Victoria’s Corrections Minister Steve Herbert has apologised after he was caught using taxpayer money to chauffeur his dogs around.
Mr Herbert used his driver to ferry his two dogs between his home in Melbourne’s south-east, and his country house in Trentham, north of the city, more than 100km away.
“The Minister has apologised for the use of the ministerial car and has acknowledged it doesn’t meet community expectations,” a spokesman from Mr Herbert’s office said.
The spokesman said no complaint had been made.
The Herald Sun has reported that the chauffeur would take the dogs from Parkdale to Trentham, before returning to the city to pick up Mr Herbert and drive him home.
It also calculated Mr Herbert’s annual salary package to be worth around $320,000.
Victoria’s Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has called on Premier Daniel Andrews to sack the Minister.
“By this Minister’s own admission … he has been using his taxpayer-funded vehicle inappropriately,” Mr Guy said.
“Daniel Andrews needs to show him the door.
“I think Melburnians who are stuck in gridlock or trying to get onto a packed public transport system will be furious to hear of a state minister using a chauffeur-driven limousine to ferry his pets around town.”
Mr Andrews said he had not spoken to Mr Herbert, but the Minister would not be sacked.
“He’s made it very clear that what he did was inappropriate, he’s apologised for that,” Mr Andrews told 774 ABC Melbourne.
“He’s indicated that that won’t be happening again.
“It doesn’t pass the common sense test, the pub test if you like. It’s not the right thing to do and it won’t be happening again.”