On this page you will find media releases from the 3 Greens elected to state parliament in Victoria.

Federal releases for Victorian representatives can be found here.

To see media coverage of our local government elected representatives, visit our Local Media page.

For more Greens news from across Australia go to the Australian Greens press page.

Oke, Greens would make contract teachers permanent

The Victorian Greens candidate in the Melbourne by-election, Dr Cathy Oke, has said one of her first acts in Parliament will be a push to make all teachers permanent employees within three years of starting work.

Throwing her support behind the teachers' campaign for increased funding, greater job security and decent pay, Dr Oke criticised the Baillieu government’s broken election promise on teachers pay. She said both the old parties have failed to recognise the importance of permanent employment to underpin the quality of teaching.

"Many Victorian teachers are going from year to year on short-term contracts. If we want to attract the best and brightest people to teach our children, we need to offer good pay and secure employment," Dr Oke said.

“Under the previous Labor government, the number of short-term teaching contracts climbed to 19.4% and the Baillieu government has failed to fix the problem.”

Mowbray College – Students must come first

Greens Education spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik MLC said today that the collapse of Mowbray College shows why independent schools that receive public money need to be transparent and accountable.

"Government schools are accountable for the public funds they receive, and non-government schools must also be accountable to ensure that debts such as this do not accumulate in the first instance, placing schools and students at risk," Ms Pennicuik said.

"However, the number one priority now is the welfare of the students who need to be supported beyond the end of this term (as the state government has offered) and guaranteed a future," she said. "It's not their fault that the college has racked up debts placing their education in jeopardy."

Thursday 31 May World No Tobacco Day

 

Greens push on smoking ban in public places
 
Greens candidate Cathy Oke said: "Local councils are introducing laws on smoking in public places, but that could mean different and confusing rules in different parts of Victoria.  The best way to fix this problem is to pass a statewide law."
 
" Other people’s smoke isn’t just annoying, it’s dangerous."
 
" The health Minister, David Davis has expressed some interest in this issue, but there’s no reason for delay ."
 
" Other states are leaping ahead, some have already got a comprehensive law. The Victorian government isn’t moving at all. ."
 
“  Quit, the Cancer Council, the Heart Foundation and the AMA are all calling for urgent action.”
 
To read the position statement click here
 

Greens want state law for $1 bet limit on pokies

 

 Greens candidate Cathy Oke said: The Greens want $1 bet-per-spin limit on all pokies in Victoria”

“ The power to do this already exists under state law. It’s simple matter of political will by the minister of the day”

“Current machine rules mean you could lose up to $1200 per hour playing the pokies. Many people gamble away their life savings before they even relaise they have a problem.”

“We submitted our policy for a $1 bet-per-spin to the Victorian treasury for costing at the 2010 election. They told us they didn’t know how to cost it.”

“We need a proper independent study of this measure before we can be sure how much it will impact venues and state tax receipts. What we do know is that of all the ways to collect tax, polies are the worst.”

Greens push on road safety

 

The Greens will introduce a 'vulnerable road user' provision into the law to put more responsibility onto motorists to look out for pedestrians, cyclists, road workers and other vulnerable groups.

Greens candidate in the Melbourne byelection, Cathy Oke said: “Keeping Melbourne liveable means keeping people safe.”

“ There are 40,000 voters in the seat of Melbourne, but about three quarters of a million daily visitors. I want them all to get home safely and unfortunately, many don't because of road accidents.”

Legal protection for vulnerable road users

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- In the near future the Greens will be looking to introduce a vulnerable road user provision into the law to put more responsibility onto motorists to look out for pedestrians, cyclists, road workers and other vulnerable groups -- for example, people moving agricultural machinery along roads.

Many road safety experts and road user groups are talking about special laws for protecting vulnerable road users, but so far amongst the political parties only the Greens is proposing to do something about it. Victorian law already recognises drivers' responsibility to change their behaviour according to the circumstances, and the courts are now starting to interpret that as a special duty of care to vulnerable groups. We think it is time that was codified in law, to make the law clearer to everyone.

Continue the Auslan Diploma in Victoria, Minister

 

Auslan interpreters and 80 members of the deaf and Auslan (Australian sign language) speaking communities packed the gallery of Victorian Parliament today, when Greens MLC Colleen Hartland questioned the Higher Education Minister Peter Hall about cuts to Auslan education.
 
"The Minister is still blaming non-government organisations for the Baillieu government's failure to provide funding for Kangan TAFE to continue its Diploma of Auslan," said Victorian Greens Disability Rights spokesperson Colleen Hartland.
 
"He is still trying to fudge the issue, by pretending that a part time certificate course is anything like a Diploma.  That's like training someone for first aid and sending them off to be a doctor."
 
"Without the Diploma of Auslan, students won't be able to go on to study to become an interpreter.  Without interpreters in Victoria, there will be a whole range of human rights issues."
 
"I asked the Minister to guarantee the continuation of a Diploma of Auslan in Victoria next year.  He wasn't able to."
 
"I will campaign with the community until the Minister reads the signs," said Ms Hartland.

Auslan TAFE cuts are a human rights issue

Greens MLC Colleen Hartland has described the closure of Victoria's only accredited Australian Sign Language (Auslan) diploma due to funding cuts by the Baillieu government as "a human rights issue" in Parliament today, and described the Minister's plan to bring in NSW Auslan trainers as "shonky".

"This is a human rights issue wrapped up in an education issue," said Colleen Hartland

"Auslan is an official community language, used by deaf Auslan speakers and by people with hearing who want to communicate with deaf Auslan speakers.   There is only one Diploma of Auslan course in Victoria, at Kangan TAFE.  The course is going to close at the end of this year due to funding cuts." 

Greens support International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)

Victorian Greens spokesperson for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual and Intersex (GBLTI) issues,  Sue Pennicuik MLC today voiced her support for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).*

"Homophobia and transphobia does not just affect individuals - it affects our whole community," Ms Pennicuik said. "Today is an opportunity to stand up for full equality in our communities, workplaces and schools and to speak out against homophobia and transphobia.

Baillieu should trust Brimbank voters

Greens MLC Colleen Hartland says the Premier's move to cancel the Brimbank Council election shows that he does not trust voters.

"I can't see a reason for Mr Baillieu to delay a democratic election in Brimbank until 2015, except that it is after the next State Election in November 2014. In political terms, he is putting it off indefinitely," said Greens MP Colleen Hartland, who represents the Western Metropolitan Region in State Parliament.

"Everywhere else in Victoria, voters get a say on council services like rubbish collection, maternal and child health centres, aged care, recreational facilities, arts and libraries. Local councils can stand up against the State Government on issues like pokies, which are causing such damage in Brimbank."

"Voters in Brimbank will be paying rates for seven years without representation."