“The state government’s latest proposal to house low security prisoners in shipping containers is a costly and unnecessary measure,” Green spokesperson on Corrections, Sue Pennicuik said today.
“Prison overcrowding is a problem of the government's own making,” Ms Pennicuik said. "Its flawed and populist changes to sentencing laws, which are not evidence-based, is leading to low risk, non-violent offenders being imprisoned where in the past they would not have been.”
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says the State of the Environment Report is a poor report card on a government that has no plan to reverse the trends.
"Nearly every measure in this environment report card is down, except for greenhouse gases which are up," said Greg Barber MLC
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:
Debate resumed from 13 November; motion of Mr BARBER (NorthernMetropolitan):
That this house calls on the government to implement a permanent ban on the exploration or development of unconventional gas fossil fuels across Victoria.
The Greens motion to expand the public hospital homebirth service, including a commitment to fund start-up costs in the next State budget, passed through state parliament today.
"This is great news for mothers-to-be across Victoria. The Greens will hold this government to account on their commitment today to ensure that many families will be able to access homebirth services through their local public hospital," said Victorian Greens Health Spokesperson Colleen Hartland.
"Despite overwhelming evidence to support and expand the homebirth program, the government has been delaying for 18 months on this important women's health issue."
"The Health Minister was advised of the success of the trial homebirth programs at Sunshine and Casey hospitals in June 2012."
"Today's motion means that we're going to see some real progress and soon women will be accessing this expanded maternity service."
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.
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."
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has released partially blanked-out government East West Toll Road documents showing the project is a dud, as he continued his VCAT battle today for transparency about the project.
"The documents show there is no tolling option that will pay for the road, so we will end up subsidising people to drive," said Greg Barber
"The traffic speed data in the package shows there won't be a demand for the toll road except for a small part of morning peak hour, so the government is considering induced demand and tolling roads that are currently free. The traffic volume data seems to contradict the government's statements about how many people will use the road.
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."
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I move:
That this house calls on the state government to implement a permanent ban on the exploration or development of unconventional gas fossil fuels across Victoria.
Back in August I attended a fiery rally here in Melbourne.
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Finn) -- Order! I must caution members of the gallery that the showing or display of signs or stickers is not something the Chair will tolerate. I ask members of the gallery to take that into consideration.
Mr BARBER -- That rally was attended by hundreds of Gippsland farmers and their friends from the local community. They presented a petition, which I tabled in Parliament some weeks ago. Bearing 5000 signatures, the petition met the requirements of the Victorian Parliament. Many thousands more signatures were received in electronic format, and I have them available for any member who would like to inspect them. Parliament has not quite caught up with the internet age and does not yet accept electronic online petitions, but I am sure we can remedy that very soon.
With this motion I invite members of the Labor and Liberal parties and The Nationals to put a stop to the devastating impacts we have seen from widespread gas extraction in other states. This is a phenomenon we are about to see popping up very soon here in Victoria.
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.
Victorian 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.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I move:
That this house notes that --
(1) the recommendations of the 2008 report of the Select Committee on Public Land Development regarding Caulfield Racecourse Reserve have not been fully implemented;
(2) Glen Eira City Council has been advocating for better public access and various improvements at Caulfield Racecourse Reserve for many years and on 19 March 2013 adopted, by resolution, a position statement on Crown land at Caulfield Racecourse Reserve which stated that the Crown land is reserved by law for three purposes --
(a) a racecourse;
(b) a public recreation ground; and
(c) a public park;
Yesterday the Climate Change Authority told the federal government that a 5% greenhouse gas reduction goal was "not a credible option'.
This group of environmental radicals, including Bernie Fraser and Heather Ridout, said that Australia's efforts were in the middle of the pack and other countries were gearing up for more aggressive action, even as Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt prepare to slam on the brakes. And to shut down that same Authority.
On the same day, Victoria's Auditor-General reported to this parliament that the state government has "no documented whole of government policy and plan for managing the risks of climate change." Thankfully his tenure is secure.
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.
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.
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.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The matter I raise tonight is for the attention of the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. It is in regard to the recent decision taken by the Chief Commissioner of Police to disband Victoria Police Showband and the Code One rock band and to civilianise the Victoria Police Pipe Band. I must say that I was very surprised to hear about that decision. I note that this matter has been raised by Ms Allan, the member for Bendigo East in the other place, and this morning by Mr Eideh by way of a members statement.
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
RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES AMENDMENT (HOUSING STANDARDS) BILL 2013
Second reading speech
That the bill be now read a second time.
Nearly every product on the market has to meet a set of standards, from food to cars to computers.
This bill extends a level of protection to renters for the biggest purchase they make each month -- their rent -- by providing for a set of basic standards that all private rental dwellings must meet.
The housing minister will set the standards by regulation, which means they may be upgraded as new housing and energy efficiency policies are implemented.
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
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Like many thousands of Australians, I was saddened to hear of the death of Janet Frances Powell just after her 71st birthday.
At her memorial on 9 October we heard moving tributes and stories about her remarkable life from her family, from members of the YWCA, with which she had a long association, and from Bob Brown.
Victorian 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.
"They used averages of all the trains across the sample studied. Individual trains could have over 1100 passengers, well in excess of the 798 benchmark, but the average train is found not to be overcrowded."
"They only looked at overcrowding at city-edge stations, ignoring how far out the overcrowding extends, which leads to some people standing up as long as half an hour before they get a seat."
"They also excluded any train that was overcrowded because of a train being late or an earlier train being cancelled."
Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber will join firefighters in Ballarat to launch the 'Fair Protection for Firefighters' TV ad campaign which will roll-out across Western Victoria, including in the Premier's electorate and marginal seats.
When: 11am Tuesday 1st October 2013
Where: Ballarat City Fire Brigade, 1112-1120 Sturt Street, Ballarat.
Who: Greens Leader Greg Barber and local firefighters in uniform.
The first TV ad will screen during the 1st October TODAY show. The TV ad can be viewed here.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I first raised this matter on 26 June in this place. I will remind the house what this motion is about:
That this house expresses its concern that the Minister for Environment and Climate Change has granted coastal consent for the construction of a boat ramp at Bastion Point, Mallacoota, known as 'Option 3b' despite ...
The motion goes on to raise four points as salient reasons why that option should not go ahead. Those reasons were identified by an environment effects statement, a panel report, the former Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and others. The motion calls on the minister to release all the advice he relied upon for the decision and to fully explain the reasons for his decision. During the debate on the motion I explained that the minister has released eight pages outlining apparent reasons for the decision but that those eight pages do not contain any reasons or explanations for his decision. The minister needs to explain how his decision is consistent with the coalition's policy that the previous decision be reviewed, and he should visit East Gippsland to explain that decision.
Victorian Greens spokesperson on emergency services Colleen Hartland says the government missed an opportunity today to give fair protection to Victorian firefighters.
After filibustering twice in previous sittings the government today voted down a motion from Greens MP Colleen Hartland calling on the government to introduce the Fair Protection for Firefighters legislation into the Lower House.
"The government waited until firefighters were out of the room before they betrayed them and voted down my motion," said Colleen Hartland.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Environment and Climate Change. It relates to the plight of koalas that have been living in commercial blue gum plantations in south-west Victoria, as raised in the ABC's 7.30 Report on 22 July 2013. I am relying on the transcript of that program, which reported that ironically the blue gum plantations that are now part of failed management investment schemes have become places of refuge for koalas as their natural habitat dwindles, but as the plantations are harvested the native animals face deadly threats. They are turning out to be temporary and dangerous homes as the koalas often suffer serious injury and even death when the timber is harvested.