Independent Member for the Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has repeatedly called on the Victorian Government to allow the opposition to introduce bills, motions and other business for debate in parliament.
Speaking in parliament on several occasions since May 4, Ms Sheed has asked the Victorian Government to listen to her proposal, but she has been refused the opportunity to speak about the issue.
Ms Sheed said the opposition’s right to introduce and debate bills in Victoria’s lower house was abolished in 1999 and should now be returned.
“In every other state in Australia, the opposition is allowed to introduce bills and have them debated and voted on by parliament and it is time the Victorian Government brought back this democratic right,” Ms Sheed said.
Ms Sheed said Victoria’s Legislative Assembly was the only lower house in Australia that did not have a non-government business program, which would allow this process to happen.
“At the moment, only the Labor Government can present bills to the lower house for debate,” she said.
“It is audacious of the government to believe that there are no good ideas other than their own.
“The opportunity for non-government members of parliament to introduce bills for debate is essential for democracy.
“Every member of our parliament needs to have their voices heard because they represent every community in the state.
“The parliament should be considering ideas from both sides of the house.
“The opposition’s voices are heard loud and clear in the upper house here in Victoria, and in the lower house of every other state jurisdiction in the Commonwealth. Why should we be robbed of this opportunity in Victoria?”
Elaine Cooney 0447 820 466│email@example.com