Tim Pallas State Labor Member for Werribee

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Authorised by T. Pallas, 2/56-58 Watton St Werribee VIC 3030. Funded by Parliamentary Budget.
  • Werribee Street Level Crossing Gone for Good

    The Andrews Government has removed its 45th dangerous and congested level crossing – with trains now running on the new one-kilometre rail bridge at Werribee Street, safely separated from traffic.

  • Cherry Street Level Crossing Gone By Easter

    At Werribee’s nearby Cherry Street, the level crossing is on track to be removed by Easter, well ahead of its original 2022 target date – with a new road bridge separating cars from trains, connecting Tarneit Road to Princess Highway.

  • Major Works Kick Off at Old Geelong Road

    Major construction has now begun to remove the level crossing at Old Geelong Road. Crews started work to lift huge retaining wall panels into place and continue working in the median and on both sides on Princes Highway – the first steps in building a new road bridge that will remove the level crossing for good.

  • Duncans Road Interchange Upgrade Completed

    Drivers in Melbourne’s west can now enjoy safer and more reliable access to the Princes Freeway and Werribee tourism precinct, thanks to the completion of the Duncans Road Interchange Upgrade in Werribee.

  • New Riverbend Primary School

    Riverbend Primary School is officially open – catering for 575 students and includes three learning neighbourhoods, outdoor play courts, a performing arts and physical education building, and a sports field.

  • Werribee Mercy Hospital Expansion

    The $85 million Werribee Mercy Hospital expansion opened in 2018 will provide staff with more of the modern facilities they need to take care of our community. This includes 64 inpatient beds, 8 critical care beds and 6 additional operating theatres.

  • $45 Million Police Complex

    Construction begins for the new $45 million station in Werribee. The new facility delivers a state-of-the-art police station that will be able to house more than 460 staff and officers, including uniformed, crime investigation, transit safety officers and administration staff, amongst others.

  • Werribee Street Level Crossing Gone for Good

    The Andrews Government has removed its 45th dangerous and congested level crossing – with trains now running on the new one-kilometre rail bridge at Werribee Street, safely separated from traffic.

Media Centre

VICTORIA READY FOR VACCINE ROLLOUT

The first stage of the Commonwealth’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination program will be ready to be rolled out at Western Health for high-risk, priority people Melbourne’s West as soon as a vaccine is available. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced people at greatest risk of COVID-19 in Wyndham will be provided with a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine at Western Health which is one of nine regional and suburban Victorian public hospital vaccination hubs across the state. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive Commonwealth regulatory approval in Australia, undergoing a complete assessment and approval process and meeting high safety, efficacy and quality standards. Two doses are provided at least three weeks apart and the vaccine must be stored and transported at -70°C. The Commonwealth advises the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive and be rolled out in mid-tolate February. Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines will be available in phases, as defined by the Commonwealth’s schedule, with the Commonwealth prioritising groups based on expert medical and public health advice. People eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine as part of Phase 1a include: Quarantine and border workers and all staff working in the hotel quarantine program Frontline at-risk health care workers including hospital staff working in COVID and suspected COVID wards, emergency department and ICU staff, staff at GP respiratory clinics and COVID-19 testing facilities, ambulance staff and paramedics Aged care and disability care staff and residents. Further roll-out of other vaccines, including the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, will depend on the Commonwealth’s regulatory approval, volume and timing of doses becoming available. Work is underway to identify sites across Victoria with the aim of ensuring all Victorians can easily get vaccinated. To see the latest information and advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine in Victoria, please visit: coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine or health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “The vaccine is safe, effective and free – and it will be provided first to Victorians who are most at risk of infection or serious illness, such as people in aged care and our frontline health staff.” “We’ve chosen nine regional and suburban locations including in Melbourne’s western suburbs and we’re working closely with the Commonwealth to ensure we’re ready to deliver it as soon as it’s available.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Getting Wyndham people who are most at risk of infection vaccinated as soon as possible will protect the health of those vaccinated, as well as their families and the whole community.” “Our priority is to make sure that any vaccine which becomes available can be administered to people in Wyndham as quickly and safely as possible.”

VICTORIA READY FOR VACCINE ROLLOUT

The first stage of the Commonwealth’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination program will be ready to be rolled out at Western Health for high-risk, priority people Melbourne’s West as soon as a vaccine is available. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced people at greatest risk of COVID-19 in Wyndham will be provided with a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine at Western Health which is one of nine regional and suburban Victorian public hospital vaccination hubs across the state. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive Commonwealth regulatory approval in Australia, undergoing a complete assessment and approval process and meeting high safety, efficacy and quality standards. Two doses are provided at least three weeks apart and the vaccine must be stored and transported at -70°C. The Commonwealth advises the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive and be rolled out in mid-tolate February. Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines will be available in phases, as defined by the Commonwealth’s schedule, with the Commonwealth prioritising groups based on expert medical and public health advice. People eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine as part of Phase 1a include: Quarantine and border workers and all staff working in the hotel quarantine program Frontline at-risk health care workers including hospital staff working in COVID and suspected COVID wards, emergency department and ICU staff, staff at GP respiratory clinics and COVID-19 testing facilities, ambulance staff and paramedics Aged care and disability care staff and residents. Further roll-out of other vaccines, including the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, will depend on the Commonwealth’s regulatory approval, volume and timing of doses becoming available. Work is underway to identify sites across Victoria with the aim of ensuring all Victorians can easily get vaccinated. To see the latest information and advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine in Victoria, please visit: coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine or health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “The vaccine is safe, effective and free – and it will be provided first to Victorians who are most at risk of infection or serious illness, such as people in aged care and our frontline health staff.” “We’ve chosen nine regional and suburban locations including in Melbourne’s western suburbs and we’re working closely with the Commonwealth to ensure we’re ready to deliver it as soon as it’s available.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Getting Wyndham people who are most at risk of infection vaccinated as soon as possible will protect the health of those vaccinated, as well as their families and the whole community.” “Our priority is to make sure that any vaccine which becomes available can be administered to people in Wyndham as quickly and safely as possible.”

RAMPING UP SUPPORT FOR LOCAL SPORTS INFRASTRUCTURE

The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with helping communities like Werribee transform sports facilities, build female friendly change facilities and light up more sportsfields through the new 2021 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced the 2021 round of the fund is now open for applications. Grassroots sports clubs are the lifeblood of our towns, and they deserve modern, safe and inclusive facilities with room to grow and welcome more participants than ever before, especially women and girls. The 2021 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund is investing up to $22 million for projects that develop local sports infrastructure. The Fund will improve wellbeing outcomes and support participation by disadvantaged communities and under-represented groups through the development of high-quality, accessible, community sport and active recreation infrastructure. There is a range of grant opportunities across five funding streams including Better Indoor Stadiums, Female Friendly Facilities, Community Sports Lighting, Facilities for Active Seniors and Scoreboards and Fixed Equipment. The fund continues the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to increasing the number of women and girls participating in sport, delivering more multi-sport indoor courts, improving sportsfield capacity and enabling more senior Victorians to be physically active. Projects to receive grants from the previous round of the fund include $500,000 towards a brand-new multi-use, female friendly pavilion at Trafalgar Recreation Precinct, and $250,000 towards new athletic track floodlighting at Rieschiecks Reserve in Doncaster East. The fund also helps generate economic activity and hundreds of jobs for planners, architects, engineers, project managers, builders, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, maintenance staff, facility managers and operational personnel. Sourcing local materials will also enable many more Victorian businesses to thrive in these uncertain times. Interested clubs are advised to contact their Local Government Authority or Alpine Resort Board to assist with the application process. For more information or to apply online visit www.sport.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Sport and active recreation is the heart and soul of Wyndham. Unfortunately, many clubs and communities are struggling with run down infrastructure.” “With more and more women and girls signing up to play in Werribee, we are getting on with upgrading infrastructure so clubs can keep up with soaring demand, while also making them accessible and more inclusive.” “I urge councils and sporting organisations to partner and apply for projects that will make a real difference to the lives of Victorians.”

