VIC PARLIAMENT
VIC PARLIAMENT

Andrews fires up: ‘Sit down, you sook’

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has hit back at a politician who accused him of bullying, calling him a "sook" during a heated question time on Wednesday.

State Liberal MP for Warrandyte Ryan Smith chimed into debate early, telling the Speaker he was "tired of the bullying we get from the Premier".

To which Mr Andrews snapped: "Sit down, you sook."

Mr Smith continued his attack on the Andrews government, challenging Health Minister Martin Foley on surgical wait times.

Mr Smith referenced one of his constituents, Marcus, who was having difficulty getting on a wait list, and asked Mr Foley if he would provide parliament with an "undertaking" that his department was working to slash wait times.

Warrandyte MP Ryan Smith accused the Premier of bullying. Picture: Josie Hayden
Warrandyte MP Ryan Smith accused the Premier of bullying. Picture: Josie Hayden

 

He then questioned exactly how many Victorians were waiting to see a specialist before they were put on a surgical wait list.

Mr Foley accused Mr Smith of personalising "the tragic circumstances of one of his constituents".

Opposition leader Michael O'Brien said Mr Foley was "seeking to censor" the ability of members to raise cases of their constituents, adding the tactic was "contrary to the practice of question time".

Health Minister Martin Foley was challenged on surgical waiting times in Victoria. Picture: Ian Currie/NCA NewsWire
Health Minister Martin Foley was challenged on surgical waiting times in Victoria. Picture: Ian Currie/NCA NewsWire

The point of order was dismissed before Mr Foley could finally answer, saying the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a deferral of important surgery arrangements.

"That is why the government has invested over $300 million in the forward projections - starting now - to work on a blitz to make sure that those important issues of deferred care are dealt with as expeditiously as possible," he said.

"I give the honourable member an undertaking and all honourable members an undertaking that that is a priority that this government is serious about."

Mr Smith and Mr O'Brien then interjected on yet another point of order, arguing Mr Foley was not answering the question and that he would not resume his seat when a point of order was called.

It was again dismissed, whereby Mr Foley concluded that the government was "committed to reducing those surgical waiting times".

Originally published as Andrews fires up: 'Sit down, you sook'



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