Mr MELHEM (Western Metropolitan)  — I also rise to speak on this motion put by the Liberal Party. I thought the Liberal Party at one stage stood for something — liberty, justice, fairness, procedural fairness for people — but obviously that does not work these days with the Liberal Party. I recall when they first referred the matter to the Ombudsman that they thought the Ombudsman should handle this matter. The Ombudsman has handled the matter. The Ombudsman had a very extensive investigation and she handed down a report which had some findings, and in her report she made no suggestion or recommendation or any adverse finding that individuals had broken any laws. That is a fact. But that is not enough. Those opposite were not happy with that, so they thought they would have another go somewhere else and referred the matter to the Privileges Committee. As a matter of fact, my understanding is that the Privileges Committee have concluded all of their hearings and will be deliberating tonight and over the next few days and they will hand down whatever decision or verdict. But that is not good enough. Again, those opposite are pestering Victoria Police to take further time to look at it, and now the police are investigating.

Instead of doing the honourable thing, instead of doing what the Liberal Party supposedly stand for — letting the police do their job — no, they want to shoot and investigate later. They want to execute people and go and investigate later. The new motto of the Liberal Party is ‘You are guilty until you are proven innocent’. The last regime in the world that actually adopted that philosophy was the Soviet Union — communists. What is common between the Liberal Party and the communist party? It is: if you are accused of something, you are guilty until you proved innocent. That is a really sad position to be in. I mean, fair dinkum, we know there is an election coming up. Ms Fitzherbert talked about that and the timing before the election and so on. I will not talk about the $200 000 that the Liberal Party used in electorate allowances to pay for its campaign and so forth. It does not mean that all the frontbenchers and other members should stand down. No, we will let the process take its course. It is, as we all say, a serious matter. Well, let the police do their job. No-one has been charged. None of the ministers or MPs have been charged. Let the police do the job. You cannot be the judge, the jury and the executioner.

The Liberal Party basically think that justice should apply to them because they think they are entitled to it, but it is never applied to their opponents. They want to judge everyone. Well, go and get yourself a mirror and look at yourself in the mirror. I will be voting against the motion. I urge members of this house to let the process take its course, let Victoria Police do the job and leave it at that. It is not a matter for members of the Liberal and National parties to judge other members.


8 August 2018