RAMPING UP SUPPORT FOR LOCAL SPORTS INFRASTRUCTURE

The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with helping communities like Werribee transform sports facilities, build female friendly change facilities and light up more sportsfields through the new 2021 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced the 2021 round of the fund is now open for applications. Grassroots sports clubs are the lifeblood of our towns, and they deserve modern, safe and inclusive facilities with room to grow and welcome more participants than ever before, especially women and girls. The 2021 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund is investing up to $22 million for projects that develop local sports infrastructure. The Fund will improve wellbeing outcomes and support participation by disadvantaged communities and under-represented groups through the development of high-quality, accessible, community sport and active recreation infrastructure. There is a range of grant opportunities across five funding streams including Better Indoor Stadiums, Female Friendly Facilities, Community Sports Lighting, Facilities for Active Seniors and Scoreboards and Fixed Equipment. The fund continues the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to increasing the number of women and girls participating in sport, delivering more multi-sport indoor courts, improving sportsfield capacity and enabling more senior Victorians to be physically active. Projects to receive grants from the previous round of the fund include $500,000 towards a brand-new multi-use, female friendly pavilion at Trafalgar Recreation Precinct, and $250,000 towards new athletic track floodlighting at Rieschiecks Reserve in Doncaster East. The fund also helps generate economic activity and hundreds of jobs for planners, architects, engineers, project managers, builders, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, maintenance staff, facility managers and operational personnel. Sourcing local materials will also enable many more Victorian businesses to thrive in these uncertain times. Interested clubs are advised to contact their Local Government Authority or Alpine Resort Board to assist with the application process. For more information or to apply online visit www.sport.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Sport and active recreation is the heart and soul of Wyndham. Unfortunately, many clubs and communities are struggling with run down infrastructure.” “With more and more women and girls signing up to play in Werribee, we are getting on with upgrading infrastructure so clubs can keep up with soaring demand, while also making them accessible and more inclusive.” “I urge councils and sporting organisations to partner and apply for projects that will make a real difference to the lives of Victorians.”

SUPPORTING OUR LOCAL CREATIVE SECTOR AND WORKERS

Victoria’s nation-leading creative industries will receive more support as creative workers and businesses continue to re-activate the sector with new projects and collaborations – including in Wyndham. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today called out to local creative workers and businesses to explore Creative Victoria’s 2021 grants programs, now open for applications. The following grants are available for Victorian creative workers, collectives and small businesses working in all creative fields: Creative Workers Fund: Support for the creation or presentation of new creative projects or products, professional or skills development, community collaborations and COVIDSafe ways to connect with audiences or new markets. Creators Fund: Support for intensive research, development and experimentation across any creative discipline. Activities can include cross-industry collaborations. Thanks to a new partnership with the Sidney Myer Fund, this round of the program offers the largest funding pool to date. The Sidney Myer Fund’s generous contribution of $100,000 has increased the Creators Fund to $1 million, which will enable up to 10 additional grants. Building Audiences Fund: Support for new marketing projects designed to build new audiences or re-establish audiences following the pandemic. In addition, the Music Works Grants program is focused on reactivating the music industry, with grants available for the creation and release of new music, professional development, initiatives to connect with audiences and live music events in regional and outer-metropolitan areas. These grants programs are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s investment of more than $220 million in the Victorian Budget 20/21 to support the creative sector to reactivate and rebuild. Applications are encouraged from First Peoples, regionally based creatives and businesses, culturally and linguistically diverse people and Deaf and Disabled applicants. In addition to project grants, most programs also provide additional support to cover access costs for the creatives involved and to make activities accessible for all. Full program guidelines are available on the Creative Victoria website along with application tips. Creative Victoria staff are available to answer questions from those interested in applying. Applications close from mid-February – check the website for program specific dates and information at creative.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “These programs are about supporting local creatives so they can create new work and get back to doing what they do best.” “No matter your creative discipline or career stage, I encourage creatives across the Werribee community to find out more about these programs and apply.”

SUPPORTING OUR LOCAL CREATIVE SECTOR AND WORKERS

Victoria’s nation-leading creative industries will receive more support as creative workers and businesses continue to re-activate the sector with new projects and collaborations – including in Wyndham. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today called out to local creative workers and businesses to explore Creative Victoria’s 2021 grants programs, now open for applications. The following grants are available for Victorian creative workers, collectives and small businesses working in all creative fields: Creative Workers Fund: Support for the creation or presentation of new creative projects or products, professional or skills development, community collaborations and COVIDSafe ways to connect with audiences or new markets. Creators Fund: Support for intensive research, development and experimentation across any creative discipline. Activities can include cross-industry collaborations. Thanks to a new partnership with the Sidney Myer Fund, this round of the program offers the largest funding pool to date. The Sidney Myer Fund’s generous contribution of $100,000 has increased the Creators Fund to $1 million, which will enable up to 10 additional grants. Building Audiences Fund: Support for new marketing projects designed to build new audiences or re-establish audiences following the pandemic. In addition, the Music Works Grants program is focused on reactivating the music industry, with grants available for the creation and release of new music, professional development, initiatives to connect with audiences and live music events in regional and outer-metropolitan areas. These grants programs are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s investment of more than $220 million in the Victorian Budget 20/21 to support the creative sector to reactivate and rebuild. Applications are encouraged from First Peoples, regionally based creatives and businesses, culturally and linguistically diverse people and Deaf and Disabled applicants. In addition to project grants, most programs also provide additional support to cover access costs for the creatives involved and to make activities accessible for all. Full program guidelines are available on the Creative Victoria website along with application tips. Creative Victoria staff are available to answer questions from those interested in applying. Applications close from mid-February – check the website for program specific dates and information at creative.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “These programs are about supporting local creatives so they can create new work and get back to doing what they do best.” “No matter your creative discipline or career stage, I encourage creatives across the Werribee community to find out more about these programs and apply.”

MORE SUPPORT FOR ABORIGINAL LEARNERS AT ALL TAFES

Three specialist Koorie staff members will be employed at every Victorian TAFE in the biggest expansion of support services for Aboriginal TAFE students in the state’s history. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced TAFEs in Werribee will be staffed with Koorie Liaison Officers and Koorie Student Support Officers as part of a new $4.2 million Andrews Labor Government program. The significant expansion of support staff across the sector will grow Aboriginal student participation at TAFE, improve their educational outcomes and help create clearer pathways to the workforce. SuniTAFE, which has trialled the program since 2017, has already reported an increase in its Koorie student cohort by 100. The funding will allow every Victorian TAFE to have a full-time Koorie Liasion Officer and two Koorie Student Support Officers from 2021. Koorie Liaison Officers are employed by TAFEs and dual sector institutes to provide advice and support to learners during their TAFE journey and promote opportunities in the community. Koorie Student Support Officers are trained to understand the support offered by the Institute and Department support systems. Both roles contribute strategically to Aboriginal inclusion, cultural safety and perspectives in the curriculum to ensure providers deliver culturally inclusive training. They also provide support and advice to the TAFE workforce. This initiative is an important part of the Victorian Government’s Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026 and is designed to increase the engagement and participation of Aboriginal learners in vocational education and training. The State Budget includes an unprecedented overall annual investment of $1 billion to ensure Victoria has the training and skills system it needs as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “This investment will better support Aboriginal students looking to continue or reengage with education and pursue exciting opportunities in their communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This program has already proven successful in increasing Aboriginal student engagement at TAFE – it’s exciting to have it rolled out in Wyndham to help support local learners and provide more opportunities to them.” Quote attributable to Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated General Manager Lionel Bamblett "We welcome this investment and acknowledge the continued commitment of the Victorian Government to increasing Koorie engagement and participation in vocational education and training. “ Quote attributable to SuniTAFE Dulka Yuppata Koorie Training Centre Manager Simon Fewings “These changes are long awaited by the VET sector and Koorie community and will help us to raise enrolments, grow our qualification offerings and improve retention, completion and post VET pathways for Koorie learners.”

