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

CREATING GREAT NEW LOCAL PARKS ACROSS WYNDHAM

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will get on with planning and design work for a brand new park in Werribee, to make sure that thousands of families have access to a great local park to take their kids. The proposed Werribee Township Regional Park would be more than 150 times the size of the MCG, along the Werribee River. The new park, to be designed in consultation with the Wyndham City Council, will give families in the growing western suburbs a fantastic new space to enjoy the great outdoors. Labor will also do the planning work to deliver Werribee River Park, covering 340 hectares of parkland. The Greening the Pipeline project in Melbourne’s west will be extended, with Labor dedicating $8 million to build new open space between Lawrie Emmins Reserve and Skeleton Creek. It’s part of Labor’s plan to create dozens of new parks across the state, equivalent to more than 170 Royal Botanic Gardens, for the suburbs that need them the most. This unprecedented investment will turn Victoria into the parks capital of Australia and ensure that every Victorian has a great local park, no matter where they live. The Liberals are putting the interests of developers first, with plans to fast track 290,000 new homes and one million people into our city’s outer suburbs without the public transport, hospitals, schools or parks that communities need. Only Labor will make sure our city retains its place as one of the world’s best places to live. Labor will invest $150 million to create more than 6,500 hectares of parkland and new walking and bike trails right across Melbourne, giving families great places to spend a day off. This includes $10 million to help local councils upgrade underutilised suburban space and local parks with new playgrounds, landscaping, toilets and picnic facilities, transforming them into better places for locals to enjoy. Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “Labor will create thousands of hectares of new parks, bike and walking trails to make sure that no matter where you live, every family has a great local park to enjoy.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Ours is a growing area and this must not come at the expense of public open space – only Labor will give families terrific parks to socialise in and explore.” Quote attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy “This is fantastic news for local families, delivering more space for Victorians of all ages to come together, relax and enjoy.” Quote attributable to Labor Candidate for Tarneit Sarah Connolly “No matter where you live, everyone should be able to take their kids to a local park to enjoy green open space.”

CREATING GREAT NEW LOCAL PARKS ACROSS WYNDHAM

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will get on with planning and design work for a brand new park in Werribee, to make sure that thousands of families have access to a great local park to take their kids. The proposed Werribee Township Regional Park would be more than 150 times the size of the MCG, along the Werribee River. The new park, to be designed in consultation with the Wyndham City Council, will give families in the growing western suburbs a fantastic new space to enjoy the great outdoors. Labor will also do the planning work to deliver Werribee River Park, covering 340 hectares of parkland. The Greening the Pipeline project in Melbourne’s west will be extended, with Labor dedicating $8 million to build new open space between Lawrie Emmins Reserve and Skeleton Creek. It’s part of Labor’s plan to create dozens of new parks across the state, equivalent to more than 170 Royal Botanic Gardens, for the suburbs that need them the most. This unprecedented investment will turn Victoria into the parks capital of Australia and ensure that every Victorian has a great local park, no matter where they live. The Liberals are putting the interests of developers first, with plans to fast track 290,000 new homes and one million people into our city’s outer suburbs without the public transport, hospitals, schools or parks that communities need. Only Labor will make sure our city retains its place as one of the world’s best places to live. Labor will invest $150 million to create more than 6,500 hectares of parkland and new walking and bike trails right across Melbourne, giving families great places to spend a day off. This includes $10 million to help local councils upgrade underutilised suburban space and local parks with new playgrounds, landscaping, toilets and picnic facilities, transforming them into better places for locals to enjoy. Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “Labor will create thousands of hectares of new parks, bike and walking trails to make sure that no matter where you live, every family has a great local park to enjoy.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Ours is a growing area and this must not come at the expense of public open space – only Labor will give families terrific parks to socialise in and explore.” Quote attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy “This is fantastic news for local families, delivering more space for Victorians of all ages to come together, relax and enjoy.” Quote attributable to Labor Candidate for Tarneit Sarah Connolly “No matter where you live, everyone should be able to take their kids to a local park to enjoy green open space.”

BIG BOOST FOR LITTLE RIVER PLAYGROUND

The playground at Little River Primary School is set for an upgrade courtesy of the Andrews Labor Government, freshening up old and tired facilities for school kids and the broader community alike. The $84,472 boost from the Community Support Fund (CSF) will help replace the deteriorating parts of the playground with fresh components and to supplement the school grounds with a fitness equipment circuit. The school playground and the small playing field are aging and in need of upgrade and repair. The playground was built for a school with an enrolment of under 100 and since grown to an enrolment role of 150. The playground and playing field are already used by children and the wider community out of school hours. Little River Primary School is located in the close-knit community of Little River, nestled between the edge of Melbourne and the city of Geelong. The project aims to increase this usage with the creation of the fitness circuit, which would have a wider appeal. For example, several fitness groups in the area would benefit from the circuit as well as the obvious advantage to the school. Funds from the CSF support a range of programs, which in turn support a wide variety of projects in the community. Quotes attributable to Treasurer and Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This funding is yet another way this government is making sure communities right across Victoria have the infrastructure they need.” “This will not only help students and teachers, but also the hundreds of people from this growing community that use the school out of hours.”

