Melbourne Cup

What a month it has been for western Victoria in the field of sport. Ballarat-based horse trainer Darren Weir and his team, along with the training support team in Warrnambool, strapper Stevie Payne and of course Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne have done the electorate proud. It is an absolute testimony that this six-year-old…

Disability Services

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing. I am sure a lot of other members in this house and in the other place are involved in our electorate with issues around disability, access to services and facilities, and a range of aspects. But in particular for regional MPs…

Family Violence

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence. I am seeking that she come and visit my electorate, specifically Geelong and the Surf Coast region, to hold discussions with members of the community and local government authorities, as well as a range of community organisations and other stakeholders who are…

Lorne Kindergarten

Last month Lorne Kindergarten beat over 100 other Victorian schools and kinders to win the Early Childhood Service of the Year in Sustainability Victoria’s resource smart education awards. The kinder’s junior earthlings program earnt the kindergarten the top honour and prize money which will be invested into two family-focused, not-for-profit programs, one in Laos and the…

Jayne and Daryl Collins

On another note, I wish to congratulate Jayne and Daryl Collins from Birregurra, who recently received the Excellence in Small Business award at the Colac Otway Business Awards for 2015. Jayne and Daryl took over the Hillview Cattery near Birregurra one year ago as tree changers, and have excelled in the business. I would like…

Roghayeh Sadeghi

I take this opportunity to congratulate a very special student in my electorate, Roghayeh Sadeghi, who recently won a Newsboys Foundation youth leadership award at the Victorian student representative awards in Melbourne. Ms Sadeghi arrived in Australia from Iran with her family of nine in 2012. Hailed by her peers as an inspirational leader, Ms Sadeghi transformed…

Victoria Legal Aid

I rise this afternoon to speak on the annual report of Victoria Legal Aid entitled Helping Victorians with their Legal Problems. I have spoken on a number of occasions in this place on the Victoria Legal Aid organisation, as I take a particular interest in its progress and what it does, it being a very…

Maryborough Education Centre

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Education and is in relation to the Maryborough Education Centre. I call on the minister to commit funds to improve the amenity of Maryborough Education Centre. The centre is a school where young people of the Maryborough community can learn and grow in a supportive,…

Victims of Crime Commissioner Bill 2015

It is with great pleasure that I rise this afternoon to speak on the Victims of Crime Commissioner Bill 2015. The bill before us is a fairly simple bill; however, its simplicity does not take away from its importance. The key to today’s debate is an acknowledgement that we can never, ever do enough in…

NDIS

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing. It is in relation to the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS). The action I seek from the minister is that he host a forum regarding the rollout of the national disability insurance scheme in the south-west in the near future. As members in…

Kenneth Cumming

I take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Kenneth Cumming of Warrnambool, who was honoured with a Council on the Ageing Senior Achiever Award during the 2015 Victorian Senior of the Year Awards at Government House earlier this month. As a hospital visitor, Kenneth devotes his time to the care of others, making sure that ex-service members…

Kindergarten Funding

On another note, but consistent with the theme of the Labor government’s support for Victorian families, I congratulate all the kindergartens in my electorate that were successful in obtaining funding from the Andrews Labor government’s $50 million investment in the early childhood sector. The Andrews Labor government is also providing up to $83.7 million over four years…

Emma House Domestic Violence Services

Regardless of political stripe, everyone in this place agrees that domestic violence in Victoria is a stain on our great state. I am so proud to be a part of a government that is serious about tackling family violence and as a part of that is supporting Victoria’s community legal centres in the important work…

Warrnambool Ministerial Visit

My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Training and Skills. The action I seek from the minister is for him to visit Warrnambool in my electorate to see firsthand the issues facing the south-west, in particular the high youth unemployment rate, and to discuss what actions the Andrews government can take…

