15 October 2021

Andrews Government suspends Tim Quilty from Parliament

The Victorian Government has succeeded in suspending Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty from Parliament.

A notice of motion to suspend any Member who refuses to show proof of vaccination sailed through the Upper House last night, with just four Members voting against.

They will be suspended until the second sitting day of the 2022 Parliamentary year.

Mr Quilty compared the Victorian Government’s actions with two black days in the history of democracy.

“Many will hopefully remember from their high school history lessons how in 1933 in Weimar, Germany, the Nazis purged the Parliament of opposing voices, so they could gain a two-thirds majority before passing the Enabling Act, that allowed them to rule by decree,” Mr Quilty said in an impassioned speech lasting more than 10 minutes.

“You might not like that association, but this is the historical company you are joining today with this motion. The company that any MP that supports this motion today chooses to keep.

“… I am thinking of Westminster in 1648 and Colonel Thomas Pride’s purge of the Long Parliament, to enable the dictator Cromwell to obtain a majority, in order to push through the execution of the deposed King Charles I for high treason. Before Cromwell then went on to dismiss the Parliament and rule by decree.

“Well, congratulations—you too will get your own little footnote in history. Lord Protector Andrews and his lackeys.”

Mr Quilty said those MPs left in that 17th-century British Parliament gained a name, which has become a byword for what remains after the voices of opposition have been expelled.

“… after Pride’s Purge those who remained were named the Rump Parliament. This term has gone down in history as the way to refer to a Parliament after it has been purged,” Mr Quilty told Parliament.

“And when you next assemble in this place, with your Rump Parliament to rubber stamp the Government’s will, you can smile, knowing that you have further trampled Victorian democracy into the mud.”

Mr Quilty also targeted the Opposition, who he believes missed an opportunity to stand up for Victorians.

“But let me pause there for a moment to reflect upon the Opposition - rudderless, valueless, spineless. The craven rabble that sit on my right and that stand for nothing. The quislings of the Liberal Party,” Mr Quilty said as he looked across to the Opposition seats.

“This motion would have been a great opportunity for you to set forth your credentials on why voters should support you for government. But no, instead this is your manifesto for why you shall never be anything but the Opposition - permanent, controlled opposition. Until one day, not even that.”

Mr Quilty later said he did not regret his stance, even though it means he will be excluded from parliamentary proceedings until well into 2022.

“I am disappointed that 31 Members of Parliament voted to support this strangling of democracy, and only four of us opposed it,” Mr Quilty said from outside the Chamber.

“The Premier has followed this dictatorial approach to COVID and he has excelled himself by proving how wrong he has been – the past two days have seen new cases north of 2000 and yet metropolitan Melbourne continues its lockdown.

“We’ve seen police brutality, we’ve seen social control, and now we are seeing that the mechanism which is supposed to challenge all of this has been dismantled, in full view of everybody.

“The Andrews Government has eliminated voices of dissent, the Premier has managed to suspend those who have continually held him to account over his actions.

“My Liberal Democrats colleague David Limbrick and I have not allowed any of the Andrews Government’s actions to pass without inspection, but we will no longer be able to do that.

“I don’t think my comparisons to 1933 Germany or 1648 Britain were overly dramatic.

“This is the Premier silencing voices of dissent in preparation for the end of the State of Emergency on December 16, by which time he will have rammed through his secret permanent pandemic emergency powers legislation.

“We haven’t yet seen exactly what the Government is planning for December, but they have made sure they have eliminated voices of dissent in plenty of time.”