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Lobster dinner undermines Vic Lib agenda

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August 09, 2017

Matthew Guy attended a dinner with the alleged head of Melbourne's mafia at a lobster restaurant.

It's either wishful thinking or delusion for the Victorian Liberals to believe their leader's lobster dinner with an alleged mafia boss - no matter how accidental - isn't going to hurt their tough-on-crime agenda.

Matthew Guy insists he met with long-time Liberal supporter Frank Lamattina and his cousin, alleged Melbourne mafia boss Tony Madafferi, at high-end restaurant the Lobster Cave to discuss fruit and vegetable markets.

But in leaked phone calls a Liberal Party figure suggested the meeting was really to procure political donations.

In parliament on Wednesday Mr Guy continued his push for mandatory sentencing, using the distressing case of a home invasion victim, present in the public gallery.

The ball was rolling. The coalition called Labor weak on crime. But the government had the "lobster with a mobster" comeback every time.

"We will continue to support victims of crime in any way we can ... what we will not do is be wined and dined by organised crime," Premier Daniel Andrews said.

As it stands, the cash-strapped Liberals are 15 months from an election, led by a man embroiled in a scandal undermining their political agenda and facing internal fighting.

In proclaiming support for Mr Guy, Liberal MPs said Victorians are more concerned about home invasions and carjackings than a would-be premier's lobster dinner.

They seemingly are not making the obvious connection that large crime syndicates feed day-to-day crime.

And while the party is publicly blaming Labor for the damaging leaks - a claim Mr Andrews says is "nonsense" - questions are being asked about the divide between Mr Guy and state president Michael Kroger.

Mr Guy publicly backed former Howard minister Peter Reith to take over from Mr Kroger and mend a stoush with major donor the Cormack Foundation, which has been withholding funds.

But Mr Reith had a stroke, Mr Kroger stayed on, and it's unclear if the rift between Mr Guy and Mr Kroger is healed.

If the coalition continue their law-and-order push, Labor is going to make a meal of them.

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