Opinion

Letters to the editor

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April 06, 2018

State Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp.

Sordid affair

- Mark Gepp, State Member for Northern Victoria

What we witnessed in parliament on Good Friday, when two Opposition MPs, Craig Ondarchie and Bernie Finn, reneged on a voting ‘‘pair’’ to alter the outcome of a vote in the parliament, is nothing short of disgraceful.

Ondarchie and Finn made impassioned speeches late on Thursday night about their religion, pleading with the government to provide them with a pair so they could leave parliament and spend Good Friday with their families and their church.

In keeping with convention, the government provided the two with a pair, ensuring the MPs and the Opposition would not suffer a voting disadvantage through the religious observance absence of two MPs.

What came next is unprecedented in the history of the Victorian Parliament and I frankly don’t know what is worse, the fact that two Opposition MPs lied and deceived parliament using their religion as the ruse for their behaviour on Good Friday or that the LNP leadership team of Matthew Guy and Peter Walsh were behind the sordid affair.

With no show of remorse, Mr Guy and Mr Walsh have expressed public pride in the lies and deception that occurred and with the attitude that the end justified the means. In doing so, they have set an appalling example and proven themselves unfit to govern.

Parliamentary processes and conventions exist to protect our democracy. Of course they are always open to challenge and debate, but they must never be allowed to be unilaterally trashed. Shame on Matthew Guy, Peter Walsh and the complicit MPs.

Preferential budget

- Kevin Saxton,

Shepparton

In the News on April 5, an article made reference to an ongoing traffic hazard at the corner of Verney Rd and Graham St.

The reason that it remains months after the road had been upgraded due to, according to the city engineer, the significant NBN infrastructure and the significant cost to relocate it, makes you wonder why when the proposed SAM had a blowout of $3million (significant), that its relocation was not reconsidered.

Evidently this extra money will come out of ‘‘cash surplus’’. If this account actually exists, why can a major safety concern for ratepayers not be financed from it if the council is concerned about this expense?

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