Lib and Lab choose pokies over people - problem gambling harm to continue

Victorian Greens gambling spokesperson Colleen Hartland says that both the Coalition and Labor voting down the Greens Pokies Bill today shows they care more for their political donors than the Victorian people.
Both Labor and the Coalition voted against the Greens Dollar Bet limits Bill today in the Victorian Parliament. 
"It's a sad day for families affected by problem gambling,"said Victorian Greens spokesperson on gambling Colleen Hartland.
"The Napthine Government is addicted to gambling revenue and beholden to the lobby groups who donate hundreds of thousands to the Victorian Liberal party, and Labor isn't too far behind.”

Question without Notice: Live music venues


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My question without notice is to the Minister for Planning, and it is in regard to the announcement regarding live music and the agent of change principle -- that is, a new provision and practice note due, according to the live music action agenda, in August-September. Can the minister provide details of the particular provision and practice note and how these will be enforced in practice?

TAFE in trouble: VAGO

Greens MP Sue Pennicuik says a new report by the Auditor General shows Victoria's TAFEs are in financial trouble due to Labor and Liberals funding policies.

"The Labor and Liberal parties won't admit their policies have been a failure,” Ms Pennicuik said.

"The policies kicked off by Labor and continued under the Liberals have done damage to the efficient, effective and trusted TAFE system.

Crimes Amendment (Abolition of Defensive Homicide) Bill 2014


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Crimes Amendment (Abolition of Defensive Homicide) Bill 2014 is an interesting bill. Clause 3 abolishes the offence of defensive homicide. This has engendered mixed views among stakeholders. On balance the majority of stakeholders do not support the abolition of the offence of defensive homicide, because of the need to ensure that women who kill their partners within the context of family violence -- based on a reasonable belief that they need to do so in order to prevent their own death or serious injury -- are not convicted of murder; on balance the majority of stakeholders believe that the offence of defensive homicide should be retained.

Sentencing Amendment (Baseline Sentences) Bill 2014


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The bill we have before us, the Sentencing Amendment (Baseline Sentences) Bill 2014, amends the Sentencing Act 1991 to provide for baseline sentences for a number of indictable offences, including murder, culpable driving, trafficking in large quantities of drugs and three offences regarding sexual abuse of children. It also amends the Crimes Act 1958 to fix the baseline sentences for those offences. It also amends the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 with regard to the offence of trafficking a large quantity of drugs of dependence.

Working With Children Amendment (Ministers of Religion and Other Matters) Bill 2014


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Greens are supportive of the Working with Children Amendment (Ministers of Religion and Other Matters) Bill 2014.

The main purpose of the bill is to amend the Working with Children Act 2005 to provide for the protection of children to be the paramount consideration when administering the act.

As the minister outlined in his second-reading speech, that is because the High Court has ruled that if there is to be an overriding purpose, it needs to be explicitly stated in the act. Of course everybody in the community would agree that the protection of children should be the paramount concern of the Working with Children Act 2005.

Napthine government signs another grand prix secret deal costing taxpayers millions

“After twelve months of so-called ‘tough negotiations’, the Premier Napthine government  has surprised no-one by signing another secret deal with Mr Ecclestone, that appears to be set to cost taxpayers another $250 million”, Greens MP for Southern Metropolitan Region said today.

“If that is the case, by the time the new contract expires, the grand prix will have cost Victorians around a billion dollars at a time when millions have been slashed from schools, TAFE, justice and health budgets.

"All that Premier Napthine and Minister for Major Events, Louise Asher have ‘secured’ for Melbourne is another five years of wasted taxpayers money,” Ms Pennicuik. “The government won’t even release details of how good a deal it supposedly is, because it isn’t. It will still be a huge cost to taxpayers with exaggerated benefits.

Government delays smokefree health reform by 2 years: Greens

Smokefree diningThe Victorian Greens health spokesperson Colleen Hartland has accused the government of playing politics with people's health by delaying smokefree health reforms by two years.

"We know banning smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas works to reduce smoking and Victoria is the only state that has not already made it law," said Victorian Greens health spokesperson Colleen Hartland.

"The government’s refusal to support the Greens smokefree bill*, and now announcing their own plan, is playing politics with people's health. This political game playing has delayed this important health reform by two years."

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.