Groups call for a halt to Port of Hastings expansion plans

Environment and community groups are calling for a halt on plans to significantly expand the Port of Hastings due to the unacceptable risks they pose to Westernport Bay's environmental and recreational values.

"Westernport has remarkable environmental and recreational values right on Melbourne's doorstep," said the Victorian National Parks Association's Marine and Coastal Project Officer Simon Branigan.

"Extensive tracts of seagrass, mangrove and saltmarsh habitats provide nurseries for fish species and important foraging, breeding and roosting habitat for shorebirds and wader birds," he said.

Blue Wedges Coalition spokesperson Jenny Warfe warned the plans could undermine the bay's resilience to climate change.

"Plans to expand the Port of Hastings endanger Westernport's values and reduce the resilience of the bay to the ongoing impacts of climate change," she said.

Download joint community & enviroment groups statment here

Greens Working to Prevent Domestic Violence

Greens candidate for Narracan, Belinda Rogers, expressed her support for the State Election campaign by Domestic Violence Victoria today.

"The Greens will be fully supporting requests by Domestic Violence Victoria to double current expenditure for family violence counselling, fund and establish 20 new counselling staff and co-ordinate services according to the statewide government and non-government agreed strategies for integrated service delivery as stated by Greens MLC Colleen Hartland," said Belinda Rogers.
"The important issue here is saving the lives and protecting the futures of Victoria's children. Everyone says children are our future, yet we need to offer all children the potential for a future of their own. The reality that the state's most vulnerable children are left without support or paths to emotional recovery after experiencing violence is unacceptable," Belinda Rogers said.

Pakenham needs more proactive youth services

The Greens candidate for Gembrook, Brent Hall said the frequent incidents of youth violence and street crime in the Pakenham area indicates a government which has failed to connect with its young people. The Greens believe this can be tackled through education, community and recreation services.
"Of course increasing police numbers is absolutely necessary and something the Greens support, it is however a reactive rather than proactive or preventative approach”, said Brent Hall.

Labor’s Kindergarten Hypocrisy

Belinda Rogers, Greens candidate for Narracan, has today highlighted the hypocrisy of the Brumby government’s pledge for local kindergartens.
“It is all very well Mr Brumby promising $100 million for kindergarten upgrades at today’s Labor launch but, thanks to our Premier, up to thirty children are unable to receive a kindergarten education at the Drouin Kindergarten In Adams Crt in 2011,” said Belinda Rogers. ”The Labor Government refused an application for the extension of Drouin’s Adam Crt Kindergarten only two weeks ago even though Baw Baw Council pledged $250,000 towards the expansion fund conditional on the Brumby Government contributing $200,000 towards the project.”

Labor’s grubby preference deal

Today the Greens have come out on the front foot over Labor’s sneaky preference deal with extremist party, Country Alliance.

In a deal that could see Country Alliance elected through Labor preferences, Greens Victorian lead Upper House candidate Samantha Dunn has expressed her anger. "This grubby deal done by the ALP with Country Alliance has all the hallmarks of the Steve Fielding deal done in 2004 that shocked and outraged so many voters," said Samantha.

"I cannot be clearer, a vote for the ALP in the Upper House is likely to lead to the election of the shooters and hunters party. Country Alliance’s vision is clear – they want less investment in renewable energy and more investment in dirty coal. Is that the future you want for you and your children?" said Samantha.

"Labor pledged to protect our forests and now they turn around and do a deal with a party that wants to destroy them. Country Alliance opposes the creation of any more National Parks and wants to continue logging in catchment areas. Labor clearly cannot be trusted. Voters in this region are smart; they will see this deal for what it is. Any credibility that Labor had with voters has disappeared."

A New Life for Old Gippstown

At the Hold Hands for Gippstown rally on Sunday the Greens candidate for Narracan, Belinda Rogers, congratulated the Old Gippstown Committee of Management on their visionary plan for the future.
“It would be a major loss to Moe and its community if Gippstown did not receive appropriate government funding, now and into the future as it moves towards both environmental and economic sustainability,” Ms Rogers said.
“The objectives put forward by the Old Gippstown committee to make it a sustainability hub is a wonderful initiative which the Greens would be delighted to support,” added Samantha Dunn, Upper House candidate for Greens in Eastern Victoria.

Labor forest announcement undermined by Labor preferences

The Australian Greens have revealed that the Labor party is considering preference the pro-logging, shooting and climate change denier party Country Alliance in the Western Victoria Upper House Region.
"In 2006, the Labor party preferenced both the ultra-conservative DLP and Country Alliance ahead of the Greens, handing the DLP a seat with just 2.5 percent of the vote," said Marcus Ward, Australian Greens candidate for Western Victoria.
"They look set to do the same again in Western Victoria, refusing to rule out preferencing the DLP, Country Alliance and Family First in the Upper House."

Greens Endorse Gippsland Carers Proposal for eight grass roots regional carer support networks

This afternoon the Greens Party announced they had endorsed the Gippsland Carers Associations proposal to establish a statewide regional community-based carer support network, after hearing the passionate call made at the carers forum in Morwell yesterday .

 Speaking for the Greens, Upper House Eastern region candidate, Samantha Dunn said: "We want to end government neglect of carers. Whoever forms government will be receiving a visit from Victorian Green parliamentarians to ensure that urgently needed resources are delivered quickly to Victoria's carers, for the next four years."

Samantha said: "The proposal developed by the Gippsland Carers Association, and supported by Carers Victoria, for a community-based carers support network across Victoria will assist carers across metropolitan and regional Victoria providing these overburdened and under-resourced people with urgently needed peer support, advocacy and information. This will help carers to better access the full range of government programs and assist government o better understand and respond to the needs of carers."

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