Parliamentary contribution - Labor Red Shirt Rorts

Extracted from Hansard
28 March 2018

Parliamentary contribution – Labor Red Shirt Rorts

I rise to support the member for Box Hill’s motion. Before we can move on, I cannot understand how we can sit here in this Parliament and not have an inquiry to get to the bottom of those who are responsible for rorting the system dealt with. We are representatives of the people. We are people that are entrusted. That word entrusted has ‘trust’ in it, and that trust has been broken.

I sit here and it is beyond belief that I can see on the other side the absolute audacity of their nothing-to-see-here attitude. I heard the Minister for Planning say that we need to get on with the legislation around superannuation and right a fundamental wrong. He actually said ‘right a fundamental wrong’. That is exactly what we need to do: right a fundamental wrong. I would no more allow my children to behave like this. I would no more move on and say, ‘Sorry, we’re not going to deal with this’. I would not, and neither I think would most of you. This is not okay behaviour, not in a household and not in a state. It is not okay.

I do not understand how anybody can dispute that we need to stop, we need to take stock and we need to say, ‘What has gone on here?’. What the Ombudsman has clearly found is that a wrong has occurred, and a wrong from the representatives who were elected into this place. They now need to put their hands up and say, ‘I need to stand down because I cannot honestly stand here and say with my hand on my heart’ — and I hope this is what you are thinking — ‘that I am a worthy representative. I have cheated. I do not deserve to be here’. That is what you need to be saying, and surely any decent human being would be saying that.

Australian cricket team members have been caught cheating. So what happens? They get the sack, and that is right. I am sorry but you do not get to carry on when, as an adult, you make a mistake as bad as cheating and lying. You actually stand up and say, ‘I’m wrong. I’m an adult. I know my actions and I know the consequences’.

I do not know how we can continue on until, as the Minister for Planning said, we ‘right a fundamental wrong’. It is cheating, and I am sure all of you taught your children that cheating and lying is one of the lowest things you can do. I am sure when they were going into their Victorian certificate of examination exams you did not say, ‘Hey, guess what? If you try cheating and get away with it, it’ll be a good idea’. No, it is not, and it is not what we teach our people in the state of Victoria. We are bigger and better than that, I hope. Trust is incredibly broken, and we definitely need to stop and take stock to restore faith in this system for the community. How can we sit here?

It seems that those in the Labor Party feel that any way to get into power is okay. Well, it is not. The people of Victoria decide who rules for them, and rule is what you see it as. It is not about ruling. It is a democracy, not a dictatorship, and getting there under any circumstances is not the system we have in place in Victoria. The Labor Party thinks it can just ride roughshod over all systems. For some reason they think they can just continue to get into power and rort and cheat and that makes everything okay. It is absolutely disgraceful behaviour. I am frankly disgusted. I cannot believe we are actually continuing this week. I am sorry, I might have my mother voice on tonight but that is exactly how I feel.

I feel like if any of my sons or my daughter did this, this would be the wrath they would be copping from me. Western Victoria has been let down. Gayle Tierney in the Council is one of the offenders. There are 21 people, six who sit here with us, and I just do not understand why we —

Honourable members interjecting.

Ms Britnell Well, I am sorry. I actually do not agree with cheating, and I stand proud of my values. I do not abide lying, cheating and thinking that it is okay to get where I want to go by being underhanded and rorting a system. It was wrong and it was known to be wrong. I know, as a member for a very short time, that I sign my staff’s time sheets. I do not sign something that is a blank piece of paper and hope that somebody is doing something right. That is just beyond belief. It does not take long as an MP to figure out that you are in charge of your staff and you need to know where they are working. Clearly that is pretty damn obvious. Taxpayers are frankly disgusted and it is time to stand up and admit that you are wrong and stand down. This is not a system that abides cheaters and rorters.