Victoria's speaker and deputy speaker have resigned following expense scandals revealing both Labor MPs received allowances for a "second residence".
Victoria's Parliamentary Speaker Telmo Languiller had promised to repay the $37,678 expenses claim for living in Queenscliff -- a seaside town 80 kilometres from his electorate -- but after mounting pressure announced he would step down as speaker and return to the backbench.
Hours later, deputy speaker Don Nardella and Member for Melton also quit, returning to the backbench following revelations he claimed more than $100,000 using the same allowance.
Their resignations come days before an investigation by parliament's Audit Committee that would have examined their expenses and claims.
Premier Daniel Andrews said their choice to step down is the "right decision." The Premier announced he is investigating changes to ensure this does not happen again and thanked the ministers for their service.
"It is self-evident that the second residence allowance is meant for regional MPs who must travel to Melbourne for Parliament," he said.
Languiller sighted complex personal reasons for his residency in Queenscliff but subsequently said "he should accept the price for this error of judgment".
"As I have already stated in the press and in the Parliament I accept that my actions do not meet the very high standards that the community expects of its elected representatives," Languiller said.
"For this reason today I contacted the Premier to inform him that I would be resigning as the Speaker of the Parliament," he said.
"I regret that this issue, if not addressed, could damage the position of Speaker of the Parliament.
The Premier has provided me with much support over the last two years as I faced very difficult family challenges."
To lose one Speaker is unfortunate, to lose the deputy too looks like carelessness. #springst— Stephanie Peatling (@srpeatling) February 25, 2017
Nardella said he responded truthfully and fully to the request for information about this allowances and acted according to rules.Suggest a correction