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					   PARLIAMENT OF VICTORIA




PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES
      (HANSARD)



      LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

    FIFTY-FIFTH PARLIAMENT

               FIRST SESSION




                31 March 2003
           (extract from Book 1)




    Internet: www.parliament.vic.gov.au/downloadhansard

      By authority of the Victorian Government Printer
                                                                  The Governor
                                                            JOHN LANDY, AC, MBE


                                                       The Lieutenant-Governor
                                                               Lady SOUTHEY, AM


                                                                   The Ministry
Premier and Minister for Multicultural Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. S. P. Bracks, MP

Deputy Premier, Minister for Environment, Minister for Water and
  Minister for Victorian Communities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. J. W. Thwaites, MP

Minister for Finance and Minister for Consumer Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. J. Lenders, MLC

Minister for Education Services and Minister for Employment and Youth
  Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. J. M. Allan, MP

Minister for Transport and Minister for Major Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. P. Batchelor, MP

Minister for Local Government and Minister for Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. C. C. Broad, MLC

Treasurer, Minister for Innovation and Minister for State and
   Regional Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. J. M. Brumby, MP

Minister for Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. R. G. Cameron, MP

Minister for Planning, Minister for the Arts and
  Minister for Women’s Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. M. E. Delahunty, MP

Minister for Community Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. S. M. Garbutt, MP

Minister for Police and Emergency Services and
  Minister for Corrections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. A. Haermeyer, MP

Minister for Manufacturing and Export and Minister for Financial
  Services Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. T. J. Holding, MP

Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister
   for Workcover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. R. J. Hulls, MP

Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. Gavin Jennings, MLC

Minister for Education and Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. L. J. Kosky, MP

Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for
  Commonwealth Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. J. M. Madden, MLC

Minister for Gaming, Minister for Racing, Minister for Tourism and
  Minister assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. J. Pandazopoulos, MP

Minister for Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. B. J. Pike, MP

Minister for Energy Industries and Minister for Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. T. C. Theophanous, MLC

Minister for Small Business and
  Minister for Information and Communication Technology. . . . . . . . . . . The Hon. M. R. Thomson, MLC

Cabinet Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr R. W. Wynne, MP
                                       Legislative Council Committees

Privileges Committee — The Honourables W. R. Baxter, Andrew Brideson, H. E. Buckingham and Bill Forwood,
    and Mr Gavin Jennings, Ms Mikakos and Mr Viney.

Standing Orders Committee — The President, Ms Argondizzo, the Honourables B. W. Bishop and Andrea Coote,
    Mr Lenders, Ms Romanes and the Hon. E. G. Stoney.


                                              Joint Committees

Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee — (Council): The Honourables C. D. Hirsh and S. M. Nguyen.
   (Assembly): Mr Cooper, Ms Marshall, Mr Maxfield, Dr Sykes and Mr Wells.

Economic Development Committee — (Council): The Honourables B. N. Atkinson and R. H. Bowden, and
   Mr Pullen. (Assembly): Mr Delahunty, Mr Jenkins, Ms Morand and Mr Robinson.

Education and Training Committee — (Council): The Honourables H. E. Buckingham and P. R. Hall.
   (Assembly): Ms Eckstein, Mr Herbert, Mr Kotsiras, Ms Munt and Mr Perton.

Environment and Natural Resources Committee — (Council): The Honourables Andrea Coote, D. K. Drum,
   J. G. Hilton and W. A. Lovell. (Assembly): Ms Duncan, Ms Lindell and Mr Seitz.

Family and Community Development Committee — (Council): The Hon. D. McL. Davis and Mr Smith.
   (Assembly): Ms McTaggart, Ms Neville, Mrs Powell, Mrs Shardey and Mr Wilson.

House Committee — (Council): The President (ex officio), the Honourables B. N. Atkinson and Andrew Brideson,
   Ms Hadden and the Honourables J. M. McQuilten and S. M. Nguyen. (Assembly): The Speaker (ex officio),
   Mr Cooper, Mr Leighton, Mr Lockwood, Mr Maughan, Mr Savage and Mr Smith.

Law Reform Committee — (Council): The Honourables Andrew Brideson and R. Dalla-Riva, and Ms Hadden.
   (Assembly): Ms Beard, Mr Hudson, Mr Lupton and Mr Maughan.

Library Committee — (Council): The President, Ms Argondizzo and the Honourables C. A. Strong, R. Dalla-Riva
    and Kaye Darveniza. (Assembly): The Speaker, Mr Carli, Mrs Powell, Mr Seitz and Mr Thompson.

Outer Suburban/Interface Services and Development Committee — (Council): Mr Scheffer and Mr Somyurek.
   (Assembly): Mr Baillieu, Ms Buchanan, Mr Dixon, Mr Nardella and Mr Smith.

Public Accounts and Estimates Committee — (Council): The Honourables W. R. Baxter, Bill Forwood and
   G. K. Rich-Phillips, and Ms Romanes. (Assembly): Ms Campbell, Mr Clark, Mr Donnellan, Ms Green and
   Mr Merlino.

Road Safety Committee — (Council): The Honourables B. W. Bishop, J. H. Eren and E. G. Stoney.
   (Assembly): Mr Harkness, Mr Langdon, Mr Mulder and Mr Trezise.

Rural and Regional Services and Development Committee — (Council): The Honourables J. M. McQuilten and
   R. G. Mitchell. (Assembly): Mr Crutchfield, Mr Hardman, Mr Ingram, Dr Napthine and Mr Walsh.

Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee — (Council): Ms Argondizzo and the Hon. A. P. Olexander.
    (Assembly): Ms D’Ambrosio, Mr Jasper, Mr Leighton, Mr Lockwood, Mr McIntosh, Mr Perera and
    Mr Thompson.


