September 20, 2017  |  

Office of Fiona Richardson

Ms HUTCHINS (Minister for Women) — Speaker, I think it is important to set the record straight. Some of the individuals that we are talking about have secured employment. I am not going to get into individual arrangements, but I can say nobody has been sacked in these circumstances. We have an absolutely substantial task ahead of us, and I welcome all the support on this side that I know I have in going forward to implement our fantastic agenda around the prevention of family violence.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — The member for Clarinda is warned.

Mr Clark — On a point of order, Speaker, it was a very specific question about whether the minister raised these matters with the Premier. I ask you to bring her back to answering that question.

Ms Allan — On the point of order, Speaker, the question and the supplementary question, which was based on the content of the original question, was factually incorrect. It was based on factually incorrect information.

An honourable member — It was raised in this house.

Ms Allan — It may have been raised in this house, but the information is factually incorrect. The Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Minister for Women is entitled to put the record straight in answering the question that has been put by the member for Euroa. We should call this for what it is: this is a protection racket for the Leader of the Opposition that the member for Euroa is deploying here today.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! I do not uphold the point of order. The minister has concluded her answer.

Ms HUTCHINS (Minister for Women) — I thank the member for her question but I am extremely, extremely disappointed that the first question that has to come from those opposite in the area of women and family violence has to be such a grubby question that has no fact in it. Parliament is not the place to debate the individual employment arrangements of ministerial officers.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — The Minister for Women should be entitled to be heard in silence. I warn all members of this house that they will be removed from the chamber if they shout across the chamber.

Ms HUTCHINS — The staff who worked for the previous Minister for Women and Minister for Prevention of Family Violence did a fantastic job. They were great people. I wish them all the best. I thank them for their work. There is no doubt that they did a great job and that they will continue to serve in various roles in this space. It is not for us to speculate about the future of individuals who have worked for government.