Tag Archives: allegations

Victorian Labor requires legal action against member amid allegations of branch stacking

Posted December 10, 2015 22:18:35

Connected Story: Labor members to have cards torn up over membership irregularities
Connected Story: Shorten favours female candidate to replace retiring Victorian MP

The conflict more than branch stacking in the Victorian division of the Labor Celebration has intensified, with the party taking legal action to force a dissident member to destroy records he says prove widespread stacking is occurring.

The ABC has been told the celebration will seek in an injunction in the Supreme Court on Friday to force Eric Dearricott, a rebel member of its administrative committee, to destroy the records, which he says are evidence of the widespread use of pre-paid present cards to stack Victorian branches.

Mr Dearricott has long agitated against what he claims is the manipulation of celebration membership to advantage Labor powerbrokers, particularly in the party heartland of the western and northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Celebration officials have claimed Mr Dearricott improperly accessed membership records, such as names, addresses, payment particulars and internet protocol addresses, and last month lawyers for the celebration demanded Mr Dearricott destroy the records.

Mr Dearricott claims he was entitled to access the information, and was truly asked by the celebration to study the records to determine regardless of whether rorting was occurring.

Media reports have alleged widespread use of the pre-paid gift cards — which can be bought and utilised without the purchaser providing any identification — to sign up ALP members with out their information, or to spend for huge numbers of memberships to cement manage of branches in several Victorian electorates.

Nevertheless, in leaks to other media outlets, opposing sources apparently aligned to the party hierarchy have denied that the rorting is widespread or systemic, and mentioned the party was operating to stamp out the practice.

A recent investigation at the behest of the administrative committee, carried out by the right’s Garth Head and the left’s Liz Beattie, determined that widespread membership rorting making use of pre-paid cards was not occurring.

Nevertheless, critics have suggested Mr Head and Ms Beattie’s report did not expose the accurate extent of the difficulty.

Legal action comes as celebration prepares for Wills pre-selection

The ABC revealed earlier this year that a former staffer to party heavyweight Senator Stephen Conroy, Haykel Handal, had been kicked out of the party for utilizing the pre-paid cards to sign up numerous members.

The ABC also revealed that a Moreland City councillor linked to alleged Italian organised crime figures, Michael Teti, utilized the office of former federal Labor Senator and acolyte of Senator Conroy, Mehmet Tillem, to improperly sign up folks to the Labor Party with no their understanding.

The ABC does not recommend Mr Tillem knew of Mr Teti’s links to the alleged crime figures or the alleged branch stacking.

The legal action against Mr Dearricott also comes as the celebration prepares for a potentially bruising pre-selection ballot in the formerly rock-solid Labor-held electorate of Wills.

The pre-selection, triggered by the impending retirement of MP Kelvin Thomson, is shaping up as a battle between Mr Tillem, reviled by some in the celebration as an archetypal Labor factional operator, and whoever emerges as the candidate of the anti-Tillem forces, who are agitating for a neighborhood, female candidate who will hold off the encroaching tide of Greens help.

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten is generally described as an ally of Senator Conroy’s but is believed to be contemplating backing a female candidate against Mr Tillem, due to Labor’s stated goal of ladies filling 50 per cent of all celebration positions by 2025.

Both Mr Dearricott and the ALP’s state assistant secretary, Kosmos Samaras, have refused to comment.

Topics: alp, political-parties, state-parliament, courts-and-trials, vic

Agen Sabung Ayam

Call for royal commission into Indigenous corporations after monetary allegations

Posted November 30, 2015 13:59:32

Borroloola community members protest Photo: Borroloola community members protested the sacking of Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Indigenous Corporation chief executive Michael Gravener. (Supplied: Tahnee Mawson)
Associated Story: Residents demand investigation into sacking of Aboriginal corporation chief
Map: Borroloola 0854

The sacked chief executive of a Northern Territory Indigenous corporation is calling for a royal commission into what he calls an “Aboriginal industry”.

Important points:

  • Former Indigenous corporation CEO alleges inappropriate use of resources
  • Mabunji Corporation denies and rejects the allegations
  • Angry residents fail in try to elect new Mabunji board members

Michael Gravener, the former CEO of the Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Indigenous Corporation in Borroloola, in the NT’s Gulf Country, argued a couple of corporations had been unfairly benefitting from billions in government spending although many remote Indigenous men and women remained disadvantaged.

