Independent Member of Parliament John Tucker has every right to stick to his guns in the face of a ham-fisted ultimatum from the Premier.
I fully support the response delivered by Mr Tucker this morning in which he rejected the unreasonable and demeaning demands from the Premier that he, and fellow ex-Liberal Lara Alexander, agree to be little more than Liberal puppets in Parliament.
I agree with Mr Tucker’s key concerns:
- The Government has defied Parliament by not installing CCTV in all abattoirs.
- The Government does not have a mandate to build an AFL high-performance facility in advance of any approval for the AFL stadium.
- The Government does seem intent on trashing Westminster conventions which we all must abide to.
I have sat alongside Mrs Alexander and Mr Tucker since last May when they joined me on the crossbench. Since that time I can see that they take their responsibility to hold the Government to account seriously.
The agreement the Premier has already in place with the two ex-Liberal, to provide confidence and supply, has worked. But the Premier has made it clear he wants more, much more than either appear willing to concede.
But at the end of the day, integrity and accountability are not commodities to be traded on the floor of Parliament.
This uncertainty can’t go on. I hate to see elections called early, but the crises and scandals keep stacking up, in health, housing, animal welfare, Marinus Link, the racing industry, the inquiry into child abuse, the AFL stadium, and more, much more.
If this chasm between the Premier and the two ex-Liberals can’t be closed – and I’d be surprised if it can – then let’s have an election and let the people have a say.