Labor MPs block new MP from Parliament

18 August 2016

Thursday 18 August 2016

Labor MPs voted last night to deny Kilmore residents representation in the Victorian Parliament.

The Andrews Government used its numbers to prevent a joint sitting of Parliament, barring Northern Victoria’s newest MP Luke O’Sullivan from entering Parliament.

Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan slammed the decision as a childish dummy spit from Labor.

“By refusing to allow a new MP to enter Parliament, Labor MPs including Jaclyn Symes and Mary Anne Thomas have breached the Victorian constitution,” Ms Ryan said.

“Labor MPs put petulant party games ahead of the interests of the people of Kilmore, who Luke has also been elected to Parliament to represent.”

Ms Ryan said in the 160 year history of the Victorian Parliament, no government had ever blocked an MP from entering Parliament.

Labor argued that Mr O’Sullivan should not be allowed to represent his constituents because the Legislative Council suspended the Leader of the Government Gavin Jennings for failing to comply with the Council’s orders to table documents.

“Gavin Jennings openly flouted an order of the Legislative Council which resulted in him being banned from attending Parliament for six months, consistent with the traditions and the powers of the Legislative Council.

“Labor had a choice to do the right thing and they chose not to. Luke, on the other hand, has broken no rules and has not even been a party to the decisions of the Council.

“Labor’s attempt to bully its way to an outcome is consistent with the despicable behaviour we’ve seen from Daniel Andrews in recent weeks when he bullied his female Minister, the former CFA board and CEO,” Ms Ryan said.

In 2003, when the protocol for swearing in a Member to the Legislative Council was put in place, the then Labor leader of the Legislative Council John Lenders told the Parliament: ‘a government which refused to hold a joint sitting would deservedly be held in contempt by the Victorian public’ and ‘I would expect it is the intention of all parties to honour that convention’.

Labor’s decision to block Mr O’Sullivan prevents him from voting on legislation, establishing an office in northern Victoria or even acquiring an email address.

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