Controversial state MP Geoff Shaw says he risks being expelled from parliament as part of a campaign by his opponents and the media for “political gain and selling newspapers”.
Speaking exclusively to The New Daily ahead of an expected vote on his parliamentary future, the member for the Victorian seat of Frankston said all sides of politics and the media wanted him removed because they disliked the results of investigations into his use of a parliamentary car and fuel card in 2011.
“None are happy with the verdicts and all don’t like an independent voice that differs from theirs. This is why they want me out,” Mr Shaw said.
Labor has called for the balance-of-power MP to be expelled for contempt of parliament and wanted the lower house to debate the issue as soon as parliament was recalled on Tuesday.
The opposition obtained advice from constitutional expert George Williams which said the state parliament could expel an elected member. But he told The New Daily that he would run for re-election if he was expelled.
Mr Shaw accused the Liberal Party of “moral cowardice” on the subject of abortion laws, and said Labor was “morally corrupt” on the issue.
“I mentioned this in parliament and any government that does not change [abortion laws] are moral cowards. The Liberal party are and they don’t like being called that. Labor are morally corrupt and they don’t like that either. So let’s call [Geoff Shaw] rogue and suspend him and rid him for good.”
Last week, Mr Shaw triggered a political crisis in Victoria when he announced that he would support a motion of no-confidence in the government, which has held onto power with his vote.
Premier Denis Napthine responded by accusing Mr Shaw of making “ludicrous demands” of the government, including for a “particular” judicial appointment. He challenged the Labor opposition to accept Mr Shaw’s support in a vote of no confidence.
But in an interview for The New Daily conducted by close friend and former AFL footballer Jason Akermanis, Mr Shaw denied that he had sought to have a specific individual given a job, saying the discussion was about “quality of judicial appointments by the former government” and concerns about the court system overall “after what I went through last year”.
“Every member should be able to discuss with him what they want for Victoria and their electorate. The whole judiciary needs to be looked at. They need to get good judges and there’s a lot of inefficiency and waste in there,” he told The New Daily late on Monday night.
Mr Shaw also said there had been a media conspiracy against him, with talkback radio stations refusing to take calls from his supporters.
“Any speech that I make has to be backed by some type of fact. The media back theirs with gossip and slander and the ever present comments from Mr and Mrs Anonymous,” he said.
“Many people have told my office about ringing up talk back radio but when they find out the caller supports me they are not allowed on. Also with letters to the editor. Good news Geoff Shaw stories are drowned out by the media’s bias and agenda.”
Mr Shaw was last year charged by police with obtaining financial benefit by deception following the fuel card scandal, but all counts were dropped and the matter was referred to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee, which found that he had breached the code of conduct for MPs but that it was not “wilful”.