Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker

7th March 2017


Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) — As you would know, respect for the Speaker is something that has to be earned; it is not just a given. I must say that at this stage I am struggling — —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! Members on my right!

Mr WALSH — I am struggling to see that that respect is being earned by your actions already. It has already been said that you have taken on the Speaker’s role after a very dark day for this Parliament.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Mordialloc!

Mr WALSH — As I understand it, this is the first time in the 700-year history of the Westminster system that both a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker have been forced to resign at the same time for rorting the system, as they have done here in Victoria. So you do take over that role at a time when there is very low confidence. There is actually a crisis of confidence in this Parliament, in that chair you sit in, on the part of the people of Victoria. I think it is a very sad day for democracy in this state. We all were elected to uphold democracy and the Westminster system here in Victoria. Our forefathers and our foremothers fought wars to make sure we had the democracy we enjoy in this state, and I am afraid the former Speaker and Deputy Speaker brought the status of those positions down because of what they did in rorting the system.

It would appear that particularly the former Deputy Speaker has no remorse at all for what he did over that time. Apart from the fact of his actions, I find the fact that he has no remorse for what he did and believes it is his entitlement just plain wrong and totally disrespectful to the people of Melton, who he is supposed to represent.

The SPEAKER — Order! This is a debate around the election of Speaker, not the circumstances of a previous Deputy Speaker. I just ask — —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! Members on my left! I would just ask the Leader of The Nationals to come back to the point.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! The Leader of The Nationals, without the assistance of his own members.

Mr WALSH — As I was saying, you have taken on the role when there is a crisis of confidence in the role and in the running of this Parliament here in Victoria, and you have a job to do to prove your impartiality and to make sure that there is confidence again from both sides of the house and from all Victorians that the role of Speaker is there to act fairly and justly in this Parliament and not be partisan.

I must admit that I was disappointed to read commentary saying that you still aspire to be a minister, and I am very — —

Honourable members interjecting.

Debate interrupted.


Debate resumed.

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) — Speaker, I would hope that in your rulings and in your controlling of this house you will not be effectively auditioning to your political masters for that ministerial role in the future.

As I said, the right to respect has to be earned; it is not a given. I hope you do the work so that respect can be earned and you show your impartiality in how you carry out your role as Speaker.

The SPEAKER — Order! Thank you.


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