Geoff Shaw (politician)
|Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
27 November 2010 – 29 November 2014
|Preceded by||Alistair Harkness|
|Succeeded by||Paul Edbrooke|
12 October 1967 |
|Political party||Independent (2013–2014)|
Geoffrey Page "Geoff" Shaw (born 12 October 1967) is an Australian politician who represented Frankston in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 2010 to 2014, initially as a member of the Parliamentary Liberal Party until 6 March 2013, and then subsequently as an independent politician. On 17 March 2014 Shaw resigned as a member of the Liberal Party in advance of moves to expel him as a member of the party.
Charges were brought against Shaw in September 2013, were withdrawn by prosecutors on 3 December, and referred to the Legislative Assembly's Privileges Committee. In May 2014 the Privileges Committee found that Shaw was not diligent in the management of his parliamentary vehicle; that he allowed individuals connected with his private business to use his parliamentary vehicle with little or no supervision; that he enabled the use of his parliamentary vehicle for commercial purposes and his parliamentary fuel card to purchase fuel for his private vehicle; and that he contravened the code of conduct for members as set out in Members of Parliament (Register of Interests) Act, 1978 (VIC) s 3. Shaw was suspended from Parliament for eleven sitting days with effect from 11 June 2014, ordered to pay a fine of A$6,838, and ordered to apologise to the Parliament upon his return. Shaw's suspension followed a period of political instability in the Victorian Parliament.
Shaw attended John Paul College in Frankston, Victoria, graduating in 1985. Shaw attended Monash University where he attained a Bachelor of Business Accounting in 1988 and entered his own small business as a certified accountant and financial planner.
In April 2011, Shaw wrote to a constituent suggesting "his desire to love who he wanted was as illegitimate as a dangerous driver wanting to speed or a child molester wanting to molest". The constituent had written to Shaw objecting to the government's renewal of religious organisations' exemption under anti-discrimination legislation.
In June 2011 Shaw admitted that he had been charged with assault in 1992 while working as a nightclub bouncer. Premier of Victoria Ted Baillieu asked for an explanation, and Shaw assured him and the Government that he was fined and placed on a good behaviour bond, but no conviction was recorded. In August 2011 Shaw was involved in a roadside fight in his electorate; it was alleged that he was involved in a conversation between a police officer and another driver, with an exchange of words developing into a physical altercation, with injuries to the other driver.
In addition to his parliamentary duties, Shaw has run two small businesses including an accounting firm, Geoff Shaw & Partners, in Frankston; and Southern Cross Hardware, a hardware factory in Carrum Downs. In May 2012, it was alleged that Shaw's parliamentary car was used for business–related to the hardware factory. Shaw claimed his staff had used the vehicle without his knowledge, however several whistleblowers said they remembered Shaw driving the car himself. Baillieu announced he had referred the case to the Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly and the Department of Parliamentary Services to examine the use of Shaw's parliamentary entitlements. Geoff Shaw was cleared of charges after a full investigation by the Victorian Police and DPP. Charges were laid after the Labor Party requested the Police to investigate.
On 6 March 2013 Shaw resigned from the parliamentary Liberal Party, announcing that he would sit in the Legislative Assembly on the crossbenches as an independent politician. In the wake of the release of secret police tapes, Shaw refused to commit to supporting the government if Baillieu remained Premier. Baillieu subsequently resigned as Premier the following day. Ports Minister Denis Napthine succeeded Baillieu as Premier and stated that Shaw would not be endorsed by the Liberal Party as a candidate for the 2014 state election.
On 17 September 2013 Victoria Police announced that Shaw had been charged with 23 counts of obtaining financial benefit by deception and one charge of misconduct in public office. On 3 December the Department of Public Prosecutions announced that it had dropped all charges against Shaw.
On 28 November 2013 Australian media reported that Premier Napthine had 'secretly assisted' Shaw to draft a Private Member's Bill to change state abortion legislation. Napthine refuted the allegations and stated his Government had no plans to change abortion laws, nor would he support any such change. Shaw reportedly planned to introduce the bill before the 2014 state election. In June 2014 Napthine stated:
"...that while I am Premier of this state, I will not allow Mr Shaw to introduce any legislation seeking to change the abortion laws in Victoria."
Following a finding in May 2014 by the Legislative Assembly Privileges Committee that Shaw had contravened the code of conduct for members as set out in section three of the Members of Parliament (Register of Interests) Act, 1978 (VIC), Shaw told radio station 774 ABC Melbourne on 3 June 2014 that he would support a no confidence motion in the Napthine Government. Initial indications were that both the Labor state opposition and the Napthine government would seek to evict Shaw from the Victorian Parliament due to misuse of parliamentary privilege. On 11 June 2014 following an extended debate, the Members of the Victorian Legislative Assembly were asked to discipline Shaw by expelling him from Parliament. Following a division of the assembly that was deadlocked 42 all, with Shaw absent from the floor of the chamber for the debate, the speaker Christine Fyffe used her casting vote to defeat the motion. A subsequent motion was proposed by a Liberal member that "...the Member for Frankston be suspended from the service of this House for eleven sitting days." The motion was carried without division. Shaw was required to pay his fine by 2 September or face expulsion.
