• Let solar citizens have their share

    26/06/2014
    Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Energy and Resources, Mr Northe. May 2014 was the hottest May since records have been kept. It was also the 351st consecutive month of above-average temperatures when measured on a global level. If I flipped a coin 351 times and got 351 heads, I would know there was something wrong with that coin. It is pretty clear to anybody -- it should certainly be clear to the minister -- that global warming is happening, and it is happening because of human activity. In the meantime the development of the solar energy industry in Victoria, which certain members of the government purport to have some fondness for, is being held back by the annoying and pernicious red tape that is put in the way of ordinary citizens and in some cases businesses putting solar panels on their roofs. 
  • Fines, Bills and vulnerable victims

    26/06/2014
    FINES REFORM BILL 2014
     
    Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Greens certainly concur with the last few remarks made by the spokesperson from the opposition. It is for those reasons -- the wide-ranging nature of the bill, its complexity, the sensitivity of the reforms and their impact on some of our most vulnerable groups -- that the Greens believe the Fines Reform Bill 2014 could do with some further scrutiny. Apparently it zipped through the lower house with very little scrutiny, but our suggestion is that a bill of this nature, which, as Ms Mikakos pointed out, is not due to enter into force until next year anyway, could be scrutinised by the Legal and Social Issues Legislation Committee. We have a referral motion to that effect. 
  • Dollar Bet safety standards on Pokies - Greens Bill introduced

    26/06/2014
    Colleen Hartland Speech in Parliament
     
    The Greens are committed to limiting the harm of gambling through evidence-based solutions.
     
    Problem gambling is taking an enormous toll on Victorian families and our health system.
     
    The financial stress causes family breakdown, drives people to crime, and can result in job loss. Depression and suicide are some of the worst impacts.
     
    Many people enjoy a punt, but that is all it should be— a game, a bit of entertainment.
     
    When people can lose thousands of dollars an hour on pokies, something needs to be done to limit the losses and the harm pokies can cause.
     
    Up to 80 per cent of problem gambling is caused by poker machines, which are designed by the gambling industry to be highly addictive and to maximise losses.
  • Melbourne Market Bill paves smooth path for East West toll road

    26/06/2014
    MELBOURNE MARKET AUTHORITY AMENDMENT BILL 2014 
     
    Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I am at a loss as to why it was that the decision was taken to move wholesale fruit and vegetable marketing from its central position at the port, with access to good infrastructure, to potential future rail freight development and of course to the increasingly important aspect of fresh fruit and vegetable and other rural commodity exports. It is now to be exiled to a location on an outer ring-road where in future we know, amongst other problems, the market will be totally dependent on road freight for its logistics. However, the bill before us is not intended to unscramble that omelette. That decision was taken by the Labor Party long ago, and this simply cleans up a number of aspects of that transition. 
  • Yes, even Palmer gets it

    26/06/2014
    Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- If even Clive Palmer gets it, you have to wonder what is wrong with the Victorian Liberal Party. At a joint press conference with former US Vice-President Al Gore, Mr Palmer noted that $415 billion of investment and 18 400 jobs were at risk if the renewable energy target were to be scrapped -- a subject which received some debate here in the Parliament yesterday. Hopefully the Liberal Party can now get over it and learn to live with the renewable energy target.