Letter to the Editor (Chaos in parliament as Labor denys Nth Vic Member swearing in)
Friday 19 August 2016
Daniel Andrews’ bullying reached new lows this week.
The Andrews Government defied 150 years of parliamentary convention and blocked requests for a joint sitting of Parliament’s upper and lower houses to swear in the new Nationals Member for Northern Victoria, Luke O’Sullivan.
The Premier’s dummy spit is over the suspension of his right hand man, Gavin Jennings, who was suspended by majority vote in Legislative Council for failing to table a number of requested documents.
This week Daniel Andrews attempted a dirty deal, offering to permit Mr O’Sullivan’s swearing in on the condition that Mr Jennings suspension is cancelled.
Luke O’Sullivan’s appointment has nothing to do with Mr Jennings’ conduct. Mr Jennings could return to tomorrow if he produced the requested documents.
And while Mr Jennings still has access to his full range of Parliamentary and Ministerial entitlements and resources while on suspension, Mr O’Sullivan has no resources or official capacity to serve to the people of Northern Victoria because he isn’t yet a Member of Parliament.
While Mr Jennings continues to work for his city constituents, Daniel Andrews’ petty actions are denying the people of Northern Victoria one of the Parliamentary representatives they are entitled to under Victoria’s Constitution.
Yet again, people in country Victoria are missing out because Dan Andrews favours dirty deals over good government.
The Nationals will not be held to ransom. We will not be bullied or intimidated by the Premier.
We will get on with the job of being the strong voice of regional communities in our State Parliament, and we will do our utmost to service the people of Northern Victoria until such time that Daniel Andrews allows Mr O’Sullivan to take his rightful place in Parliament
Member for Murray Plains
Leader of The Nationals