Illustration: Matt Golding.
Victoria's major political parties face internal ructions over the way election candidates are vetted, with some members calling for a more rigorous process - including the introduction of mandatory police checks.
As the dust settles over the Coalition's suspension of Geoff Shaw - and Labor faces its own fallout after its Frankston candidate was forced to step down amid claims of bullying - both sides of politics are coming under growing pressure to tighten up their vetting systems in order to minimise future woes.
Liberal sources have told The Sunday Age there have been discussions within some branches about the need for mandatory police checks as part of the preselection process. ''It's something we should probably consider,'' said one insider.
At present, candidates are required to sign a detailed statutory declaration asking, among other things, if they have been involved in civil or criminal charges, but a formal police check is not conducted.
Labor, on the other hand, introduced police checks for its latest round of preselections, but the party's broader vetting processes came under question on Thursday when Frankston candidate Helen Constas pulled out of the race, throwing the ALP's campaign into disarray. Ms Constas was advised to stand down after reports that the former chief executive of the Peninsula Community Legal Centre reached a confidential court settlement with an employee who had accused her of bullying.
The revelation was a major blow for Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews, whose pitch to win back the marginal sandbelt seat was based partly on the slogan ''Frankston can do better than Geoff Shaw'' - a direct attack on the MP's parliamentary car misuse and character.
He said there would be ongoing talks with the ALP's head office about the need for greater rigour in future.
With only five months until the November 29 poll, Labor will now be required to reopen its preselection process yet again and hope it can make up lost ground in Frankston, which only requires a swing of 0.4 per cent to change hands.