                                     Heads of Parliamentary Departments

          Assembly — Clerk of the Parliaments and Clerk of the Legislative Assembly: Mr R. W. Purdey
                      Council — Clerk of the Legislative Council: Mr W. R. Tunnecliffe
                                Hansard — Chief Reporter: Ms C. J. Williams
                                     Library — Librarian: Ms G. Dunston
                        Joint Services — Director, Corporate Services: Mr S. N. Aird
                                          Director, Infrastructure Services: Mr G. C. Spurr
                                       MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
                                     FIFTY-FIFTH PARLIAMENT — FIRST SESSION



                                               President: The Hon. M. M. GOULD
                              Deputy President and Chair of Committees: Ms GLENYYS ROMANES
     Temporary Chairs of Committees: The Honourables B. W. Bishop, R. H. Bowden , Andrew Brideson, H. E. Buckingham,
                Ms D. G. Hadden, the Honourable J. G. Hilton, Mr R. F. Smith and the Honourable C. A. Strong
                                                   Leader of the Government:
                                                        Mr J. LENDERS
                                               Deputy Leader of the Government:
                                                    Mr GAVIN JENNINGS
                                                      Leader of the Opposition:
                                                       The Hon. P. R. DAVIS
                                                Deputy Leader of the Opposition:
                                                  The Hon. ANDREA COOTE
                                                  Leader of the National Party:
                                                      The Hon. P. R. HALL
                                               Deputy Leader of the National Party:
                                                     The Hon. D. K. DRUM




  Member                            Province              Party          Member                           Province            Party
Argondizzo, Ms Lidia                Templestowe           ALP        Jennings, Mr Gavin Wayne             Melbourne           ALP
Atkinson, Hon. Bruce Norman         Koonung                LP        Koch, Hon. David                     Western              LP
Baxter, Hon. William Robert         North Eastern         NP         Lenders, Mr John                     Waverley            ALP
Bishop, Hon. Barry Wilfred          North Western         NP         Lovell, Hon. Wendy Ann               North Eastern        LP
Bowden, Hon. Ronald Henry           South Eastern          LP        McQuilten, Hon. John Martin          Ballarat            ALP
Brideson, Hon. Andrew Ronald        Waverley               LP        Madden, Hon. Justin Mark             Doutta Galla        ALP
Broad, Ms Candy Celeste             Melbourne North       ALP        Mikakos, Ms Jenny                    Jika Jika           ALP
Buckingham, Hon. Helen Elizabeth    Koonung               ALP        Mitchell, Hon. Robert George         Central Highlands   ALP
Carbines, Mrs Elaine Cafferty       Geelong               ALP        Nguyen, Hon. Sang Minh               Melbourne West      ALP
Coote, Hon. Andrea                  Monash                LP         Olexander, Hon. Andrew Phillip       Silvan              LP
Dalla-Riva, Hon. Richard            East Yarra             LP        Pullen, Mr Noel Francis              Higinbotham         ALP
Darveniza, Hon. Kaye                Melbourne West        ALP        Rich-Phillips, Hon. Gordon Kenneth   Eumemmerring         LP
Davis, Hon. David McLean            East Yarra             LP        Romanes, Ms Glenyys Dorothy          Melbourne           ALP
Davis, Hon. Philip Rivers           Gippsland              LP        Scheffer, Mr Johan Emiel             Monash              ALP
Drum, Hon. Damian Kevin             North Western         NP         Smith, Mr Robert Frederick           Chelsea             ALP
Eren, Hon. John Hamdi               Geelong               ALP        Somyurek, Mr Adem                    Eumemmerring        ALP
Forwood, Hon. Bill                  Templestowe            LP        Stoney, Hon. Eadley Graeme           Central Highlands    LP
Gould, Hon. Monica Mary             Doutta Galla          ALP        Strong, Hon. Christopher Arthur      Higinbotham          LP
Hadden, Ms Dianne Gladys            Ballarat              ALP        Theophanous, Hon. Theo Charles       Jika Jika           ALP
Hall, Hon. Peter Ronald             Gippsland             NP         Thomson, Hon. Marsha Rose            Melbourne North     ALP
Hilton, Hon. John Geoffrey          Western Port          ALP        Viney, Mr Matthew Shaw               Chelsea             ALP
Hirsh, Hon. Carolyn Dorothy         Silvan                ALP        Vogels, Hon. John Adrian             Western              LP
                                                                          CONTENTS


