Tim Pallas MP

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  • West Gate Tunnel Project

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

  • More Train Services for the Werribee Line

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

  • $1.8 Billion Western Roads Package to Transform Suburban Roads

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

  • Melbourne Metro Rail Project

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

  • Werribee Electorate

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

  • West Gate Tunnel Project

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

Media Centre

JUNUBI WYNDHAM

Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (09:42:31): I rise to report on the wonderful progress of Junubi Wyndham community support group, which is helping young South Sudanese people and families in my electorate of Werribee and throughout Wyndham. This program is being delivered as part of the Andrews government’s investment in community support groups across Victoria for the South Sudanese community, delivered by and for African communities. On 23 August I joined with the Minister for Crime Prevention and the members for Altona and Tarneit at the·Wyndham Community and Education Centre to meet with the local staff from Junubi Wyndham. We heard about the employment opportunities being created through the program, with special mention of the close connection with the African centre at the Werribee Open Range Zoo. We also heard about the different ways that the program is engaging with young South Sudanese Australians in Melbourne’s west. This program holds activities such as a dance club, which teaches traditional culture through dance. There is also the homework club, best described by one of its students as a place to go to get help with reading and meet new friends. In Sudanese Arabic, Junubi Wyndham represents the idea of one person and one community, and was so named to represent the shared identity of all South Sudanese people. The program is an example of what happens when governments empower communities to address complex issues. It strengthens our greater local communities while preserving cultural traditions and knowledge. I would like to thank the staff at the Wyndham Community and Education Centre and all those involved in developing and delivering the Junubi program.

JUNUBI WYNDHAM

Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (09:42:31): I rise to report on the wonderful progress of Junubi Wyndham community support group, which is helping young South Sudanese people and families in my electorate of Werribee and throughout Wyndham. This program is being delivered as part of the Andrews government’s investment in community support groups across Victoria for the South Sudanese community, delivered by and for African communities. On 23 August I joined with the Minister for Crime Prevention and the members for Altona and Tarneit at the·Wyndham Community and Education Centre to meet with the local staff from Junubi Wyndham. We heard about the employment opportunities being created through the program, with special mention of the close connection with the African centre at the Werribee Open Range Zoo. We also heard about the different ways that the program is engaging with young South Sudanese Australians in Melbourne’s west. This program holds activities such as a dance club, which teaches traditional culture through dance. There is also the homework club, best described by one of its students as a place to go to get help with reading and meet new friends. In Sudanese Arabic, Junubi Wyndham represents the idea of one person and one community, and was so named to represent the shared identity of all South Sudanese people. The program is an example of what happens when governments empower communities to address complex issues. It strengthens our greater local communities while preserving cultural traditions and knowledge. I would like to thank the staff at the Wyndham Community and Education Centre and all those involved in developing and delivering the Junubi program.

