Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I thank Mr Ramsay for that introduction. He is like my warm-up man over here!
The budget we have just seen delivered of course represents the political philosophy of the Treasurer, Mr O'Brien, and the Premier, Dr Napthine. It is hard not to notice how radically anti-environment this budget is. It is almost like it was put together by a couple of high priests of some sort of fossil fuel burning cult. There is actually an environment section in the glossies that go with the budget. What it contains is quite literally a statement of how if it moves, they will shoot it, and if it does not, they will cut it down, along with a new set of incentives to start digging more stuff up.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, and I am requesting that he take action to have western Victoria declared to be drought affected, and to lobby for federal assistance for farmers in that area. Last week Queensland declared large parts of the state to be drought affected. Over the past couple of weeks I have been all over western Victoria and the picture is quite stark -- poor rainfall over the last six months, record lows in some areas, and a forecast for more of the same. It must be obvious to the Premier, given that this is part of his own electorate. He cannot have missed the fact that there is a lot of heat and drought affecting his electorate.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- This bill is entitled the Planning and Environment Amendment (Growth Areas Authority and Miscellaneous) Bill 2013, and whenever you see 'miscellaneous' you know you have to go looking, although in the last sitting week it was the 'other matters' section of a bill that seemed to take up most of our time.
We should thank the Moyne Shire Council for working out what the 'miscellaneous' was all about. While ministers have all the powers in planning schemes, what you can rely on is that your local council will take responsibility for the outcomes, because local government is the level of government closest to the people. I hope Mr O'Brien gets a bit closer to his local councils, because if he were to spend some time talking to the Moyne Shire Council, the Pyrenees Shire Council and a range of other councils in that area about the particular representations they have made, he would learn that. He would also learn that local councils are on a pretty short feedback loop from their communities. People in local government carry mobile phones and take calls at all hours of the day and night; there really is nowhere to hide. At least state MPs come up to Melbourne from time to time and conduct business in this chamber without either full awareness or full admission of the impact votes may have on those people to whom they have to deliver.
Speech in parliament by Colleen Hartland
In light of recent reports issued by the Climate Commission and beyondblue, I call on the government to create a climate change and health strategy for Victoria.
In recent weeks beyondblue released a book entitled A Road Less Travelled—A Guide to Children, Emotions and Disasters, which provides deeper insight into the long-lasting mental health impacts of disasters on children. Shortly after the Climate Commission released a report entitled The Critical Decade— Extreme Weather, which confirmed that climate change is already increasing the intensity and frequency of many extreme weather events, and that there is a high risk of disasters becoming even more intense over coming decades.
In light of recent reports released by the Climate Commission and Beyond Blue, Victorian Greens Health Spokesperson Colleen Hartland will call on the Victorian Government to create a climate change and health strategy.
Beyond Blue has released A Road Less Travelled: A Guide to Children, Emotions and Disasters, a book about mental health problems suffered by children in relation to disasters.
In the Climate Commission’s recent report The Critical Decade: Extreme Weather it was confirmed that climate change is already increasing the intensity and frequency of many extreme weather events, and that there is a high risk of disasters becoming even more intense over coming decades.
Western Suburbs Liberal MP Andrew Elsbury has exposed his ignorance of his own electorate and the benefits of solar power in a misinformed attack in Parliament yesterday.
Mr Elsbury's statement "I am sure the people of Wyndham Vale would be very happy to give people in Toorak 60 cents per kilowatt hour for solar panels on their palaces!" ignores the fact that Wyndham Vale has 875 homes with solar power while Toorak has just 49. *
"Mr Elsbury and the Liberal Party are so blinded by climate change denial and support for dirty coal that they can't see the facts in their own electorates," said Western Suburbs Greens MP Colleen Hartland.
A significant proportion of public and private housing remains largely unprepared for extreme weather events, including heatwaves, due to its age, poor quality and lack of energy efficiency measures.
Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne has initiated a Senate Inquiry into recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather events in Australia. In a submission to the Inquiry, Colleen Hartland has called for mandatory minimum energy, water, health and safety standards on private rental properties and energy efficiency improvements to public housing to ensure that those most vulnerable to heatwaves and other extreme events are better protected.
With weather forecasts predicting a second hot day on Friday and more to come next week, Greens MP Colleen Hartland has raised concerns about the Baillieu Government's inaction on heatwave preparations.
"Older Victorians and people with existing medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to heatwaves. During the 2009 heatwaves, there were 374 more deaths in Victoria than the average and nearly 3 times as many heart attacks reported," said Colleen Hartland, Victorian Greens spokesperson on Health.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Mr Elsbury just spent 21 minutes talking about fossil fuels and never once mentioned climate change. He almost said something about agreeing with something to do with a carbon constraint, but then he threw it into reverse and got the hell out of there. Mr Elsbury does not believe in climate change.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- We have a high and pressing need in Victoria to adapt to the impacts of climate change, which are already being felt.