A Victorian politician who admitted addiction issues after making headlines for kicking down a Canberra hotel door won’t say if he has dealt with drug dealers.
Labor lower house MP Will Fowles was flanked by colleagues as he returned to state parliament on Tuesday after nearly three months off work.
The opposition has been pressing for Mr Fowles to reveal what, if any, illicit drugs he has taken during his short time as the Member for Burwood, saying any politician taking drugs could be blackmailed.
When asked “have you ever been compromised by having dealings with drug dealers?”, Mr Fowles did not give a direct answer.
“I’m not going to get into the details of those things that have happened in the past. My focus, on the advice of my health professionals, is on the future and it has to be on the future,” he responded.
When asked if he was confident no one would come forward with a story they had supplied drugs to the rookie MP or any of his friends, Mr Fowles said he is “not going to be dealing with hypotheticals”.
Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien said Mr Fowles should come clean on what drugs he has taken while an elected parliamentarian.
“They’re illicit drugs for a reason – they interfere with you, with your ability to do your job, they’re not safe,” he told reporters.
“We certainly don’t want to have members of parliament coming into contact with drug dealers, because it just compromises their roles.”
But Premier Daniel Andrews said Mr O’Brien’s comments were the “low road”.
“(Mr Fowles) has been up front, he has done the wrong thing, he has apologised for that, he has got himself in for treatment, he’s getting himself right, that’s the important thing,” Mr Andrews told reporters.
The 41-year-old sensationally kicked through the lower half of a door at the Abode Hotel in Canberra in July to get his luggage and immediately took a leave of absence to deal with addiction and other mental health issues.
He again apologised to colleagues and his family on Tuesday for his actions, but said he would not be making an apology to parliament when it resumed later in the day.
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