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.
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.
“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.
The 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 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.
“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.
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."
“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.
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.