Western Suburbs community will fight for Trains not Tollways: Greens

The Greens have issued a warning to the government that the people of the Western Suburb will fight for Trains not Tollways in response to today's announcement that tenders have been called for the Westlink tollroad.

"The people of the Western Suburbs don’t want this dirty polluting tollway through their neighbourhoods. We’ve fought this off this proposal before and we’ll do it again” said Greens MP for the Western Suburbs Colleen Hartland.

"Every survey and poll shows Victorians want money spent on public transport over roads. Today’s announcement shows how the State government is out of touch with the community. Instead they see only profits for the road lobby."

"When the Westlink proposal last reared its ugly head in 2010, I held eleven community meetings and thousands of community members from across the Western Suburbs joined my community campaign."

Kilojoule labelling on fast food menu boards to be mandatory: Greens

Fast food - Honest menuesThe Victorian Greens have marked National Diabetes Week by announcing a state election commitment to implement mandatory kilojoule labelling on menu boards at all fast food outlets across the state.

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“With today’s busy lifestyles we are eating more fast-food every week, but we have no idea of the energy content of the food and what it might do to our waste line or to our risk of contracting diabetes,” said Victorian Greens health spokesperson, Colleen Hartland.

Re-open Goldfields Rail Line

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has committed to reopen Goldfields Rail Line passenger services to link the regional cities of Geelong, Ballarat, Maryborough, Castlemaine and Bendigo.

“The population along the Goldfields line has boomed since passenger trains were withdrawn in the late 1970s,” Mr Barber said.

“The Greens support a staged re-introduction of passenger services, with existing stations re-opened if possible, and other new low-cost stations constructed where required. 

Greens vow to stand with community to stop East West tollway

Join the growing movement and stop this tollroad

Greens MP for the Western Suburbs Colleen Hartland has vowed to continue to stand with the people of the Western Suburbs and stop the East West Tollway, instead building world-class public transport system for Melbourne. 
"The community don't want the East-West tollway, most local Council's don't want it, and transport experts advise against it. It's bad for our health, bad for air quality, bad for climate change and it's bad economics." 
"If Mr Napthine can't see these plain facts he is either deluded or other interests are pulling the strings." 
"I have been through this before in the West four years ago when the Labor government proposed WestLink - we've won before and we'll win again."

Greens introduce pokies dollar bet limit law

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The Greens have today introduced legislation to the Victorian Parliament for one dollar bet limits on the State’s poker machines.

“The Greens are determined to do something meaningful to help problem gamblers and their families,” said Victorian Greens spokesperson on gambling, Colleen Hartland.

“A one dollar limit on bets is the cheapest, most effective and most straight forward option for limiting the losses of problem gamblers.”

Greens support a strong public TAFE system on National TAFE Day

"Victoria needs a well-funded, public TAFE system. Our proven and respected public TAFEs were built up over decades with taxpayers’ money and have educated hundreds of thousands of Victorians based on the principle of affordable and accessible training for all”, said Victorian Greens education spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik .

"Today on National TAFE Day, it is important to draw attention to the damage that is being done to our pubic TAFEs here in Victoria”, Ms Pennicuik said.

Member's Statement: Karin Geradts


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Karin Geradts was a very special person who deeply touched the lives of those around her. Karin was a loving mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, aunty, cousin, teacher, mentor and dear friend to so many people. Karin was a primary school teacher, and the dozens of tributes to her from her current and former students are a testament to her inspiring, passionate and caring style of teaching. She was also a teacher to all who knew her -- teaching by example and with love how to be more honest, generous and brave, as she was.

V/Line performance remains unacceptable

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says that the performance of regional V/Line train services remains at an unacceptably low level.

"The monthly release of V/Line performance data has revealed on-time running performance is down again and remains below the target for punctuality, which isn't very good anyway,” Mr Barber said.

"A short haul trip can be five minutes late and a long haul trip ten minutes late while still being deemed 'on time'. That standard is not good enough when you are trying to get to work, an appointment, or make a connection with another public transport service."  

Community Health workers deserve decent wages

The Victorian Greens have called on the Napthine Government to provide decent wages to Community Health workers after three years of failed enterprise agreement negotiations.

Today in parliament, Greens MP Colleen Hartland called on the Napthine Government to provide funding to settle the wage dispute.

“Health Professionals such as Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Podiatrists that work in Community Health are the worst paid workers in their respective disciplines in any public or private workplace in any state in Australia,” Said Colleen Hartland, Victorian Greens spokesperson on health.

No delay on redress for child sex abuse victims

The Greens have joined Commission of Inquiry Now (COIN) in calling on the Napthine Government to lay out its plans and timelines for redress of the victims of child sex abuse.

Today in parliament, Greens MP Colleen Hartland, will call on the Napthine Government to provide response to the Betray of Trust Recommendations relating to redress for the victims of child sex abuse.

“The Betrayal of Trust report provided sound recommendations on redress for victims. We must act on these without delay,” said Colleen Hartland, Victorian Greens Spokesperson on Children.

