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Victoria

Victorian Parliament: September 4, 2014

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LIVE: Geoff Shaw's groundhog day

LIVE: if it feels like we've been here before, there have been some important changes as State Parliament debates whether or not to expel rogue Frankston MP Geoff Shaw.

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And that is that. Richard Willingham sums up: Shaw survives another push to kill his parliamentary career, voters will now get their say on November 29. He left the chamber after the vote, as did most other MPs, as debate on legislation resumes. No doubt the government will accuse Labor of a protection racket and the Opposition will say it is focused on real issues. Just another day on Spring Street. Now just 86 days to go before the election.

The doors have been locked...

Geoff Shaw has voted against the expulsion motion. The motion is lost 42-43 as expected.

Geoff Shaw has returned to the chamber to vote on the motion...

The bells are ringing, Shaw returns. We will have a result shortly. Six government frotnbenchers spoke to expel, Andrews gave a short statement from Labor on not to expel.

Just to refresh your memory - this is the day Geoff Shaw resigned from the Liberal Party in 2012...

Geoff Shaw leaves parliament house after quitting the Liberal party.

Geoff Shaw leaves parliament house after quitting the Liberal party.

Lining up government MPs to speak on the motion "plays into Labor's hands", says Richard Willingham - it perpetuates the idea that the government wants to talk about Shaw rather than "real" issues.

Attorney General Robert Clark talks about Labor's involvement in the Age dictaphone scandal, saying it showed the party had poor standards. He asks why ALP Assistant State Secretary  Kosmos Samaras wasn't sacked by Daniel Andrews.

Phew... the end is in sight. Two more Liberals are expected to speak and then we'll have the vote. 

Here's the video of Daniel Andrews and Labor's walkout...

Andrews: Shaw matter was settled in June (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Andrews: Shaw matter was settled in June

Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews says the Labor Party will have "no involvement" in the expulsion of Frankston MP Geoff Shaw.

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Robert Clark is now speaking. "Should the Member for Frankston be expelled? The short answer is yes." Reiterates that Geoff Shaw's apology yesterday was not sincere.

Senior government minister Louise Asher winds up her contribution by saying Labor's backflip on Mr Shaw goes to the core of the ALP. "They cannot be trusted."

Louise Asher: "Labor now understand when you make a deal with Shaw there is no end to the chaos. It's like an insatiable beast."

Geoff Shaw has had enough and walked out of the chamber, reports Henrietta Cook.

Josh Gordon: In an ominous sign, several Coalition MPs left the chamber during the debate - including former premier Ted Baillieu. Baillieu, Ryan Smith and Cindy Mcleish all had to be retrieved by Liberal Leader of the House Louise Asher. 

Back in the chamber, MP Louise Asher is speaking on the expulsion motion... 

Labor's walkout will not have an affect on the vote to expel Geoff Shaw. They will return to vote against the motion. 

Henrietta Cook: Labor's carefully staged walk-out is no doubt designed to create the impression that the Opposition don't want to waste any more time talking about Mr Shaw. They are having a meeting and are set to return to the chamber to vote on Mr Shaw's future.

Josh Gordon: Having previously claimed that "Victoria deserves better than Geoff Shaw", Andrews has argued that  Shaw met the terms of the June motion, which demanded he pay almost $7000, serve an 11 sitting-day suspension and genuinely apologise. In a perfunctory address to parliament, Andrews criticises the government over TAFEs, hospitals and schools, and says Labor wants nothing more to do with it, And with that, the entire Labor side of the chamber marched out. Don't expect Shaw to address the chamber now. He says he doesn't want to waste any more time.

Napthine has finished. Andrews begins telling the parliament that yesterday he was in Morwell talking to locals while the Premier was moving a motion to expel Shaw and to "keep the circus going." Andrews says Shaw has fulfilled his punishment, which Napthine himself imposed. "This matter was settled in June,'' Andrews says. Coalition MPs laugh, Speaker warns them to be silent.

The Premier has not raised anything new, he moves to his conclusion, writes Richard Willingham: "The facts are clear to all Victorians, the Member for Frankston misused his taxpayer funded car and fuel card." He repeats the original suspension motion. "This house needs to judge the member for Frankston accordingly. He has failed to provide a genuine apology.''

State Political Editor Josh Gordon recaps the morning so far: Napthine has been laying the groundwork in Parliament for his motion to expel Shaw. He has done this by firstly highlighting the findings of an Ombudsmans' report, which subsequently lead to a report by Parliament's Privileges Committee.

