Speech- Out of Home Care Bill 2020

I will close by reiterating that we should never, ever lose sight of the fact that there is still an enormous amount of work to do that goes way, way beyond this legislation in the support and development of children, young people and families more generally. I would like to congratulate Ms Patten on her bill, and I would like to commend this bill to the house.

Constituency Question- Black Spur safety

My question, to the Minister for Roads, is again about safety improvements to the Black Spur road in Murrindindi. I asked the Minister if she could make available an itemised list of both the completed upgrades and planned works- and timelines and costs.

Question without Notice- Ambulance response times

I refer, in the Question to the Ambulance Services Minister, to the heartbreaking case of Seymour woman, Gayl Hubbard, who died on 7 October 2019 while waiting for ambulance crews to arrive. Gayl’s husband, Tony, was led to believe by the ESTA worker that an ambulance was imminent, given he could see the ambulance station from his home. The worker told Tony “the ambulance is on its way” repeatedly. Tragically it took 43 minutes by Tony’s call log for an ambulance to arrive.

Adjournment- Mandatory sentencing

I have once again called on the Attorney General to close the loophole for minimum sentencing for assaults on emergency workers. The mandatory sentence applied to a case in January was encouraging but the legislation still needs to be strengthened to ensure greater rights for victims and so that a meaningful deterrent is delivered to offenders.

Constituency Question- North East Rail Line

Since my previous question in Parliament last year, I again asked the Minister for Public Transport, to clarify for the long suffering passengers on the North East Rail Line, whether urgent and extensive improvements will be made, and if so, when?

Adjournment- CFA Fire services

Following the disastrous recent bushfires across the state, I asked the Minister to clarify what, if any, provisions are in place to ensure that CFA Volunteers are heard and understood by the government so that their views are genuinely reflected in policies and arrangements, including in relation to vehicle deployment, that govern their actions and operations.

Constituency Question- Cause of bushfires

I asked the Minister for Police and Emergency Services if she could indicate what information the government possesses about the actual ignition sources of each of the recent bushfires. I asked the Minister if she could state how many separate bushfires began in Northern Victoria Region and in what cases has the ignition source been identified. I asked for further clarification with regards to what percentage of these fires where naturally ignited or ignited by human cause.

Question without Notice- CFA resourcing

CFA volunteer brigades continue to be forced to individually fundraise for their own equipment, including essential operational equipment. Even in cases where they happen to be awarded volunteer emergency services equipment program grants, they still need to contribute $1 of their own money for every $2 of government funding. I asked the Minister, in view of the many severe shortfalls and safety risks that result from the current funding arrangements, when will CFA volunteers be consulted about and involved in helping design an improved model that is better resourced and tailored to their needs?

Constituency Question- Internet access & Emergency Notifications

For my constituents and indeed others in regional areas, internet access is often unreliable at the best of times. Let alone in emergency situations, where power and phone coverage is often severely hampered. Being able to successfully click through to the URL is accordingly, in some cases, simply impossible. I therefore ask: why is far more comprehensive, meaningful information not included, in the first instance, in the text message?

Condolence Motion - Victorian Bushfires

It is with great sadness that I stand here today to pay respect to those who lost their lives either whilst performing their duties to save others’ lives and properties or whilst protecting their own homes here in Victoria during what has been a shocking fire season throughout our state. Bushfires have a devastating effect on our land, communities and animals, with the ultimate devastation being the loss of lives.

Constituency Question- Relocation Incentives

My question (on behalf of a constituent) is to the Treasurer. Recently, the Education Minister announced that teachers will be offered incentives of up to $50,000 to re-locate to regional schools – including, I assume, to any school in the Northern Victoria electorate.

Member's Statement-Caroline Chisholm Society

I am pleased to speak today on the Caroline Chisholm Society as they celebrate 50 years. My advocacy for primary prevention and early intervention programs is very well known in this place. As stated by the Caroline Chisholm Society, if we can get perinatal mental health right, we will improve the wellbeing of every Victorian child during the critical first 1000 days of their life.

Adjournment- Child pornography and exploitation

My matter for the Minister for Child Protection is about the topics of child pornography and exploitation. I raise it not only because of a recent spate of horrifying news stories in these areas, like the conduct of Westpac, the starved four-year-old in Gippsland and a series of child neglect cases in Queensland; I also raise it because of my longstanding concerns about Victorian sentencing practices and data for child pornography crimes.

Question without Notice- Council resourcing for bush fire prevention and management

My question is to the Minister for Local Government, Mr Somyurek. It is about the status of the ‘Councils and emergencies project’ overseen by Local Government Victoria, especially as it relates to bush fire management and prevention activity in regional areas of the State.

Constituency Question- Police resourcing in North East Victoria

My question is to the Police Minister. It is my understanding that 10 new police officers have been recruited to North East Victoria, and have been recruited to work on family violence matters.

Adjournment-'Lost, not forgotten' report on child protection

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Child Protection. It follows the recent tabling of the ‘Lost, not forgotten’ report of Victoria’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Liana Buchanan. By any measure, the revelations in the report are chilling. Specifically, it scrutinised the actions (or, more to the point, the lack of actions) of Child Protection and child and family services in relation to the repeated and severe neglect of each of 35 children, in particular. 

Constituency Question- North East Rail Line

My constituency question is to the Minister for Public Transport, and it is about the ongoing Third World performance of trains on the north-east rail line.

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.

Constituency question- Yarrawonga/Mulwala Bridge

My constituency question is for the Minister for Roads. It is about the longstanding desire of my constituents in Yarrawonga and surrounding areas for a new Yarrawonga-Mulwala bridge crossing to be constructed.

Amendment- Serious Offenders and Other Matters Bill 2019

My amendment to the Serious Offenders and Other Matters Bill 2019 was seeking to ensure that the government takes the step of proactively advising the relevant victims of crime of their right, a right already enshrined in law, to receive a share of a compensation payout. That is, I am asking that a relevant victim or victims are notified by the government as soon as a compensation payment of $10 000 or more is awarded to a particular, current or former prisoner or person on remand.