It is the responsibility of our elected government to govern for the peace, order and prosperity of every Victorian. But in its handling of the COVID crisis the Andrews Labor government has given us nothing but chaos, disorder and adversity. Worse than that, they have divided our state and instilled in its people hopelessness. Our confidence has been undermined. Our people feel defeated. How can the people of Victoria have confidence in this government? A Labor government that has sought to restrict our freedom and undermine our democracy, imposing measures upon us that are beyond the health advice, including for the first time in our state’s history a curfew. A Labor government that has seriously mishandled the public policy response and still months on does not have a comprehensive contact-tracing system in place akin to that in New South Wales. A Labor government that through what they have done and what they have failed to do has presided over an economic disaster where private sector winners and losers are arbitrarily picked based on ideological bent. A Labor government that has presided over 800 deaths linked to Victoria’s second COVID wave, hundreds of thousands out of work, thousands of businesses closed, suicides increasing and Victoria locked down because Labor’s infection control failed. A Labor government that does not have the humility to simply say, ‘We got it wrong. We take responsibility. We are sorry’.
How can members of this Labor government comfortably sleep at night knowing that decisions that their government took presided over the killing of our fellow Victorians, the deaths of our fellow Victorians. The Victorian people do not want you to grieve for these deaths; they want you to make amends. How can they sleep at night amid the deafening cries of the thousands of residents who reached out to their offices for hope and help, which in some cases have simply been ignored? Under this government because of this COVID response the poorer will get poorer, those behind in their education will fall further behind and those who were once at the start of a queue for a job will be pushed to the back of that queue.
And all of this is on the shoulders of every government member, not just its leadership. Every government member needs to take responsibility, every single one of them, for either enabling bad decisions to be made or not stopping bad decisions from being made. So many members of the Sandringham district community have been left by this government with no help and no hope, and it is for these reasons that I have no confidence in this government. I support this motion because thousands of Sandringham district residents have with one unified voice declared their lack of confidence in this government’s response, and this is to say nothing of the hundreds of businesses who have contacted my office on the brink of losing their life’s work and their livelihoods. In light of this it is particularly disappointing to note that 16 local traders are still waiting on responses from the Minister for Small Business so that they can get on with doing what they do best. Their silence speaks volumes to the fundamental lack of understanding and the disrespect that some members of this government have for those who put everything on the line to build our economy and to employ our fellow Victorians.
But there is a better way. There is an alternative, and that is the opportunity of this no-confidence motion. That is the opportunity that this no-confidence motion presents to every member of this place today. Today this Parliament and its members have an opportunity to do what is right. They have got an opportunity to do what is right for the Victorians that put them there to serve them and not to do what is apparently right for some political master or political overlord. Today every MP has an opportunity to say to those people who have contacted their office, who have contacted us in desperation, uncertain about their future, that we have listened to you, that we have heard you. Today is our opportunity to restore hope in our once-great state, to rekindle optimism, to press reset. And that is why I support this motion of no confidence.