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This Victorian MP is paying her teenage children and friends to be her staff

Macquarie National News

It’s been revealed an influential state MP is employing her two children in her electoral office.

Independent upper house MP Catherine Cumming has hired her 19-year-old son and her 18-year-old daughter, who is still at school.

She also employs her niece, a long-time friend and her friend’s 21-year-old son.

Ms Cumming defended the move, saying she was unaware of the hiring process until after her election.

“I did not realise I had to hire staff and run my office as well,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

The Western Metropolitan MP cited trust issues as the reason for employing those close to her.

“I’m in a political environment and you have to have people you can trust,” she said.

“I’ve hired people who I trust and who are capable of doing the job.”

Ms Cumming said she “knows a handful” of other MPs who also employ family members.

Surprisingly, she wants to see the practice of employing family members banned.

“I’m happy that we’re having this conversation because it needs to change,” she said.

MPs from both sides of politics say it doesn’t pass the “pub test”.

Ms Cumming has proved a controversial figure since her election.

She was elected as member of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party.

Neil Mitchell, who had clashed with Ms Cumming when she was a Maribyrnong councillor, warned Mr Hinch it would end in tears and it took Ms Cumming less than a month to ditch the party for what could only be explained as trivial reasons.

“She also showed an inordinate amount of interest in the $800,000 per year she’d have earned as an Independent,” Hinch claimed in an interview with 3AW Drive at the time.

Last month, Ms Cumming told Neil Mitchell she was foggy on the details of the Transurban West Gate Tunnel deal, despite voting for it.

When Neil Mitchell pressed the point, Ms Cummings changed tack.

“You know, Neil, I came in to talk about organic waste,” she said.

Click PLAY to hear Ms Cumming on air with Neil Mitchell.

‘I came in to talk about organic waste’: Independent MP deflects questions on major road projects

Macquarie National News
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