Tim Pallas MP

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  • West Gate Tunnel Project

    The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide a second river crossing, 4 additional lanes on the West Gate Freeway and more reliable trips into the city. It will slash congestion and reduce travel times - getting you home sooner and safer. It will also create 5,600 new jobs and provide an $11 billion boost to our economy.

  • More Train Services for the Werribee Line

    The Andrews Labor Government will add 10 new Werribee line train services in the peak, every week – to get people in Melbourne’s west home safer and sooner. The 10 new Werribee peak services build on the 10 new peak services added in 2015, and this year’s budget funded eight new off-peak services which will start next year.

  • $1.8 Billion Western Roads Package to Transform Suburban Roads

    Local residents and commuters in Wyndham will benefit from a huge package of 8 key road upgrade, including work on the Duncans Road Interchange, and 750 lane-kilometres of maintenance works that will cut travel times, improve road safety and better connect communities in this key growth corridor.

  • Melbourne Metro Rail Project

    The Melbourne Metro Rail Project will deliver nine-kilometres worth of tunnel, five new underground railway stations and the rail the best city in the world deserves. This will revolutionise the way we use Melbourne's rail network.

  • Werribee Electorate

    Information about the local electorate of Werribee which takes in a diverse range of communities and locales.

  • West Gate Tunnel Project

    The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide a second river crossing, 4 additional lanes on the West Gate Freeway and more reliable trips into the city. It will slash congestion and reduce travel times - getting you home sooner and safer. It will also create 5,600 new jobs and provide an $11 billion boost to our economy.

Media Centre

AUTUMN BREEZE BRINGS RACING TO WERRIBEE

Werribee Racing Club will host its first ever Autumn Race Day on Saturday, 7 April, thanks to a joint funding package of almost $19,000 supported by the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced the Labor Government is contributing more than $9,000 through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund towards the inaugural event. Trackside entertainment will include musical performances from duo Wilde Style whose repertoire includes songs from the 70s to today. There will also be a variety of free children’s activities including a jumping castle, face painting, mini golf, balloon animals, and an Easter egg hunt. Since 2014, the Labor Government has contributed more than $1 million towards six infrastructure projects and five race day events at Werribee Racecourse. The racing industry in the outer Melbourne region generates more than $375 million annually for the Victorian economy and helps sustain more than 3720 full-time jobs locally. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We’re pleased to support Werribee Racing Club’s 2018 Autumn Race Day, which will provide great racing and entertainment at one of Victoria’s oldest thoroughbred race tracks.” “Racing events like this help to bring our community together while also helping to support local jobs.” Quotes attributable to Werribee Racing Club General Manager Ashley Baker “We hope the Autumn Race Day becomes one of the key activities in the Werribee Racing Club’s sporting calendar.” “Thanks to the Victorian Government, we can offer a relaxed day of racing alongside a variety of affordable activities for locals and visitors to the area.” 

AUTUMN BREEZE BRINGS RACING TO WERRIBEE

Werribee Racing Club will host its first ever Autumn Race Day on Saturday, 7 April, thanks to a joint funding package of almost $19,000 supported by the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced the Labor Government is contributing more than $9,000 through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund towards the inaugural event. Trackside entertainment will include musical performances from duo Wilde Style whose repertoire includes songs from the 70s to today. There will also be a variety of free children’s activities including a jumping castle, face painting, mini golf, balloon animals, and an Easter egg hunt. Since 2014, the Labor Government has contributed more than $1 million towards six infrastructure projects and five race day events at Werribee Racecourse. The racing industry in the outer Melbourne region generates more than $375 million annually for the Victorian economy and helps sustain more than 3720 full-time jobs locally. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We’re pleased to support Werribee Racing Club’s 2018 Autumn Race Day, which will provide great racing and entertainment at one of Victoria’s oldest thoroughbred race tracks.” “Racing events like this help to bring our community together while also helping to support local jobs.” Quotes attributable to Werribee Racing Club General Manager Ashley Baker “We hope the Autumn Race Day becomes one of the key activities in the Werribee Racing Club’s sporting calendar.” “Thanks to the Victorian Government, we can offer a relaxed day of racing alongside a variety of affordable activities for locals and visitors to the area.” 

