Viva Delspec, a 7yo bay gelding (male) was put down after suffering a knee injury at Warrnambool yesterday at only the second race of the 2014 Victorian Jumps Racing season which runs until 28 September.
Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MLC said she is dismayed that yet another horse has been killed in a jumps race and is calling again on the government to ban this cruel and barbaric ‘sport.’
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?
Colleen Hartland calls on the government to restore and increase funding to public and community housing after exposing recent cuts and that Victoira now spends the least per capita on social housing of any state or territory.
My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Housing. After examining the recently released Report on Government Services 2014, it is evident that under the Victorian coalition government social housing and the 34 000 people on public housing waiting lists have been left to languish.
Under the coalition government total real expenditure on social housing has dropped from $1.55 billion in 2010–11 to $673 million in 2012–13.
The Greens have welcomed the Victorian Mental Health Act passed this week as a big step forward, but flawed practices which potentially impact children and women's health have been allowed continued. The Greens say it is a huge missed opportunity.
While The Greens were successful in getting up an important gender identity amendment, the government and Labor's rejection of other Greens initiatives means that children can continue to receive electroconvulsive treatment and there is no principle included that women should be housed separate to men where possible.
"The Greens identified gender identity as critical to be excluded from the definition of a mental illness. Our community members have a right to express their gender identity without fear of this being labelled a mental illness,” said Victorian Greens spokesperson on health, Colleen Hartland.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- On 15 March I attended the opening of the duck shooting season at Lake Elizabeth near Kerang in northern Victoria. While few ducks were shot at Lake Elizabeth, the Department of Environment and Primary Industries officers were very focused on enforcing new fines and banning orders on duck rescuers.
Sadly, over the course of the morning we received reports of another massacre of native water birds, including protected freckled ducks at Lake Lonsdale, near Stawell, where very few Department of Environment and Primary Industries officers appeared to be present.
Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament regading the Mental Health Bill 2014
Forty-five per cent of Australians will experience mental ill health at some stage in their lives, and we need a mental health system that can support people with mental illness to live full and healthy lives. The Greens strongly welcome the introduction of a new act to govern the treatment of people with mental illness. The current act was developed in 1986 and is well out of date with respect to modern thinking on mental health. We are pleased to see the shift towards a human rights approach where mental health services are obliged to provide the least restrictive assessment and treatment and where patients receiving mental health services are involved in all decisions about their care. We see this bill as a step forward.
Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MLC, attended the opening of the duck shooting season, at Lake Elizabeth, near Kerang in northern Victoria.
“While few ducks were shot at Lake Elizabeth, I was glad to see DEPI officers present to ensure the safety of the large number of swans that were there. Every year, we see swans illegally shot and left on the water to die,” Ms Pennicuik said. “The officers, however, seemed more focussed on enforcing new fines and banning orders on duck rescuers.”
“Sadly, over the course of the morning, we received reports of another massacre of native water birds, including protected freckled ducks at Lake Lonsdale, near Stawell, where very few DEPI officers appeared to be present.
“Every year the Grand Prix comes around reminding us of all the reasons to cut it loose,” Sue Pennicuik, Greens MP for the Southern Metropolitan Region, said today.
"The first is the mounting costs to Victorian taxpayers. Since the event was first staged in 1996, the 'government contribution' or operating loss of the event, i.e., the cost to Victorian taxpayers adds up to around half a billion dollars and that doesn't include the millions in hidden costs," Ms Pennicuik said. "With the government making cuts to other budgets, this is unacceptable - it has to stop."
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber today called on the Premier to ensure that Morwell residents are consulted over the terms of reference of the Board of Inquiry into the Hazelwood coal mine fire.
"The government is on the back foot again, belatedly announcing an inquiry without any terms of reference. The people of Morwell should be consulted over the terms of reference for this inquiry, because they suffered the health and pollution impact of the fire," said Greg Barber MLC.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says the state government needs to close wetlands to hunters where endangered water birds have been sighted, ahead of duck shooting season commencing on 15 March.
"Last year, we saw a massacre of more than one hundred Freckled Ducks and other protected species at Box Flat on the opening morning. Despite hundreds of hunters being there, no one has been charged or convicted of anything.
"Clearly the shooters can't police themselves, the government isn't willing or able to, so the solution is to close all wetlands where rare or threatened species are present."
"I'm calling on bird watchers report any sighting of Freckled Ducks, which we will put on our website. But really, it's the government who should be doing this job."
Greens MP for the Western Suburbs, Colleen Hartland, launched the ‘Rescue TAFE in the West’ Report today. The Greens used the report to call on the Napthine Government to reinstate the funding cuts to TAFE Institutes in Melbourne's western suburbs to provide re-skilling opportunities to the thousands of Western Suburbs manufacturing workers set to lose their jobs.
