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 Crueslty 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.
Victorian Greens to introduce bill to ban battery cages and sow stalls and clarify meaning of 'free range'
The Victorian Greens will introduce a bill into state parliament this week to ban battery cages and sow stalls, clarify the meaning of ‘free range’ and to ban the routine debeaking of hens. Greens animal welfare spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik, who will introduce the bill, said that "present laws are failing farm animals which are subject to cruel and unnecessary practices".
"Research shows that 83% of Australians support or strongly support laws to ensure that animals bred for human consumption have access to the outdoors, companions, natural materials and enough space to carry out their instinctive behaviour".
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.