TIME FOR TURNBULL TO LIFT HIS GAME ON EARLY CHILDHOOD

Families across Victoria and in Werribee are being urged to join the fight to have the Turnbull Government do what’s right and finally sign up to long-term kindergarten funding. Under the federal Liberals, Victorian families have borne the brunt of five successive short-term agreements to help fund 15 hours of kindergarten a week. It means that beyond next year, families, kindergarten operators and their staff have no certainty that they will be able to access these 15 hours for our littlest Victorians. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today urged Werribee locals to put their name to a petition, calling on Malcolm Turnbull to commit to on-going, adequate and sustainable funding for four-year-old kinder. In February, a report endorsed by all the states and territories called for continued investment in the early years. The Lifting Our Game report noted that short term funding arrangements – like Turnbull’s on-again, off-again agreements – was hurting the industry by causing uncertainty and hampering future planning. The report finds that investing in early childhood education pays off in the long run – with a return of $2 to $4 for every dollar invested. It also finds that while the benefits of investing in the early years are widely accepted internationally, Australia fails to invest early and pays for it later. The report confirms Australia invests only a third of the OECD average in pre-primary education – ranking 24th out of 26 nations – and noting that the single most impactful reform Australia can take is expanding access to quality early childhood education, such as preschool, to all three-year-olds. Werribee locals keen to sign the petition can do so at thismatters.org.au/kindercuts. Crucial work in the early years is already underway through the Andrews Labor Government’s unprecedented $202.1 million investment in the Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan. It includes funding to introduce school readiness funding in kindergartens so that children who need more support will get it, an Australian first. Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos “It’s time Malcolm Turnbull backs the report’s recommendations and locks in adequate and permanent funding for early childhood education. “If Turnbull refuses – it not only hurts our kids, but it could also result in Victorian parents paying an extra $2,000 a year for alternative childcare arrangements.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Werribee children deserve better, they deserve certainty.” “Education in the early years is vital to setting kids up for the rest of the life – it beggars belief that the Federal Government thinks it’s only worth funding a year at a time.”

TIME FOR TURNBULL TO LIFT HIS GAME ON EARLY CHILDHOOD

Families across Victoria and in Werribee are being urged to join the fight to have the Turnbull Government do what’s right and finally sign up to long-term kindergarten funding. Under the federal Liberals, Victorian families have borne the brunt of five successive short-term agreements to help fund 15 hours of kindergarten a week. It means that beyond next year, families, kindergarten operators and their staff have no certainty that they will be able to access these 15 hours for our littlest Victorians. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today urged Werribee locals to put their name to a petition, calling on Malcolm Turnbull to commit to on-going, adequate and sustainable funding for four-year-old kinder. In February, a report endorsed by all the states and territories called for continued investment in the early years. The Lifting Our Game report noted that short term funding arrangements – like Turnbull’s on-again, off-again agreements – was hurting the industry by causing uncertainty and hampering future planning. The report finds that investing in early childhood education pays off in the long run – with a return of $2 to $4 for every dollar invested. It also finds that while the benefits of investing in the early years are widely accepted internationally, Australia fails to invest early and pays for it later. The report confirms Australia invests only a third of the OECD average in pre-primary education – ranking 24th out of 26 nations – and noting that the single most impactful reform Australia can take is expanding access to quality early childhood education, such as preschool, to all three-year-olds. Werribee locals keen to sign the petition can do so at thismatters.org.au/kindercuts. Crucial work in the early years is already underway through the Andrews Labor Government’s unprecedented $202.1 million investment in the Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan. It includes funding to introduce school readiness funding in kindergartens so that children who need more support will get it, an Australian first. Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos “It’s time Malcolm Turnbull backs the report’s recommendations and locks in adequate and permanent funding for early childhood education. “If Turnbull refuses – it not only hurts our kids, but it could also result in Victorian parents paying an extra $2,000 a year for alternative childcare arrangements.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Werribee children deserve better, they deserve certainty.” “Education in the early years is vital to setting kids up for the rest of the life – it beggars belief that the Federal Government thinks it’s only worth funding a year at a time.”

MEMBERS STATEMENTS Western roads upgrade

Mr PALLAS — Wyndham enjoys a terrific sense of community, with many families calling the area home since it was a small country suburb. Wyndham is now one of the fastest growing regions in Australia and with that growth comes challenges to its livability. That is why we are investing in the $1.8 billion western roads package, which includes the completion of the Duncans Road/Princes Freeway interchange and upgrades to eight key arterial roads in Wyndham. I am proud that this government’s record investment will see congestion reduced on our local roads and improved travel times for people in Melbourne’s west.

MEMBERS STATEMENTS Western roads upgrade

Mr PALLAS — Wyndham enjoys a terrific sense of community, with many families calling the area home since it was a small country suburb. Wyndham is now one of the fastest growing regions in Australia and with that growth comes challenges to its livability. That is why we are investing in the $1.8 billion western roads package, which includes the completion of the Duncans Road/Princes Freeway interchange and upgrades to eight key arterial roads in Wyndham. I am proud that this government’s record investment will see congestion reduced on our local roads and improved travel times for people in Melbourne’s west.

