Peter Dutton is currently being criticised, as recently many other Federal politicians have been, regarding his eligibility to be a Parliamentarian. But what exactly does the Constitution say?
Section 44(v) is the clause in question, which relevantly provides:
‘(A Parliamentarian must not have) … any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons’.
That is, unless Mr Dutton is only benefitting as a shareholder of a large company, he appears ineligible to have his job. His argument is that any contract he has for financial benefit, is not with him, but with many childcare centres, and therefore he has no conflict.
It is a fascinating case and shows the importance of proper legal planning before an event, to avoid dramatic consequences later!