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: EMPLOYMENT

Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11:29:45): I rise to update the house on the state of the construction industry and jobs that have been created since this government came to office. Since November 2014, 67 000 construction jobs have been created right across Victoria because of this government’s ambitious infrastructure agenda. That is 67 000—that is slightly more than the total population of Greater Shepparton, getting greater under the great member for Shepparton. These are jobs on our major projects like removing 75 dangerous level crossings, the Melbourne Metro Tunnel, the regional rail revival, and jobs building new homes thanks to our doubling of the first home owner grant in regional Victoria. While other states dream of this number of new jobs in construction, this government is delivering them. With half of the construction jobs created in this nation since November 2014 being delivered here in Victoria, you might even say 'We’re nailing it’. Nearly one in 10 jobs in Victoria today are in the construction industry, and the latest figures show that this industry has grown by 28 per cent since this government came to office. That compares to the demolition job of those opposite, where construction jobs actually went backwards—backwards!—by 5400. It is no surprise that they failed to start a single major project. They basically took a four-year smoko, and it damaged the economic health of the state of Victoria. Mr R Smith: On a point of order, Speaker, members of the government continue to show a complete lack of respect for your rulings. The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Warrandyte— Mr R Smith: A complete lack of respect. The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Warrandyte can raise a point of order, but he should not reflect on the Chair in his point of order. Mr R Smith: I am not reflecting on the Chair; they are reflecting on the Chair. The SPEAKER: Order! I disagree. The member for Warrandyte’s point of order is? Mr R Smith: Members of the government continue to show a lack of respect for your rulings— The SPEAKER: In which way? Member for Warrandyte, the point of order is? Mr R Smith: and continue to attack the opposition during question time. The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Warrandyte will resume his seat. The Treasurer was not attacking the opposition. He was making reference to the actions of a former government. As I said before in relation to a point of order taken by the member for— Members interjecting. The SPEAKER: The member for Warrandyte can leave the chamber for the period of 1 hour. Member for Warrandyte withdrew from chamber. The SPEAKER: While I am making a ruling to a point of order that he has raised, I do not need the member to be talking to me. As I have indicated to the house before, ministers when making a statement or answering a question can make passing reference to the actions of a previous government, not attack the opposition. The Treasurer stayed on that topic for too long. He needs to now move on and make the rest of his statement. Mr PALLAS: My passing reference has passed. Victorians are going into construction in record numbers, and it is easy to see why. There are jobs in cities and in the regions. Have I mentioned recently the regional unemployment rate? Nearly 15 000 construction jobs have been created in regional Victoria. Digging a massive economic hole is no substitute for a capital works program.

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: EMPLOYMENT

Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11:29:45): I rise to update the house on the state of the construction industry and jobs that have been created since this government came to office. Since November 2014, 67 000 construction jobs have been created right across Victoria because of this government’s ambitious infrastructure agenda. That is 67 000—that is slightly more than the total population of Greater Shepparton, getting greater under the great member for Shepparton. These are jobs on our major projects like removing 75 dangerous level crossings, the Melbourne Metro Tunnel, the regional rail revival, and jobs building new homes thanks to our doubling of the first home owner grant in regional Victoria. While other states dream of this number of new jobs in construction, this government is delivering them. With half of the construction jobs created in this nation since November 2014 being delivered here in Victoria, you might even say 'We’re nailing it’. Nearly one in 10 jobs in Victoria today are in the construction industry, and the latest figures show that this industry has grown by 28 per cent since this government came to office. That compares to the demolition job of those opposite, where construction jobs actually went backwards—backwards!—by 5400. It is no surprise that they failed to start a single major project. They basically took a four-year smoko, and it damaged the economic health of the state of Victoria. Mr R Smith: On a point of order, Speaker, members of the government continue to show a complete lack of respect for your rulings. The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Warrandyte— Mr R Smith: A complete lack of respect. The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Warrandyte can raise a point of order, but he should not reflect on the Chair in his point of order. Mr R Smith: I am not reflecting on the Chair; they are reflecting on the Chair. The SPEAKER: Order! I disagree. The member for Warrandyte’s point of order is? Mr R Smith: Members of the government continue to show a lack of respect for your rulings— The SPEAKER: In which way? Member for Warrandyte, the point of order is? Mr R Smith: and continue to attack the opposition during question time. The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Warrandyte will resume his seat. The Treasurer was not attacking the opposition. He was making reference to the actions of a former government. As I said before in relation to a point of order taken by the member for— Members interjecting. The SPEAKER: The member for Warrandyte can leave the chamber for the period of 1 hour. Member for Warrandyte withdrew from chamber. The SPEAKER: While I am making a ruling to a point of order that he has raised, I do not need the member to be talking to me. As I have indicated to the house before, ministers when making a statement or answering a question can make passing reference to the actions of a previous government, not attack the opposition. The Treasurer stayed on that topic for too long. He needs to now move on and make the rest of his statement. Mr PALLAS: My passing reference has passed. Victorians are going into construction in record numbers, and it is easy to see why. There are jobs in cities and in the regions. Have I mentioned recently the regional unemployment rate? Nearly 15 000 construction jobs have been created in regional Victoria. Digging a massive economic hole is no substitute for a capital works program.

