ENERGY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (ELECTRICITY OUTAGE EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND OTHER MATTERS) BILL 2023

Second Reading

Danny O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (11:06): This is again showing the complete contempt for the forms of the house that this government – this arrogant government – that is into its third term and has run out of ideas –

Colin Brooks: On a point of order, Speaker, given the points of order that have just been raised about the narrowness of the debate, for the member for Gippsland South to jump up and jump straight into an attack broadly on the government, I think he should be ruled out of order. If I dare suggest, Speaker, he needs to be brought back to the debate before the house.

Danny O’BRIEN: On the point of order, Speaker, I started with saying this is contempt for the house and the processes. I am talking specifically about the motion before us.

The SPEAKER: Order! I have heard the point of order. I remind members again this is a narrow procedural debate. I would ask both sides of the house to cease from ‘sledging’ each other, as the Manager of Opposition Business has called it, and refer to the very narrow debate before the house.

Danny O’BRIEN: The point that we are objecting to is the process that the government is going through to introduce legislation to this chamber. I challenge anyone who follows me on that side, because the member for South Barwon failed, to explain to the house why this legislation needs to be dealt with in six days time. I challenge them to have just one get up and explain. Do not tell us, as the member for South Barwon did, how important this legislation is and what the government’s agenda is. Just give us one member of the government who can say why this legislation must be dealt with in six days. On the very issue, whilst the previous two speakers were on their feet, I had a very quick look at this legislation, and it is as I expected –

Darren Cheeseman: On a point of order, Speaker, he is wandering off onto the legislation. That is inconsistent with your rulings.

The SPEAKER: The member for Gippsland South to come back to the matter before the house.

Danny O’BRIEN: I am curious to understand why we do not need the full two weeks of discussion and consultation for this legislation. This legislation relates to the storms and the power outages that we had after the June 2021 and October 2021 storms.

A member: It was a while ago.

Danny O’BRIEN: It was a while ago. So why the rush? It is two years, nearly, since those storms. I personally had people in my communities that were without power for two weeks, and I have been writing –

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Gippsland South is anticipating debate on the bill. I ask him to come back to the procedural motion before the house.

Danny O’BRIEN: The procedural motion is about how long this Parliament gets to debate this legislation. We do not know what this legislation entails. The context that the minister has given us so far, in the couple of minutes we have had, indicates that this is really important legislation for my electorate. I had people who were without power for two weeks, which is different to what the minister’s second-reading speech indicates. The point I am trying to get to is that –

Lily D’Ambrosio: You’ve read it then. You know what it’s about.

Danny O’BRIEN: I have had 20 seconds, Minister, to read it. Once again –

Lily D’Ambrosio interjected.

The SPEAKER: Order! Through the Chair.

Danny O’BRIEN: Where was I? I was writing to the minister time and time again about these issues, and I got nothing from the minister. And I hear from the member for South Barwon that there has been extensive consultation. The department had consultation in Traralgon, which was not even affected like South Gippsland was, and six people turned up. And you are saying now that six days is enough for us all to consider this legislation. This is a government that has run out of ideas. They have run out of ideas. They have got nothing for their budget day.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for South Gippsland will come back to the procedural motion before the house.

Danny O’BRIEN: They have run out of ideas. That is why they are desperately trying to bring this forward, as we discussed yesterday in the procedural motion on the government business program. ‘We’ve got no legislation, so we’ve got to put up a couple of motions.’ In eight years prior to this the government had never put up a motion for debate in the government business program, but they have got nothing left. So it is the Victorian people that suffer, because if this is the sort of legislation that I anticipate it is from what the minister has given us so far, we need to actually consult properly.

I know the member for Sandringham will tell members that we were mocked in the previous discussion on this two weeks ago with, ‘You’ve got to get your act together.’ We are still getting feedback from stakeholders on the gambling bill this week, because they have not had enough time to look at it. The same applies here. This is a government so out of ideas and so out of direction it is filling gaps, and it is costing the people of Victoria adequate consultation.

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