Author Archive | Steve Dimopoulos

Justice Legislation Amendment

MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) (18:42:20) — It gives me great pleasure to speak on the Justice Legislation Amendment (Access to Justice) Bill 2018. This is an enormously important bill, and it is only one part of a system that we are reforming through investment and through legislative change. This is for all Victorians who value and respect the value of justice, but it is particularly also for vulnerable Victorians, who need access to justice perhaps more. I will touch on that
a bit later.

The Victorian Labor government values the rule of law and all people’s access to it. We value equality before the law, the right to counsel and the right to a fair trial. We value strong institutions, including the judiciary and the court system, but they are of no use if you cannot access them. There is no use having the most robust and strong institutions if citizens are locked out of them, and increasingly we have seen that some people are actually locked out of these institutions and access to justice. We are talking specifically about vulnerable Victorians — and all Victorians. We are talking about disadvantaged Victorians, who are what the member for Broadmeadows talked about — those who, through either lack of knowledge or funds or not having the life chances in their family or the community, have a much greater propensity to be brought before the criminal justice system or the justice system full stop and then have the onus to either represent themselves or find access to inexpensive or free legal counsel. The only way you can have a civilised society is if people at the most vulnerable stage of their life have access to the strong institutions that we hold up as evidence of a civilised society.

This bill does a lot of the things that we expect in terms of strengthening that access to justice. It might pay to quote just a bit from the Attorney-General’s second-reading speech because he outlines the problems very, very well. He says the review undertaken, which is what I was referring to:

… found significant goodwill and dedication among institutions and service providers in the justice system and the legal assistance sector, despite the many challenges the system faces. It also found that some important enablers of the system are weak. There is a lack of data, poor technology in many parts of the system, under-resourcing of legal assistance and related services and services that are not sufficiently integrated.

He also went on to say:

The government agreed, or agreed in part, to 57 of the 60 recommendations. In its response to the review, the government announced $34.7 million in new funding to help disadvantaged Victorians better access legal advice, support and information. The package was in addition to the $103.7 million provided to enhance the justice system and legal assistance services that was announced in the Victorian budget 2017–18.

There are a range of issues and problems in the system at the moment, and they were effectively encapsulated in those 60-odd recommendations.

What do we seek to do in this bill? Quite a number of things, including making significant changes to the Legal Aid Act 1978 and strengthening Victoria Legal Aid’s role in coordinating the provision of legal aid and legal assistance and information. We are also increasing the transparency and accountability of Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) by introducing new planning and reporting requirements, including a long-term strategic plan every four years, an annual corporate plan and quarterly performance reporting. It is quite odd that these things were not enshrined in law in the way they are here, and I think that is vitally important. We also seek to strengthen the skill base of the VLA board and change some governance arrangements that are not working in the best possible way currently.

We are also seeking to give more prominence to the Victoria Law Foundation, an excellent organisation. I have had a bit of interaction, through constituents and others, with the Victoria Law Foundation. For starters, its website is incredible in terms of making justice and law accessible to everyday Victorians, but we want to empower the organisation to become a centre of excellence and also to be part of the system that actually collects data and to be more robust in terms of the analytics it can provide back to government and policymakers about how we can further improve the system of access to justice.

We also seek to make several changes to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 to enable mediators to conduct compulsory conferences across all lists at VCAT, which is one of the review recommendations, and a whole range of other changes.

I want to pick up on two points, one made by a colleague and a very robust, intelligent member, the member for Broadmeadows, who talked about this government’s investment in a coordinated strategy — I think he called it — in terms of investment to essentially bring a better life to people who are vulnerable so they do not necessarily come up before the justice system as often as they currently do.

Before I go to that I just want to pick up on the member for Hawthorn’s comments in relation to the cost of justice where, in what was effectively an example of tricky politics by the member, he talked about the fact that the cost of justice has gone up under our government. What he neglected to tell the chamber — the Parliament — was that the formula for how you work out the cost of justice is by effectively dividing the number of cases heard by the courts by the budget the courts have to run. This government, our proud Labor government, has increased the funding of every single jurisdiction in Victoria. What happens when you increase the funding? The cost per case of course — by function of the formula — goes up. If you have $1 million divided by 10 000 cases, you are going to have a lower cost per case than if you have $2 million divided by 10 000 cases. He was less than truthful in that contribution.

