Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has asked the Parliament to include a joint sitting in its Government program this week, to swear in Luke O’Sullivan to the Upper House.
“In the period between the last sitting of the House, and today, I have sought my own legal advice, my own Constitutional law advice on this,” Ms Sheed said.
“There are a few things that are unconscionable. One is the fact that we have been without representation (in northern Victoria) for so long, when that could have so easily happened throughout June. It starts to look like political game playing when we are put in a position where a preselection does not take place until July 31,” she said.
Damian Drum resigned from the Legislative Council on May 27, 2016.
“Another thing I regard as unconscionable is the fact we have a member of the Upper House (Gavin Jennings) out of the Parliament for so long.”
She said in her examination of the issue it was unheard of, for a minister to be removed from Parliament for such a long period, thereby depriving electors for their rightful representation.
In this case, the South Eastern Region has now been without its elected representative for more than three months.
“One of the important foundations of democracy is “representation”,” Ms Sheed said.
On Tuesday, in the Victorian Parliament, Ms Sheed said she had formed the view based on legal advice and research it’s now appropriate for a joint sitting of the houses of Parliament to take place and that the various issues had to be treated separately.
“It is now appropriate that a joint sitting take place and Mr O’Sullivan be sworn in, in the usual way.
“It is important we adhere to the Constitution and we do the right thing.
On the advice I have received I believe it would be the right thing for this matter to be dealt with throughout the week,” Ms Sheed said.
Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│firstname.lastname@example.org