Labor frontbencher David Feeney is in hot water over his undeclared $2.3 million Northcote house, revealed by Fairfax yesterday. Members and senators are required to update their register of pecuniary interests within 28 days of any changes. Some MPs, who seem to get continual free tickets to sports events, have interest registers that run for tens of pages, but Feeney’s declaration has only been updated twice since the 2013 election. So what does he remember, if he forgot to declare a house?
In April last year, Feeney declared two model boats, worth $4000 each, given by ship-building company Austal. He also declared a trip to Papua New Guinea in August last year, sponsored by Save the Children. Apart from the original declaration, which includes his house in East Melbourne an investment property in up-and-coming suburb Seddon, there’s very little to report. The excuse that he forgot won’t pass muster, especially with the added news that the house is negatively geared. To add to the bad optics, Feeney doesn’t live in his electorate of Batman, which is under concerted attack by the Greens, but in nearby Melbourne — held by the Greens’ only MP, Adam Bandt.