MORE SUPPORT FOR ABORIGINAL LEARNERS AT ALL TAFES

Three specialist Koorie staff members will be employed at every Victorian TAFE in the biggest expansion of support services for Aboriginal TAFE students in the state’s history. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced TAFEs in Werribee will be staffed with Koorie Liaison Officers and Koorie Student Support Officers as part of a new $4.2 million Andrews Labor Government program. The significant expansion of support staff across the sector will grow Aboriginal student participation at TAFE, improve their educational outcomes and help create clearer pathways to the workforce. SuniTAFE, which has trialled the program since 2017, has already reported an increase in its Koorie student cohort by 100. The funding will allow every Victorian TAFE to have a full-time Koorie Liasion Officer and two Koorie Student Support Officers from 2021. Koorie Liaison Officers are employed by TAFEs and dual sector institutes to provide advice and support to learners during their TAFE journey and promote opportunities in the community. Koorie Student Support Officers are trained to understand the support offered by the Institute and Department support systems. Both roles contribute strategically to Aboriginal inclusion, cultural safety and perspectives in the curriculum to ensure providers deliver culturally inclusive training. They also provide support and advice to the TAFE workforce. This initiative is an important part of the Victorian Government’s Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026 and is designed to increase the engagement and participation of Aboriginal learners in vocational education and training. The State Budget includes an unprecedented overall annual investment of $1 billion to ensure Victoria has the training and skills system it needs as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “This investment will better support Aboriginal students looking to continue or reengage with education and pursue exciting opportunities in their communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This program has already proven successful in increasing Aboriginal student engagement at TAFE – it’s exciting to have it rolled out in Wyndham to help support local learners and provide more opportunities to them.” Quote attributable to Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated General Manager Lionel Bamblett "We welcome this investment and acknowledge the continued commitment of the Victorian Government to increasing Koorie engagement and participation in vocational education and training. “ Quote attributable to SuniTAFE Dulka Yuppata Koorie Training Centre Manager Simon Fewings “These changes are long awaited by the VET sector and Koorie community and will help us to raise enrolments, grow our qualification offerings and improve retention, completion and post VET pathways for Koorie learners.”

CONGESTION-BUSTING UPGRADE COMPLETED IN WERRIBEE

Drivers in Melbourne’s west can now enjoy safer and more reliable access to the Princes Freeway and Werribee tourism precinct, thanks to the completion of the Duncans Road Interchange Upgrade in Werribee. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced the opening of a new Princes Freeway entry ramp for Geelong-bound traffic, the latest improvement to the busy interchange as part of the Western Roads Upgrade. It follows the completion of a new Melbourne-bound freeway exit ramp, which opened to traffic in November. A new four-lane bridge over the Princes Freeway has also been built as part of the project, replacing the old narrow two-lane bridge, to cater for current and future traffic demands. Extra lanes and upgraded traffic lights have been added to the busy K Road and Duncans Road intersection to improve safety and traffic flow through the interchange. The Duncans Road Interchange Upgrade features more than 650 metres of new walking and cycling paths, as well as new safe road crossing areas. The Werribee tourism precinct is important to the growth of Melbourne’s west and is home to several popular attractions including the Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee Mansion and the National Equestrian Centre. Improvements to the Duncans Road Interchange will significantly improve access to these attractions, particularly when they resume hosting major events. Landscaping and some other minor works on the Duncans Road Interchange will continue over the coming months. The Western Roads Upgrade is improving eight major roads across Melbourne’s west to make it quicker, easier and safer for all road users. It will give local businesses opportunities for growth, improve access to jobs and boost safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Upgrades to Dunnings Road and Palmers Road in Point Cook, Dohertys Road in Truganina and Laverton North, Leakes Road in Truganina, Derrimut Road in Tarneit and Forsyth Interchange in Hoppers Crossing are now complete. The final remaining Western Roads Upgrade project, Palmers Road between the Princes Freeway and the Western Freeway, is due to be completed in the coming months. The Western Roads Upgrade also includes the resurfacing of 37 roads to improve quality and safety, and the maintenance of more than 260km of road from Footscray to Werribee for the next 20 years. More than one thousand workers have helped deliver the Western Road Upgrade, with those workers having contributed more than 4 million hours since construction started in late 2018. The Government’s $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade is being delivered by Major Road Projects Victoria. For more information about works and planned disruptions visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas: “The opening of this new Princes Freeway entry ramp is going to make those trips to Geelong and the Surf Coast much quicker and safer for drivers in Werribee.” “This vital upgrade will bust congestion on the Duncans Road Interchange for the thousands of drivers that use it every day.” “These upgrades will improve connections between Werribee’s town centre and the fast-growing communities of Wyndham Harbour while also making it easier to access to the freeway and the tourism precinct.”

CONGESTION-BUSTING UPGRADE COMPLETED IN WERRIBEE

Drivers in Melbourne’s west can now enjoy safer and more reliable access to the Princes Freeway and Werribee tourism precinct, thanks to the completion of the Duncans Road Interchange Upgrade in Werribee. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced the opening of a new Princes Freeway entry ramp for Geelong-bound traffic, the latest improvement to the busy interchange as part of the Western Roads Upgrade. It follows the completion of a new Melbourne-bound freeway exit ramp, which opened to traffic in November. A new four-lane bridge over the Princes Freeway has also been built as part of the project, replacing the old narrow two-lane bridge, to cater for current and future traffic demands. Extra lanes and upgraded traffic lights have been added to the busy K Road and Duncans Road intersection to improve safety and traffic flow through the interchange. The Duncans Road Interchange Upgrade features more than 650 metres of new walking and cycling paths, as well as new safe road crossing areas. The Werribee tourism precinct is important to the growth of Melbourne’s west and is home to several popular attractions including the Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee Mansion and the National Equestrian Centre. Improvements to the Duncans Road Interchange will significantly improve access to these attractions, particularly when they resume hosting major events. Landscaping and some other minor works on the Duncans Road Interchange will continue over the coming months. The Western Roads Upgrade is improving eight major roads across Melbourne’s west to make it quicker, easier and safer for all road users. It will give local businesses opportunities for growth, improve access to jobs and boost safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Upgrades to Dunnings Road and Palmers Road in Point Cook, Dohertys Road in Truganina and Laverton North, Leakes Road in Truganina, Derrimut Road in Tarneit and Forsyth Interchange in Hoppers Crossing are now complete. The final remaining Western Roads Upgrade project, Palmers Road between the Princes Freeway and the Western Freeway, is due to be completed in the coming months. The Western Roads Upgrade also includes the resurfacing of 37 roads to improve quality and safety, and the maintenance of more than 260km of road from Footscray to Werribee for the next 20 years. More than one thousand workers have helped deliver the Western Road Upgrade, with those workers having contributed more than 4 million hours since construction started in late 2018. The Government’s $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade is being delivered by Major Road Projects Victoria. For more information about works and planned disruptions visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas: “The opening of this new Princes Freeway entry ramp is going to make those trips to Geelong and the Surf Coast much quicker and safer for drivers in Werribee.” “This vital upgrade will bust congestion on the Duncans Road Interchange for the thousands of drivers that use it every day.” “These upgrades will improve connections between Werribee’s town centre and the fast-growing communities of Wyndham Harbour while also making it easier to access to the freeway and the tourism precinct.”