Auditor-General’s Report – Regional Growth Fund

This afternoon I would like to make some comments in relation to the Auditor-General’s report, Regional Growth Fund — Outcomes and Learnings. Ms Pulford — That’s an interesting read. Ms TIERNEY — It is a very sorry tale indeed, Minister Pulford. The Auditor-General found that under the Liberal-Nationals government the Regional Growth Fund had weaknesses in design, a lack of transparency…

Mental Health Services

My constituency question is for the Minister for Mental Health, and my question relates to the minister’s recent announcement of $5.5 million in funding from the Andrews Labor government for mental health services and other services that treat people who are dependent on alcohol and other drugs. This investment by the Labor government is very important…

Mobile Black Spot program

I rise to congratulate the Andrews Labor government on its cooperative work with the federal government and Telstra to maximise funding for the elimination of mobile phone black spots. The mobile phone network is a vital piece of infrastructure for the 21st century. The mobile phone is ubiquitous these days. Mobile phone black spots are not…

Oberon High School

My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is that the minister join with me and visit Oberon High School in Belmont to take in the important work that school is doing and also to look at the future requirements of that school. Oberon High has…

Aboriginal Flag

I take this opportunity to reflect on the official raising of the Aboriginal flag above the Victorian Parliament during the last sitting week. As it should, the Aboriginal flag is permanently flying alongside the Australian and Victorian flags above the Parliament of Victoria. This is about the recognition and acknowledgement of the traditional owners of…

Aunty Marlene Gilson

It gives me great pleasure to speak about Aunty Marlene Gilson, a Wadawurrung elder who was recently voted the people’s choice at the 2015 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards. A self-taught artist, Aunty Marlene seeks to share Aboriginal culture and history to encourage our younger generation to keep stories alive through their own art. Aunty Marlene…

Bannockburn P-12 School

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Education, James Merlino, and it is in relation to the Bannockburn P–12 school. The local community has been campaigning for many years to get a new school. Bannockburn is one of the fastest growing towns in one of the fastest growing municipalities in this state, the Golden…

Custody Officers

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Police and relates to the rollout of custody officers in my electorate. I understand that $148.6 million over four years has been allocated in the state budget to implement the government’s commitment to the transition of management of police cells to new police custody officers. I am advised…

Auditor-General: Biosecurity — Livestock

This afternoon I would like to make a contribution on the Auditor-General’s report Biosecurity — Livestock. From the outset I say that this is not pleasant reading. On the audit the Auditor-General said: This audit found Victoria’s livestock biosecurity system to have been weakened by a decline in financial and staff resourcing. That now creates a…

Stawell Gold Mine

My constituency question is for the Minister for Energy and Resources and it is in relation to the potential expansion of the Stawell goldmine. As the minister would be aware, there has been much community angst regarding the operation and potential expansion of the goldmine at Stawell, and it has been an ongoing issue in…

Education Funding

On Monday Labor’s Minister for Education, James Merlino, announced the single biggest injection of education funding in Victoria’s history: $4 billion in additional funding has been allocated by Labor for early childhood learning, schools and training in Victoria. Under this initiative schools in my electorate of Western Victoria Region will receive tens of thousands of dollars…

Lake Condah

My constituency question is for the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Victorian Aboriginal culture in the south-west region of Victoria has a strong history and connection with the land. The Gunditjmara people and the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owner Aboriginal Corporation, which is the registered Aboriginal party, have been protecting and managing the land for many thousands…

Road Safety Amendment Bill 2015

I rise to speak on the Road Safety Amendment Bill 2015. This is an important bill on a topic that enjoys bipartisan support. That is evident from the comments that have been made by a number of speakers in this chamber this morning. It is all about making our roads safer. The bill will strengthen…

Keith Wilson

 It is with great sadness that I rise to speak of a remarkable and inspirational man, Keith Wilson — ‘Willo’ — who passed away in Portland on 6 August at the age of 81. Willo was born in Portland, Victoria, a township and community that he put his heart and soul into throughout his entire life. At 15,…

Portland Bay School

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Education, James Merlino, and it relates to the Portland Bay School, a special development school in south-west Victoria. At the end of July the minister was in Portland and met with representatives of the school, including the principal, Stephen Crossley, and the school council president,…

