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.

Adjournment: Family Violence


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Attorney-General. Recent media reports have highlighted that the Victorian systemic review of family violence deaths has only produced one report in five years, despite the fact that each year in Victoria approximately 40 per cent of all deaths attributed to homicide involve intimate partners and other family members.

In the recent Coroners Court annual report it was reported that from 1 January 2009 to 30 June 2013, 97 of the total of 254 determined and suspected homicides were classified as having an apparent relevance to the Victorian systemic review of family violence deaths. Yet despite the many cases that need analysing, the unit has been reduced to just one part-time worker specific to family violence since yearly funding attached to the review program was axed in 2010.

Tax law changes small step in the right direction

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Even after I was given the correct version of the second-reading speech I still struggled to understand how it is that this is building a better Victoria. Most of what is contained in the second-reading speech is the government blowing its own horn about how great its budget and its plan are. But in fact -- and I have pretty much said this every year for the last four years now -- this bill is a missed opportunity to introduce significant reform of state taxes that is so needed. 
The benchmarking by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission - remember it? - suggests that Victoria's worst economic performance relative to other states is in the area of taxation. This is largely driven by Victoria's relatively inefficient mix of taxes, with the state relying more heavily on inefficient land transfer stamp duties and insurance taxes than any other Australian jurisdiction. 
Land transfer stamp duties are inefficient because they discourage people from buying and selling houses, meaning that Victoria's housing stock is not optimally used. It is ironic then that what is being introduced in this bill is a planning permit tax on large developments. That has been put in so the government can create a body -- the Metropolitan Planning Authority -- that presumably can tell us what is wrong with our city and how to fix it. 

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.  

State budget leaves Victoria behind

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Having looked carefully at these budget papers, I have discovered that the budget is visionless and careless; that its centrepiece project, soaking up $18 billion, is a project from 1969; that climate change is ignored; that economic change is neglected; that social crises are addressed, if at all, as an afterthought; and that given the size of the accumulated surpluses -- with $11 billion in surpluses and a $21 billion cash flow after operations, there are hardly any excuses to be made. 



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 call for new emergency department at Footscray

The Greens are calling for redevelopment of the Footscray Emergency and Inpatient precinct following the National Health Performance Authority report found it to be the worse performing emergency department in Victoria and the second worst in Australia.

"It's a disgrace that Footscray is the worst-performing hospital in Victoria and the second worst in Australia for emergency department wait times*," said Greens MP for the Western Suburbs Colleen Hartland.

"Not only is Footscray not keeping up with demand, but the aged infrastructure is at the end of it's useable life."

"Regardless of how fantastic nurses and doctors are, the hospital infrastructure limits their ability to deliver healthcare. Some emergency consultation cubicles are too small and cannot be used, for example."