What was also less than truthful was his specific take on the crime rate. We all know that — and it is not just us saying this but the Crime Statistics Agency Victoria, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, any reasonable observer or any reasonable interested person including, may I say, the Chief Commissioner of Police at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings both last year and this year, who said clearly that we in Victoria have one of the lowest crime rates. I do not want to verbal him — his evidence is on the public record — but he did say that, and he specifically said we have the second-lowest youth crime rate in Australia after the Australian Capital Territory. But that does not suit the political agenda — the base, shallow political agenda — of those who want to be, but thank God are not, on the Treasury benches.

You have got that on one side, or you have got the fantastic contribution by people like the member for Broadmeadows, who encapsulated well the investment this government is making across an entire policy framework from TAFE access to investment in schools and three-year-old kinder — a whole bunch of those investments that governments can make to change the outcomes of people’s lives 10, 20 years down the track. They are the things you do. You try and help people before they fall off the cliff into the criminal justice system, not once they have fallen. Of course you need to do both, but if you look at the previous government’s pedigree, there was an increase in recidivism by 43 per cent under the watch of the member for Box Hill. Forty-three per cent — how is that for having a win on crime? So you incarcerate people, you send them back out and they commit offences — a 43 per cent recidivism rate. It is extraordinary. And they can boast about the crime rate, for God’s sake.

With this proud government, not only are we making the reforms that are necessary for access to justice across legal aid, we are extending the legal aid funding and we are making a more coordinated legal aid system so the taxpayer dollar has far more impact and reach. We are also empowering the sector to become a far better policy contributor through statistics and through a bit of nous in terms of the data they collect. But we are also making investments where they count, from kindergarten right through to TAFE. I was so proud of the announcement today by the Treasurer, the Premier and the Minister for Education that we are providing free access to 30 TAFE courses for Victorians — free access. Our youth apprenticeship programs are involved across all our major projects. This is a government that is proud of its investment for those across the whole of the Victorian community but particularly those who are most vulnerable. When we talk about access to justice, we talk about it in a 360-degree way, not just in the one-dimensional, ‘Oh my God, crime has gone up’ way, with the completely false information that is provided by the opposition. This is a great bill. I commend it to the house and look forward to its speedy passage.

Greek Independence Day

MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) (15:22:59) — It was estimated that around 15 000 people turned out at the Shrine of Remembrance on Sunday to pay their respects on Greek Independence Day and to welcome the Greek presidential guard, the Evzones. The Andrews government is proud to have supported the guards’ visit to Melbourne. It is yet another way this government supports our multicultural communities. I would also like to thank Tony Tsourdalakis from the organising committee, the trustees of the shrine and the entire Greek-Australian community of Victoria for their enormous support on the day.

Koornang Park Upgrade

MR DIMOPOULOS — Last week I was very pleased to announce that our government is joining with the Glen Eira City Council to upgrade the Koornang Park pavilion in Carnegie to create female-friendly facilities. This has been one of the key objectives of our government over the last three years. The $100 000 from the Andrews government will ensure real access and greater participation from all members of the clubs that use this facility, which includes the Caulfield Bears Junior Football Club, the Mighty Caulfield Bears Football and Netball Club, and the Carnegie Cricket Club.

Mary Kappner

MR DIMOPOULOS — My condolences to the wonderful Mary Kappner of Murrumbeena. Mary was a classy, loyal and funny woman — a resident, friend and branch member of the Australian Labor Party. I want to quote from the eulogy her daughter read out:

Mum was a person who was blessed with a marvellous sense of humour, incredible resilience and a lifelong tendency to optimism.

Mum was a woman who loved to party and enjoyed her whiskey; she had a great many friends and was a great friend to many.

Mum was a fearless, passionate and straight-talking woman. She was a brilliant cook and loved to read and to garden. She was also a long-term member of the ALP and always had a great interest in politics, both local and international. A regular Sunday morning cry would be, ‘Quick! Barrie’s on!’.

Thank you, Mary, for all you have done in supporting me.

