Q: 10467 2014-15 Budget output initiatives and allocations for higher education and skills


MS PENNICUIK — To ask the Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation (for the Minister for Higher Education and Skills):
 In relation to the 2014-15 Budget output initiatives and allocations for higher education and skills:

Greens support a strong public TAFE system on National TAFE Day

"Victoria needs a well-funded, public TAFE system. Our proven and respected public TAFEs were built up over decades with taxpayers’ money and have educated hundreds of thousands of Victorians based on the principle of affordable and accessible training for all”, said Victorian Greens education spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik .

"Today on National TAFE Day, it is important to draw attention to the damage that is being done to our pubic TAFEs here in Victoria”, Ms Pennicuik said.

Vexatious Proceedings Bill 2014


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- According to the explanatory memorandum, the Vexatious Proceedings Bill 2014 introduces a new regime for the management and prevention of vexatious litigation in Victorian courts and tribunals, and aims to improve the effectiveness of the justice system by ensuring that unmeritorious litigation is disposed of at an early stage and that persons are prevented from wasting court time with further unmeritorious cases.

Witness Protection Amendement Bill 2014


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- George Brouwer, when he was Director of Police Integrity, noted in his review of the Victoria Police witness protection program published in July 2005 -- almost 9 years ago -- that:

Upholding the criminal law and maintaining civil order depend to a very large extent on the preparedness of witnesses to give evidence in court: if there is no witness, there can generally be no prosecution ... It is a duty of the justice system to protect witnesses; only rarely may they need protection against the ultimate violence of murder, but any intimidated witness, too frightened to speak out fully and truthfully, undermines the cause of justice.

Member's Statement: Karin Geradts


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Karin Geradts was a very special person who deeply touched the lives of those around her. Karin was a loving mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, aunty, cousin, teacher, mentor and dear friend to so many people. Karin was a primary school teacher, and the dozens of tributes to her from her current and former students are a testament to her inspiring, passionate and caring style of teaching. She was also a teacher to all who knew her -- teaching by example and with love how to be more honest, generous and brave, as she was.

Adjournment: Family Violence


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Attorney-General. Recent media reports have highlighted that the Victorian systemic review of family violence deaths has only produced one report in five years, despite the fact that each year in Victoria approximately 40 per cent of all deaths attributed to homicide involve intimate partners and other family members.

In the recent Coroners Court annual report it was reported that from 1 January 2009 to 30 June 2013, 97 of the total of 254 determined and suspected homicides were classified as having an apparent relevance to the Victorian systemic review of family violence deaths. Yet despite the many cases that need analysing, the unit has been reduced to just one part-time worker specific to family violence since yearly funding attached to the review program was axed in 2010.

Karin Geradts

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend Karin.

A strong and passionate spirit. Karin always stood up for the environment, equality and for animals.

Karin was a wise and generous elder who said it like it is. Karin made a difference.

We will miss her, she touched all our lives.

Vale Karin

Greg Barber, Colleen Hartland and Sue Pennicuik, Greens MPs and staff.


Greens say government should stop funding special religious education

The announcement today that the state government is going to 'overhaul' the way religion is taught in Victorian primary schools after it was found that volunteers breached its guidelines doesn't go far enough, Greens Education spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik said.

"There have been complaints about the way special religious education (SRI) is conducted in government schools for years," Ms Pennicuik said. “Not least of the concerns raised by parents, teachers and by me is that SRI is conducted in government schools, using volunteers who are not teachers and using materials that are not accredited by the department.”

Greens say no container port at Hastings

The Greens do not support the establishment of a container port at Hastings on Westernport Bay.

Greens MLC Sue Pennicuik says the state government is trying to avoid environmental protection laws in pushing through its Hastings Port proposal.

"The Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act, which was introduced by the Labor government, is a way for governments to avoid proper scrutiny of the environmental and social impacts of their favourite transport projects," Ms Pennicuik said.

"The Facilitation Act is a way for the state government to avoid complying with Victoria's environmental laws.*