Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson has called on the State Opposition to come clean on the details behind Matthew Guy’s secret plan to rort Victoria’s donation laws.
The email chain published on Tuesday clearly states there was an agreement between Mr Guy and his former chief of staff, Mitch Catlin, for Mr Catlin to have his publicly funded salary topped up by donations – even though they would breach the laws covering donation limits.
Since the scandal was revealed on Tuesday, Mr Guy has failed to provide one piece of evidence – such as an email or a document – to corroborate his claim that this sort of deal did not go ahead with a Liberal donor or donors.
Either way, Mr Guy and Mr Catlin conspired – as per Mr Catlin’s reference to “the original email agreement between you and me” – to rort Victoria’s donation laws.
Given Mr Guy won’t be transparent, sadly, the onus is on Mr Catlin to release:
- the “original email agreement” between himself and Mr Guy
- all correspondence between himself and Mr Guy
- all correspondence between himself and billionaire Liberal donor Jonathan Munz
- detail of any other arrangements of this nature
- details of who paid the lawyers to draw up the agreement
- a list of Catchy Media and Marketing’s clients during his time as Mr Guy’s chief of staff
- details of any revenue received by the Catchy Media Marketing and Management company during his time as Mr Guy’s chief of staff.
This matter has been referred to several integrity bodies for investigation – and with around 100 days until voting opens, Victorians deserve to know the circumstances of this secret deal.
Victorians also deserve to know who is paying Mr Catlin and Mr Guy’s bills – and therefore, who Mr Catlin and Mr Guy owe.
Mr Catlin must release any correspondence concerning Liberal donor support and details of revenue to his private company while working in the publicly-funded position of Chief of Staff to the Opposition Leader.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson
“You can’t have it both ways – pretend to be a champion of integrity and then refuse to answer the most basic of questions.”
“With the Liberals now caught out, the public deserves answers and explanations from both Matthew Guy and his former Chief of Staff about the secret deals they have been cooking up on their Hotmail accounts.”
“Mr Guy is completely compromised – unless he comes clean, his supposed commitment to integrity and public accountability will be in tatters.”
Reviewed 03 August 2022