Category Archives: News

Minister for Police Questioned over under-resourced Police

Parliament of Victoria – Search Hansard

Mr WELLS (Rowville) (12:44:21) — (14 171) The question I wish to raise is for the Minister for Police. Minister, do you find it acceptable that hardworking small business owners are falling prey to criminals while Victoria Police are too under-resourced to follow up blatant cases of theft? A resident in my electorate witnessed a very nasty exchange at a local restaurant in Rowville, where he works, where a couple left at the end of their meal and refused to pay their bill. Both of them refused to pay the restaurant and told the restaurant owners that they were leaving without paying because they knew there was nothing either the restaurant or the police could do about it. When the restaurant phoned the police, the police confirmed that there was nothing the police could do about the theft. Minister, this is obviously an ongoing scam. It is disheartening for restaurant owners and their workers who are unable to rely on police to take any action.

The Andrews Government Continue to Ignore the Law and Order Crisis

Mr WELLS (Rowville) (15:06:38) — This statement condemns the Andrews Labor government’s failure to acknowledge the law and order crisis occurring across Victoria in the recent release of the December 2017 quarter crime stats. Statements from the Premier and the Minister for Police boasting about an overall drop in crime indicate that they are completely out of touch with how the community feels about crime and safety where they live. Continue reading

Emergency Management Legislation Bill Amendment 2018

Mr WELLS (Rowville) (12:00:57) — I am speaking on the Emergency Management Legislation Amendment Bill 2018. I am not sure which bill the member for Oakleigh was speaking on when he was talking about saving chickens. I am just not sure what the point of all that was, and that is the problem when you have a metropolitan member of Parliament trying to talk about something to do with emergency services and the confusion around that. I just want to pick up on a couple of points by the member for Oakleigh — Continue reading

Condemning the Labor Government For Sitting on $3 Billion of federal government infrastructure funding

Mr WELLS (Rowville) (13:52:46) — This statement condemns the Andrews government for sitting on $3 billion of federal government infrastructure funding destined for vital Victorian projects. For three long years under Labor $500 million of federal funding for the Monash Freeway has sat unused. The federal government upgrades are sorely needed for improved capacity on the Monash from the EastLink interchange towards the Melbourne CBD and east of Clyde Road. Rowville electorate commuters spend many frustrated hours in traffic commuting to the city on the Monash Freeway. In the meantime the Premier has signed billion-dollar contracts with Transurban, forcing years of tolls onto Monash CityLink commuters for a road in western Melbourne while these same drivers are denied upgrades they have already paid for and are forced to sit on congested, second-rate roads.

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Minister for Public Transport Questioned on Bus Services for Students in Scoresby

Mr WELLS (Rowville) The question I wish to raise is for the Minister for Public Transport. Minister, can you explain to Knox families when there will be a bus service for students living near Kelletts Road, Rowville, to nearby Scoresby Secondary College?

I have been contacted by a family from Rowville which is very concerned that there is no bus route along Kelletts Road which travels directly north along Stud Road past Scoresby Secondary College.

The closest bus service, route 682, travels south via Stud Road shopping centre, and the Telebus service also requires a further connection at Stud Park. Although their school is only 6 kilometres from home, my constituents find bus services are neither well-connected nor frequent enough for travelling by bus to be a practical transport option.

 

ANSWER 

The Andrews Labor Government recognises the important role that public transport plays in meeting the needs of people living in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, and regularly reviews the public transport network to identify where improvements can be made. More than $100 million has been invested to provide more services and introduce new routes throughout Melbourne’s suburbs and in regional Victoria.

When reviewing existing bus routes or planning for new ones, Transport for Victoria (TfV) considers a range of issues, including the likely number of users and their transport needs, suitability of the road network for bus operations, development of a direct and easily understood network, and connectivity with other public transport services.

TfV has noted the feedback provided by your constituents. I have requested TfV to continue to monitor the area and to consider suggestions for a bus service as part of future planning.