WEDNESDAY, 31 MARCH 2004                                                                     DRUGS AND CRIME PREVENTION COMMITTEE
                                                                                                Fraud and electronic commerce................................... 39
 MADRID: TERRORIST ATTACK.......................................27                           ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
 ROYAL ASSENT ................................................................28               COMMITTEE
                                                                                                Impact and trends in soil acidity .................................. 39
 WRONGS (REMARRIAGE DISCOUNT) BILL
                                                                                             PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND ESTIMATES COMMITTEE
    Introduction and first reading.......................................29
                                                                                                Budget estimates and outcomes.................................... 39
 PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS (AMENDMENT) BILL
                                                                                             PAPERS.............................................................................. 40
    Introduction and first reading.......................................29
    Second reading..............................................................67           RIGHT OF REPLY
 NURSES (AMENDMENT) BILL                                                                        City of Boroondara ....................................................... 43
    Introduction and first reading.......................................29                  MEMBERS STATEMENTS
    Second reading........................................................70, 76                Boroondara: performance............................................ 45
    Committee......................................................................85           Ballarat–Skipton rail trail ............................................ 45
    Third reading.................................................................88            Corres Schubert ............................................................ 45
    Remaining stages ..........................................................88               Ian Thorpe..................................................................... 45
 UNCLAIMED MONEYS (AMENDMENT) BILL                                                              Seniors Festival: free travel.......................................... 45
    Introduction and first reading.......................................29                     Women: local government............................................ 46
                                                                                                Prisons: capacity .......................................................... 46
 GAS INDUSTRY (RESIDUAL PROVISIONS)
   (AMENDMENT) BILL                                                                             Eumemmerring Province: industrial land ................... 46
                                                                                                Shop trading hours: Easter Sunday.............................. 47
    Introduction and first reading.......................................29
                                                                                                Point Cook: Royal Australian Air Force
    Second reading..............................................................68
                                                                                                   anniversary ............................................................... 47
 QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
                                                                                                Korean War commemorative quilt............................... 47
    Consumer affairs: off-the-plan contracts .....................29                            Avalon Airport: Jetstar ................................................. 47
    Consumer and tenancy services: delivery ....................30                              Professor John Funder ................................................. 48
    Liquor: licensing cap ....................................................31                Iraq: conflict.................................................................. 48
    Libraries: funding .........................................................32              Real estate agents: government action......................... 48
    Electricity: network tariff rebate...................................33
                                                                                             JOINT SITTING OF PARLIAMENT
    Information and communications technology:
                                                                                                Senate vacancy.................................................. 49, 76, 97
       Business Objects .......................................................34
    Real estate agents: guarantee fund...............................34                      BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Victorian                                              Sessional orders............................................................ 49
       sport ..........................................................................36       Adjournment.................................................................. 88
    Somerville secondary college: Aboriginal relics .........36                              ADJOURNMENT
    Aged care: funding........................................................37                Whitehorse: councillors................................................ 88
                                                                                                Local government: neighbourhood renewal................ 89
                 Supplementary questions
                                                                                                Shop trading hours: Easter Sunday.............................. 89
    Consumer affairs: off-the-plan contracts .....................30
                                                                                                Step into Voluntary Work program: promotion........... 90
    Liquor: licensing cap ....................................................31
                                                                                                Consumer and tenancy services: delivery.................... 91
    Electricity: network tariff rebate...................................33
                                                                                                Pap smear tests: Geelong............................................. 91
    Real estate agents: guarantee fund...............................35
                                                                                                Fishing: trout ................................................................ 91
    Somerville secondary college: Aboriginal relics .........36
                                                                                                Point Nepean: future..................................................... 92
 QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
                                                                                                Western Port Highway, Lyndhurst: traffic
    Answers .........................................................................37            control....................................................................... 92
 CORRECTION OF BILLS ...................................................38                      Mitcham–Frankston freeway: tolls: ............................. 93
 PETITIONS                                                                                      Agriculture: genetically modified crops....................... 93
    Taxis: multipurpose program .......................................38                       Local government: strip shopping centres................... 94
    Disability services: Grampians ....................................38                       Hospitals: rural and regional....................................... 94
    Hazardous waste: Tiega ...............................................38                    Bairnsdale Regional Health Service: funding.............. 95
 GARDINER FOUNDATION                                                                            Responses...................................................................... 95
    Annual report ................................................................38
 LAW REFORM COMMITTEE                                                                       QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
    Forensic sampling and DNA databases in
      criminal investigations..............................................38               WEDNESDAY, 31 MARCH 2004
 SCRUTINY OF ACTS AND REGULATIONS
   COMMITTEE                                                                                   167.          Treasurer: Spencer Street station
    Alert Digest No. 1..........................................................39                              project........................................................ 99
    Alert Digest No. 2..........................................................39
                                                                CONTENTS


 168.   Treasurer: Spencer Street station                                        1075.   Commonwealth Games: Shannon’s
           project ........................................................99               Way Pty Ltd — contracts ........................ 114
 365.   Police and emergency services:                                           1076.   Education and training: Shannon’s
           electorate office opening .........................100                           Way Pty Ltd — contracts ........................ 115
 367.   Treasurer: electorate office opening............100                      1078.   Employment and youth affairs:
 369.   Attorney-General: electorate office                                                 Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts ...... 115
           opening.....................................................100       1086.   Information and communication
 569.   Corrections: prisoner supervision and                                               technology: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd
           support budget .........................................101                      — contracts.............................................. 115
 614.   Corrections: budget — prison facilities .......101                       1094.   Police and emergency services:
 878.   Corrections: prisoners — training and                                               Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts ...... 116
           education review......................................102             1097.   Resources: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd —
 895.   Environment: Albert Park — rent                                                     contracts .................................................. 116
           increases for sporting clubs.....................102                  1099.   Sport and recreation: Shannon’s Way
 920.   Treasurer: overseas ministerial visits ..........103                                Pty Ltd — contracts................................. 116
 924.   Industrial relations: overseas                                           1103.   Treasurer: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd —
           ministerial visits.......................................103                     contracts .................................................. 117
 926.   Environment: overseas ministerial                                        1104.   Victorian communities: Shannon’s Way
           visits..........................................................104              Pty Ltd — contracts................................. 117
 928.   Sport and recreation: overseas                                           1110.   Agriculture: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd —
           ministerial visits.......................................104                     contracts .................................................. 117
 929.   Attorney-General: overseas ministerial                                   1112.   Attorney-General: Shannon’s Way Pty
           visits..........................................................105              Ltd — contracts ....................................... 118
 935.   Police and emergency services:                                           1116.   Commonwealth Games: Shannon’s
           overseas ministerial visits........................105                           Way Pty Ltd — contracts ........................ 118
 938.   Attorney-General: law courts —                                           1117.   Education and training: Shannon’s
           awarding of costs.....................................106                        Way Pty Ltd — contracts ........................ 119
 939.   Attorney-General: law courts —                                           1118.   Education services: Shannon’s Way
           awarding of costs.....................................106                        Pty Ltd — contracts................................. 119
 944.   Environment: fire access tracks —                                        1119.   Employment and youth affairs:
           maintenance.............................................107                      Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts ...... 119
 945.   Environment: fire access tracks —                                        1121.   Environment: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd
           maintenance.............................................107                      — contracts.............................................. 120
 968.   Corrections: prisons — education                                         1127.   Information and communication
           budget.......................................................108                 technology: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd
1008.   Environment: Our Forests, Our Future                                                — contracts.............................................. 120
           industry transition program ....................108                   1138.   Resources: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd —
1009.   Environment: Our Forests, Our Future                                                contracts .................................................. 121
           industry transition program ....................109                   1140.   Sport and recreation: Shannon’s Way
1010.   Environment: Our Forests, Our Future                                                Pty Ltd — contracts................................. 121
           industry transition program ....................109                   1144.   Treasurer: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd —
1028.   Treasurer: information technology                                                   contracts .................................................. 122
           upgrades...................................................110        1145.   Victorian communities: Shannon’s Way
1043.   Agriculture: fisheries — wild carp...............110                                Pty Ltd — contracts................................. 122
1048.   Agriculture: genetically modified                                        1146.   Water: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd —
           technologies .............................................111                    contracts .................................................. 122
1051.   Corrections: Beechworth prison ..................111                     1153.   Housing: state home loans ........................... 123
1052.   Corrections: Beechworth prison ..................111                     1157.   Housing: Bendigo — transitional
1053.   Corrections: assaults on prison officers ......112                                  housing..................................................... 124
1057.   Agriculture: genetically modified —                                      1158.   Housing: estates — Elizabeth Street,
           canola.......................................................112                 Richmond................................................. 124
1058.   Agriculture: animal and plant officers.........112                       1159.   Housing: estates — Victory Boulevard,
1066.   Corrections: prisons — indigenous                                                   Ashburton ................................................ 125
           adults........................................................113     1160.   Housing: estates — Kensington Estate,
1071.   Attorney-General: Shannon’s Way Pty                                                 Kensington............................................... 126
           Ltd — contracts........................................114            1161.   Housing: estates — Long Gully,
1074.   Corrections: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd —                                                Bendigo.................................................... 126
           contracts...................................................114       1162.   Housing: estates — Maidstone-
                                                                                            Braybrook................................................ 127
                                                               CONTENTS