Legal Identity of Defendants

MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) (17:07:08) — It gives me great pleasure to speak on the Legal Identity of Defendants (Organisational Child Abuse) Bill 2018. This bill is about justice, it is about accountability and it is about changing culture. As we heard from the member for Northcote, it is about power. It is about equalising the relationship between institutions and individuals.

I think it is pretty obvious that in order to have genuine justice a victim needs redress. Redress comes in many forms, but in the experience of many survivors of child abuse, monetary compensation tries to approximate the measure of suffering and pain caused by the institution or the organisation or the individuals in those organisations that abuse children. Justice is also a pretty important concept and a construct for society at large. Even if the victim does not seek to take a matter to court I think justice has to be seen to be served for the broader public as well. That is why I think that it is important that the Parliament of Victoria is taking on the institutions and saying no more: no more can you obfuscate, no more can you hide, no more can you pretend that you cannot acquit your responsibilities in terms of compensation to victims that you have effectively created.

I think it is also about accountability. Institutions or individuals that do the wrong thing need to be held accountable, because in my view if they are not held accountable it is very difficult to affect cultural or leadership change. Without accountability I think some people have a completely blind approach to what is going on around them. Some institutions have proven themselves to be completely blind or oblivious, or maybe they could see what was going on around them but did not actually care enough or were not motivated enough — whether through loss of assets, criminal prosecution or whatever other means — to actually do something about it. So accountability is vital. This bill seeks to bring accountability to those big institutions, although it is those institutions that are characterised by exactly the set-up that we are trying to get around in terms of their avoidance of responsibility through having trusts and having organisations that are not actually incorporated and are in this context evading the law.

It is also about changing cultures, as I have said, and behaviour of both individuals and institutions. We in this government have tried to do that in a number of ways, and other speakers have talked about the child safe standards that we require of organisations across the state. We have also tried to change culture and behaviour through removing, I think it was in 2015, the statute of limitations on historical child sex offences. They are really important matters.

This bill fundamentally allows a child abuse victim to pursue compensation and solves the problem which exists in the current common law, and I understand it is quite unique if you look at the US and England. It is quite a unique issue in terms of this country and Victoria. In the existing common law in instances where an unincorporated association conducts activities using trusts a child abuse plaintiff may not be able to identify the organisation and the defendant to sue. So what this bill seeks to do is give effect to recommendation 94 of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse by effectively saying that trustees and trust assets are an appropriate defendant for the purposes of action taken by a plaintiff in relation to child abuse matters.

The Attorney-General in his second-reading speech said a few very important things, and I want to refer to one because it absolutely relates specifically to my community. Quoting from his speech:

The Betrayal of Trust inquiry —

which obviously was the Victorian inquiry —

heard from a number of survivors that unincorporated associations have used all defences available to them, including the Ellis defence, to defeat claims. For example, Mrs Chrissie and Mr Anthony Foster explained that the Catholic Church’s lawyers had strenuously defended litigation brought by them, despite having earlier accepted that the abuse had occurred. Betrayal of Trust found that the strictly legalistic approach adopted by the church failed to address the issue of genuine accountability.

Betrayal of Trust stated that survivors of institutional child abuse have a fundamental right to sue unincorporated associations for damage they have suffered at the hands of representatives of that organisation.

And that is what this bill seeks to do. I specifically read into Hansard the minister’s speech in my contribution because it relates to a family in my community that has taught me a lot about this whole area of public policy, the absolute malaise that existed in terms of the assistance and legal avenues available to victims and the absolute torture and suffering that these people, and many thousands like them, had to go through just to achieve a semblance of justice.

To Chrissie Foster and the late Anthony Foster and other people: well done and good on you for questioning authority, well done and good on you for telling your story and well done and good on you for seeking change. I want to thank them. I want to thank all the survivors and their families and advocates, and in fact the Fosters fit into all three categories. I want to thank all those Victorians and the political class for listening to their pleas, for what is before us today and for a fair road to come in terms of further steps we need to take. It is a very, very important road today. I commend the bill to the house.

Emergency Management

MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) (10:56:16) — It gives me great pleasure to speak on this important bill.

Ms Staley interjected.

