Minister for Local Government and Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins has called on David Davis to apologise for his disrespectful and derogatory description of employees at the independent regulator Essential Services Commission (ESC).
Mr Davis, Opposition Spokesperson for Planning, Local Government and Equality, labelled employees of the ESC as "goons" and "patsies", describing their work as "BS" and "weak and shoddy".
Mr Davis also serves as the Chair of the Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee's inquiry into rate capping, a committee intended to be used to provide greater public input and an important aspect of Victoria's parliamentary democracy.
Ms Hutchins said the work of the ESC was highly respected and that Mr Davis should apologise for his inappropriate remarks.
Mr Davis’ comments come as the Andrews Labor Government tables legislation for the Fair Go Rates System, a plan to cap council rates and ensure greater value for money for Victoria's ratepayers. The Opposition has still not confirmed whether it will support the move to ensure a fair go for the state’s ratepayers.
In developing the system, the Labor Government tasked the ESC with providing advice on a framework and extensively consulting with councils and communities across the state.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins
“It’s totally inappropriate for Mr Davis to insult the respected and independent employees of the Essential Services Commission - and he needs to apologise."
"It's clear that Mr Davis has learnt nothing from his time as the Minister for Health, where he shamelessly engaged in belittling and demeaning our hard working paramedics."
"It's also totally inappropriate for the Shadow Minister for Local Government to be using the parliamentary committee process to wage a war against the Labor Government's Fair Go Rates, while he also insults the Essential Services Commission."
“Mr Davis needs to choose whether he wants to independently chair a parliamentary committee or whether he wants to be the Shadow Minister for Local Government, his comments show he can't do both".
Reviewed 19 August 2020