Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I wish to advise the Council that I will be moving an additional amendment to the one already on the notice paper. I therefore move:
(1) In standing order 4.05, omit paragraph (1).
(2) (a) in standing order 4.08(1), omit --The motion will be put forthwith without amendment or debate.--; and
(b) in standing order 6.13, insert --
--( ) a motion to extend the sitting of the Council pursuant to standing order 4.08(1);--.
(3) The Clerk is empowered to renumber the standing orders and correct any internal references as a consequence of this amendment.
[Speech was interrupted here..]
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Members and visitors to Queen's Hall this week will notice the photographic display there. I am very pleased to be sponsoring this exhibition of 40 photos from My Human Family, a community project which shares the stories of families who have fostered or adopted dogs that have been abandoned and encourages people to adopt animals from rescue shelters. The exhibition was also on display in the New South Wales Parliament in August. I hope everyone enjoys the wonderful photos.
Ms PENNICUIK -- On another matter, I would like to follow my colleague Ms Hartland and thank her and Mr Barber for the pleasure and privilege of working with them, and thank the staff and volunteers in our offices for all they do for us. I also take this opportunity to thank the excellent staff of the parliamentary library and Hansard, and the Legislative Council staff in the Clerk's office and the table office, as well as the committee staff and the attendants for the professional and courteous way in which they always carry out their duties. We recognise and appreciate it very much.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences and Other Matters) Bill 2014 is a quite important bill. It deals with an area I think everyone in the house would agree is difficult from the perspective of victims and also difficult to prosecute through the court system. It has historically been a very difficult area. Over many years there have been attempts to make it fairer for victims and more likely that successful convictions will be made in the courts.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Justice Legislation Amendment (Confiscation and Other Matters) Bill 2014 is an omnibus bill that amends nine acts of Parliament. The major part of the bill -- in fact two-thirds of the bill, or 47 of its 72 clauses -- is made up of amendments to the Confiscation Act 1997.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Sentencing Amendment (Historical Homosexual Convictions Expungement) Bill 2014 will amend the Sentencing Act 1991 to establish a scheme under which convictions for certain offences related to conduct carried out for the purposes of or in connection with sexual activity of a homosexual nature may be expunged.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Sentencing Amendment (Coward's Punch Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2014 amends the Crimes Act 1958 to insert a new section 4A to provide that a single punch or strike delivered to the head or neck of a victim is taken to be a dangerous act for the purposes of unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter. The single punch or strike may be one of a series of punches or strikes. The punch or strike may be the cause of a person's death even if the injury from which the person dies is from an impact to the person's body caused by the punch or strike.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Inquiries Bill 2014 establishes dedicated legislation for setting up royal commissions and other executive inquiries. Victoria is one of the few jurisdictions in Australia without specific legislation for establishing inquiries that can be set up by the executive to varying degrees. In his contribution, Mr Scheffer mentioned the excellent research paper written by Adam Delacorn, a research officer in the parliamentary library. The paper states that following a review as long ago as 2006 the then Victorian Law Reform Committee recommended the enactment of a Victorian royal commissions act. Almost a decade on, we have such legislation before us.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Later today I will be introducing a private members bill, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment (Domestic Fowl and Pigs) and Food Amendment (Free-range Eggs) Bill 2014. This will be the second private members bill I will have introduced in this term of Parliament, the other being the Marriage Equality Bill 2012. My colleagues Greg Barber and Colleen Hartland have also introduced private members bills in this session of Parliament, as we all did in the previous Parliament. As was pointed out last night in the Australasian Study of Parliament Group forum, while private members bills can be introduced into the Legislative Council, it is not clear how they would proceed through to the Assembly if passed in the Council. This is an issue as Parliament should not just be about the legislative agenda of the government of the day.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- It is a pleasure to speak on Mr Lenders's motion, which is basically about the fall in student enrolments in government-subsidised training, as outlined in part (4) of the motion. The motion says that 18 300 fewer students completed TAFE courses in 2013 than in 2012 and 45 000 fewer students are enrolled in government-subsidised training in 2014 than in 2012. It also refers to unemployment rates, youth unemployment and even 457 visa workers, which I did not hear Mr Lenders mention in his speech when he moved the motion.
