Greens call for committee inquiry into law permitting strip searching most vulnerable children

The Greens will call for an commitee inquiry into legislation that allows strip searches and isolation* of children in secure welfare protection, when the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Security Measures) Bill 2013 is debated in Victorian Parliament today.

"Secure welfare services are the most extreme form of child protection. The best practices in child welfare should be implemented, not invasive strip searches," said Colleen Hartland, Victorian Greens spokesperson for children and young people.

Tear up East West Tunnel contracts: Greens

31 July 2013 18:04 PM

PETER MITCHELL, PRESENTER 7 NEWS   The Prime Minister has ruled out funding for the East West Tunnel, drawing the battle lines for both the federal and state elections.  Seven News understands Mr Rudd has made the promise to the state labour opposition which today declared it’s not in favour of the tunnel.  More from Brendan Donohoe.

Q WorkSafe Victoria


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My question is for the Assistant Treasurer, and it relates to the reintroduction of the Victorian WorkCover Authority as the public name, face and brand replacing the now publicly familiar name WorkSafe, which is an eponymous term that immediately conveys its meaning -- not so with the term Victorian WorkCover Authority. The name WorkSafe Victoria has been used since 2007 and has high public recognition. I understand it cost $50 million to establish the branding and assume it will cost millions more to rebrand. My question to the minister is: what is the compelling reason behind the name change from WorkSafe to the Victorian WorkCover Authority?

Victoria spends least on public and community housing


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.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment Bill 2014


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment Bill 2014 makes four key changes to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998. The changes will enable the tribunal when exercising its review function to invite an original decision-maker to reconsider the decision; enable the tribunal to make an order in relation to fees, separate from its power to award costs; introduce a legislative scheme for the tribunal in relation to expert witnesses and their evidence; and provide a range of mechanical and technical amendments to improve the tribunal's ability to manage proceedings.

Respect for Public Transport Users Association


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Public Transport Users Association was founded in 1976 as the Train Travellers Association and became prominent after the controversial Lonie report recommended huge freeway expansion and the closure of many public passenger transport services in Melbourne. The Lonie report was produced by Murray Lonie, who was a former General Motors executive. He was reporting to the then transport minister, Rob Maclellan.

Mental Health Act a missed opportunity for children and women's health

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.

Sustainable economy and cost savings not backed by this government



Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Victoria has a diverse and growing economy, but we all understand that the manufacturing sector has some particular challenges that deserve the close attention of government.

Unfortunately, as anyone can see, this government is simply drifting along and has been for nearly an entire parliamentary term. It is totally focused on its own internal problems, and it is ignoring these very real challenges and the measures that need to be taken.

No clean up support for Morewell public housing residents


Collen Hartland questions Housing Minister over clean up support for Morwell public housing residents

My question is to the Minister for Housing, Ms Lovell. It relates to the major disaster in Morwell resulting from the month-long fire in the Hazelwood mine. Aside from the important concerns about the health impacts on residents, there are also important concerns regarding the material impact of the fly-ash that has blanketed many areas of Morwell. It is in people’s homes, cars and properties. In some cases it has caused damage to homes, and the clean-up costs may be beyond what many can afford, particularly those living in public housing. As there are several hundred Department of Human Services (DHS) houses in Morwell, what programs are in place to decontaminate and clean these houses?

East West Link benefits who?


Mr TEE (Eastern Metropolitan)—I welcome the opportunity to move:
   That this house—
     (1) notes that the business case for the proposed east–west link, ordered by the resolution of the Council on 11 December 2013 to be tabled in the Council by 19 February 2014, has not been received by the Council;
     (2) notes the letter of 19 February 2014 from the Minister for Roads in response to the Council’s resolution did not include the business case or any commitment to release the business case;
     (3) affirms the privileges, immunities and powers conferred on the Council pursuant to section 19 of the Constitution Act 1975;
     (4) affirms the need to protect the high standing of Parliament and to ensure that the Council may properly discharge its duties and responsibilities; and
     (5) requires the Leader of the Government to table by 6May 2014 a copy of the business case for the proposed east–west link.


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- When Mr Tee finished talking about how bad the proposed east-west toll road will be I was even more convinced than I was before hearing him that this is a bad project for Victoria. What I am not sure about is why, if he can articulate so clearly how this project will not stack up environmentally, socially or economically, he would want to build it.