Parliament Adjournment

Business of the House - Adjournment

Thursday 23rd March 2017

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) — I rise to support the manager of opposition business in opposing the adjournment of the house. In starting, I make an observation about the member for Essendon’s contribution on how busy, allegedly, those on that side of the house are in their electorates. We are elected to the Victorian Parliament to come to this place to govern this state and uphold the standards of this Parliament for the people of Victoria. Unfortunately those on the other side of the house do not believe that is their role in this place.

It is absolutely important that we actually debate the motion proposed by the Leader of the Opposition to set up a select committee. Yes, we have just received this report, but that select committee should be formed and starting to do its work while we are in adjournment over the next few weeks. If that select committee is not established now, that work will not be done and the government will be hiding for the next month. This is all about obfuscating their responsibility as a government to uphold the standards of good governance in this state.

I would urge government members to vote down the motion moved by the Leader of the House to adjourn the house. If they want to have any credibility at all in their electorates with their constituents and if they want to be able to walk down the main streets of their electorates with their heads up, they need to make sure that this house actually does its job and debates the motion on the notice paper by the Leader of the Opposition to set up a select committee to inquire into the rorting by the member for Melton and the member for Tarneit.

The first report we have from PricewaterhouseCoopers just confirms what everyone in this state knows: those two members of Parliament have rorted the system here. They have brought us all into disrepute by doing that, because the general public does not differentiate between politicians. Those two members, the two officials of this house, the former Speaker and the former Deputy Speaker, are the two people that are empowered by this house to uphold the standards of this house and set the standards for all MPs and for the people of Victoria. They have let us down severely. They have brought us all down in the eyes of the public.

It is absolutely critical that that select committee is set up and that it does its work to investigate these issues. We should not be adjourning the house. We should be doing what we are elected to do, and that is govern for all Victorians and make sure we uphold the standards that are appropriate in this place. I would urge all members to vote against the motion to adjourn for a month moved by the Leader of the House, because it is just far too long and there is important work to do. I would urge people to vote accordingly.

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