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A Victorian Liberal candidate has been referred to the Australian Federal Police after admitting he lived at an address 20 kilometers from where he told the Australian Election Commission he resided.

Victorian political journalist Paul Sakkal revealed that Robbie Beaton, candidate for the Labor seat of Isaacs, listed his voting address as a pub in Aspendale, which is in the south-east suburb of Isaacs.

He owned the pub until October last year and claimed he used to spend a few nights in a room at the pub.

Robbie Beaton

After initially claiming he still lives in the pub, he eventually explained that he hasn’t spent a night there since October and lives 20km away in Camberwell, where he has lived for many years . the week.

Labor Party Secretary Chris Ford wrote to the AEC on Tuesday, saying Beaton’s behavior “constituted a willful breach of the law for the purpose of political advancement” and a breach of the Commonwealth Penal Code which prohibits misleading statements and provides for penalties of up to one year in prison.

The AEC released a statement on Friday saying it had reviewed Beaton’s candidate registration and nomination forms. “The AEC is aware of comments made recently in the media by Mr. Beaton regarding his registration address,” the statement said.

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“Following the nomination of Mr. Beaton’s candidate for the 2022 federal election, we have reviewed the statements made on Mr. Beaton’s registration and nomination forms,” ​​the AEC said in a statement.

“There are concerns whether the information provided by him regarding his residential address on these forms is false.

“The AEC has referred this matter to AFP for investigation.”

Beaton will remain the nominee while he is investigated. Beaton boasted of being a “local”, as many candidates do to win the support of their electorate. Labor MP for Isaacs Mark Dreyfus has never lived in the electorate and lives in Malvern.

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In other Victoria federal election news, the AEC said it was aware of comments from Flinders independent candidate Despi O’Connor, who recently suspended her campaign due to health concerns. eligibility.

In a statement, O’Connor said she became aware of an eligibility issue under section 44(vi) of the Australian Constitution, which states that “every person who holds a gainful office under the Crown…cannot be chosen or sit as a member of the House of Representatives”.

The AEC noted in a statement that O’Connor’s name will still appear on the Flinders division ballot.

“If Ms O’Connor is elected, her eligibility to serve as MP for Flinders is to be determined by the Court of Disputed Returns,” the Electoral Commission said.