False Liberal candidate address probed

·2-min read

The Australian Electoral Commission is investigating an incorrect address provided by a Liberal candidate to determine whether it constitutes enrolment fraud.

The AEC is looking at information in preselection and enrolment forms provided by Robbie Beaton, the Liberal candidate for the Melbourne seat of Isaacs.

Mr Beaton pitches himself as a "long-time local business owner."

In the forms, Mr Beaton claims to live at the Bridge Hotel in Mordialloc, a local pub that his family had owned for 38 years.

The pub was sold in October 2021.

Mr Beaton has since confirmed he has been living in Camberwell, north of the electorate.

According to the AEC website "enrolment fraud occurs if an elector makes a false claim for enrolment, for example using a false name or address".

The AEC says it is aware of the matter and is looking into it.

"We take matters relating to enrolment very seriously," the AEC says.

Mr Beaton told The Age he would occasionally stay in an apartment located within the pub after finishing work late.

"My family owned that hotel for 38 years, and I worked there for the last 20 years until its recent sale. This is an honest mistake and had no intent to mislead anyone," Mr Beaton said.

In a statement, the AEC noted that eligible Australians are required to be enrolled at their residential address in line with the electoral act.

The AEC statement provided some further clarification on the matter.

"It is important to note given some of the commentary around this matter that it is not a requirement for a candidate to be enrolled within the boundaries of the electorate they are contesting."

The seat of Isaacs is held by Labor shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus by a margin of 6.4 per cent.

The author has written this story in a personal capacity.

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