"Over the past couple of weeks I have been all over western Victoria and the picture is stark - poor rainfall over the last six months, record lows in some areas, and a forecast for more of the same. It must be obvious to the Premier, given that this is part of his own electorate. He cannot have missed the fact that there is a lot of heat and drought affecting his electorate." Greg has asked the State Government to declare western Victoria as drought affected, triggering Federal assistance. Read more in his media release
The state budget has been handed down and it looks like public transport is going to suffer as roads - and particularly the controversial and highly secretive East West road tunnel - take priority. Greg has submitted numerous Freedom of Information requests but is still to know the potential routes, the business case, much about the modelling it's based on or anything else that might be considered to be in the public interest. "They will never let you see because it shows that their toll road is a dud and rail projects can do the same job cheaper and better," Fairfax reported Greg as saying earlier this week.
To find out more about this and all of the other things that have been going on, head over to Greg's webpage, friend or follow him on facebook and add him to your twitter feed.
Greg's office is looking for volunteers! If you are a confident and capable photographer, wrangler of social media - including designing advertising campaigns incorporating social media - or you have another skill that you think would be a great contribution we'd love to hear from you. Please email email@example.com with a list and sample of your available super powers and when you might be able to donate them.
Community and women's health campaign success!
In the third win for the month, Colleen's campaign to stop the proposed cuts to community and women’s health services in the State Budget was successful. Thanks to the hundreds of people that signed Colleen's petition, and to the hard work of the health sector, last week’s budget returned $23 million in funding to community and women’s health! While the government have not quite returned funding to 2011-12 levels, the second phase of an almost $26 million cut to Community Health announced last year has been scrapped. They have also invested millions in new funding for services, aboriginal health, and refugee and asylum seeker health. Click here for more information and share this win on facebook.
Victorian budget update
Overall the state budget is mostly bad news for the Western Suburbs, but contains a small morsel of community wins. The single biggest disappointment is that government's complete neglect of addressing our transport problems. There was little money in the budget for cycling infrastructure, he government has completely abandoned the Westgate Ramps truck bypass. The biggest positive of the budget was the $224m over 4 years in new funding for disability services, including for the 720 new Individual Support Packages and funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. For a more detailed analysis click here.
Fair Go For Firefighters get active video
Our Fair Go For Firefighters campaign is in a critical phase, on the 12 June a government committee reports on whether our bill to provide WorkCover to Firefighters for cancer they contract from workplace exposure can proceed through parliament. Now is the time for you to step out and get active! Watch this video to see how you can help. If you can help distributing postcards please contact Colleen's office on 9689 6373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of postcards you would like and your address.
The state budget is a big let down for education with the assault on TAFE continuing and not enough investment in support services, major capital works and repairs to schools. Click here for Sue's response. Also of concern is the insufficient funding to Victoria Legal Aid. The big winners are prison operators at the expense of diversion and other programs that would help to keep people out of prison, with better outcomes for the community and at less cost to taxpayers. Read more in Sue's media release.
Duck massacre at Box Flat private wetland near Boort: This extraordinary and shocking incident, and a similar incident that was reported to have occurred at the same wetland last year, must be the catalyst for the end of duck shooting in Victoria as it is in NSW, WA and Queensland. Following revelations in the media that department staff were warned that a large number of shooters would again be converging at Box Flat, Sue has called on the government to explain how it allowed the shooting to happen. ''The fact that the government was officially warned about this incident makes a mockery of the minister's consistent claims that this activity is highly regulated and the regulations are enforced,'' see the Age report and Sue's media release for more information.
To find out more about this and all of the other things that have been going on, head over to Sue's webpage, friend or follow her on facebook and add her to your twitter feed.