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Thirteen ALP candidates must immediately clarify their eligibility to stand for election.



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Media Release Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Andrew Robb Federal Minister & Campaign Spokesman

Thirteen ALP candidates must immediately clarify their eligibility to stand for election

Today I am releasing a legal opinion by Mr AW Street SC, relating to the eligibility of ALP candidate for Wentworth, Mr George Newhouse to stand for election. This legal opinion was provided to the NSW Division of the Liberal Party.

Mr Street SC, advises that there would be a “need for a by-election” if “Mr Newhouse is elected as the member for the Federal seat of Wentworth.”

Mr Newhouse continues to refuse to release relevant documentation that would clarify his eligibility.

The doubt surrounding the eligibility of ALP candidates to stand for election is not confined to Wentworth.

In addition to doubts surrounding Mr Newhouse’s eligibility to stand as a candidate for Wentworth, based on existing public record searches, it would appear that the eligibility of a further 12 ALP candidates may be in doubt.

This is based on the requirement that to be validly nominated for the Federal Parliament a candidate must be free of any disqualifying characteristics (eg an office of profit under the Crown). That is why candidates should resign before nominating.

In order that voters can be satisfied, that any candidate standing for Parliament is qualified under the Constitution, the following candidates should produce documentary evidence that they ceased to hold their office of profit by the close of nominations.

Below is the full list of endorsed ALP candidates who must clarify, immediately, whether or not they held an office of profit under the Crown at the relevant date.

George Newhouse (Wentworth) appears to have been a member of the NSW Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal at the relevant time. • Mr Newhouse still has not produced proof of his letter of resignation. • Mr Newhouse has provided no proof of when he submitted his resignation.

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• Mr Newhouse has not explained why Minister Burney’s staff confirmed that his letter was undated. • If the letter was undated, Mr Newhouse has not explained why a lawyer of his experience would sign an undated letter • As Mr Street SC, advises, Mr Newhouse is clearly ineligible to be chosen as

Member for Wentworth and there will be a by election if Mr Newhouse was elected • As he was a Member of the NSW Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (as confirmed by Morris Iemma) he couldn’t create the condition precedent for

validly nominating; the State law is trumped by the clear words of the Constitution as interpreted by the High Court.

Tony Zappia (Makin) appears to still be a member of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary Advisory Board. • The Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary website still lists him as a Board member http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/coasts/ads/at_work.html#advisory_board

• Under s 16 of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary Advisory Act 2005 (SA) a member of the Board “is entitled to remuneration, allowances and expenses determined by the Governor”. • The annual report for 2005-2006 of the Dolphin Sanctuary states that Board

members are paid $140 per four hour meeting http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/coasts/ads/pdfs/ads_annual_report.pdf • There is no evidence that he has resigned.

Yvette D’ath (Petrie) appears to be a Member of Queensland Training and Employment Recognition Council for which she is remunerated. • The ALP website says that she “sits on the state’s Training and Employment Recognition Council. http://www.alp.org.au/people/qld/d'ath_yvette.php

• The Queensland Government Training and Employment Recognition Council website lists her as a member http://www.trainandemploy.qld.gov.au/client/about_us/legislation/council/membe rs.html and that her appointment is not due to expire until 3 December 2009 http://statauth.premiers.qld.gov.au/the-board.aspx?bid=286 . • Under s 173 of the Vocational Education Training and Employment Act 2000

(Qld) council members are paid remuneration and allowances determined by the Minister. s 169 of the same Act makes the Council “subject to the Minister” and his “directions about exercising its powers or performing its functions”. • There is no evidence that she has resigned this position.

Peter Conway (ACT Senate Candidate) appears to be member ACT Liquor Licensing Board. • The ALP website says that “Peter is (sic) currently serves on the ACT Liquor Licensing Board” http://www.alp.org.au/people/act/conway_peter.php

• ACT disallowable instruments reveal that Peter Conway has been appointed to the Liquor Licensing Board until 31 December 2008 http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/es/db_28868/current/rtf/db_28868.rtf

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• Under a determination of the ACT Remuneration Tribunal Conway earns $310 per day that he sits on the Liquor Licensing Board sits http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/remtrib/pdfs/10_2007_attach.pdf

• There is no evidence of his resignation.

