Daniel Andrews wants Napthine meet
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews won't make a decision on a no confidence motion until he meets with Premier Denis Napthine. Nine News.PT2M54S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-39hrn 620 349 June 4, 2014
A defiant Premier Denis Napthine says he will not be ‘‘held to ransom’’ by rogue MP Geoff Shaw, and has called on Labor to bring on its no-confidence motion or resolve the state’s political crisis.
Balance-of-power MP Mr Shaw declared on Tuesday that he no longer trusted the Coalition and would support a no-confidence motion against the Premier.
Denis Napthine at his Tuesday night press conference. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
In a dramatic news conference on Tuesday night, Dr Napthine said his government would continue to govern for Victorians, and put the heat on Labor, saying it was up to the ALP to resolve the issue.
‘‘Let me assure you and let me assure all Victorians, I as Premier, and this government, will not be held to ransom by Mr Shaw,’’ Dr Napthine said.
Mr Shaw earlier dropped a bombshell, accusing the Coalition of encouraging former Speaker Ken Smith to vote with Labor to find him guilty of contempt of Parliament.
Geoff Shaw. Photo: Angela Wylie
‘‘I don’t trust them any more and I will support a no-confidence motion in the Premier and in the government,’’ he said.
Labor is demanding Dr Napthine join him to met Governor Alex Chernov to find a solution to the constitutional crisis gripping Victoria but did not rule out a vote of no confidence.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said he was “not prepared to canvass those issues” on confidence until there had been an opportunity to seek Mr Chernov’s advice with the Premier.
Napthine government in crisis.
Mr Andrews has proposed to meet Dr Napthine on Wednesday morning where he will guarantee the passage of the budget. He also wants to met the Governor and Premier to sort out a solution.
Mr Andrews had not spoken to Dr Napthine on Wednesday night.
The Labor leader repeatedly said there was “a constitutional crisis” following Mr Shaw’s comments.
Mr Andrews said he would refer to IBAC the Premier’s revelations that Mr Shaw had unsuccessfully lobbied for a judicial appointment.
“Each and every day it has become more and more clear to Victorians that this is not the government they voted for three and half years ago,’’ Mr Andrews said. “It is chaotic, it’s a shambles, it is dysfunctional.’’
Mr Andrews called on the government to bring on next week the Labor Party's motion of contempt against Mr Shaw, which Mr Smith insists he will cross the floor to pass.
After months of restraint, the Premier slammed Mr Shaw, calling him a ‘‘rogue MP’’ who made ‘‘ludicrous demands’’.
‘‘We will not be held to ransom by the member for Frankston. We will not be held to ransom by his extraordinary demands,’’ he said.
Mr Shaw’s demands included that the Premier provide an ‘‘absolute assurance’’ that the Parliament would not sanction him further in relation to the misue of his taxpayer-funded car.
The Premier said Mr Shaw had made other demands, including that he make a particular judicial appointment.
‘‘That is outrageous, that’s extreme, that’s ludicrous, that’s not tolerated by me as Premier,’’ Dr Napthine said.
But he said he had not referred the matter to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.
‘‘We will continue to govern in the best interests of Victoria. We will continue to pursue our budget in the Parliament,’’ he said.’’
The Premier’s comments put Labor in a tricky situation as it has previously vowed to never do a deal with the Frankston MP.
‘‘It is now up to Mr Andrews as to whether he wishes to do a deal with the rogue MP from Frankston,’’ Dr Napthine said.
‘‘The ball is fairly and squarely in the court of Mr Andrews and the Labor Party.’’
He said that if he could have called an election six or 12 months ago, he would have been ‘‘very tempted’’.
A successful no-confidence motion in the lower house could bring down the government, potentially allowing Mr Andrews to form an interim government.
Three days’ notice must be given for a no-confidence motion, with an eight-day cooling-off period in which the assembly is invited to pass a confidence motion in the government.
Earlier, Mr Andrews was summoned to Government House to meet state Governor Alex Chernov for a discussion on the state of the Parliament.
It is understood the mechanics of the Parliament, in the event of Mr Shaw being suspended or expelled, was a focus given it would leave votes deadlocked at 43-43, forcing the independent Speaker to vote on any contentious legislation.
Labor said it was surprised by Mr Shaw’s announcement.
Mr Shaw told radio station 774 ABC: ‘‘It has become abundantly clear to me that over recent times the government has encouraged the former Speaker to actively consider crossing the floor and voting with Labor, in any move that can be made to expel me from Parliament.
‘‘I’ve sought assurances from the Premier that this not be allowed to happen, so I can serve out my term for the people of Frankston,’’ he said.
‘‘This assurance hasn’t been given and, really, I don’t trust them any more and I will support a no-confidence motion in the Premier and in the government.’’
If a confidence motion is not put forward within the eight-day period, Mr Chernov would have to dissolve Parliament, causing an early election.
Experts say the rules have not been tested, with a new leader also allowed to be put forward, including Mr Andrews or any other lower house MP.
Mr Shaw said he regarded Dr Napthine highly but the Coalition could not guarantee the Frankston MP seeing out his term in the Parliament.
Mr Shaw said three different inquiries into him had reached different conclusions.
He said he understood the consequences of a no-confidence motion and that ‘‘Life goes on".
Mr Shaw, who quit the Liberal Party last year, leading to the resignation of then premier Ted Baillieu, said he supported the budget.
He slammed both sides of Parliament for trying to ‘‘muzzle’’ him for over three years, labeling Labor ‘‘union thugs’’ and the government ‘‘business spokespeople’’.
‘‘I’ve had a continuation of three years of harassment from both sides, plus [the] media,’’ he said.
He said it was clear that the government could not control its own side, but he also gave Mr Smith a back-handed compliment by saying it was good to hear another ‘‘independent’’ voice in Parliament.
He said he aimed to serve out his term and run at the election, but both sides wanted him out and did not want to discuss abortion reform.
Mr Smith said he had no intention of backing down, and would still vote with Labor to find Mr Shaw in contempt of Parliament for misusing his taxpayer-funded car.
‘‘I will not be changing my mind,’’ he said.