Guidelines Released For Melbourne’s New Dog Parks

GUIDELINES RELEASED FOR MELBOURNE’S NEW DOG PARKS New parks for Victorians and their four-legged friends to stretch their legs and enjoy the outdoors are one step closer, with new guidelines for their locations released by the Andrews Labor Government. The guidelines will help councils identify the type of locations suitable to be transformed into one of 16 off-leash, enclosed dog parks that will delivered across Melbourne. Pets are a part of the Australian way of life, with pet ownership shown to benefit our physical and mental health. The Local Parks Program Guidelines set out standards for size, location, and the types of infrastructure and services that make up a great local park. The guidelines also outline that potential sites should align with an approved open space, precinct structure or recreation plan that has undergone community engagement. The Labor Government is investing $5 million to create 16 new dog parks and $35 million for 25 new pocket parks across Melbourne. New dog parks will be located across the Boroondara, Brimbank, Casey, Darebin, Glen Eira, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Maroondah, Moonee Valley, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse and Wyndham council areas. The Government will work with those local councils to determine the locations of the new parks. The guidelines are available at environment.vic.gov.au/suburban-parks. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “We’re delivering 16 new off-leash dog parks across Melbourne and these guidelines will help councils identify the best possible locations.” “More dog parks mean more open spaces for families and their pets to enjoy, close to home.” “Dogs aren’t just pets, they’re like family members, and only Labor will make sure people have somewhere they can enjoy getting outdoors and letting their dog off-leash safely with 16 new dog parks across Melbourne.”

Guidelines Released For Melbourne’s New Dog Parks

GUIDELINES RELEASED FOR MELBOURNE’S NEW DOG PARKS New parks for Victorians and their four-legged friends to stretch their legs and enjoy the outdoors are one step closer, with new guidelines for their locations released by the Andrews Labor Government. The guidelines will help councils identify the type of locations suitable to be transformed into one of 16 off-leash, enclosed dog parks that will delivered across Melbourne. Pets are a part of the Australian way of life, with pet ownership shown to benefit our physical and mental health. The Local Parks Program Guidelines set out standards for size, location, and the types of infrastructure and services that make up a great local park. The guidelines also outline that potential sites should align with an approved open space, precinct structure or recreation plan that has undergone community engagement. The Labor Government is investing $5 million to create 16 new dog parks and $35 million for 25 new pocket parks across Melbourne. New dog parks will be located across the Boroondara, Brimbank, Casey, Darebin, Glen Eira, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Maroondah, Moonee Valley, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse and Wyndham council areas. The Government will work with those local councils to determine the locations of the new parks. The guidelines are available at environment.vic.gov.au/suburban-parks. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “We’re delivering 16 new off-leash dog parks across Melbourne and these guidelines will help councils identify the best possible locations.” “More dog parks mean more open spaces for families and their pets to enjoy, close to home.” “Dogs aren’t just pets, they’re like family members, and only Labor will make sure people have somewhere they can enjoy getting outdoors and letting their dog off-leash safely with 16 new dog parks across Melbourne.”

