Dollar Bet safety standards on Pokies - Greens Bill introduced

Colleen Hartland Speech in Parliament
The Greens are committed to limiting the harm of gambling through evidence-based solutions.
Problem gambling is taking an enormous toll on Victorian families and our health system.
The financial stress causes family breakdown, drives people to crime, and can result in job loss. Depression and suicide are some of the worst impacts.
Many people enjoy a punt, but that is all it should be— a game, a bit of entertainment.
When people can lose thousands of dollars an hour on pokies, something needs to be done to limit the losses and the harm pokies can cause.
Up to 80 per cent of problem gambling is caused by poker machines, which are designed by the gambling industry to be highly addictive and to maximise losses.

Fair wages for community health workers

Colleen Hartland calls on the Governmen to fund the community health enterprise agreement.  
My question is for the Minister for Health. The community health enterprise agreement for community health physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, podiatrists and exercise physiologists expired in 2011. These workers are represented by the Victorian Health Professionals Association (VHPA) and have been without an enterprise bargaining agreement and wage rise for three years.

Councils forced to compensate for state failure on smoking

Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament. My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Health. The minister will be aware that in the absence of a statewide ban on smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas, local councils have been forced to go it alone on this important health reform.
Baw Baw Shire Council was the first to act. Recently the Melbourne City Council has taken steps to introduce a smoking ban in alfresco dining lanes. Causeway Lane was made smoke free from 1 October 2013 as a trial. That trial concluded on 31March and on 13 May the evaluation report was presented to council. As part of the evaluation, restaurants, their patrons and residents were surveyed.
The report found that the ban was successful in stopping smoking at cafes, although some passers-by still did smoke, perhaps not realising it was a smoke-free area.

We must not punish the victim - Greens

Colleen Hartland - Speech in Parliament. I rise to speak on behalf of the Greens on the Crimes Amendment (Protection of Children) Bill 2014. This bill seeks to amend the Crimes Act 1058 to insert two new offences in relation to sexual abuse of children. The first offence is failure by a person in authority to protect a child from sexual abuse, and the Greens wholeheartedly support this aspect. The second is the failure to disclose a sexual offence committed against a child aged under 16 years. The Greens have significant concerns about this aspect, and in a moment I will outline those reasons.

Public health - another victim of the harsh Federal budget cuts


Colleen Hartland - Questions the Minister on the future of National Partnership public health projects. My question is to the Minister for Health. The federal coalition government has announced that it will terminate the national partnership agreement on preventive health effective from July this year. This agreement was to provide $236 million in 2014–15 for initiatives such as community-based healthy lifestyle programs, promoting physical activity and healthy eating for children, health promotion in workplaces and much more. These programs, as the minister would know, are critical for reducing the prevalence of  chronic diseases.

Can the minister clarify how much the Victorian government stands to lose from the termination and whether the government will be digging into its surplus to fund the ongoing delivery of these critical programs?

Residents stand up and Stopped the Tip


Following a strong community campaign, Melton City Council has rejected Boral's application to expand their tip in Deer Park.

Congratulations to all involved. Greens MP Colleen Hartland been involved in community campaigns against waste and contamination issues in the Western Suburbs for 30 years and loves a good win! Some think that they can just dump waste on the West and get away with it. This shows, once again, that the people of the West will stand up for the West and can win! Of course our work continues to clean up the existing site. Read on for Colleen's parliamentary speech:

Investigate poker machine's addictive features

Colleen Hartland in parliament - calls for an independent inquiry into the addictive features of poker machines. 
My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation. There are a number of features of poker machines that have been recognised internationally and in Australia by considered research as being potentially addictive. There is concern that these features may be instrumental in some people becoming problem gamblers or in exacerbating the addiction of some problem gamblers. The features that have received the most attention for their potential addictiveness include losses disguised as wins, near misses and jackpots.

Smoke-free Prisons - get it right, Minister

Colleen Hartland - Speech in Parliament. I rise today on behalf of the Greens to speak on the Corrections Amendment (Smoke-Free Prisons) Bill 2014. I do not think anyone in this chamber would doubt that the Greens are extremely passionate about tobacco reform. As most people here would know, smoking kills around 4000 Victorians every year. That is more than the road toll, alcohol and drugs combined. It is the greatest public health issue of our time, and a range of measures can be taken to help further reduce smoking rates. However, banning smoking in prisons would not have been at the top of my priority list. At the top of my list is banning smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas.