BIG BOOST FOR LITTLE RIVER PLAYGROUND

The playground at Little River Primary School is set for an upgrade courtesy of the Andrews Labor Government, freshening up old and tired facilities for school kids and the broader community alike. The $84,472 boost from the Community Support Fund (CSF) will help replace the deteriorating parts of the playground with fresh components and to supplement the school grounds with a fitness equipment circuit. The school playground and the small playing field are aging and in need of upgrade and repair. The playground was built for a school with an enrolment of under 100 and since grown to an enrolment role of 150. The playground and playing field are already used by children and the wider community out of school hours. Little River Primary School is located in the close-knit community of Little River, nestled between the edge of Melbourne and the city of Geelong. The project aims to increase this usage with the creation of the fitness circuit, which would have a wider appeal. For example, several fitness groups in the area would benefit from the circuit as well as the obvious advantage to the school. Funds from the CSF support a range of programs, which in turn support a wide variety of projects in the community. Quotes attributable to Treasurer and Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This funding is yet another way this government is making sure communities right across Victoria have the infrastructure they need.” “This will not only help students and teachers, but also the hundreds of people from this growing community that use the school out of hours.”

ANDREWS GOVERNMENT RAMPS IT UP FOR SKATERS IN WERRIBEE

Werribee’s growing skate community are set to ramp up the tricks at a new skate park in Werribee thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Government. Treasurer of Victoria and Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas today announced that Loyola Park will soon be home to the new skate park thanks to a $100,000 funding boost from the government’s $180m Community Sports Infrastructure Fund. Parks and sports facilities are an integral part of growing communities and provide a great place for people of all ages to connect, relax or enjoy the outdoors whilst also promoting active lifestyles close to home – all for free! With skate, parkour and BMX popular in the area, young people have continued to struggle to find a safe space to showcase their talents. We’re changing that. Once complete, the new skate park will feature plaza style elements as well as vertical elements including a beginner to intermediate ramp, which will complement the existing play spaces at the popular community hub. The boost is part of our commitment to promoting sports and active recreation, and encouraging all Victorians to get involved and enjoy the sport and recreation they love. Across Victoria we've invested more than $420 million in community sport and recreation facilities getting more people moving across the state and helping bring communities together. It’s backed by almost half a billion dollars in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 to ensure sport and active recreation continue to be accessible to everyone regardless of gender or location. Mr Pallas acknowledged Wyndham City Council for their commitment and financial contribution to the project. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas “Congratulations to Werribee’s skate community this boost will go a long way to support the growing number of people in town keen to get involved in local sport and recreation.“ “It’s a great example of how the Andrews Government is making sport and recreation more accessible, welcoming and inclusive for all Victorians.” “The Andrews Government is giving local communities the facilities they need so more locals can play the sports they love.”

ANDREWS GOVERNMENT RAMPS IT UP FOR SKATERS IN WERRIBEE

Werribee’s growing skate community are set to ramp up the tricks at a new skate park in Werribee thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Government. Treasurer of Victoria and Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas today announced that Loyola Park will soon be home to the new skate park thanks to a $100,000 funding boost from the government’s $180m Community Sports Infrastructure Fund. Parks and sports facilities are an integral part of growing communities and provide a great place for people of all ages to connect, relax or enjoy the outdoors whilst also promoting active lifestyles close to home – all for free! With skate, parkour and BMX popular in the area, young people have continued to struggle to find a safe space to showcase their talents. We’re changing that. Once complete, the new skate park will feature plaza style elements as well as vertical elements including a beginner to intermediate ramp, which will complement the existing play spaces at the popular community hub. The boost is part of our commitment to promoting sports and active recreation, and encouraging all Victorians to get involved and enjoy the sport and recreation they love. Across Victoria we've invested more than $420 million in community sport and recreation facilities getting more people moving across the state and helping bring communities together. It’s backed by almost half a billion dollars in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 to ensure sport and active recreation continue to be accessible to everyone regardless of gender or location. Mr Pallas acknowledged Wyndham City Council for their commitment and financial contribution to the project. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas “Congratulations to Werribee’s skate community this boost will go a long way to support the growing number of people in town keen to get involved in local sport and recreation.“ “It’s a great example of how the Andrews Government is making sport and recreation more accessible, welcoming and inclusive for all Victorians.” “The Andrews Government is giving local communities the facilities they need so more locals can play the sports they love.”

