| March 27, 2018

Victorian Labor Party Rorts

It has been a very sad week for all Victorians as we have yet more damning evidence in regard to the Victorian Labor Party—its scams and the rorts that it has been conducting over the last few years.

This was damning evidence and there was a reluctant apology from the Victorian Premier for stealing money from the Victorian taxpayer. After years of Daniel Andrews denying the claims—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Rob Mitchell ): I will just ask the member for Murray to be careful with the reflection on stealing in case it's not the case—

Mr DRUM:Sure. Okay—taking money that wasn't theirs as part of the 2014 election. Now he has finally come clean and he has offered some sort of apology. I think it's very clear to say that the Premier of Victoria is very sorry that he got caught. However, he has only admitted any wrongdoing after he spent $1 million of taxpayers' funds to stop the Victorian Ombudsman from looking into this rort.

The Victorian Ombudsman, Deborah Glass, was thorough in her assessments of the rort perpetrated by 21 current and former Labor MPs. It was made obvious that John Lenders was the architect of this rort, and he seemed to be rewarded for his deceit by being appointed to the chair of VicTrack in a $90,000 per annum role.

There have so far been no repercussions for Daniel Andrews or the 21 other MPs who misused these taxpayer funds and cheated their way into office. There have been many comparisons between the Andrews government and the Australian test team. The Australian cricket team scuffed up a cricket ball. The captain has been sacked, the vice-captain has been sacked and the coach has been sacked. The Australian cricket team didn't steal any money from any taxpayers. Their positions in the team weren't voted on by the public. Compare this with the current state Labor government in Victoria; they have committed an act far worse. They have stolen this money from the Victorian taxpayers to pay for electioneering workers to get votes from within the Victorian community to help them win the 2014 election. The Labor Party has completely abused the trust of the Victorian community and should be held to account.

Victorian Labor and Daniel Andrews have fought this investigation the whole way through. Daniel Andrews denied that they had abused their position in office. Then he had the Special Minister of State, Gavin Jennings, write to Ms Glass to say that her office didn't have the power to investigate. After that he took the Ombudsman to the Supreme Court and used more than a million dollars of taxpayers' money to try to stop the investigation.

There are still 11 members of those 21 who are in the Victorian government today. Many of them are ministers. The state's chief law officer, Martin Pakula, was one of the ministers who signed over taxpayers' money so that these people could work on the election. So not only were there 21 members who put this money in, there's also a whole raft of current ministers who were the beneficiaries of all of this money that was put into the pool. All of those members were able to put on full-time staffers to run their campaigns. So whether they put the money in—which wasn't their money; it was taxpayers' money—or whether they were the ones who took the money out and spent the money on their campaigns, they are all guilty of using money that wasn't theirs. If any of these people were caught taking this money from an employer in the private sector they would lose their job and they would face charges.

The worst thing about this behaviour is that it comes as no surprise when you see that the government has spent billions of dollars on not building a road that they have now been told by Infrastructure Australia they have to build. And it wasn't that long ago that we saw Steve Herbert taking his dogs on a chauffeured trip around the state. It wasn't that long ago that Don Nardella and Telmo Languiller scammed more than $130,000 of taxpayers' money for a second residence that they didn't have, living within their electorate. They also knew that what they were doing was clearly wrong, but they still continued to do it, just like Daniel Andrews, just like John Landers, just like Gavin Jennings. They had this scam checked with the parliamentary office, and they were told, 'This is outside the rules', and then they continued—

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