O’Brien gets key budget oversight role

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has been appointed to Parliament’s powerful Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC).

Mr O’Brien said it was exciting to be appointed to such an important committee in a role that will allow him to keep the Labor Government honest.

“I am really pleased to get a position on this committee. This will give me great insight into the State Budget process on behalf of the people of Gippsland South and ensure that I am able to hold the Labor Government to account when it comes to spending and commitments in rural and regional Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee is a powerful body that interrogates Ministers and senior departmental officials on Budget spending. It conducts hearings throughout May on the Budget and reviews Auditor-General’s reports on important government programs.

“The Labor Government has made many mistakes already and I am looking forward to the opportunity post-Budget to scrutinise exactly where Labor has gone wrong in its Budget process.”

Mr O’Brien said the recent decision to pay more than $600 million and not build the East West Link was a worrying example of Labor’s budgetary waste.

“If Daniel Andrews wasn’t wasting $640 million to pay compensation for a road that is actually necessary, Gippsland South, and country Victoria in general, could be seeing a lot more investment from Government,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Sadly while Labor is wasting hundreds of millions of dollars cancelling a road, it has also cut the successful Country Roads and Bridges program that was ensuring that our local roads and bridges were maintained and upgraded.

“I fear there will be plenty to do in my new committee role because Labor struggles when it comes to managing money.”

Mr O’Brien said being the only non-government member from rural and regional Victoria meant he had an important role to play in holding the government to account on spending outside of Melbourne.

“We need to get our fair share in the country, and I’ll be using my role on the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee to push for a fair go,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I look forward to closely scrutinising the Government’s activities and making sure that our money is spent wisely and fairly across the whole state.”

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