Premier puts sloshed MPs on notice

Dan Andrews at JD's Sports Bar in 2014.

Dan Andrews at JD's Sports Bar in 2014.

Ballarat MPs are at odds over a controversial plan from Premier Daniel Andrews to start breathalysing politicians when parliament sits in Melbourne.

Wendouree MP Sharon Knight said the government was committed to fulfilling its election promises but that she had never seen anyone tipsy or drunk in Spring Street’s parliamentary chambers.

“Have I ever had a drink there? Yes, I’ve had a glass of wine when family come and we sit until 10pm,” she said.

“But to be honest, my focus is on Ballarat.”

Mr Andrews had first said he would introduce random breath testing on politicians when parliament sits back in November 2014 on the eve of winning government. A spokeswoman for Mr Andrews told The Courier on Wednesday the government would act upon all its election commitments.

Western Victoria MP Joshua Morris would not be drawn on whether he supported it but said it would force politicians to think twice about overindulging with a few drinks.

“I think it’s important that politicians are held to a high level of account for the role they perform,” he said.

“All politicians must act responsibly.”

Former Wendouree candidate Craig Coltman thought breathalysing politicians was unnecessary. 

“The electorate is smart enough to not elect politicians who would drink on the job,” he said.

There are many rooftop bars along Spring Street that politicians and their staffers are known to frequent, along with parliament’s in-house restaurant. 

It comes after Mr Andrews ordered an investigation into his ministers’ mobile phones to out the source of government leaks.


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