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Corruption probe begins into Victorian transport staff

Alleged corruption by two Victorian public servants could have been exposed earlier had department staff been “sufficiently concerned” to examine what was happening in the department, claimed the counsel assisting the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission yesterday.

IBAC’s Operation Fitzroy hearings began Monday into allegations that Barry Wells and Albert Ooi, who worked at the Bus and Regional Services division of the Department of Infrastructure (now Department of Transport), personally benefited from improperly awarding transport infrastructure contracts worth $25 million to family companies. The pair is alleged to have improperly gained more than $3 million in the deals to build bus shelters.

Counsel assisting, Ted Woodward SC, drew attention to the lack of scrutiny in the department by demonstrating to the hearing “what might have been revealed had someone in say 2010 or later up to 2012 been sufficiently concerned about what was going on in the department or PTV to undertake some searches of publicly available information”.

The hearings will continue for three weeks. IBAC is calling for anyone with information to come forward on 1300 735 135.

Author Bio

Harley Dennett

Harley Dennett is editor at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's held communications roles in the New South Wales public sector and Defence, and been a staff reporter for newspapers in Sydney and Washington DC.