1163.   Housing: estates — Mark-Rundle,                                         1209.   Resources: environmental review
           Wodonga..................................................128                    committees............................................... 143
1164.   Housing: estates — Parkside,                                            1210.   Resources: environmental review
           Shepparton...............................................129                    committees............................................... 143
1165.   Housing: estates — Peace Court,                                         1211.   Resources: resources for community
           Doveton....................................................130                  groups...................................................... 144
1166.   Housing: Office of Housing — sales............130                       1212.   Resources: community groups —
1167.   Housing: estates — Raglan Ingles, Port                                             assistance................................................. 144
           Melbourne................................................131         1213.   Resources: mining and resource
1168.   Housing: estates — Rathdowne Street,                                               companies — programs .......................... 144
           Carlton.....................................................132      1214.   Resources: planned investment.................... 145
1169.   Housing: estates — Thomson, Geelong                                     1215.   Resources: planned investment.................... 145
           East ..........................................................133   1216.   Resources: planned investment.................... 145
1170.   Housing: estates — Raleigh Street,                                      1217.   Resources: mineral sands industry .............. 146
           Windsor....................................................134       1218.   Resources: mineral sands industry .............. 146
1171.   Housing: Wendouree West                                                 1219.   Resources: mineral sands industry .............. 146
           neighbourhood renewal project..............134                       1220.   Resources: mineral sands industry .............. 147
1172.   Housing: Wendouree West                                                 1221.   Resources: portfolio revenue ....................... 147
           neighbourhood renewal project..............135                       1222.   Resources: portfolio revenue ....................... 147
1173.   Housing: Wendouree West                                                 1223.   Resources: primary industries —
           neighbourhood renewal project..............135                                  royalties ................................................... 148
1174.   Housing: WendoureeWest                                                  1224.   Resources: lease revenue ............................. 148
           neighbourhood renewal project..............135                       1225.   Resources: revenue — fees and
1175.   Housing: WendoureeWest                                                             infringement notices................................ 148
           neighbourhood renewal project..............136                       1226.   Resources: Pipelines Act — review ............. 148
1177.   Corrections: prisons — cleaning .................136                    1227.   Resources: fees and charges —
1178.   Corrections: prisons — risk assessment ......136                                   indexation ................................................ 149
1179.   Corrections: prisons — recidivism ..............137                     1228.   Resources: Victorian Initiative Mineral
1180.   Corrections: Barwon prison —                                                       and Petroleum — datasets ...................... 149
           Grevillea unit...........................................137         1229.   Resources: Latrobe aquifer.......................... 149
1181.   Corrections: funding.....................................138            1230.   Resources: Bendigo mining — water
1182.   Corrections: correctional services                                                 savings ..................................................... 150
           employment pilot program ......................139                   1231.   Resources: mining industry — water
1183.   Commonwealth Games: village —                                                      savings ..................................................... 150
           aged care facility .....................................139          1232.   Resources: mining industry — water
1184.   Commonwealth Games: village —                                                      savings ..................................................... 151
           aged care facility .....................................139          1233.   Resources: mining licences.......................... 151
1185.   Commonwealth Games: village —                                           1234.   Police and emergency services:
           aged care facility .....................................140                     national handgun buyback scheme......... 152
1186.   Commonwealth Games: village —                                           1235.   Major projects: proposed hazardous
           aged care facility .....................................140                     waste sites................................................ 152
1187.   Commonwealth Games: village —                                           1236.   Police and emergency services:
           aged care facility .....................................140                     national handgun buyback scheme......... 153
1188.   Commonwealth Games: village —                                           1237.   Tourism: Australian Tourist
           aged care facility .....................................140                     Commission — funding........................... 154
1189.   Commonwealth Games: village —                                           1238.   Tourism: regional tourism development
           aged care facility .....................................141                     plans......................................................... 154
1203.   Corrections: long-term strategy...................141                   1240.   Corrections: prison design capacity............ 155
1204.   Resources: mining industry —                                            1241.   Transport: Deakin University — rail
           employees in regional Victoria ...............141                               platform ................................................... 155
1205.   Resources: extractive industries —                                      1242.   Resources: Crown of Thorns
           employees in regional Victoria ...............142                               collapse — Port Campbell-
1206.   Resources: petroleum industry —                                                    Peterborough........................................... 156
           employees in regional Victoria ...............142                    1243.   Environment: Melbourne zoo — entry
1207.   Resources: sustainability unit —                                                   fees and concessions ............................... 156
           employees.................................................142        1244.   Environment: Healesville Sanctuary —
1208.   Resources: environmental review                                                    entry fees and concessions ...................... 157
           committees ...............................................142        1245.   Environment: Werribee Open Range
                                                                                           Zoo — entry fees and concessions.......... 157
                                                             CONTENTS


