Cheeseman quits after more allegations

Darren Cheeseman


A Victorian government MP has been forced out of Labor’s parliamentary party after another staff member came forward with allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Premier Jacinta Allan demoted South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman as the parliamentary secretary for schools on Friday over allegations of persistent and inappropriate behaviour in the workplace towards staff.

After defending her decision to keep him in the Labor party room, Ms Allan said she received further allegations on Monday afternoon of persistent and inappropriate behaviour by Mr Cheeseman towards another member of staff.

“After enquiries by my office, and in consultation with my colleagues, tonight I asked the member for South Barwon to resign as a member of the parliamentary Labor Party – and he has done so,” she said in a statement on Monday night.

“Following these new allegations it is now clear to me that there is no place for the member for South Barwon in my government.

“The wellbeing of staff and their right to a respectful workplace is not negotiable.”

Mr Cheeseman was the member for the federal electorate of Corangamite from 2007 to 2013 and moved into state politics in 2018 after his election to the Geelong-based seat.

He previously served as the parliamentary secretary for community sport and the doomed 2026 Commonwealth Games before being handed the education role in October.

Mr Cheeseman’s dismissal from the Labor caucus will lead to him sitting on the crossbench in the lower house with Ringwood MP Will Fowles, who was also forced to resign from Labor’s parliamentary party in August over the alleged assault of a ministerial staffer.

Mr Fowles has maintained his innocence.

Former premier Daniel Andrews referred the allegation to Victoria Police, with the investigation concluding in January and no charges laid.