Tim Pallas MP

all fields required

SIGN UP

or continue to home page >
  • 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

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE AND MINISTERS STATEMENTS Ministers statements: economy

Ministers statements: economy Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (12:14:43) — It gives me great pleasure to update the house on the continued strength of Victoria’s economy, which is leading the nation thanks to our record infrastructure investment. Last week CommSec’s State of the States report revealed what we have all known for some time: that Victoria’s economy is the best in the nation, overtaking New South Wales for the first time in that measure’s history. We are now number one, where we belong, a stark contrast to where we were three and a half years ago, stuck at the bottom of the pack with an economy that was doing very little — much like those opposite. Our current economic renaissance is thanks to a government investing in infrastructure and making sure that Victorians get the infrastructure they deserve. Yesterday Deloitte Access Economics reported that Victoria is in the midst of an infrastructure boom. Damn right it is, as we build new schools, new hospitals, better roads and we make record investments in our public transport system. All this has meant one other thing of course: 340 000 jobs created by this government. While we were busy delivering, those opposite were busy dithering. We have invested in our most valuable asset, our people. We have invested in creating new jobs and grown our TAFE system. Those opposite were the Bermuda Triangle of political parties. Things just disappeared: 800 new hospital beds vanished, Avalon railway was never heard of again, no Rowville rail and of course the National Party’s big black cat was missing in action, just like they were for three and a half — The SPEAKER — Order! The Treasurer’s time has concluded.

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE AND MINISTERS STATEMENTS Ministers statements: economy

Ministers statements: economy Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (12:14:43) — It gives me great pleasure to update the house on the continued strength of Victoria’s economy, which is leading the nation thanks to our record infrastructure investment. Last week CommSec’s State of the States report revealed what we have all known for some time: that Victoria’s economy is the best in the nation, overtaking New South Wales for the first time in that measure’s history. We are now number one, where we belong, a stark contrast to where we were three and a half years ago, stuck at the bottom of the pack with an economy that was doing very little — much like those opposite. Our current economic renaissance is thanks to a government investing in infrastructure and making sure that Victorians get the infrastructure they deserve. Yesterday Deloitte Access Economics reported that Victoria is in the midst of an infrastructure boom. Damn right it is, as we build new schools, new hospitals, better roads and we make record investments in our public transport system. All this has meant one other thing of course: 340 000 jobs created by this government. While we were busy delivering, those opposite were busy dithering. We have invested in our most valuable asset, our people. We have invested in creating new jobs and grown our TAFE system. Those opposite were the Bermuda Triangle of political parties. Things just disappeared: 800 new hospital beds vanished, Avalon railway was never heard of again, no Rowville rail and of course the National Party’s big black cat was missing in action, just like they were for three and a half — The SPEAKER — Order! The Treasurer’s time has concluded.

