Statement from Roma Britnell:
Leader of The Opposition Matthew Guy has asked me to continue to serve in the Shadow Cabinet and I have proudly accepted his offer.
I will remain as the Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight and add the consumer affairs portfolio to my responsibilities.
I’m looking forward to getting to work in the consumer affairs portfolio to ensure people are treated fairly and justly when accessing goods and services and ensuring a fair and competitive marketplace for Victorians.
I am pleased to be able to continue my work with the freight industry who continue to conduct their essential work keeping our country moving despite the multitude of challenges being thrown at them.
I am confident that my friend, colleague and fellow regional MP Louise Staley will continue to hold the Andrews Labor Government to account for its lacklustre and wasteful approach to rural road maintenance as the new Shadow Minister for Roads.
In our region we know all too well how hard it can be dealing with government bureaucrats who couldn’t point to us on a map.
As our region continues to recover from the ongoing lockdowns and restrictions we have endured I’ll be our regions’ fieriest advocate in Parliament and in the decision making body of the Liberal National Opposition.
The people of South West Coast have now twice given me the great honour of representing them and being their voice in State Parliament and I will never waiver from that responsibility.
Statement from Bev McArthur:
Today I have been given the privilege of joining the Victorian Liberal Nationals Shadow Assistant Ministry.
On behalf of every Victorian, I intend to fully engage in the Scrutiny of Government portfolio and support James Newbury as the Shadow Minister in this role.
To say that this Government led by Premier Daniel Andrews requires scrutiny is an understatement.
It has hidden even the basic science and medical advice that has resulted in Victorians being locked up, businesses closed down and children not at school.
Billions of dollars have been spent in the name of this cause. Billions more will be spent chasing the losses.
But for those Victorians who have been left isolated, jobless and literally in despair, the damage done to Victoria cannot be counted in dollars alone.
It is a toll that is counted in the most priceless of ways, in life itself.
To those Victorians – children, the elderly, parents, the lonely, those who have lost their business and life savings, the ill - or those just sick of the senseless stripping of freedom and liberty – I assure you my effort in this role will be done with your rights and injustice at the forefront of my every day.
Scrutiny of Government means scrutiny of every decision: it calls for explanation of the burgeoning bureaucracy – the utter failure of hotel quarantine last year and its 801 deaths – the state budget and its extraordinary blowouts in the billions - the projects that are billions over Budget and years behind delivery; along with the shoddy and inept handling of so many aspects of Government delivery.
Victorians get swamped by the volume of data, reports and statistics coming at them, tsunami-like every day.
To the best of my ability, I intend to make sense of this information on your behalf – and challenge it where required.
As a former member of the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee, SARC, I am well alert to this Government’s dismissive attitude to scrutiny and cavalier approach to the Westminster system.
Now, as Shadow Assistant Minister for the Scrutiny of Government, I will continue the pursuit of accountability.
Included in this is the review of reports from the Victorian Auditor General’s Office, VAGO.
The VAGO reports on Government operations, departments, procedure, procurement and expenditure require a determined effort to consume and question.
For example, the latest VAGO report into the 2020-21 Victorian Budget indicated that no department “consistently meets the requirements of the framework for designing output performance measures” and that “Some Departments use output performance measures that only reflect meeting minimum standards or legal requirements.”
If they can’t be measured – they can’t be judged. It’s a mechanism the Andrews Government uses to hide its failings in the data jungle.
It is evident from this one report alone that this is a government which thinks it is fine to snub protocol and standards.
By that, it is snubbing every Victorian.
This Andrews Government is overseeing a broad malaise of indolence, a State where complacency is rife, and care for excellence is negligible.
That shouldn’t surprise many, given the leadership is prepared to tell an Inquiry ‘they don’t recall’.
The Andrews standard has been set. It is both apathetic and pathetic.
I thank the Leader of the Liberal Party, Matthew Guy, for his belief in me and for the opportunity to work even more diligently on behalf of all the hard working taxpayers and citizens of Victoria.