Ports and Marine Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - Second Reading

8th March 2017

Second reading

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) — I rise to support the amendment moved by the manager of opposition business. Government business should be suspended and we should debate the motion on the notice paper from the Leader of the Opposition. There is no more important business that this house should do than to actually debate that motion.

I take note of the member for Essendon’s very brief contribution. Obviously he did not have enough to say in defending the government’s motion to fill his time, because he is effectively defending the indefensible in trying to speak against this particular amendment. He says that the government will not be distracted from their mission, but their mission in life seems to be to rort the system as much as they possibly can. The mission in life of the Labor Party in this state is about, ‘How much can we rort the system for our own particular benefit?’. That seems to be the only thing that they can do. Look at former minister Steve Herbert in the Legislative Council — Patch and Ted were treated better than most of the people in Victoria because they had a chauffeured car to cart them to Trentham and back. How much rorting can you have — carting two dogs around in a chauffeured limousine? How is that in touch with reality in this particular state?

There is also the issue around the red shirts. Millions of dollars of Victorian taxpayers money is being spent trying to defend the indefensible. The Victorian Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal have said that this should be examined by the Ombudsman, so the government has now appealed to the High Court. How much money are the Premier and the Labor Party of Victoria going to spend defending the indefensible again?

The motion on the notice paper about the rorting that has taken place, particularly by the former Speaker and the former Deputy Speaker, should be debated as a matter of urgency in this house. Might I say, the former Deputy Speaker in particular has no remorse for what he did. He has absolutely no remorse for what he did. When you go as far as to tell the media to ‘f off’ when they ask a serious question about this issue, that is an absolute disgrace and brings this house into disrepute.

I noticed with interest this morning a tweet from the member for Ivanhoe.

Mr Pesutto — What did he say?

Mr WALSH — The member for Ivanhoe tweeted to the effect that if the former Deputy Speaker, the member for Melton, who supposedly lives in a caravan at Ocean Grove, is not going to pay the money back, he should resign and force a by‑election. Even his own colleagues are now saying that the former Deputy Speaker, the supposed member from Melton — because he believes he does not owe the people of Melton the respect of living in that particular electorate — should pay the money back or resign and force a by‑election.

The motion that we would like to see debated as a matter of urgency is the motion the Leader of the Opposition gave notice of yesterday to actually investigate the rorting by the members for Tarneit and Melton. They have for the first time in probably 700 years of Westminster history forced the resignation of both a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker because we have had the absolute stench of corruption around those particular members of Parliament.

It is symptomatic of how the Labor Party view their role in this state — to govern the state for what they can get out of it, not what they can do for the people of Victoria. I think in that respect they have lost the confidence of Victorians, and what we see on the front page of the Herald Sun today is very much a reflection of what Victorians think about this current government. It is not about what can be done for Victorians, which is why we are all elected, it is about what government members can get out of having their snouts in the trough in this particular place. I think they have brought politics in general to a new low in this state, and it is very, very disappointing. That is why we need to urgently debate the motion the Leader of the Opposition has put on the notice paper, because it is the most important business that this house could deal with.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! Members will come to order.


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