Government breaks promise on Brimbank elections

Western Suburbs Greens MP Colleen Hartland has accused the Victorian Coalition Government of being untrustworthy after breaking its promise to hold the Brimbank City Council elections in March 2015. This week in parliament the Government has legislated for a further 19 months delay on Brimbank City Council elections, on top of the two and a half year delay they legislated in 2012.
“In 2012, when the local council elections were delayed two and a half years, the Minister guaranteed that the elections would be held in March 2015. Now they have been delayed a further 19 months.”
“Like his federal Coalition counterparts, it seems the guarantee of a Victorian Coalition Minister is not worth the paper it is written on.”

Violence against women with disabilities must end

Colleen Hartland - Speech in Parliament
Last week I attended the launch of the Voices Against Violence initiative. This research project has been led by Women with Disabilities Victoria in partnership with the Office for the Public Advocate and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria. It found that women with disabilities experience violence to a higher degree and for longer than women in the general population, with stereotypes of disability contributing to this preventable violence. 
The Voices Against Violence research highlights that when sex discrimination is coupled with disability discrimination, women with disabilities are at an elevated risk of violence.

Victorian Govt wins Dirty Ashtray Award, attacks the AMA process

Colleen Hartland questions Minister about what the Government will do to avoid getting the Dirty Ashtray for the fourth year. Rather than answering, the Minister attempted to imply that there was not sound process for them getting the award. The AMA's only interest the health of Australians. These underhanded tactics are a diversion from their failure on tobacco control.
Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan)—My question is for the Minister for Health. On Friday last week, ahead of World No Tobacco Day, the Australian Medical Association awarded Victoria the Dirty Ashtray Award for the third year in a row. I understand that this is an all-time record.

Budget's family violence funding pathetic


In Parliament today the Greens will call on the government to meet with the families of victims of family violence, after the paltry budget response to this prevalent problem.
“Instead of the urgent minimum $16 million requested by service providers for the state-wide roll-out for the Strengthening Risk Management project, the government has announced just $4.5 million,” said  Victorian Greens spokesperson on women Colleen Hartland.

“This project would create multi-agency high risk task forces across Victoria as the first step in a system-wide approach to holding violent perpetrators accountable for their behaviour.”

“In the wake of the murder of Fiona Warzywoda, I am shocked by the Napthine Government’s appalling neglect of the issue.”

Greens oppose increase in pokies losses


Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament regarding the State Taxation Legislation Amendment Bill 2014.

Mr Barber has, as usual, addressed extremely well most of what the Greens needed to discuss. I will deal with just the issues around pokies and gambling which are addressed in clauses 25 and 26. I will be quite brief now and will be asking questions during the committee stage.

Clause 25 increases the losses on average pokies machines from 13 per cent to 15 per cent. The Greens oppose this clause because it will increase the losses on pokies.

Meet with the families of the victims of family violence

My adjournment matter today is for the Honourable Wendy Lovell on behalf of the Minister for Community Services, Ms Mary Wooldridge.
Last month, Fiona Warzywoda, mother of four, was stabbed to death at the corner of Hampshire and Devonshire roads in Sunshine, allegedly by her abusive partner. 
Her death was an incredible shock to the community. 

Gambling Research Australia must not close


Colleen Hartland questions the government over the future of Gambling Research Australia

My question is to the Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation. Gambling Research Australia provides high-quality research and an avenue for the Victorian government to shape the direction of gambling research to establish evidence-based regulation to reduce the harms of gambling. The establishment of the Australian Gambling Research Centre does not replace the need for Gambling Research Australia as it will not provide the same abilities for the Victorian government to shape the gambling research agenda.

Trade Promotion Lotteries not appropriate for Gambling or Alcohol


Colleen Hartland - response in parliament to government bill on gambling and liquor reform.

I rise to speak on the Gambling and Liquor Legislation Amendment (Modernisation) Bill 2014, and I thank Ms Pulford for going through many of the technicalities of the bill. I will make some comments and speak particularly about clause 53, which the Greens intend to vote against. The bill goes to a number of issues, such as unauthorised gambling, which is currently prohibited under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003. The Greens accept the proposed changes in relation to conducting advertising and providing places for unauthorised gambling on the basis that they provide no greater leniency in regard to this illegal gambling.

Govenment reform won't keep wheelchair taxis on the road


Colleen Hartland's response to the Government's bill on further reform of the taxi industry.