A LASTING LEGACY TO WERRIBEE’S WAR HEROES

  The Andrews Labor Government will build a new, permanent memorial to commemorate the brave local diggers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced $184,000 to build a monument with the names of the 64 fallen soldiers from the Werribee area. Each of the names will be etched into individual bluestone blocks which will form two rounded walls to represent the shape of a poppy, a flower which commemorates people who have died in war. The centre of the monument will feature a tall granite structure with the Australian Rising Sun badge and the Sword of Sacrifice, a commonly used symbol on war memorials. A gravel path leading to the memorial will feature rosemary, a plant found across Gallipoli where our troops landed in 1915 and the red Anzac Rose. Located at the corner of Princes Highway and Cherry Street, the memorial will mark the start of Werribee’s Avenue of Honour, which was established on the Princes Highway in 1918. A plaque will be laid to mark the “Governor’s Tree”, a large Sugar Gum planted in 1928, at the corner of Princes Highway and Sneydes Road. A new plaque on local basalt rock will be placed at the tree which celebrates William Calder, a former Country Roads Board chairman credited with the development of Victoria’s arterial road network. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas “The contributions made by our brave veterans will never be forgotten and this memorial will ensure future generations can visit and pay their respects to those locals who made the ultimate sacrifice.” “The Governor’s Tree is a local landmark and celebrates the enormous contribution of William Calder, who worked tirelessly to connect Victorians and provide us with the roads we rely on today.”

A LASTING LEGACY TO WERRIBEE’S WAR HEROES

  The Andrews Labor Government will build a new, permanent memorial to commemorate the brave local diggers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced $184,000 to build a monument with the names of the 64 fallen soldiers from the Werribee area. Each of the names will be etched into individual bluestone blocks which will form two rounded walls to represent the shape of a poppy, a flower which commemorates people who have died in war. The centre of the monument will feature a tall granite structure with the Australian Rising Sun badge and the Sword of Sacrifice, a commonly used symbol on war memorials. A gravel path leading to the memorial will feature rosemary, a plant found across Gallipoli where our troops landed in 1915 and the red Anzac Rose. Located at the corner of Princes Highway and Cherry Street, the memorial will mark the start of Werribee’s Avenue of Honour, which was established on the Princes Highway in 1918. A plaque will be laid to mark the “Governor’s Tree”, a large Sugar Gum planted in 1928, at the corner of Princes Highway and Sneydes Road. A new plaque on local basalt rock will be placed at the tree which celebrates William Calder, a former Country Roads Board chairman credited with the development of Victoria’s arterial road network. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas “The contributions made by our brave veterans will never be forgotten and this memorial will ensure future generations can visit and pay their respects to those locals who made the ultimate sacrifice.” “The Governor’s Tree is a local landmark and celebrates the enormous contribution of William Calder, who worked tirelessly to connect Victorians and provide us with the roads we rely on today.”

 

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE AND MINISTERS STATEMENTS Ministers statements: employment

Ministers statements: employment Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (11:13:42) — I am proud to update the house on the achievements of this government in delivering jobs for Victorians. As the Premier has already advised the house, since we were elected the Victorian economy has been able to produce some 370 000 new jobs. That includes 247 000 full‑time jobs, more than six times as many as those opposite created in their four miserable, dour years. It means that there are 370 000 additional people that are utilising their skills and that are actually making a contribution to the state, which is a lot more than can be said for those opposite. Our unemployment rate is now at its lowest level in seven years, at a rate of 4.8 per cent. When we were elected, that rate was 6.7 per cent. We are proud of the record increase in female participation in the labour market at the same time that female participation in the Liberal Party is reaching an all‑time low. Since November 2014 the Andrews Labor government is leading the nation for jobs growth. That is something we are very proud of, but we are not blind to the challenges and indeed the uncertainties that face some Victorians. We know that there are pockets of oversupply in the labour market: former Liberal prime ministers, aspiring leaders of the Victorian Liberal Party. We are committed to ensuring Victorians can find work wherever they are, and we have invested in our infrastructure and in our people. We have the strongest jobs market. We have got the strongest growth of any state, and because of all this, this is a government that is getting things done.

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE AND MINISTERS STATEMENTS Ministers statements: employment

Ministers statements: employment Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (11:13:42) — I am proud to update the house on the achievements of this government in delivering jobs for Victorians. As the Premier has already advised the house, since we were elected the Victorian economy has been able to produce some 370 000 new jobs. That includes 247 000 full‑time jobs, more than six times as many as those opposite created in their four miserable, dour years. It means that there are 370 000 additional people that are utilising their skills and that are actually making a contribution to the state, which is a lot more than can be said for those opposite. Our unemployment rate is now at its lowest level in seven years, at a rate of 4.8 per cent. When we were elected, that rate was 6.7 per cent. We are proud of the record increase in female participation in the labour market at the same time that female participation in the Liberal Party is reaching an all‑time low. Since November 2014 the Andrews Labor government is leading the nation for jobs growth. That is something we are very proud of, but we are not blind to the challenges and indeed the uncertainties that face some Victorians. We know that there are pockets of oversupply in the labour market: former Liberal prime ministers, aspiring leaders of the Victorian Liberal Party. We are committed to ensuring Victorians can find work wherever they are, and we have invested in our infrastructure and in our people. We have the strongest jobs market. We have got the strongest growth of any state, and because of all this, this is a government that is getting things done.