GAMBLING REGULATION AMENDMENT (WAGERING AND BETTING) BILL 2018

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (16:50:03) — I move: That this bill be now read a second time. Speech as follows incorporated into Hansard under standing orders: Introduction It is with great pleasure that I rise to speak in support of this Bill, a Bill which will reform the wagering and betting taxation framework in Victoria. This reform is about fairness; it’s about making wagering and betting entities pay a fairer share of Victorian gambling taxes. The key driver for this reform is the significant growth in online wagering and betting over the last few years, much of which has been outside of Victoria’s wagering and betting taxation structures. Currently, wagering and betting in Victoria is taxed on a place of supply basis. This means that operators pay wagering taxes based on where they are located, not where their services are actually used. As it stands, only the Victorian wagering and betting licence holder, Tabcorp Wagering (Vic) Pty Ltd is paying Victorian wagering taxes, regardless of whether the customer is located in Victoria or in another state or territory. Victorians spend approximately $1.2 billion annually on wagering and betting on horse and greyhound racing, sports and other events. Increasingly, this wagering is with online corporate bookmakers licensed outside of Victoria, who are not captured under the current Victorian wagering and betting taxation framework. This reform will align the Victorian wagering and betting taxation framework with the increasingly digital wagering and betting environment. It will level the playing field between all providers of betting services to people in Victoria. The Bill will amend the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 and the Taxation Administration Act 1997 to replace the current ‘place of supply’ wagering and betting tax with a ‘point of consumption’ tax, where the tax liability will be determined by the location of the consumer rather than the operator. This will ensure that all wagering and betting by Victorians, whether online or in person, will be captured by the Victorian wagering and betting taxation framework. The net additional wagering and betting tax revenue retained by the State from the introduction of the Point of Consumption Tax in 2019–20, the first full year of operation, is anticipated to be approximately $30 million. Policy design This Bill will introduce a Point of Consumption Tax (the Tax) to commence on 1 January 2019. The Tax will be payable by wagering and betting entities on the wagering revenue derived from customers in Victoria. Many of these wagering and betting entities have been profiting from Victorian wagers and bets without paying Victorian gambling taxes. The Bill provides that the rate of Tax will be 8 per cent of net wagering revenue derived from customers located in Victoria. Net wagering revenue will be broadly calculated as gross bets and wagers taken less winnings paid for fixed odds betting, or commissions derived from facilitating wagers and bets for pari‑mutuel. The Tax will apply to all wagering and betting entities, including the Victorian wagering and betting licence holder. The Bill establishes that an annual $1 million tax free threshold will apply equally to all wagering and betting entities, or entities grouped for the purposes of this Tax. In the 2018–19 financial year, the annual tax‑free threshold applied will be $500,000 as the Tax will only apply in the second half of the 2018–19 financial year. It is expected that the majority of smaller bookmakers who predominantly operate an on course business will fall under the tax‑free threshold. These small oncourse bookmakers do not materially compete with the big wagering and betting entities but are an integral part of the race day experience and are part of the rich and colourful history and tradition of racing in Victoria and Australia. This Government is committed to keep this tradition continuing, allowing this unique feature at all race meetings. The Bill makes the Tax a taxation law under the Taxation Administration Act 1997, which will provide for the general administration and enforcement of the Tax. Part 2 of the Bill provides that wagering and betting entities that become liable to pay the Tax must apply to register with the Commissioner of State Revenue before the end of the first month in which they become liable to pay the tax. It will be an offence to fail to apply for registration without a reasonable excuse. Wagering and betting entities that will are registered, or are required to apply for registration, will be required to lodge a return and pay the Tax to the Commissioner of State Revenue within 30 days after the end of each month. Failure to comply with payment of the Tax will result in interest and penalty tax under the Taxation Administration Act 1997 being applied. The Bill introduces a number of grouping provisions for wagering and betting entities. This will provide for groups of wagering and betting entities to be liable for their aggregate net wagering revenue for the purposes of applying the tax free threshold. This will limit liabilities being split amongst corporate group entities to minimise their taxation liability. Wagering and betting entities will be required to determine the location of their customers at the time of placing a wager or bet to calculate their tax liability. The Government recognises that it may be difficult for wagering and betting entities to determine the physical location of customers in some circumstances. Wagering and betting entities will have the option to use alternative information to determine customer location. The Bill enables the Commissioner of State Revenue to publish guidelines for determining the location of a person who makes a bet with a wagering and betting entity. The Victorian Racing Industry The Government has undertaken extensive consultation with key industry stakeholders on design considerations and potential industry impacts since the tax was first announced in the Victorian Budget 2017–18. In August 2017, the Victorian Government released a consultation paper seeking views on policy design considerations and potential industry and customer impacts of a Point of Consumption Tax. A considerable number of submissions were received in response to the consultation paper, and have informed the Tax  design. The Government also undertook extensive consultations with the three peak bodies representing the Victorian Racing Industry: Racing Victoria, Harness Racing Victoria and Greyhound Racing Victoria. The Government is committed to the principle that the racing industry, collectively and individually as Codes, will be no worse off as a result of the introduction of a Victorian Point of Consumption Tax. The Victorian Racing Industry is a major part of Victoria’s sporting and cultural landscape, and contributes $2.8 billion annually to the Victorian economy while supporting over 140,000 jobs and participants. The Government is committed to Victoria remaining the pre‑eminent racing state. The Tax has been designed to reduce potential adverse impacts on the Victorian Racing Industry. The Bill provides that the Government will contribute a proportion of the amount of wagering and betting tax received to the Victorian Racing Industry, at a rate determined by the Treasurer after consulting with the Minister for Racing. This will represent a new source of funding for the Victorian Racing Industry, and at the commencement of the Tax this new Victorian Racing Industry Point of Consumption Tax Payment is intended to equal 1.5 per cent of taxable net wagering revenue. The Bill provides that an amount equal to the balance of taxation revenue raised though the Tax — equal to the 8 per cent of the taxable net wagering revenue less the contribution to the Victorian Racing Industry — will be paid out of the Consolidated Fund into the Hospitals and Charities Fund. The Government will continue to work with the Victorian Racing Industry to monitor any potential impacts of the Tax on the industry. The Government will undertake a review of the Tax as soon as sufficient data is available. The Government has committed to the review being completed no later than 18 months after its commencement, and the Bill requires that the outcomes of the review be laid before each House of Parliament on or before 1 December 2020. The review will include an analysis of the key policy parameters including the tax rate, the tax‑free threshold and any impact on the Victorian Racing Industry arising from the introduction of the Victorian Point of Consumption Tax. The review will look at the total impact of the Tax on the Victorian Racing Industry collectively, and also of the impact individually on the three racing codes which make up the Victorian Racing Industry. In light of the Government’s commitment to maintaining the pre‑eminence of the Victorian Racing Industry, the review will also consider the interstate competitiveness of the Victorian Racing Industry. Based on the outcomes of the review, and consideration of the impact on the racing codes, the Government will determine whether any adjustment to the new Victorian Racing Industry Point of Consumption Tax Payment is required. The Government will continue to work with other states and territories to extend a common Tax model to other jurisdictions. It is in everyone’s interest to harmonise the key elements of the tax across all jurisdictions as much as possible. The Bill will enable the Treasurer to enter into agreements with Treasurers of other states and territories to facilitate the collection of and compliance with the requirement to pay the Tax. Administrative powers The Bill provides that the State Revenue Office will be responsible for the administration and collection of the Tax, as well as other functions such as ensuring compliance. This differs from the current arrangements where Victorian wagering and betting taxes are administered and collected by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. I draw the members’ attention specifically to clause 12 of the Bill. This clause of the Bill proposes to limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to ensure that the legislative regime under the Taxation Administration Act 1997 applies to the Tax in the same way as it does in relation to any other taxation law. Accordingly, I provide a statement under section 85(5) of the Constitution Act 1975 of the reasons for altering or varying that section by this Bill. I commend the Bill to the house. Debate adjourned on motion of Mr M. O’BRIEN (Malvern). Debate adjourned until Wednesday, 22 August.

