Another parliamentary sitting week has arrived, and again there is a sense of deja vu.
Political party manoeuvring leaves little time to debate legislation and matters of public importance that we have actually been put here to discuss.
It is no wonder the public accuse politicians of living in a bubble.
The goings-on in this place are so far removed from the lives of real people, from the lives of regional Victorians.
In my electorate of Shepparton district constituents care about what is being done to improve schools, hospitals and transport connectivity. They are anxious about the extended dry weather conditions and fearful of the drought being experienced further north and in the east of our state. They are afraid it will reach them with devastating consequences if there is not enough spring rain. They want to know that significant shortcomings in water management through the Murray-Darling Basin plan that were exposed by the Productivity Commission last week will get the attention that state and federal governments owe to it. They want to hear politicians talk to them about their experiences and to offer them support and solutions. And let me tell you: beware the politicians who get swept up in the party politics instead of focusing on the people who put them here.
Regional Victoria is experiencing its strongest showing of independent challengers to the major parties, probably in history. People are disillusioned with the status quo and will show their hand on 24 November.