BACK TO SCHOOL FOR MORE THAN A MILLION STUDENTS

More than one million students – including 84,000 preps – have returned to classrooms this week across Victoria as 14 new schools open their doors as part of the Victorian Government’s school building boom. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today officially opened the new Riverbend Primary School and welcomed its first students. The school will cater for 575 students and includes three learning neighbourhoods, outdoor play courts, a performing arts and physical education building, and a sports field. Riverbend Primary School has more than 110 students starting this year, including 44 Prep students, and is one of 14 new schools opening in 2021. Every new Victorian primary school opening from 2021 will have a kindergarten on-site or next door, reducing the burden on parents and ending the dreaded double drop off. This includes all 10 primary schools opening this year. The Wunggurrwil Dhurrung Centre, which opened at the beginning of 2020, is located next to Riverbend Primary School and has the space for 99 four-year-old kindergarten spaces. In the past five years, the Victorian Government has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs. The Government is now ahead of schedule on its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 48 new schools opening between 2019 and 2022. For more information on the Victorian Government’s school building boom, visit www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The first day of school is a big day every year – but particularly after the year we had last year. I thank every teacher, student and parent for their efforts last year and wish them well for the year ahead.” “We’re building new schools across the state so every child has a great local school and a best start in life – wherever they live.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We’re building more new schools than any other state, anywhere else in the country – that’s good for children in Werribee and their education, and it’s good for jobs.”

BACK TO SCHOOL FOR MORE THAN A MILLION STUDENTS

More than one million students – including 84,000 preps – have returned to classrooms this week across Victoria as 14 new schools open their doors as part of the Victorian Government’s school building boom. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today officially opened the new Riverbend Primary School and welcomed its first students. The school will cater for 575 students and includes three learning neighbourhoods, outdoor play courts, a performing arts and physical education building, and a sports field. Riverbend Primary School has more than 110 students starting this year, including 44 Prep students, and is one of 14 new schools opening in 2021. Every new Victorian primary school opening from 2021 will have a kindergarten on-site or next door, reducing the burden on parents and ending the dreaded double drop off. This includes all 10 primary schools opening this year. The Wunggurrwil Dhurrung Centre, which opened at the beginning of 2020, is located next to Riverbend Primary School and has the space for 99 four-year-old kindergarten spaces. In the past five years, the Victorian Government has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs. The Government is now ahead of schedule on its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 48 new schools opening between 2019 and 2022. For more information on the Victorian Government’s school building boom, visit www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The first day of school is a big day every year – but particularly after the year we had last year. I thank every teacher, student and parent for their efforts last year and wish them well for the year ahead.” “We’re building new schools across the state so every child has a great local school and a best start in life – wherever they live.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We’re building more new schools than any other state, anywhere else in the country – that’s good for children in Werribee and their education, and it’s good for jobs.”

MEMBERS STATEMENT: WERRIBEE ELECTORATE LEVEL CROSSING REMOVALS

MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (09:42): It gives me great pleasure to update the house on the recent milestone achieved by the Andrews Labor government in my electorate of Werribee: removing the state’s 45th most dangerous and congested level crossing. I welcomed the Minister for Transport Infrastructure recently—indeed last week—to announce that the boom gates at Werribee Street are gone for good, making it the first of three level crossings to be removed in my electorate. Not only does this removal boost safety for commuters and reduce time waiting behind the boom gates for motorists, it allows for future rail services without added congestion. We also announced the design for the open space under the new elevated rail bridge. That will feature a new skate park and fantastic artwork and design based on a traditional Wathaurong story. A pair of giant emu feet will be placed at the base of two bridge columns, the creation of Indigenous artist Vicki Couzens. Works are well ahead of schedule at the Cherry Street level crossing, which will be removed by Easter, while major construction will begin this month at the Old Geelong Road level crossing, which is set to be removed in 2022. Werribee’s CBD will soon be level crossing free, and I am very pleased that Wyndham residents will benefit from improved safety and less congestion on our roads because of the removal of these level crossings.

MEMBERS STATEMENT: WERRIBEE ELECTORATE LEVEL CROSSING REMOVALS

MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (09:42): It gives me great pleasure to update the house on the recent milestone achieved by the Andrews Labor government in my electorate of Werribee: removing the state’s 45th most dangerous and congested level crossing. I welcomed the Minister for Transport Infrastructure recently—indeed last week—to announce that the boom gates at Werribee Street are gone for good, making it the first of three level crossings to be removed in my electorate. Not only does this removal boost safety for commuters and reduce time waiting behind the boom gates for motorists, it allows for future rail services without added congestion. We also announced the design for the open space under the new elevated rail bridge. That will feature a new skate park and fantastic artwork and design based on a traditional Wathaurong story. A pair of giant emu feet will be placed at the base of two bridge columns, the creation of Indigenous artist Vicki Couzens. Works are well ahead of schedule at the Cherry Street level crossing, which will be removed by Easter, while major construction will begin this month at the Old Geelong Road level crossing, which is set to be removed in 2022. Werribee’s CBD will soon be level crossing free, and I am very pleased that Wyndham residents will benefit from improved safety and less congestion on our roads because of the removal of these level crossings.

NEW $250 POWER SAVING BONUS TO SUPPORT VULNERABLE VICTORIANS

Victorians from low-income households can now access a one-off $250 payment to help with their energy bills, thanks to the Victorian Government’s new Power Saving Bonus. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced the new $250 Power Saving Bonus will be available to eligible concession cardholders in the Werribee District between 1 February 2021 and 31 January 2022, providing immediate energy bill relief to those who need it most. The bonus is available to all pensioner concession cardholders and some health care cardholders who visit the Victorian Energy Compare website. This website is designed to help consumers take charge of their energy costs by finding the best energy deal available. Seven out of ten people save money by using the website, with typical annual household savings of $330 on energy bills in the first year alone. Electricity bills are the top cost of living issue for consumers and about 20 per cent of Victorian households requested financial assistance with their energy bills last year due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). The bonus is available to anyone with a gas or electricity account who holds a pensioner concession card or receives JobSeeker, Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance. To ensure the bonus is accessible to those who need it most, including those from marginalised communities and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, the Victorian Government has enlisted the support of the Brotherhood of St. Laurence and the Consumer Policy Research Centre. The Power Saving Bonus is part of an unprecedented $797 million household energy affordability package that was announced in the recent State Budget. Eligible cardholders can access the Power Saving Bonus at compare.energy.vic.gov.au or, if assistance is required, by calling 1800 000 832. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “For those on low-incomes, energy bills are often the biggest drain on household budgets, so we are providing immediate support with the Power Saving Bonus. It is part of our commitment to make energy fairer for Victorians” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The Power Saving Bonus is the Government’s latest initiative to provide energy bill relief for households who need it most.” “Victorian Energy Compare is saving households hundreds of dollars on energy bills every year. I encourage everyone in Werribee to visit the site and find a better deal on their gas and electricity”

