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PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND ESTIMATES COMMITTEE: Report on the 2019–20 Budget Estimates

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): I rise to speak on the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee report into the budget estimates 2019–20. Within those budget estimates it did provide for a $1.8 billion so-called efficiency dividend, which we know will be cuts to the public service. The budget outlined these whole-of-government efficiencies of $201.3 million in 2019–20, $462.8 million in 2021, $524.2 million—that is over half a billion dollars—in 2021–22 and $548.6 million in 2022–23. The state government has now doubled down on this, or even more than doubled down, with the Treasurer recently announcing $4 billion worth of cuts to the public sector over four years. As reported...

Members Statements: Onshore conventional gas

Mr HIBBINS: I condemn the state government’s decision to allow for conventional onshore gas drilling. To deal with the climate crisis, fossil fuels need to stay in the ground, full stop. Onshore gas drilling is devastating for our climate, is bad for the environment, is bad for farmers and stands in the way of getting to 100 per cent renewable energy, and it is a cynical move to announce it now.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT BILL 2019: Council's amendments

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): The Greens will not be opposing the amendments put forward by the Legislative Council. We supported all but one of the amendments. The one amendment we did have concern with was around the provision of multimember wards only now being made available to rural and regional councils and not being applied to metropolitan councils. It seems to me that the fix is in, and I think it is very instructive that these amendments are coming just after we have dealt with the business of having to dismiss yet another council. This is around the fourth or fifth council...

Members Statement: COVID-19

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): I rise to speak on the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all in this together, and so I urge the government to put in place urgent measures to care for people experiencing homelessness. People experiencing homelessness are not only sleeping rough but are in unsecure and/or overcrowded, substandard accommodation, making it near impossible to practise social isolation or quarantine themselves if need be. They are also more likely to have additional health conditions that could exacerbate the impact of the illness. The government must immediately make available self-contained accommodation to every person experiencing homelessness, using the now excess...

Adjournment Motion: Windsor Station Upgrade

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran):My adjournment matter is to the Minister for Public Transport, and the action I seek is that the minister upgrade Windsor station. A good local train station is so critical to the livability of any community, and Windsor station is right in the heart of the Windsor community. In response to my local survey hundreds of commuters suggested several important but relatively low cost and achievable upgrades to the station, all whilst maintaining the station’s important heritage status. The top most popular upgrades were increasing the frequency on the Sandringham line, a second entrance at the western end...

Constituency Questions: Tram Stop 23

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): My constituency question is to the Minister for Public Transport, and I ask: will the minister upgrade tram stop 23 on St Kilda Road at the Arthur Street intersection? This tram stop remains one of the last tram stops on St Kilda Road not to be upgraded to a level-access tram stop. This is a busy tram stop that experiences overcrowding during the morning peak, where trams pass just centimetres away from passengers waiting at the stop. This stop is simply not up to scratch for one of the world’s busiest—or the world’s busiest—tram corridor and is a significant safety...

Second Reading: Project Development and Construction Management Amendment Bill 2020

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): I rise to speak on behalf of the Greens to the Project Development and Construction Management Amendment Bill 2020. This is a largely technical bill covering machinery of government changes due to the fact that the new Department of Transport is the legal successor to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. This has resulted in a number of projects now sitting within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and the Department of Transport that now are essentially in the wrong department. They have responsibility over projects that sit with them, so we have got to...

Questions without notice: Timber Release Plan

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): My question is to the Premier. Despite the massive loss of wildlife and habitat from our native forests due to the recent bushfires, the government is still permitting logging in our remaining native forests. This is occurring right now in multiple locations in areas where threatened species are known to live. Premier, given how important the unburnt forest is to the remaining threatened species and the fact that there simply is not enough timber left to fulfil the promised supply, do you concede that the government’s 2030 timeline to end native forest logging will now need to...

Second reading: Local Government (Casey City Council) Bill 2020

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): The Greens will be supporting the bill to dismiss the Casey council, and we do share the opposition’s concerns around the lengthy period before there is actually an election in Casey. So we put on the record that our preference would be for a shorter time before there is actually a democratically elected council put back in place in Casey, but we also acknowledge the monitor’s statement that the period should extend further than the next election period. One of the main issues that has been raised in the monitor’s report is the clear conflict of interest...

Members statements: Duck Hunting Season

Mr HIBBINS: As I speak right now, the decision whether or not to proceed with Victoria’s duck hunting season has yet to be made. With drought conditions, waterbird and duck numbers at historically low levels and habitat being lost, one would have to ask: if duck shooting season is not cancelled this year, when will it ever be? Of course the fact that the state government has to even make this decision every year by continuing to support duck shooting, which results in the death and injury of native birds every single year, is unfathomable. It is time to end...

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