The Andrews Labor Government has voted down a motion that would have brought both houses of Parliament back regional Victoria for the first time in more than a decade.
Holding regular sittings away from Spring Street provides an important opportunity for regional communities to bring the issues affecting their area to light, and for residents to learn more about the democratic process by seeing their Parliament in action.
Daniel Andrews hasn’t held a regional sitting for both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council since coming into government in 2014.
By hearing directly from regional communities, Members of Parliament, particularly those representing metropolitan areas, are given a wider understanding to develop key policy and programs.
The Legislative Council has previously held sittings in Ballarat, Benalla, Colac, Lakes Entrance, Bendigo and Bright. Regional Victoria has a strong voice and it is about time Parliament is brought back to hear it firsthand.
Member for South West Coast, Roma Britnell, said that bringing Parliament back to the regions was an important step. Ms Britnell took the opportunity in the Parliament on Tuesday to invite the Victorian Parliament to sit in Warrnambool.
“You can’t fix the challenges regional Victoria faces from behind a desk in Spring Street, you have to get out there and see it firsthand,” Ms Britnell said.
“All Politicians would benefit for visiting regional Victoria and taking the Parliament to the regions is a way of achieving this. The Victorian Parliament owes it to the people of Warrnambool to spend time in their city and explain why they have neglected regional Victoria and so they can experience our roads first hands.
“The Liberals and Nationals will continue the fight to bring Parliament back to the regions.”