"With the loss of many manufacturing jobs in the Western Suburbs, we need our public TAFEs to provide re-skilling opportunities more than ever," said Colleen Hartland.
"It is heartless and wrong-headed to cut $40 million per annum from Victoria University when there is such great need for quality re-skilling opportunities in the West. This is the equal highest cut to any TAFE in Victoria."
Yesterday 92,000 Victorians cleaned up more than 3,000 tonne of rubbish from our creeks, streets, parks and beaches on Clean Up Australia Day. The Greens say we can prevent most of this litter hitting the ground with a Cash for Containers scheme.
"Drink containers are now the largest proportion of littler collected on Clean Up Australia day. We could stop this litter before it hits the ground with a 10 cent refund on bottle and cans," said Victorian Greens spokesperson on waste and recycling, Colleen Hartland.
"A Cash for Containers scheme is supported by 85 per cent of Victorians* as well as the Premier."
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber today called on Premier Denis Napthine to start evacuating the most vulnerable people affected by the Hazelwood coal mine fire.
Mr Barber said, ‘Premier Denis Napthine needs to step up, show leadership and do everything required to protect the health of the people of Morwell.
‘Premier Napthine has to step in and take direct responsibility for the Hazelwood coal fire health crisis.
‘This morning we had a nice gesture with the Premier offering his house in Port Fairy as a safe respite for one family from Morwell, but his job as Victoria’s leader is to fix the problem for all 13,000 people of Morwell.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- This Sunday, 23 February, will be the fourth anniversary of the Save Live Australia's Music (SLAM) rally, when 20 000 people march from the State Library of Victoria to Parliament House in support of live music and to protest against the blanket security conditions that have been imposed on live music venues.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber is calling on the state government to put a freeze on gas drilling planned for Gippsland.
"The government's moratorium is on fracking only. Companies like Lakes Oil are moving ahead with an application to do more drilling. The Minister for Resources should tell them 'no way'."
"The Premier and Deputy Premier need to intervene and ensure that Energy Minister does the right thing by regional communities and refuses the current drilling application from Lakes Oil."
The Greens condemn the Napthine Government over its dereliction of duty to fire services and community after the United Firefighters Union released a shocking list of equipment and staff shortfalls during recent fires.
“This is a damming account of the impacts of budget cuts to the MFB and CFA and failure to invest in desperately needed firefighters,” said Greens emergency services spokesperson Colleen Hartland.
“This is a dereliction of duty by the Napthine Government to our firefighters and community.”
Debate on the Sustainable Timber and Wildlife Amendment bill commenced in the state upper house this week.
"This bill is the first of two draconian pieces of legislation before the state parliament that are designed to shut down community scrutiny of government activity," Greens MP, Sue Pennicuik said. "The other is the Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment bill, which is still in the lower house.
"This bill is one of the most Orwellian named pieces of legislation I have seen in this parliament," Ms Pennicuik said. "Far from ensuring that logging is sustainable or that wildlife is protected, the bill shuts out the public and provides a free for all for loggers and duck shooters, with draconian penalties for people who enter forests or wetlands to protest or simply to observe what is happening on public land," she said.
“Evidence from five trials across Australia shows that voluntary pre-commitment does not work, it does not limit the harm of problem gambling,” said Victorian Greens spokesperson on Gambling Colleen Hartland.
“Voluntary pre-commitment has failed to limit problem gambling elsewhere in Australia and it will fail here in Victoria. The scheme is absolute rubbish and contrary to evidence on effective measure to reduce problem gambling."
ENERGY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (GENERAL) BILL 2013
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.
The Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill will be debated in state parliament this week. The bill expands the circumstances in which police and PSOs may direct a person to ‘move on’ from a public place.
"This bill fundamentally changes the rights of citizens to protest, demonstrate or picket a particular place," Victorian Greens Justice spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik MLC said. "Whether people are protesting about environmental, social or industrial issues, they will now be subject extended ‘move on’ and arrest powers."
Victorian Greens LGBTI spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik MLC will join the Pride March in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda this Sunday.
“I am excited to be starting the march with Australian Marriage Equality, representing the Greens' strong support for Marriage Equality across Australia," Ms Pennicuik said.
Sue will also be marching with the Victorian Greens along with Ellen Sandell, Greens candidate for Melbourne, Cr Neil Pilling, Glen Eira’s first Greens Mayor, Stonnington Council's first Green councillors, Cr Sam Hibbins and Cr Erin Davie, other Greens councillors from around Melbourne and many other Greens.
“The Greens have been campaigning for marriage to achieve full equality for many years," Ms Pennicuik said.