Lidia Thorpe has been dumped as the Greens deputy Senate leader after failing to disclose she was dating an ex-bike boss while serving on a parliamentary law enforcement committee.
Thorpe has confirmed she briefly dated former Rebel president Dean Martin when she received confidential briefings about organised crime and bikie gangs.
It has been reported that concerned staff members who knew about the relationship warned Thorpe that she was at “extreme risk of being extorted”.
Greens leader Adam Bandt says Thorpe never disclosed the relationship to him.
Bandt said the controversial senator would be removed from the party’s leadership team, but he was satisfied she had not leaked any confidential information.
“Of course I will consider further action if those facts change, but that is what I have been told at the moment,” he said.
Thorpe will remain as the Greens’ spokeswoman for Indigenous issues.
Some, though, have argued the disciplinary measures have not gone far enough.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who described the situation as “concerning”, demanded Bandt reveal what, if anything, he knew about the senator’s relationship.
“I note that Senator Thorpe has said that this is an error of judgement. That is the least description that I would put to it,” he said.
“Adam Bandt has to explain what his office knew.”
The Australian reported that Dean Martin, the uncle of Richmond AFL star Dustin Martin, had no criminal convictions but had a 25-year association with the Rebels. He stepped down as Victorian chapter president in 2018.
Thorpe put out a statement this afternoon admitting,
“I have made mistakes and have not exercised good judgement”.
“I will now reflect on this and focus on my important portfolio work, especially advocating for First Nations people,” she said.