Gippsland South The Nationals

Questions for Shing and Mintern on Labor rorts

Labor’s Gippsland representative Harriet Shing needs to explain what she knew about the Labor red shirt rorts affair and if she benefitted from the scheme that saw taxpayers wrongly charged $388,000 for Labor Party campaigning in 2014.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, said the Ombudsman’s report found Labor’s former Eastern Victoria Region MPs Johan Scheffer and Matt Viney signed off on timesheets for taxpayer-funded staff who were actually engaged on Labor’s campaign.

The Ombudsman’s report stated “the arrangement to employ field organisers as electorate officers was an artifice to secure partial payment for the campaign out of parliamentary funds, and was wrong”.

“Labor’s Eastern Victoria MP Harriet Shing must come clean with the people she was elected to represent,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Were taxpayers helping her campaign to get elected?  Was she involved with or directing ALP field organisers who were being paid by Parliament under Labor’s rort arrangement? Given Ms Shing had no prior connection to Gippsland before her election, was she using these field organisers to bolster her profile?”

The Ombudsman’s report also named Labor’s 2014 candidate for Morwell Jadon Mintern 63 times. Evidence provided to the Ombudsman detailed that the former Labor candidate pre-filled time sheets for Labor campaign staff. It meant Victorian taxpayers, not the Labor Party, paid for party political campaigning in these hours.

“The Labor Party has been caught out in a carefully constructed, wilful misuse of taxpayers’ funds for its own political ends and yet Daniel Andrews says no-one will be held responsible and no-one will lose their job.  What a disgraceful rort on taxpayers’ Mr O’Brien said.

“If a member of the public did this they would lose their job, yet Labor Ministers and MPs are effectively getting off scott-free.”

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