I rise today to speak on the Transport Legislation Amendment (Further Taxi Reform and Other Matters) Bill 2014. This is a substantial bill with a range of purposes. Many of the purposes appear to be reasonable in the context of the reform taking place, and the Greens will not oppose them. Labor has outlined its concerns about taxicab operators in the regional or country zones being able to determine their own maximum fares or hiring rates, and the Greens share many of these concerns.

We need meaningful investment to tackle family violence


Colleen Hartland - speech in parliament.

On 16 April Fiona Warzywoda, who was aged only 33, was stabbed at the corner of Hampshire and Devonshire roads. The next morning I received an email from Sophie Dutertre saying that we had to do something. Following that email a community vigil against domestic violence was organised. It was held on Tuesday, 22 April. It was pleasing to see MPs from all parties attending that vigil.

No double-standards, Sunvale Primary School site should become parkland


Colleen Hartland questions Minister in parliament over the future of the Sunvale Primary School Site.

Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan)—My question today is for the Assistant Treasurer, Mr Rich-Phillips. There has been a long community fight to keep the former Sunvale Primary School site as open space due to the shortage of green open space in Sunshine. Despite this, tender signs for redevelopment have been put up at the site this week. Brimbank City Council has bought part of the site for $3.2 million, and promises have been made by Mr Finn to fight to keep it as open space. My question is: will the government support Mr Finn in his bid to keep the whole site as open space by withdrawing this tender process and gifting the land to the Brimbank council?

Government new housing plan provides little new funding


Colleen Hartland reveals that of the $1.3 billion announced for social housing in the Napthine Government's new social housing framework, just $149 million is new spending. There is no investment in increasing the public housing stock.

Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan)—My question is for the Minister for Housing. The government has now released the long-awaited social housing framework. After extensive consultation and years in development, it fails to provide a vision for the growth of social housing into the future, and it fails to provide a solution for the 34 000 people on the waiting list.

Government continues to hide costings of Green's firefighter bill


Colleen Hartland has again called for documents that show details of costings of the Greens proposed legislation that automatically provides WorkCover compensation to firefighters that contract cancer on the job. This information is crucial for testing whether cost claims are inflated by the government. The government again refused to provide the documents or the details required to interrogate their costings. What have they got to hide?

More delays from Government on firefighters bill


Colleen Hartland motioned the Legislative Council to, based on committee inquiry recommendations, change practices with respect to bills with disputed flow-on costs. These changes would allow the Fair Protection of Firefighters bill to make some progress through parliament. The Government voted against this and instead have chosen to further delay progress by sending the proposed changes to a procedures committee for review.

Stop the Tip: the West is not Melbourne's dumping ground


Speech: For the past 30 years I have been involved in campaigning to clean up the western suburbs in the face of hazardous, toxic and other waste. I was a founding member of the Hazardous Materials Action Group, which is more commonly known as HAZMAG. 

This week I put in my formal objection to the proposed expansion of Boral’s Western Landfill in Ravenhall. My personal objection was in addition to more than 4000 already received by the Melton City Council. 

It was just last week that I put in a formal objection to a proposed above-ground expansion of the Wests Road tip in Werribee. 

Fund river open space rejuvenation this budget


My adjournment matter today is for the Minister for Planning. Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world. More than 70 per cent of Victorians live in Melbourne. Open space is critically important to the livability of our suburbs and is highly valued by the community. Parks can improve physical and mental health, ecosystem services and urban biodiversity.

The Maribyrnong River provides an important green and open space for residents in the west. Surveys have found it is one of the most popular and most used parks in Moonee Valley. There are sections along the river that would benefit greatly from redevelopment, as they are in poor condition. Moonee Valley City Council has developed a Maribyrnong River master plan. This plan lays out an incredible vision for a healthy river that improves access through more open space and better facilities for outdoor activities.

Greens riase concerns about security measures for children in secure welfare services


Colleen Hartland's speech in parliament regarding security proceedures in secure welfare servcies. The Greens are deeply concerned about the lack of safeguards in use of strip searches and isolation. The Greens referred the bill for inquiry.

There is clearly a need to legally clarify security procedures at secure welfare facilities and to specifically prohibit certain actions in all of out-of-home care services. We need a legal basis on which practices and standards are kept and abuse can be identified. The past legislative omission was identified by the Victorian Ombudsman, after concerns were raised by a whistleblower about the treatment of children in secure welfare services.