Statement- Sitting of Legislative Council in Victorian Parliament during COVID Stage 4 restrictions

The Legislative Council will sit today, with some members present, following deliberations between the Government, Opposition and crossbenchers yesterday. There was a difficult choice to be made between two central priorities. One, is the importance to have the opportunity to scrutinise Government, the other is the very strong advice from a health perspective to defer Parliament.

Increased drug driver testing on roads and driver education

I have called for increased drug testing on roads and driver education for young people as part of my submission to the Victorian Inquiry into the Increase in Victoria’s Road Toll. The Transport Accident Commission reports that in the last 5 years approximately 41% of all drivers and motorcyclists killed who were tested, had drugs in their system and 25% of Victorians who use recreational drugs admit to driving under the influence.

'Trading Bubbles' for regional Victoria

Towns in Northern Victoria will face extraordinary inconveniences as the state announced border closures between New South Wales and Victoria. I have called for the Government to consider regional trading bubbles. Businesses face further hardship under the border closures and I have asked the Premier to immediately ease trading restrictions in regional areas.

Supporting our CFA Volunteers

I am disheartened but not surprised, as complaints roll in from across volunteer brigades following the reassignment of 171 support staff from the CFA to Fire Rescue Victoria. I offer my ongoing support to CFA volunteer brigades, which are critical to our safety and to that of regional communities.

National Redress Scheme

I am calling on the Victorian Government to deny funding and grants to organisations that fail to sign up to the National Redress Scheme for institutional sexual abuse survivors.

We secured an Inquiry into Victoria's Justice System

My motion to refer an inquiry into the justice system has passed the Parliament, and the Legal and Social issues Committee will now undertake the broadest inquiry into the justice system for nearly 30 years.

Child abuse tendency evidence

I moved a motion in Parliament to expand evidence and make sex offenders' histories known to Juries. We should follow the lead of other states and expand the range of evidence admissible to juries.

Victims of Crime- Establishment of Prisoner Compensation Quarantine Fund Register

After months of lobbying I am very pleased that the government has now established a Prisoner Compensation Quarantine Fund Register, making it easier for victims to access information about about payments made to prisoners.

Action to fix Basin Plan

The Murray Basin Plan must take an urgent approach to making the changes required to deliver fair and equitable water flows. I hope this is a step to ensure our farmers receive the water they so desperately need. It is one thing to be paying astronomical amounts for water, it is another to actually ensure they receive it.

Child Protection

The 'Lost, not forgotten' report of Victoria's Commissioner for Children and Young People is a chilling read, and reveals continued failures across child protection and family services. The findings of this report are unacceptable, and we need to prioritise sustained funding to address the root cause that leaves vulnerable children exposed. We need to stop failing these children.

Murray Basin Rail Project

The Murray Basin Rail Project was meant to standardise the rail network, efficiently allowing producers to transport greater volumes to port and boost jobs and the regional economy. What's happening?

Daniel Morcombe Foundation - Day for Daniel

I am inspired by the strength shown each and every day by Denise and Bruce Morcombe. It was a privilege to be a part of "Day for Daniel'. The Daniel Morcombe Foundation does wonderful work, and on a day like today it reinforces our commitment to a public register for child sex offenders and continuing to do everything we can to keep children safe.

Homelessness in Victoria- Call for a hearing in Wangaratta

I have called for a public hearing in Wangaratta as part of the Victorian Parliament’s Inquiry into Homelessness. The Inquiry is being conducted by the Legislative Council’s Legal and Social Issues Committee, of which I am a member, and is considering the state of homelessness in Victoria.

Motion for Mandatory sentences on assaults on Emergency Services workers

I moved a Motion in Parliament for Minimum Jail sentences for assaults on Emergency Services workers. Current Victorian laws on Mandatoy sentencing in this instance are inadequate and contain loopholes for offenders to avoid Jail. I will continue to work for victims and ensure their voices are heard.

Motion to strengthen parole conditions

I've moved a motion to strengthen parole conditions on violent and sexual recidivist offenders with restrictions on where they can live.

Motion for LSIC to inquire into homelessness in Victoria

Rod Barton from the Transport Matters Party moved a motion that the Legal and Social Committee inquire into the state of homelessness in Victoria. Here are details of the motion and my comments of support.

The need for a public register of sex offenders

The Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence estimates 40,000 Australian children will be sexually assaulted each year. In 2017, there were over 4000 active persons on the Sex Offenders Register in Victoria.