MPs sit longer

20 Jun 2018 Herald Sun, Melbourne (General News) by Alex White And Monique Hore Bills backlog mounting VICTORIAN MPs are being forced to sit extra days to tackle the growing backlog of Bills in the Upper House before Novembers election. Legislative Council members will extend Thursday sittings and add Friday sessions in a bid to deal with the Andrews Governments legislative promises before Victorians head to the polls. The drastic move comes as Liberal MPs are accused of causing delays and drawing out debate on a series of controversial Bills. This included debate on the euthanasia Bill, which lasted two days and at one point was suspended after 24 hours when an MP collapsed. Upper House MPs also sat all night during debate on fire services reform, before the Bill was defeated in the infamous Good Friday pairing ploy. Liberal MPs and devout Christians Bernie Finn and Craig Ondarchie were granted a pair by Labor but later reappeared to vote the Bill down. Upper House whip Jaclyn Symes said the Coalition was filibustering during debates and wasting time. The view that the Coalition is frustrating debate is backed by crossbenchers, who say the extra sitting days will mean more time spent away from their electorates. But Upper House Leader of the Opposition Mary Wooldridge said the Coalition was carrying out basic scrutiny, which should have occurred in the Lower House. Daniel Andrews often flawed and partisan legislation requires detailed scrutiny and often amendment, and that is exactly what the LiberalNationals are doing, she said. Up to 20 Bills remain on the list to be passed before November. Premier Daniel Andrews said: We believe there is adequate time to progress a range of different Bills.