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Live: Victoria on the edge - Napthine, Andrews to address media

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Good morning and welcome to our rolling coverage of the political crisis unfolding in Victoria. Stand by for a press conference by Daniel Andrews at 9.45am, followed by a Denis Napthine press conference scheduled for 10.15am.

To wrap up our live coverage of Victoria's political crisis, in summary:


Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews has shied away from triggering the immediate downfall of the Napthine government by pushing to have rogue MP Geoff Shaw expelled from Parliament.


In response, the Premier said he would not be held to ransom by Mr Shaw, while Mr Andrews said he would not do any deals with the independent MP. FULL STORY

Premier Denis Napthine says he will not concede to Shaw's demands.
Premier Denis Napthine says he will not concede to Shaw's demands. 

Here's the "official" tweets now from Premier Denis Napthine and Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews from this morning's fallout... 

We're now waiting to hear from Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews' office about what they plan to do next, in response to the Premier's earlier statements. After Mr Andrews pledged to move to expel Geoff Shaw from Parliament, Dr Napthine responded by saying, in a nutshell, let's not rush into things... 

Opposition leader Daniel Andrews after a media conference at Parliament House on Wednesday.
Opposition leader Daniel Andrews after a media conference at Parliament House on Wednesday. Photo: Joe Armao

Here's the video of Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews from earlier where he revealed he would move to expel  rogue MP Geoff Shaw from parliament... 

The Premier is certainly having a challenging day - here's the scene at his next stop of the day, in Bendigo, after his Wedderburn press conference, where he has been greeted by protesting nurses, firefighters and community service workers...

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Some responses to this morning's events from Twitter...

Here's a full transcript of the Premier's press conference out of Wedderburn, near Bendigo this morning: CLICK HERE

More now from Labor leader Bill Shorten's press conference, where he attempted to relate the Victorian crisis to national issues, saying: "Australians are fundamentally angry at Tony Abbott lying before the election, saying and doing anything to get elected and once he's in there, pretending to people where's the problem? Where 's the problem? It's Tony Abbott, and Denis Napthine knows that too ... No Liberal Premier wants a by-election at the moment, because if there's one person other than Geoff Shaw that Denis Napthine's unhappy with, it's Tony Abbott."

Labor leader Bill Shorten: "No Liberal premier wants a by-election at the moment".
Labor leader Bill Shorten: "No Liberal premier wants a by-election at the moment". Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

To recap: Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews this morning promised he would move to have rogue MP Geoff Shaw expelled from Parliament. He said it was an "appropriate penalty" for Shaw's behaviour. It is a strategy our state political editor, Josh Gordon, has described as a “clever strategic move.” Premier Denis Napthine responded by saying he would seek legal advice but also promised he wanted to see Geoff Shaw punished, but did not specify what that might entail.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews: a clever strategic move.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews: a clever strategic move. Photo: Joe Armao

ABC election analyst Antony Green wrote this explainer last night, summarising that "to date Mr Andrews and the Labor Party seem uncertain they have the ammunition to blast Dr Napthine out of government"

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Dr Napthine has also said he will not allow Geoff Shaw to introduce abortion reforms, Richard Willingham reports. Dr Napthine also described Mr Shaw's demands for a judicial appointment as "ludicrous". He said: "I'm saying to the Labor party that their track record in recent times, has been a track record on a misunderstanding of the constitution, misunderstanding of the Governor’s role based on wanting to be a wrecker, rather than a builder.” He added: "What they are seeking to do is score cheap political points.''

Meanwhile, the Premier continues to work hard to project a facade of business-as-usual.

Summarising the Premier’s press conference, Richard Willingham reports Dr Napthine said the government did not want to rush into something that could be challenged in court so it was seeking legal advice.


* He would not answer questions on a possible byelection if Mr Shaw was expelled. “We don’t want to rush into something that may potentially go to the high court and Geoff Shaw walk away without paying account for his actions.”


* He also said he was not meeting with Mr Andrews because it was inappropriate to involve Governor Alex Chernov in the political matter. “The governor must be, in the Westminister system, independent and above day to day politics,’’ Dr Napthine said.


* Using language similar to former Prime Minister Julia Gillard to describe Tony Abbott, he described Mr Andrews as “a wrecker”. 

To summarise this morning’s developments, Richard Willingham reports that rogue MP Geoff Shaw will be punished but it must be done appropriately and to ensure that it cannot be challenged in court, Premier Denis Napthine has declared.


Speaking in Wedderburn College in Central Victoria the Premier vowed to punish Mr Shaw and was much stronger in his language against Mr Shaw and ensuring he was held to account. “Geoff Shaw has done the wrong thing,’’ Dr Napthine said. “Geoff Shaw must be held fully accountable for his wrongful actions, he must be made to pay the price and will ensure he pays the price.’’

To recap how we got into this parliamentary crisis:


* In November Geoff Shaw declares he has no confidence in Speaker Ken Smith. It follows tensions between the two MPs, which are thought to stem from Smith's decision to refer Shaw to the lower house's secretive privileges committee over the misuse of his taxpayer-funded car.


* In May, The secretive privileges committee hands down its final report into Shaw's misuse of his parliamentary car. Labor says it will seek to move a motion to find Shaw in contempt of parliament. 


* Yesterday Geoff Shaw declared he will support a no-confidence motion against the Premier and government. Premier reveals that Shaw has ridiculous demands, and he will no longer be "held to ransom" by the rogue MP.


* This morning Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews has said he will move to have Geoff Shaw expelled from parliament next week, which may result in a byelection in the seat of Frankston.

A spokesman for Geoff Shaw has just said the balance-of-power MP would release a statement today. 

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The Premier's media team is working hard to keep up the impression of a Government continuing to govern...

What happens now?

  • Former speaker Ken Smith has previously said he would vote with Labor on a proposal to find Mr Shaw in contempt of parliament. If that were to happen Shaw could be expelled from parliament as one of the possible penalties
  • If Geoff Shaw is expelled from parliament that could trigger a byelection in his seat of Frankston. Daniel Andrews says that could be held as soon as the 12th or 19th of July.
  • Shaw, meanwhile, has pledged to vote with Labor on a vote of no confidence in Denis Napthine's government. However that would require Mr Shaw's vote alongside Labor. Mr Andrews says Mr Shaw would be expelled from Parliament and would therefore be unable to vote on such a proposal.

The conclusion of today so far, says Ben Preiss - if Geoff Shaw is expelled from parliament, as Daniel Andrews today said he would call for, Mr Shaw won't be able to vote with Labor on a motion of no confidence in the government.

Cartoonist Matt Golding's view...
Cartoonist Matt Golding's view... 

The Premier is now leaving the press conference at Wedderburn College.

To summarise the Premier’s press conference: Richard Willingham reports Mr Napthine says he will not rush any action against Geoff  Shaw to ensure the right penalty, which cannot be challenged, is imposed on the Frankston MP.  "We believe he should be punished and punished appropriately". He says discussion of a by-election was hypothetical. He also says it was inappropriate for Daniel Andrews to try to involve the governor to solve the impasse. Echoing language used by former prime minister Julia Gillard to describe Tony Abbott Dr Napthine labelled Mr Andrews "a wrecker".

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