Admin Committee wastes money on reports

Admin Committee wastes money on reports

Much needed Victorian Liberal Party funds have been squandered on two useless reports.

It is believed that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent by the Victorian Liberal Party on two reports produced by KordaMentha which found no substantive evidence of widespread branch stacking or any other major problems with the membership management process.

One of the two reports has been leaked by Robert Clark’s regime to The Age, and Ian Quick also spoke extensively to Annika Smethurst on behalf of Robert Clark.

The report which was released to the media and to party members is a redacted copy of a fuller report which has been kept from party members.

“In a democracy, a full and frank disclosure of information should be made,” said one Liberal powerbroker. “We cannot take Ian Quick at his word when he claims the secret report says this or that. Everyone knows he has an agenda.”

According to the leaked report, some details were given and presented in such a way as to excuse any actions by former Liberal Party activist Karina Okotel. No mention was made of the alleged criminal activities of her brother Joshua Bonney either.

The leaked report gave a superficial overview of activities within the party, conveniently ignoring the known breaches by party members that occurred while the report was being undertaken. This includes the branch stacking activities of Bill Rizopoulos (attended by Robert Clark and Frank Greenstein), Peter Angelico and Greg Mirabella’s paying for memberships with his credit card. The report also ignored Georgie Crozier’s recruiting events for inner city “lefties” as hosted by Michael Rixon which have been responsible for scores of new party members.

Ian Quick told The Age that the KordaMentha report “alleged” branch stacking and rorting of taxpayer funds. Mr Quick conveniently did not mention the allegations that the Opposition Leader’s Office as then run by Brett Hogan, was also involved in party factional “management”, such as ensuring that their factional allies renewed memberships, applied for State Assembly and State Council positions (particularly in electorates not controlled by Ian Quick’s friends) and even going so far as to provide organisational support for anti-conservative Liberals to become chairs of State Electorate Conferences (e.g. an ALP-linked recent member in Wendouree and a self-proclaimed witch in Monbulk).

Mr Quick has also released documents which outline his own intentions to make widespread draconian changes to the Liberal Party. Mr Quick wishes to destroy the Liberal Women’s Council and introduce a bureaucratic disciplinary machine to persecute members not in Ian Quick’s faction.

Ian Quick also tipped his hand that his faction were against the candidates in the seats of Deakin, Scullin and Corio. It is known that Ian Quick has also been actively working against La Trobe, Holt and Corangamite, has already undertaken extensive factional actions in Menzies and Dunkley, and is currently focussed on Casey, with widespread speculation that he is grooming a candidate for that seat.

Further, Mr Quick, under the cloak of anonymity, claimed in The Age that a former employee of the party’s head office shared his login details with other party members. These scurrilous accusations are likely due to factional members making false depositions to the KordaMentha team allowing the secretive report to contain all kinds of false, misleading and factionally-driven “testimony” that would therefore be included in their secret report. The fact that the report has been kept secret indicates that Mr Quick’s supporters, including Karina Okotel, could have said anything allowing Ian Quick to then whisper them to The Age.

Both reports are giant paperweights and represent hundreds of thousands of Liberal Party funds being spent on justifying a gossip campaign run by Ian Quick while also seeking to exonerate his factional supporters such as Karina Okotel and Joshua Bonney. Robert Clark is ready to fully implement every recommendation of the secret report even though it has not been reviewed or critically examined by party members which includes lawyers, electorate officers and political analysts.

“This whole process is a complete hogwash,” one senior party member said. “The report barely found any issues and yet our party is broke and we are being told we need to embrace Ian Quick’s new constitution. I know there are plenty of members who would rather embrace a thorn bush than let Ian Quick continue to dictate this party.”

“Let me break it down for you,” said another member. “Ian Quick loves himself and does not love anyone who loves themselves more than him. Now you know why he is carrying a massive grudge against Kroger. It is pathetic really that he spent all of the party’s money on this vanity project.”

At the most recent Administration Committee meeting, Robert Clark did not discuss any plan about renewing the funds as used up on the production of the two KordaMentha reports. In recent times the director of the party’s peak fundraising body, Enterprise 500 Victoria, stepped down with the party struggling to fundraise even meagre amounts in the face of two upcoming elections. The newly appointed executive director is essentially now a one man band who is being employed to do the impossible.

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