Geoff Shaw, the member for Frankston in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, has been suspended until September 2, after the former Speaker, Ken Smith, voted to defeat a move by the Labor Opposition to have Shaw expelled.
Just before 8.30pm, an amendment to expel Shaw, moved by the Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews, was voted on and tied 42-42. It was defeated on the casting vote of the Speaker, Christine Fyffe, who accidentally voted in support before correcting herself.
Napthine’s original motion was then carried on the voices. The Speaker then named Geoff Shaw, as required by the motion, and the member for Frankston was suspended.
The support of Shaw’s arch-enemy, Ken Smith, has ensured that the government has some breathing space over the next few months. In the lead-up to today’s debate, Smith had said he would support the ALP’s move to expel Shaw.
Shaw has until September 2 to repay around $6000 for improper use of his parliamentary vehicle and fuel card. He is also required to apologise to the House. Failure to do so could result in his expulsion in September.
The outcome of the long-running saga almost certainly means that there will be no by-election in Frankston. Shaw’s absence from the Parliament means that the numbers do not exist for a successful no-confidence motion against the government. In the unlikely event of moves against the government in September or October, it is unlikely to affect the timing of the scheduled election on November 29.
Daniel Andrews immediately attacked the decision on Shaw, describing it as a “golden handshake” and “protection instead of punishment”.
The Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan, said the government had fulfilled its objectives of passing the Budget and dealing with Shaw. He called on Andrews to co-operate with the government in the running of the Parliament. He said the election would be held in 171 days and the government had a “full book” of legislation in the meantime.
Listen to the Debate
- Denis Napthine – Liberal-Premier (30m)
- Daniel Andrews – ALP-Opposition Leader (30m)
- Peter Ryan – Nationals-Deputy Premier (10m)
- James Merlino – ALP-Monbulk (10m)
- Lousie Asher – Liberal-Brighton (10m)
- Martin Pakula – ALP-Lyndhurst (10m)
- Peter Walsh – Nationals-Swan Hill (10m)
- Ann Barker – ALP-Oakleigh (10m)
- Robert Clark – Liberal-Box Hill (9m)
- Jacinta Allan – ALP-Bendigo East (10m)
- Michael O’Brien – Liberal-Malvern (10m)
- Danielle Green – ALP-Yan Yean (10m)
- Ken Smith – Liberal-Bass (6m)
- John Pandazopoulos – ALP-Dandenong (10m)
- David Morris – Liberal-Mornington (10m)
- Jill Hennessy – ALP-Altona (7m)
- Lily D’Ambrosio – ALP-Mill Park (incomplete – 7m)
- Listen the vote on the amendment and the motion (3m)
The Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews, held a press conference following Geoff Shaw’s suspension.
- Listen Andrews (5m)
The Deputy Premier, Nationals leader Peter Ryan, held a press conference following Shaw’s suspension.
- Listen to Ryan (11m)