Welcome to my online local newsletter. I don’t often send out newsletters (I like to save the paper!), but I do think it’s important for local MPs to let the community know what they’re working on. So here’s a digital version of what I’ve been up to recently:
Campaigning to stop Labor’s bad tax on electric cars
A few weeks ago the Victorian Labor Government's new proposed tax on electric cars was dubbed by leading environmental organisations as the “worst electric vehicle policy in the world” (and rightly so).
The Greens will vote against the Victorian Labor Government’s electric vehicle tax in Parliament. Victoria is the only place in the world trying to make electric cars more expensive with a tax like this. Instead, we’re negotiating with the Government for funding and policies to make electric cars more affordable and bring down transport emissions, which are a key contributor to climate change.
We’ve got a plan to rapidly accelerate Victoria to an electric vehicle future, and it doesn’t include Labor’s bad tax. You can read more about our plan to accelerate Victoria to an electric vehicle future here.
Another win for cyclists and bike safety
Last year, dozens of new temporary bike lanes popped up across inner Melbourne during the pandemic. They were such a success that 40 kilometres of permanent separated bike lanes have now been rolled out across the city and our inner suburbs. Thank you to our Melbourne City Greens Councillors for leading the way on this important initiative.
And there’s more great news for those of us that love to ride! Last week new laws to protect cyclists came into effect. These are 1m passing laws, which the Greens introduced to Parliament and advocated for. It means cars have to keep a minimum 1m distance between themselves and cyclists (and 1.5m when travelling over 60km per hour).
As more and more people, particularly families, are choosing to ride a bike for transport or exercise because of COVID-19, these ‘metre matters’ laws will help make our roads safe for everyone. A big thanks to all those who advocated for them, especially the Amy Gillett Foundation.
I’m now campaigning for separated bike lanes on two of our most dangerous bike routes - Flemington Road and Royal Parade.
Community and Greens WIN fight against climate-destroying gas project
Since 2018, I’ve worked with the local community to oppose AGL’s plan for a huge, polluting gas import terminal in Westernport Bay on the Mornington Peninsula. I’ve asked questions in Parliament, put pressure on Ministers, generated media interest, joined community protests and contributed to the planning review process.
In late March, we won! Under pressure, the Victorian Labor Government refused a permit for the project. This shows the power of working with the community to get real outcomes on climate change.
But Victoria has more work to do to tackle the climate crisis.
70% of our electricity still comes from burning coal at three old, polluting and unreliable coal-fired power stations. To make matters worse, the Victorian Labor Government has lifted the ban on gas drilling across Victoria, and continues to allow drilling in our marine waters as well.
That’s why I’m calling for a renewable energy boom to drive Victoria’s economic recovery from COVID-19, create jobs and tackle the climate crisis.
A new school and kinder for the Docklands
Since I was elected in 2014, I've played a big role in the campaign to get our state government to build a new public primary school in the Docklands. I was incredibly proud when the school opened this year! It has already been a huge success, with over 230 children enrolled. A new kindergarten has also opened next door to Docklands Primary, making drop off and pick up even easier for families with young children.
I recently visited the new Docklands Primary School to present the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at a school assembly full of bright young minds and two newly elected school captains. I’m now helping them with issues such as getting a new crossing supervisor, better pedestrian crossings around the school and more.
Standing up for our local schools in Kensington and North Melbourne
For the past three years, I've been working with a group of parents to get more State Government funding to fix Kensington Primary.
We’ve made some serious headway and have secured funding for urgent works, like cleaning up mould and building wheelchair accessible ramps. But a lot more needs to be done. Gutters need replacing, student toilets need serious work, and more.
The Education Minister recently accepted my invitation to tour Kensington Primary School and see for himself what needs fixing at the school and learn more about their funding needs. This is a testament to the dedicated parents and school community who have advocated to fix Kensington Primary for many years.
I’ve put in a Budget proposal to the Treasurer for the extra funding this primary school needs to fix the urgent maintenance issues which have been ignored for too long.
Kensington Primary missed out on funding in the last budget, but now our community campaign has got the State Government’s attention. Add your name to our call to fix Kensington Primary in this year's May State Budget.
Kids and teachers in North Melbourne have also long been suffering from overcrowding at their local primary school and I’m excited to share that there will be another campus built for North Melbourne Primary opening in 2023 to add extra capacity and welcome new students.
We were recently successful in lobbying the Government to make sure this new site would be a second campus of North Melbourne Primary, not an entirely new school. This is really important, because it will ensure the North Melbourne community stays cohesive and integrated, and isn’t split up by different school zones.
I am working closely with local parents and North Melbourne residents, and the Education Minister’s office to ensure that this new school maintains the diversity of our community and that we get the planning of this new school right. If you have any questions or concerns about the new second campus of North Melbourne Primary, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].
Campaigning to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility
Right now across Australia, kids as young as 10 can be arrested, charged and put into prison.
That's why we're calling for the Victorian Labor Government to raise the age of criminal responsibility here in Victoria, from 10 to 14 years old, just like the UN has called for.
Victoria can lead the way and join the ACT in this important policy reform to protect our kids from unnecessary harm and punishment.
Children should be cared for and guided to learn and grow. Kids belong in playgrounds, not prisons.
‘Cash for cans’ is finally coming to Victoria!
After more than 10 years of campaigning from the Greens and community groups, Victoria is finally about to introduce a ‘cash for cans’ scheme! The final design of the scheme was announced just the other week and we’re really pleased.
It will start in 2023, get litter off our streets, and clean up our waste stream so recyclable materials like bottles and cans don’t end up in landfill, but are actually recycled. It will also mean more cash to sports clubs, and other organisations and people, who can collect cans and bottles and cash them in.
This scheme is a direct result of the Greens in Parliament. It was the Greens who initiated the Parliamentary Inquiry into the waste crisis when China stopped taking our waste, and it was this Inquiry which led to the Government committing to a ‘cash for cans’ scheme.
We need safer streets for pedestrians
People contact me all the time about roads and crossings that are unsafe for pedestrians in our electorate. I’m developing a list of the most important pedestrian safety hotspots in the electorate so I can advocate to have them fixed. If you have a safety spot you want me to know, about please contact me on [email protected].
Supporting Melbourne’s COVID recovery
Right now, it’s more important than ever to support our local small businesses. I love visiting local businesses in my electorate to lend my support. If you know of, or have a small business in the Melbourne electorate who could use some extra love, I want to hear from you!
If you have any questions or concerns about accessing government grants, other business support, or if you'd like me to promote your business on my website, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].
My approach to the pandemic
We have always supported a health-led response to the pandemic, and supported the Premier and Chief Health Officer’s actions to keep Victorians safe.
Through our negotiations with the Government we achieved important outcomes including increased rental relief grants, an extension to the ban on rental evictions, grants for destitute international students, and a review of unfair COVID fines for disadvantaged young people.
This is just a small snapshot of the issues I’ve been working on. If you have a specific issue or question, please contact me on [email protected] and my team and I will let you know what we have done, or can do, about it.
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