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Defiant Napthine Says He Won’t Be Held To Ransom By Shaw; Says It’s Now Up To Andrews

A defiant Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has held a 7pm press conference to say that he won’t be held to ransom by Geoff Shaw.


Napthine said the ball was now in Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews’s court. “He has said he will never accept the tainted vote of Mr. Shaw,” Napthine said. “We will continue to govern.”

Napthine acknowledged that he now had little choice but to wait and see if the Opposition will move a no-confidence motion when the Parliament meets next week.

  • Listen to Napthine and Ryan (21m)
  • Watch the press conference (17m)

During the press conference, which was also attended by the Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan, Napthine said today’s meeting between Andrews and the Governor, Alex Chernov, was a regular meeting which was scheduled two weeks ago. Later, the Governor’s office issued a statement confirming this. (See statement below)

Napthine said he met with Shaw today. He claimed Shaw demanded protection in the Parliament from further action – suspension or expulsion – arising from the recent report of the Privileges Committee into Shaw’s use of his government car.

Napthine said Shaw also repeated a previous demand for a “particular judicial appointment”. He said the demands were outrageous and the government would not be held to ransom by Shaw.

It would be an “extraordinary decision” to vote to block Supply, Napthine said. In fact, voting to defeat a government in the lower house is perfectly proper and appropriate. The debate over blocking Supply is contentious only when it applies to an upper house. In any event, amendments to the Victorian Constitution in 2003 stipulate that an early election can only take place if a motion of no-confidence in the government is carried.

The Constitution requires a 3-day notice period for a no-confidence motion. If carried, there is a further 8-day period in which the government can seek to win a confidence motion. After that, the House can be dissolved and an election held.

Statement issued by the office of the Governor of Victoria, Alex Chernov.

In response to enquiries, the Governor’s meeting today with the Leader of the Opposition Daniel Andrews was a routine call on the Governor and no more, arranged approximately two weeks ago.

As with all the Governor’s engagements the meeting is recorded in the Vice Regal Notes on the Governor’s web site. The Age and Herald Sun receive the Vice Regal Notes by email daily.

A long standing tradition in Victoria, based on the Westminster system, is for the Governor to receive calls from time to time from the Premier, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of other parties.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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