Constituency Question- Eligibility for Small Business Bushfire Support Grant

Many small business owners and primary producers in my electorate, in the Towong, Alpine and Indigo Shires, have applied for the $10,000 Small Business Bushfire Support Grant in the wake of the disastrous 2019-20 bushfires. Unfortunately it appears that many applicants’ claims for support have been rejected – because of the near-universal application of the strict 40% revenue decline rule.

Constituency Question- Travel for real estate inspections during COVID

My constituents, especially around Mansfield, are telling me that a host of people have been travelling to Northern Victoria from Melbourne during recent weeks.  Many of these visitors are saying that they have come to inspect local real estate. To my great surprise, I understand this has been permitted as a reason to leave home – even under restrictions that purport to allow only essential movement.

Members Statement- Border closure

Regrettably, the shock 6 July announcement of the shutdown of the Victoria-New South Wales border has meant that many individuals, businesses and other organisations in border communities (where there still remain no, or very low numbers of, cases of coronavirus) are now being excessively punished for the mistakes of others elsewhere.

Members Statement- Wangaratta Specialist School

I had the great pleasure last week of visiting the Wangaratta District Specialist School. A shout out and thank you to their engaging students, to their energetic Principal, Chris Harvison, and the incredible staff.

Speech - Sentencing Amendment (Emergency Worker Harm) Bill 2020

Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party has, for some time, been pushing for the type of action that is reflected in this Bill. There is an unmistakable and urgent need for changes to this area of law that better safeguarded emergency workers from assaults, and more effectively prevented the perpetrators of such assaults from avoiding minimum sentences.

Adjournment- Illegal tobacco

My matter, for the Health Minister, is about the general lack of success and enthusiasm of Victorian health officials to curtail illegal tobacco retailing.

Speech - Justice Legislation Miscellaneous Amendments Bill 2019

The Derryn Hinch's Justice Party did not support this bill, as evidence and argument left us concerned about the practical impacts of the establishment of a new regime under which lawyers can charge contingency fees.

Question without Notice - Health spending priorities

My question is to the Health Minister, Ms Mikakos. Billions of dollars of unscheduled expenditure is being spent in the health portfolio, can she now tell us how COVID-19 expenditure pressures have altered the Government’s overall future spending priorities (and savings priorities) in the Health portfolio for the remainder of the two-and-a-half years of this term of Parliament?

Constituency Question - Exemptions for retirement villages

My question is to the Minister for Consumer Affairs. Constituents within a Wangaratta retirement village are asking for reassurance that there will not be changes to the application of the exit entitlements regulation for departing residents.

Members Statement - Exceptional Woman in Victorian Resources

Congratulations to Sue Mills from Bendigo East, who has been named 2020’s exceptional woman in Victorian resources.

Notice of Motion- introduction of mandatory sentencing for child sex offenders

I call on the Victorian Government to clarify whether it agrees with the Federal Labor Party’s decision to support the introduction of mandatory minimum sentences for certain child sex offences.

Speech- Coalition amendment

With no warning, the Liberal Party sprung a surprise motion on the Parliament at 9.28am on Thursday for debate (just two minutes later!) at 9.30am. The Liberal Party had multiple opportunities throughout the week, as well as previous weeks and months, to raise this matter for discussion and consideration, and they did not do so. In speaking to the motion, I suggested that, if extra sitting days are needed, they could be scheduled throughout August to December and this would not conflict with existing schedules.

Adjournment - Beechworth CFA

My matter is for the Minister for Emergency Services. I want to raise matters that are of concern, these include lack of firefighting equipment and inadequate resourcing and low morale.

Constituency Question - NEMA funding

My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. I asked the Minister to clarity whether NEMA will receive access to urgently needed and renewed funding and if so, when?

Speech - Notice of Motion: Coalition Ombudsman referral

Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party has supported a referral to the Ombusdman of the allegations aired on 60 Minutes and in The Age regarding Ministers misuse of staff and budget entitlements.

Members Statement- Maria Berry: Elder Abuse Awareness Day

On the positive side to this very sombre topic, are the people who dedicate their time to fighting for the rights of the victims of elder abuse.  A great example of this is Maria Berry, from the North East of Victoria, who has spent many years campaigning for the rights of elderly.

Adjournment - Mildura passenger rail

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Transport Infrastructure. In a sense, it’s a matter that’s more than 25 years in the making – because, quite shamefully, over a quarter of a century has passed since the city of Mildura last had access to a passenger rail service.

Constituency Question - Murray Basin Rail

I asked the Minister for Transport Infrastructure is she could outline when constituents will see the new business case for the Murray Basin Rail Project.

Members Statement- Rescue of William Callaghan

William Callaghan, 14 year old teenager, endured two nights in freezing conditions. Almost 500 people searched around the clock for more than 48 hours until William was found.

Speech- Manslaughter Bill 2020

In Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party we welcome this bill, as is also the case for the families of many victims of the types of crimes at the heart of this bill. Mr Grimley and I are pleased to see this legislation before the Parliament. Like them, we hope that its introduction may ultimately pave the way for the delivery of stronger sentencing decisions in the future for these atrocious offences.