Beseiged Liberal MP for Frankston Geoff Shaw disappeared yesterday after revelations on VEXNEWS that his term in Parliament could come to an abrupt halt following a series of domestic disturbances requiring the attendance of Victoria Police at his family property.
Government insiders panicked over the looming scandal, which is yet to make the mainstream media, and a significant part of which cannot be reported for legal reasons.
They understand that Shaw â€“ a father of four â€“ has separated from his wife, Sally Shaw. But they are also hopeful that Mrs Shaw is standing by her man and will not be making allegations against him, in court or elsewhere.
If Shaw were to unexpectedly resign or not be eligible to serve in the Victorian Parliament, the Baillieu government would be deprived of its majority until a by-election could be held. With the polls showing the Liberals generally travelling well, theyâ€™re not expecting to lose any by-election but are hopeful that they will be able to avoid one and the months of instability and chaos that would ensue. When we suggested to government strategists they might consider an early election in those circumstances, they laughed. We took that as a no.
VEXNEWS revealed yesterday that Shaw had prior convictions for assault in the early 1990s during his time as a bouncer at a salubrious Frankston nightspot 21st Century.
Some say Shaw was quite the wild thing back in those days, even fathering a love-child before settling down as a Church-going suburban accountant. These stories apparently went through Frankston like wild-fire in the lead-up to the last state election. They didnâ€™t seem to damage local support for him, perhaps the reverse was true.
And yet in government circles, theyâ€™ve had a gutful of Shaw already. â€œWe need this like a hole in the head,â€ one government adviser told VEXNEWS on condition of anonymity before expressing fears for Shawâ€™s safety given that they hadnâ€™t heard from him for some time on Monday. He has since resurfaced and has promised higher-ups that heâ€™s done nothing wrong. With the Michael Kapel secret meetings to undermine the Police Commissioner furore raging like an out-of-control bush-fire, this is a distraction, potentially, at least, a deadly serious one.
This week is not the first time Shaw has appeared on the radar of the VEXNEWS Investigations Unit. There have been â€“ as we briefly considered yesterday â€“ wild rumours about his close, personal friendship with a parliamentary colleague. â€œBlondes have more fun,â€ one observer remarked.
A steady flow of interesting information about the colourful evangelical is received on a regular basis. Accused by local Christians of being an unreliable â€œChurch-hopper,â€ one source who asked not to be named for reasons of their own safety, explained that Shaw and his family is a strange â€œBiblical literalistâ€ who doesnâ€™t really have sufficient theological understanding to carry it off. Many fellow worshippers smell a fraud and have told us that he has attended no fewer than four churches in the burbs, originally starting withÂ the Mornington Baptist Church, before eventually finding solace at the Peninsula City Church on Frankston-Flinders Road, occasional scene of â€œhomosexual deprogramming.â€