It is Wednesday in the Victorian Parliament, and again we have the situation that continues to be played out time and again on Wednesdays during opposition business, when the opposition is hell-bent on determining that the primary role of the Legislative Council is to provide documents. On this occasion this issue has taken up a considerable number of hours. In the last sitting week, the debate on the motion started prior to question time, continued all afternoon until 6.00 p.m. and then went late into the evening. We are debating it again today, and as I understand it the speaking list is certainly not exhausted.
As we have heard from previous government speakers, this government is not at all opposed to receiving requests for documents.
This government considers all requests, and in that consideration the legal advice that we have about executive privilege is taken into account. Where appropriate, documents have been, are and will be provided. Numerous examples of this have been provided time and again during this debate and previous debates similar to this one. Yet when it does not fulfil each and every request this government is accused of behaving in an improper manner and of being arrogant. The opposition creates an illusion that the government is not behaving properly and that the government is deliberately not disclosing information. The opposite is true. The government has presented an enormous amount of documentation, as was outlined by Mr Viney at the beginning of the debate just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday of the last sitting week.
The simple fact is that when the opposition does not get what it wants or its own way it simply determines that it will use its numbers in an attempt to toss the Leader of the Government out of the Legislative Council.
Where is the adjudicator now, when the true level of arrogant behaviour is being played out before us in the very nature of the motion before us this afternoon? This is a very sorry state of affairs, particularly given that the person who is the primary subject of this motion is held in very high regard by all in this chamber. Minister Lenders is a member for Southern Metropolitan Region, the Treasurer of this state, the Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council and also the Minister for Financial Services. He is considered by many to be beyond reproach. He adheres to proper processes and is wedded to ensuring that good governance permeates all levels of decision making and government.
I again request, as I have in similar debates, that we move on. Let us reject this motion that does not meet any reality check except the one that allows ordinary voters to develop increased cynicism about the parliamentary process. We should move on and get some substantive work done in this chamber.
Given that we continue to have these kinds of motions before the house, it is obviously incumbent upon government members to defend their leader, who is being subject to ridiculous behaviour by the opposition.
I believe I am on particularly safe ground when I say that the vast majority of constituents in Western Victoria Region would be appalled by what goes on in this house on Wednesdays, and in particular with this obsession with documentation, wasting time and attempting to throw the Leader of the Government out of the chamber. I implore the house to vote against this ridiculous motion.