GAMBLING REGULATION AMENDMENT (WAGERING AND BETTING) BILL 2018

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (16:50:03) — I move: That this bill be now read a second time. Speech as follows incorporated into Hansard under standing orders: Introduction It is with great pleasure that I rise to speak in support of this Bill, a Bill which will reform the wagering and betting taxation framework in Victoria. This reform is about fairness; it’s about making wagering and betting entities pay a fairer share of Victorian gambling taxes. The key driver for this reform is the significant growth in online wagering and betting over the last few years, much of which has been outside of Victoria’s wagering and betting taxation structures. Currently, wagering and betting in Victoria is taxed on a place of supply basis. This means that operators pay wagering taxes based on where they are located, not where their services are actually used. As it stands, only the Victorian wagering and betting licence holder, Tabcorp Wagering (Vic) Pty Ltd is paying Victorian wagering taxes, regardless of whether the customer is located in Victoria or in another state or territory. Victorians spend approximately $1.2 billion annually on wagering and betting on horse and greyhound racing, sports and other events. Increasingly, this wagering is with online corporate bookmakers licensed outside of Victoria, who are not captured under the current Victorian wagering and betting taxation framework. This reform will align the Victorian wagering and betting taxation framework with the increasingly digital wagering and betting environment. It will level the playing field between all providers of betting services to people in Victoria. The Bill will amend the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 and the Taxation Administration Act 1997 to replace the current ‘place of supply’ wagering and betting tax with a ‘point of consumption’ tax, where the tax liability will be determined by the location of the consumer rather than the operator. This will ensure that all wagering and betting by Victorians, whether online or in person, will be captured by the Victorian wagering and betting taxation framework. The net additional wagering and betting tax revenue retained by the State from the introduction of the Point of Consumption Tax in 2019–20, the first full year of operation, is anticipated to be approximately $30 million. Policy design This Bill will introduce a Point of Consumption Tax (the Tax) to commence on 1 January 2019. The Tax will be payable by wagering and betting entities on the wagering revenue derived from customers in Victoria. Many of these wagering and betting entities have been profiting from Victorian wagers and bets without paying Victorian gambling taxes. The Bill provides that the rate of Tax will be 8 per cent of net wagering revenue derived from customers located in Victoria. Net wagering revenue will be broadly calculated as gross bets and wagers taken less winnings paid for fixed odds betting, or commissions derived from facilitating wagers and bets for pari‑mutuel. The Tax will apply to all wagering and betting entities, including the Victorian wagering and betting licence holder. The Bill establishes that an annual $1 million tax free threshold will apply equally to all wagering and betting entities, or entities grouped for the purposes of this Tax. In the 2018–19 financial year, the annual tax‑free threshold applied will be $500,000 as the Tax will only apply in the second half of the 2018–19 financial year. It is expected that the majority of smaller bookmakers who predominantly operate an on course business will fall under the tax‑free threshold. These small oncourse bookmakers do not materially compete with the big wagering and betting entities but are an integral part of the race day experience and are part of the rich and colourful history and tradition of racing in Victoria and Australia. This Government is committed to keep this tradition continuing, allowing this unique feature at all race meetings. The Bill makes the Tax a taxation law under the Taxation Administration Act 1997, which will provide for the general administration and enforcement of the Tax. Part 2 of the Bill provides that wagering and betting entities that become liable to pay the Tax must apply to register with the Commissioner of State Revenue before the end of the first month in which they become liable to pay the tax. It will be an offence to fail to apply for registration without a reasonable excuse. Wagering and betting entities that will are registered, or are required to apply for registration, will be required to lodge a return and pay the Tax to the Commissioner of State Revenue within 30 days after the end of each month. Failure to comply with payment of the Tax will result in interest and penalty tax under the Taxation Administration Act 1997 being applied. The Bill introduces a number of grouping provisions for wagering and betting entities. This will provide for groups of wagering and betting entities to be liable for their aggregate net wagering revenue for the purposes of applying the tax free threshold. This will limit liabilities being split amongst corporate group entities to minimise their taxation liability. Wagering and betting entities will be required to determine the location of their customers at the time of placing a wager or bet to calculate their tax liability. The Government recognises that it may be difficult for wagering and betting entities to determine the physical location of customers in some circumstances. Wagering and betting entities will have the option to use alternative information to determine customer location. The Bill enables the Commissioner of State Revenue to publish guidelines for determining the location of a person who makes a bet with a wagering and betting entity. The Victorian Racing Industry The Government has undertaken extensive consultation with key industry stakeholders on design considerations and potential industry impacts since the tax was first announced in the Victorian Budget 2017–18. In August 2017, the Victorian Government released a consultation paper seeking views on policy design considerations and potential industry and customer impacts of a Point of Consumption Tax. A considerable number of submissions were received in response to the consultation paper, and have informed the Tax  design. The Government also undertook extensive consultations with the three peak bodies representing the Victorian Racing Industry: Racing Victoria, Harness Racing Victoria and Greyhound Racing Victoria. The Government is committed to the principle that the racing industry, collectively and individually as Codes, will be no worse off as a result of the introduction of a Victorian Point of Consumption Tax. The Victorian Racing Industry is a major part of Victoria’s sporting and cultural landscape, and contributes $2.8 billion annually to the Victorian economy while supporting over 140,000 jobs and participants. The Government is committed to Victoria remaining the pre‑eminent racing state. The Tax has been designed to reduce potential adverse impacts on the Victorian Racing Industry. The Bill provides that the Government will contribute a proportion of the amount of wagering and betting tax received to the Victorian Racing Industry, at a rate determined by the Treasurer after consulting with the Minister for Racing. This will represent a new source of funding for the Victorian Racing Industry, and at the commencement of the Tax this new Victorian Racing Industry Point of Consumption Tax Payment is intended to equal 1.5 per cent of taxable net wagering revenue. The Bill provides that an amount equal to the balance of taxation revenue raised though the Tax — equal to the 8 per cent of the taxable net wagering revenue less the contribution to the Victorian Racing Industry — will be paid out of the Consolidated Fund into the Hospitals and Charities Fund. The Government will continue to work with the Victorian Racing Industry to monitor any potential impacts of the Tax on the industry. The Government will undertake a review of the Tax as soon as sufficient data is available. The Government has committed to the review being completed no later than 18 months after its commencement, and the Bill requires that the outcomes of the review be laid before each House of Parliament on or before 1 December 2020. The review will include an analysis of the key policy parameters including the tax rate, the tax‑free threshold and any impact on the Victorian Racing Industry arising from the introduction of the Victorian Point of Consumption Tax. The review will look at the total impact of the Tax on the Victorian Racing Industry collectively, and also of the impact individually on the three racing codes which make up the Victorian Racing Industry. In light of the Government’s commitment to maintaining the pre‑eminence of the Victorian Racing Industry, the review will also consider the interstate competitiveness of the Victorian Racing Industry. Based on the outcomes of the review, and consideration of the impact on the racing codes, the Government will determine whether any adjustment to the new Victorian Racing Industry Point of Consumption Tax Payment is required. The Government will continue to work with other states and territories to extend a common Tax model to other jurisdictions. It is in everyone’s interest to harmonise the key elements of the tax across all jurisdictions as much as possible. The Bill will enable the Treasurer to enter into agreements with Treasurers of other states and territories to facilitate the collection of and compliance with the requirement to pay the Tax. Administrative powers The Bill provides that the State Revenue Office will be responsible for the administration and collection of the Tax, as well as other functions such as ensuring compliance. This differs from the current arrangements where Victorian wagering and betting taxes are administered and collected by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. I draw the members’ attention specifically to clause 12 of the Bill. This clause of the Bill proposes to limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to ensure that the legislative regime under the Taxation Administration Act 1997 applies to the Tax in the same way as it does in relation to any other taxation law. Accordingly, I provide a statement under section 85(5) of the Constitution Act 1975 of the reasons for altering or varying that section by this Bill. I commend the Bill to the house. Debate adjourned on motion of Mr M. O’BRIEN (Malvern). Debate adjourned until Wednesday, 22 August.

