Senin, 18 Agustus 2014

Suspended MP Geoff Shaw wanted to get married on taxpayer-funded overseas trip, Government says (ABC)

Suspended balance-of-power independent Geoff Shaw wanted to propose or get married while on a taxpayer-funded overseas trip, the Victorian Government has revealed.

Tourism Minister Louise Asher said Mr Shaw asked for permission to take a study trip to Europe in July, funded through his Frankston electorate office.

Ms Asher said Mr Shaw planned to propose to his girlfriend in Paris or get married in London.

The trip was not paid for out of Mr Shaw's electoral entitlements because he was suspended for three months for misusing his parliamentary car and fuel card and that punishment included a ban on taxpayer-funded overseas travel.

Labor used Question Time to ask Ms Asher about what advice she has given to MPs about taxpayer-funded travel.

Ms Asher told Parliament it would not have been appropriate for Mr Shaw to take a taxpayer-funded trip to get married or propose..

"The agent general subsequently advised the member for Frankston that it is very difficult for an Australian to get married in London," she said.

"It is no wonder, Speaker, that one of the terms of the motion that was before the house was to prohibit the member for Frankston from taking taxpayer-funded travel internationally when he was suspended."

Earlier this year Mr Shaw travelled to the United States on a taxpayer-funded study tour where he met with anti-abortion campaigners and spent time with the New York Police Department.

Under the terms of his suspension, Mr Shaw must sincerely apologise for his actions or face permanent expulsion.

He is due to return to Parliament on September 2.

Mr Shaw holds the balance of power in the Victorian Parliament and his suspension means numbers on the floor of the legislative assembly.

He declared earlier this year he no longer supported the Government.

No police investigation into privileges committee leak

Meanwhile, Victoria Police has decided not to investigate a series of leaks from Parliament's powerful Privileges Committee, which was investigating Mr Shaw's misuse of his parliamentary entitlements.

There were a number of leaks to the media about material provided to the committee, which is supposed to be highly secretive.

Both Mr Shaw and the Government wanted police to investigate.

Speaker Christine Fyffe told Parliament this afternoon the police would not examine the matter further.

"The Clerk has received a response from Victoria Police, advising that this matter has been assessed and any additional police investigation would be unlikely to advance the matter," she said.

In a report tabled in Parliament, the Privileges Committee found Mr Shaw had not wilfully misused his parliamentary car and fuel card.

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