‘GOVERNMENT BUSINESS PROGRAM’.
Tuesday, 23 May 2023.
Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (13:42):
The Coalition will be opposing the Government Business Program.
The Minister spoke to the Budget that was just delivered and the opportunity for Members to go to their community and talk about the Budget, and that is certainly the case – that Members will be doing that.
I know that in line with the Minister’s comments about communicating about the Budget, one of the issues I will be talking about is the secret hit list on nonGovernment schools that the Treasurer did not refer to in his speech. The Government is proposing to introduce a hit list on non-Government schools– to remove their payroll tax exemptions.
Mary-Anne Thomas: On a point of order, Speaker, as we know, the Government Business Program Debate is a narrow procedural debate. The Member on his feet is looking to give his address-in reply, which is completely inappropriate at this time given that we have not yet heard from the Shadow Treasurer. So I would ask that you call the Member back to debating –
James NEWBURY: On the point of order, Speaker, the Minister, in addressing the Government Business Program, spoke to the Budget speech and did have some latitude in the way that she spoke to the issue.
I would say that it is entirely within order, considering the matter that was raised, for me to refer to the Budget speech and the fact that the schools hit list is not in the Budget speech.
The SPEAKER: Order! On the point of order, this is a narrow procedural debate on the Government Business Program. I ask members to stay within the bounds of the Government Business Program and not stray into debating Bills before the house.
James NEWBURY: Thank you, Speaker. Another point that the Coalition has raised repeatedly over recent weeks is the fact that the Government has had difficulty in managing the Parliament and managing the program. The Government have not been able to fill their agenda, and therefore the Coalition has raised repeated concerns that not only is there a slowing of infrastructure in the State but also there is a slowing in the Parliament doing the work that it should be doing and considering proposed legislation and that the Parliament has been filling its time with motions.
Mary-Anne Thomas interjected.
James NEWBURY: As the Minister interjected and spoke to in her contribution to the Government Business Program, the Parliament may consider a motion later this afternoon.
We know that in the last sitting week, the Government suggested that we would be dealing with two motions during the week and instead we dealt with four.
Noting that the Minister has confirmed that we will be debating potentially a motion later today, I would note that one of the motions that could be considered is the education motion.
I know that I will certainly be looking forward to an opportunity to raise the 54 election commitments to schools that have not been included in the budget speech. That is an opportunity I think we will all share – the school funding that was promised in the election that has not been delivered, with 54 schools left out.
The Coalition is deeply concerned that the Parliament and the Government’s management of the Parliament is grinding to a halt in the same way that infrastructure is grinding to a halt.
The Coalition is concerned that the Government does need help in managing the Parliament, and I think I can put on record the growing relationship between the Leader of the House and me in terms of working through the Program and working through how the House operates and put on record my regard for the Leader of the House.
But I know that the Leader of the House at the end of the day is unfortunately only able to put through the Parliament what the Ministers complete, and we know that the Ministers are not completing enough work and so they do not have enough to put through this chamber. That is an issue that has been raised repeatedly.
I think it is now becoming quite obvious to Victoria at large that the Government is having problems with managing the Parliament, and on that basis and the fact that we are dealing with a Bill that was only given a six-day layover, the Coalition will be opposing the Government Business Program