Potential political candidates will be grilled over their sexual history, social media posts, drinking habits, and drug use under a revamped ‘excessive’ vetting process.
Political hopefuls vying for Liberal preselection in Victoria will need to answer a comprehensive 97-question form.
The queries range from a candidate’s financial background – such as debts, real estates interests, and tax offices dealings – to whether they have a traffic offence history or have ever ‘held a placard at a protest’.
There are also some very personal questions designed to preempt any embarrassing scandals for the party.
Whether a candidate has any marital problems or has visited to a sex shop, strip club, or brothel in the last five years will be included on the questionnaire.
Victorian Opposition leader Matthew Guy (pictured) is gearing up for the 2022 state election and has vehemently opposed Dan Andrews’ strict lockdowns
The new process was introduced by Victorian Liberal Party president Robert Clark in response to the 2018 election defeat and is modelled on successful methods used in NSW and Tasmania.
The answers will be assessed by the Applicant Review Committee ahead of the 2022 state election to filter out any ‘low-quality’ nominations.
Links to dating profiles, social media accounts, and online reviews must also be provided so they can be screened before any dirt-digging expeditions by rival parties.
Labor staff have had previous success at finding embarrassing posts or information on Liberal and Greens candidates.
Under previous premier John Brumby, Labor had a taxpayer-funded committee referred to as ‘the dirt unit’ whose sole mission was to discredit the opposition.
Mr Guy (pictured with his wife Renae Stoikos) will lead the Liberals into the election and hopes the strict vetting measures for candidates will weed out any potential scandals
But Dr Christopher Scanlon, a social commentator from Deakin University, said the questionnaire was an ‘invasion of personal and private’ information.
He said the questions could result in candidates that lack real-world experience.
‘We could get to a point where we get very, very vanilla politicians, who don’t have strong views and are really risk averse,’ he told the Herald Sun.
Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy vowed there would be no more lockdowns under a government led by him.
Mr Guy made the pledge at an event in Dandenong South on Saturday morning to mark one year until the state election.
‘The Liberals and Nationals are here 12 months out to give a very clear commitment to Victorians for the next election. No ifs, no buts, no more lockdowns,’ he said to applause from the crowd.
Melbourne (pictured) has recently reopened after the longest lockdown in the world with Mr Guy promising to do away with lockdowns
Mr Guy said Victorians were sick of the ‘negativity’ of the Andrews Labor government, which has imposed six Covid lockdowns on the state totalling 263 days.
‘Lockdowns have hurt our community, they’ve hurt people, our kids, our state,’ he said.
‘Over 90 per cent of us are fully vaccinated and that number will only increase. So as far as we’re concerned lockdowns should be a thing of the past.’
The election pledge came about an hour before the federal government announced measures to protect Australians from the new Omicron strain of Covid-19 that emerged in South Africa.
Mr Guy is already on the campaign trail, speaking at the Victorian Heart Hospital construction site earlier this month (pictured)
Asked whether the new variant could affect his plans, Mr Guy told reporters: ‘Every flu strain every year is different, we’re going to have to learn to live with this.
‘We’re going to get variants for the next couple of years, we can’t have the government threatening to lock us down via its pandemic legislation every single time.
‘My commitment is I don’t want lockdowns, fix the health system so we don’t have to.’
In his speech, Mr Guy said he had a ‘positive’ plan for the state’s future, which included reigning in budget blowouts on infrastructure projects, creating more jobs by supporting small businesses, reducing hospital waiting lists for elective surgery and ending the mental health crisis.
‘Our state has had enough. We want positivity. We want a government that gives us confidence,’ he said.
Mr Guy was introduced by his son Joseph, who told the crowd his father wanted to make Victoria a ‘better place to live for all of us, not just some’.
‘My dad cares about Victoria. He’s in politics to make our state the best place in Australia and my mum and my brothers will do everything we can to make that a reality alongside him,’ the 13-year-old said.
Not to be outdone Victorian Premier Dan Andrews tours the Box Hill Institute campus in Box Hill ahead of a press conference in Melbourne this week (pictured)
The opposition needs to win 18 seats at the November 26 poll to form government.
However, the most recent opinion polls show Labor is in a near impregnable position.
A Roy Morgan survey published on Thursday has Labor leading the coalition 59.5 to 40.5 on a two-party preferred basis, while last week’s Newspoll has them leading 58 to 42.
Both surveys are an increase on the 57.3 to 42.7 result at the 2018 election, which saw the coalition lose 11 lower house seats including blue-ribbon Hawthorn.