Herald Sun: Napthine has lost the plot, says Geoff Shaw after surviving expulsion bid. Matt Johnston, Michelle Ainworth, 4 September 2014
Rogue Frankston MP Geoff Shaw says Premier Denis Napthine has “lost the plot” and accused him of mudslinging.
Mr Shaw will stay in Parliament after Labor today saved him from expulsion.
Dr Napthine moved to expel Mr Shaw from Parliament after judging the Frankston MP’s apology for misusing his taxpayer-funded car inadequate.
But the motion was defeated this morning after Labor refused to back it.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews led Labor MPs from the Lower House after saying the “circus” that surrounded Geoff Shaw was Dr Napthine’s making.
“I thought Daniel Andrews was very statesmanlike, he looked like a leader as opposed to Napthine who was looking like an Opposition Leader,” Mr Shaw said.
“He (Napthine) hasn’t shown leadership in any of this.”
Mr Shaw also said there was no leadership on the front bench of either party.
“I think Victoria will be starved for leadership for quite a few years,” he said.
“I am a conservative but I don’t see this Liberal Government as a conservative government.”
He said he had no confidence in the Coalition but didn’t rule out voting with the government on legislation in the next two weeks.
Dr Napthine earlier said Mr Shaw had “failed the test” that Parliament had set him and he must be sent packing from Parliament.
“It is not based on politics, it is not based on personality,” he said.
Dr Napthine moved yesterday to expel the balance-of-power MP, declaring Mr Shaw’s remarks to the Herald Sun revealed the insincerity of his apology for misuse of entitlements.
Dr Napthine accused Mr Shaw of “mocking” state Parliament and Victorians, after the balance-of-power MP told the Herald Sun that the process surrounding his punishment for misusing his taxpayer-funded entitlements was a “political farce”.
But Mr Andrews, who three months ago said Mr Shaw had no place in Parliament, declared Labor would vote against the move, ensuring the Shaw drama will continue up to the November 29 election.
Mr Andrews said that Labor would not support the Premier’s motion, describing it as a “political stunt”.
Labor has thrown the rogue Frankston MP a political lifeline worth up to $76,000 by rejecting Dr Napthine’s bid to expel him.
Mr Shaw would then likely remain in Parliament until the November election, collecting $36,124 if he loses his seat.
The rogue MP would also avoid being stripped of at least $40,000 in pay, superannuation and electorate allowances if he sees out this parliamentary term.
Mr Shaw flexed his political muscle by voting against the Government’s Electoral Amendment Bill that would have altered rules around how-to-vote cards.
Earlier, he issued a statement saying that Dr Napthine had a personal agenda against him after he spoke out against the Premier’s “pet $8 billion project”, the East West Link.
Mr Andrews defended his decision to allow Mr Shaw to remain in Parliament, saying the “right” time to expel him would have been three months ago. That would have triggered a by-election, which Labor would likely have won.
If Mr Shaw is expelled today, there would be no by-election because the state election is due in November.
“This is a stunt and we will not underwrite this stunt by voting for it,” Mr Andrews said.
“The people of Frankston will pass their judgment on Mr Shaw in 87 days.”
He questioned whether the Government’s move to expel Mr Shaw was legally possible.
The Coalition immediately created a political advertisement showing vision of Mr Andrews from earlier this year, when he called for the MP’s expulsion.