Mr Gravener has launched Federal Court action against his former employer alleging “inappropriate use of resources” and “spend and overtime irregularities”.

Given that getting sacked by Mabunji in August, he has not left town.

From a caravan in the Gulf of Carpentaria’s mining and tourism hub, he launched Federal Court action claiming unfair dismissal.

I genuinely think that there is adequate evidence about the Territory and Western Australia to recommend there need to be a royal commission into the Aboriginal market.

Michael Gravener, former Mabunji CEO

“Mainly I feel it was because I was unveiling a lot of irregularities,” Mr Gravener said.

He alleges he was sacked simply because he alerted Mabunji management to “inappropriate use of sources” by employees.

In his statement of claim to the Federal Court, he alleged “inappropriate use of obtain orders,” including a employees member employing them “to get private groceries”.

“And her reasoning for that was that she didn’t have any cash at that time and that she needed to eat,” he mentioned.

Mr Gravener also alleged “serious pay, timesheet, and overtime irregularities”.

“There was a claim of $ 100,000 for a single person in one particular year [in overtime], if you calculate that would be a lot of hours,” he stated.

He complained to the Northern Territory Police, who are not investigating, and to the Indigenous Corporations Watchdog, the Workplace of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, which has refused to comment.

He has also asked the Division of Prime Minister and Cabinet to investigate.

The department mentioned it “has decided to undertake a compliance overview in relation to PM&C funded activities”.

Allegations of financial impropriety company ‘too common’

Soon after years functioning for Indigenous corporations across Australia, Mr Gravener says he finds allegations of irregularities too widespread.

“I actually believe that there is enough proof about the Territory and Western Australia to suggest there should be a royal commission into the Aboriginal business,” he stated.

Indigenous residents worried about Mr Gravener’s allegations attended Mabunji’s annual common meeting in Borroloola last Wednesday.

Among them was Garawa elder Jack Green.

“Mabunji was set up to appear right after the interests of Aboriginal folks on outstations but from my understanding, I was on the board when they initial began off, it’s sort-of drifted away from what its supposed to do,” he mentioned.

The concerned clan members had gone to the AGM hoping to elect new board members.

They came out angry after the election did not take place.

“They stated it really is not going to be happening right now, its going to be taking place next year,” Mambaliya clan elder Nancy McDinny said.

“I don’t feel they’re listening to the individuals. The individuals are the ones who are suffering out in the community,” clan member Maria Pyro said.

Systematic maintenance failings regardless of government-funded services

Some residents are accusing Mabunji of not providing sufficient government-funded Indigenous housing upkeep services.

Mara camp resident Linda Owens Photo: Mara camp resident Linda Owens has accused Mabunji of not replacing louvers in her residence. (ABC News: Jane Bardon)

Resident Linda Owens lives in a dilapidated tin shack with a dirt floor in the Mara Indigenous town camp in Borroloola.

She mentioned Mabunji promised to make some little improvements to her home.

“Mabunji took this window out, they had been supposed to place louvers in, but they did not place any louvers in, they didn’t come back,” she mentioned.

Asked to respond to the allegations, Mabunji’s management refused to be interviewed.

Mabunji supplied a statement to say it stood by its decision to terminate Mr Gravener’s employment.

“Mabunji stands by its decision to terminate Mr Gravener’s solutions and will vigorously defend any legal action brought by Mr Gravener against it.”

Mara neighborhood member Samuel Evans has just returned to the Mabunji board.

He said he was unaware of the economic allegations, but defended the corporation’s service delivery on housing upkeep and outstation crucial solutions.

“There are so a lot of outstations and we do supply services but some of these individuals on the outstations are not doing their, or aren’t helping themselves,” Mr Evans said.

He hoped Mabunji would not be broken by court proceedings.

“If we collapse, we fall down, it will be taken by an NGO, a non-government organisation, and no Aboriginal person in Borroloola will have their say,” Mr Evans said.

Critics of Mabunji say they already do not have a voice.

Topics: indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, corporate-governance, borroloola-0854

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