Vic agencies assess Libs scandal referral

·3-min read

Victorian authorities are assessing whether to launch full scale probes into an unrealised deal for a Liberal donor to pay a party staffer's business more than $100,000.

The state's electoral commission, police and integrity watchdogs have been asked by Labor to investigate after Opposition Leader Matthew Guy's chief of staff Mitch Catlin requested the donor make the payments.

The contract sent to wealthy past donor Jonathan Munz, the founder of plumbing supplies company Reliance Worldwide Corporation, was not signed but Mr Catlin stood down on Tuesday after it came to light.

In his referral to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), seen by AAP, Government Services Minister Danny Pearson accused Mr Guy and Mr Catlin of engaging or conspiring to engage in "potentially corrupt conduct".

Mr Pearson said Mr Guy still has questions to answer, either from the media or integrity and law enforcement agencies.

"Last time around, he ran a strong campaign on law and order, yet was found to be having dinner with alleged members of the mafia," Mr Pearson told reporters on Wednesday.

"This time around, he's running a strong campaign on integrity, and he's been shown to have none."

After avoiding the press gallery at parliament on Wednesday morning, leaving Liberal frontbencher Louise Staley to declare "no bad behaviour" took place, Mr Guy was briefly doorstopped.

The Bulleen MP again denied knowing about the proposal, which if signed would have begun on September 7 last year - the day he ousted Michael O'Brien as Liberal leader.

"No one can talk to me about integrity, when within two hours my chief of staff stood down," Mr Guy said.

The proposed agreement, published by The Age newspaper, would have required the donor to pay Mr Catlin's marketing company Catchy Media Marketing and Management more than $8000 a month.

Mr Catlin is reported to have sent the contract, drawn up by lawyers, to Mr Guy's private email address "as per the original email agreement" and asked Mr Guy to forward it to Mr Munz.

Mr Guy said he did not forward or respond to the email but Mr Munz has since confirmed its receipt.

"I do not know how many people received this unsolicited and unwanted email, but when I got it, I rejected it out of hand," Mr Munz told News Corp.

Further, Mr Guy denied ever discussing the proposal with Mr Munz.

"I've met him a couple of times, a lot of people have, but I certainly haven't had this conversation with him," he said.

AAP has contacted Mr Munz's company and Mr Catlin for comment.

Under Victorian law, political donations above $1050 must be disclosed and are capped at $4210 over four years for individuals and organisations.

The Victorian Electoral Commission has initiated preliminary inquiries into the allegations, saying it takes regulation of political donations very seriously.

Victoria Police confirmed it received Labor's referral and is assessing it, while IBAC and the Ombudsman declined to comment.

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