Greens will make A Metre Matter in Victoria

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber will table a bill in Victorian Parliament today to make cycling safer by introducing minimum overtaking distances for motor vehicles passing bicycles.
“This Bill requires drivers travelling at 60km per hour or less to leave a distance of at least one metre when overtaking a bicycle rider, or 1.5 metres when travelling at more than 60km per hour,” Mr Barber said.
“The most common type of incident between on-road commuter cyclists and motor vehicles is side-swiping, which has disastrous consequences for riders.
This Bill will help drivers and bicycle riders share the road more safely. 
“The Greens are pushing to make cycling laws safer alongside the Amy Gillett Foundation’s ‘A Metre Matters’ campaign.  

State budget leaves Victoria behind

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Having looked carefully at these budget papers, I have discovered that the budget is visionless and careless; that its centrepiece project, soaking up $18 billion, is a project from 1969; that climate change is ignored; that economic change is neglected; that social crises are addressed, if at all, as an afterthought; and that given the size of the accumulated surpluses -- with $11 billion in surpluses and a $21 billion cash flow after operations, there are hardly any excuses to be made. 



Labor should stop supporting Liberals

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has called on Daniel Andrews to use his newfound power to stop the East-West Toll Road.

“No government can exist without supply and confidence in the lower house,” Mr Barber said.

“We find ourselves in the bizarre position where the opposition is offering supply and confidence.

“Daniel Andrews says he opposes the east west toll road and wants the government not to sign contracts before the election, however Andrews is offering the supply and confidence that allows those contracts to be signed. 

Napthine plans to include gas in Renewable Energy Target

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says the State Government's proposal to include polluting fossil fuel gas in the Renewable Energy Target will be a huge hit to the earth and the hip pocket.

‘If Premier Denis Napthine has convinced himself that gas is a renewable energy source, then he is confused,” Mr Barber said.

“Nobody in the world thinks gas is a renewable form of energy. 

Greens call for new emergency department at Footscray

The Greens are calling for redevelopment of the Footscray Emergency and Inpatient precinct following the National Health Performance Authority report found it to be the worse performing emergency department in Victoria and the second worst in Australia.

"It's a disgrace that Footscray is the worst-performing hospital in Victoria and the second worst in Australia for emergency department wait times*," said Greens MP for the Western Suburbs Colleen Hartland.

"Not only is Footscray not keeping up with demand, but the aged infrastructure is at the end of it's useable life."

"Regardless of how fantastic nurses and doctors are, the hospital infrastructure limits their ability to deliver healthcare. Some emergency consultation cubicles are too small and cannot be used, for example."

Greens accuse government of being unduly influenced on smoking reform


Today, on World No Tobacco Day, Greens MP Colleen Hartland has accused the Victorian government being unduly influenced by one of their major donors on smokefree policy.
“The Australian Hotels Association are outspoken lobbyists against banning smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas, and are also major donors to the Victorian Liberal and National parties. No other state party branch receives money from the AHA and all have banned smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas. I don't think this is coincidence,” said Victorian Greens spokesperson on health Colleen Hartland.

Greens say government should stop funding special religious education

The announcement today that the state government is going to 'overhaul' the way religion is taught in Victorian primary schools after it was found that volunteers breached its guidelines doesn't go far enough, Greens Education spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik said.

"There have been complaints about the way special religious education (SRI) is conducted in government schools for years," Ms Pennicuik said. “Not least of the concerns raised by parents, teachers and by me is that SRI is conducted in government schools, using volunteers who are not teachers and using materials that are not accredited by the department.”

Councils forced to compensate for state failure on smoking

Colleen Hartland - Speech in parliament. My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Health. The minister will be aware that in the absence of a statewide ban on smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas, local councils have been forced to go it alone on this important health reform.
Baw Baw Shire Council was the first to act. Recently the Melbourne City Council has taken steps to introduce a smoking ban in alfresco dining lanes. Causeway Lane was made smoke free from 1 October 2013 as a trial. That trial concluded on 31March and on 13 May the evaluation report was presented to council. As part of the evaluation, restaurants, their patrons and residents were surveyed.
The report found that the ban was successful in stopping smoking at cafes, although some passers-by still did smoke, perhaps not realising it was a smoke-free area.

Greens say no container port at Hastings

The Greens do not support the establishment of a container port at Hastings on Westernport Bay.

Greens MLC Sue Pennicuik says the state government is trying to avoid environmental protection laws in pushing through its Hastings Port proposal.

"The Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act, which was introduced by the Labor government, is a way for governments to avoid proper scrutiny of the environmental and social impacts of their favourite transport projects," Ms Pennicuik said.

"The Facilitation Act is a way for the state government to avoid complying with Victoria's environmental laws.*