Shayne Neumann (Blair) appears to still be a member of the West Moreton Health Community Council. • The ALP website says that he is “a current West Moreton District Health Councillor” http://www.alp.org.au/people/qld/neumann_shayne.php

• Under s 28T of the Health services Act 1991 (Qld) a member of a Health Community Council “is entitled to be paid the fees and allowances decided by the Governor in Council.”

• The Queensland Department of Health website states that he was appointed on 13 July 2007 for a period of up to four years. http://www.health.qld.gov.au/publications/hcc/hcc_appts2007.pdf • There is no evidence that he has resigned.

Garry Parr (Hinkler) appears to still be a Director of the Bundaberg Port Authority. • The ALP website says that “He is currently a Director on the Bundaberg Port Authority”. http://www.alp.org.au/people/qld/parr_garry.php • The Bundaberg Port Authority Website still lists him as a Director

http://www.bpa.net.au/index.aspx?page=9 • The Bundaberg Port Authority is a Queensland Government owned statutory corporation http://www.bpa.net.au/index.aspx?page=1 • There is no evidence of his resignation.

Alan Neilan (Kennedy) appears to still be employed by the Queensland Department of Housing • The website for the Queensland Community Housing Resource Worker Program still lists him as the contact officer for North West Queensland

http://www.housing.qld.gov.au/programs/ch/contacts.htm • There is no evidence that he has resigned.

Rob Mitchell (McEwen) appears to still be a senior advisor to the Victorian Agriculture Minister • The ALP website says that “Rob is currently the Senior Advisor to the Victorian Agriculture Minister.” http://www.alp.org.au/people/vic/mitchell_rob.php

• He lists himself on his own website as currently senior advisor to the Victorian Agriculture Minister http://www.robmitchell.com.au/about.htm • There is no evidence of his resignation.

Sharon Thiel (Kalgoorlie) appears to still be employed by Hon Jon Ford MLC Minister for Regional Development

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• The John Ford’s parliamentary homepage for still lists her email address as his main contact http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/parliament%5Cmemblist.nsf/AllDocs/82D15A BA1A5989C648256A4D002C9CAF?opendocument • There is no evidence that she has resigned.

Belinda Neal (Robertson) appears to be still Chief of Staff to Tony Kelly MLC • Ms Neal is still listed on NSW government website as Chief of Staff to Hon Tony Kelly MLC http://www.directory.nsw.gov.au/showminister.asp?id=%7BCB91F192-2A91-

4034-BD60-C7E555881217%7D • A Story in the SMH on 4 November 2007 reveals Ms Neal to still be Minister Kelly’s Chief of Staff http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/cabinetmaker-

iemma-goes-to-work/2007/11/03/1193619199711.html • There is no evidence that she has resigned.

Mark Buttigieg (Cook) appears to still be employed by Energy Australia . • The ALP website says that “Mark is employed by Energy Australia, where he started as an Apprentice Electrical Fitter at age fifteen and is now a Trainer of Electrical System Operators.”

http://www.alp.org.au/people/nsw/buttigieg_mark.php • Energy Australia is a State Owned Corporation owned by the NSW Government https://www.energyaustralia.com.au/energy/ea.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/Annual+R eport+Intro+05+06/$FILE/2005-06+Annual+report_Intro.pdf • There is no evidence of his resignation.

Ross Daniels (Ryan) appears to still be a lecturer at QUT. • The ALP website says that “Ross is a Lecturer at Queensland University of Technology” http://www.alp.org.au/people/qld/daniels_ross.php • He is still listed as a staff member as at 25 October 2007

http://www.hhs.qut.edu.au/about/staff.jsp • There is no evidence of his resignation

Mark Reynolds (Tangney) appears to still be Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science. • The ALP website says that “Dr Mark Reynolds is a WA-born father of three and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at UWA”

http://www.alp.org.au/people/wa/reynolds_mark.php • His UWA website lists that he is running for Parliament. http://www.csse.uwa.edu.au/~mark/ • There is no evidence that he has resigned.

NOTE

Under s 44(iv) of the Constitution:

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“Any person who: (iv) holds any office of profit under the Crown…

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives…”

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Media contact - Andrew Coombe - Ph 0438-777145