Victoria state election 2022: Matthew Man faces questions on Victorian Electoral Fee referring Mitch Catlin investigation to IBAC

Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has faced a barrage of questions about an investigation that has been referred to the state’s anti-corruption watchdog.

Mr Guy was grilled by reporters at a press conference in a Morwell factory on Thursday morning just moments after a statement was issued by the Victorian Electoral Commission.

The VEC had announced “its Matthew Guy/Mitch Catlin investigation” had been referred to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission on Wednesday “for further investigation”.

Mr Catlin was forced to resign as Mr Guy’s chief-of-staff following revelations he had asked for more than $100,000 in payments to his private business from a party donor, possibly breaching Victoria’s donation laws.

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Media reports claim that Mr Guy was looped into the original email about the exchange by Mr Caitlin which in turn implicated him with potentially being involved.

The referral to IBAC came amid Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately saying the VEC had “exhausted its attempts to fully investigate what may constitute a breach of Victoria’s funding and disclosure laws under section 218B of the Electoral Act 2002 (Vic) (the Act)”, according to the statement.

“We became aware of suggestions that Mr Catlin was alleged to have tried to circumvent donation disclosure laws,” Mr Gately said.

“It’s my responsibility to ensure compliance with all electoral laws and ensure all participants are held to the same standard.”

The VEC statement went on to note that “despite public statements to the contrary, the VEC has not received full cooperation from those connected to its investigation”.

Mr Guy doubled down on comments he made on Wednesday when pressed about the VEC investigation, where he told reporters “everything they’ve asked from me I’ve provided”.

“I provided all the information I had weeks and weeks and weeks ago, and if other people associated with that haven’t then that’s not a question for me,” he said on Thursday.

Mr Guy added he was “happy to answer anyone’s question as I was in September and as I remain today”.

“I’m happy and willing to answer, provide any material that I have and I’ve done that,” the Victorian Liberal leader continued.

“I did that weeks ago and I’m prepared to do that with any organization.

“I’ve done nothing wrong and I’m more than happy to co-operate with anyone.”

The VEC statement added: “While the VEC is not in a position to allege wrongdoing based on the allegations it has sought to investigate, the possibility of offenses against the Act – including under section 218B – have also not been able to be discounted”.

Mr Guy wrapped up his press conference as Sky News Australia’s Holly Edwards-Smith attempted to ask further questions from the Opposition Leader.

“Alright, thank you for coming to the La Trobe Valley,” Mr Guy said, before walking away from the media.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy will go head-to-head in a Sky News People’s Forum, taking questions from undecided voters live on TV and on, on Tuesday November 22 at 6:30pm.

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