I also would like to commend this forward‑thinking government for its $518 million investment to transform the Ballarat line and duplicate the line to Melton, essentially providing more services more often to the residents throughout Melbourne’s west.
SPEAKING ON A BILL | FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AMENDMENT (OFFICE OF THE VICTORIAN INFORMATION COMMISSIONER) BILL 2016
I commend the bill to the house and hope members will vote to give effect to this bill so that there will not be any delay in improving the current system so as to provide fair access to freedom of information documentation from the government and also strengthen the protection of privacy, which needs to be done. We think it is an important reform, and I commend the bill to the house.
Can the minister explain how the partnership between the Municipal Association of Victoria, Creative Victoria and local government will promote and support the arts and our creative industries in the west?
Two weeks ago Youth Junction Inc., a not‑for‑profit organisation in my electorate, celebrated its 10th anniversary. Youth Junction Inc. is a fantastic organisation. It aims to reduce youth crime and provide young Victorians aged between 12 and 25 with the support they need to lead a safe, healthy and fruitful life.
Melbourne’s western suburbs are booming. Population wise, my electorate is the fastest growing region in Victoria and is experiencing one of the fastest growth rates in Australia. According to population predictions, over the next 40 years Melbourne’s west will come to accommodate more than 40 per cent of the city of Melbourne’s metropolitan population growth.
I want to take the opportunity to wish everyone in the house and all the staff a merry, merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year. A special thankyou to our staff, including Hansard, the attendants and everyone who works in the building. I hope we all have a safe and prosperous 2017.
I rise to speak on the Justice Legislation Amendment (Parole Reform and Other Matters) Bill 2016. As the previous speaker stated, the bill addresses two points. One relates to changes to the Victorian parole system in relation to the murder of a police officer. The second one relates to no body, no parole.
Unlike what was said in some comments by various parties, this bill is not intended to restrict freedom of religion — far from it. The bill eliminates any form of discrimination and requires religious schools to be responsible employers, like any employer in the state of Victoria.
I wish to congratulate Seabrook Primary School and principal Susan Lee for being a successful recipient of the Andrews Labor government’s $16 million School Pride and Sports Fund. One of 10 schools to receive funding through this round of grants, Seabrook primary was recently allocated $113 122 to build a much‑needed new boundary fence.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of accompanying Minister Hutchins, the Minister for Local Government, when she made several announcements in relation to community investments from the $50 million Growing Suburbs Fund. The announcements were made in the City of Hume and the City of Melton. The City of Melton has received over $4.38 million to develop five projects under the 2016–17 Growing Suburbs Fund, including the Melton botanic trail, with $850 000; Kenswick Drive Reserve upgrade, $387 000; and the scout adventure activity centre, $1.755 million.
I return to the main purpose of the bill, which is to provide patients with advance care planning. The bill goes a long way to describe how that could occur, basically delivering or respecting the wishes of individual patients and also providing some guidance to medical practitioners and to carers. The bill will provide for instructional directives, which will provide specific directives about the treatment a person consents to or refuses.
That is the purpose of this bill: to provide individual patients, individual Victorians, with some certainty that their wishes will be respected when they are in a situation where they have to face these decisions, which a lot of people will have to do from time to time. It is important that we do this.
I also rise to speak on Ms Wooldridge’s motion. In doing so I will just pick up a couple of points in her motion — about budget deficits, for example. Obviously the opposition failed to read the budget papers. Last time I checked we had a surplus last financial year and the year before that...
Can the minister please inform me how my constituents in Western Metropolitan Region can be involved in the local partnership arrangement?
The Andrews Labor Government recognises the importance of public libraries and I am pleased that this Government has delivered record high investment in library services with $41.5 million provided this year in recurrent library funding across all library services. This is additional to the $22.4 million provided over four years to extend the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program and the Premiers' Reading Challenge Book Fund.
The Andrews Labor government recently announced the second round of funding for the school shade grants program. Congratulations to the successful recipients in my electorate: St Albans East Primary School, Altona Green Primary School, Braybrook College and Ascot Vale Special School.
Women’s Housing Ltd, an organisation which is part of the Victorian registered housing agency, was successful in securing a $5.5 million grant from the Victorian Property Fund to fund the redevelopment of 10–12 Bradley Street, Newport, into 20 units for affordable housing for women and their children escaping family violence.
Local residents and commuters in the west in my electorate will benefit from a huge package of road upgrades and maintenance work that will cut travel times, improve road safety and better connect communities in key growth areas.