Regional Network Development Plan

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Public Transport, and it is in relation to the regional network development plan consultation process that is currently making its way through my electorate. The regional network development plan will set out priorities for regional public transport services, infrastructure and investment for the next 20 to 30 years.…

Renewable Energy

On 21 August I joined the Premier and the Minister for Energy and Resources in Portland, where the Premier hit the reset button on renewable energy investment in Victoria. The Premier announced the Labor government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap, which includes a target of no less than 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020, and if there can…

RENEWABLE ENERGY

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Energy and Resources, who is also the Minister for Industry, Ms D’Ambrosio. My matter is in relation to the uncertainty in the renewable energy sector, particularly in the south-west of Victoria. The action I seek is for the minister to join with me in the south-west…

Indigenous Cultural Heritage

My constituency question is to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. There is a strong desire amongst my constituents in Western Victoria Region to promote local Aboriginal culture, and I am fortunate to have a number of Aboriginal groups and organisations within my electorate, which are a proud and active part of the community. Registered Aboriginal…

Northern Bay Guarantee

I rise to speak about a tremendous project in my electorate, the Northern Bay Guarantee. This is a two-year project aimed at enhancing the lives of young single mothers aged between 17 and 25 from the northern suburbs of Corio and Norlane in Geelong. Each young mum receives personal development, career support and nationally accredited…

Road Safety Amendment (Private Car Parks) Bill 2015

I am pleased to speak on the Road Safety Amendment (Private Car Parks) Bill 2015. It is yet another commitment from the Victorian Labor platform that it took to the people in last year’s election. That is two election commitments fulfilled by this government just this afternoon. This election commitment was to protect consumers from…

Adoption Amendment Bill 2015

I rise to speak on the Adoption Amendment Bill 2015, which amends the Adoption Act 1984. This is a very important bill before the house this afternoon. It removes an area of discrimination from our statute and is an election commitment delivered by the Andrews Labor government. The history of adoption in this state has…

Sheepvention

On 3 and 4 August tens of thousands of people from across the state converged on Hamilton for the 37th annual Sheepvention agricultural show. It was my 10th Sheepvention and, along with meeting many constituents who stop by each year, this year I had the pleasure of speaking with numerous people about the Andrews Labor government’s $200 million Agriculture…

Barwon Downs Community Hub

On another matter, I thank the Barwon Downs community for again making me most welcome last Sunday morning. I wish to congratulate the community for its steadfast determination in securing a new community hub. The government provided $180 000, the Colac Otway Shire Council provided $25 000 and the community put in approximately $45 000 in cash and…

World War II commemoration

This afternoon I would like to acknowledge the service organised by the Geelong RSL last Saturday at the Geelong RSL cenotaph to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific. It was a touching occasion that brought people together, including those who have served in a range of conflicts, family members…

South West TAFE

My constituency question is for the Minister for Skills and Training, and it is in relation to his visit to South West TAFE in July of this year. During his visit the minister announced an additional $1.6 million in funding on top of the $4 million he announced for that education facility some time ago. The sustainability…

Anna Heisar

I would like to talk about another brave person in my electorate, Anna Heisar, who is a nurse in Apollo Bay. She has just won the Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) Annette Walker Award for 2014. The Annette Walker Award is for an outstanding contribution by an RAHC professional. Anna received her award for going…

Hunter Petrass

I rise to speak of a brave young man in my electorate, Hunter Petrass. Hunter is a 12-year-old boy who was a recent recipient of a Junior Triple Zero Hero Award for speaking calmly and clearly when he called 000 of his own volition when his mum’s lungs were filling with fluid due to complications…

Victorian Defence Procurement Hub

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Industry, and it is in regard to the ongoing impact of the establishment of the Victorian Defence Procurement hub in Geelong. Geelong has over 300 businesses which supply products and services to domestic and international defence aerospace markets. The state’s defence industry is valued at $1.5 billion…

