Prime Minister Daniel Andrews is facing increased pressure to front Victoria’s Integrity Commission, with the state’s deputy liberal leader cracking down on the Labor Party over corruption allegations.
Victoria’s Deputy Liberal leader, David Southwick, has reiterated calls for Daniel Andrews to appear before the corruption watchdog amid new charges against the Prime Minister.
Sir. Andrews has come under intense scrutiny in the past week after a former Powerbroker from the Labor Party claimed that the Prime Minister ignored warnings about the infamous red shirt.
Senior Liberal MPs have jumped on the prime minister to appear before the independent broad-based anti-corruption commission and have called on police to reopen its investigations.
Sir. Southwick said there should “definitely” be a new police investigation into the scandal, in which the ALP repaid $ 388,000 after the Victorian ombudsman found out that the party had abused taxpayers’ staff for the 2014 election campaign.
“Of course there should be a police investigation and the premiere should be in front of IBAC,” said Mr. Southwick to Sky News Australia’s Chris Kenny.
“This is corruption at its best. If this happened in any other workforce, you would get people laid off.
“We have had a government, we have had members of parliament who let this happen. Ministers, members all under the watch of the Prime Minister; we need a police investigation and the Prime Minister should front IBAC.”
Mr. Southwick’s demands come amid a growing chorus of high-ranking Victorian liberals calling for greater accountability after Adem Somyurek told the anti-corruption inquiry that the prime minister ignored warnings about the party’s 2014 pre-election rudder.
Somyurek told IBAC he asked the prime minister about the scheme and whether Andrews – who was the opposition leader at the time – was aware of it.
He said Mr Andrews responded with “words about the impact of … Do you want to win the election or not?”.
Andrews has denied that he knew of the rot at the time.
Victoria’s Shadow Treasurer, David Davis, also urged Mr Andrews to testify under oath to answer “very specific allegations” about his role in the red shirts.
“This is about standards, and this is about the behavior of the Prime Minister, and this is about the behavior of Labor MPs, and I think it stinks to heaven,” Davis told Sky News Australia’s Peta Credlin.
Shadow Police Minister Brad Battin went a step further on Wednesday, demanding that Victoria Police reopen its investigation, which was quickly met with a response from Chief Commissioner Shane Patton.
Sir. Patton confirmed that an assessment of the new details – which appeared at IBAC – had been asked to see if they required further action.
“I have asked for an assessment of what it will necessarily involve to determine what was actually said at the IBAC hearing, whether it changes anything in relation to the outcome of the investigation from the past,” Mr Patton told ABC Radio Thursday.
“As a fair process, we always take cases seriously.
“We will assess it – it is far from reopening at the moment, but we will certainly assess it.”
The chief police officer also confirmed that Victoria Police would contact IBAC to determine if the anti-corruption body was considering taking action following Mr Somyurek’s allegations.