MINERAL RESOURCES (SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT) AMENDMENT BILL 2018

Mr PALLAS (Minister for Resources) (16:52:00) — I move: That this bill be now read a second time. Speech as follows incorporated into Hansard under standing orders: Background The main purpose of the Bill is to fulfil the Government’s commitments to the Latrobe Valley community and the people of Victoria to implement the recommendations of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry. In February 2014 a fire broke out at the Hazelwood coal mine which lasted 45 days, and had significant adverse impacts on the local community. In 2016, the Inquiry established to investigate the fire recommended that a Statutory Authority be established by 2026 or earlier if one of the mines should close. The Inquiry wanted the Authority to have ‘ongoing tenure until all mines have been successfully rehabilitated, and monitoring and maintenance of the Latrobe Valley mines is no longer required.’ In June 2016 the Andrews Labor Government committed to meet these recommendations through the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Implementation Plan. The Hazelwood mine closed on 31 March 2016. Overview of Bill The Bill establishes a Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority, clarifies rehabilitation, closure and post‑closure obligations and sets up a post closure fund. The Bill enables the Minister to apply this new regime to future mines that present a significant risk to public safety, the environment and infrastructure using an existing statutory power to declare mines. The Latrobe Valley coal mines are currently the only declared mines. Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority The Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority will be established on 1 July 2020. The Authority will take over the Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner’s current roles in relation to rehabilitation and the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy. The Authority’s rehabilitation role will extend to declared mines. The Authority will be engaged in monitoring, maintaining and managing registered declared mine land. The Authority will register post‑closure declared mine land and may be the owner of registered declared mine land, where this is required to protect the public, infrastructure and the environment. The Authority will be empowered to perform or contract for any functions arising from its role as landholder of declared mine land, for example managing any ongoing risks of fire or other emergencies. Declared mine land rehabilitation and closure obligations Declared mines will be required to have declared mine rehabilitation plans. Declared mine rehabilitation plans will include closure criteria and a post closure plan. The Bill clarifies that rehabilitation will be satisfactory and bonds returned if closure criteria are met. This will be the point of closure. Declared mine rehabilitation plans will continue in force until closure. Post‑closure obligations and the Post‑Closure Fund After a mine is closed the land owner will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the land. The post closure plan will be registered against the title of the land. The Minister will have the power to enforce the post‑closure plan. The Bill establishes a Post‑Closure Fund for each mine. The Authority will use the Post‑Closure Funds to meet the ongoing costs of managing declared mine land post‑closure. The criteria and processes for assessing liability will be set in regulations. These amendments make the liabilities and responsibilities of mine operators more explicit rather than increase them. The declared mine land rehabilitation framework in the Bill is enabling — detail will be in regulations. The changes will start to come into force from 1 July 2020 giving time for full consultation. The time frame for rehabilitation plan changes will be set following this consultation. Other amendments The Bill contains three other amendments to the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990. The Bill enables the public to comment on the grant and refusal of licence applications. Currently only objections are allowed. This amendment increases the ability of the community to participate in decision‑making about exploration and mining. The Bill allows land owners and mine licence holders to include agreements on non‑financial compensation in registered compensation agreements. This amendment gives people who are affected by mining on private land more scope to develop solutions that meet their needs. The Bill extends the term of prospecting licences to seven years, from the current five years. Prospecting licences were introduced in 2010. They are used by small‑scale prospectors and miners. The area of land in a prospecting licence must not exceed five hectares. Prospecting licences cannot be renewed. At present the use of these licences is limited because it can take several years for licensees to fulfil the statutory conditions to commence work. The two‑year extension to the term of prospecting licences will ensure that they remain an effective form of licensing for small scale prospectors. I commend the Bill to the house. Debate adjourned on motion of Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield). Debate adjourned until Wednesday, 22 August.

