Integrity queries hang over Vic parliament

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Both major parties have returned to Victoria's parliament with integrity questions hanging over their heads as the state election draws closer.

The first of four sitting weeks began on Tuesday after a winter break punctuated by the release of high-profile watchdog reports into Labor scandals.

The joint Operation Watts probe into branch-stacking by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and Victorian Ombudsman exposed rampant nepotism and misuse of taxpayer funds inside the party.

It was swiftly followed a fresh ombudsman report into Labor's so-called "red shirts" affair, which cleared Premier Daniel Andrews of spearheading the scheme but warned the scandals were "unlikely to be the last" unless addressed with rigour.

As it sought to turn up the heat on the government, the Liberals were embroiled in an integrity scandal of their own on Tuesday when it emerged opposition leader Matthew Guy's chief of staff asked a party donor to make $100,000 in payments to his private business.

The staffer, Mitch Catlin, resigned over the unsigned contract proposal but it has been referred by Labor to the state's ombudsman, electoral commission, Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police for official investigation.

Following the Operations Watts report, the Victorian government committed to implementing all its 21 recommendations before a deadline of June 2024.

But the Victorian Greens on Tuesday introduced a new bill that would establish an already proposed parliamentary integrity commissioner and other anti-corruption reforms before the end of the year.

If passed, IBAC would be granted increased powers to investigate MPs and ministers, the influence of lobbyists curtailed and diaries of ministers and parliamentary secretaries made public.

Mr Andrews said the government would enact the Operation Watts reforms earlier than June 2024 if possible, but declined to say whether he supported making ministers' diaries public like other states.

"I consider a good many things but I don't necessarily spend every press conference going through all the different things that I'm considering," he told reporters.

"We've always sought to add to our frameworks."

The premier noted he had pledged to go beyond the 21 recommendations, establishing new minimum standards for all political parties to be eligible to receive public funding.

Meanwhile, the Andrews government has introduced new laws to parliament to give police more powers to investigate organised crime groups, confiscate assets and target cyber criminals.

Investigators could compel cryptocurrency platforms to hand over information about suspects and seize "digital wallets" as part of the legislation.

The government is also considering a Justice Party upper house motion that would permanently keep convicted murderers in jail if they refuse to share the location of their victim's remains.

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