Duck shooting days are over

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The 2014 duck shooting season ended on 9 June with cruelty and carnage -- as per usual -- but most notably with a low number of duck shooters. Despite last year's box flat massacre, when over 2000 native birds were shot, including some 200 protected and threatened freckled ducks, we discovered that these waterbirds are still being slaughtered. In the first week of this year's shooting season, rescuers recovered approximately 300 dead or wounded birds which had been shot and illegally left by shooters on just two wetlands, and this included 100 threatened freckled ducks. 

Dollar Bet safety standards on Pokies - Greens Bill introduced

Colleen Hartland Speech in Parliament
The Greens are committed to limiting the harm of gambling through evidence-based solutions.
Problem gambling is taking an enormous toll on Victorian families and our health system.
The financial stress causes family breakdown, drives people to crime, and can result in job loss. Depression and suicide are some of the worst impacts.
Many people enjoy a punt, but that is all it should be— a game, a bit of entertainment.
When people can lose thousands of dollars an hour on pokies, something needs to be done to limit the losses and the harm pokies can cause.
Up to 80 per cent of problem gambling is caused by poker machines, which are designed by the gambling industry to be highly addictive and to maximise losses.

Greens introduce pokies dollar bet limit law

Support action on problem gambling - sign the petition 

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.”

Support for increases in government transparency

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I find this to be an interesting bill, because it codifies the current convention for dealing with cabinet documents. It slightly decreases the time lines for public viewing of most documents and increases fines for inappropriate actions. 
However, in the process it seems to remove the minister's discretion to release cabinet documents at an earlier stage. 
Public Record Office Victoria is the archives of the state government, managed for the benefit of the government and the public. It was established in 1973 under its own act, but its records go back as far as the 1830s, before the establishment of the Colony of Victoria. The records are of bodies or processes managed or regulated by government, including the administration of justice, immigration, health and welfare, land, education, and so forth. There are records there from courts, local councils, schools, public hospitals and other public offices. At the office's reading rooms -- and there are a number of them around the state -- about 150 records are issued for viewing each day and it makes available some very good online publications

East West Tollroad - all roads lead to congestion

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I think, and I am sure many other Victorians think, that the east-west toll road is the stupidest project in Victoria's history. I am yet to hear anybody explain, in debate today or at any other time, how connecting three congested freeways to each other cures congestion. There is not a single fact that has been put forward today that has suggested this will do anything other than increase the amount of traffic pouring on and off toll road ramps into the inner city; but if you tease out some of the propositions put forward by the government in its introduction, you find those answers. These sorts of things will not be in the cheat sheets that have been handed out to government members, but the fact is that the government's so-called freight plan is a plan to massively increase truck traffic and will see rail's share of the freight task decline over time. 

Fair wages for community health workers

Colleen Hartland calls on the Governmen to fund the community health enterprise agreement.  
My question is for the Minister for Health. The community health enterprise agreement for community health physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, podiatrists and exercise physiologists expired in 2011. These workers are represented by the Victorian Health Professionals Association (VHPA) and have been without an enterprise bargaining agreement and wage rise for three years.

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.

How will proposed Stawell Bill Hill open cut mine be rehabilitated?

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- In the absence of the Minister for Health, the Greens question today goes to the Minister for Planning, Mr Guy. The minister has before him an environment effects statement (EES) for the Big Hill open-cut mine at Stawell. Submissions have closed. Many of the submissions go not just to the issues of health and amenity but also to the rehabilitation of this hill that is to be carved off right in the middle of town and -- we hope -- replaced. At the same time I note the government has under way a tender for the development of a rehabilitation bond model for mining and extractive industry sites in Victoria, no doubt getting ahead of the Hazelwood inquiry. Can the minister assure us that no final decision will be made on the Big Hill open-cut mine until the government has worked out what its model is for site rehabilitation? 

Vexatious Proceedings Bill 2014


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- According to the explanatory memorandum, the Vexatious Proceedings Bill 2014 introduces a new regime for the management and prevention of vexatious litigation in Victorian courts and tribunals, and aims to improve the effectiveness of the justice system by ensuring that unmeritorious litigation is disposed of at an early stage and that persons are prevented from wasting court time with further unmeritorious cases.

Witness Protection Amendement Bill 2014


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- George Brouwer, when he was Director of Police Integrity, noted in his review of the Victoria Police witness protection program published in July 2005 -- almost 9 years ago -- that:

Upholding the criminal law and maintaining civil order depend to a very large extent on the preparedness of witnesses to give evidence in court: if there is no witness, there can generally be no prosecution ... It is a duty of the justice system to protect witnesses; only rarely may they need protection against the ultimate violence of murder, but any intimidated witness, too frightened to speak out fully and truthfully, undermines the cause of justice.