WERRIBEE DISTRICT CLUBS TO BENEFIT FROM SPORTING GRANTS

The Manor Lakes Football Club, RSB Sports Pty Ltd and Wyndham Dragons Netball Club are among 512 grassroots sports clubs across the state sharing $815,000 in grants to boost their equipment, skills and administration expertise. Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP today announced three clubs in the Werribee District that had successfully applied for funding in the first round of the Andrews Government’s 2018-19 Sporting Club Grants Program. The grants provide clubs up to $1,000 for new uniforms and equipment, up to $2,000 for training coaches, officials and volunteers, and up to $5,000 to improve operational effectiveness. The grants include 18 to specifically boost Aboriginal participation in sport with funding for uniforms, equipment, skill development as well as travel for athletes, coaches, officials or teams that are required to travel to train or compete – whether it’s their local competition or an interstate Aboriginal sporting festival. In the Werribee District: The Wyndham Dragons Netball Club will use its grant to purchase uniform and equipment for their new U15 and U18 female teams to assist with female participation The RSB Sports Pty Ltd will also use its grant to purchase equipment such as soccer calls, cones, goals, cones, bibs and a whistle for children aged between two to twelve The Manor Lakes Football Club will use its grant by purchasing and undertaking the TDS community sports club solutions program to maximise the potential of the club to ultimately increase participation in active sport particularly in low participation groups The Sporting Club Grants Program is part of the Andrews Government’s commitment to make sport more accessible and inclusive, increase local participation, stimulate local economies, and build sustainable sport and recreation and volunteer opportunities. Since coming to office, including this latest round of funding, the Andrews Government has provided more than 3,200 Sporting Club Grants to clubs across the state, totalling more than $4.4 million. We’re investing almost half a billion dollars in our 2018/19 Budget to ensure sport and active recreation goes from strength to strength. Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport, John Eren “Grassroots sports clubs are the heart and soul of local communities bringing people together and creating healthier, happier, and more united communities, and they’re the launching pad of our next generation of champions.”  “The Andrews Government is working hard to encourage and enable all Victorians to embrace a more active and healthy lifestyle.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP “The Sporting Club Grants Program is giving grassroots sports clubs in the Werribee District the support they need to grow their ranks and help more people than ever play the sports they love.”

WERRIBEE DISTRICT CLUBS TO BENEFIT FROM SPORTING GRANTS

The Manor Lakes Football Club, RSB Sports Pty Ltd and Wyndham Dragons Netball Club are among 512 grassroots sports clubs across the state sharing $815,000 in grants to boost their equipment, skills and administration expertise. Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP today announced three clubs in the Werribee District that had successfully applied for funding in the first round of the Andrews Government’s 2018-19 Sporting Club Grants Program. The grants provide clubs up to $1,000 for new uniforms and equipment, up to $2,000 for training coaches, officials and volunteers, and up to $5,000 to improve operational effectiveness. The grants include 18 to specifically boost Aboriginal participation in sport with funding for uniforms, equipment, skill development as well as travel for athletes, coaches, officials or teams that are required to travel to train or compete – whether it’s their local competition or an interstate Aboriginal sporting festival. In the Werribee District: The Wyndham Dragons Netball Club will use its grant to purchase uniform and equipment for their new U15 and U18 female teams to assist with female participation The RSB Sports Pty Ltd will also use its grant to purchase equipment such as soccer calls, cones, goals, cones, bibs and a whistle for children aged between two to twelve The Manor Lakes Football Club will use its grant by purchasing and undertaking the TDS community sports club solutions program to maximise the potential of the club to ultimately increase participation in active sport particularly in low participation groups The Sporting Club Grants Program is part of the Andrews Government’s commitment to make sport more accessible and inclusive, increase local participation, stimulate local economies, and build sustainable sport and recreation and volunteer opportunities. Since coming to office, including this latest round of funding, the Andrews Government has provided more than 3,200 Sporting Club Grants to clubs across the state, totalling more than $4.4 million. We’re investing almost half a billion dollars in our 2018/19 Budget to ensure sport and active recreation goes from strength to strength. Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport, John Eren “Grassroots sports clubs are the heart and soul of local communities bringing people together and creating healthier, happier, and more united communities, and they’re the launching pad of our next generation of champions.”  “The Andrews Government is working hard to encourage and enable all Victorians to embrace a more active and healthy lifestyle.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP “The Sporting Club Grants Program is giving grassroots sports clubs in the Werribee District the support they need to grow their ranks and help more people than ever play the sports they love.”

