12 March 1991 - Current
Mr McGUIRE (Broadmeadows) (13:15:55): It is an honour and a privilege to be part of the 59th Parliament of Victoria. I want to commend the government business program. Anyone who was at the state memorial service to mark the decade of time that has passed since the bushfires, the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history, that caused the death of 173 people, would know and understand the significance of this motion and the fact that the Parliament should actually address it and give the chance to everybody to make a contribution. These are moments when the Parliament absolutely counts. I want to also just comment on some of the statements that were made about the other pieces of legislation that the government is putting on the agenda this week. These go to the point of the values of the Andrews Labor government and what we are doing to fight the issues that need to be addressed. The accountability legislation goes to increasing scrutiny, accountability and compliance. That is at the heart of this piece of legislation. It is incredibly important that these reforms expand and clarify the types of public sector inappropriate conduct that a person can disclose, increase the pathways for making disclosures and simplify confidentiality obligations. I am surprised that the opposition took a shot at that. If you go to the other bill that will be reintroduced, it is about patient care and saving lives. I want to put this in some context as well. This is about Victorians fighting cancer, women giving birth to some of our most vulnerable babies and the elderly getting better care and the care that they need under these new, stronger nurse-to-patient ratios and midwife-to-patient ratios. For too long nurses and midwives have been forced to trade away their own pay and conditions to guarantee ratios which make sure that they have enough time to be with their patients and to provide the necessary care. That is the context of this bill. That is what this bill does. That is its significance and its importance. This bill will help save lives. I want to make those points in support; this goes to the character, nature and values of this government. That was why this government was re-elected. I want to support the government business program and actually redress and reframe this in the minds of the opposition on why these things matter. This is what the Victorian population actually expects us to be addressing. I commend the government business program to the house. Motion agreed to.