Labor has blocked a proposal by Liberal Nationals Leader Michael O’Brien to take the Parliament of Victoria to fire-affected East Gippsland.
The motion would see the Legislative Assembly sit in East Gippsland later in the year booking out hotels, eating in local cafes and injecting much needed dollars into the local economy.
Previous Parliaments held regional sittings between 2001 and 2012, however the Andrews Labor Government scrapped them.
This is the second attempt by the Liberal Nationals to take the Lower House to East Gippsland after a direct request to the Premier and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly earlier this year was denied.
Given the bushfires have caused major damage in parts of Victoria, it is only right that Parliament should visit these communities, provide locals with the opportunity to speak directly with political leaders and show practical support for local economies.
The Legislative Council will sit in the north east later this year after a Liberal Nationals motion in the Upper House was successful last month.
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:
“The Liberal Nationals understand that the recovery of these areas continues long after the fires are out. They need us staying in their hotels, buying a beer in their pubs and eating in their cafes and restaurants.
“This would also give these communities the chance to tell MPs face-to-face what they need to help them recover and know that they are not forgotten.
“Daniel Andrews is disrespecting East Gippsland. For once, Daniel Andrews needs to put politics aside and take Parliament to our struggling bushfire affected communities.”
Comments attributable to Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood:
“The Gippsland region has been dealt blow after blow under the policies of the Andrews Labor Government and through a natural disaster in recent months.
“A sitting in Victoria’s East Gippsland would help show local communities who have just suffered through some of the worst fires in the States history that their State Parliament is with them.
“Daniel Andrews needs to overturn his decision on this and hold a regional sitting in East Gippsland to support the local communities impacted by fires, flooding, drought, the closure of Hazelwood, Carter Holt Harvey and in coming years the native timber industry.”
Gary Blackwood MP
State Member for Narracan
3/24 Mason Street
Ph: 5623 1960
Fax: 5623 4506
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