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE AND MINISTERS STATEMENTS Ministers statements: federal infrastructure funding

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (11:32:29) — It is my duty to update the house on the importance of ensuring that Victoria gets its fair share of funding from Canberra, and quite frankly the situation is nothing short of outrageous. Since we were elected, while those opposite have sat sheepishly and silently by, the Andrews government has campaigned to ensure that Victoria receives its fair share. On infrastructure funding, while New South Wales receives 45 per cent of national funding, this state receives less than 10 per cent. They are a government north of the Murray but south of integrity. Six billion dollars on infrastructure funding — Honourable members interjecting. Mr PALLAS — There they are. They are arcing up in outrage but they are not outraged about the billions of dollars that have been lost by this state or the thousands of jobs that have been cost. Integrity comes at a price for those opposite, and they are not prepared to stand up for Victoria. Honourable members interjecting. The SPEAKER — Order! I cannot remember if the member for Hawthorn has been warned, but he is now. Mr Clark — On a point of order, Speaker, the Treasurer is now departing from making a ministers statement and is debating the issue. I ask you to bring him back to compliance with sessional orders. The SPEAKER — Order! The Treasurer had just departed from making a ministers statement. I ask him to come back. Mr PALLAS — Thank you, Speaker. Of course the state of Victoria is losing something like $6 billion on infrastructure funding. That is short‑changing us. Do not get me started on education or health. It is why the federal government deserves no praise for the economic resurgence that is going on in this state, achieved exclusively by the hard work of this government and aided by the people and businesses of Victoria who are getting on and delivering. Those opposite deserve no praise for it or for the continued apologies for the last four years and the silence from those opposite. We could do so much more if we got our fair share from the GST. We could employ 9300 extra teachers with the $970 million plus that the federal government is advocating that this state lose year on year.

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE AND MINISTERS STATEMENTS Ministers statements: federal infrastructure funding

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (11:32:29) — It is my duty to update the house on the importance of ensuring that Victoria gets its fair share of funding from Canberra, and quite frankly the situation is nothing short of outrageous. Since we were elected, while those opposite have sat sheepishly and silently by, the Andrews government has campaigned to ensure that Victoria receives its fair share. On infrastructure funding, while New South Wales receives 45 per cent of national funding, this state receives less than 10 per cent. They are a government north of the Murray but south of integrity. Six billion dollars on infrastructure funding — Honourable members interjecting. Mr PALLAS — There they are. They are arcing up in outrage but they are not outraged about the billions of dollars that have been lost by this state or the thousands of jobs that have been cost. Integrity comes at a price for those opposite, and they are not prepared to stand up for Victoria. Honourable members interjecting. The SPEAKER — Order! I cannot remember if the member for Hawthorn has been warned, but he is now. Mr Clark — On a point of order, Speaker, the Treasurer is now departing from making a ministers statement and is debating the issue. I ask you to bring him back to compliance with sessional orders. The SPEAKER — Order! The Treasurer had just departed from making a ministers statement. I ask him to come back. Mr PALLAS — Thank you, Speaker. Of course the state of Victoria is losing something like $6 billion on infrastructure funding. That is short‑changing us. Do not get me started on education or health. It is why the federal government deserves no praise for the economic resurgence that is going on in this state, achieved exclusively by the hard work of this government and aided by the people and businesses of Victoria who are getting on and delivering. Those opposite deserve no praise for it or for the continued apologies for the last four years and the silence from those opposite. We could do so much more if we got our fair share from the GST. We could employ 9300 extra teachers with the $970 million plus that the federal government is advocating that this state lose year on year.

 

