Government performance (19.9.2018)

Written on the 19 September 2018


Government performance
19 September 2018


GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)


I am very pleased to be able to rise and speak to this excellent motion, because it goes to the heart of what this government has delivered to Victorians over the past four years. We have just heard from Minister Mikakos herself, who was flailing all over the place then actually in relation to the contribution. There were a lot of extraordinary desperate comments made about

Mr O'Sullivan Lies.

Ms CROZIER Lies certainly. I mean, you can say anything in this place, Mr O'Sullivan, but there seem to be a lot of lies being told on that side of the house constantly, as we have seen from media releases. Let us just run through a few of those things, because Victorians actually in their streets, in their homes and in their businesses have never seen the activity of crime at the level that has occurred in this state as it has over the past four years. The facts are the facts that, despite what the government members might say, the increase in violent crimes against the person is off the Richter scale. You do not see that in other parts of the country. You do not see that in New South Wales, for instance, and you do not see it in other parts of the country to the extent that it has occurred here. And why has it occurred? It is because this government has been totally inept and soft on crime.

We saw it from the moment they got in. They sent this message to young offenders that it was all right to breach bail. Why is it all right to do a crime, then get the privilege of bail and then go out there

Ms Mikakos interjected.

Ms CROZIER That has not happened, Minister Mikakos. Ms Mikakos, that was the first thing you did. I will say again, Minister Mikakos, you have led a youth justice system in utter, utter crisis for four years. In terms of the youth justice system, we have seen a system in crisis for four years. I asked a question here in the house yesterday about the number of assaults on youth justice workers more than one a week, violent assaults, are occurring to youth justice workers. It means that the youth justice system is now the most dangerous workplace in Victoria. What an indictment! What a shocking indictment it is that these workers who go to work every day to do their work

Ms Mikakos interjected.


Ms CROZIER You have not protected them at all, Ms Mikakos, and you know it. You are incompetent, and it is shown in the figures that we have seen through the mismanagement. In youth justice we have seen record numbers of riots. Never have riots occurred in relation to the youth justice system where we have seen so much damage and ongoing repairs. Then there were Mr Ondarchie's comments in relation to what this government has done to bribe those young offenders. Again it is sending the wrong message in terms of what they can do, and they know the government is soft on crime.

We have got a shocking system at the moment. Rehabilitation is not even occurring. It is seen as more dangerous than the adult prison system. These are the facts; it is not the rubbish that was spouted by Ms Mikakos just 10 minutes ago. These are the facts. The workers know that and those young offenders in there know that; they are getting assaulted at record levels too. Again, you talk about hiding data. Well, it is interesting just to see the number of police investigations that are occurring in youth justice and the number of category 1s that are placed. That is at record levels because it is a system out of control and in crisis.

We also saw a mass escape from Malmsbury in January last year, a most dreadful situation that was completely out of control because, again, the system was out of control. Those offenders took advantage of a system out of control and ran rampant across the state, putting the lives of dozens of Victorians at risk. What a disgraceful occurrence. It is no wonder that this chamber passed a motion of no confidence in this minister, because her record speaks for itself loudly and clearly. She goes out

Ms Mikakos That was a political stunt.


Ms CROZIER Well, it says something about you, Ms Mikakos, because it is symptomatic of what this government stands for. If you look at it, the government is in complete denial about a range of things, and if I could just move to another area you have led the way in and that is rorts we have seen a culture of rorts with this government that is so rotten. It is so rotten.

Ms Mikakos You refused to have any of your members examined. You refused.

Ms CROZIER The Ombudsman found that the only party that rorted was the Labor Party.

Ms Mikakos You refused to send them to the Ombudsman. Why were you hiding?

Ms CROZIER Ms Mikakos, you might try to deflect, but the facts are that it is the Labor Party that rorted; it was not any other party in this chamber or in this Parliament. It was Labor. It was you. You are the lead rorter. Have you been seen by the fraud squad? Ms Mikakos, your record stands clearly.

Ms Mikakos You're a bunch of hypocrites. You hid yourselves from scrutiny.

Ms CROZIER No, you are a pack of rorters. You are a bunch of rorters, and the Victorian public know it. You are under investigation by the Victoria Police fraud squad. What a shocking indictment of this government. If you look at the rorting Mr Herbert, who sat next to you, chauffeured around two dogs in a Victorian taxpayer-funded car. Your arrogance, your presumption of everything that you do

An honourable member Dog-gate.

Ms CROZIER Dog-gate Ted and Patch. Who will forget that? What a shocking display of arrogance and presumption by this government. Then we have got the former Speaker and former Deputy Speaker. It is extraordinary. The two men who held two of the highest offices blatantly rorted the Victorian taxpayer through the second home allowance with the most pathetic excuses. Again, the presumption and arrogance of this government. Victorians have had 15 of the last 19 years under Labor. You have been in power for 15 of the last 19 years, and it is enough. Victorians have had enough of this culture of systematic rorting

Ms Mikakos They booted you out after four years because you did nothing.


Ms CROZIER Well, let us talk about that, then. Let us talk about the unions and the paybacks. Let us talk about the unions and what they did in the lead-up to the 2014 election. We saw that yesterday with Mr Setka and the blowout in projects. He did not even deny the fact that somebody pushing a wheelbarrow would be getting $150 000. He said it was worth it. This is again payback. We have got projects paid for with Victorian taxpayers money being blown to smithereens under you. You just cannot manage projects and you just cannot manage money. You take it all for granted, that taxpayers money. It is not your money. The government is the custodian of taxpayers money and you are blowing it, and you expect paybacks from John Setka, of all people that individual, who has got a string of things associated with his name and his activities. What a disgrace you all are to be associated and affiliated with that union.

