Shaw wanted taxpayers to fund romantic getaway
Revelations that rogue MP Geoff Shaw wanted the taxpayer to foot the bill for a romantic trip in Europe.PT1M28S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3dykz 620 349 August 19, 2014
Suspended Victorian MP Geoff Shaw wanted taxpayers to fund a trip to Europe, where he hoped to marry his partner.
With less than two weeks before Mr Shaw is due to end his parliamentary suspension, senior Napthine minister Louise Asher has antagonised the Frankston MP by revealing private details to Parliament including his plans to travel to Paris to propose to his girlfriend and that he wanted to get married in London.
The taxpayer travel request was denied – under the terms of his suspension he is banned from parliamentary travel.
Geoff Shaw wanted to propose to his partner in Paris and get married in London. And he wanted taxpayers to foot the bill.
Ms Asher also took a swipe at the maverick MP, telling Parliament Mr Shaw needed no advice on how to manipulate travel rules.
Her comments have fuelled speculation the government is prepared to expel Mr Shaw.
Mr Shaw must give a "genuine apology" on September 2, as well as pay a fine, to return for the remaining three weeks of Parliament before the November state election.
Without the Frankston MP in the lower house, the government has had to rely on the Speaker’s casting vote for any legislation opposed by Labor. If Mr Shaw returns, he will regain the casting vote.
Responding to Labor questions about travel entitlement advice, Ms Asher said she had discussed travel entitlements with Mr Shaw but denied ever telling him to manipulate those rules.
News Corp reported allegations some MPs had submitted false travel declarations to Parliament to avoid tax, with Mr Shaw alleging a senior cabinet minister told him about the scam.
Ms Asher said Mr Shaw made an inquiry with the Agent-General in London about getting married in the British capital.
"The Agent-General subsequently advised the member for Frankston that it was very difficult for an Australian to get married in London," Ms Asher said.
"It is no wonder ... that one of the terms of the motion that was before the house was to, in fact, prohibit the member for Frankston from taking taxpayer-funded travel internationally while he was suspended.'’
Mr Shaw hit back at Ms Asher, saying it was amazing the lengths she was going to deflect from accusations of her own breach of guidelines.
“I made a recent trip to Europe which was entirely personally funded and, therefore, the contents of which will remain private,'' he said.