Saturday 29th November
After victory at the 2007 federal election, Labor governed Australia in every state and territory. Seven years later the only remaining Labor governments are minority administrations in the ACT and South Australia. In 2010, Victoria became the second state to swing to the coalition but Victorian Labor avoided the thrashings that were later inflicted upon the QLD and NSW Labor parties.
The 2010 Victorian election was the first Australian election in more than a decade to return a lower house devoid of minor parties and independents. The Coalition took office with 45 seats to Labor’s 43, a Legislative Assembly majority of 44–43 once a government member took the Speaker’s chair. In the Legislative Council the Coalition also won a majority with 21 members in the 40-seat chamber.
The leadership of the Liberal party was handed over mid-term from Ted Baillieu to the current Premier Denis Napthine. It appeared that the government was held hostage by the pro-life member for Frankston MP Geoff Shaw. The day after Shaw finally resigned from the Liberal party and announced himself as an independent, Baillieu resigned as Premier. Shaw had apparently applied pressure for a Private Member’s Bill to change the state abortion legislation. Napthine stated that his Government had no plans to change the abortion laws: “…while I am Premier of this state, I will not allow Mr Shaw to introduce any legislation seeking to change the abortion laws in Victoria.”
The self-professed Catholic Napthine is a clear example of the trend whereby a politician votes correctly for a pro-abortion bill but backflips and cannot be relied upon for support when subsequent attempts to amend the passed bill are made.
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Legislative Assembly (Lower House)
Legislative Council (Upper House)