SNOWY HYDRO LIMITED TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (10:38:17) — I move: That under section 6(2A) of the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act 1997, the transfer of the state of Victoria’s interest in Snowy Hydro Limited, held by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, to the Commonwealth of Australia be approved. In speaking to this motion I rise to indicate that it delivers good value for Victorians and represents effective commonwealth‑state relations and cooperation — a rare occurrence but nonetheless one that is noteworthy and worth acknowledging. Earlier this month the Victorian government reached terms for the commonwealth to purchase Victoria’s share of Snowy Hydro Limited. As part of that historic agreement Victoria will receive more than $2 billion from the commonwealth that will benefit all Victorians. The agreement also paves the way for the Prime Minister’s proposed Snowy 2.0 initiative. We do not oppose Snowy 2.0. We are happy for the federal government to proceed with the project and take responsibility for it. Indeed we are supportive of projects which provide greater renewables into the market and which provide enhanced energy security. We have secured a number of protections as part of this transaction. The commonwealth has provided an assurance that Snowy Hydro will continue to be in public ownership and employment levels will not materially change. The commonwealth have also provided assurances that Red Energy and Lumo Energy’s head office locations will remain in Victoria indefinitely. The transaction will not affect allocations of GST for Victoria. In an important win for farmers, Victoria has ensured the agreement with the commonwealth will not result in any changes to our current water arrangements. Victoria has a legally binding deed with New South Wales and the commonwealth which ensures water for the environment will be managed through the scheme in a way that is consistent with the objectives of the Snowy Hydro initiative regardless of who owns Snowy Hydro. The sale of the Snowy Hydro scheme does not change this. This government has had a consistent approach to investing in infrastructure that Victoria needs in both our cities and our regions. This government has already committed to infrastructure investment of $10.2 billion per annum over the forward estimates. That compares to the decade average before this government of $4.9 billion per annum. We are investing at more than double the long‑term average. All up our infrastructure program will create more than 50 000 jobs. We are building the Melbourne Metro and the West Gate tunnel. We are removing 50 of our most dangerous and congested level crossings. We are upgrading roads across our regions and suburbs — the Drysdale bypass, Thompsons Road, Plenty Road, Yan Yean Road and the Mordialloc bypass, to name but a few. The list of our infrastructure achievements goes on. There is a simple message behind this motion: we are building Victoria just like we always have. Those opposite are blocking and stalling vital projects just like they always do. As always, if they have nothing to contribute, they should simply get out of the way. They had their chance to do something and they squibbed it. They should have the decency to allow this government at least to get on and do the things that are necessary to secure Victoria’s economic vitality. The sale of our share of Snowy Hydro will allow the government to continue to deliver on the projects that matter for Victorians. We will comply with the terms agreed with the commonwealth and invest the $2 billion proceeds in productive infrastructure. The proceeds will be fully accounted for in the budget. Project selection will be at the total and unfettered discretion of the Victorian government. I will say that regional Victoria will get their fair share and certainly in excess of the proportion of proceeds from the lease of the port of Melbourne. We are doing this because we believe the proceeds of this historic deal should be utilised in a fashion that benefits all Victorians. That is their right. I note that those opposite have taken a very different approach with their proposals in the traffic light removal project policy document, which is where they have committed the proceeds of the Snowy transaction. They will use this money in dividing communities, acquiring homes, parks and businesses, and in getting Victorians to the next set of traffic lights quicker. Let us be clear about this policy: it is an absolute stinker. It is the sort of policy that is dreamt up by people who have never actually delivered a project and who would not know a business case if they tripped over one. First, there is no traffic‑modelling of the proposed solution. It does not remove the traffic lights — it simply moves them to off‑ramps and P‑turns. Rather than provide additional capacity, all it does is get people to the next set of traffic lights quicker. These proposed intersection removals would make pedestrian and cyclist access practically impossible, cutting communities in half and disrupting long‑established routes of transport. Mr M. O’Brien interjected. Mr PALLAS — I am glad to hear the member for Malvern wants a broad debate. I never considered him to be particularly shy or likely to constrain his commentary on this government. Not only would they disrupt access across the suburbs but they would require the acquisition of hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of properties. The Leader of the Opposition says that no properties will be acquired, so one wonders how magically this policy will be introduced and how physically it will be arranged, but it perhaps underlines the total level of ignorance associated with major capital works delivery. That no land acquisitions are actually costed in this policy is a further illustration of how this project is destined to blow out not in a minor way but quite possibly by billions of dollars. This is all the more galling when we know that this plan will do very little to improve traffic flow and nothing to solve congestion. It is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the most ill‑conceived policy proposals put forward by an opposition at least since Fightback was advocated as a winner of a strategy. It is no surprise then that members opposite have started coming up with better ideas about how these funds could be spent. They do not appear to be in any way disciplined, but of course a shout‑out to the member for South‑West Coast who suggested that the funds should be spent in regional Victoria. That would be a change for those opposite, because of course we know that when it comes to regional Victoria they are all hat and no cattle. Ms Britnell interjected. Mr PALLAS — Here we hear the screams of outrage from those opposite about how we should be spending money in regional Victoria. In three budgets we have spent more money in regional Victoria than the previous government did in four. Now we have seen a commitment to spend the vast majority of these funds in metropolitan Melbourne. But we know that the member for South‑West Coast is an outstanding advocate for regional Victoria. It is just that she has got no pull whatsoever. Advocacy in a vacuum just proves that your whole contribution is vacuous. Indeed the people of Victoria deserve a genuine commitment from government, and that is what they are getting here — a proposition that ensures Victorians are well served by allowing a single tier of government to get on and deliver this vital piece of infrastructure. Importantly, that commitment for that infrastructure to proceed means that the commonwealth will take full responsibility for the elevated hydro scheme that is Snowy 2.0. Additionally what it means is that Victorians get good value for the asset that they have put to the commonwealth without the commonwealth dictating terms about how those funds should be applied. But of course, consistent with the undertaking we have given to the commonwealth, we will as a government ensure that the funds are directed to productive infrastructure. I have made it clear in this speech, and I will reassert the view, that the government will in the budget account for those funds, and of course we will ensure that regional Victoria does better than what would have been allocated under the Victorian Transport Fund, which assumes only a 10 per cent allocation to them. The other point to remember is that as a government we have been able to secure the employment of people who are employed by Snowy Hydro and the maintenance of the head offices here in Victoria of the two retail operations. We have also been able to reach agreement with the commonwealth about important principles attached to ensuring that our water rights are in no way disadvantaged as a consequence of these arrangements in what are legally binding agreements with the commonwealth. It is important that we recognise that therefore the tier of government that is motivated and committed to delivering this vital piece of infrastructure gets the opportunity to do exactly that. The commonwealth and the Prime Minister in particular have indicated their desire to go down this path. The state of Victoria and the state of New South Wales have agreed on what we see as being reasonable value for the asset that we own, but of course this is not a privatisation in anybody’s ordinary use of the language. This is in fact a sale to another tier of government. The asset remains in public hands and in the hands of the tier of government that seeks to enhance and indeed increase the value of the asset by making the investment implicit in Snowy 2.0. It is in our view a substantial improvement to the original positioning of the commonwealth, where it thought it might be in a position to purchase an asset from the state of Victoria and the state of New South Wales and then direct the states in how they might then spend the funds — an interesting level of misperception of what the role of a vendor and what the role of a purchaser is in fact. But as it transpires economic reality together with the right of a seller to simply say no has got us to a position where we have not only extracted assurances about the long‑term management of this asset and the fair share for Victoria through the continued operation of Snowy Hydro, but also importantly the state of Victoria has been able to assure employment levels and, might I say, our right as a state to continue to oversee and determine what are the appropriate assets. That is a right I am sure, while there might be disagreements as to which infrastructure projects are desirable, that both sides of this house would see as being something that should remain a right unfettered for the state of Victoria. This is a historic motion. It is good for Victorian households and it is good for our economy as we continue to build the infrastructure and create the jobs that the state needs for the future. We know that the state of Victoria is the fastest growing economy in the nation, and we know that the state of Victoria is also the fastest job creating state in the nation, both in percentage terms and in absolute terms. We know that a key part of that story is the government’s willingness to continue to make the critical investment that grows our economy and increases the livability of the state. Everybody is entitled to their fair share, and the fundamental proposition underpinning the arrangements that we have struck with the commonwealth is that the state of Victoria will make those determinations but will work consistent with that broad principle. Victoria of course as I have said will receive more than $2 billion from the commonwealth that will benefit all Victorians. This demonstrates that when we have a partner in the commonwealth we can deliver benefits that are in the interests of Victoria and the nation. I call on all members in this place to support this important motion.

