Andrew Macaulay knew nothing about Marcus Bastiaan’s alleged Vic Liberal Party branch stacking

Print & Visual Communications Association (PVCA) CEO Andrew Macaulay says he had no knowledge that former employee, Marcus Bastiaan, was allegedly also working as a Victorian Liberal Party hard-right branch stacking operative at the same time he was employed by the association.

Bastiaan resigned from the then Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA) in late 2018 in the wake of a racist text message scandal that he and another fellow PIAA employee, Paul Mitchell, were implicated in as part of their work for the Victorian Liberal Party.

PVCA CEO Andrew Macaulay

At the time the story was covered indepth by Sprinter and you can catch up on it here.

Now, Bastiaan has again been embroiled in another scandal which allegedly occurred within the same time period.

This time the allegations are that he operated from 2016 to 2018 – a period that coincided with his employment at the PIAA – as a branch stacking operative within the hard-right ultra-conservative faction of the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party of Australia.

The allegations were aired last Sunday during the 60 Minutes programme on the Nine Network and Bastiaan has since resigned from the Victorian Liberal Party.

Macaulay told Sprinter that during Bastiaan’s nine months with the association in 2018, he was employed as the national business development manager and was responsible for managing the association’s property portfolio and leasing arrangements.

He also confirmed that he personally had no knowledge of Bastiaan’s alleged branch stacking activities.

“We know nothing about it. He was employed by us to run some aspects of our commercial operations which he did very well. I can’t speak to the allegations at all,” Macaulay said.

“I cannot comment about it really because I didn’t know anything about it at the time, nor do I know anything about it now other than what we are all reading in the newspapers.

“It sounds like a squabble between a whole bunch of factions in Victoria’s Liberal Party to me. It’s got nothing to do with us.”

Macaulay said Bastiaan got the job with the PIAA by responding to an advertisement, as any other person would.

“He had performance metrics that he had to work to and the first we were aware of it (the text message scandal) was when he left us,” Macaulay said.

“It’s got nothing to do with the PIAA and these allegations have no relevance to what he did for us.”

The report on 60 Minutes alleged that Bastiaan told taxpayer-funded electorate officers in the office of MP Kevin Andrews to recruit party members to boost factional numbers.

It was also alleged that Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar benefited from the plot, although it did not claim that he himself was actively involved in stacking Liberal branches.

In resigning from the Victorian Liberal Party, Bastiaan made the following statement, as reported by the ABC:

“I reject allegations of branch stacking. As the voluntary chair of the Party’s Membership and Training Committee between 2015 and 2018 my role was to recruit and train new members.

“Two years ago, I stepped down from the Party’s Administrative Committee to focus on my family and business. These priorities have not changed.

“Clearly, I have said foolish and stupid things in my twenties. I apologise without reservation to those I have offended, and hope I’ll be wiser and kinder in my thirties.

“The ongoing leaking of years old historic material is an unnecessary distraction for the Liberal Party and it is with that in mind that I have resigned.”

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7 thoughts on “Andrew Macaulay knew nothing about Marcus Bastiaan’s alleged Vic Liberal Party branch stacking

  1. Oh. Of course. No worries Maca. You had no idea, nothing to do with your own political aspirations putting these two on in the first place.
    How stupid do you think the rest of the world is??

    If you think you can say you knew nothing, or that this whole thing doesn’t stink, clearly you reckon our industry are a bunch of muppets.

  2. Who was paying his salary while he was branch stacking? That would be PVCA.
    As a leader you are accountable for everyone you employ. True leaders take ownership of mistakes and never shift blame.

  3. So let’s get this straight. Andrew Macaulay, as is well-known, is a Liberal Party Member and keen on a political future for himself. He hires not one but two liberal party characters to do full-time work at PVCA while they’ve got plenty of time to still work on liberal party activities. Must be night owls these Mitchell and Bastiaan blokes. Jobs that were apparently ‘advertised’ (I’d love to see where those job ads are). Then both, despite dragging the Printing Industry into disrepute for homophobic and racist texts, and now this with alleged fraud, did a ‘great job’ and Andrew Macaulay wasn’t aware or has any comment on anything other than their job performance. Right, hmmm seems legit…not. But let’s dig a but deeper, Macaulay hired someone to manage the ‘property portfolio and leasing arrangements’ of what? PVCA? Two buildings. one in Melbourne and one in Perth as well as negotiate a lease from Chatswood to Macquarie Street? If PVCA need to employ somebody to do that and pay good member money to do so – I’d have to question what Andrew Macaulay’s role actually is and why did it take this Bastiaan fellow nine months to do three things? Trade unions put ALP players on their payroll and industry associations have been known to do it for the Liberal Party – all unethically – this was certainly the statement made in a recent media article about PVCA that is doing the rounds, again dragging our industry into the gutter. While the Real mEdia mob are talking up print and taking on Coles, Macaulay is dragging us down. This has to be called for what it is – misuse of member monies and Macaulay and whomever the president was overseeing these appointments from the Board should both step down and leave our industry alone.

  4. It is disappointing that PIAA was being used as a sheltered workshop for Liberal Party activists so disgraced they couldn’t get government or party jobs (Google “Mitchell + milk + Liberal” to see what he was up to before PIAA hired him).

    It is also true these two were not the only unemployable Liberals PIAA employed.

    The serious question now is do we have any more on the books? Are we still paying wages to any Liberal Party members so they can stack branches or work on their preselections?

  5. In response to On Point, I reckon you have nailed it. Whilst Mitchell’s position was put out to a recruiter, Bastion was Mitchell’s Liberal Party mate and employed after Mitchell. Can we please see the ad for Bastion’s job, as posted by whom and at the time?
    Macaulay says Bastion was employed for 9 months to manage the PVCA’s assets and did a good job. This job was previously done by the CFO, alongside multiple other duties. How could it take anyone competent full-time to manage 4 buildings owned during Bastion’s time (QLD + VIC – occupied; WA + SA – for sale/lease); plus Chatswood (leased).
    What did Bastion really do with his time? Worst kept secret in Victoria – both Bastion and his Liberal mate, fellow PVCA employee Paul Mitchell spent most of their PVCA work-time on their personal mobiles, faction-busting with other Liberal party operatives.
    The CEO didn’t know? For PVCA members who pay Macaulay’s lofty salary, Macaulay not knowing about staff working on Liberal party activities is one thing. The real rub is what job did Macaulay think that Bastion and Mitchell were doing on the tab of PVCA members and why didn’t Macaulay hold Mitchell and Bastion accountable for what they weren’t delivering?
    Either Macaulay is negligent, or at best, careless with the truth.

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