The Mayor of a Melbourne council has admitted to branch stacking for the Labor Party at a corruption inquiry, revealing he spent at least $15,000 of his own money on other people's party memberships.

Rick Garotti is the Mayor of the Banyule City Council in Melbourne's north and.

IBAC is investigating the misuse of taxpayer funds for branch stacking in the Victorian branch of the ALP.

Mr Garotti told the inquiry he started branch stacking about five years ago by paying for other people's party memberships, but was aware it had been happening in the Labor Party since 2002.

"It's been a part of the culture for the Labor Party in my time as a member … I think it extends to all factions," he said.

He claimed current Legislative Council President Nazih Elasmar was part of a branch-stacking operation in Melbourne's north.

"My knowledge was he was in the High Street/Arabic/Darebin branch — it was a large branch in Cooper, the federal seat," he said.

"I assume he might have been covering the costs of some of those members in that branch."

The ABC has sought comment from Mr Elasmar about the allegations.

Former Victorian Aged Care minister Luke Donnellan to sit on the back bench after he was accused of branch stacking at the IBAC hearings last week.

When asked whether it was a culture or expectation within the moderate faction that senior members would "self fund" other people's party memberships, Mr Garotti said that was correct.

Mr Garotti also said there was a pattern of politicians employing factional allies and their families.

In 2018, in the Heidelberg branch of the Victorian ALP, which saw its membership balloon from 13 to 325 in a decade.

It raised concerns Victorian Labor may have been using a small African community to stack votes.

Mr Garotti said a significant majority of the members he recruited came from the Somali community and they were brought to branch meetings by Dr Hussein Haraco, who was the founder and secretary of the Somali Australian Council of Victoria and the president of the ALP's Heidelberg branch.

Mr Garotti admitted paying for other people's party memberships while he was the secretary of the Heidelberg branch, estimating he spent at least $15,000 of his own money.

"Three thousand dollars a year would be a fair amount to say I was contributing to the costs of other people's memberships," he said.

He told the inquiry Dr Haraco, who is scheduled to give evidence later this week, contributed "a couple of thousand dollars" to pay for other people's party memberships.

Mr Garotti, who said he looked up to former minister Adem Somyurek as a "mentor", denied he was running a branch-stacking operation across the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

"I wouldn't characterise it that way, no," he said.

"We were recruiting, so I was involved in recruiting in Heidelberg because I was the member of the executive so I was directly involved.

"In the case of other branches in the north, I was aware of it and I assisted and supported."