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: ECONOMY

Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11:38:59): It really does give me great pleasure to talk about the state of doing business in Victoria. Victoria is an easy place to do business. These are not my words; these are the words of the managing director, Julia Kern, of Kaufland Australia. But they could just as well have been the words of many other businesses—countless businesses—doing business in this great state at the moment. Victoria, I am pleased to say, is open for business. Kaufland recently indicated that Victoria would be its base. They are making an investment of $435 million and they intend employing at least 1500 staff. Kaufland could have chosen other places to catapult their expansion into Australia, but they chose Victoria. It has not always been this way. Let us look back five years ago. September 2014 was a very bleak month for many Victorians. Under the member for Malvern’s watch Victoria’s unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent. Economic growth was anaemic. Business investment was flatlining. Mr T Smith: On a point of order, Speaker, again, question time is not an opportunity for the government to attack the opposition. No-one wants to hear about September 2014. We want to hear about updates now. Could you draw the Treasurer back to the forms of the house, please, Speaker? The SPEAKER: Order! Brief references to former governments’ performances, according to previous rulings, are allowed. But the Treasurer is reminded that those references are to be brief and he needs to come back to government business. Mr PALLAS: Well, it was a bleak month. It was the month that Tom Jones hit the wrong notes at the AFL Grand Final. Five years on, how things have changed. Unemployment is down to 4.8 per cent, growth has been above trend for four years and counting, we have created 477 000 new jobs, business investment is up by over 26 per cent and Paul Kelly is performing at this month’s grand final. Victoria now has a government that knows how to make gravy. We are attracting international companies like Praxis Precision, Alibaba, David Jones and Zendesk. That all means more jobs for Victorians. Victoria is an easy place to do business. This government’s superior economic record has put Victoria leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the nation. From little things big things grow, and this state continues to grow. Mr Northe: On a point of order, Speaker, in relation to a constituency question that is well overdue, this was asked on 5 June 2019. Question 734 related to asking the Minister for Regional Development in the other place about the future of Hazelwood Pondage. It is more than three months since I asked the question. Petitions have been tabled in Parliament—more than 3000 signatures. I think it is incumbent on the minister to finally answer the question, given the interest in my community. If you could follow up on that matter again, I would be most grateful. The SPEAKER: Thank you. I will follow that matter up for the member for Morwell.

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: ECONOMY

Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11:38:59): It really does give me great pleasure to talk about the state of doing business in Victoria. Victoria is an easy place to do business. These are not my words; these are the words of the managing director, Julia Kern, of Kaufland Australia. But they could just as well have been the words of many other businesses—countless businesses—doing business in this great state at the moment. Victoria, I am pleased to say, is open for business. Kaufland recently indicated that Victoria would be its base. They are making an investment of $435 million and they intend employing at least 1500 staff. Kaufland could have chosen other places to catapult their expansion into Australia, but they chose Victoria. It has not always been this way. Let us look back five years ago. September 2014 was a very bleak month for many Victorians. Under the member for Malvern’s watch Victoria’s unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent. Economic growth was anaemic. Business investment was flatlining. Mr T Smith: On a point of order, Speaker, again, question time is not an opportunity for the government to attack the opposition. No-one wants to hear about September 2014. We want to hear about updates now. Could you draw the Treasurer back to the forms of the house, please, Speaker? The SPEAKER: Order! Brief references to former governments’ performances, according to previous rulings, are allowed. But the Treasurer is reminded that those references are to be brief and he needs to come back to government business. Mr PALLAS: Well, it was a bleak month. It was the month that Tom Jones hit the wrong notes at the AFL Grand Final. Five years on, how things have changed. Unemployment is down to 4.8 per cent, growth has been above trend for four years and counting, we have created 477 000 new jobs, business investment is up by over 26 per cent and Paul Kelly is performing at this month’s grand final. Victoria now has a government that knows how to make gravy. We are attracting international companies like Praxis Precision, Alibaba, David Jones and Zendesk. That all means more jobs for Victorians. Victoria is an easy place to do business. This government’s superior economic record has put Victoria leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the nation. From little things big things grow, and this state continues to grow. Mr Northe: On a point of order, Speaker, in relation to a constituency question that is well overdue, this was asked on 5 June 2019. Question 734 related to asking the Minister for Regional Development in the other place about the future of Hazelwood Pondage. It is more than three months since I asked the question. Petitions have been tabled in Parliament—more than 3000 signatures. I think it is incumbent on the minister to finally answer the question, given the interest in my community. If you could follow up on that matter again, I would be most grateful. The SPEAKER: Thank you. I will follow that matter up for the member for Morwell.

