Vic Labor to stall legislation over Shaw


Victoria’s parliament is set for a showdown, with Labor insisting independent MP Geoff Shaw be dealt with before any legislation is examined.


Labor is calling for the balance of power MP to be expelled for contempt of parliament and wants the lower house to debate the issue as soon as parliament is recalled on Tuesday.

Shadow Treasurer Tim Pallas said it was the most important issue facing the house.

“When a member is the subject of a contempt consideration, that matter should be resolved as quickly as possible,” he told reporters on Sunday.

A parliamentary privileges committee last month found Mr Shaw breached the MP code of conduct by misusing his parliamentary car for his private hardware business.

The committee, which was dominated by government members, recommended Mr Shaw repay the money but face no further sanction.

Premier Denis Napthine has since fallen out with Mr Shaw, after the former Liberal MP declared he no longer had confidence in the government.

Dr Napthine responded by accusing Mr Shaw of making demands for a judicial appointment.

The government now says it is carefully considering legal advice about the parliament’s powers to expel an elected member.

Labor says it has obtained advice from constitutional expert George Williams saying the state parliament could do precisely that.

“There is no doubt that a properly structured resolution to either expel or suspend Mr Shaw can be put,” Mr Pallas said.

Mr Pallas said Mr Shaw had blackened the name of all politicians.

He said any other Victorian would expect to lose their job if they had been found to have misused a work credit card.

Treasurer Michael O’Brien last week said passing the budget was a “million times more important” than Mr Shaw.

Mr Pallas said Labor would pass the budget, and that it could be dealt with before the end of the sitting week.

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