Tuesday 15 August 2023
Premier Daniel Andrews has created a massive conflict of interest in the appointment of Victoria’s next IBAC Commissioner.
Serious allegations involving the integrity of the Andrews Government are currently under investigation by IBAC. This includes Operation Richmond which has been reported as investigating secret deals between the Premier, his Government and the United Firefighters Union.
With the Hon. Robert Redlich AM KC’s term as IBAC Commissioner expiring in December 2022, the Andrews Government appointed Stephen Farrow as acting IBAC Commissioner.
Now into his eight month in this role, Mr Farrow today confirmed that he has applied to be appointed permanently as IBAC Commissioner.
The appointment of an IBAC Commissioner is made by Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Premier and his Cabinet.
Shadow Attorney-General, Michael O’Brien, said that Victorians deserve an integrity system with integrity, not a series of conflicts of interest that undermines confidence in IBAC.
“For a Labor Government to be under investigation by an acting IBAC Commissioner who has applied for the top job doesn’t just fail the pub test; it fails Conflict of Interest 101,” Mr O’Brien said.
“How can the acting IBAC Commissioner be seen to be at arm’s length from the Andrews Government when he is investigating the very people who will decide his job application?
“The Premier and his Labor government have placed Mr Farrow in an impossible position. It is unfair to him and it is unfair to Victorians who want to see politics in this state cleaned up.
“The Premier must immediately explain what actions he will take to deal with the conflict of interest that now exists.
“We can’t have a situation where the same Government which decides who runs the anti-corruption watchdog is under investigation by one of the applicants for the job.
“This would be embarrassing in a banana republic, let alone Victoria in 2023”.
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