Vic Small Business Minister stood down over bullying allegations

The Victorian Government has stood down the Minister for
Small Business Adem Somyurek (pictured), following allegations of bullying within his
office.

Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement on Saturday the
complaint was made by the Minister’s Chief of Staff, Dimity Paul.

According to the Australian, Paul is a former employee of
federal Labor MP David Feeney and is married to shop assistants’ union official
Raff Ciccone. She was a Labor candidate at the last state election.

Andrews has requested that the Secretary of the Department
of Premier and Cabinet initiate an inquiry into the allegations. He will take
over Somyurek’s portfolio responsibilities, pending the outcome of the inquiry.

The inquiry will determine whether there are any matters
appropriate for referral to other Victorian authorities.

The AFR reports that business leaders have urged Andrews to
resolve the uncertainty surrounding the issue quickly.

“What you’d hope is that any investigation would be
completed swiftly,” the Australian Industry Group’s Victorian director,
Tim Piper said.

“All of the
ministers are really just getting their feet under the desk. It’s disappointing
for the government.”

“Nobody wants there to be any undue conjecture on this
and nor do we want any disruption. We just have to hope that the Premier has it
under control”.

Somyurek has denied the allegations.

Image: Parliament of Victoria

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