In Parliament

Motion - Parliament Debating Motions



Thursday, 18 May 2023.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (10:05):

I move:
That ‘later this day’ be omitted and replaced with ‘after consideration of general business, notice of motion 16’.

This week the Opposition has made it clear that it wants to work with the Government in making sure the Parliament is used in the way that all Victorians would want it to be used. We have made that clear. We have now made that clear for four weeks.

But there is one line in the sand, and that is the Parliament being misused in a way that, frankly, is political and is simply the Government using its time to sledge the Opposition. That is what it is doing.

So, the opposition is seeking to move a Motion to Amend what the Government intends to schedule for the day and instead insert a very important Motion for consideration and debate, that being a Motion standing in my name:

That this House notes comments:

made by the Premier in response to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission report Operation Daintree citing it as an ‘educational’ report; and

from the Ombudsman that the report was ‘damning’ rather than ‘educational’.

This is an important Motion. This is a very important Motion for the House to consider, because the House can no longer be used in a way that, frankly, wastes Victorians’ time.

This is the people’s place, and the Government should have the legislative program to carry the debate of the week. We have not seen that. We have not seen the Government with the intellect, energy or will to carry the debate of this place and move forward with the Program that it so often stands to speak to in this place. We have now seen effectively this Parliament collapse in on itself in that the Government does not have work to do.

On Tuesday the Government stood up to speak on the Government Business Program, which is its agenda for the week in this place. It did mention at that time that two Motions would be debated this week, and today the Leader of the House has moved a Motion which sets out that four Motions will be considered this house this week.

So, the Government itself, when it spoke to its own program two days ago, did not even have the capacity or foresight to work out how to fill its own time for the week, and we learn today in this place that the Government is instead moving to motions. Sometimes the Opposition is given less than half an hour’s notice, and I do not think it is just discourtesy, though discourtesy I am sure it is, but it is also because I do not think the Government knows what it is doing in terms of managing the time in this place.

We will have a division on this question shortly. I note that the Premier again was not here this morning, and it will be interesting to see whether the Premier has arrived at work yet.

But we cannot continue moving forward and seeing a Parliament’s time wasted because the Government has not got the foresight, will or intellect to fill the Parliament’s time with important work that needs to be done – to debate matters of urgency, matters that are on the minds of every Victorian, like this very Motion that I am proposing the house now considers in relation to the Motion that I moved relating to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission report Operation Daintree, which was cited appallingly by the Premier as ‘educational’ and forced the Ombudsman to correct him in a public way that I have never seen. I do not think any Victorian has seen an Ombudsman being forced to publicly correct a Premier.

I make a final point in saying we cannot keep having this Parliament collapse in on itself because the Government has not got the capacity to work out its schedule. They do not have the capacity to work out on Tuesday what they will be doing for two days, and that is what we are seeing. It is frankly shameful, and I call on the Government to work with the Opposition to debate the important questions and to use the Parliament’s time in the way that every Victorian would expect.