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The Liberal candidate for Isaacs, Robbie Beaton, has been referred to the Australian Federal Police by the Australian Electoral Commission to determine if he provided a false address on his enrolment form.
Last week, Beaton told The Age he lives in Camberwell, about 20km from the Bridge Hotel in Mordialloc, Victoria, which is the residence he gave to the AEC.
“The AEC is aware of comments made in the media recently by Mr Beaton about his enrolled address,” the AEC said in a statement.
“Following Mr Beaton’s candidate nomination for the 2022 federal election we have reviewed the declarations made on Mr Beaton’s enrolment and nomination forms. There is concern as to whether the information provided by him regarding his residential address on these forms is false.
“The AEC has referred this matter to the AFP for investigation.”
The AEC also issued a statement about another Victorian candidate today.
Independent Despi O’Connor is seeking to take Greg Hunt’s seat of Flinders as the outgoing health minister retires from politics, but has suspended her campaign due to concerns over her eligibility.
On Wednesday, O’Connor issued a statement saying she may be prohibited from being elected to parliament as she’s employed by the Victorian Department of Education.
“I’ve been made aware of Section 44(vi) of the Australian Constitution. This provision states that ‘any person who holds any office of profit under the Crown … shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a member of the House of Representatives’,” the statement said.
“In practical terms, this means that because I am technically employed in the Victorian public school system, I am considered to be ‘profiting from the Crown’ and could be ineligible to be chosen or sit as a federal Parliamentarian.”
O’Connor has been on leave without pay for the last 18 months.
The AEC said if O’Connor wins Flinders, her eligibility will have to be determined by the Court of Disputed Returns.
“The election in the seat of Flinders will proceed including all candidates as declared and Ms O’Connor’s name will appear on the ballot paper for the Division of Flinders,” the AEC said in a statement.
“Ballot papers have been printed and distributed across the country for early voting to begin on Monday and many postal voters have already received their postal voting packs.
“If Ms O’Connor is elected, her eligibility to serve as the Member for Flinders must be determined by the Court of Disputed Returns.”