VICTORIAN Liberal leader Matthew Guy says he has not spoken to Hastings MP Neale Burgess about allegations of alleged inappropriate behaviour because “it is a legal matter being handled through the parliament”.
Guy told a news conference on Saturday (16 July) that he did not know what conversations “presiding officers” of the parliament had had with Burgess of who had been subject to the alleged inappropriate behaviour.
Guy was speaking after newspapers revealed that Burgess had been banned from parliament for one month and told by his own Liberal Party leaders not to attend party issues events or be involved in party affairs until investigations had been completed.
“I’m really perplexed as to why it has taken government seven months to contact me about this … if there were complaints made I would have thought they’d get onto that straight away,” Guy said.
He had “no idea” why it had taken so long for the issue to be raised with him and said the “government needs to explain why it took so long”.
Guy said he had been told by the Speaker about the allegations against Burgess in April “in a very confidential way and was told it had to remain that way”.
He had been asked “not to talk about this publicly”.
“Every member of parliament needs to uphold high standards and every person should be encouraged to come forward if they have issues with anyone … We need safe workplaces and I’m going to make sure we get that.”