Attorney-General Jill Hennessy has been forced to reveal that Labor is now seeking to raid a hollow log to fund IBAC, by providing top-up funding from a trust fund, that the Minister can’t even name.
It’s an embarrassing backflip following pressure and questioning from the Liberal Nationals at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee this morning.
The Liberal Nationals have been shining a spotlight on Labor for slashing funding to the anti-corruption watchdog, which is currently examining alleged Labor Party corruption.
Finally, the government is scrambling to fund IBAC, but is using a random trust fund really the best option?
Today, Jill Hennessy has also been forced to admit that funding for the Victorian Ombudsman does not meet the Ombudsman’s expectations, with the Ombudsman now expected to spend less this financial year than last financial year. This funding cut comes despite the Ombudsman’s increased workload investigating Labor Party corruption allegations.
Daniel Andrews’ deliberate attack undermining Victoria’s integrity agencies is more typical of one party dictatorships and is further evidence that funding for these bodies should be independent of executive government.
Comments attributable to Shadow Attorney-General, Edward O’Donohue:
“The Andrews Labor Government has slashed funding at a time when it’s being examined for alleged corruption – this is not a coincidence.
“It’s disappointing that it takes pressure from the Liberal Nationals, countless media stories exposing the savage cuts and calls for more funding from the independent agencies for this arrogant government to resource Victoria’s anti-corruption agencies.”