Greens will make A Metre Matter in Victoria

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber will table a bill in Victorian Parliament today to make cycling safer by introducing minimum overtaking distances for motor vehicles passing bicycles.
“This Bill requires drivers travelling at 60km per hour or less to leave a distance of at least one metre when overtaking a bicycle rider, or 1.5 metres when travelling at more than 60km per hour,” Mr Barber said.
“The most common type of incident between on-road commuter cyclists and motor vehicles is side-swiping, which has disastrous consequences for riders.
This Bill will help drivers and bicycle riders share the road more safely. 
“The Greens are pushing to make cycling laws safer alongside the Amy Gillett Foundation’s ‘A Metre Matters’ campaign.  

Karin Geradts

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend Karin.

A strong and passionate spirit. Karin always stood up for the environment, equality and for animals.

Karin was a wise and generous elder who said it like it is. Karin made a difference.

We will miss her, she touched all our lives.

Vale Karin

Greg Barber, Colleen Hartland and Sue Pennicuik, Greens MPs and staff.


Labor should stop supporting Liberals

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has called on Daniel Andrews to use his newfound power to stop the East-West Toll Road.

“No government can exist without supply and confidence in the lower house,” Mr Barber said.

“We find ourselves in the bizarre position where the opposition is offering supply and confidence.

“Daniel Andrews says he opposes the east west toll road and wants the government not to sign contracts before the election, however Andrews is offering the supply and confidence that allows those contracts to be signed. 

Napthine plans to include gas in Renewable Energy Target

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says the State Government's proposal to include polluting fossil fuel gas in the Renewable Energy Target will be a huge hit to the earth and the hip pocket.

‘If Premier Denis Napthine has convinced himself that gas is a renewable energy source, then he is confused,” Mr Barber said.

“Nobody in the world thinks gas is a renewable form of energy. 

Greens accuse government of being unduly influenced on smoking reform


Today, on World No Tobacco Day, Greens MP Colleen Hartland has accused the Victorian government being unduly influenced by one of their major donors on smokefree policy.
“The Australian Hotels Association are outspoken lobbyists against banning smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas, and are also major donors to the Victorian Liberal and National parties. No other state party branch receives money from the AHA and all have banned smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas. I don't think this is coincidence,” said Victorian Greens spokesperson on health Colleen Hartland.

Greens say government should stop funding special religious education

The announcement today that the state government is going to 'overhaul' the way religion is taught in Victorian primary schools after it was found that volunteers breached its guidelines doesn't go far enough, Greens Education spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik said.

"There have been complaints about the way special religious education (SRI) is conducted in government schools for years," Ms Pennicuik said. “Not least of the concerns raised by parents, teachers and by me is that SRI is conducted in government schools, using volunteers who are not teachers and using materials that are not accredited by the department.”

Greens say no container port at Hastings

The Greens do not support the establishment of a container port at Hastings on Westernport Bay.

Greens MLC Sue Pennicuik says the state government is trying to avoid environmental protection laws in pushing through its Hastings Port proposal.

"The Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act, which was introduced by the Labor government, is a way for governments to avoid proper scrutiny of the environmental and social impacts of their favourite transport projects," Ms Pennicuik said.

"The Facilitation Act is a way for the state government to avoid complying with Victoria's environmental laws.*

Greens plan for 40 secure bike parking cages

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has announced a plan to install secure bicycle parking at 40 train stations across Melbourne, which will encourage cycling and public transport use while reducing dependence on cars.

Greg Barber said “many train stations across Melbourne have little or no secure bicycle parking, forcing commuters to risk damage or theft to their bike while it is chained to racks, railings or nearby fences.”

“The Greens will invest in 40 secure bicycle parking cages, making it safer and more convenient for more than 1000 cyclists to ride to the train each day. 

Napthine should back NSW Libs in support of Renewable Energy Target

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has called on Premier Denis Napthine to back the Renewable Energy Target, which is currently under threat of being watered down by the Federal Government.

"The NSW Premier understands that the Renewable Energy Target is good for the environment and good for jobs. Denis Napthine has too many MPs in his own party room who don't understand the RET, and he won't take them on," Mr Barber said. 

"The Premier has no vision and no plan for Victoria's solar and wind industry. Renewables are cheaper, cleaner and smarter, but Dr Napthine is sleepwalking while future industry is under threat.  

West Greens kick off election campaign and open campaign headquarters

The Greens in the Western Suburbs kicked of their 2014 election campaign with a celebration at their newly opened campaign headquarters known as The Greenhouse

"The Greenhouse will be bustling with volunteers right through to the state election on November 29. The Greens continue to be the fastest growing political party and its thanks to our grassroots community support," said Greens MP for the Western Suburbs Colleen Hartland.

"We don't receive multi-million dollar corporate donations, which comes with undue influence on the political process, but we do have the community behind us."

