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In Parliament


Business of the House - Program

   Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Mr T. SMITH (Kew) (13:23:30) — I rise to oppose the government business program and to support my colleagues the members for South Barwon and Ripon in their opposition to the Andrews Labor government’s business program for the week beginning Tuesday, 6 March. The irony of the Leader of the House beginning her remarks by referring to International Women’s Day and the Long Service Leave Bill 2017 given the revelations in the newspapers this morning with regard to the discriminatory provisions in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) just shows that this Labor government is internally riven by complexity, with people not knowing that this EBA is going to discriminate against women to the extent that it explicitly —

Ms Allan — On a point of order, Deputy Speaker, on relevance. The member opposite has been speaking for fully 1 minute and he has not referred to the motion that is before the house.

An honourable member interjected.

Ms Allan — The irony that the member for Kew is talking about the treatment of women while behaving in this way is not lost on me at all, and it is not lost on many observers in this place.

An honourable member interjected.

Ms Allan — You are groaning. You think raising issues about standards and the way you treat women in this place is something to groan about. Deputy Speaker, I would urge you to bring the member for Kew back to the motion before the house. It is clear that he needs some guidance, and I would appreciate it if you would give it to him.

Mr T. SMITH — On the point of order, Deputy Speaker, I was referring to remarks made by the Leader of the House in her motion with regard to the Long Service Leave Bill 2017 and indeed International Women’s Day. I was making the point that an EBA to be signed by her government on behalf of the MFB with the United Firefighters Union is discriminatory towards women as it explicitly prevents part‑time work in any way, shape or form.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER — The member for Kew has made his point of order, but I ask the member for Kew to continue his contribution on the government business program.

Mr T. SMITH — On the point that the Leader of the House was making about International Women’s Day, we want to see greater diversity in the fire services, and this MFB EBA will prevent that in any way, shape or form. It also provides for 196 days of leave —

The DEPUTY SPEAKER — Member for Kew, how is this relevant to the government business program? Is the EBA on the government business program?

Mr T. SMITH — I think, Deputy Speaker, there have been a number of wildly broad contributions by the members for Ivanhoe and indeed Broadmeadows this afternoon. I think that the standards set by the government on this motion would suggest that you are not being entirely consistent with your ruling, but I am happy to go to why we are opposing this — because of the rorting by the members for Tarneit and Melton — if you would like me to.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER — I encourage the member for Kew to continue on the government business program.

Mr T. SMITH — We oppose the government’s business program because we would like to see an inquiry by this Parliament into the rorting members for Tarneit and Melton, who have not been held to account for the almost $200 000 of moneys that they essentially stole from the taxpayer for not living in their electorates — living down at the beach, living in a caravan at Ocean Grove and claiming $170 000 for the privilege in the case of the member for Melton. We would like to see a privileges inquiry into these individuals. The government has said on a number of occasions that once the police have concluded their inquiry, which they have done, there would be an appropriate time for the Parliament to investigate these matters. The Presiding Officers have. There is certain evidence that was provided to the Parliament. There ought to be an inquiry by the Privileges Committee into the rorting members for Tarneit and Melton.

We saw today in question time just how close the member for Melton still is to the parliamentary Labor Party. There was a Dorothy Dixer question to the Minister for Education, which was just ridiculous. The Minister for Education should have just tabled his answer given that he had been provided the question in advance. Quite frankly Labor’s collusion with the member for Melton is embarrassing for them. It is embarrassing for them in Melton. They are receiving widespread criticism in the western suburbs because none of their MPs that represent that part of Melbourne actually live there, and that is why we oppose the government business program.