And yet two firebrands of the West have had a red hot go at each other in recent days. One hails from Melton and the other from Sunbury, traditionally vicious rivals in matters of amateur football. Our distant memory is that the Sunbury Rovers would often feel the need to take blades with them when entering the badlands of Melton South. But thatâ€™s a story for another time.
Our favourite Tory legislator, red-meat eating Tigers supporter Bernie Finn opened the baseball-batting against Labor MP Don Nardella, complaining that he was sending complaining constituents to his parliamentary office. The Hansard records:
Mr FINN (Western Metropolitan) — President, I take the responsibilities of being a member of Parliament very seriously. In particular our ability to represent the interests of our constituents and to bring to the attention of this Parliament and the executive issues that affect people in our regions or electorates is crucialto the proper workings of the democratic process. I have always felt this way; for me it is a political article of faith. For that reason I was particularly disappointed last week when a resident of Melton entered my electorate office with his tale of woe. Keep in mind that Melton is not actually in Western Metropolitan Region. The individual involved is not one of my constituents. The gentleman to whom I refer is a father of five. He has had a housing issue for some five years. He went to his local MP in the Assembly seeking the member’s assistance but was told, ‘I can’t help you. We’re not in government any more. Go and see Bernie Finn’. The door was slammed in his face.
The Melton resident took his local member’s advice and caught the train to Sunshine, where my office is now assisting him.
To reject somebody’s plea for help on the basis that ‘We’re no longer in government’ is a total abrogation of an MP’s responsibility to those he should represent. It stinks of Labor members’ ongoing neglect of their electorates and is intolerable on any measure. Sadly it is what we have come to expect from Labor MPs from one end of Melbourne’s west to the other. The bottom line is this: Labor just does not care about those it should care about. Labor governments come, and Labor governments go, but we know contempt for the people of Melbourne’s west on the part of the ALP goes on forever.
Donato, also a VEXNEWS favourite, responded in great style within minutes in the lower house, making a suggestion of the most exotic kind about our Bernie:
It is a budget that neglects the west, as the honourable member for Williamstown has said. I will use my last 20 seconds too say that I have had a member for Western Metropolitan Region in the other place say that he is upset that I am referring people to his office. He is upset because that means he would have to do some work and actually take some time away from him going into the porno shops in Exhibition Street. So I say, thank you very much for your time.