Daniel Andrews’ first-term Victorian government will ask the public “to forgive them their sins”.What a week it’s been for faith in the Victorian parliament.
Andrews Labor government MPs repeatedly insisted they acted in it when, as the Ombudsman found, they rorted $388,000 of public money for the last election campaign.
Two Liberals used it to dupe the government to grant them pairs in the controversial fire service bill vote on Good Friday – only to resurrect themselves at the 11th hour, killing the bill.
Now voters must go searching for who to put their’s in come November’s election.
The first term government has a budget a month away and with a stack of cash in the coffers, there will be a massive pitch to the public to forgive them for their sins – and there’s been a few.
One MP had his dogs chauffeured in his ministerial car, the speaker and his deputy were both caught claiming an allowance for seaside homes (including a caravan park shack) instead of living in their metropolitan electorates and last month the Ombudsman found Labor wrongfully used taxpayer dollars to partially fund the 2014 campaign.
However, the government’s also sticking to its “getting things done” slogan.
A swathe of infrastructure projects is on the go and it’s delivering socially progressive policies on family violence, a safe injecting room and voluntary assisted dying.
No doubt the last budget before the election will reinforce all the work Premier Daniel Andrews’ team has been doing with little-to-no help from the federal coalition government.
Faster build times on major projects like Melbourne Metro or North East Link, perhaps, or even more land for new schools in a rapidly growing state.
Meanwhile, the opposition is not without scandal.
On Friday it smashed a parliamentary convention based on trust and last year it was revealed leader Matthew Guy had a lobster dinner with an alleged mafia figure.
When the May 1 budget is delivered, the coalition will be looking for what’s not there. The East West Link for a start.
The ditched road repeatedly features as necessary in Liberal polling and infrastructure reports – but the government says it won’t build it.
Despite improving crime figures, the opposition will be hoping its tough-on-crime message keeps cutting through after years of increasingly frightening carjackings and home invasions.
Whatever they do, both parties will have to work hard to ask voters to have a little faith.