Well, you know what? Those unions, the paybacks and then you have got Peter Marshall with the CFA coming out crying crocodile tears. 'Nothing to see here. No deal, no tape' who would believe him and who would believe you? Who would believe Daniel Andrews? Who could ever believe him? He went out before the 2014 election and said there would be no new taxes. He gave his word to Peter Mitchell, looking down the Channel 7 camera, 'I give you no new taxes'. Well, this is the highest taxing state

Ms Mikakos You wouldn't know a worker if you tripped over one.

Ms CROZIER Well, I tell you what, Ms Mikakos, I worked for 16 years in the public health system. I know plenty of excellent workers. I tell you what, I have just had a phone call from a retailer in that area who was robbed not once but twice by a gang of thugs who went in with machetes and guns and assaulted those workers who were just going to work and doing their job. You do not care. You do not care about the victims of crime. That vision went right around the world. You are a disgrace. You have done nothing for victims of crime, nothing. They know it

Ms Mikakos You cut funding to Victoria Police and now you are crying crocodile tears.

Ms CROZIER No, your record stands for itself. The government's record stands for itself, and

Ms Mikakos Cuts, cuts, cuts that is in the Liberal DNA.

Ms CROZIER Well, Minister Mikakos, let me tell you what is your DNA: lying. You lie. It is in Labor's DNA. Rorting is in the DNA

Ms Mikakos You lie every day. You come in here in question time every day and lie. You make up things every day. You come in here and you lie.

Ms CROZIER Oh, really? Do the youth justice workers think that after 38 assaults? Are you telling me that there have not been 38 assaults against youth justice workers this year, Ms Mikakos? Are you saying that is not true? Through you, Acting President.

Mr Ramsay On a point of order, Acting President, this is not a debate between Ms Mikakos and Ms Crozier. You had your turn speaking, Ms Mikakos; it is Ms Crozier's turn. I ask you to allow Ms Crozier to make her contribution without interjection from Ms Mikakos.


The ACTING PRESIDENT (Ms Dunn) There is no point of order, but I would encourage Ms Crozier to make her comments through the Chair, and I would encourage the chamber to hear Ms Crozier's contribution without assistance.

Ms CROZIER Thank you, Acting President. I think Ms Mikakos has said enough. Her record speaks for itself.

If I could just go to the other issues that Victorians are facing, cost-of-living pressures are through the roof. Utility prices are through the roof. Through the actions of this government by taxing a company, Engie, out of existence and closing Hazelwood 22 per cent of our baseload energy was taken out of the system. It is no wonder electricity prices are going through the roof. If you go and speak to drycleaners, greengrocers, butchers anyone who has high energy use they will tell you just how much they are hurting. What that means is staff have to be laid off, they have to close down or they have to work harder.

This government is doing nothing for small business. In fact they are putting more and more pressure on them all the time. It is truly shameful. This is a government of the unions. We know that; it is very, very evident.

Likewise there is congestion. There is no plan for the increased congestion in our city. As I said, Labor has been in power for 15 of the last 19 years. They have just ignored the extraordinary population increase this state has experienced over those almost two decades. They have had no plan. They have just sat on their hands and hoped it would all go away. Well, it has not. It is affecting our livability and Victorians' ability to really enjoy what is a magnificent city and a magnificent state. That, on top of a crime wave, has led to insecurities. People, young families and women in particular are feeling less safe than ever before. The Minister for Police acknowledges that herself.

Yet again we have got little consequence for this government's actions but more pain in a whole range of areas. That is why in just over 60 days when Victorians go to the polls they will make a decision and will reflect on what this government has done. Yes, there is infrastructure going on, but so should there be. They have had billions of dollars coming into this state, so if they were not building something, you would be wondering what the hell they had been doing, quite seriously. There was the sale of the port of Melbourne, Snowy Hydro 2.0 and record-high stamp duty. This government has been rolling in money. There was the increase in GST returns. I mean, they have been seriously rolling in money, so if they were not building things, you would have to ask what the hell they had been doing.

Mr Ramsay interjected.

Ms CROZIER Well, they wasted it. We saw that with the eastwest link, a road that Infrastructure Victoria

Ms Mikakos interjected.


Ms CROZIER Here she goes again. Ms Mikakos, Infrastructure Victoria has recognised that the eastwest link is a major project that needs to be done. You ignore the fact that that was even your legislation and your idea.

The Premier goes out there with pie-in-the-sky ideas that most of us in this chamber know will never, ever see the light of day. But that is what he does. Victorians are very, very aware of this government's culture and this government's approach. It is a rotten government. It is rotten to the core. It is led by a man who has really fallen over himself to be at the mercy of the unions. We have seen that through not only the lead-up to the 2014 election but also the Country Fire Authority's (CFA) shocking treatment of volunteers in this state.

There is so much about this government's culture that is wrong, but I can go back to where I started in relation to the records that stand for themselves. I know the minister has now gone from the chamber, but her record stands for itself. It is a shocking indictment of the mismanagement of our youth justice system and the young people that are committing serious crimes, continuously ending up in youth justice and not getting the rehabilitation they require. It is a shocking indictment of the lack of acknowledgement for the victims of crime. The victims of crime who come out and speak to me and other members of the coalition will tell you the most horrific stories. One that I cannot go without mentioning is the way the Premier treated Maria Aylward and her family, a brave woman who is standing up for what is right for those poor children that were orphaned.

Well, let me tell you in the last few seconds that I have that Victorians know the nature of this government. It is rotten to the core. One can easily see that. As the Leader of the Opposition said, there appeared a window into the soul of the Premier in the last sitting week, and it was a disgrace.



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