All horses birthday reminder to ban jumps racing: Greens

"All horses birthday is a timely reminder to remember the four victims that the 2014 Victorian Jumps Racing season has already claimed due to this cruel and deadly sport," Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik MLC said today.

"Jumps racing has long been banned across Australia, but inexplicably, is still allowed in Victoria and South Australia. If jumps racing was banned in Victoria, it would probably not be viable for it to continue in South Australia.

"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.

No place for religious proselytising in government schools

“The recent ministerial directive clarifying what is and is not permitted in public schools regarding religious activities is welcome, as there has been a lot of pushing of the boundaries in schools by religious ‘volunteers’,” Greens spokesperson on Education, Sue Pennicuik said today.

“The directive has come about after complaints that religious volunteers are breaching guidelines and I have heard of this occurring from a number of sources.”

The government is correct in making it clear that activities such as religious ‘clubs’ run by external ‘volunteers’ and the distribution of religious material is not permitted under the act.

“Public schools are secular and so religious proselytising and distribution of religious material has no place,” Ms Pennicuik said.
 

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.

Click here to sign the petition. 

“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."

The Greens plan to increase train numbers by up to 50%

Documents obtained by the Greens using Freedom of Information laws show which of our train lines are getting more overcrowded.

Melbourne’s trains are overcrowded and don’t run often enough. We can run more trains more often on our existing train system. The antiquated train signalling system is a key factor holding us back.

The Government, and the previous Labor Government, have dithered while the problem has been getting worse. Meanwhile, the Greens have a plan to inrease the the number of trains by up to 50%.

Let solar citizens have their share

26/06/2014
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Energy and Resources, Mr Northe. May 2014 was the hottest May since records have been kept. It was also the 351st consecutive month of above-average temperatures when measured on a global level. If I flipped a coin 351 times and got 351 heads, I would know there was something wrong with that coin. It is pretty clear to anybody -- it should certainly be clear to the minister -- that global warming is happening, and it is happening because of human activity. In the meantime the development of the solar energy industry in Victoria, which certain members of the government purport to have some fondness for, is being held back by the annoying and pernicious red tape that is put in the way of ordinary citizens and in some cases businesses putting solar panels on their roofs. 

Fines, Bills and vulnerable victims

26/06/2014
FINES REFORM BILL 2014
 
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Greens certainly concur with the last few remarks made by the spokesperson from the opposition. It is for those reasons -- the wide-ranging nature of the bill, its complexity, the sensitivity of the reforms and their impact on some of our most vulnerable groups -- that the Greens believe the Fines Reform Bill 2014 could do with some further scrutiny. Apparently it zipped through the lower house with very little scrutiny, but our suggestion is that a bill of this nature, which, as Ms Mikakos pointed out, is not due to enter into force until next year anyway, could be scrutinised by the Legal and Social Issues Legislation Committee. We have a referral motion to that effect. 

Yes, even Palmer gets it

26/06/2014
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- If even Clive Palmer gets it, you have to wonder what is wrong with the Victorian Liberal Party. At a joint press conference with former US Vice-President Al Gore, Mr Palmer noted that $415 billion of investment and 18 400 jobs were at risk if the renewable energy target were to be scrapped -- a subject which received some debate here in the Parliament yesterday. Hopefully the Liberal Party can now get over it and learn to live with the renewable energy target.