Mr DIMOPOULOS — Member for Ripon, I was born ready. As I say with every bill, we are being true to our promise to the Victorian people. We made a commitment and are delivering on that commitment, and on this occasion it is in relation to the implementation of key recommendations of the Hazelwood mine fire inquiry and specifically recommendation 3 about improved planning.

Although it is probably not worth responding to some of the drivel from the other side, I will respond to that drivel a bit later on. Principally, I think it is important to restate the problem — that is, the problem that was picked up by the inquiry but also just broadly about the need for strong and effective planning. Obviously in emergency management planning there are operational guidelines and protocols. There are also legislative measures to support better planning and cooperation between a whole bunch of important agencies and individuals.

This bill seeks to strengthen that planning. It seeks to elevate the role of the commissioner to one of an independent officer to strengthen his or her independence. Specifically the problem outlined by the Minister for Emergency Services in his second-reading speech is:

Victoria’s current arrangements for emergency management planning do not provide a comprehensive or holistic approach to planning. There is also a lack of clear, consistent and transparent governance mechanisms to underpin emergency management planning.

That is what this bill seeks to address.

The opposition spokesperson, the member for Gembrook, stated that volunteers have started raising concerns — his words were that they have started raising concerns. I was surprised to hear that because we have known for years that the Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers and others had raised concerns under the previous government’s watch. I have an article here from the Herald Sun dated 5 September 2012, which is clearly a period under the Baillieu-Napthine-Shaw governments. The article is headed ‘Fears CFA funding cuts will hit firefighting capabilities’. That was under their watch, so for the member for Gembrook to stand up here today and say volunteers are just raising concerns recently — no, they are not, they have been doing so for years.

We are actually doing something about it — and we are not cutting their funding as the previous government did. As we have said many times in this chamber over $60 million were cut. The article says:

Less than four years after Black Saturday, the issuing of ration packs to feed firefighters —

Business interrupted under sessional orders.

MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) (11:54:36) — Just before the break in proceedings I was reminding the member for Gembrook that the concerns he was suggesting were only being raised recently have been raised for a long, long time and his government did very little to meet those concerns. I am reading from a Herald Sun article of 5 September 2012:

Less than four years after Black Saturday, the issuing of ration packs to feed firefighters who spend up to 18 hours in the field is under review — and first aid training will be limited as regional CFA stations try to make ends meet.

That was under their government.

Leaked CFA documents reveal the service also wants to cut the cost of fire-spotting towers, used to identify major infernos.

And in a bid to claw back much-needed funds, it has vowed to apply ‘less tolerance’ in waiving charges for false alarms —

which had led to fines.

Opposition leader Daniel Andrews —

obviously now the Premier —

said it raised safety concerns for firefighters and Victorians in bushfire-prone communities.

This is a disgraceful attack on the very people that are on the front line protecting Victoria’s homes and businesses …

When will Ted Baillieu and Peter Ryan realise that these harsh cuts are putting the safety of Victorians at risk?

My question is: what did they do to add any substance to their confected concerns around Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers and the CFA community, which does an absolutely extraordinary job? What they did was they botched the Hazelwood mine fire inquiry. We had to come into government and reopen it. They botched that inquiry, they dismissed the valid concerns, they truncated some of those concerns, and they took far too long to respond to Fiskville and the legitimate concerns of the firefighting community around Fiskville. We came in, we closed Fiskville, we treated the matter of contamination and health impacts extraordinarily seriously. They cut $66 million from the budget of the CFA. These affected pretenders rock up to CFA stations around Victoria in their Range Rovers to meet and greet the CFA volunteers, wearing their badges saying ‘Save the CFA’. That to me is
the equivalent of a wolf wearing a badge saying ‘Save the chickens’.

People do not want badges. They want budgets. You do not cut the CFA budget and then wear a badge saying ‘Save the CFA’, like you have for the last 12 months in this place. It is all show and no substance. Do not talk to me, shadow minister, about volunteers and respect for the community, because where was that respect during your term in government?

Our commitments in relation to the fire services are absolutely, demonstrably clear. In this particular bill they are about implementing a very key recommendation of the Hazelwood mine fire inquiry, which is about better planning and better coordination both at a statewide level and also at the local municipal and regional level. That is what this bill seeks to do. But it is not just that; it is a genuine commitment to an integrated, efficient and well-resourced fire services community.

