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Bunkle, Hobbs Could Face Police Investigation

Shadow Leader of the House Roger Sowry says the accommodation allowance scam involving Cabinet Ministers Phillida Bunkle and Marian Hobbs might yet see them end up facing a Police investigation.

Mr Sowry has today written to the Registrar of Electors for Wellington Central, requesting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the two MPs registering themselves as voters in that electorate. "They did that at the exact same time as they were claiming accommodation allowances on the basis that they did not live in Wellington," Mr Sowry said today.

"What you have is MPs signing contradictory legal documents which avow that they both do and don't live in Wellington at the same time. They can't have it both ways, and no matter what way you look at it these MPs were lying on one or other of the legal documents they signed.

"If the Registrar of Electors for Wellington Central does find an irregularity then she is legally required, under Section 120 of the Electoral Act 1993 to refer the matter to the Police.

"Under Section 118 of the same act any person who wilfully makes a false application, certificate or declaration is liable to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 months.

"That isn't a far-fetched possibility when you consider that in recent years several Australian MPs have been sent to jail for abusing the system in order to obtain money they were not entitled to.

"These two Ministers behaviour makes them unfit to continue to hold Ministerial warrants," Roger Sowry said.


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