Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I move:
That this house calls on the state government to implement a permanent ban on the exploration or development of unconventional gas fossil fuels across Victoria.
Back in August I attended a fiery rally here in Melbourne.
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Finn) -- Order! I must caution members of the gallery that the showing or display of signs or stickers is not something the Chair will tolerate. I ask members of the gallery to take that into consideration.
Mr BARBER -- That rally was attended by hundreds of Gippsland farmers and their friends from the local community. They presented a petition, which I tabled in Parliament some weeks ago. Bearing 5000 signatures, the petition met the requirements of the Victorian Parliament. Many thousands more signatures were received in electronic format, and I have them available for any member who would like to inspect them. Parliament has not quite caught up with the internet age and does not yet accept electronic online petitions, but I am sure we can remedy that very soon.
With this motion I invite members of the Labor and Liberal parties and The Nationals to put a stop to the devastating impacts we have seen from widespread gas extraction in other states. This is a phenomenon we are about to see popping up very soon here in Victoria.
STATE TAXATION AND FINANCIAL LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2013
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Greens will also support the State Taxation and Financial Legislation Amendment Bill 2013. The bill contains a number of quite small provisions designed to pick up on various anomalies or various newly emerging issues that need to be corrected in law.
I note also that we amending the Land Tax Act 2005 to extend the principal place of residence exemption to land owned by the trustee of a special disability trust that is used as the primary residence of the principal beneficiary of the special disability trust.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- My Greens colleagues and I wholeheartedly support the motion brought forward by Mr David Davis, and we echo the statements of the other party leaders in this place. We are gratified that there have been early announcements of direct assistance from both the Victorian and federal governments, and we hope that as the logistics fall into place there will be continuing announcements of the necessary assistance.
In addition to expressing our sympathies on behalf of the community we represent, it is also our responsibility as leaders to understand this tragedy and to explain it to our communities and of course through our actions to demonstrate that we are, as the motion invites us to endorse, supporting the rescue, relief and recovery.
SPEECH: Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan) —
My adjournment matter today is for the Minister for Mental Health, the Honourable Mary Wooldridge. Exposure to hepatitis C and hepatitis B in Australian prisons usually comes through sharing drug injecting equipment. These diseases affect the liver and can lead to liver disease, liver cancer and ultimately death.
In 2011 the Victorian Ombudsman’s investigation into prisoner access to health care made some very concerning findings regarding access to health. Amongst other things it revealed that 41 per cent of Victorian prisoners have hepatitis C, compared to 1 per cent of the general population. This appalling figure demonstrates a neglect of prisoner health on the part of the government. In the past two years nothing has changed.
SPEECH: Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan) —
This morning I took part in the blockade of Somerville Road, Yarraville, outside the Kingsville Primary School, organised by the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group.
The blockade was in support of a request the Maribyrnong City Council made to government that it place a curfew on Somerville Road at the start and end of each school day.
The Maribyrnong Truck Action Group and local residents organised the blockade because they feel the government is simply not listening to them and will not acknowledge that there is a problem.
The Greens have released Lakes Oil operations plans for unconventional gas fracking on farms in the Bellarine and Otways regions, on the same day Parliament will debate a Greens motion to ban fracking. The plans were obtained by Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber by freedom of information.
Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament. My adjournment matter today is for the attention of the Minister for Housing.
The Social Housing Advocacy and Support Program (SHASP) provides support to public housing tenants to prevent homelessness. It helps households to maintain their tenancy in situations where there is a risk of it breaking down. Since its operation began in 2006, it has been a remarkable success, reducing eviction rates by half and thus preventing homelessness for thousands of individuals and families. Despite this fantastic record, funding to SHASP has been cut from $7.4 million in 2011-12 to $5.8 million in 2012-13 and $4.7 million in 2013-14.
Colleen Hartland - Speech in Parliament regarding the Tobacco Amendment Bill 2013. This bill seems familiar to me, and indeed it is. Many of the elements of this bill are very similar to my recent Tobacco Amendment (Smoking in Outdoor Areas) Bill 2012, which the government voted against. There is one gaping difference between the two bills: the government has once again failed to include a ban on smoking in alfresco drinking and dining areas. This year the Victorian government won the Dirty Ashtray Award primarily for its failure to ban smoking in outdoor areas and also for failing to introduce new reforms. While the reforms introduced by this bill address the latter concern, the most glaring example of inaction remains.
Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament. Yesterday I had the honour of attending the memorial service for Lesley Hall. Many people may know Lesley as a fierce warrior for people in the disability community. Lesley had lived with a lifelong disability that she never allowed to get in her way.
It is a week now since Lesley died very suddenly and unexpectedly, and in remembering her I kept thinking about an amazing photo, which I will just hold up; people can come and have a look at it later if they want to. Lesley was one of those disabled women who challenged Yooralla in the early 1980s over the issues of the Miss Victoria beauty quest. She was the bold woman who stood on the stage and forced Yooralla to actually look at the way they were treating disabled people. She has been pivotal in advocacy for the national disability insurance scheme.