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Trade debate reaches parliament | South Eastern Times

Raquel Mustillo | South Eastern Times

MILLICENT’S shop trading hour debate has made its way to State Parliament, with former treasurer Tom Koutsantonis using the first sitting day to take aim at Member for MacKillop Nick McBride.

The first-term MP was one of three backbenchers targeted by the Opposition’s attack dog in a tongue-in-cheek address on the State Liberal Government.

Mr Koutsantonis made inference to the Member for MacKillop’s reported comments on deregulation, sarcastically remarking on Mr McBride’s “brave decision” to “stand up for his local community when it comes to trading hours”.

“The Member for MacKillop, I am sure, will exercise his conscience when it comes to trading hours,” he said.

“I know he will not allow the will of the people who have elected him and sent him here to stand up for their values – he will not do the wrong thing and vote against what they want.”

Mr McBride has ruled out crossing the floor to vote against his party’s deregulation legislation as it was “not worth chopping my neck off for” and “disenfranchising myself from the Liberal Party”.

He has also said he would fight to retain Millicent’s rare trading hours in the party room despite Treasurer Rob Lucas ruling out any exonerations under the State Government’s proposed legislation.

During a recent visit to Millicent, Upper House Labor leader Kyam Maher dismissed Mr McBride’s comments as not carrying weight given the election of Liberal Andrew McLachlan MLC – who has twice voted against party lines on anti-biking laws – as Legislative Council president.

“This idea the local member down here has that he will not support his community and vote against his party because that would be bad for his career and his future promotion just does
not hold water,” he said.

“That’s not what’s happened recently in the Liberal Party.

“People have voted against the party position.

“Andrew McLachlan has crossed the floor a couple of times voting against his party’s position and he is now president of the Legislative Council.”

Shop trading hours was also debated in the Upper House, with Greens MLC Tammy Franks raising concerns around proposed changes to Anzac Day trading across the state.