 

ABOLISHING RAMP FEES TO GET MORE VICTORIANS OUT ON THE WATER

The Andrews Labor Government is making it cheaper and easier for more Victorian families to get out on the water by abolishing parking and launching fees at public boat ramps. Boat launching and parking fees in Wyndham City Council’s Werribee River Camp are now free as part of a statewide plan to scrap parking and launching at all public boat ramps. Scrapping parking and launching fees is the first step in delivering on this major election commitment and will save families up to $315 a year on an annual parking permit. Every public boat ramp across Victoria will be free by Spring – ready for the busy summer boating period. Better Boating Victoria was established earlier this year to oversee the introduction of free parking and launching, and deliver upgrades and maintenance at key boat ramps across Victoria. It’s all part of the Labor Government’s unprecedented investment in boating and fishing that will ensure every dollar of license and registration revenue goes towards improving boating facilities and safety. Better Boating Victoria is building on the success of the Government’s record investment in the Target One Million program which includes a huge boost to fish stocking, a new native fish hatchery and better planning for fishing tourism. For more information visit transport.vic.gov.au/betterboating. Quote attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP “We’ve listened to boaters and are delivering on our commitment to scrap parking and launching fees – making it cheaper and easier for more Victorians to get involved in recreational boating and fishing.” “Werribee River Camp is a popular local spot for boaters and fishers and it’s great that parking and launching from here will now be free.”

ABOLISHING RAMP FEES TO GET MORE VICTORIANS OUT ON THE WATER

The Andrews Labor Government is making it cheaper and easier for more Victorian families to get out on the water by abolishing parking and launching fees at public boat ramps. Boat launching and parking fees in Wyndham City Council’s Werribee River Camp are now free as part of a statewide plan to scrap parking and launching at all public boat ramps. Scrapping parking and launching fees is the first step in delivering on this major election commitment and will save families up to $315 a year on an annual parking permit. Every public boat ramp across Victoria will be free by Spring – ready for the busy summer boating period. Better Boating Victoria was established earlier this year to oversee the introduction of free parking and launching, and deliver upgrades and maintenance at key boat ramps across Victoria. It’s all part of the Labor Government’s unprecedented investment in boating and fishing that will ensure every dollar of license and registration revenue goes towards improving boating facilities and safety. Better Boating Victoria is building on the success of the Government’s record investment in the Target One Million program which includes a huge boost to fish stocking, a new native fish hatchery and better planning for fishing tourism. For more information visit transport.vic.gov.au/betterboating. Quote attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP “We’ve listened to boaters and are delivering on our commitment to scrap parking and launching fees – making it cheaper and easier for more Victorians to get involved in recreational boating and fishing.” “Werribee River Camp is a popular local spot for boaters and fishers and it’s great that parking and launching from here will now be free.”

Wyndham Schools to Share In $515m Maintenance Blitz

WYNDHAM SCHOOLS TO SHARE IN $515M MAINTENANCE BLITZ Wyndham schools will share in a $515 million in the single largest boost to school maintenance ever undertaken, thanks to an unprecedented investment by the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas MP said this funding will support fifteen schools across the electorate to ensure every student can attend a great local government primary, secondary or specialist school by tackling maintenance issues proactively. The investment will more than double funding for maintenance at Victoria’s state schools over the next two financial years, with more than $300 million to be invested in 2019/20 and $290 million in 2020/21. It will enable Wyndham schools to do essential works such as painting, replacing carpet and windows, landscaping, tree inspections and maintenance of infrastructure like septic systems and water services. This increased investment will enable principals to get on with the job of leading Victoria’s schools, by providing more funds to maintain the state’s 36,000 school buildings, while supporting schools to cater to the 115,000 additional students who are expected to enter the education system over the next five years. The package complements the Labor Government’s recent initiatives to support schools to manage and maintain their facilities, including the Rolling Facilities Evaluation and the rollout of maintenance plans for each school. The Labor Government is investing $170.5 million in emergency and incident response over five years, including an extra $57.8 million to address issues such as septic system failure, termite damage, mould, roof and floor damage, and $76.4 million to respond to unforeseen incidents and events such as storms, fire or flooding. Schools in some of the state’s highest-risk bushfire areas will also have access to more funds to ensure they are ‘bushfire ready’, thanks to $44.2 million over five years for fire preparedness activities like vegetation removal. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP “We know students get the most out of their education when they have safe, modern classrooms to learn in, and first-rate facilities the school community can feel proud of.” “The Victorian Government is investing $515 million in our state schools to ensure Wyndham students can attend a great local school and get a great education.”