SNOWY HYDRO LIMITED TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (10:38:17) — I move: That under section 6(2A) of the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act 1997, the transfer of the state of Victoria’s interest in Snowy Hydro Limited, held by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, to the Commonwealth of Australia be approved. In speaking to this motion I rise to indicate that it delivers good value for Victorians and represents effective commonwealth‑state relations and cooperation — a rare occurrence but nonetheless one that is noteworthy and worth acknowledging. Earlier this month the Victorian government reached terms for the commonwealth to purchase Victoria’s share of Snowy Hydro Limited. As part of that historic agreement Victoria will receive more than $2 billion from the commonwealth that will benefit all Victorians. The agreement also paves the way for the Prime Minister’s proposed Snowy 2.0 initiative. We do not oppose Snowy 2.0. We are happy for the federal government to proceed with the project and take responsibility for it. Indeed we are supportive of projects which provide greater renewables into the market and which provide enhanced energy security. We have secured a number of protections as part of this transaction. The commonwealth has provided an assurance that Snowy Hydro will continue to be in public ownership and employment levels will not materially change. The commonwealth have also provided assurances that Red Energy and Lumo Energy’s head office locations will remain in Victoria indefinitely. The transaction will not affect allocations of GST for Victoria. In an important win for farmers, Victoria has ensured the agreement with the commonwealth will not result in any changes to our current water arrangements. Victoria has a legally binding deed with New South Wales and the commonwealth which ensures water for the environment will be managed through the scheme in a way that is consistent with the objectives of the Snowy Hydro initiative regardless of who owns Snowy Hydro. The sale of the Snowy Hydro scheme does not change this. This government has had a consistent approach to investing in infrastructure that Victoria needs in both our cities and our regions. This government has already committed to infrastructure investment of $10.2 billion per annum over the forward estimates. That compares to the decade average before this government of $4.9 billion per annum. We are investing at more than double the long‑term average. All up our infrastructure program will create more than 50 000 jobs. We are building the Melbourne Metro and the West Gate tunnel. We are removing 50 of our most dangerous and congested level crossings. We are upgrading roads across our regions and suburbs — the Drysdale bypass, Thompsons Road, Plenty Road, Yan Yean Road and the Mordialloc bypass, to name but a few. The list of our infrastructure achievements goes on. There is a simple message behind this motion: we are building Victoria just like we always have. Those opposite are blocking and stalling vital projects just like they always do. As always, if they have nothing to contribute, they should simply get out of the way. They had their chance to do something and they squibbed it. They should have the decency to allow this government at least to get on and do the things that are necessary to secure Victoria’s economic vitality. The sale of our share of Snowy Hydro will allow the government to continue to deliver on the projects that matter for Victorians. We will comply with the terms agreed with the commonwealth and invest the $2 billion proceeds in productive infrastructure. The proceeds will be fully accounted for in the budget. Project selection will be at the total and unfettered discretion of the Victorian government. I will say that regional Victoria will get their fair share and certainly in excess of the proportion of proceeds from the lease of the port of Melbourne. We are doing this because we believe the proceeds of this historic deal should be utilised in a fashion that benefits all Victorians. That is their right. I note that those opposite have taken a very different approach with their proposals in the traffic light removal project policy document, which is where they have committed the proceeds of the Snowy transaction. They will use this money in dividing communities, acquiring homes, parks and businesses, and in getting Victorians to the next set of traffic lights quicker. Let us be clear about this policy: it is an absolute stinker. It is the sort of policy that is dreamt up by people who have never actually delivered a project and who would not know a business case if they tripped over one. First, there is no traffic‑modelling of the proposed solution. It does not remove the traffic lights — it simply moves them to off‑ramps and P‑turns. Rather than provide additional capacity, all it does is get people to the next set of traffic lights quicker. These proposed intersection removals would make pedestrian and cyclist access practically impossible, cutting communities in half and disrupting long‑established routes of transport. Mr M. O’Brien interjected. Mr PALLAS — I am glad to hear the member for Malvern wants a broad debate. I never considered him to be particularly shy or likely to constrain his commentary on this government. Not only would they disrupt access across the suburbs but they would require the acquisition of hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of properties. The Leader of the Opposition says that no properties will be acquired, so one wonders how magically this policy will be introduced and how physically it will be arranged, but it perhaps underlines the total level of ignorance associated with major capital works delivery. That no land acquisitions are actually costed in this policy is a further illustration of how this project is destined to blow out not in a minor way but quite possibly by billions of dollars. This is