Australia Daniel Andrews bans ministerial staff from holding elected positions within ALP
Somyurek factional ally embroiled in branch stacking scandal
Another Victorian Cabinet minister and factional ally of dumped Labor powerbroker Adem Somyurek has become embroiled in the branch stacking scandal. Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Minister Marlene Kairouz is facing allegations in 'The Age' on Tuesday she encouraged taxpayer-funded parliamentary staff to work on branch stacking, a process of rigging party memberships to boost power within a party. Ms Kairouz is also recorded describing as "excellent" the use of parliamentary officers to run the operation.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will from next week ban all ministerial staff from holding elected positions within the Labor Party amid the ongoing branch stacking scandal.
Staff within the Premier’s office are already prohibited from holding such positions, but the move will now include all ministerial staff.
Premier Andrews’ Chief of Staff Lissie Ratcliff says the decision will ensure staff will never be put in a situation of “having to take a public position against the government”.
It comes as the Premier announced a major cabinet reshuffle.
Image: News Corp Australia
Daniel Andrews seeks to divert international flights from Melbourne as COVID surges .
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has informed Prime Minister Scott Morrison to divert all international flights away from Melbourne for the next two-weeks in a bid to stem the latest COVID-19 surge in the state. Mr Andrews said the move is being done as he seeks to take an “abundance of caution” for the state. “I'll have conversations with other state leaders to explain that and to thank them in advance for the extra load that they will carry”. It comes as 64 cases of coronavirus were detected across the state overnight, following the 75 newly recorded cases on Monday.