5 years since the Lobster with a Mobster story broke, here are 5 other examples of Matthew Guy being dodgy as hell.
That time he claimed abortion was… like cooking a lobster?
In 2008, Matthew Guy opposed the abortion reform introduced by the Brumby Labor Government that officially decriminalised abortion in Victoria, saying: “Tail-docking a dog would be illegal, putting a lobster in boiling water would be illegal, but it will be legal to abort a six-month-old child if this Bill passes”.
Leaving aside what would turn out to be an unfortunate choice of metaphor, Guy was openly fear-mongering about Victorian women’s right to seek a legal and safe abortion. The Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 was of course passed, and decriminalised abortion in Victoria up to a gestational limit of 24 weeks.
One wonders whether Guy still wishes to charge women who seek abortion with a crime - it’s certainly not a position he’s advertising these days, having recently booted former Liberal Bernie Finn for social media posts on the issue.
In July 2012, then Liberal Minister for Planning Matthew Guy shocked locals and planning experts when he rezoned Fishermans Bend from industrial to “capital city zone”.
Overnight, land values soared. The new zoning allowed for residential and commercial use without a permit, and new construction exempt from public scrutiny. A very few people got very, very rich. Some of them, as it happens, were donors to the Liberal Party.
But what was baffling to planning experts was that none of the newly zoned area had been purchased in advance for public use. There was nowhere for schools, parks, public transport - all of which would now cost far more.
The upshot? Victorians all paid the price for Matthew Guy’s generous gift to developers.
When he ran an entire election campaign based on racial hatred
In 2018, Guy was quoted as saying "There's an issue with Sudanese gangs at the moment." In a radio interview, he accused the government of "standing by and allowing Melbourne to become the Johannesburg of the South Pacific".
The comments echoed a theme emerging from his Federal counterparts, when the then Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said Victorians were "scared to go out to restaurants" because of "African gang violence". Malcolm Turnbull said there was "real concern about Sudanese gangs" in Melbourne.
The comments were bizarre. They were offensive. They were untrue, and unfairly vilified entire sections of Victoria’s community.
Nevertheless, with considerable assistance from the Murdoch press, Guy made “African gangs” a central theme of his last tilt at becoming Premier. Thankfully, Victorians saw through the Liberals’ blatant racial fear mongering and spanked the Liberal party into political obscurity at the 2018 election.
When his Chief of Staff tried to get a $100,000 payment for unnamed favours
Last week Matthew Guy’s Chief of Staff Mitch Catlin was forced to resign, after it was revealed that he approached a billionaire Liberal Party donor Jonathan Munz with a request for Munz to funnel $100,000 into Catlin’s private business.
The contract would have required the donor to pay $8333 a month for contracting services described as “supporting business interests”.
Munz turned the deal down. (Honestly, when you are too dodgy for billionaire Liberal Party donors, you probably need to take a hard look at your life choices.)
Matthew Guy has dodged questions about the scandal, but his fingerprints are everywhere. Catlin wrote to Guy’s private hotmail address:
“Hey MG. Attached is the proposed agreement between [the donor] and Catchy Media Marketing and Management. It’s as per the original email agreement between you and me. Can I leave you to forward onto him?”
Catlin has now stood down, and journalists have speculated that he’s left Victoria. Taking over the job is Guy’s buddy Nick McGowan, in what senior Liberal sources have described as a “f—ing mess”.
In what has become known as the murkiest planning saga in Victorian history, property purchasers Carley Nicholls and husband Jim Hopkins - a Liberal Party member - approached Matthew Guy through a family friend, who also happened to be a former Kennett Government Planning Minister. Shortly thereafter, Guy decided to rezone a swathe of farmland at Ventnor on Phillip Island.
There was an immediate backlash, and under pressure from others in the Liberal Party, Guy backflipped on the decision. Whereupon Ms Nicholls threatened to “reveal all”.
Ms Nicholls was paid a generous compensation payout. Millions of dollars. Paid by Victorians. All so Ms Nicholls doesn’t spill the beans on what she and Mr Guy discussed at that meeting.
Matthew Guy is the Leader of the Victorian Liberal Party. They chose him. Twice. If this is the best they’ve got to offer Victoria, they should not hold a single seat in this great state.
The Liberals clearly have no shame about asking millionaire developers for cash in their campaign to take Government in Victoria.
So to counter their millions we are asking you to pitch in $30 for a lobster suit.
This $30 will not buy you access to power. It will not buy you planning decisions. It will literally buy us more lobster suits* to put volunteers in, so they can follow Matthew Guy around dancing to “Rock Lobster”. It’s very funny, it annoys him a lot.
* If we get a lot of donations, your donation might be used for other campaign stuff, like lobster-shaped flyers, fuel for the giant Pinchy generator, and printer ink. But we promise we will buy the lobster suits first.