WYNDHAM SCHOOLS DELIVERING HEALTHY FOOD EDUCATION

The Andrews Labor Government is helping children in Wyndham develop lifelong healthy eating habits through Playground to Plate grants that help schools to set up kitchen gardens and boost healthy food education. Today, I visited Western English Language School in Manor Lakes to congratulate them on being one of the 100 Victorian schools awarded a grant as part of the Playground to Plate program. The program delivers $500,000 to help schools improve or establish a kitchen garden based on the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden philosophy. Kitchen gardens encourage kids to get involved with growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal, delicious food and improve the overall health and wellbeing of the school community. Western English Language School can now use the grant to build garden beds or buy gardening tools, or kitchen equipment to cook healthy and delicious meals. The funding will also support the Western English Language School to work towards health and wellbeing priorities identified in the Labor Government’s Achievement Program. The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation will support successful schools with their kitchen garden programs, and help them use programs like these to promote health and wellbeing across all children in Victoria. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP “Congratulations to Western English Language School which will receive funding to deliver kitchen garden programs to their school community.” “It’s an excellent opportunity for schools to teach gardening and cooking skills that emphasises the flavours as well as the health benefits of fresh, seasonal, delicious food.” “Developing a food culture that values health and wellbeing during childhood helps to ensure lifelong healthy decisions and actions and build healthy habits into the future.” Quotes attributable to Stephanie Alexander “The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is thrilled to be working in partnership with the Victorian Government to deliver the Playground to Plate grant scheme.” “This is a fantastic opportunity for schools to establish or enhance kitchen garden program infrastructure to support their delivery of pleasurable food education – helping students develop lifelong positive food habits through fun, hands-on learning.”

WYNDHAM SCHOOLS DELIVERING HEALTHY FOOD EDUCATION

The Andrews Labor Government is helping children in Wyndham develop lifelong healthy eating habits through Playground to Plate grants that help schools to set up kitchen gardens and boost healthy food education. Today, I visited Western English Language School in Manor Lakes to congratulate them on being one of the 100 Victorian schools awarded a grant as part of the Playground to Plate program. The program delivers $500,000 to help schools improve or establish a kitchen garden based on the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden philosophy. Kitchen gardens encourage kids to get involved with growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal, delicious food and improve the overall health and wellbeing of the school community. Western English Language School can now use the grant to build garden beds or buy gardening tools, or kitchen equipment to cook healthy and delicious meals. The funding will also support the Western English Language School to work towards health and wellbeing priorities identified in the Labor Government’s Achievement Program. The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation will support successful schools with their kitchen garden programs, and help them use programs like these to promote health and wellbeing across all children in Victoria. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP “Congratulations to Western English Language School which will receive funding to deliver kitchen garden programs to their school community.” “It’s an excellent opportunity for schools to teach gardening and cooking skills that emphasises the flavours as well as the health benefits of fresh, seasonal, delicious food.” “Developing a food culture that values health and wellbeing during childhood helps to ensure lifelong healthy decisions and actions and build healthy habits into the future.” Quotes attributable to Stephanie Alexander “The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is thrilled to be working in partnership with the Victorian Government to deliver the Playground to Plate grant scheme.” “This is a fantastic opportunity for schools to establish or enhance kitchen garden program infrastructure to support their delivery of pleasurable food education – helping students develop lifelong positive food habits through fun, hands-on learning.”

MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE Government performance

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (14:16:54) — It gives me great pleasure to rise to totally dismiss in many respects the matter of public importance. This government and this Treasurer, might I correct the member for Warrandyte, have delivered the highest average surpluses in this state’s history. In so doing they have delivered the most substantial infrastructure program the state has ever seen, from $13.7 billion in this year’s budget compared to a $4.9 billion average. If you want to talk about a government making a substantial contribution to the terms under which Victorians live and operate then it ultimately comes down to this: are you prepared to get up and have a go for Victorians. The member for Warrandyte got up here today and all he did was essentially direct and call names at the Premier, which really goes back to the history of this man. He is the shadow minister for cost of living, which I am sure is a very senior and august role in his caucus. I am curious, however, what that has to do with the work that he is supposed to be doing with his Cost Watch truck, which is missing in action at the moment. We have missed it. There have been no Facebook entries since March 2017, but they are hard at work doing nothing — hardly working. But I digress, and so rather than engage in banalities with the opposition I will talk about the substantive action that the government has taken. Let us get into the substantive issues that the member for Warrandyte has raised. Employment: the best thing that the government can do to support Victorians with the cost of living is ensure that there are secure, full‑time jobs available to them. Since this government took office we have created 370 000 jobs. The security of employment and the opportunities to be able to go out and create work, and from that labour create wealth both within your community and your family, is what Labor governments do. There have been 233 000 full‑time jobs created as a consequence of this government’s efforts; 40 000 full‑time jobs was the total sum of jobs created by the coalition when they were last in government. So 40 000 compared to 233 000 put in economic terms is nothing short of pathetic. Under the coalition government we saw the unemployment rate rise to 6.7 per cent, and of course it is now down to 5 per cent. The youth unemployment rate hiked to 14.5 per cent at the same time that they slashed TAFE funding and cut jobs across Victoria. Under their watch 70 000 Victorians joined the unemployment queue. That was effectively their contribution; that was the care that they had for the plight of people struggling with the day‑to‑day costs they confront. The first and most important thing you have to do is give people the dignity of work and give them the dignity of showing you that governments rate that as the first and most important thing that they should do. Of course those opposite were asleep on their watch. They did nothing and delivered nothing certainly when it came to employment generation. On the issue of electricity costs, this year’s budget invested $48 million in the power saving bonus. All Victorians will receive $50 if they go on to the Victorian Energy Compare website. We know from experience that visiting this website will save people $330 in the first year alone on average. Big power companies of course rely on people not having the time or the capacity to look at the transparency around their billing structures, but this gives them that opportunity and it will reward them for exercising their rights as a consumer in the market environment. This comes on top of rebates that we have offered to consumers on standing offers or expired market offers — the rebates proposed by the big retailers. For non‑concession holders on standing offers where they have expired offers, somewhere between $250 and $400 will have to be paid back to them if the rebate was not in place. So here we are as a government looking at our capacity to do more. The utility relief grant cap, for example, had a $21.7 million increase, with $500 to $650 a year being provided to put power back in the hands of Victorian consumers, particularly those most in hardship due to unexpected electricity bills. We have also announced that a re‑elected Andrews Labor government will help Victorians save around $890 a year and put power back in the hands of Victorian households. Here we are four years into this term, but have we heard anything positive from the opposition about what they might do around how you can address power costs for households? Here is a real policy that this government is putting in place: $890 is likely to be saved off people’s power bills through the Victorian government’s solar homes program; 650 000 homes will be the subject of this relief over 10 years; and importantly for Victorians hurting from high prices we have allocated $68 million to get this program running immediately we take up government. Those who wish to take up the offer of access to solar panels will be able to do so without causing a distortion in the way that the market operates in anticipation of this program getting fully underway. Additionally for those houses that are currently unable to access solar panel discounts — we have not forgotten them either — we will make sure that a re‑elected Andrews government provides for 60 000 households to replace their old hot‑water systems with a new solar system and get $1000 cash back via a rebate. We are the government with a broad agenda. We are dealing with the impacts that the costs of electricity and power prices more generally are having on consumers, and we have put those into the public domain. We have said this is what we are going to do to help people who are struggling with increasing power prices. What have we heard from the opposition? The only policy we seem to have heard from the opposition is that they want to cut the Victorian renewable energy target, reducing