Victoria Premier slams Opposition Leader for "trashing state's reputation"

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Melbourne, Feb. 13 (ANI): Victoria Premier John Brumby has slammed Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu for trashing the state's reputation by calling it Australia's crime capital.

"This is part of the Liberal Party's campaign to trash the state's reputation," The Age quoted Brumby, as saying.

"Last week, Mr Baillieu said that the state was run by thugs, a few days ago he described Victorians as racists, after the OPI decision he basically said everybody running the government and the state was corrupt, and now he's saying we're the crime capital of Australia," Brumby added.

Earlier, Baillieu had released crime figures showing a dramatic rise in street violence in the last 10 years.

He showed that the number of assaults has jumped 70 per cent since Labor came to power in late 1999, with the number of serious assaults growing at a vastly faster rate.

"Government leaders have a basic obligation to tell the truth in public debate. The Premier is losing both dignity and integrity with his statements," Baillieu hit back.

Baillieu also urged voters to use the byelection to "send a message to John Brumby about record levels of crime and violence, transport chaos and long hospital waiting lists". (ANI)

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