New electorate officers would ‘be in a f**king office’ with ‘not much to do’, a probe into the use of public funds for factional work has heard.
Former Labor powerbroker Adem Somyurek has been recorded saying two men to be hired as electorate officers would “be in a f**king office” with “not much to do”.
Mr Somyurek is being grilled for a second day at the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) after his bombshell evidence on Monday accusing Labor’s most senior leaders of branch stacking to sway power in Victoria.
The inquiry on Tuesday exposed a conversation Mr Somyurek had with a person in February, 2020, about the hiring of two men in state electorate offices, one of which was about to finish an internship.
“I mean, these guys are gonna be in a f**king office, not much to do. They need to be doing grunt work, but I want them to sort of report, too,” Mr Somyurek says in the conversation.
“Because they’re sitting in an office with not much work.”
Counsel assisting Chris Carr SC seized on the conversation, saying: “Obviously, you’ve arranged for these two gentlemen, jobs that don’t involve any substantial amount of real work?”
Mr Somyurek replied they also had to do electorate work as well as factional work.
“That’s the first work they have to do,” Mr Somyurek said.
“But as you made clear in that phone call, there’s not much of that,” Mr Carr countered.
“I don’t think you can use the bulk of your day doing factional work,” Mr Somyurek replied.
“There isn’t factional work to do on a day in, day out basis, there just isn’t.”
IBAC is investigating the misuse of taxpayer staff and resources and probing whether public officers, including MPs, engaged in corrupt conduct while in public office by telling ministerial and electorate office staff to do party-political work while they’re being paid from the public purse to do ministerial or electorate work.