Business of the house

Business of the House

Danny O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (15:43): Congratulations, Deputy Speaker.

It is good to rise to speak for a brief moment on the government business program as we come into the serious business of the term, having got the official proceedings out of the way and the swearings in and everything done on 20 December last year. This elected government, now with a massive majority again, comes in with two bills that go –

Sorry, Hansard, you probably cannot really quote that, but there is not exactly a dynamic, reformist zeal coming up in the things that are on the agenda this week for the government.

Mary-Anne Thomas: That’s not fair.

Danny O’BRIEN: That is pretty fair, I think, Leader of the House. I mean you have plucked out the Racing Amendment (Unauthorised Access) Bill 2022, which was actually one that lapsed last term. It is good bill, and I look forward to debate on it. We have got the Building and Planning Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, which has a number of aspects to it. But neither of those are going to set the world on fire. Sometimes these sorts of things show what the government is going to be. They have come in and they have said, ‘These are all the wonderful things we’re going to do for Victorians.’ They bring a couple of things back from last term, and the biggest policy we have heard about today has been a policy from the 1920s. We are bringing back the State Electricity Commission – the 1920s. I remember hearing during the election campaign, when it was launched, that it was launched to a song called Sing It Back from 1998. So we have got songs from the 1990s and we have got policies from the 1920s that this government is bringing, and they are trying to say that they are reformist and bringing us forward.

Mary-Anne Thomas interjected.

Danny O’BRIEN: Oh, I am cheery. I am very cheery. The Nats have done very well over here. The Nats are very excited to be here. As the member for South Barwon said, I am looking forward to inaugural speeches because there are going to be some rippers this afternoon. I strongly encourage people to hang around. We have just heard a very good inaugural speech from Gaelle Broad in the other place. I was glad I could duck over and see that, and I thank the member for South-West Coast for stepping in for a moment so I could hear Gaelle’s speech. It was very good.

We have got the member for Kew coming up shortly, but I am particularly interested to hear from the member for Shepparton – tomorrow we have got the member for Euroa, who has replaced a former Nat, and the Nationals member for Shepparton – and particularly the Nationals member for Morwell. Morwell did not get a mention in all the debate about the SEC during question time, maybe because they realised that the member for Morwell was sitting on this side, not that side. So, the area that knew the SEC best did not buy the government’s SEC policy. I am very much looking forward to a blue-collar plumber from Morwell giving his inaugural speech shortly. I have got to say there is a little bit of personal interest there. I have known Marty Cameron, the member for Morwell, for a long time – since I was a little boy. He was a footy player, but he was also a plumber. He understands the trades, he understands the real world.

A member: Hello, excuse me, sparkie here.

Danny O’BRIEN: Yes, but he comes straight from the tools: Marty just got out of his hi-vis, put a suit on and walked in, literally about an hour ago. I am really looking forward to that because, as I said, I have known the member for Morwell for a long time. Member for Eastern Victoria in the other place Ms Bath and I were very focused on the Morwell campaign. Indeed, there was a photo of us when we got back here together after the election – there was a photo of the member for Morwell doing a little media conference and the member for Eastern Victoria on one side behind him and then me on the other side. We looked like doting parents; we were that excited to have the member for Morwell here. I am genuinely looking forward to his speech and those of the Nationals member for Shepparton and the Nationals member for Euroa. We have already had the Nationals member for Mildura’s, which was a ripper. Wasn’t that a great victory too?

But anyway, I digress. Those inaugural speeches – jokes aside – are important. I say to all members, to government members, to the member for Richmond, who has not done hers yet, I do not think, and to all the Nationals and Liberals as well: it is a very big privilege to be in this place, so when you get up and give that inaugural speech and you tell us a bit about yourself and a bit about your electorate, remember it, savour it, bring it out every couple of years and have a read of it to think what it was like before you got into politics. I look forward to those inaugural speeches, and I look forward to the business program going ahead this week.

Motion agreed to.

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