all the more galling when we know that this plan will do very little to improve traffic flow and nothing to solve congestion. It is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the most ill‑conceived policy proposals put forward by an opposition at least since Fightback was advocated as a winner of a strategy. It is no surprise then that members opposite have started coming up with better ideas about how these funds could be spent. They do not appear to be in any way disciplined, but of course a shout‑out to the member for South‑West Coast who suggested that the funds should be spent in regional Victoria. That would be a change for those opposite, because of course we know that when it comes to regional Victoria they are all hat and no cattle. Ms Britnell interjected. Mr PALLAS — Here we hear the screams of outrage from those opposite about how we should be spending money in regional Victoria. In three budgets we have spent more money in regional Victoria than the previous government did in four. Now we have seen a commitment to spend the vast majority of these funds in metropolitan Melbourne. But we know that the member for South‑West Coast is an outstanding advocate for regional Victoria. It is just that she has got no pull whatsoever. Advocacy in a vacuum just proves that your whole contribution is vacuous. Indeed the people of Victoria deserve a genuine commitment from government, and that is what they are getting here — a proposition that ensures Victorians are well served by allowing a single tier of government to get on and deliver this vital piece of infrastructure. Importantly, that commitment for that infrastructure to proceed means that the commonwealth will take full responsibility for the elevated hydro scheme that is Snowy 2.0. Additionally what it means is that Victorians get good value for the asset that they have put to the commonwealth without the commonwealth dictating terms about how those funds should be applied. But of course, consistent with the undertaking we have given to the commonwealth, we will as a government ensure that the funds are directed to productive infrastructure. I have made it clear in this speech, and I will reassert the view, that the government will in the budget account for those funds, and of course we will ensure that regional Victoria does better than what would have been allocated under the Victorian Transport Fund, which assumes only a 10 per cent allocation to them. The other point to remember is that as a government we have been able to secure the employment of people who are employed by Snowy Hydro and the maintenance of the head offices here in Victoria of the two retail operations. We have also been able to reach agreement with the commonwealth about important principles attached to ensuring that our water rights are in no way disadvantaged as a consequence of these arrangements in what are legally binding agreements with the commonwealth. It is important that we recognise that therefore the tier of government that is motivated and committed to delivering this vital piece of infrastructure gets the opportunity to do exactly that. The commonwealth and the Prime Minister in particular have indicated their desire to go down this path. The state of Victoria and the state of New South Wales have agreed on what we see as being reasonable value for the asset that we own, but of course this is not a privatisation in anybody’s ordinary use of the language. This is in fact a sale to another tier of government. The asset remains in public hands and in the hands of the tier of government that seeks to enhance and indeed increase the value of the asset by making the investment implicit in Snowy 2.0. It is in our view a substantial improvement to the original positioning of the commonwealth, where it thought it might be in a position to purchase an asset from the state of Victoria and the state of New South Wales and then direct the states in how they might then spend the funds — an interesting level of misperception of what the role of a vendor and what the role of a purchaser is in fact. But as it transpires economic reality together with the right of a seller to simply say no has got us to a position where we have not only extracted assurances about the long‑term management of this asset and the fair share for Victoria through the continued operation of Snowy Hydro, but also importantly the state of Victoria has been able to assure employment levels and, might I say, our right as a state to continue to oversee and determine what are the appropriate assets. That is a right I am sure, while there might be disagreements as to which infrastructure projects are desirable, that both sides of this house would see as being something that should remain a right unfettered for the state of Victoria. This is a historic motion. It is good for Victorian households and it is good for our economy as we continue to build the infrastructure and create the jobs that the state needs for the future. We know that the state of Victoria is the fastest growing economy in the nation, and we know that the state of Victoria is also the fastest job creating state in the nation, both in percentage terms and in absolute terms. We know that a key part of that story is the government’s willingness to continue to make the critical investment that grows our economy and increases the livability of the state. Everybody is entitled to their fair share, and the fundamental proposition underpinning the arrangements that we have struck with the commonwealth is that the state of Victoria will make those determinations but will work consistent with that broad principle. Victoria of course as I have said will receive more than $2 billion from the commonwealth that will benefit all Victorians. This demonstrates that when we have a partner in the commonwealth we can deliver benefits that are in the interests of Victoria and the nation. I call on all members in this place to support this important motion.

