Greens MP to attend the opening of the duck shooting season

Who: Sue Pennicuik MLC, Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson 
When: Saturday 15 March, sunrise 
Where: Northern Victoria 
Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MLC will attend the opening of the duck shooting season, in northern Victoria.
“It is disappointing that Victorians have to endure another three months of state sanctioned slaughter of native water birds, that for the rest of the year are protected," Ms Pennicuik said. "Duck shooting should be banned in Victoria as it is in NSW, Qld and WA and it’s never been permitted in the ACT."

Small Business Commissioner Amendment Bill 2013


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Greens will support the Small Business Commissioner Amendment Bill 2013, which amends the functions and powers of the Office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) so that its jurisdiction covers more broadly commercial disputes rather than just unfair market practices.

Q - Apprenticeship and Traineeship Data


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My question is for the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Mr Peter Hall, and I take the opportunity to extend my best wishes to Mr Hall on the occasion of his retirement today.

Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Bill 2013


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Bill 2013 is a huge bill; it is some 561 pages long. It is the result of a national process via the Council of Australian Governments and the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General going way back -- 10 years -- to 2004.

Adjournment - Religious Education


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The matter I raise is for the attention of the Minister for Education, and it concerns the provision of special religious instruction (SRI) in Victorian government schools, in particular by Access Ministries, which provides about 80 per cent of all SRI. I have raised questions about this in Parliament on several occasions -- in 2010, 2011 and last year in April and June. The questions have been around issues such as how Access Ministries gains access to schools, the funding received by it, how its curriculum is or is not approved and the level of funding provided to it.

State of the Climate


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Last week the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released the third biennial State of the Climate report, the contents of which should be of great import to governments at all levels. The federal Minister for Environment, the Honourable Greg Hunt, famously said that he did not need the Climate Commission and could rely on the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. The report of those two organisations states:

Stonnington Planning Scheme


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I move:

That, pursuant to section 38 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Amendment C190 to the Stonnington planning scheme be revoked.

On 3 February the Minister for Planning signed off on a letter that was received by the Stonnington City Council on 13 February advising the council that, following a request from the Minister for Education, the minister had decided to exercise the power under section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to exempt himself from notice and prepare, adopt and approve amendment C190 to the Stonnington planning scheme.

Liberals locking up National Parks


Mr LEANE (Eastern Metropolitan) -- I move:
    That this house notes that --
        (1) after promising to lower the cost of living and failing, the Napthine government has put a further impost on Victorian families by hiking camping fees at some sites in national parks up to $60 a night, as well as putting a charge on 11 national parks where camping was previously free; and
        (2) this will have a harmful effect on families that can only choose affordable holidaying options and will definitely result in the Napthine government having to face more unhappy campers at next year's election.


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I am very pleased that Mr Leane has brought this motion before the house, because I am very unhappy with this proposal to raise camping fees for our national parks. It is not a very egalitarian thing to do, is it? The national parks belong to everybody, and they are to be enjoyed by everybody.

Morwell: a public disaster demands an open inquiry


Mr SCHEFFER (Eastern Victoria) -- I move:
    That --
    (1) this house --
        (a) notes the --
            (i) severe impact the coal fire in the Hazelwood open-cut mine is having on the town of Morwell and other nearby locations in the Latrobe Valley;
            (ii) complexity of the fire and the difficult circumstances in the mine under which firefighters and other personnel are operating;
            (iii) delayed response by government departments and agencies in providing information, services, and assistance to the community;
            (iv) conjecture about the fire prevention, electricity redundancy, and rehabilitation strategies in place and the extent to which the incident could have been avoided or the severity reduced; and
            (v) announcement by the government that the Honourable Bernard Teague, AO, will head a board of inquiry into the circumstances and events surrounding the Hazelwood fire;
        (b) further notes that the Premier's announcement makes no commitment to the public release of the inquiry's findings or any requirement to report to the Parliament;
        (c) urges the board of inquiry to conduct public hearings in, but not limited to, the Latrobe Valley, and to specifically call as witnesses:
            (i) the Secretary of the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation;
            (ii) the Secretary of the Department of Health;
            (iii) the Secretary of the Department of Human Services;
            (iv) the Environmental Protection Authority;
            (v) the chief health officer, Dr Rosemary Lester;
            (vi) the fire services commissioner, Mr Craig Lapsley;
            (vii) the chief officer, Country Fire Authority;
            (viii) the chief commissioner, Victoria Police;
            (ix) the State Emergency Services;
            (x) GDF SUEZ;
            (xi) SP AusNet;
            (xii) the United Firelighters Union;
            (xiii) Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria;
            (xiv) Advance Morwell;
            (xv) the CFMEU Mining and Energy Division;
            (xvi) Latrobe Community Health Service;
            (xvii) Latrobe City Council;
            (xviii) any contractors the committee deems appropriate; and
            (xix) any other witnesses the committee may seek to call.
    (2) the house will consider the contents of the report in September 2014.


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I thank Mr Scheffer for moving this motion in the house. It is totally appropriate that the house has an opportunity to express its view about how the inquiry into an incident as impactful as this might set about its task and what matters should be covered.

Every year there's more reasons to cut the Grand Prix loose

“Every year the Grand Prix comes around reminding us of all the reasons to cut it loose,” Sue Pennicuik, Greens MP for the Southern Metropolitan Region, said today.

"The first is the mounting costs to Victorian taxpayers. Since the event was first staged in 1996, the 'government contribution' or operating loss of the event, i.e., the cost to Victorian taxpayers adds up to around half a billion dollars and that doesn't include the millions in hidden costs," Ms Pennicuik said. "With the government making cuts to other budgets, this is unacceptable - it has to stop."