Colleen Hartland - Speech in Parliament: My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. My adjournment matter relates to the fire services property levy. Before reform in 2012 the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) received 75 per cent and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) received 77.5 per cent of annual estimated expenditure directly from insurance companies. State and local governments contributed the remaining amount. Insurance companies then recuperated these funds via the fire services levy on insured properties.
Colleen Hartland - Speech in Parliament. Along with Mr Pallas, the member for Tarneit in the other house, last week I attend a meeting at Werribee Secondary College to discuss the poor physical condition of the buildings and grounds. I understand from the school that the Minister for Education, Mr Dixon, Mr Elsbury and Mr Finn were invited; unfortunately none of them were able to attend.
I knew there were many problems with the school, but I was shocked at how bad the situation is. The school council outlined the situation for us. There is a substantial drain upon school maintenance funds, as the school has to divert funds from the current educational program, and there are potential safety, occupational health and safety and fire hazards. The urgent need for building works poses a significant risk to student and teacher safety as well as to the general community.
Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament.
I have decided that the best way for me to start my contribution tonight is to read in full a press statement from the Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability Inc. (VALID), dated 25 November. I attended this meeting of family members, carers and people from the sector, which was called by VALID on 11 November.
The press release is headed ‘Cash Grab an Insult’. It begins:
"A meeting of family members representing people residing in DHS-funded group homes has condemned the Minister for Disability Services and Reform, Mary Wooldridge,MP, for:
Colleen Hartland Speech in parliament - while supporting new emergency management governance arrangements, Colleen Hartland has called for the inspector-general for emergency management to be independent, so there is proper accountability in preparation, response and recovery from disasters and there is transparency about successes and shortfalls of governance arrangements. The Government voted against this reform.
Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan)—I rise today to make a contribution to the debate on the Emergency Management Bill 2013. I would also like to start by recognising the amazing work of our firefighters, both career and volunteer, and the state emergency services and police for their dedication and the hard work they put in on the ground every day to protect those who find themselves in the midst of a disaster or an emergency. To say they do a fantastic job feels like an understatement, because I do not know whether I could manage to do the kind of work they do.
Colleen Hartland motioned the Government to fund the start up costs of homebirth programs in next year's budget and provide state-wide guidelines to hospitals to implement the program. Based on the overwhelming evidence for the programs, the Government was forced to support the motion
Hansard transcript: Colleen Hartland — I move: That this house calls on the Minister for Health, Mr David Davis, MLC, to, as soon as feasible, take the necessary steps to expand public hospital homebirth services including—
(1) committing to fund start-up costs of homebirth programs to hospitals providing maternity services in the next state budget;
(2) developing statewide guidelines and information for health services implementing homebirth services;
(3) developing systems to prospectively collect costing data; and
(4) supporting further research into the safety of homebirth programs and research to compare clinical outcome data associated with low-risk births in different birth settings.
Today,Greens MP Colleen Hartland stood up in question time and called on Matthew Guy, the Minister for Planning, to meet with Moonee Valley City Council. The Minister has agreed to meet with Council.
Council has requested an urgent meeting with state Planning Minister Matthew Guy to discuss potential social, economic and environmental implications of the $8 billion project. Councillor Jim Cusack said the city would be faced with more cars, pollution and flyovers in its neighbourhoods.
Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at a Plastic Bag Free Yarraville Village event. Plastic Bag Free Yarraville Village is a fantastic little campaign being run by local community members. It is great to see community members taking responsibility and acting to make their neighbourhood a better place. The campaign aims to change Yarraville Village’s ‘bag habits’ by becoming a plastic bag-free community. They aim to achieve this through engaging and educating local schools, traders and community groups. They have been running a petition and have released a Yarraville Village calico bag, the design being that of the winner of a local competition created by the group.
SPEECH: Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan) —
My adjournment matter today is for the Minister for Mental Health, the Honourable Mary Wooldridge. Exposure to hepatitis C and hepatitis B in Australian prisons usually comes through sharing drug injecting equipment. These diseases affect the liver and can lead to liver disease, liver cancer and ultimately death.
In 2011 the Victorian Ombudsman’s investigation into prisoner access to health care made some very concerning findings regarding access to health. Amongst other things it revealed that 41 per cent of Victorian prisoners have hepatitis C, compared to 1 per cent of the general population. This appalling figure demonstrates a neglect of prisoner health on the part of the government. In the past two years nothing has changed.
SPEECH: Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan) —
This morning I took part in the blockade of Somerville Road, Yarraville, outside the Kingsville Primary School, organised by the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group.
