State budget leaves Victoria behind

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Having looked carefully at these budget papers, I have discovered that the budget is visionless and careless; that its centrepiece project, soaking up $18 billion, is a project from 1969; that climate change is ignored; that economic change is neglected; that social crises are addressed, if at all, as an afterthought; and that given the size of the accumulated surpluses -- with $11 billion in surpluses and a $21 billion cash flow after operations, there are hardly any excuses to be made. 

Victoria vulnerable to drought, BoM report shows

Greens leader Greg Barber MLC said today's Bureau of Meteorology update on the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) shows that Victoria is at risk of several dry months. He called on the Victorian government to explain its plans to deal with impacts on agriculture, emergency management and water supply.
Greg Barber said, "The Bureau of Meteorology has upgraded its El Niño alert, warning that the Pacific Ocean is moving close to El Niño conditions.
"The return of El Niño raises important questions in this election year and the Premier needs to be open with the Victorian community. 

State of the Climate


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Last week the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released the third biennial State of the Climate report, the contents of which should be of great import to governments at all levels. The federal Minister for Environment, the Honourable Greg Hunt, famously said that he did not need the Climate Commission and could rely on the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. The report of those two organisations states:

Minister plays dumb over link between heatwaves and climate change


Colleen Hartland questions the Minister in parliament over his heatwave and climate change comments:

Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan)—My question is for the Minister for Health. The minister has stated the importance of not confusing the response to individual occasions of heatwave with more 'esoteric' debates on climate change. The year 2013 was the hottest on record in Australia. The January heatwave was the hottest four-day period on record. The Bureau of Meteorology has said that there have been 21 days from 2001–14 which have has reached 45 degrees Celsius, compared with 13 days in the 44 years before that. CSIRO has stated that climate change is happening. Does the government reject these scientific findings and deny that heatwaves are becoming worse in Victoria as a result of climate change?

Hartland motions for review of heatwave management


Colleen Hartland - Speech in Parliament.

In light of the January 2014 heatwave that led to over 100 deaths across Victoria, Colleen Hartland has called for the government to take heatwaves more seriously. In parliamnet she motioned for a review of the government's heatwave planning, saying heatwaves deserve a whole of government emergency response, similar to that of bushfires.

No place for 'Feelpinions' and 'anecdata' in energy policy



Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I am very saddened to hear that the members of the Labor and Liberal parties think that the kind of minor level tinkering contained in this bill is up to the job of addressing the crisis in energy affordability that has been ongoing for a number of years now.

Health Minister denies link between record heatwaves and climate change


Colleen Hartland questioned the Minister for Health in parliament regarding providing funding for frontline agencies to respond to heatwaves. The Minister responded by indicating funding would not be provided and saying that heatwaves should not be confused with the esoteric debate about climate change.

Greens call for heatwave inquiry

Greens call for inquiry into government preparedness for and management of last week’s heatwave and have renewed calls for a Climate Change and Health Strategy* for Victoria.
“There was a clear lack of preparation for last week’s heatwaves in some areas” said Victorian Greens health spokesperson Colleen Hartland.
“Homeless people were pushed out of cool areas with nowhere to go and responsibility for heat stress emergency calls was disputed by emergency service workers, and these are just some examples. A broad reaching investigation is needed.”

Government failing to take heatwaves as seriously as bushfires

Greens say the Napthine Government is failing to take heatwaves as seriously as bushfires and is under-resourcing responses to protect Victorians.

"The deaths so far this summer are greater than the road toll, greater than bushfire, but there's no screaming sirens, just people dying quietly, often alone and isolated in their homes” said Colleen Hartland, Victorian Greens Health Spokesperson.

“Heatwaves should be on the same emergency planning level as bushfires and floods in Victoria’s emergency management planning. Despite having the highest death toll, they take second rung.”

"This has been a full blown natural disaster, with many avoidable deaths and the Napthine Government is doing little more than issuing heat alerts."

Climate Change


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- On Sunday, 17 November, along with tens of thousands of Australians in capital cities and many regional centres, I attended the National Day of Climate Action, calling on the Australian government to step up action to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. In September this year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its fifth assessment report, which states: