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First blood: Victorian Labor minister Luke Donnellan has resigned from Cabinet after just One Day of IBAC Inquiry

    Dan Andrews’ minister and political ally falls on sword after just ONE day of public hearings into alleged corruption within his party – and more scalps are set to follow

    Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission investigation has begun

    It will look at the misuse of taxpayer-funded staff and community grants

    Labor MP Anthony Byrne admitted to branch stacking and implicated Donnellan

    Premier Daniel Andrews has refused to comment on Mr Donnellan’s decision  

    By Wayne Flower, Melbourne Correspondent

    Published: 16:36 AEDT, 11 October 2021 | Updated: 18:12 AEDT, 11 October 2021

    A public inquiry into alleged corruption within Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ government has produced its first scalp within hours of opening. 

    Victorian Labor minister Luke Donnellan sensationally resigned from Cabinet on Monday after the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission heard an allegation he had paid for other people’s party memberships. 

    He will move to the backbench in disgrace after he was thrown under the bus by Federal Labor MP Anthony Byrne, who has admitted to rampant and repeated  ‘branch stacking’. 

    Victorian Labor minister Luke Donnellan has resigned from his position after day one of an the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission public inquiry

    The public hearings will also look into ‘allegations that public money intended to fund community associations was misused for party‐political work or other improper purposes’.

    The hearings are expected to go for at least a month and drag before it a series of ALP power brokers – possibly even the premier himself.

    On announcing his resignation on Monday afternoon, Mr Donnellan admitted to branch stacking, but denied ever misusing public funds. 

    ‘I accept that I have previously breached party rules while a minister. But let me be very clear: I never misused public funds or resources in any way,’ he said via a statement. 

    Mr Andrews released a short statement directly after in which he paid gushing tribute to the ex-Minister for Child Protection and Disability, Ageing and Carers. 

    However, he refused to be drawn into the scandal, which has already exposed damning allegations of dodgy practices throughout the Labor party. 

    ‘Due to inquiries currently on foot, I will not be making further comment,’ Mr Andrews stated on Monday. 

    Mr Donnellan claimed he had only stepped down for breaking party rules over the supposedly shunned practice of branch stacking. 

    ‘I don’t believe it is possible or appropriate to maintain my Ministerial responsibilities given these rule breaches,’ he stated. 

    Branch stacking is a practice within political parties that sees people recruited into a branch of a political party to influence who is pre-selected as an election candidate.

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