Anthony Albanese has released a statement on
Anthony Byrne resigning from the PJCIS, noting his service on the committee since 2005.
I thank Mr Byrne for his important contributions to this committee in Australia’s national interest.
On Tuesday Byrne, the federal MP for the south-east Melbourne seat of Holt, gave evidence to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission, revealing he authorised taxpayer-funded office staff to complete political work, and used a “kitty” to pay for memberships in breach of party rules.
Byrne also admitted to employing two “Turkish” men as electorate office staff as part of a deal with factional powerbroker – and then-ally –
Adem Somyurek, despite one of the men never showing up for work while drawing a taxpayer-funded salary.
Despite that evidence, Albanese had said earlier in the week it was “not appropriate” to pre-empt Ibac findings, effectively backing Byrne to stay.Albanese also revealed he will recommend that
Jenny McAllister now become the committee’s deputy chair and that
Peter Khalil join the PJCIS, suggesting both would make “outstanding contributions” to its work.