7 March 2023, 12:22
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan):

My question is for the AttorneyGeneral, Ms Symes, in her capacity representing the Premier and relates to the Lord’s Prayer.

In the last term of Parliament, on 4 August 2021, you gave an undertaking to this chamber that:

“A Labor government, if re-elected, at the beginning of the next term and as part of the consideration of changes to standing and sessional orders will commit to workshopping a replacement model that is purpose-fit for Victoria.

It is certainly our feeling that the model should be consistent across both houses of Parliament and not just in the Legislative Council.

My question simply is: has that workshopping occurred and is a replacement model imminent? If not, what is the time frame to progress this important question of

**Georgie Crozier interjected.**

Jaclyn SYMES (Northern Victoria – Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Services):

I thank Mr Ettershank for his question. I agree with Ms Crozier that it is borderline in relation to whether it relates to the general order, but because you have said my words back at me I feel it is appropriate to respond to those.

Indeed it was a commitment that I gave in the last government to workshop potential replacements for the Lord’s Prayer. We know that it is a vastly different chamber and a vastly different community from a hundred years ago, when the Lord’s Prayer was established. I know that there is –

David Davis (Southern Metropolitan Region): 1857.

Jaclyn SYMES: Mr Davis is an expert in relation to the history of this.

David Davis: More than a hundred years.

Jaclyn SYMES:

More than a hundred years. Mr Davis is always very useful in relation to talking about the tradition of this chamber, and of course tradition is important. I reiterate that commitment.

It is something that has been raised with me from a number of members in this chamber from a variety of parties. I think it is not a matter for the government; it is not a matter for the executive. It is a matter for this chamber and a matter for the other chamber. I concur that consistency is appropriate, and I am sure many people in this chamber would have a view. I am certainly happy to collate that and come
up with a proposal following those discussions and discussions across the way. It is a commitment that is not yet met, so I stand by that commitment.


I thank the minister for her response.

After the Lord’s Prayer we pay our respects to the traditional owners of these lands. This seems to me rather arse about and somewhat less than respectful and that it would be more appropriate that we pay our respects first. Could the minister advise whether this question has been considered previously and whether this can be included in the consultative process that has been foreshadowed?

The PRESIDENT: I just warn Mr Ettershank about his use of words in the chamber. They may be unparliamentary.

Jaclyn SYMES:

Mr Ettershank, that is a point well made and I think would be something that is worthy of conversation in relation to where we might land on this as a chamber.


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