I am reminded of the Minister for Emergency Services’ press release on 13 October 2017, in which he talks about Fire Action Week, which has been held each year since 2009. It is a reminder of ‘a time for households to increase their understanding of local fire risks’ and a bit of much-needed education and promotion. The minister reminds us that:

The Andrews Labor government is investing a record $29.4 million in Victoria’s biggest ever firefighting aircraft fleet, providing a mix of water-bombing aircraft including fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to help keep communities safe.

At the same time, the government will roll out a range of initiatives from the fire services statement to continue supporting our firefighters this fire season.

A $60 million investment will deliver the training, equipment and facilities Victorian firefighters need. Activities to increase the diversity of Victoria’s fire services will be progressed along with a volunteer recruitment and retention drive.

That includes culture change in the fire services, including the quadrupling of female recruits in our fire services.

It is not just this bill. It is what I mentioned earlier in terms of reopening the Hazelwood mine fire inquiry to really get to the bottom of community safety concerns and the presumptive rights legislation that only this government, which actually cares about workers, introduced. We closed Fiskville. We also, through this current bill, are seeking to extend the no-fault compensation scheme to Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers so that it is consistent with other emergency services workers. In my own community the SES has received over $100 000 in equipment and grants from this very government, so when the member for Gembrook comes in here and pretends to care about regional communities and volunteers, I say to those regional committees, ‘Just look at his record and look at the record of the previous botched government’. Their concern and care is very, very clear; they do not have much. Regional communities can only rely on Labor governments in terms of their commitment to fire services. I commend the bill to the house.

Clayton North Primary Breakfast Club

MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) (10:06:20) — Last week I was delighted to join the students at Clayton North Primary School for breakfast. This school is one of 500 across Victoria that runs a breakfast club, a program proudly supported and funded by this government in partnership with Foodbank Victoria and other local volunteers. I thank all those who get up early every day just to ensure that kids can have the most important meal of the day, and I would like to especially thank the kids for allowing me to join them. Their enthusiasm even early in the morning is infectious.

Glen Huntly Primary Works

MR DIMOPOULOS — In February I was pleased again to visit one of the best schools in Victoria, Glen Huntly Primary School. It was amazing to see the works that had been undertaken for a new school entrance, which were possible after funding from the Andrews government. I also got to see some of the amazing new inspirational artwork that has been painted around the school by two local graphic designers and parents, Ross Donnan and Hayley Griggs. Well done. Your passion and commitment to improve our local schools really is incredible.

Carnegie Chinese New Year

MR DIMOPOULOS — I would also like to congratulate the Carnegie traders for their recent lunar festival on Koornang Road. As usual, they know how to put on an event. This is one of the most proactive trader associations I have come across, led by passionate individuals like Graeme Callen, the president, other committee members and all the traders on Koornang Road. I also want to thank the Level Crossing Removal Authority and Glen Eira City Council for contributing to this great festival.

Integrity and Accountability Legislation

MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) (17:09:56) — It gives me pleasure to speak on this very important bill, the Integrity and Accountability Legislation Amendment (Public Interest Disclosures, Oversight and Independence) Bill 2018. As the minister said in his second-reading speech, this bill does some very important things. Principally, and I start many contributions with this, it acquits our election commitments. This is a government that delivers on its election commitments, and this bill is no different in that regard. It acquits our public commitments, and I will explain a bit further about those.

The bill addresses concerns that people and agencies have expressed about the operation of the integrity and accountability system. It seeks to make the whistleblower protection system stronger and more accessible so as to encourage more people to report corruption and public sector wrongdoing. The bill seeks to modernise and clarify the Ombudsman’s legislation. It does that by varying a number of acts on the statute books — for example, the Protected Disclosure Act 2012. It seeks to change the name of that act to something a bit more accurate and directed, namely, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012, which after all is what the act seeks to do.

This bill seeks to reform the Ombudsman Act 1973 by providing the Ombudsman with clear jurisdiction over publicly funded services. Other provisions include allowing people aged 10 to 16 to provide information to the Ombudsman, of course with relevant safeguards and on a voluntary basis. Other speakers have talked about amending the parliamentary system of oversight to make it more coherent.

