Greens say auditor reveals tough challenges for legal aid

Victorian Greens Justice spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik, expressed concern that the Victorian Auditor-General’s report on Access to Legal Aid, has revealed that funding to Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) is based largely on the level of demand of 2008.  

The report confirms that there is a lack of appropriate up to date funding coupled with an increase in demand and this has resulted in VLA tightening eligibility for its most intensive and costly legal services.



Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Privacy and Data Protection Bill 2014 repeals and subsequently re-enacts many of the existing provisions in the Information Privacy Act 2000 and the Commissioner for Law Enforcement Data Security Act 2005, which governs the commissioner for law enforcement data.

Jumps Racing petitions


Jumps racing
To the Legislative Council of Victoria:

The petition of the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses draws to the attention of the house the decision on 21 January 2010 of Racing Victoria Limited (RVL) to grant a reprieve to jumps racing in Victoria if it meets conditions set by RVL.

Horses in Victoria suffer horrific injuries and die while participating in this so-called 'sport'. Jumps racing (which is illegal under NSW animal cruelty legislation) has a long history of deaths and injuries of horses from falls. The 2009 season was particularly bad resulting in the deaths of 10 horses despite numerous reviews and modifications. Many more horses sustain injuries and fail to reappear.

The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council of Victoria call on the Minister for Racing to intervene and end steeplechase and hurdle racing (jumps racing) in Victoria.

For Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) by Mr BARBER (532 signatures).

Laid on table.



Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Powers of Attorney Bill 2014 consolidates legislative provisions for powers of attorney that currently fall under the Instruments Act 1958 and enduring powers of guardianship currently covered by the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986. The bill implements the majority of the recommendations of the Victorian parliamentary Law Reform Committee inquiry into powers of attorney, the report of which was tabled in Parliament four years ago in August 2010. Mr Scheffer was chair of the committee at the time and has already mentioned that. The report includes 90 recommendations to streamline and simplify the current legislative provisions for powers of attorney and provides guidance on assessing when a person has capacity to make a decision.



Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Criminal Organisations Control and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2014 makes significant amendments to some 20 acts of Parliament and a range of unrelated issues called 'other matters'. A member of the public reading the title of the bill -- Criminal Organisations Control and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2014 -- would not get a very good idea as to what the bill is actually about. The bill also makes a raft of consequential amendments to a large number of acts.



Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The Crime Statistics Bill 2014 establishes a new body or agency to collect and publish crime statistics, which effectively removes that function from the police. This is something the Greens have been calling for for a long time, alongside the need for an independent body to oversee prisons and custodial facilities in Victoria and an independent agency to investigate deaths as a result of police conduct. We are still waiting on those.

Greens support Equal Love and call for an end to ten years of marriage discrimination

Victorian Greens spokesperson for LGBTI, Sue Pennicuik MLC, will be speaking at the Equal Love rally in Melbourne this Saturday marking the 10th anniversary since the federal Marriage Act 1961 was amended to define marriage as between a man and a woman only.

“It is not a happy anniversary," Ms Pennicuik said. "The Greens have long been fighting against discrimination in all aspects of the law and in particular in the last ten years to achieve marriage equality."

World War I centenary


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- This week marks the commencement 100 years ago of World War I. The total casualties of World War I were 37 million -- over 16 million deaths and 20 million wounded. The total number of deaths included 10 million military personnel and about 7 million civilians. About 6 million military personnel of the Allies were lost, and about 4 million of the Central Powers.