Geoff Shaw Suspended By Victorian Parliament; Ken Smith Votes With Government To Defeat ALP Expulsion Move

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.

Napthine

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. [Read more…]


Denis Napthine Moves To Suspend Geoff Shaw Until September 2

The Victorian Premier, Denis Napthine, has given notice of a motion he intends to move tomorrow that would result in the suspension of Geoff Shaw until September 2.

Napthine

The motion seeks to have the Speaker “name” Shaw. It suspends him without pay for 11 sitting days. It requires Shaw to repay $6838.44 for improper use of his parliamentary vehicle and parliamentary entitlements. It instructs him to apologise to the Legislative Assembly and to the people of Victoria. [Read more…]


Victorian Speaker Ken Smith Resigns; Christine Fyffe Takes Over

The Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Ken Smith, has resigned and Liberal MP Christine Fyffe has been elected unopposed as the new Speaker.

Smith

Smith’s resignation came in a belligerent speech at the beginning of the new parliamentary year at 2pm today. Smith attacked Frankston MP Geoff Shaw, accusing him of “outrageous demands” and describing him as “unworthy” of being a member of parliament. [Read more…]


Napthine Says He Won’t Introduce Or Support Legislation To Restrict Abortions

The Victorian Premier, Denis Napthine, has released a video statement in which he says he will not introduce or support abortion legislation to restrict a woman’s right to choose.

The statement comes after today’s decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions to drop all criminal charges against Frankston MLA Geoff Shaw over alleged rorting of his travel entitlements.

The DPP’s decision ensures that the government will not face a risky by-election which would have ensued if Shaw had been convicted. The government has a one-seat majority in the Legislative Assembly and relies on Shaw’s vote. Elected as a Liberal, Shaw now sits as an independent after he resigned from the parliamentary party earlier this year and precipitated the resignation of former premier Ted Baillieu.

Shaw is engaged in a battle with the Assembly Speaker, Ken Smith, who last week protected the government’s position by expelling two Labor members and thereby guaranteeing the government’s survival until the new year. Smith’s survival as Speaker beyond January will be keenly watched in 2014.

There has been speculation that Shaw wants legislation to undo or restrict the decriminalisation of abortion that was passed on a conscience vote five years ago. At the time, Napthine opposed the legislation whilst Baillieu supported it.

With next year’s election now less than a year away, Napthine appears keen to take the abortion issue off the political agenda.

  • Watch Napthine’s video statement (1m)