I have today accepted the resignation of the Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Mr Adem Somyurek.
This follows receiving the independent report of the inquiry undertaken by the Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet into allegations made against the Minister.
That report includes the independent report prepared by His Honour Mr Michael Strong into the allegations. It also includes the review into the Minister’s office by Peter Allen, former Public Sector Standards Commissioner and former Secretary of the Department of Education.
As promised, I have released all three reports. The Victorian Government Solicitor has advised that certain redactions have been appropriately made to avoid compromising the privacy of individuals.
Mr Strong’s report makes a number of adverse findings against the Minister, including that he caused distress to staff and adversely affected their sense of wellbeing, and that the evidence provided to the inquiry by the complainants was far more reliable than the evidence provided by the Minister.
Mr Strong has not recommended that any of the claims brought against the Minister be referred to other authorities.
However, Mr Strong’s findings against the Minister are deeply concerning.
The Minister’s behaviour, as outlined by Mr Strong, is unacceptable.
As such, I accepted the Minister’s resignation.
The Victorian people rightly expect the highest standards of behaviour from those in public life – including me as Premier, and all Government Ministers.
I will continue to ensure that those expectations are met.
Mr Allen’s review identifies that while the Minister’s office was on a steep learning curve it operated in a very professional manner.
Reviewed 19 August 2020