 

Hon Jacinta Allan MP

Member for Bendigo East

Minister for Public Transport

If Elected the Liberal-Nationals announce they will introduce a Serious Sex Offenders Public Register

Mr WELLS (Rowville)  — This statement welcomes the Liberal-Nationals announcement that, if elected, they will introduce a serious sex offenders public register (SSOP). Labor have failed time and time again to keep Victorians safe. Under the Premier the number of sexual assaults has increased dramatically, going up 24.35 per cent between 2014 and 2016. Enough is enough. The Liberal-Nationals will put the protection and safety of children, families and the community first. Continue reading

The Performance of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and the Victorian Inspectorate

Wednesday, 7th Feb

WELLS (Rowville) (10:33:24) — I would like to speak on the report, The Performance of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and the Victorian Inspectorate — 2016–17. As chair of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Committee, I am pleased to speak to the fifth report of our committee. Under the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, the committee has the function of monitoring the performance of IBAC and the Victorian Inspectorate. Members of the house will remember that in November last year I tabled the framework for monitoring the performance of IBAC. As I mentioned, one of the duties of the committee is to monitor the performance of IBAC and the Victorian Inspectorate, and of course you have to have a framework to make an assessment against. The committee appointed Professor A. J. Brown to assist us to put together a framework, which is one of the first in the world. It is difficult, obviously, to judge the performance of an anti-corruption body anywhere in the world as it is to judge the Victorian Inspectorate and to understand how they are performing year on year. That work was groundbreaking, and it has been picked up by a number of overseas bodies which are looking at how we actually put that framework together.

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Condemning Labor’s Desperate Prison Extension Announcement

Tuesday, 6th Feb

Mr WELLS (Rowville) (16:05:14) — This statement condemns Labor’s rushed and desperate announcement that they will extend prison facilities at Lara. The announcement of Labor’s fourth Minister for Corrections, Gayle Tierney, seems to have been written on the back of an envelope. The minister could not say how much the prison extension would cost, how much was budgeted for the project, where the money was coming from, when the project would be built or even how many actual prison beds an extension would provide. Nor could the minister provide any information about the acquisition of land needed for the project. Like residents in Werribee, people in Lara have had this announcement dumped on them without any detail to go on.

Minister Tierney said in her announcement:

… we’re planning for that growth now.

She also said:

Planning for growth in the prison population is what good governments do.

However, back in 2015 the Andrews government were warned by Ombudsman Deborah Glass that Victorian prisons would reach maximum capacity by 2019, even with the opening of the 1000 new beds at the coalition-funded Ravenhall prison. When the coalition signed the $670 million Ravenhall contracts in 2014, Minister Tierney was deeply critical of the coalition for spending money on new prisons. This did not stop the minister describing her great pleasure and delight when she opened Ravenhall last year.

Victorians are outraged by lenient prison sentences that are sometimes less than half those in New South Wales.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Questioned on Electricity Supply

Wednesday, 7th Feb

WELLS (Rowville) (11:44:31) — (13 926) The question I wish to raise is for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. Minister, what assurances can you give Knox businesses that the government has any plan to ensure reliable electricity supply regardless of the weather? Businesses in my electorate have contacted me following two power outages in recent weeks. The first of these outages lasted two days. One business with 33 local employees was forced to cancel half a morning shift and all of an afternoon shift, sending people home rather that have them wait around until the lights came back on.

The business bore the cost of the loss of production that day as well as still needing to cover the costs of the employee wages. The outage was still below the threshold at which the owner could claim insurance, and the business will have to carry those losses in full. Worse still, they experienced another outage the following week. Minister, a huge number of businesses in my Rowville electorate, along with many in the south-east, have lost valuable productivity as a direct result of power outages on your watch.

 

ANSWER 

The government’s expectation is that all Victorian consumers are provided with a secure and reliable supply of electricity and I have spoken with the heads of all five distribution businesses to re-emphasise the government’s expectation that Victorian consumers be provided with reliable power supply.

 

Under the Victorian Electricity Distribution Code, distributors must ensure that their customers have a reliable supply of electricity. Where certain thresholds are met, distributors must make Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payments to customers.

 

Distribution businesses are also penalised through the Service Target Performance Incentive Scheme (STPIS) established and administered by the Australian Energy Regulator. The STPIS sets reliability targets based on historical performance and financial penalties apply for distribution businesses who fail to meet targets.

The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP