On the subject of parliamentary entitlements, I have previously called for the need to introduce quicker reporting times and simpler presentation of that information as well as the establishment of an independent authority to oversee expenses.
Today I announce some additional reforms including the removal of the ability for city MPs to claim the second home allowance which is intended for MPs representing country electorates.
A Liberal Nationals Government will introduce clear rules to clearly exclude from the allowance those MPs whose electorates are within the 80km distance from the Melbourne CBD, and increase transparency. Under these changes, MPs representing metropolitan electorates will not be eligible for the second home allowance under any circumstance.
To improve transparency, Parliament will report on recipients of the second home allowance in the annual Register of Members’ Interests.
The second home allowance will only be payable for members whose primary residence is within the electorate they represent and a minimum of 80 kilometres from the Melbourne GPO.
The Liberal Nationals will also look at changing the rules to print on ballot papers the suburb of residence of all candidates in the 88 Legislative Assembly seats which will bring it in line with the practice in the Legislative Council ballot papers. For example, under this reform, voters in Luke Donnellan’s seat of Narre Warren North will be aware from the ballot paper that he lives 42 kilometres away in the suburb of Fitzroy North.
Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Matthew Guy:
“There are two thing Daniel Andrews needs to do today. Firstly, he needs to announce that Don Nardella will be paying back the $100,000 he has rorted from Victorian taxpayers. Secondly, the Premier should accept our offer to work together to pass these common sense reforms.
“But until Daniel Andrews recovers this rorted $100,000 to taxpayers, no one can take him seriously on reforming parliamentary entitlements.”
Attributable to Shadow Special Minister of State Gordon Rich-Phillips:
“These are sensible, common sense reforms that can be supported by all parliamentarians and easily passed as law in the next few weeks. As well as closing this loophole that some Labor MPs have rorted, these changes will also increase transparency so Victorians have confidence that taxpayers’ money is being treated with respect.”