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Government Program May 2017

DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — It gives me great pleasure to speak on the government business program for this week. It is great to be back in the chamber after last Tuesday’s pretty successful budget, which has been applauded by the community across the board. Those on this side of the house have been out in their communities talking to people about the budget and what it means for them, and there is a lot to talk about, such as schools, police, hospitals, ambulances, of course, and the centrepiece: the $1.9 billion to specifically address the 227 recommendations of Australia’s first ever Royal Commission into Family Violence. Where have those opposite been? This group’s ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ press conferences were all conducted within 50 metres of this building. They have not left the parliamentary precinct.

Mr Paynter interjected.

The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Bass will come to order.

Mr DIMOPOULOS — All of the justifications in their press conferences have happened out here. They have not been to their communities.

Mr Paynter interjected.

Debate interrupted.

SUSPENSION OF MEMBER

Member for Bass

The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Bass will leave the chamber for half an hour.

Honourable member for Bass withdrew from chamber.

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

Program

Debate resumed.

Mr DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — In fact if we peek under the chairs here, I reckon we will find their sleeping bags. They are too scared to go out into the community. They have got nothing to say. They are camping out in the parliamentary precinct. It is another busy week on our side, and we are not going to be distracted by the carping and the complaining and the distractions of the other side. Did you see the Leader of the Opposition in question time today — the alternative leader of this state, the alternative Premier? I think not. I cannot remember an angrier, more shouty Leader of the Opposition. In fact he is bordering on the unhinged. This man seeks to be the Premier of Victoria. He must be the angriest — —

Honourable members interjecting.

Mr DIMOPOULOS — The comment about him being off his game — I think he has been off his game since Ventnor, and in fact definitely since the commencement of this term of Parliament. In contrast, the stability this government provides — aside from the distractions the others are trying to pull us into — is a well-delivered, well-executed expenditure of $63 billion which has a measurable impact on the lives of Victorians. That is what we are about. In fact, as the manager of government business has outlined, this is another productive week with the government business program. We will be continuing with, as has been stated, the Family Violence Protection Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2017, which we started last week, and had it not been for the delaying tactics of those opposite we would have proceeded further with that.

I reflect back to last week when the Treasurer, in delivering the budget — and it probably was not captured by the cameras — got to the family violence part of his speech. It speaks volumes about those opposite that they turned their backs on him and were talking and laughing. I would ask the Leader of the Opposition, through you, Speaker, to re-examine those tactics, because they looked very, very bad. To turn your backs, laugh and have private conversations during a speech on the most serious issue facing Victoria looks very bad on the TV screens of Victorians and looks bad in this chamber. It is actually quite disgusting, and I think they would be well minded to review those tactics.

Further on in the government business program, there is the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Amendment (Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner) Bill 2017, which will create the Latrobe Valley mine rehabilitation commissioner to oversee the rehabilitation planning of three Latrobe Valley coalmines. This continues our significant investment in regional Victoria. It is a flagship investment that was announced in the Latrobe Valley prior to the budget. It is this government, through the Minister for Industry and Employment and through the Premier, that secured — and I do not think this has existed previously — the landmark worker exchange deal for those coalmines so that workers are not left out in the cold because of decisions made in corporations around the world that we have no influence on. But what we do have an influence on is actually making sure those workers are looked after, and that is what this government has done. The rehabilitation planning of the three coalmines was a recommendation of the inquiry into Hazelwood, as the house knows.

It is yet another busy week, and it is another week to reflect on the achievements and the continued hard work of this government and on the continued faith that the Victorian community, which elected us in November 2014, holds. I commend the program to the house.