Disgraced Darling Range MP Barry Urban has resigned from the WA Parliament after a powerful committee recommended he be expelled for repeatedly lying about his past.
The Legislative Assembly’s Procedure and Privileges Committee made the rare recommendation in a report that examined the truth of statements Mr Urban made in the Parliament.
The report found Mr Urban lied to the public and Parliament for years about his police and military service and his education history.
Among his background details rubbished by the committee was Mr Urban’s claim he served as a war crimes investigator in Bosnia.
“The Legislative Assembly finds that the Member for Darling Range, in committing the contempts above, has committed a sustained and gross contempt of Parliament, and has abused the privilege of freedom of speech,” the report found.
“The Legislative Assembly expels the Member for Darling Range as a member of the Legislative Assembly, and declares the seat … vacant by reason of such expulsion,” the report continued.
The committee also recommended the Assembly revoke any and all privileges Mr Urban would otherwise have as a former member of parliament.
The Member for Darling Range announced his resignation less than an hour later, before he could be formally expelled.
Mr Urban quit the Labor Party six months ago after admitting a medal he had claimed he was awarded for overseas police service was actually bought online.
He also conceded lying about holding a diploma in local government, saying he had completed “nine out of 10” units of the degree.
Mr Urban apologised “unreservedly” to Premier Mark McGowan, the Parliament and his colleagues at the time, saying he was “seeking to substantiate” other aspects of his service and education history.
But his claim about finishing most of his diploma was later disputed by WA’s peak local government body, which said the MP had not actually completed any of the 10 modules in the course.
WA MP Barry Urban apologises ‘unreservedly’ to Parliament
Two universities Mr Urban claimed to have attended also later revealed they had no record of him — resulting in Mr McGowan referring the matters to the Procedure and Privileges Committee.
Mr McGowan apologised for the people of Darling Range for his part in the appointment of Mr Urban.
“I am sorry to the people of Darling Range that this has occurred,” Mr McGowan said during Question Time.
“This is very unfortunate and I do take my share of responsibility for what’s occurred.”
Mr Urban’s departure from Parliament will prompt another WA byelection in the coming months, following last week’s decision by federal Labor MP Tim Hammond to resign from the seat of Perth for family reasons.