MINERAL RESOURCES (SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT) AMENDMENT BILL 2018

Mr PALLAS (Minister for Resources) (16:52:00) — I move: That this bill be now read a second time. Speech as follows incorporated into Hansard under standing orders: Background The main purpose of the Bill is to fulfil the Government’s commitments to the Latrobe Valley community and the people of Victoria to implement the recommendations of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry. In February 2014 a fire broke out at the Hazelwood coal mine which lasted 45 days, and had significant adverse impacts on the local community. In 2016, the Inquiry established to investigate the fire recommended that a Statutory Authority be established by 2026 or earlier if one of the mines should close. The Inquiry wanted the Authority to have ‘ongoing tenure until all mines have been successfully rehabilitated, and monitoring and maintenance of the Latrobe Valley mines is no longer required.’ In June 2016 the Andrews Labor Government committed to meet these recommendations through the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Implementation Plan. The Hazelwood mine closed on 31 March 2016. Overview of Bill The Bill establishes a Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority, clarifies rehabilitation, closure and post‑closure obligations and sets up a post closure fund. The Bill enables the Minister to apply this new regime to future mines that present a significant risk to public safety, the environment and infrastructure using an existing statutory power to declare mines. The Latrobe Valley coal mines are currently the only declared mines. Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority The Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority will be established on 1 July 2020. The Authority will take over the Latrobe Valley Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner’s current roles in relation to rehabilitation and the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy. The Authority’s rehabilitation role will extend to declared mines. The Authority will be engaged in monitoring, maintaining and managing registered declared mine land. The Authority will register post‑closure declared mine land and may be the owner of registered declared mine land, where this is required to protect the public, infrastructure and the environment. The Authority will be empowered to perform or contract for any functions arising from its role as landholder of declared mine land, for example managing any ongoing risks of fire or other emergencies. Declared mine land rehabilitation and closure obligations Declared mines will be required to have declared mine rehabilitation plans. Declared mine rehabilitation plans will include closure criteria and a post closure plan. The Bill clarifies that rehabilitation will be satisfactory and bonds returned if closure criteria are met. This will be the point of closure. Declared mine rehabilitation plans will continue in force until closure. Post‑closure obligations and the Post‑Closure Fund After a mine is closed the land owner will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the land. The post closure plan will be registered against the title of the land. The Minister will have the power to enforce the post‑closure plan. The Bill establishes a Post‑Closure Fund for each mine. The Authority will use the Post‑Closure Funds to meet the ongoing costs of managing declared mine land post‑closure. The criteria and processes for assessing liability will be set in regulations. These amendments make the liabilities and responsibilities of mine operators more explicit rather than increase them. The declared mine land rehabilitation framework in the Bill is enabling — detail will be in regulations. The changes will start to come into force from 1 July 2020 giving time for full consultation. The time frame for rehabilitation plan changes will be set following this consultation. Other amendments The Bill contains three other amendments to the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990. The Bill enables the public to comment on the grant and refusal of licence applications. Currently only objections are allowed. This amendment increases the ability of the community to participate in decision‑making about exploration and mining. The Bill allows land owners and mine licence holders to include agreements on non‑financial compensation in registered compensation agreements. This amendment gives people who are affected by mining on private land more scope to develop solutions that meet their needs. The Bill extends the term of prospecting licences to seven years, from the current five years. Prospecting licences were introduced in 2010. They are used by small‑scale prospectors and miners. The area of land in a prospecting licence must not exceed five hectares. Prospecting licences cannot be renewed. At present the use of these licences is limited because it can take several years for licensees to fulfil the statutory conditions to commence work. The two‑year extension to the term of prospecting licences will ensure that they remain an effective form of licensing for small scale prospectors. I commend the Bill to the house. Debate adjourned on motion of Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield). Debate adjourned until Wednesday, 22 August.