Wyndham Schools to Share In $515m Maintenance Blitz

WYNDHAM SCHOOLS TO SHARE IN $515M MAINTENANCE BLITZ Wyndham schools will share in a $515 million in the single largest boost to school maintenance ever undertaken, thanks to an unprecedented investment by the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas MP said this funding will support fifteen schools across the electorate to ensure every student can attend a great local government primary, secondary or specialist school by tackling maintenance issues proactively. The investment will more than double funding for maintenance at Victoria’s state schools over the next two financial years, with more than $300 million to be invested in 2019/20 and $290 million in 2020/21. It will enable Wyndham schools to do essential works such as painting, replacing carpet and windows, landscaping, tree inspections and maintenance of infrastructure like septic systems and water services. This increased investment will enable principals to get on with the job of leading Victoria’s schools, by providing more funds to maintain the state’s 36,000 school buildings, while supporting schools to cater to the 115,000 additional students who are expected to enter the education system over the next five years. The package complements the Labor Government’s recent initiatives to support schools to manage and maintain their facilities, including the Rolling Facilities Evaluation and the rollout of maintenance plans for each school. The Labor Government is investing $170.5 million in emergency and incident response over five years, including an extra $57.8 million to address issues such as septic system failure, termite damage, mould, roof and floor damage, and $76.4 million to respond to unforeseen incidents and events such as storms, fire or flooding. Schools in some of the state’s highest-risk bushfire areas will also have access to more funds to ensure they are ‘bushfire ready’, thanks to $44.2 million over five years for fire preparedness activities like vegetation removal. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP “We know students get the most out of their education when they have safe, modern classrooms to learn in, and first-rate facilities the school community can feel proud of.” “The Victorian Government is investing $515 million in our state schools to ensure Wyndham students can attend a great local school and get a great education.”

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT

Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11:33:15): I rise to update the house yet again on the latest regional unemployment figures. I know I am starting to sound a bit like a broken record on regional unemployment, but we have just broken the record again. These numbers just keep getting lower and lower. July’s ABS figures had Victoria’s regional unemployment rate at 3.7 per cent. Now, this is not only the lowest regional rate in the nation but the lowest regional unemployment rate that Victoria has ever had, only surpassing the record we set last month. This is fantastic. It is a fantastic achievement for regional Victoria. When the member for Malvern was Treasurer the regional unemployment rate peaked at 6.6 per cent. Today it is nearly a full three percentage points lower, with 57 000 more regional Victorians now in work. That is nearly three times the number of regional jobs created by those opposite in their last term of government. So what is driving this record-low regional unemployment rate, you may well ask? The short answer is this government’s focus on creating jobs right across the state, whether it be regional payroll tax rates, which have been halved and which during this term of government we will half again to 25 per cent of the metropolitan rate. And let us not forget of course that we are going to reduce stamp duty in regional Victoria for commercial and industrial property by 50 per cent. In our first term we invested $13.6 billion, and there is another $2.6 billion in this budget. We have put in almost twice what those opposite invested in regional Victoria, and the investment and growth continue. Mr T Bull: On a point of order, Speaker, I wish to draw your attention to question 797, which was a question to the Minister for Public Transport for the Minister for Fishing and Boating in the other place that related to the boating safety facilities program. The answer to that question is now well and truly overdue. It is a really important issue for my electorate, and I bring your attention to it and ask you to extract a response, if that is possible. The SPEAKER: Thank you for raising that matter. I will follow that up. Mr Wakeling: On a point of order, Speaker, I wish to draw your attention to questions 861, 860, 857 and 732, which were due in July. I also draw to your attention questions 481 and 479, which were to the Attorney-General. They have been due since May. The SPEAKER: I thank the member for Ferntree Gully for those questions that need to be answered, and I will chase those matters up.

