Production of documents
Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — What an unedifying performance by the member for Malvern. I have to say that one thing that we on this side of the house are agreed on is that we do not take lectures from the disgraced, dodgy former Treasurer, whose poison pen signed that side letter and sold Victorians out. That is where it begins and finishes for us: we do not take lectures from him.
This motion is a very simple request. I remind those very simple minds over there that it is a simple request. I recall a couple of days after those opposite won their last election — looking at them now, you wonder how that ever happened — listening to the Premier at that time, Ted Baillieu, on the radio. He was being interviewed by Jon Faine and he was asked, ‘What is the state of the books, Premier?’. He said, ‘Well, I’ve had the blue books come up to me and we’ve opened them out and we’ve had a good look at them, and I’ve got to say the books are in good order’. He said, ‘The books are in good order’. I thought, ‘Good on you, Ted. You’re honest about this, and it is a pretty good start for your government’.
We on the side of the house were not surprised by that comment because we knew that the Bracks and Brumby governments ran a very tight ship; it was a very fiscally responsible government that delivered on good-quality government services and facilities. But what did we get? A few weeks later it was as though the ghosts from the Kennett-Stockdale era were back in charge and had whispered in the ear of the former Treasurer, the now member for Rowville, who had been down to his local accountant to get some advice about how to balance the books in opposition. So now Kennett and Stockdale are back in, and they say to him, ‘You need to get an independent audit’, and they go out and commission the Vertigan report.
We know that the Vertigan report was done for a very specific reason. The fact that the opposition does not want to produce it is for a very specific reason too. We know that the Vertigan report, in the tradition of other reports that were done elsewhere around Australia under Campbell Newman and in New South Wales, indeed even David Cameron in Britain, was about what is quite rightly reported in the Australian — a secret government plan. I quote:
A secret audit commission report calls for a revolution in the way government services are delivered, with charities and private businesses taking responsibility from bureaucrats.
We know why the opposition does not want us to have a look at it — it is because we know that it was about cutting public servants, 4200 public servants, in this state. We know it was about taking the apples out of the mouths of babes. We know that it was about cutting aged care. So we want, as is the right of everybody in this chamber, for the house to see what is in this report. The Victorian public deserves to see it because it needs to be forewarned about voting for a Liberal government, even here in the state. As much as the member for Malvern might think he is going to be back over here pretty soon, I have got to say that if the public sees the Vertigan report, as they will before a federal election if this is to go through, everybody will be on red-hot alert to make sure that neither a Victorian Liberal government nor an Australian Liberal government is elected. I commend the motion to the house.