Program – Business of the House

Mr D O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (12:22): It is a pleasure to speak briefly on the government business program and to welcome you back to the chair, Speaker. We did miss you last week of course—

A member interjected.

Mr D O’BRIEN: There is no ulterior motive, Speaker, do not worry.

The government business program this week has some important legislation—obviously the Casino and Liquor Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, where the government continues to mop up from the royal commission. I would like to pay credit to the member for Euroa for the work that she has been doing as the Shadow Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation in relation to the broader issue and also the legislation no doubt coming forward this week. Likewise on the Summary Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2022, as the member for Ripon indicated, there will be quite a number of members on this side who want to speak. I will not be one of them on this occasion. I want to just place on record, though, my congratulations to the member for Caulfield in particular for his advocacy on this particular issue, which has been an issue for his community, for his electorate, and indeed for the wider Jewish community in Victoria. I congratulate him for his advocacy and indeed for bringing the coalition to a position of instituting the Nazi symbol ban, which is now going to be passed through this legislation. I wish him all the best. The third bill, the Child Employment Amendment Bill 2022, I will have more to say on when that bill comes up.

The member for Ripon talked about the take-note motion on the budget and how everyone was, on this side, excited to have another go. At the risk of it being a career-limiting move I might disagree slightly with the member for Ripon, and I am sure the member for Pascoe Vale will agree with me. We have just had what seems like the longest Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing process, and frankly I am pretty over the budget now. But there are still plenty of things—because unfortunately with the way the PAEC system works we often get limited time, which ministers are very adept at chewing up with longwinded answers. There is always something more to say on the budget, and I am sure there will be opportunities for us all to talk about that through the take-note motion as well. I do thank those above that the PAEC hearings are now finally complete, and those will be the last ones for this year. Someone pointed out to me yesterday that that particular inquiry was my 27th Public Accounts and Estimates Committee inquiry, so I think I have certainly done enough on that one.

I would like to echo your comments too, Speaker, about Queen Elizabeth, and at the risk of being a person named Daniel David O’Brien talking up the English monarch, the British monarch, my sincere congratulations and thanks to our Queen. She has been for all of us—in fact there are very few people for whom she has not been—a constant presence, given her 70 years on the throne. She is one of those people who will be remembered for her contribution to our community, to our commonwealth and indeed to the globe. Her steadfast devotion to duty is probably the most incredible thing that we can pay respect to, because through thick and thin, through various difficulties, through the famous annus horribilis that she has had—I think she has had more than one—with her family and other issues, she has been a great friend to Australia as well as the broader commonwealth. I certainly pay credit to her and thank her for the work that she has done for our community for a long time.

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