The Andrews Government has today again snubbed regional Victoria, refusing to take the Legislative Assembly to flood-affected areas.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Peter Walsh, moved that the Legislative Assembly meet in a flood-affected Northern Victoria community in October/November this year.
The switch would acknowledge the serious impact the floods had, but the Premier and Labor instead decided to remain insular and city-bound on Spring Street.
In February, the Andrews Labor Government took the disgraceful step of voting against a joint regional sitting, but Mr Walsh’s renewed calls to reverse the call fell on deaf ears.
The Legislative Council will meet in regional Victoria later this year and Mr Walsh said the Legislative Assembly should join them to allow the Government to understand what communities have experienced since the floods.
“The Andrews Labor Government should be ashamed for voting against taking all of the Victorian Parliament to the northern Victorian communities affected by last year’s floods,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Legislative Council sat in Bright during the last term of Parliament, but the Legislative Assembly hasn’t left Melbourne since Daniel Andrews became Premier in 2014, and that’s utterly disgraceful.
“I thank my Liberal and Nationals colleagues in the Legislative Council for successfully working with the crossbench and resolving to take that chamber to regional Victoria.”
As the Member for Murray Plains, Mr Walsh wants decision-makers to understand the severe emotional, physical and financial ramifications of last year’s floods in towns like Rochester.
“You can never understand the impacts of a natural disaster, or help fix it, from behind a desk in Melbourne; you have to get out there, see it first-hand, and hear from the locals.”
“Regional Victorians deserve a government that can look them in the eye, not one that refuses to meet with them and hear from them after a devastating crisis.”