Werribee electorate housing affordability

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (09:42:26) — I rise to update the house on the success of the Homes for Victorians package in my electorate of Werribee. The changes we have made to stamp duty for first home buyers have meant that thousands more first home buyers are now accessing the housing market. I am happy to report that Wyndham has the highest number of first home buyers that have paid no stamp duty at all. In this 2017–18 financial year there were 1651 transactions, resulting in a saving of $33.8 million for first home buyers. These purchases are a story of hope, of opportunity and of progress. Thousands more Victorians will now experience the joy of hanging family photos in their living room, of marking their children’s heights against the wall and of digging up and creating their own backyard. We are also ensuring that young Victorians can not only get into the housing market but can also be supported by the infrastructure and the services that they need.

Werribee electorate housing affordability

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (09:42:26) — I rise to update the house on the success of the Homes for Victorians package in my electorate of Werribee. The changes we have made to stamp duty for first home buyers have meant that thousands more first home buyers are now accessing the housing market. I am happy to report that Wyndham has the highest number of first home buyers that have paid no stamp duty at all. In this 2017–18 financial year there were 1651 transactions, resulting in a saving of $33.8 million for first home buyers. These purchases are a story of hope, of opportunity and of progress. Thousands more Victorians will now experience the joy of hanging family photos in their living room, of marking their children’s heights against the wall and of digging up and creating their own backyard. We are also ensuring that young Victorians can not only get into the housing market but can also be supported by the infrastructure and the services that they need.

 

Ministers statements: Economy

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (11:38:11) — It gives me great pleasure to advise the house on the strength of the Victorian economy. Since we were elected we have created more than 340 000 jobs. Two‑thirds of those jobs are full‑time jobs as we invest in people, skills, infrastructure and services that Victorians need and deserve. It is a contrast to four years of nothing from those opposite. They fell asleep at the wheel, they slowed down the creation of jobs and of course they brought Victoria to a standstill. Honourable members interjecting. The SPEAKER — Order! The Treasurer will come back to making a ministers statement. Mr PALLAS — This week Deloitte Access Economics upgraded its projections for the Victorian economy. Our economic growth is now predicted to rise to 3.7 per cent gross state product for 2018–19. That is the highest prediction for growth in Australia. It highlights the growth and the opportunity that this government has created right across the state, including, might I say, 45 000 new jobs in regional Victoria. Today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics stats for the June quarter show that in regional employment 4200 jobs have been created. Unemployment has dropped by 0.8 per cent to 4.9 per cent. It highlights, really, what this government is about. Let us give you some examples. BlueScope Steel this week reported it had added 100 jobs in Hastings, in contrast to its performance in 2013 when we saw it lay off 170 workers on the back of 200 jobs that they cut in 2011. So while we are building for the future, those opposite seem obsessed with the past. We have heard that Kennett is coming back. Now we know that Alan Stockdale, the architect of massive jobs cuts, energy privatisation — The SPEAKER — Order! The Treasurer will resume his seat. Mr Clark — On a point of order, Speaker, the minister’s time has expired, but I do invite you to caution him to comply with sessional orders, particularly as you had instructed him to do so earlier on in his statement. The SPEAKER — I uphold the point of order. The Treasurer should not stray into attacking the opposition.

Ministers statements: Economy

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (11:38:11) — It gives me great pleasure to advise the house on the strength of the Victorian economy. Since we were elected we have created more than 340 000 jobs. Two‑thirds of those jobs are full‑time jobs as we invest in people, skills, infrastructure and services that Victorians need and deserve. It is a contrast to four years of nothing from those opposite. They fell asleep at the wheel, they slowed down the creation of jobs and of course they brought Victoria to a standstill. Honourable members interjecting. The SPEAKER — Order! The Treasurer will come back to making a ministers statement. Mr PALLAS — This week Deloitte Access Economics upgraded its projections for the Victorian economy. Our economic growth is now predicted to rise to 3.7 per cent gross state product for 2018–19. That is the highest prediction for growth in Australia. It highlights the growth and the opportunity that this government has created right across the state, including, might I say, 45 000 new jobs in regional Victoria. Today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics stats for the June quarter show that in regional employment 4200 jobs have been created. Unemployment has dropped by 0.8 per cent to 4.9 per cent. It highlights, really, what this government is about. Let us give you some examples. BlueScope Steel this week reported it had added 100 jobs in Hastings, in contrast to its performance in 2013 when we saw it lay off 170 workers on the back of 200 jobs that they cut in 2011. So while we are building for the future, those opposite seem obsessed with the past. We have heard that Kennett is coming back. Now we know that Alan Stockdale, the architect of massive jobs cuts, energy privatisation — The SPEAKER — Order! The Treasurer will resume his seat. Mr Clark — On a point of order, Speaker, the minister’s time has expired, but I do invite you to caution him to comply with sessional orders, particularly as you had instructed him to do so earlier on in his statement. The SPEAKER — I uphold the point of order. The Treasurer should not stray into attacking the opposition.