NEW $250 POWER SAVING BONUS TO SUPPORT VULNERABLE VICTORIANS

Victorians from low-income households can now access a one-off $250 payment to help with their energy bills, thanks to the Victorian Government’s new Power Saving Bonus. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced the new $250 Power Saving Bonus will be available to eligible concession cardholders in the Werribee District between 1 February 2021 and 31 January 2022, providing immediate energy bill relief to those who need it most. The bonus is available to all pensioner concession cardholders and some health care cardholders who visit the Victorian Energy Compare website. This website is designed to help consumers take charge of their energy costs by finding the best energy deal available. Seven out of ten people save money by using the website, with typical annual household savings of $330 on energy bills in the first year alone. Electricity bills are the top cost of living issue for consumers and about 20 per cent of Victorian households requested financial assistance with their energy bills last year due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). The bonus is available to anyone with a gas or electricity account who holds a pensioner concession card or receives JobSeeker, Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance. To ensure the bonus is accessible to those who need it most, including those from marginalised communities and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, the Victorian Government has enlisted the support of the Brotherhood of St. Laurence and the Consumer Policy Research Centre. The Power Saving Bonus is part of an unprecedented $797 million household energy affordability package that was announced in the recent State Budget. Eligible cardholders can access the Power Saving Bonus at compare.energy.vic.gov.au or, if assistance is required, by calling 1800 000 832. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “For those on low-incomes, energy bills are often the biggest drain on household budgets, so we are providing immediate support with the Power Saving Bonus. It is part of our commitment to make energy fairer for Victorians” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The Power Saving Bonus is the Government’s latest initiative to provide energy bill relief for households who need it most.” “Victorian Energy Compare is saving households hundreds of dollars on energy bills every year. I encourage everyone in Werribee to visit the site and find a better deal on their gas and electricity”

 

MINISTERS STATEMENT: ECONOMY

MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11:06): Thanks very much, Speaker, and it is good to be back. The Victorian economy is roaring back, and it is demonstrating that it is back in its natural place of leadership of the nation’s economy, with the latest jobs figures and the latest retail trade data showing that the Victorian economy rebounded more strongly than any other state in the final quarter of 2020. Consumer and business confidence, of course, are above the national average, and job advertisements in January are up 2.3 per cent—the eighth consecutive monthly increase. It is a full 5.3 per cent bigger, larger than the pre-pandemic levels. Not only are businesses looking to hire, but people are also looking to invest in this great state. The Age this week reported that: Victoria has led the way in the past two months with the value of loans in the state jumping by 43.6 per cent to a record $5.6 billion in December. In NSW, loans increased by 8.3 per cent over the same period … So yes, we are roaring back, which I know will come as a disappointment for those who specialise in tales of woe—those who love to talk down the Victorian economy—but the facts do not bear it out. They were wrong; the figures prove it. More than half of the new jobs in Australia in the December quarter were created right here in Victoria. Deloitte Access Economics forecasts that Victoria will be the fastest growing economy in the nation this year, with growth at 5.4 per cent. Their report states that: … Victoria’s recovery to date has been remarkable. I hope that these figures are an eye-opener for those who said that Victoria was done for. The Victorian economy is resilient, and our economic fundamentals are strong.

MINISTERS STATEMENT: ECONOMY

MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11:06): Thanks very much, Speaker, and it is good to be back. The Victorian economy is roaring back, and it is demonstrating that it is back in its natural place of leadership of the nation’s economy, with the latest jobs figures and the latest retail trade data showing that the Victorian economy rebounded more strongly than any other state in the final quarter of 2020. Consumer and business confidence, of course, are above the national average, and job advertisements in January are up 2.3 per cent—the eighth consecutive monthly increase. It is a full 5.3 per cent bigger, larger than the pre-pandemic levels. Not only are businesses looking to hire, but people are also looking to invest in this great state. The Age this week reported that: Victoria has led the way in the past two months with the value of loans in the state jumping by 43.6 per cent to a record $5.6 billion in December. In NSW, loans increased by 8.3 per cent over the same period … So yes, we are roaring back, which I know will come as a disappointment for those who specialise in tales of woe—those who love to talk down the Victorian economy—but the facts do not bear it out. They were wrong; the figures prove it. More than half of the new jobs in Australia in the December quarter were created right here in Victoria. Deloitte Access Economics forecasts that Victoria will be the fastest growing economy in the nation this year, with growth at 5.4 per cent. Their report states that: … Victoria’s recovery to date has been remarkable. I hope that these figures are an eye-opener for those who said that Victoria was done for. The Victorian economy is resilient, and our economic fundamentals are strong.

ANOTHER CROSSING DOWN,  MORE SOON TO GO IN THE WEST

The Andrews Labor Government has removed its 45th dangerous and congested level crossing – with trains now running on the new one-kilometre rail bridge at Werribee Street, safely separated from traffic. Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan and Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today visited the Werribee site to inspect the new rail bridge and unveil designs for the 30,000 square metres of open space that the elevated rail will deliver for the community. Werribee Street is a key connection between the suburbs of Werribee and Wyndham Vale – removing the crossing will improve travel and safety for the 20,000 vehicles that pass through each day, meaning no more long waits at the boom gates while freight trains pass, which can be up to 1.5 kilometres long. When the Victorian and Australian governments’ $4 billion Geelong Fast Rail project is delivered, it will also use this elevated rail bridge – and the extra services to Geelong won’t cause  more congestion for the Wyndham community. The new open space will be delivered in the coming months, adjoining existing parkland around the Wyndham Park and the Werribee River. Alongside more green space and a brand new skate park, a pair of gigantic emu feet will take pride of place at the base of two bridge columns – the creation of prominent indigenous artist Vicki Couzens. The emu art is based on a traditional Wadawurrung story, and the 8.5-metre-long sculptures will be echoed through a series of footprints etched into a pathway leading towards the Werribee River. A ‘yarning circle’ representing an emu’s nest will be a central point for gathering and reflection. The skate park will consist of a mixture of ramps, rails and obstacles for beginners through to experienced skaters, providing more options for locals of all ages to get active outdoors. At Werribee’s nearby Cherry Street, the level crossing is on track to be removed by Easter, well ahead of its original 2022 target date – with a new road bridge separating cars from trains, connecting Tarneit Road to Princess Highway. Major construction on the area’s third level crossing removal project at Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Crossing, is about to kick off – with crews starting work next week to lift huge retaining wall panels into place, the first steps in building a new road bridge that will remove this notorious crossing for good. The Labor Government will remove a level crossing every four weeks on average in 2021. For more information about these projects visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan “We’ve removed 45 dangerous and congested level crossings and we’re not slowing down –this year we’ll remove a level crossing on average every four weeks, boosting safety, easing congestion and creating thousands of jobs.” “This area is one of the fastest growing communities not only in Victoria but in the nation – and we’re, and we’re delivering the infrastructure that local people need and deserve.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Hoppers Crossing and central Werribee are one step closer to being completely level crossing-free, and I can’t wait to see the new artwork and designs that will add so much character and vibrancy to this new open space.”

