MrHIBBINS (Prahran) — It is clear to everyone in the Prahran electorate that homelessness has increased with a number of people sleeping rough in the Chapel Street area. I always point out that this is just the tip of the iceberg with many more people experiencing homelessness in insecure or unsafe housing rather than living on the street. Having spoken to local housing agencies, I was shocked by just how few options there are locally to place people experiencing homelessness. This results in agencies sending people to outer suburbs or even country towns where they have no ability to support them or know whether their accommodation is stable and of course away from their family or support network, resulting in many people simply returning to that very same service.
MrHIBBINS (Prahran) — My question is to the Premier. In the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation said she had not met with Stephen Conroy, who is both a member of the ALP national executive and is also acting as a lobbyist for the gaming industry. She went on to say she would only meet him with an independent witness, and then I understand that later she said she would not meet him at all. However, the Treasurer, I understand, has said that he has met with Mr Conroy. Premier, will you direct all your ministers not to meet with Stephen Conroy whilst he acts as both a lobbyist and an ALP factional powerbroker?
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I rise to speak on the Sentencing Amendment (Sentencing Standards) Bill 2017. I welcome that the debate has diverged into TAFE. There is a bit of work to go in TAFE, because we know what the Auditor-General's report into TAFE finances said. They are still struggling to stay financially sustainable with the recurrent funding. The balance sheets are only being kept in the black by the TAFE Rescue Fund and these other grants from the government, and they are all due to expire in 2018, so there is still a lot more work to be done to save TAFE after the disastrous, disastrous reforms implemented by the Brumby Labor government and continued on by the previous Liberal government.
MrHIBBINS (Prahran) — My question is in regard to clause 1 and the purposes. In the bail review Paul Coghlan said section 4 of the Bail Act should be amended so that it provides that:
in applying the unacceptable risk, exceptional circumstances and show good reason tests, a bail decision-maker must take into account —
more detailed factors, including:
the nature and seriousness of the alleged offending, including whether or not it is a serious example of the offence;
any special vulnerability of the accused, including by reason of youth, being an Aboriginal person, ill health, cognitive impairment, intellectual disability or mental health;
the availability of treatment or support services;
the length of time the accused is likely to spend in custody if bail is refused;
the likely sentence should the accused be found guilty of the offence charged …
There are also the existing factors in the act, such as the accused's criminal history and the strength of the prosecution's case, yet it appears that this bill does not provide for these additional considerations. I was wondering why that was the case.
MrHIBBINS (Prahran) — (12 774) My question is to the Minister for Police and is in relation to Operation Safe Night, where sniffer dogs are being used on Chapel Street to address illegal drug use. This operation follows several people dying earlier this year after taking drugs, some in clubs in the Prahran electorate.