Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I rise to speak on behalf of the Greens on the Justice Legislation Amendment (Protective Services Officers and Other Matters) Bill 2017. I want to start off by first of all agreeing with something that the member for South Barwon said in his speech. Yes, there has been a range of justice legislation bills brought before this Parliament by this government. Many of those bills the Greens and I do not necessarily agree with, and while they have been government bills, they have been coalition policy, and it is pretty clear that the government in its approach to justice is now adopting many of the coalition's policies. It is not necessarily the approach that I would agree with, and certainly I would be urging the government to take a different approach. As someone sitting on the crossbench, it is as clear as day what is occurring with justice legislation in this state: they are government bills but it is coalition policy.
Mr HIBBINS (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.
Mr HIBBINS (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.
Mr HIBBINS (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.
Mr HIBBINS (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.
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I rise to speak on the Children and Justice Legislation Amendment (Youth Justice Reform) Bill 2017. I state at the outset that the Greens cannot support the vast majority of this bill, although there are some very worthwhile elements in it. For example, the bill provides a legislative basis for a youth justice diversion program, which is something that the experts and those people looking to reform the youth justice sector have been calling for for a very long time.
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I rise to speak on the Bail Amendment (Stage One) Bill 2017. This bill aims to implement many of the recommendations of the Bail Review: First Advice to the Victorian Government. The review was conducted by the Honourable Paul Coghlan, QC, following the tragic events in January in Bourke Street. This bill also implements some recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The Greens will not be opposing the bill in this house, though we will be reserving our right to put forward amendments in the other place.
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — (12 784) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Housing. The action I seek is for the minister to develop and implement an LGBTI homelessness action plan to address the high rates of LGBTI people who are homeless and improve their access to homelessness services. LGBTI communities are over-represented in homelessness statistics. According to latest ABS data, 33.7 per cent of lesbian and gay people have experienced homelessness compared to 13.4 per cent of heterosexuals. As the Victorian Greens LGBTI spokesperson I have met with a number of young people who are same-sex attracted, transgender or gender diverse who have shared with me some horror stories when it comes to accessing homelessness services. I would like to acknowledge and thank the members of Minus18 and Ygender who were willing to meet and share their stories with me directly.
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I recently attended a ceremony to commemorate the renaming of Windsor Primary School, which since 2001 has been known as Stonnington Primary School. Windsor primary is one of the oldest schools in the state and has been known by several names, so it is great to see them return to the name that best fits their identity and represents the local suburb of Windsor. This is following on from Windsor Community Children's Centre, which last year changed its name from Swinburne Prahran Community Children's Centre. The new name better suits their identity and their role in our local community. Windsor is a great suburb to be part of, and I am glad to see the local primary school and community childcare centre embracing the Windsor name.