Two unnamed workers claimed a team of more than two dozen was hired in March 2014, working as full-time Labor field organisers, with their wages covered two-days-a-week by the Parliament of Victoria and the rest paid by the party.

Under parliamentary rules, electorate officers are banned from party campaigning.

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“We were told ‘shut your mouth’ about the way we were being paid. If that is not a clear sign that it is dodgy then I don’t know what is,” one of the workers told News Corp.

The Labor staffers’ revelations were at odds with Premier Daniel Andrews’ statements to the public and Parliament, after News Corp revealed the scheme on September 2.

Government spokesman Adam Sims said on Wednesday night: “These allegations are untrue.’’

The whistleblowers said they did phone banking and doorknocking, and helped build an ALP database.

Several Lower House MPs, as well as most from the Upper House, were involved in handing over casual staff budgets for the campaign, the whistleblowers alleged to News Corp.

The first whistleblower said he worked only as a party campaigner.

Both said they were ordered by former treasurer John Lenders to keep quiet about the arrangement.

“John Lenders said he didn’t want people sniffing around,” one told News Corp.

On Thursday morning, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy told Fairfax Media: “The only way to get the bottom of this whole sordid affair within the Labor Party is either a police or corruption commission investigation, and if Daniel Andrews doesn’t refer it to one of those bodies, then the Opposition will.”

with AAP

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