The bill is the culmination of a significant review of the entire integrity framework in Victoria. It builds on a legacy this government has already created, and that is the Integrity and Accountability Legislation Amendment (A Stronger System) Act 2016. When the other side talk about and point the finger at us in terms of integrity and accountability, we have a track record of commitment in this regard. I will speak a bit more about that in a moment.

The bill acquits the government’s public and election commitments. It does that through seeking to amend various parts of the statute books. It specifically addresses recommendation 18 of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s 2015 report on sex discrimination and sexual harassment in Victoria Police by removing confidentiality barriers that prevent people involved and protected disclosers from accessing support services. Recommendation 24 of the 2015 Review of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 said that the Ombudsman should have clear jurisdiction to:

… consider human rights issues relating to the administrative actions of all public authorities under the charter …

In this case, except police personnel. It seeks to implement the majority of recommendations in the IBAC Committee’s 2017 report and the important work that that committee did.

As the minister said in his second-reading speech, the driver of this bill and the driver of the government’s commitment in relation to the integrity framework in Victoria rests around seven principles: accountability, independence, effectiveness, transparency, collaboration, cohesion and fairness. I think when it comes to those values and ethics, this government has demonstrated them time and time again.

The honourable member speaking before me talked about the fire services. It continues to amaze me, the audacity with which those on the other side speak of matters in the fire services when they absolutely abrogated much of their responsibility in their time in office. I will just pick two key elements of that abrogation of responsibility. One was ignoring the reports. I think today in question time we talked about nine reports into fire services, all of which found similar themes and patterns. Those opposite, over their four years in government — particularly a government that had the fire services in its sights in a previous term — did nothing to implement those reports or any recommendations.

We on the other hand sought the report that is now subject to legal action. We sought the report from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. We have committed to implementing its recommendations. As the Minister for Emergency Services said today, we are not waiting for that. We have already invested in the fire services to do some key things, including quadrupling the number of female personnel and recruits.

That is one element. The second element that continues to be a thorn in the side of the opposition but that they do not like to be reminded of is that they tore money away from the fire services, from the Country Fire Authority. They tore away some $60-odd million. They put it in one year and they took it away the next.

But back to the bill, in terms of the amendments to the parliamentary committees that I mentioned earlier, parliamentary oversight of integrity and oversight bodies is fragmented with responsibility distributed across the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Committee, the Accountability and Oversight Committee and the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC), a committee that I am on and that a previous speaker on this bill, the member for Essendon, is the chair of.

This bill seeks to streamline parliamentary oversight of the integrity and accountability framework by merging the IBAC Committee and the Accountability and Oversight Committee and naming the merged committee the Integrity and Oversight Committee. As is appropriate, PAEC will continue to oversee matters relating to the Auditor-General’s functions; for example, performance audits, finance audits and a whole range of other things that come up. In fact that is correct, appropriate and consistent with the role played by the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee on behalf of this Parliament. It is a very important committee, obviously, and a joint committee that will continue to play the role it was established to play even with this bill going through the house.

I think that is an example of the strength of our accountability system. The Auditor-General serves an extraordinarily important function, and the office of the Auditor-General is obviously a key element of the strong institutions we have in this state and the accountability and integrity framework we have that keeps government departments and governments honest. By the same token, as we have unfortunately experienced in the last few years, the office of the Auditor-General also requires oversight for the good of the system and the functioning of the integrity system, and that is what Public Accounts and Estimates Committee provides. I think the member for Essendon mentioned briefly the report that PAEC produced in relation to the former Auditor-General and his vacating that position.

This government has a lot to be proud of in terms of the accountability and integrity system in Victoria. It is a government that does not interfere in the same way the previous government, the now opposition, did in the role and the functions of the Chief Commissioner of Police through the debacle of the affair with Tristan Weston. It is a government that does not do the things that cost the taxpayers of Victoria enormous amounts of money through Ventnor and Fishermans Bend. There are a whole range of other things that those on the other side choose to ignore. This is a profoundly important bill. It is a bill that strengthens the system that we need for our democracy, our society and our government expenditure. I commend the bill to the house.

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