An anti-corruption inquiry investigating branch stacking within Victorian Labor has concluded its public hearings, after the final witness pulled out for medical reasons.
Somali Australian Council of Victoria founder Hussein Haraco was expected to give evidence before an Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission inquiry on Friday.
However, IBAC on Thursday confirmed that Dr Haraco would not be appearing “due to ongoing medical reasons”.
“The public hearings have concluded for 2021,” IBAC said in a statement.
The commission will continue its investigation into branch stacking within Labor, and will provide a special report to parliament upon its completion.
Branch stacking involves recruiting, and usually paying for, new members to a political party and it is done to boost a faction’s influence and ensure its preferred candidates are preselected.
It is not illegal but it is against Labor party rules.
IBAC is investigating whether taxpayer funds and money intended for community associations were used for such work.
The inquiry, led by Commissioner Robert Redlich, began public hearings in October and its most recent witness was former party powerbroker Adem Somyurek.
Mr Somyurek quit Labor last year before he was expelled following a Nine Network investigation, which revealed he had enlisted the help of electoral and ministerial staff to run a branch-stacking operation.