Legislative assembly

Sheed wins support for parliamentary change

Voices silenced: Suzanna Sheed says non-government business should be ‘handed over to the Victorian Parliament’. Photo by AAP

Independent MP for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed has welcomed an e-petition supporting her long campaigning around non-government affairs in Victoria’s Parliament.

Ms Sheed called for the return of non-government business to the Victorian Legislative Assembly, a right enjoyed by all other lower houses in Australia.

“It’s a fundamental part of democracy,” Ms Sheed said.

“Without non-government affairs, the opposition and non-attached MPs do not have the opportunity to represent their constituents in the same way as government members.”

A non-government affairs program would allow non-government MPs to move motions, advance private members’ bills, and use a number of other procedures in the House.

Ms Sheed’s 2020 parliamentary intern, Thomas Woodruff, launched the e-petition after his report was completed Non-Government Affairs at the Legislative Assembly of Victoria.

Mr Woodruff, a Deakin Honors student, said he was shocked to hear that the Victorian Legislative Assembly‘s non-government business scheme had been cut since the 1990s by successive governments.

“I urge everyone who cares about proper democratic processes in Victoria to sign this e-petition so that together we can show the government how important fairness is to all Victorians, Mr Woodruff said. .

Ms Sheed said it was vital for the equality of all Victorians that their elected member had the opportunity to have a fair hearing in Parliament.

Labor has so far rejected calls for change.

“Nearly every Tuesday that Parliament sits I have asked permission to move a motion to debate the reintroduction of non-government business in the Legislative Assembly and whenever the Labor Government refuses permission to debate this motion,” Ms. Sheed said. .

“Independents are the way of the future, and I will not give up the fight to have our non-governmental activities reinstated in the Parliament of Victoria.”