1246.   Tourism: brand health survey —                                        1322.   Corrections: prisoners —
           research....................................................157               compassionate leave................................ 174
1248.   Consumer Affairs: ministerial staff ..............158                 1325.   Corrections: prisoners —
1275.   Gaming: ministerial staff..............................158                       compassionate leave................................ 174
1276.   Racing: ministerial staff................................158          1326.   Corrections: prisoners —
1288.   Corrections: Public Correctional                                                 compassionate leave................................ 175
           Enterprise — tobacco smoke...................159                   1327.   Corrections: prisoners —
1290.   Corrections: Public Correctional                                                 compassionate leave................................ 175
           Enterprise — tobacco smoke...................159                   1328.   Corrections: building design review
1291.   Health: Public Correctional                                                      project...................................................... 176
           Enterprise — healthy lifestyle grant........160                    1329.   Water: Lake Eildon and Lake
1292.   Corrections: prisoners —                                                         Eppalock — consumption ....................... 176
           compassionate leave................................160             1330.   Water: Lake Eildon and Lake
1293.   Corrections: prisoners —                                                         Eppalock — consumption ....................... 177
           compassionate leave................................161             1331.   Water: Lake Eildon and Lake
1294.   Corrections: prisoners —                                                         Eppalock — consumption ...................... 177
           compassionate leave................................161             1332.   Water: retail tenancies — commercial
1295.   Corrections: prisoners —                                                         releases .................................................... 178
           compassionate leave................................162             1335.   Health: Victorian public service —
1296.   Corrections: private prisons contract                                            secondments............................................. 178
           review notice............................................162       1337.   Health: consultancies................................... 179
1297.   Corrections: private prisons contract                                 1338.   Health: public hospitals — staff................... 180
           review notice............................................163       1340.   Health: public relations unit ........................ 180
1298.   Tourism: regional tourism destination                                 1341.   Health: budget adjustments.......................... 180
           web sites...................................................163    1342.   Health: superannuation — unfunded
1299.   Tourism: regional tourism destination                                            liabilities .................................................. 181
           web sites...................................................164    1343.   Corrections: prisoners —
1300.   Tourism: regional tourism destination                                            compassionate leave................................ 181
           web sites...................................................164    1344.   Corrections: prisoners —
1305.   Corrections: private prisons contract                                            compassionate leave................................ 182
           review notice............................................164       1345.   Corrections: prisoners —
1306.   Corrections: private prisons contract                                            compassionate leave................................ 182
           review notice............................................165       1346.   Corrections: prisoners —
1307.   Corrections: prisoners —                                                         compassionate leave................................ 183
           compassionate leave................................165             1347.   Corrections: prisoners — transport............. 183
1308.   Corrections: private prisons contract                                 1349.   Attorney-General: home detention
           review notice............................................166                  program ................................................... 184
1309.   Police and emergency services:                                        1352.   Corrections: custodial community
           proposed Tarnagulla police station ........166                                permit programs...................................... 185
1310.   Environment: duck hunting ..........................167               1353.   Corrections: Ararat prison —
1311.   Corrections: prisoners —                                                         education programs ................................ 185
           compassionate leave................................167             1354.   Corrections: Barwon prison —
1312.   Corrections: private prisons contract                                            education programs ................................ 185
           review notice............................................168       1355.   Corrections: Beechworth prison —
1313.   Attorney-General: chief justice                                                  education programs ................................ 186
           appointment .............................................168       1356.   Corrections: Bendigo prison —
1315.   Treasurer: revenue .......................................169                    education programs ................................ 186
1316.   Housing: property at 299 Humffray                                     1357.   Corrections: Dhurringile prison —
           Street, Ballarat.........................................169                  education programs ................................ 187
1317.   Housing: facility at 3 Amaranth                                       1358.   Corrections: Langi Kal Kal prison —
           Avenue, Altona North ..............................170                        education programs ................................ 187
1318.   Housing: facility at 1069 High Street,                                1359.   Corrections: Loddon prison —
           Reservoir..................................................171                education programs ................................ 187
1319.   Housing: facility at 134 Princes                                      1360.   Corrections: Melbourne Assessment
           Highway, Dandenong..............................171                           Prison — education programs................ 188
1320.   Housing: facility at 11 Station Road,                                 1361.   Corrections: Tarrengower prison —
           Deer Park.................................................172                 education programs ................................ 188
1321.   Housing: facility at 86 East Road,                                    1362.   Corrections: Won Wron prison —
           Seaford .....................................................173              education programs ................................ 189
                                                       CONTENTS


