New Victorian Liberal MP Renee Heath said Victorians were sick of being told what to think by a government that continually overstepped the bounds of its authority.
“Victorians should not be told what to think, what to say, how to worship, how to raise their children,” she said.
“This is symptomatic of a failed socialist experiment which has reinvented itself as a cultural movement in our time.
“It is time for the government to get out of families, get out of homes, get out of doctors’ rooms and get out of classrooms, get out of churches and temples and businesses and get back to the areas that we’re responsible for, which we are failing at dismally.”
Heath came to national attention during the state election campaign when then opposition leader Matthew Guy insisted he would exclude her from the Liberal party room because of her links to a Christian church.
Heath won her seat while Guy lost the election and the leadership. New Liberal leader John Pesutto declared Heath would be welcome in the party room.
Heath told parliament: “My faith does not hold anybody else to account, my faith holds me to account.”
She promised to represent all Victorians regardless of religion or sexuality, while accusing the government of “dividing Victorians” over those very issues.
Meanwhile, the Greens used their opening speeches to reintroduce a bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14. At the same time, the Greens are arguing that the voting age should be lowered.