Outstanding Senator Jacqui Lambie lashed out at Anthony Albanese after a federal Labor MP confessed to misusing taxpayer funds.
Anthony Albanese has refused to agree to refer embattled Rep. Anthony Byrne for an investigation into the confirmation that he misused taxpayer funds.
Key interlocutors have asked the opposition leader to pull the trigger and refer the interlocutor’s behavior to the Finance Department for review.
Byrne on Monday, at an anti-corruption surveillance hearing in Victoria, confessed to using Commonwealth funds to hire two staff members who did not show up for work and instead performed factional duties. He also admitted to having participated in the stacking of branches.
While branch stacking is not illegal, it is a violation of party rules and staff who receive public salaries cannot perform political work in the party.
But four days after the explosive revelations were exposed, Albanese has yet to refer the violation to the department. His office has declined to say whether it would take this step.
Speaking to NCA NewsWire, outspoken Sen. Jacqui Lambie acknowledged that while referring the matter to the department did not go far enough, it was the only mechanism available to Albanese for further investigation at the federal level.
“The Finance Department checking these things is like floss on a stick, just a tick and a tap when things get sticky. It wouldn’t start or end there, ”Lambie said.
“That said, Mr. Albanese is interested in turning every stone and discovering what is going on here.
“These things have a way of biting back, one way or another.”
Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating allegations of misuse of public funds in state work.
But Bynes’ staggering admission on Monday has raised concerns about the use of Commonwealth funds to carry out the political work of the parties.
Allegations of embezzlement may be investigated by the Finance Department and Albanese may request that an investigation be conducted, despite protests from his office that it was not possible.
When asked if the department was already investigating the matter, a spokesperson said: “The department does not comment on individual MPs or their staff.”
It is understood that the government will not intervene and refer the matter.
South Australian Senator Rex Patrick said it was concerning that Albanese had not yet forwarded the claims made at IBAC.
“When a prima facie case of misuse of public funds arises, regardless of who allegedly participated in that misuse, it must be properly investigated,” the senator told NCA NewsWire.
“A referral for an investigation is even more important when it comes to a politician, as the public has the right to have full confidence in their representatives.
“It would bother me if Mr. Albanese took a different point of view. The decision time for him to bypass under these circumstances should be less than a millisecond. “
Albanese has been outspoken in recent days about how the revelations only further highlighted the need for a federal anti-corruption commission.
But when asked if he would refer the evidence presented by Byrne to the department for further investigation, a spokesperson declined to comment.
Instead, NCA NewsWire was referred to a transcript of a press conference held on Wednesday.
“Look, the IBAC processes are underway and it is important that they are allowed to take place regardless of political interference,” Albanese told reporters in Sydney.
Albanese said Thursday that a decision on Byrne’s political future will not be made until after the IBAC hearings are completed.
When the branch stacking allegations first came to light last June, Albanese backed a national executive takeover of the Victorian branch. He also supported the removal of the powerful Adem Somyurek from the party.
Last year, a Finance Department investigation cleared liberals Michael Sukkar and Kevin Andrew of wrongdoing after allegations that they had misused their taxpayer-funded staff for political purposes.
Byrne was contacted for comment, but did not respond. However, he told The Australian on Thursday that he would stay there until IBAC reported its findings.