The Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has backed a Liberal National Coalition election promise to reintroduce regional sittings of Parliament by seeking to pass a motion that would have seen a regional sitting of parliament in Shepparton next year.
During the most recent sitting of State Parliament, Ms Lovell moved the motion for the Legislative Council to meet and sit in Shepparton on 11 June 2019. Unfortunately, Shepparton was denied this opportunity when Labor, the Greens and a Conservative Party MP joined to vote down the motion.
Ms Lovell said that regional sittings have been a feature of every Parliament since the beginning of this millennium but the practice was scrapped by the Andrews Labor Government, robbing regional communities of the many benefits of holding sittings of parliament in regional Victoria.
“I have had the pleasure of participating in the past three regional sittings of the Legislative Council and I have seen the interest and excitement that those regional sittings generated in those communities,” Ms Lovell said.
“Regional sittings allows for direct advocacy by communities through site visits, meetings, municipal presentations and receptions and allows opportunities for schools, social groups and individuals who may find it difficult to visit Parliament in Melbourne to attend a regional sitting and observe Parliament at work.”
Ms Lovell said a regional sitting in Shepparton would give local advocates the chance to discuss important issues with all Members of Parliament and importantly the Greens members could have been briefed on the impact the Murray Darling Basin Plan is having on our region and alternative measures that could achieve the plans objectives without removing further water from productive use.
“Shepparton has never hosted a regional sitting of Parliament and I am disappointed this opportunity has been lost because of the Andrews Labor Government and Greens city centric focus.”