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Pressure on opposition leader to answer questions on donor saga

She mentioned that “the federal government’s integrity report is arguably worse than Man’s” and that “many will likely be confused about the place to put their vote”.

The federal government continued its attack on Guy on Wednesday, whereas the Coalition accused Labor of hypocrisy and making an attempt to deflect from its personal integrity issues. Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan mentioned Man wanted to “come clear … about his function on this extraordinary secret association that might have sought to subvert the strict donation legal guidelines in our state.”

Jonathan Munz pictured at Inglis Easter yearling sale in 2008.

Jonathan Munz pictured at Inglis Easter yearling sale in 2008.Credit score:Martin King

A number of Liberal sources mentioned Frost, an ally of former federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg, was the frontrunner to switch Catlin as Man’s chief of workers.

Frost, who final yr unsuccessfully contested a position in the Senate, beforehand ran the Victorian state division of the Liberal Get together. Jackson Whiteley, a former workers member at federal Liberal MP Michael Sukkar’s workplace, was additionally in competition, however might be a part of the workplace in one other function.

Victorian Liberal president Robert Clark and state director Simon Frost (right) in 2019.

Victorian Liberal president Robert Clark and state director Simon Frost (proper) in 2019.Credit score:Chris Hopkins

Catlin unsuccessfully sought funds from Munz along with his publicly funded wage, in accordance with a leaked e mail to Man’s non-public Hotmail account and a proposed contract obtained by The Age.

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“Hey MG. Connected is the proposed settlement between [the donor] and Catchy Media Advertising and marketing and Administration,” Catlin wrote. “It’s as per the unique e mail settlement between you and me. Can I go away you to ahead onto him?”

Man on Wednesday refused to offer additional particulars concerning the proposal as a result of it was being assessed by authorities together with Victoria Police, the Victorian Electoral Fee (VEC), the Impartial Broad-based Anti-corruption Fee (IBAC) and the Victorian Ombudsman.

When questioned on Wednesday concerning the chain of occasions, Man mentioned he was unaware of key particulars.

Within the e mail reported by The Age, Catlin requested Man to “ahead” the contract to Munz. Man mentioned he didn’t do that and was unaware about how the contract was put to Munz. The businessman’s camp declare Catlin forwarded the e-mail “unsolicited”.

“I hadn’t responded to or forwarded any emails. That’s what it comes all the way down to,” Man mentioned.

The Coalition chief mentioned he couldn’t clarify why Munz rejected the association as a result of he didn’t have any conversations with the donor concerning the proposal. “I haven’t spoken to both of the 2 about that and I don’t intend to as a result of nothing was signed,” he mentioned.

On Tuesday, Man admitted he had mentioned with Catlin safe extra money to make use of him, however ultimately determined towards doing so. He didn’t reply a query on Wednesday about whether or not the proposal would have breached donation legal guidelines. Moreover, he has not defined what was meant by Catlin when he wrote to Man saying the contract was “as per the unique e mail settlement between you and me”.

The MP claimed each worker in his workplace was “solely” paid out of the common fund with “not a single quantity topped up”. Catlin’s wage elevated from the preliminary degree of $140,000 after some workers left the opposition chief’s workplace and weren’t changed, or changed by lesser-paid workers, a senior Liberal supply informed The Age.

Man mentioned on Wednesday that he knew Munz, a plumbing provides baron and horse racing determine. “I’ve met him a few occasions … however I actually haven’t had this dialog with him,” he mentioned.

In a written assertion, Munz mentioned on Tuesday: “I have no idea how many individuals acquired this unsolicited and undesirable e mail, however after I acquired it, I rejected it out of hand.” Munz declined to remark additional on the matter on Wednesday.

Jacinta Allan with Daniel Andrews.

Jacinta Allan with Daniel Andrews.Credit score:Paul Jeffers

A spokeswoman for the VEC, which on Tuesday introduced it was inquiring into whether or not the proposal was designed to avoid donation legal guidelines, mentioned she would “welcome anybody who needs to return ahead and supply us with data that they’ve relating to the issues raised.”

“It’s tough to offer a timeframe at this early stage of any investigation, as there are a number of traces of inquiry,” she mentioned.

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