The blockade was in support of a request the Maribyrnong City Council made to government that it place a curfew on Somerville Road at the start and end of each school day.
The Maribyrnong Truck Action Group and local residents organised the blockade because they feel the government is simply not listening to them and will not acknowledge that there is a problem.
Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament. My adjournment matter today is for the attention of the Minister for Housing.
The Social Housing Advocacy and Support Program (SHASP) provides support to public housing tenants to prevent homelessness. It helps households to maintain their tenancy in situations where there is a risk of it breaking down. Since its operation began in 2006, it has been a remarkable success, reducing eviction rates by half and thus preventing homelessness for thousands of individuals and families. Despite this fantastic record, funding to SHASP has been cut from $7.4 million in 2011-12 to $5.8 million in 2012-13 and $4.7 million in 2013-14.
Colleen Hartland - Speech in Parliament regarding the Tobacco Amendment Bill 2013. This bill seems familiar to me, and indeed it is. Many of the elements of this bill are very similar to my recent Tobacco Amendment (Smoking in Outdoor Areas) Bill 2012, which the government voted against. There is one gaping difference between the two bills: the government has once again failed to include a ban on smoking in alfresco drinking and dining areas. This year the Victorian government won the Dirty Ashtray Award primarily for its failure to ban smoking in outdoor areas and also for failing to introduce new reforms. While the reforms introduced by this bill address the latter concern, the most glaring example of inaction remains.
Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament. Yesterday I had the honour of attending the memorial service for Lesley Hall. Many people may know Lesley as a fierce warrior for people in the disability community. Lesley had lived with a lifelong disability that she never allowed to get in her way.
It is a week now since Lesley died very suddenly and unexpectedly, and in remembering her I kept thinking about an amazing photo, which I will just hold up; people can come and have a look at it later if they want to. Lesley was one of those disabled women who challenged Yooralla in the early 1980s over the issues of the Miss Victoria beauty quest. She was the bold woman who stood on the stage and forced Yooralla to actually look at the way they were treating disabled people. She has been pivotal in advocacy for the national disability insurance scheme.
Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan) — I move:
That this house requires the Leader of the Government to table in the Legislative Council by Tuesday, 17 September, a copy of documents detailing the Country Fire Authority and the Victorian WorkCover Authority actuarial assessment and cost estimates to provide compensation for Victoria’s firefighters injured or deceased as a result of exposure to carcinogens on the job.
I will speak only very briefly on this motion. As we are all well aware, our firefighters put themselves on the line to protect the community. In doing their job they are exposed to toxic chemicals and smoke. As a result, firefighters are 5 to 10 times more at risk of developing certain cancers and more than 2 to 3 times more likely to get lung cancer than a smoker.
Colleen Hartland speech in parliament: In the inner west we have more than 21 000 trucks travelling on our residential streets every day. This is where people live and where children go to school, child care and kindergarten. It is where people walk to the train station or the local shops, and it is where residents must share the roads with these trucks. Despite the increasing numbers of trucks on these residential streets, this government has done nothing to progress solutions which we know will take these trucks off residential streets, in turn making them safe.
Colleen Hartland's Speech in Parliament on proposed legislation to ban solariums
The Radiation Amendment Bill 2013 achieves two main objectives, both of which the Greens support. I am very grateful to Mr Jennings for having explained clause 5 because now I will not have to do that. One of the questions that I needed to ask during the briefing was about clause 5.
Speech by Colleen Hartland in Parliament
My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Public Transport. Last weekend I attended a community information session on the impacts of the proposed east–west link tollway, hosted by Moonee Valley City Council. I thank the council for doing this and bringing together a great deal of very informative information.
The attendees talked about the potential impacts on Moonee Valley, including:
Third and final part of the debate on the motion for the Government to introduce the firefighters cancer compensation bill into the lower house. The Greens and the ALP voted for the Government to act on this issues, the Liberal Government voted against it.
Debate resumed from 4 September; motion of Ms HARTLAND (WesternMetropolitan):
Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan)—This has been quite a difficult process. I am quite disappointed that it would appear the government has chosen not to support this motion and has failed to commit to introduce legislation to give firefighters adequate access to WorkCover if they contract cancer.
Colleen Hartland's Adjounrment Speech in Parliament
My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Community Services, MinisterWooldridge, and it is in regard to the Geelong Project (TGP), which has been axed by the state government. This has left hundreds of young people, families and schools without critical support for at-risk youth. Despite significant financial contributions for the development of the early intervention model for vulnerable young people in Geelong, no further funding will be provided by the Victorian state government for the full implementation of TGP.
