Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing has criticised the Victorian Liberal Party for lacking transparency around Liberal candidate for the seat of Morwell Dale Harriman’s employment at the Latrobe Valley Authority.
The LVA was established by the Labor state government to provide support and assistance to the region in the wake of the Hazelwood power station closure.
Last week the Liberal party inadvertently confirmed Latrobe City councillor Harriman as its candidate for the seat of Morwell at this year’s state election.
On the Liberal Party website, Cr Harriman is described as having had “the opportunity to support workers affected by redundancy, helping them transition into new employment” while also acting as a “tireless opponent of Labor policies”.
Ms Shing said Cr Harriman’s candidate profile on the Liberal Party website did not mention his employment at the LVA and that the Liberal Party should not have tried to hide this fact.
“The Liberal Party should be honest about the fact that their own candidate for Morwell has had the opportunity to support workers affected by redundancy and to transition them into new employment because of the establishment of the very body that the Coalition has said it will restructure if elected,” Ms Shing said.
Her comments come after opposition frontbencher David Southwick told The Express last month the Coalition would consider reassessing the setup of the LVA if it wins the election.
“I think that working at the Latrobe Valley Authority creates difficulties for Mr Harriman,” Ms Shing said.
“I hope Mr Harriman can resolve this issue. But in the meantime the Liberal party would do well to be more honest about the credentials and work of its candidates, particularly where those credentials are directly linked to Andrews Labor government work.”
Cr Harriman said his opposition to Labor policies put him “in the same boat as Harriet’s colleague and former minister Jane Garrett,” as he supports CFA volunteers over the United Firefighters Union and supports “the Timber Industry over inner city Greens”.
Liberal Party state director Nick Demiris was preparing a response when The Express went to print.