ANOTHER CROSSING DOWN,  MORE SOON TO GO IN THE WEST

The Andrews Labor Government has removed its 45th dangerous and congested level crossing – with trains now running on the new one-kilometre rail bridge at Werribee Street, safely separated from traffic. Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan and Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today visited the Werribee site to inspect the new rail bridge and unveil designs for the 30,000 square metres of open space that the elevated rail will deliver for the community. Werribee Street is a key connection between the suburbs of Werribee and Wyndham Vale – removing the crossing will improve travel and safety for the 20,000 vehicles that pass through each day, meaning no more long waits at the boom gates while freight trains pass, which can be up to 1.5 kilometres long. When the Victorian and Australian governments’ $4 billion Geelong Fast Rail project is delivered, it will also use this elevated rail bridge – and the extra services to Geelong won’t cause  more congestion for the Wyndham community. The new open space will be delivered in the coming months, adjoining existing parkland around the Wyndham Park and the Werribee River. Alongside more green space and a brand new skate park, a pair of gigantic emu feet will take pride of place at the base of two bridge columns – the creation of prominent indigenous artist Vicki Couzens. The emu art is based on a traditional Wadawurrung story, and the 8.5-metre-long sculptures will be echoed through a series of footprints etched into a pathway leading towards the Werribee River. A ‘yarning circle’ representing an emu’s nest will be a central point for gathering and reflection. The skate park will consist of a mixture of ramps, rails and obstacles for beginners through to experienced skaters, providing more options for locals of all ages to get active outdoors. At Werribee’s nearby Cherry Street, the level crossing is on track to be removed by Easter, well ahead of its original 2022 target date – with a new road bridge separating cars from trains, connecting Tarneit Road to Princess Highway. Major construction on the area’s third level crossing removal project at Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Crossing, is about to kick off – with crews starting work next week to lift huge retaining wall panels into place, the first steps in building a new road bridge that will remove this notorious crossing for good. The Labor Government will remove a level crossing every four weeks on average in 2021. For more information about these projects visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan “We’ve removed 45 dangerous and congested level crossings and we’re not slowing down –this year we’ll remove a level crossing on average every four weeks, boosting safety, easing congestion and creating thousands of jobs.” “This area is one of the fastest growing communities not only in Victoria but in the nation – and we’re, and we’re delivering the infrastructure that local people need and deserve.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Hoppers Crossing and central Werribee are one step closer to being completely level crossing-free, and I can’t wait to see the new artwork and designs that will add so much character and vibrancy to this new open space.”

GRANTS TO BOOST COMMUNITY SAFETY NOW OPEN IN WYNDHAM

Applications are now open for grants for councils and community groups to improve community safety by addressing the causes of crime and in their local communities. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today invited councils and not-for-profit organisations across Wyndham to apply for the one-off grants for projects that are ready to commence. The new program includes two grant options that can be applied for; The Creating Safer Places program offers grants of $25,000 to $300,000 for councils to fund urban design projects that apply an inclusive environmental design approach to deter crime, increase safety and activate public places. The Crime Prevention Innovation Fund awards grants of $25,000 to $300,000 for councils, not-for-profit organisations and other stakeholders for projects that deliver and evaluate innovative community safety and crime prevention initiatives. This can include projects that engage diverse communities or specific groups, or which establish or strengthen partnerships across community, business, sport and other sectors to address causes of crime. The Building Safer Communities grants are part of the government’s Community Crime Prevention Program, which has seen almost $2 million invested in grants for more than a dozen community-led crime prevention projects in Wyndham since 2015. Applications for the Creating Safer Places and Crime Prevention Innovation Fund grants close at 4pm on 15 March 2021. For more information about the grants, see: www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/buildingsafercommunities Quotes attributable to Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins “These grants give local communities the chance to tackle the crime and safety issues that matter most to them. “Local organisations and councils are ideally placed to identify what’s needed to make their communities feel safe, and their public spaces inviting and more purposeful. “It’s also a great opportunity to kick-start innovative new programs and initiatives that make a difference addressing the causes of offending and crime in the community.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Our local community has the passion and expertise to help tackle the causes of crime in our area.” “I’m pleased to see the Andrews Labor Government support this work with this new program of grants.”

GRANTS TO BOOST COMMUNITY SAFETY NOW OPEN IN WYNDHAM

Applications are now open for grants for councils and community groups to improve community safety by addressing the causes of crime and in their local communities. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today invited councils and not-for-profit organisations across Wyndham to apply for the one-off grants for projects that are ready to commence. The new program includes two grant options that can be applied for; The Creating Safer Places program offers grants of $25,000 to $300,000 for councils to fund urban design projects that apply an inclusive environmental design approach to deter crime, increase safety and activate public places. The Crime Prevention Innovation Fund awards grants of $25,000 to $300,000 for councils, not-for-profit organisations and other stakeholders for projects that deliver and evaluate innovative community safety and crime prevention initiatives. This can include projects that engage diverse communities or specific groups, or which establish or strengthen partnerships across community, business, sport and other sectors to address causes of crime. The Building Safer Communities grants are part of the government’s Community Crime Prevention Program, which has seen almost $2 million invested in grants for more than a dozen community-led crime prevention projects in Wyndham since 2015. Applications for the Creating Safer Places and Crime Prevention Innovation Fund grants close at 4pm on 15 March 2021. For more information about the grants, see: www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/buildingsafercommunities Quotes attributable to Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins “These grants give local communities the chance to tackle the crime and safety issues that matter most to them. “Local organisations and councils are ideally placed to identify what’s needed to make their communities feel safe, and their public spaces inviting and more purposeful. “It’s also a great opportunity to kick-start innovative new programs and initiatives that make a difference addressing the causes of offending and crime in the community.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Our local community has the passion and expertise to help tackle the causes of crime in our area.” “I’m pleased to see the Andrews Labor Government support this work with this new program of grants.”

FUNDING FOR WOMEN BUILDING SURVEYORS IN WYNDHAM

Wyndham women will be among the first to benefit from a new Victorian Government program to boost gender equality and support the local building sector. Local Government Minister Shaun Leane today announced that Wyndham City Council will receive $150,000 to recruit and train a new building surveyor through the Women Building Surveyors Program. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas says Wyndham City Council’s successful candidate will begin an Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying or Bachelor of Building Surveying this year, gain work experience with the council and attend professional development events and opportunities through program partner LGPro. The $6.3 million program attracted widespread interest from councils and council staff. Of the successful councils, 17 are rural, five are regional cities and 18 are in metropolitan Melbourne, including Wyndham. The Women Building Surveyors program has been established to improve the gender balance in the construction industry, fill a skills shortage and drive construction stimulus projects as a key part of the state’s economic recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19). Employed by councils, municipal building surveyors issue permits that allow construction work to commence and ensure that work complies with legal requirements and building codes. They also carry out inspections to ensure work is completed correctly and issue occupancy permits or certificates of final inspection. For more information on the program, including a list of the successful councils, go to www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane “This is all about offering women career opportunities, boosting gender equality in the construction sector and helping support Victoria’s economic recovery.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “It’s great to see that Wyndham City Council will be able to take up this opportunity. It’s a fantastic initiative and I look forward to seeing the successful candidate take up their position.” “This program will help Wyndham City Council with the resources it needs to support the construction industry and ensure building work in Wyndham is completed in a safe and timely manner.”

FUNDING FOR WOMEN BUILDING SURVEYORS IN WYNDHAM

Wyndham women will be among the first to benefit from a new Victorian Government program to boost gender equality and support the local building sector. Local Government Minister Shaun Leane today announced that Wyndham City Council will receive $150,000 to recruit and train a new building surveyor through the Women Building Surveyors Program. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas says Wyndham City Council’s successful candidate will begin an Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying or Bachelor of Building Surveying this year, gain work experience with the council and attend professional development events and opportunities through program partner LGPro. The $6.3 million program attracted widespread interest from councils and council staff. Of the successful councils, 17 are rural, five are regional cities and 18 are in metropolitan Melbourne, including Wyndham. The Women Building Surveyors program has been established to improve the gender balance in the construction industry, fill a skills shortage and drive construction stimulus projects as a key part of the state’s economic recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19). Employed by councils, municipal building surveyors issue permits that allow construction work to commence and ensure that work complies with legal requirements and building codes. They also carry out inspections to ensure work is completed correctly and issue occupancy permits or certificates of final inspection. For more information on the program, including a list of the successful councils, go to www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane “This is all about offering women career opportunities, boosting gender equality in the construction sector and helping support Victoria’s economic recovery.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “It’s great to see that Wyndham City Council will be able to take up this opportunity. It’s a fantastic initiative and I look forward to seeing the successful candidate take up their position.” “This program will help Wyndham City Council with the resources it needs to support the construction industry and ensure building work in Wyndham is completed in a safe and timely manner.”

