Smoke-free Prisons - get it right, Minister

Colleen Hartland - Speech in Parliament. I rise today on behalf of the Greens to speak on the Corrections Amendment (Smoke-Free Prisons) Bill 2014. I do not think anyone in this chamber would doubt that the Greens are extremely passionate about tobacco reform. As most people here would know, smoking kills around 4000 Victorians every year. That is more than the road toll, alcohol and drugs combined. It is the greatest public health issue of our time, and a range of measures can be taken to help further reduce smoking rates. However, banning smoking in prisons would not have been at the top of my priority list. At the top of my list is banning smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas.

Government breaks promise on Brimbank elections

Western Suburbs Greens MP Colleen Hartland has accused the Victorian Coalition Government of being untrustworthy after breaking its promise to hold the Brimbank City Council elections in March 2015. This week in parliament the Government has legislated for a further 19 months delay on Brimbank City Council elections, on top of the two and a half year delay they legislated in 2012.
“In 2012, when the local council elections were delayed two and a half years, the Minister guaranteed that the elections would be held in March 2015. Now they have been delayed a further 19 months.”
“Like his federal Coalition counterparts, it seems the guarantee of a Victorian Coalition Minister is not worth the paper it is written on.”

Government halts gas drilling to silence protests

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has congratulated Gippsland residents on winning a short term halt to gas drilling.

"The government has listened to the community who've expressed their view loud and clear. Land and water for food production is the most precious thing we have, but fossil fuel exploration threatens both," Mr Barber said.

“The Seaspray community has campaigned strongly against onshore gas exploration, and this decision is a clear attempt to silence their protests. 

Violence against women with disabilities must end

Colleen Hartland - Speech in Parliament
Last week I attended the launch of the Voices Against Violence initiative. This research project has been led by Women with Disabilities Victoria in partnership with the Office for the Public Advocate and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria. It found that women with disabilities experience violence to a higher degree and for longer than women in the general population, with stereotypes of disability contributing to this preventable violence. 
The Voices Against Violence research highlights that when sex discrimination is coupled with disability discrimination, women with disabilities are at an elevated risk of violence.

Victorian Govt wins Dirty Ashtray Award, attacks the AMA process

Colleen Hartland questions Minister about what the Government will do to avoid getting the Dirty Ashtray for the fourth year. Rather than answering, the Minister attempted to imply that there was not sound process for them getting the award. The AMA's only interest the health of Australians. These underhanded tactics are a diversion from their failure on tobacco control.
Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan)—My question is for the Minister for Health. On Friday last week, ahead of World No Tobacco Day, the Australian Medical Association awarded Victoria the Dirty Ashtray Award for the third year in a row. I understand that this is an all-time record.

New law will punish, not protect abuse victims: Greens

The Victorian Greens will vote against clause 4 of the Crimes Amendment (Protection of Children) Bill 2014 saying it will worsen the impact of abuse on children by criminalising their non-abusive mothers.

Ten family violence and sexual assault advocacy organisations and the Federation of Community Legal Centres have called on the National Party to join the Greens and ALP in opposing Clause 4 of the bill.

"The Coalition Government has recklessly ignored the concerns of expert organisations and the Cummins Report* in progressing the law," said Victorian Greens spokesperson on children and youth, Colleen Hartland.

Jumps racing claims second victim in just five days - Greens say ban this deadly sport now

Elms, a seven-year-old gelding had to be put down on the track after severely fracturing his right fore cannon bone after the first obstacle in a restricted hurdle at Casterton yesterday.

Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MLC said she is dismayed and angry that yet another horse, the second in five days, has been killed in a Victorian jumps race.

“This brings the total deaths to three in Victoria which proves 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,” Ms Pennicuik said.

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Victoria missing out on benefits of clean energy: new report

Greg Barber MLC, leader of the Victorian Greens, said new modelling by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows Victorians will lose clean energy jobs and lower long-term energy prices if the federal government cuts the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Greg Barber said, "The Liberals are stifling the development of our renewable energy resources, which means Victoria misses out on jobs and other benefits.

"The Bloomberg New Energy Finance modelling shows the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will cut the cost of energy for households and businesses, plus bring jobs. 

Greens renew calls for jumps racing to be banned after another horse is killed on the track

Show Dancer, a seven-year-old gelding, was put down after suffering a horrific and brutal fall during the 3,400m steeplechase at Sandown Racecourse yesterday. Two other horses also fell.

Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MLC said she is deeply saddened and dismayed that yet another horse has been killed in a jumps race and is calling again on the government to ban this cruel and barbaric so called ‘sport’.

Victorian Coalition fails integrity test on smokfree outdoor dining

As South Australia locks in smokefree outdoor dining from July 2016, the Victorian Greens have accused the Victorian Coalition Government of failing the integrity test by accepting massive donations from the Australian Hotels Association and being the only state in Australia that has not banned smoking in outdoor dining areas. 
“Victoria and South Australia are the only states that haven’t already implemented smoking bans in outdoor dining areas. Now South Australia has locked it in for July 2016. Victorian is out on a limb and looking dubious for failing to act,” said Victorian Greens health spokesperson Colleen Hartland.
“The Napthine Government has no backbone when it comes to making outdoor dining areas smokefree because it fears loosing hundreds of thousands from the Australian Hotels Association for its election slush fund.”