Not the way to bring down a government

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Labor is launching court action with the objective of having a government minister disqualified from holding his seat in Parliament.

The opposition believes Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie may have an indirect financial interest in the Commonwealth – grounds for disqualification from office under section 44(v) of the constitution [which bans anyone who “has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth”

As revealed by Fairfax Media in February, the Nationals MP owns a small suburban shopping complex at in Port Macquarie and one of the shops is an outlet of Australia Post – a government-owned corporation.

This is an absurd technicality, and I hope the High Court throws the case out. The Parliament is full of people on both sides whose main interest in holding office is in building up contacts for their future careers as lobbyists, bank sinecurists or both. If we can’t do something about this disgraceful situation, the idea of disqualifying someone for an obviously honest transaction with no potential for corruption adds insult to injury.

31 thoughts on “Not the way to bring down a government

  1. Remember Rob Oakeshott previously held Lyne as an independent beating Gillespie 62/37 in 2010 and the current national 2PP is Labor/Coalition 53/47 and has been for 15? Newspolls.

  2. @Ken Fabian The way that the LNP went for both Gillard and Slipper was unedifying but achieved its purpose, in the short term. Of those in the infamous “ditch the witch” photo only Abbott remains, just.

  3. Rog,
    There is an argument the pursuits of Slipper, Gillard and Thomson were not bona fide and their accusers are not out of the woods yet because of their illegal conduct. The 44 claim against Gillespie appears bona fide irrespective of the outcome; ask Bob Day. I gather Brett Walker SC is representing Labor and I will not tout his obvious legal skills here.
    The Slipper and Thomson matters are not over yet.
    It is clear Slipper’s diaries were flogged for the benefit of easily identifiable Coalition members – see the Blog “vinceogrady” for the evidence. The AFP has not been held to account for not proceeding yet! Also see Casilli v Wehrman (2014) WASC for the likely penalty which has to be actual jail.
    This is becoming Royal Commission stuff.
    Similarly Thomson was publically accused by Coalition members, even before he was charged, including so called lawyers Brandis AG, Abbott, Pyne, Fierravante-Wells. Remember he was only finally found culpable for $5,000 whereas he was accused pre-trial by this lot of $500,000 worth. Tudge, Hunt and Sukkra can advise them of the advantage of an early plea and the joys of not seeing life through bars at the discretion of a large prison officer OR a larger prisoner. Abbott the “cycling travel-claim” and Fierravante-Wells a former Australian Government Legal Officer!
    As if Brough would not have consulted Abbott before contracting Ashby to undermine Slipper !

  4. given the current situation of two federal MPs, who when faced with what could be called an “absurd technicality” resigned,should the member under discussion do the same?

    if not, why not?

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