SOCIAL HOUSING GRANT WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Member for Werribee Tim Pallas, Member for Altona Jill Hennessy and Member for Tarneit Telmo Languiller have announced that Wyndham City Council has been awarded a sought-after Victorian Government grant to boost local social housing. The Social Housing Investment Planning (SHIP) grant provides $2.5 million to local governments to plan new social housing in their regions. More than 20 councils from across Victoria applied to receive one of the grants. Wyndham MPs said that Wyndham City Council’s successful application for boosting social housing in Wyndham took into account the unique challenges and opportunities present in the region. Councils were required to demonstrate in their applications how their plans would drive development of social housing in their area, for instance through creating municipal social housing plans and identifying land suitable for future social housing projects. Increasing social housing is one of the many ways the Andrews Labor Government is tackling the problem of housing affordabilty. Along with the $1 billion Social Housing Growth Fund – part of the Homes for Victorians strategy – the SHIP grants will support more modern, accessible homes for Victorians requiring housing support. Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley “The quality of the applications we received was very high and I look forward to seeing the impact these projects will have in housing Victorians in their respective communities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We need to grow social housing in Wyndham and I’m delighted the Victorian Government has awarded this grant to assist Council to plan for future growth.” Quotes attributable to Member for Altona District Jill Hennessy “We are giving local governments the help they need to build more modern social housing in their council areas.” Quotes attributable to Member for Tarneit District Telmo Languiller “By delivering more social housing in Wyndham, the Andrews Labor Government is building a stronger community for all Victorians.”

SOCIAL HOUSING GRANT WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Member for Werribee Tim Pallas, Member for Altona Jill Hennessy and Member for Tarneit Telmo Languiller have announced that Wyndham City Council has been awarded a sought-after Victorian Government grant to boost local social housing. The Social Housing Investment Planning (SHIP) grant provides $2.5 million to local governments to plan new social housing in their regions. More than 20 councils from across Victoria applied to receive one of the grants. Wyndham MPs said that Wyndham City Council’s successful application for boosting social housing in Wyndham took into account the unique challenges and opportunities present in the region. Councils were required to demonstrate in their applications how their plans would drive development of social housing in their area, for instance through creating municipal social housing plans and identifying land suitable for future social housing projects. Increasing social housing is one of the many ways the Andrews Labor Government is tackling the problem of housing affordabilty. Along with the $1 billion Social Housing Growth Fund – part of the Homes for Victorians strategy – the SHIP grants will support more modern, accessible homes for Victorians requiring housing support. Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley “The quality of the applications we received was very high and I look forward to seeing the impact these projects will have in housing Victorians in their respective communities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We need to grow social housing in Wyndham and I’m delighted the Victorian Government has awarded this grant to assist Council to plan for future growth.” Quotes attributable to Member for Altona District Jill Hennessy “We are giving local governments the help they need to build more modern social housing in their council areas.” Quotes attributable to Member for Tarneit District Telmo Languiller “By delivering more social housing in Wyndham, the Andrews Labor Government is building a stronger community for all Victorians.”

LOCAL WOMEN IN THE WERRIBEE ELECTORATE OFFERED A BOOST TO CHANGE THE GAME

Applications are now open for the second round of the Victorian Government’s game changing women in sport leadership scholarships. The Change Our Game Scholarship Program creates opportunities for women to pursue their leadership and development in the sporting and active recreation industry. Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas said that local clubs and sporting bodies are encouraged to identify emerging female leaders within their sporting community for the scholarship program. Scholarships range in value from $2,000 to $10,000 and applications are made through State Sporting Bodies or Regional Sports Assemblies. The Change Our Game Scholarship Program highlights the State Government’s commitment to increase the number of women and girls participating in sport and active recreation. The inaugural round helped 46 women across the state to access professional learning and development opportunities. Since establishing the first Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, the Government is taking action to assist more women and girls to earn sport leadership roles across all levels of the Victorian sport and active recreation sector. Including the previous scholarship round, the Change Our Game initiative has provided over $1M to the sector across various grant programs designed to level the playing field for women and girls at community, regional and state level. For more information about the Change Our Game Scholarship Program, visit www.sport.vic.gov.au Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Sport and recreation offers vital opportunities for enriching our community and it is important that we are able to challenge the existing structures and traditional ways of working to develop leadership opportunities for women throughout the Werribee electorate.” Quote attributable to Head, Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Dr. Bridie O’Donnell “We are working in partnership with the sport and active recreation sector to deliver an equal playing field for women and girls at every level of our sport and recreation organisations and clubs. We were overwhelmed with the response and the quality of the applications for our first round and we look forward to seeing a similar response this time around.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport, John Eren MP “I encourage local sporting clubs and associations to push for change and prioritise the identification and development of our emerging female leaders.” “Equality is non-negotiable for our government and we are proud to deliver on our commitment to help more women and girls reach the top both on and off the playing field.”

