THE Australian Electoral Commission has referred Liberal candidate for Isaacs Robbie Beaton to the Australian Federal Police.
The AEC has asked the AFP to investigate the matter of Beaton’s residential address. Earlier this month Beaton admitted to listing the Bridge Hotel in Aspendale as his residential address on his enrolment forms. The Liberal candidate actually resides in Camberwell, outside the Isaacs electorate.
The AFP will probe whether Beaton has broken the law by stating an incorrect address on his forms. Beaton previously worked at the Bridge Hotel, but is no longer employed there after the business was sold last year.
The AEC released a statement last week stating that despite the AFP referral, Beaton’s name remains on the ballot. “The AEC is aware of comments made in the media recently by Mr Beaton about his enrolled address. 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 said. “The AEC has referred this matter to the AFP for investigation.
“Candidate nominations for the Division of Isaacs must remain as they were formally declared on 22 April 2022. 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.”
The Liberal Party did not comment when asked by The News if Beaton would be disendorsed. Last week Beaton said that a mistake was to blame. “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,” he said. (“Liberal candidate caught in enrolment blunder” The News 4/5/22)
MPs are allowed live outside their own electorate, as is the case with incumbent Isaacs MP Mark Dreyfus.