Question without Notice- Drought assistance

My question is to the Minister for Agriculture, Ms Symes. It follows a Weekly Times article of 23 October about enormous variations in the amounts of drought assistance provided by the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian governments respectively.

Question without Notice- Black Spur

My question is to the Minister for Roads, Ms Pulford. It follows her Ministerial Statement yesterday, and previous Question Time exchanges between us on 18 June and 13 August, about accidents and safety issues on the Black Spur road in Murrindindi.

Members Statement - Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards

The Regional Achievement and Community Awards acknowledge the tireless work of individuals, communities, businesses and groups to support the social, economic, commercial or environmental prosperity of regional and rural areas. Finalists of this year’s awards included many dynamic programs from across Northern Victoria including TwistED Science of Echuca, Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation of Healesville, Food Next Door of Mildura, Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, Tyrrell College of Sea Lake.

Constituency Question- Cobram crime

I held a forum on 19 September with residents in Cobram. They raised many issues of concern, including the lack of a 24 hour police station anywhere in the Moira Shire. I asked the Ministerwhether she will act to increase Victoria Police’s resources and presence in Cobram – and whether she would be prepared to accept an invitation to join with the local community and me at a meeting at a mutually convenient time to discuss this and associated issues?

Motion- Emergency Services Workers Mandatory sentencing

My Motion for Mandatory sentencing for assaults on Emergency Services workers. I want to send the unequivocal message to this State’s emergency workers (and want it to be heard far and wide) that we salute your bravery, courage and selflessness in looking after Victorians every day that you are at work. We support and admire you. And, when it comes specifically to those of you who have been assaulted (and who deserve to see those who attacked you genuinely brought to justice), we unashamedly take your side.

Constituency Question- Dhurringile Prison

My constituency question is to the Minister for Corrections. It follows events at the Dhurringile Prison in late August, when authorities were apparently unaware that a prisoner had escaped until a member of the local community phoned them. I ask the Minister if (and when) the Government will seek to implement less intrusive and aggressive means of monitoring movements of private citizens around the gaol?

Adjournment-Farm Crime

My adjournment matter is for the Police Minister. I have previously raised here the ever-escalating problem of farm crime. I seek from the Minister is the provision of a statement with full details of what funding is being allocated to each of the initiatives that she announced on 23 September as being new. I ask for clarification of how many AGLOs there were across Victoria Police immediately prior to 23 September, and how (in a day to day sense) the roles of the FCLOs will practically differ from what the AGLOs were previously doing. Including whether the FCLOs will be working full time on farm crime issues or splitting this activity with other policing duties.

Constituency Question - Nestle Tongala closure

My constituency question is to the Minister for Regional Development – and is about the wellbeing of the people of the town of Tongala, in my electorate.

Member Statement - Paula Allen Blue Ribbon Foundation Police Officer of the Year

Leading Senior Sergeant Paula Allen, youth resource officer with Benalla Police, has been named the Blue Ribbon Foundation Police Officer of the year for 2019.

Adjournment - Mental Health Services

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Mental Health. It relates to the release in March 2019 of the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) report Access to Mental Health Services.

Adjournment - Prison Contraband

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Corrections. It follows the recent release of the latest Drugs in Victorian Prisons report.I therefore seek from the Minister is that he clarify how the government has established the benchmark for the levels of drugs and contraband use that are stipulated in the drugs in prisons report and why it should apparently be regarded as acceptable that there should be any drugs or contraband items allowed in the state’s prisons at all.

Question without Notice - Millewa Drought

My question is to the Minister for Agriculture, Ms Symes. As one of her fellow members for Northern Victoria Region, I commend her for her decision to expedite a visit to the Millewa region last week to inspect the effects of the crippling, successive droughts there. I ask the minister if she could provide me with a clarification on how much money is still available to assist those farmers in the Millewa region?

Constituency Question - Benalla Police Station

My constituency question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and I ask if she could indicate whether and when the government will fund a rebuild of the Benalla Police Station. I ask because the station, built in 1956, is now in near complete disrepair.

Member Statement - Maria Hutchison

It was my sincere pleasure to recently launch the book Facing Maria on behalf of author Maria Hutchison, who is in the gallery with us here today. Maria’s life has been marked by periods of trauma, abuse, oppression and addiction. From this dark place Maria has emerged as a woman of courage, conviction and inspiration.

Question without Notice - Swan Hill Hospital

My question is to the Minister for Health, Minister Mikakos. Will the minister advise this house of the criteria on which the government prioritises hospital upgrades? As part of the answer, could she clarify what level of due diligence the government typically performs in making its funding decisions on hospital upgrades and whether it is compulsory each time for a specific documentation to be prepared, such as a master plan, business case or any other kind of cost-benefit analysis?

Speech - Engineers Registration Reform Bill

I rise to speak to this bill today. At the outset of my contribution let me say there is no problem, as far as Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party is concerned, with the stated aim of this bill. Broadly we agree with the government that finding a means of providing the general public with confidence and peace of mind about the capacities and qualifications of professional engineers is perfectly sensible in itself, especially in the midst of a period of significant infrastructure spending and activity in Victoria.

Adjournment - Tomorrow Today Foundation Benalla

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Education. It is about the practice of philanthropy and ways in which we as politicians might build on the selfless giving of others to create wider ranging and more enduring benefits for Victorians. In this respect I would like to focus my contribution tonight on the amazing work of the Tomorrow Today Foundation in Benalla.

Constituency Question - Energy supply and prices

My constituency question is to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. I ask the minister what assurances she can provide that many concerned constituents of mine in Northern Victoria will not experience further power outages under the Andrews government, including during next summer.

Member Statement - Yackandandah Health

In July I had the pleasure of visiting the Yackandandah Health facility, a community-owned, not-for-profit organisation nestled in the beautiful Yackandandah Valley in north-east Victoria. Based on the bush nursing model, the site is home to 77 residents within the residential aged-care facility.