Health Funding

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Health. It is in relation to an initiative that was outlined in the budget dealing with acute services. The line item is ‘Meeting hospital services demand’. As I understand it, there is $970 million allocated over four years. This injection of money is of course much needed in…

South West Alternative Medium Project

On Monday, 1 June, I had the pleasure of visiting the South West Alternative Medium Project, or SWAMP, as it is more affectionately known. SWAMP is an Indigenous-managed, volunteer-run, not-for-profit community arts organisation based in Portland, Victoria. Through its innovative programs, SWAMP aims to improve the wellbeing and disposition of people who are disengaged from society…

Anglesea Power Station

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water and is in relation to the recent announcement made by Alcoa regarding the closure of the Anglesea power station. In late May I joined the Minister for Energy and Resources at the Anglesea power station site, where we were taken…

Auditor-General: Technical and Further Education Institutes — 2014 Audit Snapshot

I rise this evening to speak on the Victorian Auditor-General’s 2014 report on technical and further education institutes, which was tabled last month. This report lays out starkly the clear-felling approach to vocational education taken by the former Liberal-Nationals coalition government. In his cover letter to the Presiding Officers, the Auditor-General states: The report demonstrates…

Portarlington Safe Harbour

I read with great pleasure in the budget papers that $12 million has been allocated by this state government to build a safe harbour at Portarlington. This was an election commitment made by then Labor opposition, and I commend the work undertaken by Minister Neville in securing and delivering on such an important election commitment. The…

Crimes Amendment (Repeal of Section 19A) Bill 2015

I am pleased to make a contribution to the debate on the Crimes Amendment (Repeal of Section 19A) Bill 2015. The bill is the result of an election commitment made by Labor prior to the International AIDS Conference last year. I am particularly pleased to speak about an election commitment being fulfilled. To be frank, it…

Deakin University: report 2014

I rise to make a contribution on the Deakin University annual report for 2014. Deakin celebrated its 40th anniversary in this reporting year. It has grown from a small regional university into a world leader during that time. It is in the top 3 per cent of the world’s universities, and it is at the cutting…

Review of Performance Targets for Bushfire Management on Public Land

My constituency question is to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water regarding the stakeholder consultation process arising out of the government’s release of the report entitled Review of Performance Targets for Bushfire Management on Public Land by the inspector-general for emergency management. The review recommended that Victoria move from a hectare-based fuel reduction…

Victorian certificate of applied learning awards

I rise to congratulate Ms Lyn Maniz, a teacher at Ballarat Secondary College on winning of the Victorian certificate of applied learning (VCAL) Teacher of the Year award. Ms Maniz was humble in receiving her award, thanking her colleagues at the college. She did, however, say that it was a huge honour and the highlight of her…

Port of Geelong

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Ports, and it is in relation to the future sustainability of the port of Geelong. Geelong is Victoria’s largest regional port and one of the largest multi-cargo facilities in the country. Over 12 million tonnes of cargo a year are handled at the port. It is responsible for…

National Sorry Day

I rise to speak on National Sorry Day. This is the 17th National Sorry Day, and I am sad that, although some progress has been made on Indigenous issues since the first sorry day, the story is still not good. Since 1998 there have been good symbols and important symbolic actions taken, including Kevin Rudd’s…

Victorian Racing Industry Fund

My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Racing, and it relates to the bolstered Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF). Members in this place know that racing is an important economic driver in Victoria, generating $2.8 billion of economic activity and supporting more than 26 000 full-time jobs, many of which are in regional…

Victorian Budget

What a great week for western Victoria! After years of uncertainty, and a bandaid fix by the previous government, the Andrews Labor government has provided confidence and certainty for over 200 workers at Avalon Airport. In a deal struck by Labor with Jetstar and Linfox, the Andrews government will contribute $12 million to shore up this important…

Address in Reply

I begin my address-in-reply by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, and pay my respects to their elders both past and present. I will also start by congratulating the President of the Legislative Council, Mr Bruce Atkinson, on again being elected as President of…

