Border communities mark winter solstice

Member’s statement

Tania MAXWELL (Northern Victoria) (09:46): 

This year’s winter solstice was last night, Tuesday, 21 June, a time when people from Albury and surrounding areas gathered at QEII Square in Albury to speak about the grief of losing a loved one and to comfort each other.

The Winter Solstice was created to encourage conversations, to assist in de-stigmatising the issue of suicide and to provide an event where people could come together in a supporting environment. They gather on the darkest night of the year to share stories, to talk about their memories and to remember those they have lost.

Nine Australians die every day by suicide; 75 per cent of those who take their lives are male. More than 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt every year. These are horrendous statistics.

Many of us have been touched in some way by losing someone to suicide, and it often leaves those left behind feeling a sense of guilt, bewilderment and great sadness. I urge anyone out there today and from this day forward to reach out if you have suicidal ideation. Your pain can be alleviated in other ways. You are worthy, and you can seek the support you require to empower your fragile mind. Let us all continue these important conversations and encourage people to speak up and speak out, for we have lost far too many lives already.

March4Justice walks strong against violence

Member’s statement

March 10, 2022

Tania MAXWELL (Northern Victoria) (10:14):

On 27 February (2022) I joined with victim-survivors and supporters for a society free from violence at the March4Justice rally in Albury-Wodonga.

A few days earlier Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party lodged our submission in response to the federal draft National Plan to end violence against women and children.

Our vision is one of fair, just and safe communities.

In our submission we noted that any plan can only be as good as the actions that follow. Our state and national response to violence must be victim-centred, provide appropriate interventions to address the cause of violence and ensure offenders are held to account for their actions. The process of challenging and changing societal norms which reinforce violent behaviours must be reflected by changes in our public institutions, including the response to and support of victim-survivors.

We advocate for greater recognition and understanding of the seriousness of conduct offences, a strong response to the ever-increasing use of technology to perpetrate abuse and the opportunities technology presents to keep perpetrators accountable. We should elevate the rights and voices of children, older persons and those with a disability.

I pay tribute to the inspiring speakers at the March4Justice, including Pat Catteo, Jen Tate, Liz Marmo, Tammy Campbell and Judy Langridge for standing strong against violence.

Is the Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal on track?

Constituency question

October 14, 2021

Tania Maxwell (Northern Victoria, 15:42):

My constituency question is to the Minister for Regional Development (Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas MP) regarding the Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal.

The Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal was announced in 2019 and touted as a game-changer for this cross-border community.

The deal should deliver opportunities to streamline planning between the two communities – public transport is just one example.  Different state laws and party politics on each side of the border can complicate cross-border services.  Throw in the overlay of federal politics, and it is no wonder a formalised deal is needed.

A Statement of Intent was agreed between the three levels of government in 2020, but nothing seems to have progressed since.

And so I ask the Minister: can she advise when the Victorian government will formally sign off on the Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal?