On 28 March 2018, the Legislative Council agreed to a resolution to refer matters relating to misuse of electorate office staffing entitlements to the Privileges Committee. The motion to refer the Inquiry to the Committee was in response to findings contained in the Victorian Ombudsman’s report Investigation of a matter referred from the Legislative Council on 25 November 2015 (2018).
The Committee was directed to inquire into conduct of current and former Members of the Legislative Council named in paragraphs 45 to 50 of the Ombudsman’s report. Specifically, whether:
- Members are in contempt of Parliament in relation to the Code of Conduct in the Members of Parliament (Register of Interests) Act 1978
- any fine should be imposed pursuant to section 9 of the Act
- any other conduct of the Members constitutes any form of contempt of Parliament
- whether any sanctions should be imposed.
The full terms of reference are published in the preliminaries of this report.