South West Institute of TAFE: report 2014

I rise to make a contribution on the South West Institute of TAFE’s annual report 2014, which was tabled last sitting week. It is fair to say that it has been a tough few years for South West Institute of TAFE, as it has been for every other TAFE in this state. This sector has…

Warrnambool Special Developmental School

My constituency question is for the Minister for Education and it is in relation to the Warrnambool Special Developmental School. In yesterday’s state budget the Andrews government fulfilled its election commitment to allocate $5 million towards this school. That funding is much needed. The current school is located on the side of a hill, making it…

Local Learning and Employment Networks

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Training and Skills and is in relation to local learning and employment networks, commonly known as LLENs. There are 31 LLENs in Victoria, and I have quite a few in my electorate, including the Central Grampians LLEN in Ararat, the Geelong Region LLEN in Geelong, the Glenelg and…

Domestic Animals Amendment Bill 2015

I am pleased to stand here today to make a contribution to debate on the Domestic Animals Amendment Bill 2015, because this amendment is an election commitment that the Labor Party took to the last state election. It is also with great pride that I am making a contribution that reinforces the delivery of that…

Nepal Earthquake

Since the last time this Parliament met, a number of horrific events have occurred beyond the borders of this state. In particular I wish to speak on the devastating earthquake in Nepal. The number of lives lost from this disaster continues to rise, with the latest news reports stating a figure over 7300 . The number…

Budj Bim Masterplan

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. It is in relation to the Budj Bim master plan. Last month I had the opportunity to meet with the CEO and other leaders of the Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation in Heywood. We discussed a number of issues, with particular emphasis on the need for employment…

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Geelong women have shown incredible support for the many International Women’s Day events held recently. The City of Greater Geelong’s Women in Community Life Advisory Committee is to be congratulated on organising the inaugural Women in Community Life Award to recognise and highlight the achievements of women in the Geelong region. This award was the…

Auditor General: Emergency Service Response Times

My contribution this evening is in relation to the Auditor-General’s report that was tabled in March and deals with emergency service response times. The report outlines the concerns the Auditor-General has about the way emergency response times are measured as well as the very limited public reporting of performance measures. The report states that the…

VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA

 I rise to make a contribution to the debate on this important discussion today. I was not going to speak on this matter because when I first looked at the motion I saw it more as dealing with the mechanics of the situation and not necessarily the substance of the matter contained within. I do,…

WIND FARMS IN WESTERN VICTORIA

My constituency question is for the Minister for Energy and Resources. On 20 March Premier Andrews and the minister announced the implementation of a policy commitment made before the election to scale back wind farm buffer zones from 2 kilometres to 1 kilometre. Along with this important policy implementation the Premier announced the development of the Victorian Renewable…

RIP CURL PRO

The 54th Rip Curl Pro was another major event that took place this month. It is the longest-running professional surfing contest in the world, and the Andrews government has renewed its support for the event through to 2017. The event sees surfers, locals and tourists flock to Bells Beach and surrounding areas. The Rip Curl…

STAWELL WOMEN’S GIFT

I take this opportunity to congratulate Grace O’Dwyer, a 15-year-old Ballarat schoolgirl, on her remarkable win at the prestigious Stawell Women’s Gift on Easter Monday. Grace achieved the time of just 13.40 seconds in a race that was clearly special for her and her family, with her father Peter O’Dwyer a veteran of the Stawell Gift.…

Veterans and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2015

I rise to speak on the Veterans and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2015. I am very pleased to make a contribution, particularly given the timely nature of the passage of this bill in the lead-up to the remembrance activities that will occur in relation to Gallipoli later this month. I also take this opportunity to…

Auditor-General: Public Hospital Audits 2013-14

I rise this evening to make a statement on the Auditor-General’s report on the results of the 2013–14 audits of public hospitals. I begin by saying that this report outlines severe concerns regarding the financial sustainability of many public hospitals in this state. It covers the previous financial year and the effect this has had…

