Business of the House
Tuesday, 1 May 2018
Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) (13:57:27) — I oppose the Leader of the House’s motion to adjourn. I think we should sit for the whole week this week. As the member for Essendon was saying about going out and selling the good news, on my quick estimation of the budget I actually have not got much good news to go and sell because as usual this is about a Premier for Melbourne, not a Premier for all of Victoria. There is basically very, very little in the budget for regional Victoria.
Ms Allan — That’s a lie.
Mr WALSH — There might be some business cases and some studies. This mob has been in power for three and a half years —
Ms Allan — What about Shepparton? What about $313 million for Shepparton? That’s pretty big.
Mr WALSH — They do not need to be doing business cases and studies. They actually need to be funding real projects. On the interjection from the Leader of the House, I do not notice a new train fleet for regional Victoria in the budget. Something that we have is the $633 million that we have committed to a train fleet.
Ms Allan — That’s because you must have missed the 87 we’ve already done.
Mr WALSH — That was actually ordered in the Hamer days; that is how old the trains are. This government has actually done nothing about replacing those trains.
I actually came down on the train on Sunday night, and if they would wash the windows it would be a good start. The windows are actually absolutely filthy on the train from Swan Hill. When I was on there recently with the Leader of the Opposition and his family, we spoke with a conductor and he actually apologised for the condition of those trains and said the same thing. At least if they would wash the windows it would be a good start.
So I think we need to be in this place. We need to do our job in debating the budget. It is not all about going out and talking to our constituents in this case. It is about the Parliament scrutinising the executive government. That is what the role of the Parliament is: it is to scrutinise the executive government and to hold the executive government to account. But the fact that the Leader of the House has moved a motion that we only sit for the one day this week shows that those opposite are actually ashamed of their budget. They actually want to go out and talk to other people rather than expose themselves to the scrutiny of Parliament in talking about the budget.
If the Treasurer actually believed the rhetoric in his speech today, the house would sit for the whole week. The shadow Treasurer would have the opportunity to do his budget response on Thursday, as has been the tradition except for last year when we had this same debate at that time. The parliamentary tradition here in Victoria is to have a full sitting on a budget week, to have the budget delivered on a Tuesday, as has happened, and to have the shadow Treasurer do his budget response on the Thursday. That way I think the Parliament is working how it is designed to work, where the Parliament is actually using this forum here to examine and to hold the executive government to account for the decisions they are making. The fact that we have got a one‑day sitting and we are not coming back until next week for the shadow Treasurer and for the shadow ministers to do their budget responses says to me that the Andrews government wants to hide. They want to run away from scrutiny.
Honourable members interjecting.
Mr WALSH — You might laugh, but that is the signal that is being sent to those people out there who expect us and who pay us to do our job in this place, and not just employ spin doctors to spin everything and not have Parliament examine things.
I absolutely oppose what the Leader of the House has put forward in relation to only having a one‑day sitting. We most definitely should be sitting for all of this week to give the opportunity to have proper scrutiny of the budget. It is appalling that we will not have that. I think the Andrews government and all the members of Parliament that sit on that side of the chamber should hang their heads in disgrace that they will not actually let the Parliament perform its role. This is about showing total disrespect to the Parliament. I suppose for someone who has got absolutely no respect for the Country Fire Authority volunteers —
Honourable members interjecting.
The SPEAKER — Order! Members on my right! The member for Yuroke is warned.
Mr WALSH — I am not surprised that there is no respect for the Parliament. There is no respect for the systems of Victoria. It is all about bullying and intimidation, and what they can get away with in rorting the system here.
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