In Parliament

Motion: Government Business Program



Tuesday, 14 November 2023.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (12:26):

The Coalition will be supporting the Government Business Program this week.

As the Leader of the House said, there are a number of Bills and a number of broader issues that the House will be speaking about this week that are such important issues – community safety, which the Leader of the House spoke to. May I say more broadly I am sure that most Members will in their contributions refer to recent incidents around community safety both in relation to the Bills and also events, including the horrible events that occurred in Caulfield on Friday.

We are at a difficult time, and this House will be speaking about very important issues this week. So, I think it is important to note right from the outset the Coalition’s deep distress at the events that occurred in Caulfield on Friday, and I am sure that Members across both sides of the House share in those concerns and will be speaking about those matters throughout their contributions.

As the Leader of the House did say, a number of important matters will be discussed. I will start by referring to the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (WorkCover Scheme Modernisation) Bill 2023. I think for the third time in the time of this Government, the Government has agreed to take that Bill into consideration in detail. What that means for those listening is the House has an opportunity to look at each Clause of the Bill and talk through the substance of each Clause. The Minister will be at the table to take questions in relation to the specifics of the Clause. I am advised that the consideration-in-detail process will take place on Thursday. I have been given assurance by the Government that there will be a reasonable opportunity to do that – so not a tokenistic one, a reasonable opportunity.

I am sure the Minister responsible for the Bill would not mind me sharing that when requesting that the Bill be taken into consideration in detail, normally I would just request that of the Leader of the House, but in this instance, I also copied in the Minister, because I felt the Minister would be the fiercest advocate for that process on this Bill. I look forward to a reasonable time for the House to consider that Bill, because it is an important Bill and there are a lot of important aspects to that Bill, so consideration in detail is reasonable in relation to that Bill.

I thank the government and note again that the Coalition will not be opposing the Government Business Program this week.

There are a number of other Bills that the Leader of the House referred to. The Corrections Amendment (Parole Reform) Bill 2023 and the Crimes Amendment (Non-fatal Strangulation) Bill 2023 are both important issues of community safety. One is about ensuring that we keep the community safe in relation to parole, and this is a very important Bill. I know that there are so many Members on both sides of the Chamber that are looking for an opportunity to speak on behalf of their communities in relation to those measures. But there is also the non-fatal strangulation Bill. I know just on the briefing that took place on the Bill how many Members joined that briefing to understand and share their concerns about the importance of making sure that the community is protected around these important matters. The Leader of the House spoke to those matters and talked about domestic violence and the safety of women and that this Bill will be an opportunity to make changes on matters that I am sure as a house we all want to see dealt with better and ensure that the community is safer.

Those are very important Bills to be dealt with, which is why we will not oppose the Government Business Program. We do hope there is an opportunity this week to speak to the move-on motion which was recently put forward by the Shadow Attorney-General. There is no doubt that there are questions regarding community safety and move-on powers that did once exist but now do not exist in that form, so an opportunity this week to discuss that would be appropriate. I will finish on this point by saying the Coalition looks forward to speaking on these Bills and will not be opposing the program.