Daniel Andrews talks to Steve Bracks about the current Victorian Jobs Crisis hurting so many Victorians.
The iconic 1000 steps at the foothills of the Dandenongs is well known as an important commemoration of the Kokoda campaign and is important to those who access the venue for fitness training. Unfortunately the critical importance of the role played by Parks Victoria staff in maintaining this site and parks across the state is lost on the Baillieu government.
The Baillieu Government’s ‘tough on crime’ agenda is in tatters, with new statistics revealing overall crime has increased for the first time in more than 10 years. The statistics, released by Victoria Police, show overall crime has risen by 4.1 per cent in the past 12 months to March.
I rise to commend the efforts of the Upwey-Tecoma Community Recreational and Sporting Hub group in pursuing a transformation of this significant reserve. The strength of the group is due to the fact that it is incredibly representative of the community -- 23 groups and clubs are working together to achieve their dream of redeveloping this site.
I want to pay tribute to Sue and Bruce Tardif, who recently concluded their five-year stint as coordinators for the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater. The helmeted honeyeater is not only critically endangered; it is Victoria's bird emblem. Since 1989 the friends group has worked tirelessly to increase awareness of the bird's plight and to protect and enhance its habitat. This has included running the group's own community native nursery. The army of volunteers has been superbly assisted by Bruce and Sue in the vast range of community, education and environmental activities the friends participate in. I thank them for their efforts and wish them all the best for the next chapter of their lives.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Knox City Council on the staging of the Knox Festival on the 3rd and 4th of March. The Knox Festival is one of the longest running community art festivals in Melbourne and also one of the most successful, with close to 40 000 people participating in this annual event. Huge rainfall significantly impacted on the festival on Saturday, but it was a packed with a happy crowd on Sunday, when my family and I enjoyed the huge array of activities. Terrific music, dance and theatre shows; plenty of kids activities; rides; workshops; circus acts; community displays; a 7-tonne sand sculpture; and a variety of sports come-and-try opportunities were on offer.
I raise a matter for the Minister for Sport and Recreation regarding the Hilltop Recreation Association and the redevelopment of Olinda Recreation Reserve. The action I seek from the minister is that he approve an application for $100 000 under the country football and netball program.
In an outrageous abuse of parliamentary process, Liberal Member for Western Metropolitan Region Bernie Finn has called for the Minister for Education to sack a highly regarded principal, Shadow Minister for Education James Merlino said today.
Whilst I am certainly excited to be the shadow Minister for Education, I join this debate today to grieve for education in Victoria. Education is a passion of mine. It is through education that people can transform their lives, break out of
poverty and achieve their dreams. Only governments that have an unwavering focus on education, skills, research and innovation deliver sustained economic growth, jobs and high standards of living.
Education Minister Martin Dixon’s visit to Ballarat today may be his last for a while with the Baillieu Government failing to invest a single dollar in any Ballarat school during its first 14 months in office.