Former bikie boss Dean Martin has been revealed to be the ex-boyfriend of Greens senator Lidia Thorpe, in a bombshell revelation that cost the politician a senior role within her party.
Mr Martin is the ex-president of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang, and has had a 25-year plus association with the group.
He is also the uncle to AFL star Dustin Martin.
Mr Martin stepped down as the boss of the Rebels Victorian chapter after his brother, Shane Martin, was deported to New Zealand as part of a government crackdown.
The undisclosed relationship led to Senator Thorpe standing down from her Greens leadership position on Thursday.
In a statement to the ABC, the Victorian senator confirmed she had “briefly dated” Mr Martin in 2021 and they remain friends.
At the time, she was also a member of the joint parliamentary law enforcement committee, which was receiving confidential briefings about bikie gangs and organised crime.
Speaking in Melbourne on Thursday, leader Adam Bandt said he asked for Senator Thorpe’s resignation from the party leadership.
“As a leader, I expect my senators and MPs, especially those in leadership positions, to exercise good judgment,” Mr Bandt told reporters.
“At a minimum, Senator Thorpe needed to disclose to me her connection to Mr Martin, and her failure to do so showed a significant lack of judgment.”
In a statement, Senator Thorpe said she accepted that she had “made mistakes and have not exercised good judgment”.
“I will now reflect on this and focus on my important portfolio work, especially advocating for First Nations people,” she said.
It comes amid reports two staffers alerted Mr Bandt’s office as to their concerns about the relationship, but they were not passed onto the Greens leader.
He said he was not made aware of the relationship until the media contacted him.
“I have a very good and competent chief of staff who makes many good decisions. This was not of them. I expect that I should have been told about this,” he told reporters.
“Ultimately, it was (Lidia Thorpe’s) issue that she needed to tell about. Having said all that, this was not a good decision from my staff to not tell me about this and I’ve counselled them.”
An independent agency, resourced by the Department of Finance, has been tasked to run a “cultural diagnostic” on Senator Thorpe’s office.
“I understand it is set to conclude in the near future,” Mr Bandt said.
Anthony Albanese said the revelations were “concerning” and Australians were entitled to believe that parliament would oversee the nation’s legal systems with integrity and keep any sensitive information confidential.
“I know Senator Thorpe has said that this is an error of judgement. That’s the least description that I would put to it,” the Prime Minister told reporters in Albany.