Bob Pettit Reserve

My constituency matter today is for the Minister for Education and it is in relation to the Bob Pettit Reserve in Jan Juc. The Bob Pettit Reserve is a much-loved and much-used piece of open space for children playing, walking dogs, fitness activities and formal competition sport, amongst other things. The minister will recall that…

Defence procurement office

On Wednesday, 11 March, the Premier and the Minister for Industry were at Deakin University to announce the new Geelong defence procurement office. The procurement office will boost our defence industry and ensure that Victoria gets its fair share of defence work through marketing the skills and capacity of Victorian and Geelong manufacturing as well as…

Hayden and Jasmin Findlay

The Horticulture Farmer of the Year Award went to Hayden and Jasmin Findlay, whose organic food production at Ravens Creek Farm is raising the bar for demand of clean green food. I look forward to hearing more about their continued leadership in the western Victoria agricultural community.

Brad and Bec Couch

There is no denying the importance of food production on our ability to produce high quality food in a competitive environment, but it is very tough. Farmers day in, day out, deal with a whole range of factors that are beyond their control, but many still have the energy to be at the forefront of…

Portland National School building

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Education, James Merlino, and it is in relation to the Portland National School building, which is located on the Portland Primary School site. It is of architectural significance as one of only around 23 surviving examples of early National School buildings constructed in Victoria between 1851…

Summary Offences Amendment (Move-on Laws) Bill 2015

I rise to speak on the Summary Offences Amendment (Move-on Laws) Bill 2015. The bill is essentially about restoring the rights that were taken away from Victorians by the previous government. The move-on laws introduced by the previous government were a direct attack on the democratic rights of Victorians, and I argue they were completely…

Bunjil Lookout road signage

On Friday, 29 February, I was one amongst many who opened the Bunjil lookout at Maude in my electorate. Many, many hours of work have been put into this project by Maude and Steiglitz community members, and significant money was contributed by local and state governments. It is a wonderful local cultural asset and tourist area…

Delma Clapp and Rosemary Malone

I take this opportunity to acknowledge two women in Western Victoria Region who were recently inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll for Women. The first of these is Delma Clapp of Warrnambool. Delma Clapp is the founding member of Emma House Domestic Violence Services — the first women’s refuge in Warrnambool. Her voluntary work in the…

South West TAFE

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Training and Skills, Mr Steve Herbert, and is in relation to South West TAFE. A couple of weeks ago the minister and I were fortunate to meet with industry leaders at the Warrnambool campus of South West TAFE to talk about their skill and training…

Bannockburn P-12 School

My constituency question is to the Minister for Education, and it is in relation to the government’s election commitment to build a P–12 school at Bannockburn. I was pleased to see Premier Andrews announce the tendering process for the school on the 5 February. That is an important step towards the implementation of our election…

University Fees

With the beginning of the university year upon us, many Victorians will be excited to start a new phase of life, while others will be returning for another year to achieve their chosen degree. However, along with that excitement, there are many students who are very nervous about the Abbot federal government’s plans for university…

Pako Festa

On Saturday, 28 February, tens of thousands of people will converge around Pakington Street, Geelong, to celebrate the 33rd Diversitat Pako Festa. Pako Festa is the largest free celebration of multiculturalism in Australia. People attend the festival and enjoy cultural performances, activities, food from all over the world and artists from all walks of life.…

Renewable Energy Target

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Energy and Resources, Ms D’Ambrosio, and it is in relation to the renewable energy target (RET) and the renewable energy industry. To give some background, the RET was established in 2001 to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2020. Since…

Back to Work Bill

I am very pleased to stand here this evening and speak on the Back to Work Bill 2014. This bill was tabled just prior to Christmas and is the foundation stone that Labor members brought before the Victorian public because we understood that Victorians were hurting. We understood that the level of unemployment in this…

Wendy Pearl

I rise to pay tribute to Wendy Eleanor Pearl, who died late last year. The massive attendance at the mass of thanksgiving held at St Francis Xavier Church in Corio on 30 December 2014 was an indication of the deep love and widespread respect in which Wendy was held by the people of Geelong and…