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.