Sunbury out of Hume: Minister faces grilling

Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins has defended the state government’s decision to reverse legislation that would have given Sunbury its own council.

During question time in Parliament last week, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy demanded to know why the government had scrapped plans for the new council, having earlier acknowledged the matter had been ‘‘finalised’’ by the former Liberal government.

‘‘Why has the minister broken her promise?’’ Mr Guy said, sparking interjections from both sides.

Ms Hutchins said the government was ‘‘very proud’’ that it had protected residents’ interests and needs.

‘‘We have done the responsible thing,’’ she said.

‘‘We appointed transitional auditors of the highest order to go in and have a look at the mess that was left behind by those opposite, who in the dead of night put an order through to allow a split … which would see a 14.5 per cent rate increase imposed on the people of Sunbury.’’

Ms Hutchins maintained the transition audit showed the previous government had ‘‘messed up’’ the Sunbury out of Hume issue.

Mr Guy has written to the Sunbury Residents Association to guarantee that he will deliver an independent Sunbury under a future Liberal government.