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VICTORIA CONTINUES TO FALL SHORT WHEN IT COMES TO PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING

MEDIA RELEASE A comparison of state and federal funding agreements has exposed the Andrews Labor Government’s woeful rate of public school funding.   Victoria currently spends less on public schools than any other state or territory in Australia, and with its current agreement, will be the last state to reach the agreed funding rate of 75 per cent.   The government’s agreement even allows it to claim additional expenditure in the 4 per cent accounting trick, which allows states to claim non-school based expenditure towards their 75 per cent target.   Victorian Greens spokesperson for education, Sam Hibbins, said it...

Victorians need certainty that Somyurek didn't meddle with proposed council ward changes

Victorians need certainty that Somyurek didn't meddle with proposed council ward changes 22/06/2020   The Victorian Greens have called on the new minister for local government, Shaun Leane, to ensure that any proposed council ward changes made by Adem Somyurek were done in good faith and not to corrupt local democracy.   They said that Victorians deserved certainty that the proposed changes were not politically motivated and aligned with the proposals put forward by the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).   Earlier this year Somyurek put forward new proposals for the ward boundaries of eight metropolitan councils – Bayside, Cardinia Shire,...

GREENS CALL FOR INVESTMENT IN POP-UP BIKE LANES ON WORLD BICYCLE DAY

03/06/2020 The Victorian Greens have called on the state government to immediately invest in pop-up bike lanes around greater Melbourne to help people practice social distancing and safely return to work.   The Greens made the call after cycling into parliament this morning to mark World Bicycle Day.   St Kilda Road, Sydney Road and Flemington Road should be priority sites for temporary cycling infrastructure during the COVID-19 crisis given the increasing number of cyclists now using them.   Victorian Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins, said the state government needed to stop prioritising polluting projects like the $16 billion...

Student access to laptops and devices at home shouldn’t be temporary

The laptops and devices being loaned to Victorian students by the state government during the COVID-19 crisis should continue to remain available after the crisis is over. Over 50,000 laptops and tablets have been provided to students by the education department so far, allowing them to access the internet and study from home. More than 15,000 SIM cards and dongles have also been loaned out. However, during today’s PAEC hearings the Minister confirmed that while students wouldn’t be asked to return the devices ‘anytime soon’, he reiterated that they were ‘on-loan’ from the department. Victorian Greens spokesperson for education, Sam...

Greens call for safe bike network in Melbourne in response to COVID-19

The Victorian Greens have called on the state government to invest in a safe bike network for Melbourne as part of its economic response to the COVID-19 crisis. The network would consist of over 300 kilometres of separated bike lanes and create around 5,000 much-needed jobs in engineering, construction and manufacturing. The network would include a 20-kilometre bike superhighway running from Coburg to Elsternwick which could be fast-tracked with temporary infrastructure to create more immediate space for cycling in response to COVID-19. Victorians Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins, said the plan would see Melbourne become a world-class city for...

‘Metre matters’ laws are critical during COVID-19, and yet Victoria is the only hold-out state

In an effort to make bike riding safer for the growing number of people and families who are riding their bikes as a result of COVID-19, the Victorian Greens will introduce ‘metre matters’ laws on Thursday during an emergency sitting of parliament.  The laws will require vehicles to give cyclists a minimum one metre passing distance, or 1.5 metres if the speed limit is over 60 kilometres per hour. Victorian Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins, said that Victoria was the only state without minimum passing distance laws and that it was time to catch up to the rest of...

Any public transport operator bailouts in Victoria must guarantee jobs

The Victorian Greens are calling on the Andrews Government to make sure that any public transport operator bailout guarantees jobs and gives taxpayers an equity stake in the operators. The Greens also want the Government to start planning now for a future boost to train and tram services, along with more investment in the maintenance and renewal of critical infrastructure to assist with economic recovery and to make our public transport network more frequent and more reliable. Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins MP: “A bailout of privatised public transport operators shouldn’t mean socialising losses and...

Greens call for roll-out of permanent automated pedestrian signals

The Victorian Greens have called for the urgent roll-out of permanent automatic pedestrian signals at intersections to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. Victoria is lagging behind NSW which is rolling out automatic pedestrian signals near hospitals and across areas with high pedestrian traffic. Victorian Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins, said that while automatic signals already exist in some areas of Melbourne’s CBD, the Victorian Government had made no announcements for a further roll out to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins MP: “Pedestrians shouldn’t have to choose between...

Supreme Court challenge highlights broken process for major infrastructure projects

The Victorian Greens have welcomed the newly launched Supreme Court challenge to the North East Link, saying it highlights Victoria’s broken environmental effects process for major infrastructure projects. Despite both a 2011 parliamentary inquiry and a 2017 Auditor General’s report recommending a strengthening of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process, Victoria’s Environmental Effects Act remains weak and unable to effectively protect Victoria’s environment. Problems with the Environmental Effects Act include: A lack of detail in the Act A lack of certainty about when an EES in required and the level of detail involved in its preparation It does not necessarily contribute...

Wombat protection a critical step, but thousands still at risk of being killed

The Victorian Greens have welcomed the Government’s decision to overturn the decades-old legal loophole that allowed wombats to be killed without a permit in certain parts of the state.   Following calls to immediately protect wombats and questioning from Victorian Greens MP for Prahran, Sam Hibbins, the Minister for Environment revealed that a review of these laws would take place. Until today, Victoria was the only state that had areas where wombats were an unprotected species, and in areas where they already are protected, almost 4,000 are being killed every year. However The Greens have said more will need to done...

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