supply and provoking probably further uncertainty for investors and the energy market. This is not the brains trust of the state of Victoria. They are certainly not people who should be given the responsibility of managing the state going forward in a policy sense. It is also important to note, if we look at gas prices in this debate, that those opposite have found a way to be on the wrong side of this issue more times than I thought would be mathematically possible. In September 2015 there were pending by‑elections in the seats of South‑West Coast and Polwarth. The opposition decided that they wanted a moratorium on onshore gas exploration until 2020 — that was their plan. Then in October last year they backflipped again and committed to scraping the legislated moratorium. You just cannot trust the Liberals on gas. Their position is up for sale, and whatever their lords and masters in Canberra tell them to do, they will step to attention. By supporting the same policy position that those opposite took credit for just six months beforehand, we have been accused of playing politics. We know who is playing politics, and we know who is not letting the science lead them on this. It is clear that this is an opposition that will take any opportunity to try and score cheap political points even if it means wiping history. It is Orwellian in its concept. They like to forget about their behaviour and their lack of action in government and the harsh costs that they inflicted upon consumers that this government is taking real and tangible action to address. The truly sad thing about those opposite is not that they are hypocrites but that they are also just plain wrong. On the evidence, we have onshore resources that would provide only about six months of gas capacity if taken by conventional means. If that is essentially what the opposition sees as a panacea in reducing gas prices, of course we know that the science does not lead us there. So to the flat‑earthers on that side, keep continuing with the chant but be clear about this: we will be led by the science, and ultimately we will get an outcome that serves the interests of Victorians well. As we know, Victoria produces almost twice as much gas as it consumes. One would have thought we should not have a supply‑side problem with gas from our offshore gas wells, but of course the federal government — people that members opposite do not want to criticise — are more than happy to continue this idea that the national reserve, the national asset, is shipped offshore without an effective domestic reserve being put in place. What does that mean? That means consumers are hit, that means that essentially industry is hit. People have been crying out for some leadership and at least for this federal government to do something that might address the imbalance in pricing. We are going shortly to be the world’s biggest exporter of natural gas. We are not far off it, and when that happens, we will still have a problem because essentially the commonwealth refuses to provide a domestic reserve and a surety for the needs of our consumers and our businesses. I want to turn now briefly to TAFE. Of course it is worth noting that in government those opposite took an axe to TAFE. They closed campuses, they cut jobs and they failed our young people. We, by alternative, have put money back into TAFE. In the 2018–19 budget we gave every Victorian every tool they need to undertake a quality, accredited TAFE qualification to get the skills and the jobs that they need in building our state. We have gone further than that. We know that the cost of training can act as a barrier to getting the right skills, so this year’s budget breaks down that barrier and invests $172 million to provide 30 priority TAFE courses and 18 preapprenticeship courses to young people to give them the opportunity to get a fee‑free education through TAFE and preapprentices. That means that we are investing in the future of young people. They will get jobs and they will be able to pay the costs that confront everybody in their livelihoods. We want to make sure that everyone gets this free, quality training, and we have provided some 30 000 new training places to provide for it. Now I want to turn briefly to homes and what we have done around the cost of housing in the state of Victoria. We have put forward a comprehensive Homes for Victorians package. We have abolished stamp duty costs for properties worth less than $600 000 for first home buyers. We have doubled the regional first home owners grant for new build properties to $20 000 and we are making long‑term leases a reality for Victorians, recognising that there is not one path by which you can have a place to call your home. Recently we have seen some 22 000 first‑time buyers right across the state take up this opportunity. We have also put in place rate capping as a government. We saw under the opposition council rates rise by 10 per cent in 2013 — 10.8 per cent, in fact — and 10.5 per cent in 2014, and they did absolutely nothing about it. So when we hear these four tiers of concern being expressed about the poor consumer being hard done by by government, let us recognise that this is a government that has actually taken tangible action. Whether it is on the housing side or whether it is on the gas or electricity side, we have taken a proactive approach to put in place measures to protect Victorians and to make sure that they are well served by a government that is focused on delivering to them. Of course there is our land release policy, which I am sure someone else will talk to because I am running out of time. But I will make this point. This is a government that has not wasted a day in its obligations and its opportunities to look after Victorians. Today, on a day when the Victorian economy is seen as the best performing economy in the nation through the national accounts release, what I have to do is spend my time dealing with this dross from an opposition who have no vision for the future.

MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE Government performance

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (14:16:54) — It gives me great pleasure to rise to totally dismiss in many respects the matter of public importance. This government and this Treasurer, might I correct the member for Warrandyte, have delivered the highest average surpluses in this state’s history. In so doing they have delivered the most substantial infrastructure program the state has ever seen, from $13.7 billion in this year’s budget compared to a $4.9 billion average. If you want to talk about a government making a substantial contribution to the terms under which Victorians live and operate then it ultimately comes down to this: are you prepared to get up and have a go for Victorians. The member for Warrandyte got up here today and all he did was essentially direct and call names at the Premier, which really goes back to the history of this man. He is the shadow minister for cost of living, which I am sure is a very senior and august role in his caucus. I am curious, however, what that has to do with the work that he is supposed to be doing with his Cost Watch truck, which is missing in action at the moment. We have missed it. There have been no Facebook entries since March 2017, but they are hard at work doing nothing — hardly working. But I digress, and so rather than engage in banalities with the opposition I will talk about the substantive action that the government has taken. Let us get into the substantive issues that the member for Warrandyte has raised. Employment: the best thing that the government can do to support Victorians with the cost of living is ensure that there are secure, full‑time jobs available to them. Since this government took office we have created 370 000 jobs. The security of employment and the opportunities to be able to go out and create work, and from that labour create wealth both within your community and your family, is what Labor governments do. There have been 233 000 full‑time jobs created as a consequence of this government’s efforts; 40 000 full‑time jobs was the total sum of jobs created by the coalition when they were last in government. So 40 000 compared to 233 000 put in economic terms is nothing short of pathetic. Under the coalition government we saw the unemployment rate rise to 6.7 per cent, and of course it is now down to 5 per cent. The youth unemployment rate hiked to 14.5 per cent at the same time that they slashed TAFE funding and cut jobs across Victoria. Under their watch 70 000 Victorians joined the unemployment queue. That was effectively their contribution; that was the care that they had for the plight of people struggling with the day‑to‑day costs they confront. The first and most important thing you have to do is give people the dignity of work and give them the dignity of showing you that governments rate that as the first and most important thing that they should do. Of course those opposite were asleep on their watch. They did nothing and delivered nothing certainly when it came to employment generation. On the issue of electricity costs, this year’s budget invested $48 million in the power saving bonus. All Victorians will receive $50 if they go on to the Victorian Energy Compare website. We know from experience that visiting this website will save people $330 in the first year alone on average. Big power companies of course rely on people not having the time or the capacity to look at the transparency around their billing structures, but this gives them that opportunity and it will reward them for exercising their rights as a consumer in the market environment. This comes on top of rebates that we have offered to consumers on standing offers or expired market offers — the rebates proposed by the big retailers. For non‑concession holders on standing offers where they have expired offers, somewhere between $250 and $400 will have to be paid back to them if the rebate was not in place. So here we are as a government looking at our capacity to do more. The utility relief grant cap, for example, had a $21.7 million increase, with $500 to $650 a year being provided to put power back in the hands of Victorian consumers, particularly those most in hardship due to unexpected electricity bills. We have also announced that a re‑elected Andrews Labor government will help Victorians save around $890 a year and put power back in the hands of Victorian households. Here we are four years into this term, but have we heard anything positive from the opposition about what they might do around how you can address power costs for households? Here is a real policy that this government is putting in place: $890 is likely to be saved off people’s power bills through the Victorian government’s solar homes program; 650 000 homes will be the subject of this relief over 10 years; and importantly for Victorians hurting from high prices we have allocated $68 million to get this program running immediately we take up government. Those who wish to take up the offer of access to solar panels will be able to do so without causing a distortion in the way that the market operates in anticipation of this program getting fully underway. Additionally for those houses that are currently unable to access solar panel discounts — we have not forgotten them either — we will make sure that a re‑elected Andrews government provides for 60 000 households to replace their old hot‑water systems with a new solar system and get $1000 cash back via a rebate. We are the government with a broad agenda. We are dealing with the impacts that the costs of electricity and power prices more generally are having on consumers, and we have put those into the public domain. We have said this is what we are going to do to help people who are struggling with increasing power prices. What have we heard from the opposition? The only policy we seem to have heard from the opposition is that they want to cut the Victorian renewable energy target, reducing supply and provoking probably further uncertainty for investors and the energy market. This is not the brains trust of the state of Victoria. They are certainly not people who should be given the responsibility of managing the state going forward in a policy sense. It is also important to note, if we look at gas prices in this debate, that those opposite have found a way to be on the wrong side of this issue more times than I thought would be mathematically possible. In September 2015 there were pending by‑elections in the seats of South‑West Coast and Polwarth. The opposition decided that they wanted a moratorium on onshore gas exploration until 2020 — that was their plan. Then in October last year they backflipped again and committed to scraping the legislated moratorium. You just cannot trust the Liberals on gas. Their position is up for sale, and whatever their lords and masters in Canberra tell them to do, they will step to attention. By supporting the same policy position that those opposite took credit for just six months beforehand, we have been accused of playing politics. We know who is playing politics, and we know who is not letting the science lead them on this. It is clear that this is an opposition that will take any opportunity to try and score cheap political points even if it means wiping history. It is Orwellian in its concept. They like to forget about their behaviour and their lack of action in government and the harsh costs that they inflicted upon consumers that this government is taking real and tangible action to address. The truly sad thing about those opposite is not that they are hypocrites but that they are also just plain wrong. On the evidence, we have onshore resources that would provide only about six months of gas capacity if taken by conventional means. If that is essentially what the opposition sees as a panacea in reducing gas prices, of course we know that the science does not lead us there. So to the flat‑earthers on that side, keep continuing with the chant but be clear about this: we will be led by the science, and ultimately we will get an outcome that serves the interests of Victorians well. As we know, Victoria produces almost twice as much gas as it consumes. One would have thought we should not have a supply‑side problem with gas from our offshore gas wells, but of course the federal government — people that members opposite do not want to criticise — are more than happy to continue this idea that the national reserve, the national asset, is shipped offshore without an effective domestic reserve being put in place. What does that mean? That means consumers are hit, that means that essentially industry is hit. People have been crying out for some leadership and at least for this federal government to do something that might address the imbalance in pricing. We are going shortly to be the world’s biggest exporter of natural gas. We are not far off it, and when that happens, we will still have a problem because essentially the commonwealth refuses to provide a domestic reserve and a surety for the needs of our consumers and our businesses. I want to turn now briefly to TAFE. Of course it is worth noting that in government those opposite took an axe to TAFE. They closed campuses, they cut jobs and they failed our young people. We, by alternative, have put money back into TAFE. In the 2018–19 budget we gave every Victorian every tool they need to undertake a quality, accredited TAFE qualification to get the skills and the jobs that they need in building our state. We have gone further than that. We know that the cost of training can act as a barrier to getting the right skills, so this year’s budget breaks down that barrier and invests $172 million to provide 30 priority TAFE courses and 18 preapprenticeship courses to young people to give them the opportunity to get a fee‑free education through TAFE and preapprentices. That means that we are investing in the future of young people. They will get jobs and they will be able to pay the costs that confront everybody in their livelihoods. We want to make sure that everyone gets this free, quality training, and we have provided some 30 000 new training places to provide for it. Now I want to turn briefly to homes and what we have done around the cost of housing in the state of Victoria. We have put forward a comprehensive Homes for Victorians package. We have abolished stamp duty costs for properties worth less than $600 000 for first home buyers. We have doubled the regional first home owners grant for new build properties to $20 000 and we are making long‑term leases a reality for Victorians, recognising that there is not one path by which you can have a place to call your home. Recently we have seen some 22 000 first‑time buyers right across the state take up this opportunity. We have also put in place rate capping as a government. We saw under the opposition council rates rise by 10 per cent in 2013 — 10.8 per cent, in fact — and 10.5 per cent in 2014, and they did absolutely nothing about it. So when we hear these four tiers of concern being expressed about the poor consumer being hard done by by government, let us recognise that this is a government that has actually taken tangible action. Whether it is on the housing side or whether it is on the gas or electricity side, we have taken a proactive approach to put in place measures to protect Victorians and to make sure that they are well served by a government that is focused on delivering to them. Of course there is our land release policy, which I am sure someone else will talk to because I am running out of time. But I will make this point. This is a government that has not wasted a day in its obligations and its opportunities to look after Victorians. Today, on a day when the Victorian economy is seen as the best performing economy in the nation through the national accounts release, what I have to do is spend my time dealing with this dross from an opposition who have no vision for the future.