The latest interrogation of Marlene Kairouz’s elector Kirsten Psaila has been about ALP’s national conference nomination forms.
Lawyer assisting the investigation, Chris Carr SC, said MP Marlene Kairouz in secret telephone conversations described having “20-odd” nomination forms signed by the required number of Labor members, but the nominee was left blank.
“It’s a bit like signing a blank check … for a candidate for an internal ALP election,” Carr said.
Commissioner Robert Redlich asked who would then decide who the nominee would be.
“I guess that would be the powers of Moderate Labor … I assumed like Adem [Somyurek], and Robin [Scott] and yes, Marlene, ”replied Mrs. Psaila.
The faction wanted to check the ballots for the 2018 national conference so that Mr Somyurek could replace his rival Stephen Conroy on the party’s national board, the inquiry heard.
“So what it’s all about is gaining power in the party,” Mr Carr said.
“You can say that, yes,” replied Mrs. Psaila.
Redlich told Ms Psaila that this process meant that members of the party did not have a real influence on who they want to nominate and who should be elected.
Sir. Carr added: “What’s at the heart of it is that these people, who are not really people, have any real interest in being members of the ALP. They are just people whose membership has been renewed, whose membership is paid, and if ballot papers and signatures are collected as needed by the faction ”.
Carr said Ms. Kairouz spent $ 15,000 to $ 18,000 each year on memberships was not just a “charitable act” to help cover people experiencing financial hardship.
“It was because by paying it … Mrs Kairouz would gain power in the party,” Mr Carr said.
“Yes,” replied Mrs. Psaila.
Ms Psaila agreed that taxpayer-funded election officers like herself were involved in the “huge amount of administration” involved in the process.
“You could say it was all a serious misconduct?” Carr asked Mrs. Psaila.
“Yes, but they all do,” said Mrs. Psaila.
Ms Kairouz, who has been accused of violating party rules by branching, has denied the allegations.
Branch stacking is not illegal, but rather a violation of party rules.