MEMBERS STATEMENTS Weerama Festival

Mr PALLAS (Werribee) (09:37:56) — I rise to acknowledge to the house the 40th annual celebration of the Weerama Festival in my electorate of Werribee. It was great to be with the community on this fabulous day as it celebrated local culture and talent. Weerama means ‘to play’ and centres on everything we love about Wyndham, from our community groups, our local businesses, our dedicated residents and our vibrant multicultural mix. I would like to thank members of the Weerama committee, the president, Marcel Mahfoud, along with all the other volunteers and organisers who have enabled this annual event to take place.

MEMBERS STATEMENTS Weerama Festival

Mr PALLAS (Werribee) (09:37:56) — I rise to acknowledge to the house the 40th annual celebration of the Weerama Festival in my electorate of Werribee. It was great to be with the community on this fabulous day as it celebrated local culture and talent. Weerama means ‘to play’ and centres on everything we love about Wyndham, from our community groups, our local businesses, our dedicated residents and our vibrant multicultural mix. I would like to thank members of the Weerama committee, the president, Marcel Mahfoud, along with all the other volunteers and organisers who have enabled this annual event to take place.

GIVING WERRIBEE ELECTORATE’S CHILDREN WITH A DISABILITY A FAIRER GO

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting hundreds more children with a disability by bridging the gap while they wait to enter the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos announced $9.7 million to fund an additional 741 Early Childhood Intervention Services places for Victorian kids, giving them support ahead of the full NDIS rollout in 2019. It includes 120 places to support children in Western Melbourne, through organisations such as Yooralla, Gateway Support Services, Melbourne City Mission, Dianella Community Health, Taralye, and Child and Family Care Network (bestchance). Early Childhood Intervention Services support families and children with special needs from birth to school entry, with services like speech and physical therapy, behaviour management, school transitioning or help with learning, sleep or feeding. These services build on those already available through Maternal and Child Health Centres, childcare and kindergarten. At the moment, almost 8,000 children in Victoria access Early Childhood Intervention Services support. Victorian funded Early Childhood Intervention Services are currently transitioning to the NDIS, area by area, between July 2016 and June 2019. Young children with disabilities and their families also receive assistance in understanding what the NDIS means for them and help transferring to the scheme through the Department of Education and Training. The Labor Government is ensuring all people with a disability get the best support possible. By 2019, Victoria will be investing $2.5 billion per year into the NDIS. For more information about the NDIS rollout in Victoria and the transition of services, visit vic.gov.au/ndis. Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos “We’re giving more kids, more access to the right services – that’s only fair.” “Early intervention and support can make all the difference in transforming the lives of Victorians with disabilities and setting them up for the future, as well as having a positive impact on their families and carers.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This funding will help more families in Melbourne’s West while they wait to transition to the NDIS – it’s about ensuring they get the support they need to grow and be well.”

