Daniel Andrews Continues To Damage Control in Victoria
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is determined to avoid criticism over Labor's six-figure election campaign rort, but there was no hiding from one vocal heckler.
As the leader faced a second day of questions over a damning ombudsman's report revealing Labor's $388,000 breach of parliamentary guidelines during its winning 2014 campaign, a passer by had his say.
"Give us back our f***ing money" and "dodgy c***" was yelled by a man in a car passing Mr Andrews as he and Roads Minister Luke Donnellan held a media conference in Melbourne on Thursday.
The premier did not react, instead remaining focused on delivering a message that he and 21 of his past and present MPs unknowingly broke the rules by misappropriating taxpayer funds.
However, he gladly welcomed an earlier "Daniel Andrews, woo hoo" from a different passer by.
Back on topic, Mr Andrews denied reports colleagues raised with him concerns about the campaign scheme at the time.
"That's not what the ombudsman finds, she finds exactly the opposite, that people were assured and people were confident and people were acting in good faith," Mr Andrews told reporters.
The premier on Wednesday apologised for the scandal and said all the money had been repaid.
Mr Andrews and senior ministers Martin Pakula and Tim Pallas were keen to point out that the coalition opposition and the Greens used their majority in the upper house to vote down an attempt by the government to put all parties under the ombudsman's spotlight.
However, Mr Andrews said he would not be using the government's majority in the lower house to refer others.
Mr Donnellan benefited from a 'red shirt' campaigner paid by upper house MP Adem Somyurek's office in one of many instances of misappropriation of funds highlighted in the report.
Mr Pakula, one of the 21 MPs named for wrongly authorising staffing time sheets, on Thursday told 3AW he is sceptical of reports others raised concerns with Mr Andrews.
The MPs breached parliamentary guidelines by wrongly signing time sheets for electorate officers-turned campaign staff in other electorates during the 2014 campaign, according tot eh report.
It was a slap down for the government, which had continuously denied any wrongdoing, eight months out from the next election.
Mr Andrews said no one caught up in the scandal would lose their job.
The government also vowed to implement all six of the Ombudsman's recommendations, which call for limiting electorate officer duties, better training on the rules, and creating a clear investigative capacity for allegations of entitlement misuse.