VICTORIANS URGED TO KNOW THE DRILL AROUND BARBECUES

Victoria’s independent energy safety regulator, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is calling on everyone to Know The Drill Before You Grill in the warmer months as people enjoy barbecues. The drill is a series of simple steps that ensure your LP Gas cylinder is safe before lighting up your barbecue. It is part of an Energy Safe Victoria campaign that runs throughout the summer. According to FRV and CFA statistics, firefighters respond to more than 150 barbecue fires over summer, that’s more than one barbecue fire for each day of summer. “Barbecues are a social occasion, and part of our Australian culture – we want them to be happy times, not marred by fire”, said Victoria’s Director of Energy Safety, Marnie Williams. Faulty hoses, leaky gas bottles and poor cleaning practices are just some of the causes of barbecue fires. “Most of these incidents can be avoided by taking a few simple precautions which could mean the difference between a fun family celebration, or a trip to the emergency department,” Ms Williams said. “If the connections on your barbecue are loose, the hose has perished or the cylinder has been damaged you could be putting your loved ones at risk of serious injury or even death,” she said. There are just three simple steps to the drill: Inspect the hose between the gas cylinder and the barbecue for signs of perishing or cracking – if the hose is cracked or perished, replace it immediately. Using a squeezy bottle, spray soapy water (use dishwashing liquid and water) on the hose connections. If bubbles form, check your connections and retest. If bubbles continue to form, do not use the barbecue. Leak test the connection to the cylinder every time you connect it or change cylinders. “Leaks are common and can be very dangerous,” Member for Werribee Tim Pallas said. “This is a simple, quick test which could prevent a tragedy.” “Summer is just around the corner and it’s going to start heating up soon in Wyndham. We all love a barbecue when it’s hot so it’s important yours is safe,” Mr Pallas said. The Know The Drill Before You Grill campaign begun in mid-November, on regional television, streaming services, social media and radio, including CALD radio, and will run throughout summer. It comes ahead of the introduction of new Australian Standards that mandate the use of safety valves on LP gas leisure cylinders. Known in Australia as the LCC27 valve, this safety valve or Quick Closing Coupling (QCC) valve, essentially only releases gas when attached to a gas connection, such as a barbecue hose assembly. The new LCC27 valve will appear on LPG cylinders sometime during 2021. There will be a 10-year transition period as the estimated 12–15 million old gas cylinder valves across Australia are phased out. For further information, including a free soapy water bottle, go to the website at: esv.vic.gov.au/knowthedrill

VICTORIANS URGED TO KNOW THE DRILL AROUND BARBECUES

Victoria’s independent energy safety regulator, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is calling on everyone to Know The Drill Before You Grill in the warmer months as people enjoy barbecues. The drill is a series of simple steps that ensure your LP Gas cylinder is safe before lighting up your barbecue. It is part of an Energy Safe Victoria campaign that runs throughout the summer. According to FRV and CFA statistics, firefighters respond to more than 150 barbecue fires over summer, that’s more than one barbecue fire for each day of summer. “Barbecues are a social occasion, and part of our Australian culture – we want them to be happy times, not marred by fire”, said Victoria’s Director of Energy Safety, Marnie Williams. Faulty hoses, leaky gas bottles and poor cleaning practices are just some of the causes of barbecue fires. “Most of these incidents can be avoided by taking a few simple precautions which could mean the difference between a fun family celebration, or a trip to the emergency department,” Ms Williams said. “If the connections on your barbecue are loose, the hose has perished or the cylinder has been damaged you could be putting your loved ones at risk of serious injury or even death,” she said. There are just three simple steps to the drill: Inspect the hose between the gas cylinder and the barbecue for signs of perishing or cracking – if the hose is cracked or perished, replace it immediately. Using a squeezy bottle, spray soapy water (use dishwashing liquid and water) on the hose connections. If bubbles form, check your connections and retest. If bubbles continue to form, do not use the barbecue. Leak test the connection to the cylinder every time you connect it or change cylinders. “Leaks are common and can be very dangerous,” Member for Werribee Tim Pallas said. “This is a simple, quick test which could prevent a tragedy.” “Summer is just around the corner and it’s going to start heating up soon in Wyndham. We all love a barbecue when it’s hot so it’s important yours is safe,” Mr Pallas said. The Know The Drill Before You Grill campaign begun in mid-November, on regional television, streaming services, social media and radio, including CALD radio, and will run throughout summer. It comes ahead of the introduction of new Australian Standards that mandate the use of safety valves on LP gas leisure cylinders. Known in Australia as the LCC27 valve, this safety valve or Quick Closing Coupling (QCC) valve, essentially only releases gas when attached to a gas connection, such as a barbecue hose assembly. The new LCC27 valve will appear on LPG cylinders sometime during 2021. There will be a 10-year transition period as the estimated 12–15 million old gas cylinder valves across Australia are phased out. For further information, including a free soapy water bottle, go to the website at: esv.vic.gov.au/knowthedrill

HELPING WYNDHAM PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES

Wyndham City Council and Melton City Council will jointly receive almost $150,000 to get ready for emergencies thanks to the Victorian Government’s Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program. The Victorian Budget 2020-2021 has provided an extra $1 million for the program, which helps Victoria’s 64 rural, regional and outer-metropolitan councils with the costs of emergency planning, bringing the total funding available to $5.6 million. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas says the two councils will receive $146,400 to make sure its communities are as well-prepared and resilient as they can possibly be should the worst happen. Program funding can be used for a wide variety of different emergency planning work, ranging from education for culturally and linguistically diverse communities in at-risk areas, to fire suppression. Councils often use the funding to appoint an emergency management position, with some councils collaborating with their neighbours to fund a shared specialist position. In 2021, it can also be used for planning recovery from the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and emergency work in a COVIDSafe environment. Councils’ extensive local knowledge and close connection to communities makes them a vital part of Victoria’s response to emergency events. Before, during and after emergencies council responsibilities include support for vulnerable people, running relief centres and enabling economic and social recovery, while continuing important services. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “It’s great the Government is supporting Wyndham City Council to keep our community safe in an emergency. This funding helps to make sure we have the skills and resources they need for their vital role.” “Last summer really brought home how important councils are when the worst happens. It’s really encouraging and reassuring to know that Wyndham has this vital support from the State Government.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government, Shaun Leane “During last summer’s devastating bushfires, councils did amazing things to support their communities and keep people safe. Through this funding increase we are making sure they have additional access to the resources and tools they need.” “Councils can and do make a huge difference to community resilience and recovery in the face of an emergency. The Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program is one of the best ways we can support that work.”

HELPING WYNDHAM PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES

Wyndham City Council and Melton City Council will jointly receive almost $150,000 to get ready for emergencies thanks to the Victorian Government’s Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program. The Victorian Budget 2020-2021 has provided an extra $1 million for the program, which helps Victoria’s 64 rural, regional and outer-metropolitan councils with the costs of emergency planning, bringing the total funding available to $5.6 million. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas says the two councils will receive $146,400 to make sure its communities are as well-prepared and resilient as they can possibly be should the worst happen. Program funding can be used for a wide variety of different emergency planning work, ranging from education for culturally and linguistically diverse communities in at-risk areas, to fire suppression. Councils often use the funding to appoint an emergency management position, with some councils collaborating with their neighbours to fund a shared specialist position. In 2021, it can also be used for planning recovery from the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and emergency work in a COVIDSafe environment. Councils’ extensive local knowledge and close connection to communities makes them a vital part of Victoria’s response to emergency events. Before, during and after emergencies council responsibilities include support for vulnerable people, running relief centres and enabling economic and social recovery, while continuing important services. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “It’s great the Government is supporting Wyndham City Council to keep our community safe in an emergency. This funding helps to make sure we have the skills and resources they need for their vital role.” “Last summer really brought home how important councils are when the worst happens. It’s really encouraging and reassuring to know that Wyndham has this vital support from the State Government.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government, Shaun Leane “During last summer’s devastating bushfires, councils did amazing things to support their communities and keep people safe. Through this funding increase we are making sure they have additional access to the resources and tools they need.” “Councils can and do make a huge difference to community resilience and recovery in the face of an emergency. The Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program is one of the best ways we can support that work.”