1363.   Corrections: Fulham Correctional
          Centre — education programs................189
1364.   Corrections: Dame Phyllis Frost
          Centre — education programs................190
1365.   Corrections: Port Phillip prison —
          education programs.................................190
1366.   Corrections: Ararat prison —
          assessment processes...............................190
1367.   Corrections: Barwon prison —
          assessment processes...............................191
1368.   Corrections: Beechworth prison —
          assessment processes...............................191
1369.   Corrections: Bendigo prison —
          assessment processes...............................192
1370.   Corrections: Dhurringile prison —
          assessment processes...............................192
1371.   Corrections: Langi Kal Kal prison —
          assessment processes...............................192
1372.   Corrections: Loddon prison —
          assessment processes...............................193
1373.   Corrections: Melbourne Assessment
          Prison — assessment processes ..............193
1374.   Corrections: Tarrengower prison —
          assessment processes...............................194
1375.   Corrections: Won Wron prison —
          assessment processes...............................194
1376.   Corrections: Fulham Correctional
          Centre — assessment processes..............194
1377.   Corrections: Dame Phyllis Frost
          Centre — assessment processes..............195
1378.   Corrections: Port Phillip prison —
          assessment processes...............................195
1393.   Employment and youth affairs:
          unemployed — prison system..................196
1394.   Aboriginal affairs: prison system.................196
1395.   Corrections: prisoner escapes......................196
1396.   Corrections: prisoner escapes......................197
1397.   Corrections: prisoner escapes......................197
1398.   Corrections: prisoner escapes......................197
1399.   Corrections: prisoner escapes......................198
1400.   Corrections: prisoner escapes......................198
1401.   Corrections: prisoner escapes......................199
1405.   Corrections: prisoners — drug use..............199
1406.   Corrections: design prisoner capacity.........200
1407.   Corrections: Office of the Correctional
          Services Commissioner — staff...............200
1408.   Corrections: Public Correctional
          Enterprise — staff....................................201
1409.   Corrections: prisoners — drug use..............201
                                                  MADRID: TERRORIST ATTACK

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                           COUNCIL                                                    27


           Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                    which fits into a context of matters that we now have
                                                                       regretfully considered in this place over the last couple
The PRESIDENT (Hon. M. M. Gould) took the                              of years. First of all the New York World Trade Centre
chair at 2.03 p.m. and read the prayer.                                terrorism action, now generally referred to as
                                                                       September 11, and then more directly and closer to
                                                                       home in Australia was Bali, where so many Australians
       MADRID: TERRORIST ATTACK                                        were victims of a terrorist act. Now Madrid will be
                                                                       infamously linked with those two profound events
   Mr LENDERS (Minister for Finance) — By leave,                       which have changed our notion of our security and
I move:                                                                changed the whole nature of global security.
  That the Council agree to the following resolution:
                                                                       What happened in Madrid was synchronised terrorism.
  We, the Legislative Council of Victoria, offer our deepest and       Four commuter trains were attacked; 10 bombs and
  sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the            3 train stations were involved; 200 people were killed;
  Spanish terrorist bombings and the survivors of this brutal
  atrocity and join the people of Victoria in expressing shock
                                                                       and it is with profound sadness that I note that
  and outrage at this senseless waste of life.                         1500 people were injured. We must be mindful of the
                                                                       impact that this has had on the families of all of the
The people of Spain have gone through an unbelievable                  dead and injured: not just the sense of loss but the
trauma, and very sadly it follows the traumas on                       change in the entire focus of their lives. The
11 September 2001 in the United States and the                         premeditated nature of those incidents must be noted.
bombing in Bali. On behalf of the government and the                   There were three explosions at 7.39 a.m.; four at
people of Victoria I express our deepest sympathies to                 7.44 a.m.; another backpack bomb exploded at
the people of Spain in the wake of this terrorist rail                 7.49 a.m.; and there were two further explosions at
bombing that claimed around 200 innocent lives in                      7.54 a.m. Three further booby-trapped backpacks were
Madrid. It was senseless carnage that has shattered                    detonated by security forces 2 hours later.
lives. Innocent people were the targets of terrorist
perpetrators, and once again the world shakes its head                 Clearly there was such premeditation to wreak absolute
in utter disbelief.                                                    havoc on commuter traffic in Madrid at peak hour. In
                                                                       his essay On War Carl von Clausewitz makes it quite
Victorians condemn in the strongest possible terms the                 clear that wars are fought for a purpose which is
perpetrators of this inhumane crime. Terrorist attacks                 political, and acts of terrorism are acts of war. As a
can never, never be justified under any circumstances,                 community, as a nation and as a state, we and all
and on behalf of the Victorian government and all                      democratic governments must take a measured
members of this house I also extend our deepest                        response to ensure consistency in the way we deal with
condolences to the victims’ families and friends and to                these events, and while we must grieve for the dead and
the whole Spanish people. Our thoughts and prayers are                 injured and their families, we must also be mindful of
with them at this sad time.                                            the effects this will increasingly have on changing the
                                                                       nature of our society and not give way at all to the
We are also moved by the show of support by the                        intimidation these actions seek to inspire in free and
millions of Spanish people who took to the streets to                  democratic communities.
demonstrate their outrage and to affirm their solidarity
with one another. No-one is immune from terrorism,                     I grieve and I grieve on behalf of members of the
and this was a horrific reminder to us all, with the                   opposition for those people who were intimidated as
attacks in Madrid, Bali, New York and Washington.                      well as those who were injured, but what we should
We must do everything we can to be prepared. We                        take heart from is the outpouring of anger, rage and
must continue to oppose terrorism, prejudice and                       public sentiment which was displayed in the vision we
extremism wherever they exist, but we must also ensure                 saw on television of the millions of Spanish people who
we do not let events like the Madrid bombings change                   demonstrated support for the families of the deceased,
the things we hold dear: our freedom, our values and                   support for the injured and support for their way of life,
the importance of our diverse and multicultural                        and I applaud that public demonstration. Therefore, it is
community. I commend the motion to the house.                          with real commitment that I support the Leader of the
                                                                       Government’s motion before the house to express our
   Hon. PHILIP DAVIS (Gippsland) — At the                              condolences to the victims of the Spanish terrorist
beginning of this session I again rise with sadness to                 bombings.
contribute to another motion expressing condolence, in
this case for an enormous tragedy of great proportion
                                                  ROYAL ASSENT

