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.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) (09:55:58) — Union organisers were sent to visit all Victorian schools to try to pressure cleaners into joining. Only 12 of those many hundreds did. The union told the cleaners that if they did not join they would lose their jobs. Now it is clear for everyone to see who is really running this state, because true to that promise every one of those many hundreds of metropolitan cleaners were sacked.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) (14:02:57) — It is a pleasure to rise and speak on the take‑note motion on this year’s budget. It is typical of the last three budgets that this government has produced. It is a boom‑bust budget with revenues just slightly in front of expenditure but of course built on a false base of immigration. Without that immigration we would be in real trouble in this state. It is a very similar scenario to where we were in 1988 moving on from the Cain‑Kirner years. The last time they were re‑elected things looked like they were okay because there was revenue that would substantiate the overlying figure, but in the end we saw that that revenue was built on sand, as the revenue at the moment is built on immigration. If that immigration starts to falter, which projections from the Housing Industry Association says it will, then while the revenue will drop considerably and suddenly, the expenditure that this government has built up certainly will not, and that will leave us in a very dire situation.
During debate on the Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017 yesterday in this house the member for Mordialloc through interjection exposed the depth of the disdain with which the Andrews Labor government holds Victorian small businesses by claiming that they want to pay their employees just 10 cents an hour. This member is an absolute disgrace, as is this government.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) (09:39:23) — Unsurprisingly, the Labor member for Carrum has again been caught out in Parliament for misleading the Carrum community, this time about the Andrews government’s plans to build train stabling in the backyards of Kananook residents. Is there no limit to what this member will allow her government to do to Carrum residents? Carrum residents must be wondering where the person they elected to represent them has gone, why she is allowing the Premier to force the Eel Race Road closed, and why another Labor MP was able to say no to the Premier’s sky rail and get it underground instead, but she has just stepped out of the way and let him introduce it.
There may never be two greater examples of the arrogance and ignorance of this Andrews Labor government, led by a common rorter kept in his position by pathetic excuses for MPs who will do anything, lawful or unlawful, to keep their snouts in the public trough. Not content with describing to Neil Mitchell their blatant theft of public funds as being worth the illegality of their actions to Victorians because they ‘got such a great government’, the Minister for Small Business said yesterday in another place that it was a good thing that this government was destroying more than 800 school cleaning small businesses, and the loss of all those jobs in those businesses and their employees, because a small number had underpaid their workers. His incredible arrogance and ignorance completely blinded him to his own staggering hypocrisy that while he and his Labor colleagues rorted $388 000 and spent more than $1.5 million trying to cover it up, not one of them is going to even lose their job.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — I rise to open the batting for the opposition on the Small Business Commission Bill 2016. At the outset, the opposition has tried very hard to find something in this bill to support rather than just not oppose, because if there were something in this bill that actually worked for small business, then we would have been wholeheartedly supportive. Unfortunately the industry feedback really confirmed our view that the bill does not really do anything for small business. It does a number of things that will make sure that the Small Business Commission is busier; there is no doubt about that. At the outset, the opposition will not be opposing this bill, but it would have been an opportunity — I believe an opportunity that has been lost — for us to support a bill if for the first time this government was really going to do something that would help small business.
With no group calling for additional public holidays, last year the Andrews government declared Easter Sunday and the day before the AFL Grand Final to be new public holidays in Victoria.
After more than 70 years in small business Barry Entwistle was forced to close the doors of his Seville IGA.
I recently met again with representatives of the Acland Street, St Kilda, traders group to listen to their further concerns about the planned Acland Street tram upgrade. This plan is further confirmation that the Labor Party just does not get business or understand how it operates.