“Prison operators are the big winners in this budget at the expense of programs that would help to keep people out of prison, with better outcomes for the community and at less cost to taxpayers,” Greens Justice spokesperson Sue Pennicuik said today.
“There is another $131.5 million dollars in prison funding in this budget – almost $53 million for a high security unit at Barwon Prison and almost $79 million for 357 more prison beds across the system,” Ms Pennicuik said. “On top of $819 million budgeted last year, including $670 million for a new men’s prison in Ravenhall, this brings funding for prisons over this and last year’s budget to $950 million or not much change from a billion dollars on prisons alone.”
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Each year 28 April marks International Workers Memorial Day, the global union campaign for safer and healthier work. Workers Memorial Day was started in Canada by Canadian unions in 1984 and was adopted by the international union movement in 1996. Australian unions have marked the day since 1997, when I recall participating in a candlelight ceremony at 6.00 a.m. outside WorkSafe in Latrobe Street. Unfortunately I was not able to attend International Workers Memorial Day this year, but since April last year 21 people -- workers and unfortunately some bystanders -- have been killed as a result of workplace accidents in Victoria.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- On 25 October last year the Parliament of Victoria apologised to those who were affected by past adoption practices, and the Greens were very pleased to participate in that apology. In fact, when the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee report into the commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices was tabled last year I put on notice a motion on behalf of the people and the Parliament of Victoria calling on the government to apologise to people who had been affected by past adoption practices in Victoria. The Parliament of Western Australia had already done this in 2010, and the Parliament of South Australia had announced that it was also going to do so.
Therefore we were very pleased to participate, and the words that were spoken by the leaders of all parties that day and by other members on subsequent days and weeks in the Parliament were heartfelt and sincere. I was also in the Windsor Hotel with many hundreds of people -- mothers and fathers, sons and daughters -- who had been affected. Even though the broadcast vision of the event did not come on from for a while we could hear, and it was impossible to be in that room, hear people crying out, and not feel like crying yourself. The apology had been a very long time coming and there was a great deal of emotion coming out that day.
Once again the jumps racing 'season' is upon us and once more horses and jockeys are being put at risk of death or injury in Victoria's jumps racing 'carnivals', Greens MP Sue Pennicuik said today.
"This cruel and unnecessary activity is a blight on Victoria," Ms Pennicuik said. "The RSPCA opposes jumps racing as do the majority of Victorians.
Following the historic vote for marriage equality in the New Zealand parliament this week, Greens MLC Sue Pennicuik said that it's now clearly way past the time for the Australian parliament to do the same - preferably before the federal election.
"It is just fantastic that marriage equality has been achieved in New Zealand," Ms Pennicuik said. Australia has now fallen behind many countries and our Westminster counterparts Canada, New Zealand and probably the UK too if we don't get a move on.
"Marriage Equality is simply about equality before the law and the elimination of discrimination," Ms Pennicuik said.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Last night the Melbourne City Council backed away from a contentious takeover plan for Fishermans Bend proposed by the Lord Mayor, Cr Doyle. It had been reported previously in the press that although the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, had voiced his support for this move, the Premier, Denis Napthine, had labelled Cr Doyle's comments 'premature'. Instead the council has called on the Premier and the planning minister to return planning control for the area to a local authority. That local authority should be the City of Port Phillip.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My question is for the Minister for Higher Education and Skills in his capacity as the representative in this chamber of the Minister for Education under standing order 8.01. On 12 October last year I asked him a question about a memo sent to schools by the department regarding supervision of students who do not attend special religious instruction (SRI).
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I seek some follow-up from the Leader of the Government on five outstanding questions, two of which are just over two months old and date from February this year.
Debate resumed from 20 March; motion of Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan):
That this house requires the Leader of the Government to table in the Legislative Council on Tuesday, 16 April 2013, a copy of:
(1) all documents relating to the 'Route alignments peer reviewed and short-listed' and 'Communications and engagement strategy finalised' referred to on page 3 of 'East-west link reform and investment framework -- stages 1 to 6', August 2012', which formed part of the east-west link submission to Infrastructure Australia;
(2) the agenda, minutes, any attachments to the minutes and any presentations or materials tabled in relation to each meeting of the Department of Transport's east-west steering committee to date;
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy. The water sensitive urban design policy, clause 22.08 of the Bayside planning scheme, is scheduled to expire on 31 May this year. At its 17 July 2012 meeting council resolved to write to the Minister for Planning requesting that he: