In Parliament

Motion - Debate Be Adjourned



Wednesday, 31 May 2023.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (10:12):

I move:

That debate be adjourned.

The Government yesterday introduced state taxes that the Victorian public has not seen and committed to giving Victorians one day to consider them. They have not even kept their commitment – the Government have not kept their commitment to give Victorians even one day.

In fact, this Bill that has been proposed to the House is so new it is dealt with differently on the Notice Paper. It is italicised and noted as being so new that it is not dealt with normally on the Notice Paper.

But as I said, the Coalition is deeply concerned at the way that the Government is managing these Bills, both the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2023 and the Victorian Future Fund Bill 2023, that the Government is ramming these Bills through the Parliament, and we are seeing it now.

I repeat the point: yesterday the Government committed to Victorians that they would have one day – not long, but one day – to consider the most punitive taxes this State has ever seen, including a new school’s tax, which is based on a hit list of schools.

The Minister at the table yesterday proved she did not have any idea of the details of what the hit list would involve or the schools that would be on the hit list, and yet we have had less than one day to consider them.

It is absolutely outrageous. It is outrageous that we are seeing a Parliamentary sitting this week with an set of Appropriation Bills that were dealt with in a short couple of hours. I mean, the chaos yesterday was something that we have never seen before. The Government raised a Matter of Public Importance supposedly talking about its own election commitments, delivering its own election commitments, and did not even turn up to debate it. We did not need to turn up to debate the point that the government have not kept their commitments; Labor did not even turn up.

It is deeply concerning after being given one day to consider these important punitive measures that are going to hurt so many people in the community – rents are going up because of this Bill. Schools are going to be damaged by this Bill, absolutely damaged. I mean, the Government is so proud of these state tax measures, but the Treasurer did not even refer to the fact that half a billion dollars almost is being ripped out of schools. Can you believe it? He was so proud he did not even refer to it. You are not going to defend it, are you?

Colin Brooks: On a point of order, Deputy Speaker, I think the Member opposite as Manager of Opposition Business well knows, this is a procedural debate on whether this item should be adjourned or not. It is not a substantive debate on the bill itself, and the Member should confine his remarks to the actual procedural debate.

Danny O’Brien: On the point of order, Deputy Speaker, the whole point of why we are arguing about the Adjournment is to explain the details of the Bills and why we need more time. You cannot argue an Adjournment for a piece of legislation unless you have a reason for the Adjournment of that piece of
legislation. There is so much in this. That is why the Manager of Opposition Business is attempting to adjourn this Bill.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I will rule on the point of order. It is a procedural debate, and we should all be careful not to anticipate debate of the Bill. There is a little wriggle room. Please come back to the procedural debate.

James NEWBURY: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. I can understand why the government would be embarrassed. We have been talking about their new hit list on schools.

We are moving this morning to stop the government ramming through another budget Bill. This is a very important budget Bill, the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2023. We are moving this morning that Victorians be given the day that was committed to to at least read the bill.

The fact that the Government is now ramming through Bills in under a day – under a day – should concern every Victorian.

We know that Victorians have seen the way the government is pushing Bills through this House without allowing any scrutiny, any oversight and frankly any integrity. It really goes to what is happening with this Government and the chaos that this Parliament is now seeing.

We cannot reach a point where Governments are committing to introducing punitive, nasty tax measures and not even allow Victorians time to see them.

So, the Coalition is seeking to adjourn off this Bill to allow Victorians the time they were promised yesterday to consider this Bill – this punitive, nasty Bill that is going to hurt so many hundreds of thousands of Victorians.