Speech to the Eastern Transport Coalition, 9 April 2014
Fifty years ago, Melbourne was a world class public transport city. For as long as I can remember, there has always been a movement to take it back in that direction.
Colleen Hartland reveals that of the $1.3 billion announced for social housing in the Napthine Government's new social housing framework, just $149 million is new spending. There is no investment in increasing the public housing stock.
Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan)—My question is for the Minister for Housing. The government has now released the long-awaited social housing framework. After extensive consultation and years in development, it fails to provide a vision for the growth of social housing into the future, and it fails to provide a solution for the 34 000 people on the waiting list.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- In brief summary, the purpose of this legislation is to give effect to some of Victoria's commitments regarding water trading under the Murray Darling Basin plan. Like The Nationals, the Greens have some reservations about water trading and a market mechanism to achieve either the environmental or economic outcomes. It depends very much on whether you are in opposition or government at the time.
The bill also provides for the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) using water trading to achieve its aims. I hope this bill is not affecting its statutory duties and objectives.
Hon. D. M. DAVIS (Minister for Health) -- I move:
That this house --
(1) notes the resolution of this house of 29 October 2013 calling on the federal opposition, other non-government parties and Independents in the federal Parliament to support the early abolition of the carbon tax, noting the federal coalition government's mandate to repeal the carbon tax;
(2) further notes the federal Labor opposition and federal Greens party continue to frustrate the federal coalition government's clear mandate to repeal the carbon tax;
(3) expresses its concern at the ongoing adverse impact of the carbon tax on Victorian families, individuals, senior citizens and businesses, particularly the additional costs added to --
(a) manufacturing and manufactured exports; and
(b) public and private health services; and -- --
(4) confirms its support for the immediate repeal of the carbon tax legislation and calls on all Victorian political parties to recognise the clear view of the Australian people expressed at the last federal election and advocate for the immediate repeal of the carbon tax.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- It was my intention to dismiss this motion with just a few words, noting that the substance of the motion is to encourage a purely symbolic re-run of a vote that has already occurred in the right jurisdiction, the federal Senate, where the issue for the time being has of course been determined.
MS PENNICUIK — To ask the Assistant Treasurer:
In relation to his responsibility as Minister for WorkSafe, what action has been taken by WorkSafe Victoria to implement the recommendations of the State Coroner in the following inquests:
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Greens will support the Transport (Safety Schemes Compliance and Enforcement) Bill 2014. It is a large bill covering a whole number of aspects of safety schemes, and as a general principle we support the national consistency of those schemes.
Public transport as a transport mode is a very safe way to travel compared to the use of the motor vehicle. In fact when you compare the number of serious accidents that occur on public transport relative to the number of people who use it and the number of kilometres they travel, it is generally agreed that travelling by public transport is about six times safer than travelling for the same amount of time or distance by motor vehicle. While there are frequent and very unfortunate accidents in and around the public transport system, overall we must bear in mind that a city based on public transport for a larger proportion of its travel is inevitably going to be a safer city than one where we all rely on personal motor vehicles.
MS PENNICUIK — To ask the Minister for Planning (for the Minister for Police and Emergency Services):
What action has been taken by Victoria Police to implement the recommendations of the State Coroner in the following inquests:
MS PENNICUIK — To ask the Minister for Housing (for the Minister for Community Services):
What action has been taken by the Department of Human Services to implement the recommendations of the State Coroner in the following inquests:
Colleen Hartland has again called for documents that show details of costings of the Greens proposed legislation that automatically provides WorkCover compensation to firefighters that contract cancer on the job. This information is crucial for testing whether cost claims are inflated by the government. The government again refused to provide the documents or the details required to interrogate their costings. What have they got to hide?