Resumed debate on the motion for the Government to introduce Colleen Hartland's bill on Fair Protection of Firefighters.
See the first part of the debate here. The debate will again resume on 18 September.
Mr O’BRIEN (Western Victoria) Liberal —I wish to resume my contribution on this motion by briefly reiterating comments about my personal belief in the significant privilege that is afforded to members of Parliament in representing their constituents—in my case around 400 000 western Victorians of all shapes and sizes. I say that particularly in terms of backbenchers who come into the Parliament and have the opportunity to represent the government and relevant ministers in their dealings with our fire services.
Adjournment (Request of Government) - Colleen Hartland:
My adjounrment is for the Minister for Public Transport.
On 19 July the Age published a story entitled ‘A tale of two rail lines: Altona slumps while Werribee soars’. The article tells the story of Altona loop commuters abandoning their trains, as illustrated in patronage figures. While it is proven that Altona loop residents are abandoning their trains, I am standing here today to call on the government to not abandon them.
The train services on the Altona loop were poor to begin with, but the timetable changes introduced in 2011 slashed them. The service went from a standard bad, to becoming the worst on the entire Melbourne train network. Altona loop commuters became the most dissatisfied on the whole network, as shown in every customer satisfaction survey held since.
Motion and Speech in Parliament - Colleen Hartland: I move: That this house—
(1) notes the findings and recommendations contained in the Economy and Infrastructure Legislation Committee’s final report into the Accident Compensation Legislation (Fair Protection for Firefighters) Bill 2011 tabled in this house on 12 June 2013;
(2) notes the letter sent by Associate Professor Deborah Glass and ProfessorMalcolm Sim of Monash University to Ms Colleen Hartland on 29 May 2013, which states that—
(a) there is already good evidence from a very large number of previous human studies that work as a firefighter is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer; and
(b) the Monash University study is very unlikely to change the overall conclusions of increased cancer risk among firefighters and that decisions about presumptive legislation should not be delayed;
(3) calls on the government to introduce the Accident Compensation Legislation (Fair Protection for Firefighters) Bill 2011 into the Legislative Assembly, as suggested in section 4.2 of the Economy and Infrastructure Legislation Committee’s final report; and
Speech in Parliament - Colleen Hartland: Last Saturday I joined the Australian Tamil Congress for a forum and Q and A session about the Greens policies. Lead Senate candidate Janet Rice, Senator Richard Di Natale, Moreland Greens councillor Samantha Ratnam and I spoke about how the Greens have been standing up for the Tamils in Australia and in Sri Lanka. We also discussed the plight of refugees fleeing to Australia today, and we wondered how low the debate about asylum seekers will go.
Colleen Hartland questions the Minister for Health about when collaborative arrangements for private midwives to work in public hospitals will be released
Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan)—My question today is for the Minister for Health. In 2011 the Department of Health asked the Royal Women’s Hospital, Monash Medical Centre and Mercy Hospital for Women to develop a framework for collaborative arrangements between Victorian public hospitals and eligible midwives. These arrangements would allow for the provision of private midwifery services in public hospitals so that labouring women can receive care from their chosen midwife private practitioner if or when they are admitted to hospital. The draft framework was provided to the department in 2012, and after review the final draft was provided to the minister in February this year. My question for the minister is: when will the framework be made public, and when will private midwives have appropriate formal arrangements with hospitals to improve the continuity of care that is provided to labouring women?
Colleen Hartland questions the Minister for Health about when he will expand public hospital homebirth programs
Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan)—My question today is for the Minister for Health. I understand that in response to an independent evaluation of the homebirth pilot program at Casey Hospital and Sunshine Hospital, the Department of Health summary report, released in March this year, indicated that the Minister for Health has sought advice from the Perinatal Service Advisory Committee on the implementation and expansion of publicly funded homebirthing options in Victoria. My question for the minister is: has advice been received on this matter and if so, what was advised with respect to the expansion of publicly funded hospital-supported homebirthing options in Victoria?
There are not many more important issues before this Parliament than the health and wellbeing of Victoria’s firefighters. Every day they put their lives on the line for us.
Members will know that firefighters have 5 to 10 times the risk of getting certain cancers than we do, and they are 2 to 3 times more likely to get lung cancer than a smoker — all because of their work protecting our community. Yet firefighters and their families are not protected. If they get sick because of their work, it is almost impossible for them to access the WorkCover protections that other workers would have.
The government has claimed it is waiting for the completion of another study from Monash University, but the university has confirmed to me and others that the science is in and that there is no reason to delay on this matter.