State budget – another big let-down for education

The state budget is another big let-down for everyone who cares about education, Victorian Greens Education spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik has said today.

“Victoria has been the lowest spending of any state government on education for many years. This Coalition government has taken millions of dollars out of in-school programs, such as EMA and VCAL and closed regional offices that provided much needed support for schools. This budget does nothing to repair that damage or lift our education spending above the national average,” Ms Pennicuik said.

...aaaaaaaaand ACTION!

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Greens will support this bill as being an appropriate measure. Back in the days when I was a councillor and one-time mayor of the City of Yarra, we received a lot of applications for filming within our council area. There are a lot of inner city locations which provided an eclectic or bohemian type of background to some of the films that were being made, including a whole series of Australian-based drama or comedy-drama series. 

The right to farm

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Apparently it is all about cutting red tape. Mr Elsbury is the cutting-red-tape guy now, but before the election his party was facing 180 degrees in the other direction. Its policy on agriculture -- and I have a copy with me today -- under the heading 'The right to farm', says: 
   A Liberal-Nationals coalition government will: 
        ... Require section 32 statements to detail prominent noises and smells to ensure potential owners of rural property acknowledge and accept they exist prior to purchasing. 
It is common ground. Mr Leane, as the independent umpire, will tell us that this bill does not do that. This bill does the opposite of that. 

No breaks for Collingwood Children's Farm or Abbotsford Convent

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The bill comes in a number of separate parts. There is a section in relation to the congestion levy, which the Greens will be supporting. However, we intend to move an amendment to create an exemption for the Abbotsford Convent area. There is a section in relation to the fire services levy, which we will support. There is also a section amending the Valuation of Land Act 1960, which we will support. My colleague Ms Hartland will address the section on gaming taxes later in the debate. 

Don't repeat Kennett's mistakes with councils

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I was momentarily stunned when I opened my copy of the Herald Sun on Sunday and read that Daniel Andrews, the Leader of the Opposition, had resuscitated a failed Kennett government-era policy of local government rate capping. 'It's time to do something about the council rates, the wasteful spending and the lack of transparency', Mr Andrews thundered. 

Budget's family violence funding pathetic


In Parliament today the Greens will call on the government to meet with the families of victims of family violence, after the paltry budget response to this prevalent problem.
“Instead of the urgent minimum $16 million requested by service providers for the state-wide roll-out for the Strengthening Risk Management project, the government has announced just $4.5 million,” said  Victorian Greens spokesperson on women Colleen Hartland.

“This project would create multi-agency high risk task forces across Victoria as the first step in a system-wide approach to holding violent perpetrators accountable for their behaviour.”

“In the wake of the murder of Fiona Warzywoda, I am shocked by the Napthine Government’s appalling neglect of the issue.”

Greens move to support right to farm defeated by Liberal Nationals Coalition

A Greens amendment to support the Victorian Farmers Federation and the Right to Farm was voted down by the Liberal Nationals Coalition government in Victorian Parliament yesterday. 
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber made two attempts to have legislation that would remove the commercial farming advice on land sale contracts examined and redrafted to support the Right to Farm and the Victorian Farmers Federation. He read out the Liberal Nationals Coalition's Right to Farm pre-election promise from the last state election in support of the move, but the Liberal Nationals Coalition MPs voted as a block to defeat the Greens. 

Greens oppose increase in pokies losses


Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament regarding the State Taxation Legislation Amendment Bill 2014.

Mr Barber has, as usual, addressed extremely well most of what the Greens needed to discuss. I will deal with just the issues around pokies and gambling which are addressed in clauses 25 and 26. I will be quite brief now and will be asking questions during the committee stage.

Clause 25 increases the losses on average pokies machines from 13 per cent to 15 per cent. The Greens oppose this clause because it will increase the losses on pokies.

Healthy farmers, healthy farms

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Right until the last part of Mr Ramsay's contribution I thought we were going to achieve consensus. The motion calls on the Victorian government to provide support to the National Centre for Farmer Health

Meet with the families of the victims of family violence

My adjournment matter today is for the Honourable Wendy Lovell on behalf of the Minister for Community Services, Ms Mary Wooldridge.
Last month, Fiona Warzywoda, mother of four, was stabbed to death at the corner of Hampshire and Devonshire roads in Sunshine, allegedly by her abusive partner. 
Her death was an incredible shock to the community.