Thursday, 25 February 2010
Mr O'BRIEN (Malvern) -- The residents and traders of Stonnington and Yarra have stood united against this government's attempt to destroy their local shopping precincts through extended clearways. Residents will suffer traffic flooding into local streets and traders know that further restrictions to parking will cost jobs and income, and for what? On Sydney Road, Brunswick, extended clearways delivered a 14-second time saving -- not even enough time for commuters to see half of a Brumby government propaganda television advertisement when they arrive home.
Now we find the government is lying to local councils. I am aware that VicRoads emailed Stonnington City Council on 19 February and advised that the extended clearway times would not be enforced this week, commencing 22 February.
In a flagrant breach of this written commitment, VicRoads -- presumably acting on instructions from the Minister for Roads and Ports -- started fining and towing away vehicles in the cities of Stonnington and Yarra yesterday. In a panic, the minister then gratuitously attacked the Stonnington mayor while ignoring the fact that the City of Yarra has the same policy as Stonnington.
This minister, who could find nothing to say about Labor corruption at Brimbank City Council, was suddenly full of chat when it came to a council his party does not own and operate. Why did the minister not attack the Yarra mayor? Because the Yarra mayor is also the endorsed Labor candidate for Brunswick.
I congratulate the Stonnington City Council and its mayor, Tim Smith, for refusing to be bullied by the Brumby government. It is also a shame that the member for Prahran is on the side of the bullies instead of standing up for his own traders and residents.
I urge the Minister for Roads and Ports to cease his bullying immediately and submit his conduct to the judgement of the courts.