LOCAL WOMEN IN THE WERRIBEE ELECTORATE OFFERED A BOOST TO CHANGE THE GAME

Applications are now open for the second round of the Victorian Government’s game changing women in sport leadership scholarships. The Change Our Game Scholarship Program creates opportunities for women to pursue their leadership and development in the sporting and active recreation industry. Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas said that local clubs and sporting bodies are encouraged to identify emerging female leaders within their sporting community for the scholarship program. Scholarships range in value from $2,000 to $10,000 and applications are made through State Sporting Bodies or Regional Sports Assemblies. The Change Our Game Scholarship Program highlights the State Government’s commitment to increase the number of women and girls participating in sport and active recreation. The inaugural round helped 46 women across the state to access professional learning and development opportunities. Since establishing the first Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, the Government is taking action to assist more women and girls to earn sport leadership roles across all levels of the Victorian sport and active recreation sector. Including the previous scholarship round, the Change Our Game initiative has provided over $1M to the sector across various grant programs designed to level the playing field for women and girls at community, regional and state level. For more information about the Change Our Game Scholarship Program, visit www.sport.vic.gov.au Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Sport and recreation offers vital opportunities for enriching our community and it is important that we are able to challenge the existing structures and traditional ways of working to develop leadership opportunities for women throughout the Werribee electorate.” Quote attributable to Head, Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Dr. Bridie O’Donnell “We are working in partnership with the sport and active recreation sector to deliver an equal playing field for women and girls at every level of our sport and recreation organisations and clubs. We were overwhelmed with the response and the quality of the applications for our first round and we look forward to seeing a similar response this time around.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport, John Eren MP “I encourage local sporting clubs and associations to push for change and prioritise the identification and development of our emerging female leaders.” “Equality is non-negotiable for our government and we are proud to deliver on our commitment to help more women and girls reach the top both on and off the playing field.”

VICTORIA LEADS THE NATION IN VACCINATION RATES

Five-year-olds in Victoria are now better protected against diseases prevented by vaccination than in any other state in Australia, new data shows. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas, Member for Altona Jill Hennessy and Member for Tarneit Telmo Languiller today announced the latest figures from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register that show 95.49 per cent of five-year-olds in the local community are now fully immunised. Across Victoria, 95.7 per cent of kids aged five are now fully immunised – the best rate of all Australian states and territories. The Andrews Labor Government’s ‘No Jab, No Play’ laws have seen a steady increase in immunisation rates for Victorian children. Before these laws came into effect, rates were 92.85 per cent, but thanks to our tough new laws, immunisation rates have powered past our ambitious ‘herd immunity’ target. The data also shows 97.3 per cent of Indigenous children in Victoria aged five years are fully immunised. The 95 per cent ‘herd immunity’ target is necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles. High rates of vaccination provide important protection for those who cannot receive vaccines, such as babies who are too young or people who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons. The Labor Government takes a strong approach when it comes to vaccination. We brought back the free whooping cough vaccination program for mums and dads after it was cut by the Liberals, protecting Victoria’s youngest people from the deadly disease. The Government’s new ‘No Jab, No Play’ rules mean only Immunisation History Statements from the Australian Immunisation Register will be accepted as evidence of immunisation and as evidence of medical exemption to vaccination when enrolling a child at childcare or kindergarten. The Liberals axed the whooping cough vaccination because they can’t help but cut our health system. They can’t be trusted with it comes to health, because all they do is cut. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Member for Altona District Jill Hennessy “Immunisation is safe, effective and it saves lives. We’re so glad that more parents than ever before are taking heed of the message and keeping their kids safe.”  “The Liberals axed the free whooping cough vaccination and cut hundreds of millions of dollars from our health system, but we’re putting families first and keeping our youngest Victorians safe.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “These are more than just statistics – this is about protecting kids in Wyndham from deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases.” Quotes attributable to Member for Tarneit Telmo Languiller “This data shows that parents are listening to the experts and the science – and ignoring those who tout misinformation that puts kids at risk.”

VICTORIA LEADS THE NATION IN VACCINATION RATES

Five-year-olds in Victoria are now better protected against diseases prevented by vaccination than in any other state in Australia, new data shows. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas, Member for Altona Jill Hennessy and Member for Tarneit Telmo Languiller today announced the latest figures from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register that show 95.49 per cent of five-year-olds in the local community are now fully immunised. Across Victoria, 95.7 per cent of kids aged five are now fully immunised – the best rate of all Australian states and territories. The Andrews Labor Government’s ‘No Jab, No Play’ laws have seen a steady increase in immunisation rates for Victorian children. Before these laws came into effect, rates were 92.85 per cent, but thanks to our tough new laws, immunisation rates have powered past our ambitious ‘herd immunity’ target. The data also shows 97.3 per cent of Indigenous children in Victoria aged five years are fully immunised. The 95 per cent ‘herd immunity’ target is necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles. High rates of vaccination provide important protection for those who cannot receive vaccines, such as babies who are too young or people who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons. The Labor Government takes a strong approach when it comes to vaccination. We brought back the free whooping cough vaccination program for mums and dads after it was cut by the Liberals, protecting Victoria’s youngest people from the deadly disease. The Government’s new ‘No Jab, No Play’ rules mean only Immunisation History Statements from the Australian Immunisation Register will be accepted as evidence of immunisation and as evidence of medical exemption to vaccination when enrolling a child at childcare or kindergarten. The Liberals axed the whooping cough vaccination because they can’t help but cut our health system. They can’t be trusted with it comes to health, because all they do is cut. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Member for Altona District Jill Hennessy “Immunisation is safe, effective and it saves lives. We’re so glad that more parents than ever before are taking heed of the message and keeping their kids safe.”  “The Liberals axed the free whooping cough vaccination and cut hundreds of millions of dollars from our health system, but we’re putting families first and keeping our youngest Victorians safe.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “These are more than just statistics – this is about protecting kids in Wyndham from deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases.” Quotes attributable to Member for Tarneit Telmo Languiller “This data shows that parents are listening to the experts and the science – and ignoring those who tout misinformation that puts kids at risk.”