Mr BURGESS — Over the past four years I have visited the majority of electorates across Victoria, many of them numerous times, to meet and talk to many hundreds of small and medium‑sized businesses. Often it is not what they say that you learn from; it is what they do not say. Numbers of these businesses described how they had met with their local MP and a few had even met the minister, but the feeling they were given was that they were expected to sit there and listen while the MP and/or minister spoke.
There are basically two types of MP: ones who believe they were elected by their community to represent their needs in government and others who believe they were elected by their party to do their job and run their government’s line with their community. From observing them in here and talking to people in their electorates, it is clear that the majority of Labor MPs are of the second type, and I have no doubt that comes from their union upbringing.