  • That report concluded Shaw had misused his vehicle and fuel card and should repay almsot $7000. But it said it could not establish that Shaw's misuse of his vehicle had been "willful". The premier has also attacked Labor for being inconsistent, having firstly demanded Shaw's expulsion motion in June, and then this week promised to oppose the government's expulsion motion.
  • Napthine says there is no doubt there is a pattern of behaviour, claiming his comments outside the parliament "raise serious doubts" about the sincerely of his apology. "The apology certain wasn't genuine, it wasn't fair dinkum and it wasn't appropriate."

Henrietta Cook: Napthine talks about the Herald Sun article that he says proves Mr Shaw was not genuinely sorry. "But I don't read it," Shaw interjects.

Richard Willingham: Napthine now quotes newspaper articles quoting Shaw saying he failed to repudiate claims that he was insincere. Shaw begins to yap quietly at the Premier. "The apology was clearly not appropriate.'' The right thing to do Dr Napthine says, is for Shaw to be expelled. "He is in contempt of the people of Victoria. He should be expelled."

Shaw expulsion 'not a step taken lightly' (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Shaw expulsion 'not a step taken lightly'

Introducing the motion for Geoff Shaw's expulsion to Parliament, Premier Denis Napthine says the last person to be expelled from the House was 113 years ago.

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Napthine says the expulsion motion is not something he is doing lightly but says it follows "proper processes". 

Former Premier Jeff Kennett has clearly had enough... 

Richard Willingham: Napthine says MPs took Shaw's apology at face value as sincere "but his apology was not genuine, it was a farce. It certainly was not appropriate. The member for Frankston failed the critical test. He was not genuine he was not fair dinkum. It was a farcical situation.”

Richard Willingham: Napthine says Shaw had to be "genuine and sincere" in his apology. The Premier then turns the focus onto Labor, quoting Andrews from June when he called for an expulsion of Shaw. Of course, the tables have now turned. "There is no place for the Member for Frankston in the Parliament,'' Napthine quotes Andrews from June.

Richard Willingham: "It was made very clear in that motion that the member for Frankston was given an appropriate penalty,'' Napthine says. The Premier draws attention to a specific to the motion that says Shaw has to apologise "appropriately". "It is very clear that a proper process has been gone through,'' Napthine says.

Geoff Shaw in Parliament this morning...

Geoff Shaw in Parliament this morning... Photo: Jason South

Henrietta Cook: Geoff Shaw is slumped in his seat and looking rather bored. His phone is out and he appears to be texting.

Richard Willingham: So far very dry from the Premier. He is outlining the findings of the privileges committee which found that Shaw had acted "inappropriately".

Premier Denis Napthine begins recounting Mr Shaw's long and controversial political career. He's discussing the privileges committee inquiry into Mr Shaw's misuse of his taxpayer-funded car. 

As Dennis Napthine begins reading his motion to expel Shaw, the member for Frankston "is looking bemused", writes Henrietta Cook.

The Premier is now moving the motion to expel Geoff Shaw...

Well, there is that...

More Josh Gordon analysis: "Labor has probably made the right call, albeit for all the wrong reasons."

Josh Gordon also says in his preview of today's events that the grounds for expelling Shaw are problematic. "Geoff Shaw is a difficult character but the idea that he should be expelled because of something he said to a newspaper outside of the Parliament is problematic, even alarming."

MP Geoff Shaw sitting alone in Parliament yesterday after his return from suspension.

MP Geoff Shaw sitting alone in Parliament yesterday after his return from suspension.

Why will Labor block the motion to expel Geoff Shaw? State political editor Josh Gordon says it is probably as simple an equation as: Geoff Shaw = chaos. "As long as there is chaos in the parliament, it damages the government more than the opposition."

In other (slightly bizarre) news from Spring Street, singer Gotye is forming a political party with his band-mates and plans to run in the upcoming state election. "Politics in this country is treated like it belongs to the elite," he said. "Decisions don't have to be made by these elite, you can just be musicians." 

The Basics Rock'n'Roll Party: standing for innovation, education and rock'n'roll.

The Basics Rock'n'Roll Party: standing for innovation, education and rock'n'roll. Photo: Supplied

Reporter Larissa Nicholson has compiled a useful timeline detailing the events that have led us to today's attempt to expel Geoff Shaw from Parliament, click HERE

The bells have rung and Parliament is settling down to discuss the motion to expel Geoff Shaw...

Geoff Shaw has told reporters the government is slinging mud. Henrietta Cook reports "Shaw says Napthine takes everything the media say as gospel and shuts down free speech". He's also said he may not speak on the expulsion motion.