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Thank you, President. Because you had your head down you did not see me stand up. I want to make some remarks on behalf of the Greens. The sessional order that was rushed into this place by Mr Davis earlier this year was not supported by us because we thought it would result in shambolic and haphazard occurrences, of which I think this is one, and absurdities such as calling this an urgent bill when clearly it is not. I outlined at that time what an urgent bill is -- one that is needed to fix an urgent problem of governance in the state of Victoria -- and this bill does not fit into that category.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith. It concerns the proposed use of the Rosebud foreshore reserve for the location of the Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre. I first raised this with the minister on 16 August 2012, and Mr Scheffer has also raised it a number of times. When I first raised this matter I pointed out to the minister that I took issue with the basis on which he had granted coastal consent for the use of the Rosebud foreshore and I asked him to publicly explain that consent, given that the then Department of Sustainability and Environment had consistently advised against such use as it would be inconsistent with the Victorian coastal strategy.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Justice Legislation Amendment (Discovery, Disclosure and Other Matters) Bill 2014 is a further example of legislation the title of which does not accurately reflect its content. You would be forgiven if upon reading the title of this bill you thought it was all about civil matters, but in fact two of the three amendments it makes to four acts are not about civil procedures at all. They are about amendments to the Corrections Amendment (Breach of Parole) Act 2013, the Corrections Act 1986 and the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009. Whilst the changes are not more than minor amendments, particularly those to the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act, they could have ramifications about which I will raise some concerns. It would be useful for the public of Victoria in particular if the titles of bills actually reflected what they contain. In the case of this bill's title, 'other matters' are quite significant matters.
Colleen Hartland motioned the Legislative Council to, based on committee inquiry recommendations, change practices with respect to bills with disputed flow-on costs. These changes would allow the Fair Protection of Firefighters bill to make some progress through parliament. The Government voted against this and instead have chosen to further delay progress by sending the proposed changes to a procedures committee for review.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Socialist, pinko, commo, troglodytes, lazy, incompetent, basket-case, shemozzle, reprehensible, appalling, embarrassing, militant, shameful, rogue, self-interest, corrupt, whingeing, whining, hardline, reign
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- In February the Victorian National Parks Association released its report The Coast is Unclear -- An Uncertain Future for Nature along the Victorian Coast. This comprehensive report explores coastal planning and management issues all around Victoria's coastline.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The main argument put forward today seems to have been from the mover of the motion who detailed a long list of jobs that have been lost, whereas the government's defence is a long list of jobs it has created. The net effect is, as we know, a modest increase in employment and a modest increase in unemployment. It is entirely possible for those two variables to move together in that way.
Like most Victorians, I am optimistic about the future of Victoria. It is a great place to live, and it has a diverse economy.
However, most Victorians also recognise the challenges that are bearing down on us. They see the need for urgent intervention by government to prevent those challenges from turning into crises, but they do not see any of the necessary action from this government that would achieve that. They are looking for leadership, and they are not getting it.
Speech: For the past 30 years I have been involved in campaigning to clean up the western suburbs in the face of hazardous, toxic and other waste. I was a founding member of the Hazardous Materials Action Group, which is more commonly known as HAZMAG.
This week I put in my formal objection to the proposed expansion of Boral’s Western Landfill in Ravenhall. My personal objection was in addition to more than 4000 already received by the Melton City Council.
It was just last week that I put in a formal objection to a proposed above-ground expansion of the Wests Road tip in Werribee.
My adjournment matter today is for the Minister for Planning. Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world. More than 70 per cent of Victorians live in Melbourne. Open space is critically important to the livability of our suburbs and is highly valued by the community. Parks can improve physical and mental health, ecosystem services and urban biodiversity.
The Maribyrnong River provides an important green and open space for residents in the west. Surveys have found it is one of the most popular and most used parks in Moonee Valley. There are sections along the river that would benefit greatly from redevelopment, as they are in poor condition. Moonee Valley City Council has developed a Maribyrnong River master plan. This plan lays out an incredible vision for a healthy river that improves access through more open space and better facilities for outdoor activities.
Colleen Hartland's speech in parliament regarding security proceedures in secure welfare servcies. The Greens are deeply concerned about the lack of safeguards in use of strip searches and isolation. The Greens referred the bill for inquiry.
There is clearly a need to legally clarify security procedures at secure welfare facilities and to specifically prohibit certain actions in all of out-of-home care services. We need a legal basis on which practices and standards are kept and abuse can be identified. The past legislative omission was identified by the Victorian Ombudsman, after concerns were raised by a whistleblower about the treatment of children in secure welfare services.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Greens are happy to support this motion. As has been pointed out, the amendments affect very small parcels of land, with minimal planning issues.