Media Releases

INDEPENDENCE OF TWO HOUSES MUST REMAIN

February 10, 2017

Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has voted to keep both Houses of Parliament independent of each other.

A motion introduced in Parliament this week, sought to ensure the Legislative Council could not order an Ombudsman investigation into a member of the Legislative Assembly, and vice versa.

Ms Sheed expressed her dismay at how quickly the political parties are prepared to trash the long-term rules of Parliamentary procedure for political point scoring.

“Since early times and to the present date it has been accepted that each house of Parliament is entirely independent of each other and neither has any dominance over the other. For an Upper House Greens MP to initiate a resolution to investigate members of the Lower House breaches this long term convention. I voted for the motion to uphold the integrity of our Parliament”, Ms Sheed said.

“Victorian people actually respect the Parliament of Victoria. They want it to be a secure place. They want to have some trust in it,” she said.

“On two occasions last year the parties were prepared to trash the conventions of Parliament for their own ends. The first was the inordinately long suspension of the Special Minister of State and the second the delay in convening a joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament to swear in Luke O’Sullivan following the resignation of Damien Drum,” she said.

This latest move comes following an investigation of the Labor Party, into the use of staff allocations during the 2014 election.

Ms Sheed said while she condemns rorting of public funds in any way, this issue was being used by the political parties to further their political objectives.

 “To date there have been two inquiries of some sort into it by the police and KPMG.”

In neither case was any further action recommended.

“The principle is about the exclusive cognisance of the Houses of Parliament,” Ms Sheed said.

Ends

Media contact

Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│sueanne.mccumstie@parliament.vic.gov.au

 

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