And former speaker Ken Smith has backed the Liberal Party's decision to try and expel Frankston MP Geoff Shaw, saying: "Daniel Andrews calls him 'the rorter' and then all of a sudden for political reasons they want to keep him there," he said about Labor's decision to vote to save Mr Shaw. He had a chance to come back here and do the right thing... He's a rorter and he deserves to go."

Former speaker Ken Smith supports the government's move to expel Geoff Shaw.

Former speaker Ken Smith supports the government's move to expel Geoff Shaw. Photo: Penny Stephens PKS

Transport Minister Terry Mulder has said the Coalition is united behind the decision to remove Mr Shaw, reports Steve Lillebuen. ‘‘I think Geoff Shaw has demonstrated time and time again that he’s been a massive disruption to the parliament,’’ he told reporters at Parliament Station. ‘‘He knows what he was asked to do. He chose to deal with that in a certain matter. That hasn’t met the requirements, in terms of being a sincere apology to the parliament and the people of Victoria, and we’ll deal with it accordingly."

Planning Minister Matthew Guy says expelling Geoff Shaw is a matter of good governance, reports Yolanda Redrup. "We believe it's time to take the final step," he said this morning. "It's up to the Opposition to actually be consistent in their point of view." National Party MP Peter Ryan said he also supported the move. "If Mr Shaw in the course of his so-called apology had termed the whole process a political farce, what would the house have done?"

Richard Willingham explains how it will go down this morning:

  • The motion to expel Geoff Shaw is due to be tabled some time after 10am,
  • The Premier has up to 30 minutes to outline why Shaw should be expelled. 
  • Both Shaw and Labor's first speaker can have up to 30 minutes to respond.
  • Then every other MP who wants to speak on the matter can have up to 10 minutes on the motion.
  • If the motion is not voted on by 4pm it may be carried over until the next sitting week, or the session can be extended (by a vote of the house.)
  • Question time will still happen at 2pm. 

Here's a rundown of what has been said so far this morning. It seems all are keeping to the party line for now.

  • Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews rejected Premier Denis Napthine's bid to expel Frankston MP Geoff Shaw on ABC News 24 this morning, claiming there is "no legally safe way" to remove the MP. He further called the Premier the "ring master" of "this circus". 
  • Mordialloc MP Lorraine Wredford called Mr Shaw a distraction and said she would be "voting with the government." 
  • Former speaker Ken Smith accused Daniel Andrews of hypocrisy: "Daniel Andrews calls him 'the rorter' and then all of a sudden for political reasons they want to keep him there." Mr Smith said the Frankston MP "had a chance to come back here and do the right thing... he deserves to go."
  • Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews told Jon Faine on ABC 774 the Premier has lost his way if he thinks rogue MP Geoff Shaw is the most important issue in the state.
  • Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the Coalition would support the removal of Mr Shaw. ''I think Geoff Shaw has demonstrated time and time again that he's been a massive disruption to the parliament... [he] hasn't met the requirements, in terms of being a sincere apology to the parliament and the people of Victoria, and we'll deal with it accordingly."

State political reporter Richard Willingham explains that this morning Labor will vote against expelling embattled independent MP Geoff Shaw, after saying it would not be involved in a cheap political stunt. The decision will save Mr Shaw's parliamentary career. It’s a turnaround for Daniel Andrews: back in June it was Andrews who moved for Mr Shaw to be expelled - for misuse of his car. But the government blocked Andrews’ motion, instead suspending Mr Shaw.

A familiar farce: Geoff Shaw arrives back in Parliament after his three-month suspension.

A familiar farce: Geoff Shaw arrives back in Parliament after his three-month suspension. Photo: Simon O'Dwyer

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of what promises to be a lively day in the Victorian State Parliament. Premier Denis Napthine wants rogue MP Geoff Shaw expelled from Parliament, but Labor says it will reject the motion. It follows another weird week in state politics, with Mr Shaw first apologising to Parliament yesterday - then telling a newspaper that the whole process was "a political farce". Mr Napthine responded: "To mock the Parliament is to mock the people of Victoria." We'll pick up the action when Parliament resumes...

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  • Shouldn't the question before parliament really be whether Shaw has met the terms of the suspension? This is arguable in the extreme, and it's not up to Napthine to be judge, jury and executioner. If the parliament as a whole decides no, then yes, kick him out.

    This whole thing a concocted by the Libs to kick him out without having the risk of a by-election. Weak and predictable.

    Commenter
    davemac
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    September 04, 2014, 9:20AM
    • I'm fairly sure there can't be a byelection this close. I think it's more to do with the Libs not wanting him around to highlight their dysfunctionality and incompetence. But from outside Parliament I think he'd be an even bigger detonator.

      Commenter
      fred
      Location
      Date and time
      September 04, 2014, 11:40AM

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