Liberal candidate for Isaacs put wrong address on enrolment form
The Liberal Party’s candidate for the seat of Isaacs has admitted he lives more than 20 kilometres away from the address he told the Australian Electoral Commission he resides at, potentially putting him in breach of Commonwealth law.
Candidate Robbie Beaton, who is pitching to voters as a “long-time local business owner”, claims in his electoral enrolment and Liberal Party preselection forms that he lives at the address of the Bridge Hotel in Mordialloc, which is in Melbourne’s southern suburbs in the Labor-held electorate of Isaacs. He actually lives in inner-eastern Camberwell.
Beaton, who once owned the pub, sold it in October 2021, before he was preselected and almost half a year before the deadline for changing voting address ahead of the May election.
The former long-time publican initially told The Age he continued to occasionally spend nights at a small apartment in the pub that he used after finishing work late. However, he then admitted he lives in Camberwell and had not spent any nights at the hotel since at least October.
“I do live in Camberwell, yes,” he said.
Beaton has owned the Camberwell home since 2002, but said he hoped, irrespective of the election result, to move to Isaacs, which stretches from Moorabbin in the north to Carrum in the south.
Isaacs is held by Labor shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus by a margin of slightly more than 6 per cent, the figure the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) uses to define a marginal seat.
In a subsequent written statement, Beaton said: “My family owned that hotel for 38 years, and I worked there for the last 20 years until its recent sale. This is an honest mistake and had no intent to mislead anyone.”