Greens to introduce legislation on tobacco divestment

Victorian Greens Health Spokesperson Colleen Hartland has announced that The Greens will seek to end Victorian Government toxic tobacco investments.

Yesterday the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation announced that they will no longer invest in tobacco companies. The Future Fund’s did the same in February this year. 

“I am putting the Victorian Funds Management Corporation on notice. If they don’t voluntarily divest from tobacco I will introduce a bill early next year to force them to do it,” said Victorian Greens health spokesperson Colleen Hartland.

"The bill will amend the Victorian Funds Management Corporation Act to prohibit the Victorian Government from investing in Tobacco companies."

Labor's transport plan puts roads ahead of public transport on every page

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says Labor's transport plan puts roads ahead of public transport on every page.

"Labor has confirmed they'll build the East West Toll Road and they won't build the superior alternative, which is Doncaster rail," said Greg Barber

"It seems only the Greens want a future for Melbourne based on investing in public transport."

"We fully support the Melbourne Metro rail project but there are other investments that will let us add more trains in the short term - like high capacity signalling. The Melbourne Metro train project is on the never never, because it depends on Tony Abbott having a change of heart."

"What's left is a roads plan. Roads, roads and more roads. Billions and billions on widening arterials, to push the traffic jam a bit further along the way. The best they are offering on rail is a review of the Liberal government's plan, after they're elected."

Gina Rinehart plans to frack Western Victoria

The Greens have released Lakes Oil operations plans for unconventional gas fracking on farms in the Bellarine and Otways regions, on the same day Parliament will debate a Greens motion to ban fracking. The plans were obtained by Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber by freedom of information.

Greens propose amendment to smoking laws

Smokefree diningVictorian Greens health spokesperson Colleen Hartland has accused the government of hiding the Tobacco Amendment Bill 2013 consultation findings and will today propose amendments to reflect best practice smoking reform.

The Victorian government has refused to publicly release the findings and the 7824 submissions from the consultation process for the Bill despite repeated requests from Ms Hartland.

Colleen Hartland has proposed amendments to prohibit smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas as well as extending the ban on smoking during children’s sporting events to include 30 minutes before and after the match.

Government ill-prepared for climate change risk: report

The Victorian Auditor-General has criticised the government's inability to plan for the impact of climate change and other critical statewide threats, in a report tabled in Victorian Parliament today.

"The government has no plan to shield Victoria from the economic risk of extreme weather events caused by climate change, let alone the risks to agriculture, health and the environment," said Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber

"The Auditor-General reminds us there are assets worth more than $7 billion at risk of inundation from a one-in-100-year flood, with the CSIRO warning of climate disruption, but the government doesn't have a climate change plan.

Get your dirty deluded toll-road out of our neighbourhoods

Greens MP for the Western Suburbs Colleen Hartland has vowed to fight to keep the Napthine government's dirty deluded toll-road our of the quiet neighbourhoods of Ascot Vale and Moonee Ponds.

Ms Hartland says that todays East-West link announcement means the quiet suburbs of Ascot Vale and Moonee ponds will be inundated with traffic from the proposed East-West toll-road with wide-ranging negative consequences. 

"This proposed East-West toll road is a disaster at every corner and it just turned the corner into Ascot Vale and Moonee Ponds today," said Ms Hartland.

Who are Protective Services Officers protecting?

On Christmas Eve 2012 a young man was approached by Protective Services Officers (PSOs) and asked for his ticket as he left the train at Broadmeadows Station.  What happened next is captured in CCTV footage and a number of Victoria Police documents obtained over a period of months under Freedom of Information by Greg Barber MLC.

VicForests is a financial loser

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says the state government logging company VicForests is a financial loser and should be shut down.

"They've just tabled their annual report and it's clear that if this was a private company, the shareholders would have dumped it," said Greg Barber  

Yes, no, maybe: LibLabs all over the place on Doncaster Rail

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says that Labor and the Liberals have no commitment to building Doncaster Rail, after a vote in Victorian state parliament yesterday.

"I moved a motion that funds for development of Doncaster Rail be immediately allocated. In the debate. Labor said they were in 'two minds' about the project, but voted for my motion anyway. The Libs now say the project, which they promised to build at the 2010 election, is now decades away," said Greg Barber

"I thought we were making progress on Doncaster Rail, when the Liberals backed our policy at the last state election. Now I can see we are going to have to fight it all over again at next years election," said Mr Barber

Home solarium danger; Greens call for disposal program

Solarium ban winVictorian Greens health spokesperson Colleen Hartland has called for a free tanning bed disposal program to be provided to solarium owners in response to yesterdays vote to ban solariums from 1 January 2015.

A tanning bed disposal scheme would encourage disposal rather than on-selling and overcome current barriers for solarium owners: lack of knowledge as to where they can be disposed of; disposal costs; lack of means to transport sunbeds to disposal facilities; and transport costs.

The disposal scheme would provide free, easy and convenient pick up and disposal service to solarium owners at a time and place of their choosing.