Victorian Labor says it will move a motion to expel MP Geoff Shaw from parliament and the government has not ruled out supporting the move.
The Victorian government is unlikely to be brought down at this stage, with Labor shying away from moving a no-confidence motion backed by rebel independent Geoff Shaw.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews says Labor will move to have the balance-of-power MP found in contempt and expelled when parliament resumes on Tuesday.
“I’m not prepared to have Geoff Shaw run our state,” Mr Andrews said on Wednesday.
“We can deal with him once and for all and we can end this circus.”
But Premier Denis Napthine has accused Labor of rushing the move and creating deliberate disruption.
The government is waiting on constitutional advice so any decision by the parliament regarding the Frankston MP is enforceable, he said.
“We want to make sure it’s done absolutely correctly … so we don’t have a circus running off to the High Court with injunctions to avoid being held accountable for Mr Shaw’s actions,” Dr Napthine said.
“Under my leadership we will deal with Mr Shaw.”
While Mr Shaw holds the balance of power in the minority coalition government, Dr Napthine has not ruled out supporting Labor’s motion.
Mr Andrews says a by-election in Mr Shaw’s Frankston seat could occur as early as July 12 or 19.
He did not believe it a waste of money so close to the November 29 poll.
Mr Andrews has not ruled out moving a no-confidence motion in the government, at some point, but said he won’t be doing any deals with Mr Shaw.
The political drama was triggered when Mr Shaw said he would back a Labor no-confidence motion in the government after it failed to guarantee he wouldn’t be further penalised for misusing his taxpayer-funded car.
Dr Napthine declared he wouldn’t be held to ransom by the Liberal-turned-independent.
Labor has the backing of Ken Smith, the former Liberal Speaker Mr Shaw helped oust, in its bid to have the Frankston MP held in contempt.
A coalition-dominated parliamentary privileges committee found Mr Shaw breached the MP code of conduct by misusing his parliamentary car but a minority report from its Labor members recommended he be found in contempt of parliament.
Mr Shaw told Fairfax Media he rejected Dr Napthine’s claims he made demands for a judicial appointment.
Monash University lecturer Nick Economou says regardless of whether Mr Shaw is expelled, there is no constitutional crisis, because Labor had already vowed to pass the budget.
“The most likely outcome was that the Napthine government would serve out its full term,” Dr Economou said.
“Labor has already said it would vote for the supply bills. So basically, the Napthine government will continue on.”
Things could change if Mr Andrews did move a motion of no-confidence, but this was an unlikely move that wouldn’t necessarily serve Labor well.
Mr Shaw’s spokesman said they wanted things to “calm down” before making a statement.