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Wednesday, 27 February 1985
Page: 344

Mr LAMB(7.47) —I want to join the honourable member for Chisholm (Ms Mayer) in speaking about the quality of government. We in this chamber all recognise that that depends on many things. One of the more important is, of course, the quality of leadership of a Premier in a State and the quality of the membership of the back bench on the government side. We have in John Cain in Victoria a person who is a most reliable, honest and progressive Premier, not prone to firing from the lip or attacking by confrontation methods the rights of women, which is exactly what we heard from the honourable member from Corangamite (Mr McArthur). He would not allow a woman to be paid a proper wage for the same work she does next to a male. In Victoria that fine work, that fine program of the Labor Government, has been frustrated by the members of the Legislative Council of the Victorian Parliament, by a combination of the majority of National Party and Liberal Party members.

Earlier we saw the honourable member for Franklin (Mr Goodluck) waving his newspaper around in the chamber trying, seemingly, to get some attention, and getting stuck into the Australian Democrats in his State. At least the Australian Democrats realise that if we want progressive and proper government in Victoria we have to get rid of that obstruction and obfuscation in the upper House. We can do that only by allowing the Labor Government to gain its rightful place with a majority in both chambers, and that will happen on Saturday. I will give one example of how that obstruction has gone against the working men and women in Victoria. The Minister for Employment and Training in that State introduced an occupational health and safety legislation program to protect the safety and rights of workers. Yet the troglodytes in the upper House in that State have thrown out that legislation on two occasions. It must go through and it will go through after Saturday.

I also want to talk about the quality of the membership of the Government ranks in that State. I will not stray far. I will stay close to home in my electorate of Streeton. Within that electorate we have five State seats. The seat of Warrandyte is represented by Mr Lou Hill, who has proved himself a champion of the rights of the underdog and the ordinary person. He has brought his talents as a lawyer into the political arena and used them for the benefit of the people. In the State seat of Evelyn we have the former member for Sandringham, Graham Ihlein, who has an eye for detail and the tenacity of a bulldog to get things done for his people. He gives excellent representation. Let me also mention another person with concern for her fellow human beings, the member for Ringwood, Kay Setches, who has put so much effort into the welfare of the homeless and the aged and has worked for the refuges, the hospitals and the elderly people's homes. She is a person who has forged one of the closest links between ordinary people and any State member in that Parliament.

Let me move on to the State seat of Monbulk, which is represented by Mr Neil Pope, who, for the first time, has brought two basic utilities to the township of Silvan and one to Monbulk. What are they? He has brought basic reticulated water to the people of Silvan, who live right opposite the Silvan Dam but who had been unable to get water from it until this gentleman in this State Government provided it. Also, natural gas is now to be piped around the base of the Dandenongs to the people of Monbulk, who can be warmed during the colder winters experienced there.

I now come to our candidate for the seat of Berwick. Phillip Staindl knows more about the seat of Berwick than does the sitting member. Not only was he the electorate secretary to the honourable member for McMillan (Mr Cunningham), but he has been the secretary to the Victorian Minister of Agriculture, Mr Eric Kent. He knows the problems of that area and he will do well. He has lived there all his life-unlike the Liberal member for Berwick, who has decided to desert the fire victims of Cockatoo and the poor people of the electorate of Berwick and live in the salubrious suburb of South Yarra.

Government members interjecting-

Mr LAMB —Disgraceful. I agree with Government members. Mr Speaker, is there any doubt now, when you have heard about the quality of government, the quality of the back bench, that the people of Victoria, on Saturday, will elect, for the first time in Victoria's history, a second successive Labor Government, led by John Cain.