GIVING WERRIBEE ELECTORATE’S CHILDREN WITH A DISABILITY A FAIRER GO

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting hundreds more children with a disability by bridging the gap while they wait to enter the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos announced $9.7 million to fund an additional 741 Early Childhood Intervention Services places for Victorian kids, giving them support ahead of the full NDIS rollout in 2019. It includes 120 places to support children in Western Melbourne, through organisations such as Yooralla, Gateway Support Services, Melbourne City Mission, Dianella Community Health, Taralye, and Child and Family Care Network (bestchance). Early Childhood Intervention Services support families and children with special needs from birth to school entry, with services like speech and physical therapy, behaviour management, school transitioning or help with learning, sleep or feeding. These services build on those already available through Maternal and Child Health Centres, childcare and kindergarten. At the moment, almost 8,000 children in Victoria access Early Childhood Intervention Services support. Victorian funded Early Childhood Intervention Services are currently transitioning to the NDIS, area by area, between July 2016 and June 2019. Young children with disabilities and their families also receive assistance in understanding what the NDIS means for them and help transferring to the scheme through the Department of Education and Training. The Labor Government is ensuring all people with a disability get the best support possible. By 2019, Victoria will be investing $2.5 billion per year into the NDIS. For more information about the NDIS rollout in Victoria and the transition of services, visit vic.gov.au/ndis. Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos “We’re giving more kids, more access to the right services – that’s only fair.” “Early intervention and support can make all the difference in transforming the lives of Victorians with disabilities and setting them up for the future, as well as having a positive impact on their families and carers.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This funding will help more families in Melbourne’s West while they wait to transition to the NDIS – it’s about ensuring they get the support they need to grow and be well.”

LABOR KICKS IN TO BOOST GRASSROOTS SOCCER IN WERRIBEE ELECTORATE

The Andrews Labor Government is helping local soccer clubs improve their facilities and encourage more locals in the Werribee electorate to play the world game. To ensure the world game continues to grow at the grassroots level, the Labor Government has announced a $2.5 million World Game Facilities Fund to help clubs upgrade or build new facilities across the state. Tim Pallas today announced up to $250,000 funding would be available to upgrade facilities across the electorate and Wyndham. Soccer is booming across Victoria – with more than 350,000 people hitting the pitch. That’s why we’re investing in the sport’s grassroots future. The Labor Government’s new fund will work to support local soccer clubs and organisations to undertake projects such as lighting upgrades, pitch redevelopments, synthetic pitch developments and unisex accessible change rooms. Lighting and synthetic pitch projects mean the whole community can benefit from a facility that can be used night or day, and don’t require the burden of watering and maintenance. Upgrading change rooms to unisex means that women and girls will finally now have the facilities they deserve and help level the playing field. Applications for the Labor Government’s World Game Facilities Fund are now open. For more information visit sport.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We’re making sure our local soccer clubs in the Werribee electorate have the support and facilities they need to grow and welcome more members than ever before.”     “This funding will inspire even more of our kids to sign up to their local soccer club, get active and play the game they love.”

LABOR KICKS IN TO BOOST GRASSROOTS SOCCER IN WERRIBEE ELECTORATE

The Andrews Labor Government is helping local soccer clubs improve their facilities and encourage more locals in the Werribee electorate to play the world game. To ensure the world game continues to grow at the grassroots level, the Labor Government has announced a $2.5 million World Game Facilities Fund to help clubs upgrade or build new facilities across the state. Tim Pallas today announced up to $250,000 funding would be available to upgrade facilities across the electorate and Wyndham. Soccer is booming across Victoria – with more than 350,000 people hitting the pitch. That’s why we’re investing in the sport’s grassroots future. The Labor Government’s new fund will work to support local soccer clubs and organisations to undertake projects such as lighting upgrades, pitch redevelopments, synthetic pitch developments and unisex accessible change rooms. Lighting and synthetic pitch projects mean the whole community can benefit from a facility that can be used night or day, and don’t require the burden of watering and maintenance. Upgrading change rooms to unisex means that women and girls will finally now have the facilities they deserve and help level the playing field. Applications for the Labor Government’s World Game Facilities Fund are now open. For more information visit sport.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We’re making sure our local soccer clubs in the Werribee electorate have the support and facilities they need to grow and welcome more members than ever before.”     “This funding will inspire even more of our kids to sign up to their local soccer club, get active and play the game they love.”