Media Centre

Have your say

Victorian Labor has announced the first stage of its plan to keep Victorians in work and is asking the community and business groups to have their say.

Upwey-Tecoma Community Recreational and Sporting Hub

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.

Community Survey

Many residents are telling me life getting tougher and essential services like health and education are suffering. I want to know how you’re finding things under the Baillieu State Government. Let me know what you think...

Sue and Bruce Tardif

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.

Knox Festival

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.

Olinda Recreation Reserve: Facility Funding

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.

Campaign building up steam

The campaign to save Puffing Billy is building up steam with a further 1450 petitioners having their request lodged in the Victorian Parliament today by Upper House Member for Eastern Victoria Johan Scheffer.

Dixon silent on bullying of school principal

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.

Education: Government Performance

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.

Australia Day: Shire of Yarra Ranges

I rise to congratulate a number of Yarra Ranges Shire Council Australia Day award winners. The Environmental Achiever of the Year award was awarded to Macclesfield resident Irene Pearey. Her passionate commitment to the environment was rightly applauded. Her work with the Macclesfield Landcare Group and the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater community nursery, to name just a couple of groups, shows that Irene is a worthy recipient.


Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews has today announced minor changes to Labor’s Shadow Ministry.

As part of the changes, Deputy Leader James Merlino has been appointed the new Shadow Minister for Education, while the newest member of the Shadow Cabinet, John Eren, is now responsible for the Sport and Recreation and Volunteers portfolios.

Monbulk electorate: Christmas appeals

I rise to congratulate three organisations in my electorate that are currently conducting Christmas appeals: Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service has a bridging the gap appeal, Knox Infolink has its Share the Joy Christmas appeal and Anglicare Victoria is holding the Lilydale Christmas of Hope appeal. Christmas is a time of sunshine, happiness, precious time with family and friends and the joy of giving and receiving.

Monbulk Business Network: Christmas street party

Congratulations to the Monbulk Business Network for organising the Merry Monbulk Christmas street party on Friday, 25 November. It was a great night, and congratulations to organiser Liz Dumps and her team for putting it on.

New “Traveller” road laws are as clear as mud

The Baillieu Government’s weak attempt to claim it’s working to make the state’s roads safer has unravelled, with its Road Safety Bill to have significant unintended consequences for Victorian drivers, it was revealed today.

Shadow Minister for Road Safety James Merlino said the Government’s attempt to rush a Bill through Parliament to stop drivers having a “traveller” during a car trip had left Victorians utterly confused about what they can and can’t do on and off the road.