28                                                   COUNCIL                                Wednesday, 31 March 2004


   Hon. P. R. HALL (Gippsland) — The Nationals             him condolences to the families and our outrage at what
readily join the government and the opposition in          had occurred. I took the opportunity to talk to him
support of this motion. Of course we were appalled at      about counter-terrorism measures that we are putting in
the recent events in Madrid, which resulted in the loss    place in Victoria in relation to our energy industry, and
of some 200 lives and many more people being injured.      I offered any assistance that they needed or required,
Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones and         including the sorts of measures we have put in place
those who were injured in this senseless, barbaric act.    such as the annual exercises that take place in relation
Equally we condemn those involved in many other            to major infrastructure.
senseless acts of terrorism that are occurring on a
much-too-frequent basis around the world.                  Walking around Madrid you could clearly see the
                                                           sadness. It was not just when you walked, as I did, past
But you have to wonder why. To some extent these acts      the library of Madrid and saw in various locations
are designed to focus attention on the terrorist groups    bunches of flowers with photographs of people who
themselves. I do not wish to focus attention on these      had been killed, which continued to be maintained by
groups, and I do not think that is the wish of any of us   their loved ones. It was very sad to see that, but you
in this chamber. So Parliament needs to consider a         could also see the sadness of the people of Madrid
balance between noting our great respect for the victims   themselves — they could not believe this had taken
of terrorist activities versus giving undue attention to   place.
terrorist groups themselves. That is something we
should consider in due course, but today is about          Let me say one thing about this act and other acts such
extending our heartfelt thoughts to the people of Spain    as the Bali attack and the attacks in the United States.
who suffered from this terrible event. In doing so, The    The Leader of the Opposition said that acts of terrorism
Nationals readily add support to this motion.              were acts of war. I am not sure that I agree with that. I
                                                           do not think they are acts of war; I think acts of
   Hon. T. C. THEOPHANOUS (Minister for Energy             terrorism are simply attacks on innocent lives. They
Industries) — I want to associate myself with this         might have a political motive, but we have traditionally
motion for a number of reasons. First of all I wish to     thought of war as something that is between two armies
express my outrage as an individual at what took place     that have been trained to fight each other. This kind of
in Spain. Secondly, at the time that this was occurring    war — if you want to call it a war — is really a war on
in the afternoon of 11 March I had in my office the        innocent people, and in that sense I am not sure I would
Consul General of Spain, Mr Federico Palomera Guez.        give it the status of calling it a war. However, these
We were discussing my upcoming trip to Madrid to           certainly are outrageous attacks on innocent lives. We
have discussions about wind energy with one of the big     should all condemn this outrage and all other outrages
wind energy companies there. We were talking and           of this type, which seem to be what is occurring in the
joking, and so on. Given the time difference between       modern era.
Spain and Australia, I worked out that it was within a
matter of hours from our conversation that this atrocity   Motion agreed to in silence, honourable members
occurred in Madrid.                                        showing unanimous agreement by standing in their
                                                           places.
I know that the Spanish-speaking community in
Victoria was devastated. The consul general was one of
many who shed many tears for the people of Spain and                        ROYAL ASSENT
all those who had been affected. Almost 200 people lost
their lives in the atrocity that involved 10 bombs on      Message read advising royal assent to:
4 trains at 3 railway stations. They were deliberately,    9 December
ruthlessly applied and executed to cause the maximum
possible carnage. Over 1876 people have been treated           Animals Legislation (Animal Welfare) Act
as a result of these bombings.                                 Crimes (Money Laundering) Act
I want to offer my deep condolences to those who have          Crimes (Stalking) Act
been directly affected and express my outrage — along          Fair Trading (Further Amendment) Act
with all members of the Labor Party — at the attack on         Firearms (Amendment) Act
innocent lives. I had the opportunity when I was in            Fisheries (Further Amendment) Act
Spain to speak to the Spanish secretary of state for           Local Government (Democratic Reform) Act
energy, Mr Jose Folgado, about what had taken place.           Parliamentary Committees Act
On behalf of the Victorian government, I expressed to          Road Safety (Drug Driving) Act
                                    WRONGS (REMARRIAGE DISCOUNT) BILL

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                        COUNCIL                                                       29


  Shop Trading Reform (Simplification) Act           Read first time on motion of
  State Taxation Acts (Further Miscellaneous         Hon. T. C. THEOPHANOUS (Minister for Energy
   Amendments) Act                                   Industries).

16 December
                                                            QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
  Gambling Regulation Act.
                                                          Consumer affairs: off-the-plan contracts
   WRONGS (REMARRIAGE DISCOUNT)
              BILL                                      Hon. PHILIP DAVIS (Gippsland) — I direct my
                                                     question to the Minister for Consumer Affairs. I refer
             Introduction and first reading          the minister to the announcement by the then Acting
                                                     Premier, John Thwaites, on Tuesday, 16 March, that the
Received from Assembly.                              government would move to introduce legislation
                                                     retrospectively validating contracts between developers
Read first time on motion of Hon. J. M. MADDEN       and consumers of off-the-plan, multi-unit
(Minister for Sport and Recreation)                  developments. The then Acting Premier announced
                                                     these legislative changes, despite the fact that legal
                                                     action had commenced between consumers and
PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS (AMENDMENT)                      property developers. Will the minister advise the house
              BILL                                   when the property developers or parties representing
                                                     them contacted the government to request retrospective
             Introduction and first reading
                                                     changes to the existing legislation?
Received from Assembly.
                                                         Mr LENDERS (Minister for Consumer Affairs) —
Read first time on motion of Hon. J. M. MADDEN       I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question on
(Minister for Sport and Recreation).                 what is a critical issue for much of Victoria, particularly
                                                     the inner city municipalities of Melbourne and Port
                                                     Phillip, where the largest number of off-the-plan
        NURSES (AMENDMENT) BILL                      developments are in place.

