In Parliament

Adjournment - Kingston Action Team


Friday, 4 September 2020

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton):

My Adjournment is to the Premier, and the action I seek is for the Premier to request that his departmental secretary investigate the involvement of former Premier Steve Bracks, who continues to receive departmental funding as a former Premier, in the registered association Kingston Action Team.

When it comes to Labor and the unions, you always follow the money. That money is now leading to the Kingston local government area, where Labor’s most senior luminaries and strategists have converged.

Why? Because the union movement, through AustralianSuper, sunk a reported $125 million into the old Kingswood golf course in 2014.

Their dream was to make a motza by developing the site and building 800 residential dwellings there.

The only spanner in the works for the union’s grand plan was the will of the local community.

In 2018 Kingston councillors and thousands of local residents opposed the union build.

But in its typical grubby way Labor and the unions have schemed a workaround by setting up a slush fund that will siphon money to Labor-aligned candidates standing for election to Kingston council.

The front group is called the Kingston Action Team.

In their own words, the team consists of ‘a group of locals committed to ensuring the City of Kingston stays in progressive hands …by supporting candidates who share our values and commitment to the local community …[including] a ban on inappropriate development’.

Huh? Inappropriate development? Presumably that opposition doesn’t extend to mega union developments.

The team states that they intend to ‘raise funds to ensure our progressive candidates get elected’.

The team is an incorporated associated (registration number: A0110151H), registered on 3 July 2020. It was registered by none other than Janice Munt, the former Labor member for Mordialloc.

How do they intend to raise their funds? Through a GoFundMe page. This whole racket seriously stinks.

According to the GoFundMe page, the team’s fundraising team includes Alexander Budden, Mitchell Vandewerdt-Holman and Steve Michelson.

Many will recall Steve Michelson, the former adviser to federal Labor Party opposition leader Bill Shorten. Mr Michelson resigned in October 2017 after a photo taken at a fancy-dress party of him in blackface and curly wig was reported in the media.

But the high-profile patronage of this shonky, brazen front group doesn’t stop there.

A number of Kingston residents were shocked recently to receive a flyer, bearing the smiling face of former Labor Premier Steve Bracks, inviting them to a fundraising event for the Kingston Action Team on Friday, 11 September.

Even the former Labor Premier has lent his name to this racket—and that’s serious, because he continues to receive entitlements, including a taxpayer funded office, as a former Premier.

As we know, the former Premier has skin in the game himself, as Cbus, of which he is chair, is financially linked to the massive Kingswood golf course redevelopment proposal.

With Labor and the unions, you always follow the money.

In the Kingston local government area it stinks and is an attempted corruption of the democratic process by some of the biggest names in the Labor movement.

I look forward to the Premier’s response.