BUILDING & IMPROVING KINDERGARTENS IN WERRIBEE FOR THE FUTURE

The Andrews Labor Government is building and upgrading kindergartens across Victoria including in Wyndham – creating thousands of new kinder places and hundreds of jobs as Victoria rolls out funded universal Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced Goodstart Early Learning Werribee will receive a $242,126 grant to improve their learning environments. This Andrews Government grant will help Goodstart Early Learning Werribee upgrade internal flooring and LED lighting throughout the service. It’ll also support a playground upgrade including new sandpits, play equipment, activity areas and sensory experiences to latest guidelines and standards along with extensive drainage works and concrete removal. It is one of 127 successful grant recipients to share in $46.9 million through the Building Blocks capacity building and improvement grant streams, which provide new kindergarten places and improve learning environments. Seven new early learning facilities, five new integrated children’s centres, three modular buildings and 20 building expansions are among the projects funded. These projects will create an almost 2,200 funded kindergarten places across 32 local government areas. More than 90 grants will share in almost $8 million under the Building Blocks improvement stream. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will invest a further $38.5 million into the Building Blocks grants program, which offers early childhood providers funding towards building, expanding, improving and creating more inclusive early learning facilities. Applications are also now open for the next round of Building Blocks including major works grants of up to $500,000 – minor works of up to $50,000 – and including grants of up to $200,000 to make kidners more accessible for all children of all abilities. Applications are open until 28 February 2021 via www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing $5 billion this decade to deliver two years of funded kindergarten for all Victorian children, with the roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten underway this year.   Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “Creating more places for children to attend kindergarten and ensuring they can access the best facilities across Victoria is vital to ensuring a world-class education in the early years.” “The evidence is clear that two years are better than one when it comes to early learning, which is why we are investing millions across Victoria to ensure every child has a place.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This investment will mean Werribee children can access high quality kinder close to home.” “Investing in the early years is vital to encouraging a strong educational future and fostering a lifelong love of learning.”

BUILDING & IMPROVING KINDERGARTENS IN WERRIBEE FOR THE FUTURE

The Andrews Labor Government is building and upgrading kindergartens across Victoria including in Wyndham – creating thousands of new kinder places and hundreds of jobs as Victoria rolls out funded universal Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced Goodstart Early Learning Werribee will receive a $242,126 grant to improve their learning environments. This Andrews Government grant will help Goodstart Early Learning Werribee upgrade internal flooring and LED lighting throughout the service. It’ll also support a playground upgrade including new sandpits, play equipment, activity areas and sensory experiences to latest guidelines and standards along with extensive drainage works and concrete removal. It is one of 127 successful grant recipients to share in $46.9 million through the Building Blocks capacity building and improvement grant streams, which provide new kindergarten places and improve learning environments. Seven new early learning facilities, five new integrated children’s centres, three modular buildings and 20 building expansions are among the projects funded. These projects will create an almost 2,200 funded kindergarten places across 32 local government areas. More than 90 grants will share in almost $8 million under the Building Blocks improvement stream. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will invest a further $38.5 million into the Building Blocks grants program, which offers early childhood providers funding towards building, expanding, improving and creating more inclusive early learning facilities. Applications are also now open for the next round of Building Blocks including major works grants of up to $500,000 – minor works of up to $50,000 – and including grants of up to $200,000 to make kidners more accessible for all children of all abilities. Applications are open until 28 February 2021 via www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing $5 billion this decade to deliver two years of funded kindergarten for all Victorian children, with the roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten underway this year.   Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “Creating more places for children to attend kindergarten and ensuring they can access the best facilities across Victoria is vital to ensuring a world-class education in the early years.” “The evidence is clear that two years are better than one when it comes to early learning, which is why we are investing millions across Victoria to ensure every child has a place.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This investment will mean Werribee children can access high quality kinder close to home.” “Investing in the early years is vital to encouraging a strong educational future and fostering a lifelong love of learning.”

WILDLFE CARERS RECEIVE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THEIR VITAL WORK

The Andrews Labor Government has announced almost $200,000 in Wildlife Rehabilitator Grant funding for 75 of the state’s authorised wildlife shelters and foster carers. The grants provide wildlife rehabilitators with financial assistance to support and enhance their vital caring efforts for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. In Werribee, grants totalling $2,636 have been awarded to local carers who will use the funding for a range of upgrades and supports including new heating and cooling devices for wildlife care, and raw materials for the construction of more shelter for rescued wildlife. In 2020-21, individual grants of up to $3,000 have been awarded, an increase of $500 on last year. Since 2014 the program has provided almost $1.5 million in individual grants through an annual competitive grant process, and organisation grants to key wildlife institutions. This also includes more than $40,000 awarded to 42 authorised shelters and carers through the Wildlife Rehabilitator Bushfire Grants program following the 2019-2020 Victorian bushfires. The government is also continuing its support for the important services provided by the Victorian Wildlife Hotline operated by Wildlife Victoria, with $494,000 allocated in the 2020/21 State Budget. Anyone who finds sick, injured or orphaned wildlife can use the Victorian Government’s Help for Injured Wildlife online tool to find a registered shelter or carer anywhere in Victoria. To report a sick or injured animal, contact Wildlife Victoria’s hotline on 8400 7300 or visit www.wildlifevictoria.org.au for information and advice. Or got to https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/injured-native-wildlife/help-for-injured-wildlife Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Individual wildlife carers play an important role in sustainable management and conservation of wildlife here in Wyndham.” “This funding will help local wildlife carers and shelters continue their important work.”  

WILDLFE CARERS RECEIVE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THEIR VITAL WORK

The Andrews Labor Government has announced almost $200,000 in Wildlife Rehabilitator Grant funding for 75 of the state’s authorised wildlife shelters and foster carers. The grants provide wildlife rehabilitators with financial assistance to support and enhance their vital caring efforts for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. In Werribee, grants totalling $2,636 have been awarded to local carers who will use the funding for a range of upgrades and supports including new heating and cooling devices for wildlife care, and raw materials for the construction of more shelter for rescued wildlife. In 2020-21, individual grants of up to $3,000 have been awarded, an increase of $500 on last year. Since 2014 the program has provided almost $1.5 million in individual grants through an annual competitive grant process, and organisation grants to key wildlife institutions. This also includes more than $40,000 awarded to 42 authorised shelters and carers through the Wildlife Rehabilitator Bushfire Grants program following the 2019-2020 Victorian bushfires. The government is also continuing its support for the important services provided by the Victorian Wildlife Hotline operated by Wildlife Victoria, with $494,000 allocated in the 2020/21 State Budget. Anyone who finds sick, injured or orphaned wildlife can use the Victorian Government’s Help for Injured Wildlife online tool to find a registered shelter or carer anywhere in Victoria. To report a sick or injured animal, contact Wildlife Victoria’s hotline on 8400 7300 or visit www.wildlifevictoria.org.au for information and advice. Or got to https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/injured-native-wildlife/help-for-injured-wildlife Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Individual wildlife carers play an important role in sustainable management and conservation of wildlife here in Wyndham.” “This funding will help local wildlife carers and shelters continue their important work.”