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT

Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11:33:15): I rise to update the house yet again on the latest regional unemployment figures. I know I am starting to sound a bit like a broken record on regional unemployment, but we have just broken the record again. These numbers just keep getting lower and lower. July’s ABS figures had Victoria’s regional unemployment rate at 3.7 per cent. Now, this is not only the lowest regional rate in the nation but the lowest regional unemployment rate that Victoria has ever had, only surpassing the record we set last month. This is fantastic. It is a fantastic achievement for regional Victoria. When the member for Malvern was Treasurer the regional unemployment rate peaked at 6.6 per cent. Today it is nearly a full three percentage points lower, with 57 000 more regional Victorians now in work. That is nearly three times the number of regional jobs created by those opposite in their last term of government. So what is driving this record-low regional unemployment rate, you may well ask? The short answer is this government’s focus on creating jobs right across the state, whether it be regional payroll tax rates, which have been halved and which during this term of government we will half again to 25 per cent of the metropolitan rate. And let us not forget of course that we are going to reduce stamp duty in regional Victoria for commercial and industrial property by 50 per cent. In our first term we invested $13.6 billion, and there is another $2.6 billion in this budget. We have put in almost twice what those opposite invested in regional Victoria, and the investment and growth continue. Mr T Bull: On a point of order, Speaker, I wish to draw your attention to question 797, which was a question to the Minister for Public Transport for the Minister for Fishing and Boating in the other place that related to the boating safety facilities program. The answer to that question is now well and truly overdue. It is a really important issue for my electorate, and I bring your attention to it and ask you to extract a response, if that is possible. The SPEAKER: Thank you for raising that matter. I will follow that up. Mr Wakeling: On a point of order, Speaker, I wish to draw your attention to questions 861, 860, 857 and 732, which were due in July. I also draw to your attention questions 481 and 479, which were to the Attorney-General. They have been due since May. The SPEAKER: I thank the member for Ferntree Gully for those questions that need to be answered, and I will chase those matters up.

MEMBERS STATEMENTS: WERRIBEE PRIMARY SCHOOL

Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (09:41:35): I wish to update the house on my recent visit to Werribee Primary School to announce funding of $275 000 from the Andrews Labor government to replace the roof of the school’s administration building. While this might seem like a small project, it will make a very big difference. In June this year the school wrote to me about the leaky roof outside the school’s main reception area. I am thankful for the prompt attention of the Minister for Education, the Deputy Premier, for allocating funding as part of the Andrews Labor government’s $10 million school pride and sports funding program. In many ways pride promotes achievement. A sense of pride instils a sense of confidence, including, I believe, in one’s own potential. I was delighted to surprise the wonderful teachers and students at the school, who were so excited that I felt I needed to explain that the money was for the school and not for their personal accounts. But one of the moments that will stay with me is of Ayan and Hiba, the school captains, proudly guiding me on a tour of their school—and believe me, watch out for these two young ladies; they are going places. In front of a group of adults they spoke confidently and articulately, pointing out school projects, classrooms and where they played. The girls explained that 'Respect, Resilience, Responsibility’—the school motto—gave them the confidence that they need to succeed. I congratulate Werribee Primary School on this investment and boost to their school pride.

MEMBERS STATEMENTS: WERRIBEE PRIMARY SCHOOL

Mr PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (09:41:35): I wish to update the house on my recent visit to Werribee Primary School to announce funding of $275 000 from the Andrews Labor government to replace the roof of the school’s administration building. While this might seem like a small project, it will make a very big difference. In June this year the school wrote to me about the leaky roof outside the school’s main reception area. I am thankful for the prompt attention of the Minister for Education, the Deputy Premier, for allocating funding as part of the Andrews Labor government’s $10 million school pride and sports funding program. In many ways pride promotes achievement. A sense of pride instils a sense of confidence, including, I believe, in one’s own potential. I was delighted to surprise the wonderful teachers and students at the school, who were so excited that I felt I needed to explain that the money was for the school and not for their personal accounts. But one of the moments that will stay with me is of Ayan and Hiba, the school captains, proudly guiding me on a tour of their school—and believe me, watch out for these two young ladies; they are going places. In front of a group of adults they spoke confidently and articulately, pointing out school projects, classrooms and where they played. The girls explained that 'Respect, Resilience, Responsibility’—the school motto—gave them the confidence that they need to succeed. I congratulate Werribee Primary School on this investment and boost to their school pride.