However, I did hear Mr Lenders make several references to policy misadventures.
Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Amendment (Domestic Fowl And Pigs) And Food Amendment (Free-Range Eggs) Bill 2014
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I move:
That the bill be now read a second time.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment (Domestic Fowl and Pigs) and Food Amendment (Free-range Eggs) Bill 2014 introduces reforms that will improve animal welfare in Victoria.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Sentencing Amendment (Emergency Workers) Bill 2014 is one of a suite of bills the government has introduced into this Parliament that bring the concept of baseline sentencing, minimum sentencing or mandatory sentencing into the sentencing regime in Victoria.
This bill will amend the Sentencing Act 1991 and the Crimes Act 1958 to provide for statutory minimum custodial sentences for certain offences committed against emergency workers, including intentionally or recklessly causing injury, gross violence, intentionally causing serious injury, recklessly causing serious injury, or intentionally or recklessly causing injury, in which case the court must not impose a term of imprisonment of less than six months. All of these statutory minimums will apply unless a special reason exists under section 10A of the Sentencing Act.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Justice Legislation Amendment (Succession and Surrogacy) Bill 2014 amends five acts. It amends the Administration and Probate Act 1958, the Wills Act 1997 and the Trustee Companies Act 1984 with regard to succession law and makes a minor amendment to the Status of Children Act 1974 and the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 with regard to surrogacy and the registration of a child. That particular amendment enables the commissioning parents of a child born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement to obtain an order for registration on the surrogate birth register where they have obtained a corresponding parentage order in another Australian state or territory recognising them as the parents of the child.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The background to the Sex Offenders Registration Amendment Bill 2014 is that it follows from the 2012 Victorian Law Reform Commission's review of the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004, which handed down 79 recommendations. The review was conducted after the publication of the Victorian Ombudsman's report entitled Investigation into the Failure of Agencies to Manage Registered Sex Offenders in February 2011, which examined the failure by police to notify the Department of Human Services of more than 300 registered sex offenders who had unsupervised access to children or were living with them.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Consumer Affairs Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2014 makes a range of amendments to a number of acts within the consumer affairs portfolio. In particular it amends the Owners Corporations Act 2006 to implement the outcomes of a public review of the regulation of owners corporation managers. In summary, the bill improves the regulation of owners corporation managers by preventing unsuitable persons becoming or remaining owners corporation managers. This comes in response to some widely publicised events where some unscrupulous people were undertaking unscrupulous deeds as managers of owners corporations.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Last night the Council sat late debating a controversial bill which has raised huge concerns in the community. Like many pieces of legislation introduced during this parliamentary term, that bill is not based on any public inquiry, report or evidence and has received very little scrutiny. There are 25 bills in the lower house and 12 in the upper house with less than three sitting weeks remaining. Many of these bills are similar to the one debated late last night in that they are based not on any evidence but rather on populism. In its media release of 20 August, the Law Institute of Victoria said it is:
... deeply concerned about the raft of 'law and order' measures the state government is rushing to introduce before the November state election.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I move:
That this house takes note of the petition bearing 532 signatures from certain citizens of Victoria requesting that the Legislative Council of Victoria call on the Minister for Racing to intervene and end steeplechase and hurdle racing in Victoria tabled in the house on 5 August 2014.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I rise to speak on the Courts Legislation Miscellaneous Amendments Bill 2014, a mildly named omnibus bill of 71 pages which makes quite extensive amendments in six main parts and further miscellaneous amendments and a repeal in part 7. The first part of the bill makes amendments to the Supreme Court Act 1986 to provide for appeals to the Court of Appeal to be generally by leave and makes other procedural amendments.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Environment and Climate Change. It relates to the Palais Theatre in St Kilda, which is 87 years old. On Monday night I was there to see Bob Dylan, who is playing there again tonight, I understand.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The bill before members is the result of a lot of community debate, including debate in this Parliament, particularly over the past six years, but I suppose it could be said that this issue began 34 years ago when on 23 June 1980 the first child was born through an in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) process. That person was Candice Reed.