Greens will increase regional V/Line services by 50% to help country Victorians

The Victorian Greens have committed to increase V/Line coach services by 50% across regional Victoria.

“V/Line coaches are the only form of public transport for most of Victoria’s small towns, yet many routes run so infrequently that they cannot get people where they need to go when they need to get there.

“The lack of services means people rely on cars or just end up stuck with no means of getting to and from major regional centres, or on to Melbourne. 

Government halts gas drilling to silence protests

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has congratulated Gippsland residents on winning a short term halt to gas drilling.

"The government has listened to the community who've expressed their view loud and clear. Land and water for food production is the most precious thing we have, but fossil fuel exploration threatens both," Mr Barber said.

“The Seaspray community has campaigned strongly against onshore gas exploration, and this decision is a clear attempt to silence their protests. 

New law will punish, not protect abuse victims: Greens

The Victorian Greens will vote against clause 4 of the Crimes Amendment (Protection of Children) Bill 2014 saying it will worsen the impact of abuse on children by criminalising their non-abusive mothers.

Ten family violence and sexual assault advocacy organisations and the Federation of Community Legal Centres have called on the National Party to join the Greens and ALP in opposing Clause 4 of the bill.

"The Coalition Government has recklessly ignored the concerns of expert organisations and the Cummins Report* in progressing the law," said Victorian Greens spokesperson on children and youth, Colleen Hartland.

Jumps racing claims second victim in just five days - Greens say ban this deadly sport now

Elms, a seven-year-old gelding had to be put down on the track after severely fracturing his right fore cannon bone after the first obstacle in a restricted hurdle at Casterton yesterday.

Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MLC said she is dismayed and angry that yet another horse, the second in five days, has been killed in a Victorian jumps race.

“This brings the total deaths to three in Victoria which proves Racing Victoria's so-called safety measures are not working. The only way to guarantee safety is to end Jumps Racing which is 10 - 20 times more dangerous to horses than flat racing,” Ms Pennicuik said.

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Victoria missing out on benefits of clean energy: new report

Greg Barber MLC, leader of the Victorian Greens, said new modelling by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows Victorians will lose clean energy jobs and lower long-term energy prices if the federal government cuts the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Greg Barber said, "The Liberals are stifling the development of our renewable energy resources, which means Victoria misses out on jobs and other benefits.

"The Bloomberg New Energy Finance modelling shows the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will cut the cost of energy for households and businesses, plus bring jobs. 

Greens renew calls for jumps racing to be banned after another horse is killed on the track

Show Dancer, a seven-year-old gelding, was put down after suffering a horrific and brutal fall during the 3,400m steeplechase at Sandown Racecourse yesterday. Two other horses also fell.

Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MLC said she is deeply saddened and 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 so called ‘sport’.

Victorian Coalition fails integrity test on smokfree outdoor dining

As South Australia locks in smokefree outdoor dining from July 2016, the Victorian Greens have accused the Victorian Coalition Government of failing the integrity test by accepting massive donations from the Australian Hotels Association and being the only state in Australia that has not banned smoking in outdoor dining areas. 
“Victoria and South Australia are the only states that haven’t already implemented smoking bans in outdoor dining areas. Now South Australia has locked it in for July 2016. Victorian is out on a limb and looking dubious for failing to act,” said Victorian Greens health spokesperson Colleen Hartland.
“The Napthine Government has no backbone when it comes to making outdoor dining areas smokefree because it fears loosing hundreds of thousands from the Australian Hotels Association for its election slush fund.” 

State Government move will raise energy bills and greenhouse emissions

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says energy bills and greenhouse emissions will increase after the state government moves to scrap an energy saving scheme.

Mr Barber said "this scheme has helped hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses save money on their power bills, with free or low cost devices like light bulbs and solar hot water heaters.

"The government’s own report shows homes that participate would save thousands off their energy bills and for businesses, tens of thousands. 

Victoria vulnerable to drought, BoM report shows

Greens leader Greg Barber MLC said today's Bureau of Meteorology update on the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) shows that Victoria is at risk of several dry months. He called on the Victorian government to explain its plans to deal with impacts on agriculture, emergency management and water supply.
Greg Barber said, "The Bureau of Meteorology has upgraded its El Niño alert, warning that the Pacific Ocean is moving close to El Niño conditions.
"The return of El Niño raises important questions in this election year and the Premier needs to be open with the Victorian community. 

50 new trams to fix overcrowding

The Greens commit to order an additional 50 trams to fix overcrowding, Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber announced today.

“The Government has neglected Melbourne’s tram rolling stock in the face of worsening overcrowding,” said Greg Barber MLC.

Overcrowding has become worse in recent years:

- Passenger numbers grew by 30% in the ten years to 2011.

- During morning peak hour in the CBD, Melbourne’s tram lines are at 99% capacity on average, with some routes running at nearly 150%.

- The Government predicts an additional 16,000 tram trips will be made each day through 2014-15.

“The Government has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to trams,” said Greg Barber.