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.”