The corrupt past of the NSW Labor Party is buried by the dismissal of opposition minister Tania Mihailuk this morning after a parliamentary speech earlier this week that raised links between party rival Khal Asfour, convicted criminal Eddie Obeid and Labor ID Bechara Khouri and Asfour – later Bankstown proving to be hard to stay. mayor – met in 2016.
NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns’ decision, revealed to the shocking 2GB Ben Fordham, raises questions about the Labor Party’s commitment to integrity and its ability to avoid repeating the dark years of his last term in office, which saw surprisingly corrupt behavior involving Obeid and others. . connection with a Chinese billionaire who has persisted for years in opposition alongside the ongoing prosecutions of former minister, Ian Macdonald, and his former ministry colleagues Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly.
Mihailuk is accused of using parliamentary privilege to attack Asfour, who will head the NSW Labor Party’s upper house seat in the March 2023 election, following a seat fight resulting from a redistribution that eliminated Lakemba’s seat. Mihailuk is in the neighboring seat of Bankstown.
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Mihailuk himself was targeted by internal enemies just last month, when allegations were leaked to News Corp that he was “abuse” and “scary” to staff. Minns was with Mihailuk at the time. He now says Mihailuk did not respond to a request not to use his parliamentary privilege to raise corruption allegations against his colleagues.
Strongly rejecting Mihailuk’s allegations and inviting him to repeat it outside of Parliament, Asfour is now mayor of Canterbury-Bankstown, a council made up of the merger of Canterbury and Bankstown councils.
Canterbury Council was a cesspool of property developers-led corruption that NSW ICAC uncovered in “Operation Dasha” that trapped former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire. ICAC found that three former officials were involved in “serious corruption” and referred possible charges against them, as well as possible charges against others, including Maguire, to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
In recent years, the focus on honesty has been focused not only on Maguire, the resignation of Gladys Berejiklian (the subject of an ongoing investigation by ICAC) and the recent John Barilaro scandal, but also on ICAC’s serious Five Dock property development, with former Liberal MP John Sidoti’s corrupt behavior.
By contrast, Labor’s Chris Minns succeeded in projecting a new image that was unaffected by the corruption and chaos of the Labor Party’s last years in office. But the allegations against Asfour reflect the danger of all parties using former local councilors as state candidates.
Corruption and mistrust in Sydney’s local property development approval processes resulted in the state government in 2017 removing all major planning decisions from the control of the city’s local councils, replacing specialist local planning panels.
Even honest and public interest local councilors have found it difficult to avoid getting involved in corruption investigations, especially when they are in the Labor or Liberal parties and can be targeted by state legislators, enemies of the party, pro-party lobbyists or pro-party lobbyists. “fixers” pushing the interests of property developers.
Emek’s problem is that, given its track record, not the slightest suspicion of corruption can be maintained. It must be seen to be completely transformed from the old bad days of the 2000s. It is difficult to understand how Mihailuk’s dismissal fits this requirement.