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Budget Week 2018

MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) (14:02:27) — I rise to support the motion moved by the manager of government business. I do so because the opposition talk about accountability, but when we talk about accountability we are accountable — yes, of course — to the Parliament, but we are accountable more so to our communities. Our communities, as the member for Essendon said, are expecting us to go out there and explain the budget, and share the news and communicate with those people who elected us to put us here about the most significant event in the calendar of a government — that is, delivering the budget. That is what we should be doing tomorrow and the entire week. Understandably those opposite do not want us to do that, because the budget is a very, very good budget. Of course, politics gets in the way. They say, ‘No, no, no. We don’t want you out there selling a good budget. We want you in here’.

But, on the second point, it is interesting that the Leader of The Nationals talks about how we should be supporting sitting for the rest of this week because that is the design of the Parliament — that is how Parliament is designed to work. We thought that too with pairing arrangements in the upper house. We thought that was the design of how Parliament has worked for 700 years of the Westminster system. But no, when it suits the opposition, Parliament just works the way their politics decides it works on any given day.

In concluding my brief contribution in supporting the manager of government business’s motion, I want to say, if they talk about accountability to the Parliament, I give them three things. One is, as the member for Essendon said, that Parliament’s very own committee, the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, will absolutely scrutinise the budget for an intense few weeks; two, they have the rest of this year to scrutinise the budget; and three, because we have had so many prebudget announcements they could have done it in question time today but they squandered that opportunity. I support the motion moved by the manager of government business.