Shaw was married to Sally, and they have four children. The couple separated in 2011. He married Bianca in 2014.
Shaw is an active Christian. He is a member of Peninsula City Church, a charismatic megachurch in Frankston. He once told 7.30, "I'm a Christian first and an MP is me—just what I do." In his maiden speech to the Victorian parliament, he acknowledged "the original owner of the land on which we stand—God, the Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Bible."
- "State Election 2010 : Frankston District". State election results. Victorian Electoral Commission. 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- Willington, Richard (17 March 2014). "Frankston MP Geoff Shaw resigns from Liberal Party". The Age.
- Ferguson, John (17 September 2013). "Frankston MP Geoff Shaw charged with misconduct". The Age. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Charges against Victorian independent MP Geoff Shaw dropped". ABC News. Australia. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Inquiry in relation to recommendation 2 of the Ombudsman's report Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001: Investigation into allegations against Mr Geoff Shaw MP" (PDF). Legislative Assembly Privileges Committee (PDF). Melbourne, Victoria: Parliament of Victoria. May 2014. p. 6. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- Uhlmann, Chris; Donovan, Samantha (12 June 2014). "Vic Parliament suspends Geoff Shaw". AM (ABC Radio) (streaming audio and transcript). Australia. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "Geoff Shaw suspended from Victorian Parliament after Government motion passes". ABC News. Australia. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Willingham, Richard; Cook, Henrietta; Gordon, Josh (11 June 2014). "Rogue MP Geoff Shaw suspended from Parliament". The Age. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Lillebuen, Steve (12 June 2014). "Geoff Shaw must be remorseful or be expelled, Denis Napthine warns". The Age. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Ferguson, John; Baxendale, Rachel (12 June 2014). "Rebel Victorian MP Geoff Shaw suspended and fined". The Australian. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- http://www.vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLowerHouseCandidates/GeoffShaw/tabid/241/Default.aspx Retrieved 2010-12-06 Archived 13 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- Bachelard, Michael: (8 May 2011). "MP outrages gay constituent with child molester analogy". The Age. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- Rolfe, Peter (12 June 2011). "Frankston MP Geoff Shaw reveals he was once charged with assault". Sunday Herald-Sun. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- Bucci, Nino (25 August 2011). "MP 'punched' in roadside ruckus". The Age. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- McArthur, Grant (26 August 2011). "Police probe Liberal MP Geoff Shaw's roadside 'scuffle". Herald-Sun. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Hurley, David; Rolfe, Peter (13 May 2012). "Liberal MP Geoff Shaw accused of moonlighting". Herald-Sun. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Hurley, David; Rolfe, Peter (27 May 2012). "Liberal MP Geoff Shaw was delivery driver". Herald-Sun. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "Government may be in balance as MP quits: report". The Age. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Johnston, Matt (6 March 2013). "Ted Baillieu resigns as Victoria's Premier". Herald-Sun. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "No chance of Geoff Shaw running as a Liberal at the next election, says the Premier". ABC News. Australia. 19 September 2013.
- "MP Geoff Shaw involved in scuffle on Parliament steps". ABC News. Australia. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "Geoff Shaw dictating Coalition's agenda". News.com.au. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Ferguson, John (28 November 2013). "Denis Napthine secretly helped Geoff Shaw over abortion laws – report". Herald-Sun. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Ferguson, John (28 November 2013). "Geoff Shaw dictating Coalition's agenda". The Australian. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Webb, Carolyn; Cook, Henrietta (4 December 2013). "Napthine vows he will not change abortion laws". The Age. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Shaw drops abortion bombshell". The Age. 8 May 2014.
- Tomazin, Farrah (8 June 2014). "Abortion debate not on, Denis Napthine pledges". The Age. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Savage, Alison (4 June 2014). "Napthine-Andrews standoff over 'rorter' Geoff Shaw a battle of nerves". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- Cook, Henrietta; Willingham, Richard (4 June 2014). "Geoff Shaw will support no confidence motion against Napthine government". The Age.
- Hawthorne, Mark; Willingham, Richard (5 June 2014). "The call that did the deed". The Age.
- Milligan, Louise. Victoria's maverick MP denies wrongdoing and puts Christianity first. ABC News, 2014-02-12.
- Howe, Alan (12 August 2013). "God's on your side? Ask MP Geoff Shaw". Herald-Sun. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
- "Inquiry in relation to recommendation 2 of the Ombudsman's report Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001: Investigation into allegations against Mr Geoff Shaw MP" (PDF). Legislative Assembly Privileges Committee (PDF). Melbourne, Victoria: Parliament of Victoria. May 2014. pp. 1–159.
- Members of Parliament (Register of Interests) Act, 1978 (VIC)
- Waugh, John (5 June 2014). "Explainer: Geoff Shaw and contempt of parliament in Victoria". The Conversation. Australia.
|Victorian Legislative Assembly|
|Member for Frankston