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Adjournment – Business of the House

Aug 17, 2021 | News, Parliament

Time restraints meant Rod was unable to do his speech in  regards to the adjournment motion in the Business of the House today. He is what he would have said…

I will be supporting the government’s motion to adjourn today.

The transition to the Delta variant has presented many challenges. It moves faster through the community and for some does not present any symptoms at all.

This is a different challenge from what we experienced last year.

In today’s paper, experts like Professor Bennett, Chair of Epidemiology from Deakin University, an expert in this field, spelled out how this variant differs from the one we faced last year and the challenges we are facing.

We are talking about 3 sitting days.

The government has assured me with a written undertaking from the Leader of the House that any days missed will be replaced and made a commitment to me that we will return at the first safe opportunity.

Postponing this sitting week (3 days) is about setting an example to the Victorian people. Parliamentarians are not above the rest of the community.

The Chief Health Officer has told us all as a community if we can work from home, we must work from home.

It is my belief that we should not be asking the Victorian people to do anything that we are not willing to do ourselves.

The government has had 18 months to set up systems and processes for us to be able to run parliament remotely as other jurisdictions have. Yet today, this has not happened. This must be addressed.

We all understand the consequences of these lockdowns. Yesterday was my grandson’s birthday, this is the second time in 2 years that I have missed it. My other grandson was in tears because he couldn’t go to school. The pair of them, missing desperately their mates at basketball.

A senior member of my team was extremely distressed yesterday when she heard the news, worried about the impact of having two years of education interrupted for her kids.

However, everybody in my office understands there is no other choice.

In these lockdowns, kids, everyone is paying a very heavy price.

My heart reaches out to those small businesses forced to close again, parents struggling with full-time jobs and remote learning and children who can’t see their mates.

It is a stark reminder of our role here in parliament. We are here to represent our constituents, not act above them or set different rules for ourselves.

Much has been said about holding this government to account. But we should also remember that in 15 months’ time the people of Victoria will hold this government to account, as well as the coalition and every member of the crossbench.

When that time comes, I am comfortable with the decisions I have made while I have been in this place.

It is all our responsibility to set the example, follow the chief health officer’s advice and stay home.

To my constituents, I thank them for the sacrifices they make every single day to keep our community safe.

I commend this motion to the house.

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