Victoria’s Opposition says it has legal advice that clears the way for independent MP Geoff Shaw to be expelled from Parliament.
Labor plans to move a motion on Tuesday to expel Mr Shaw, who holds the balance of power in the Victorian Parliament, over the misuse of his taxpayer-funded car and fuel card.
The Opposition’s Scrutiny of Government spokesman, Martin Pakula, said a legal challenge to the motion, foreshadowed earlier in the week by Premier Denis Napthine, would not succeed.
The Opposition has warned the MP would continue to earn wages and entitlements if he was suspended rather than expelled from Parliament.
“The public would be justifiably horrified if they thought that Mr Shaw was effectively going to end up the winner out of all of this by sitting at home until November and collecting a cool $150,000,” Mr Pakula said.
“Our advice is that the grounds for appeal against an expulsion would be absolutely and utterly limited, that there is no real grounds for a decision of the Parliament to expel to be challenged,” he said.
“I don’t think that’s the expectations of Victorians, and it’s now incumbent more than ever on [Dr] Napthine to join with Labor and end this farce once and for all.”
The State Government indicated during the week that it was unlikely to support the motion.
Dr Napthine said he was concerned a motion to expel Mr Shaw would lead to a High Court challenge.
“We want to make sure it’s done absolutely correctly, so we don’t have a circus running off to the High Court with injunctions to avoid being held accountable for Mr Shaw’s actions,” he said.
Government frontbencher David Davis said the Coalition was still seeking legal advice about the matter.
“What we need is robust advice,” Mr Davis said.
“We’re obviously in an unusual situation but the fact is we need that advice to make sure that the steps that are taken are the right ones.”