15 September 2016
Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) – I move:
That the words ‘later this day’ be omitted with the view of inserting in their place the words ‘the message from the Legislative Council proposing a joint sitting has been dealt with’.
Acting Speaker Carbines we have had this debate a few times and I think you have personally been involved in this debate a couple of times when we have done this. There is a message from the upper house requesting a joint sitting of the Parliament to elect Luke O’Sullivan to his rightful place as a member representing Northern Victoria Region in the Legislative Council and I believe that message should be dealt with and a motion should be passed. It may surprise you Acting Speaker that I think it should be passed. I think if you seriously examined your conscience you would believe it probably should be passed as well.
The spurious arguments from the other side that are put forward every time that somehow magically there should be a quid pro quo deal done for Gavin Jennings to be forgiven for his refusal to produce papers in the upper house that somehow all that should just go away are just frivolous. There is a totally separate process going on at the moment – that is the upper house has been through their process and the upper house has requested documents of the Leader of the Government in the upper house Gavin Jennings. He has chosen not to produce those documents. He was suspended from the Parliament for choosing not to comply with the resolution of the upper house.
There is a proper process there where an independent arbiter can be appointed as I understand it who can go through those documents and make a decision about which ones are appropriate to be tabled and which ones are not appropriate particularly those around cabinet in confidence. So the issue around Gavin Jennings’s presence in the upper house is totally of his own making and within his own ability to resolve.
The issue around the joint sitting to appoint Luke O’Sullivan to the upper house is very much an issue for the government in this house. It is for it to put that motion and to support that motion for there to be a joint sitting. There is 1 hour and 20 minutes before this house adjourns. The upper house is in session at the moment. There would be ample time if there was goodwill from the government in this house to hold a joint sitting today and for this issue to be dealt with. I would have thought – –
An honourable member interjected.
Mr WALSH – It is interesting how Gavin Jennings is suddenly very important to some people when I have previously heard plenty of them bagging him behind his back. All of a sudden they seem to think he is all right. Some of the people on that side of the house should be a bit mindful of their language and their opinion of Gavin Jennings in private because their public message is very different to what they are saying privately about him and his ability to run the upper house. There are a lot of crocodile tears for him at the moment that I am not sure are really very sincere.
There is plenty of time today with goodwill from the other side to put a motion about a joint sitting and to vote in the affirmative so there can be a joint sitting and to request that the upper house members come across. We could have it all done by 5 o’clock and everything would be sorted out. The recognised process that is there for Gavin Jennings to work with an arbiter who would have a look at those papers and determine what should or should not be tabled could then take place.
Unfortunately I think the decision by the government not to have this joint sitting is in the eyes of the public dragging down the reputation of both houses and the Victorian Parliament. They think what the government is doing around this particular process is absolutely ridiculous. The people of Victoria are actually a lot smarter than those on the other side of the house because they see through the stupidity of what is going on over there at the moment.
Mr Nardella interjected.
Mr WALSH – They can all interject and yell and scream but it just reflects on people like Donny Nardella. It reflects on you Donny and your stupidity I am afraid. That is what it does. It reflects on you Donny and your stupidity – –
Mr Scott – On a point of order Speaker members should be referred to by their proper titles.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Carbines) – Order! I would just remind the Leader of The Nationals in relation to that.
Mr WALSH – It reflects on the stupidity of the member for Melton. Is that better? This message should be dealt with.