             Introduction and first reading          As the house would be aware, for a number of years we
                                                     have had off-the-plan contracts being signed. There is a
Received from Assembly.                              bit of an interface here between the Sale of Land Act,
                                                     which requires a 10 per cent deposit for a purchase, and
Read first time on motion of Mr GAVIN                the Domestic Building Contracts Act, which some
JENNINGS (Minister for Aged Care).                   people have looked at and which requires a 5 per cent
                                                     deposit.
  UNCLAIMED MONEYS (AMENDMENT)                       What has happened is that industry has operated with
              BILL                                   these contracts, to my knowledge without exception
                                                     where a 10 per cent contract has been required. Industry
             Introduction and first reading          has partially relied on correspondence from the office
Received from Assembly.                              of the Honourable Jan Wade when she was the Minister
                                                     for Fair Trading advising that the intent of the
Read first time on motion of Mr LENDERS              government was that the 10 per cent deposit, not the
(Minister for Finance).                              5 per cent, would apply.

                                                     We have seen a large number of units being developed
GAS INDUSTRY (RESIDUAL PROVISIONS)                   in Melbourne, and we need to paint a picture of how
        (AMENDMENT) BILL                             this actually works. When a person is purchasing a unit
                                                     in a high-rise development, they purchase, if it is on one
             Introduction and first reading          of a higher floors, a space that is a way above the
                                                     ground. For it to have any effect requires multiple
Received from Assembly.                              relationships to be in place, and they are put in place by
                                                     contract.
                                           QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

30                                                    COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


If you are in a tower where there are 500 units, for you    member in this place who wishes to go through the
to succeed and have your consumer rights exercised —        implied conditions and warranties in the Sale of Land
that is, your purchase go ahead — you require               Act and Domestic Building Contract Act, to show me
everybody who has signed contracts to honour their          where any of the implied conditions and warranties are
contracts. One of the challenges for government is          different. I would welcome that debate. Secondly, the
when suddenly a number of cases start coming forward        Domestic Building Contract Act refers to a 5 per cent
with people saying, ‘We want to declare our contracts       deposit and from the point of view of a consumer, if the
void, because some time ago’ — in some cases perhaps        full Domestic Building Contract Act were applied it
two years ago — ‘we signed willingly with open eyes         would mean hypothetically that people in this case who
contracts saying that there is a 10 per cent deposit, and   have $900 000 apartments and paid $90 000 deposits
solely on the grounds that another act of Parliament        with no progress payments, would have been required
potentially says a contract has a stated maximum of         to pay upwards of $800 000 towards their investment
5 per cent our contract should be voided and we should      rather than $90 000. We have an act designed to deal
walk away from them saying to the hundreds of other         with sales and another act designed to deal with
consumers in that tower that their contracts on the basis   buildings. We have acted to bring certainty into place,
of actions by us are at risk’.                              which is what you would expect from governments.

The legislation that the Acting Premier announced and           Consumer and tenancy services: delivery
which I will introduce into this place — and I will be
very specific with my words for the benefit of the             Mr PULLEN (Higinbotham) — I refer my question
Leader of the Opposition — will add certainty to the        to the Minister for Consumer Affairs. Can the minister
existing practice of thousands of contracts over almost     advise the house if consumers are going to get an
the last decade to give certainty. We may banter about      improved service in the north-east and eastern regions
whether that amounts to retrospectivity or adds             when the contracts for the local consumer agencies
certainty — and I am sure we will have a debate about       end?
that — but to my knowledge, and I am happy to stand
corrected, there has not been a single contract with            Mr LENDERS (Minister for Consumer Affairs) —
these high-rise apartments that has been anything other     I thank Mr Pullen for his question and his ongoing
than 10 per cent. The government has added certainty.       interest in dealing with the needs of consumers,
                                                            particularly in changing times when needs are
Part of Mr Davis’s question was to ask when I knew          changing. This government has a quest to assist
and how I was approached. I personally was not              vulnerable consumers in the best way it can. The
approached. We saw the article on, I think, the             specific part of the question was: when the contracts for
Thursday in the Melbourne Age about the Mirvac case.        local agencies in the north-east and east expire, how
Clearly there was an enormous amount of media               will this go? I want to paint a picture for the house of
speculation, and I am sure others in government may         how we can best deal with and serve consumers and
have been contacted by a number of interested parties,      also paint a picture of history and where things have
but when I came back from a meeting in Sydney I             gone.
started acting upon it. We listened, we acted, and made
the announcement to add certainty to this important         I preface it by saying that the first act of the Kennett
industry.                                                   government was to slash this program by 25 per cent
                                                            and to close regional consumer offices, so I put that into
                Supplementary question                      context. This government has been dealing with a range
                                                            of areas in consumers affairs. First and foremost, every
   Hon. PHILIP DAVIS (Gippsland) —                          single year we have been in government we have
Notwithstanding the latter part of the minister’s           increased funding for the consumer community
response, I ask further: is it not a fact that the          program. Under my colleagues Minister Thomson and
government had no plans to retrospectively eliminate        Minister Campbell, every single year since we have
important consumer protections, which have existed in       been in government, we have increased funding.
Victoria since 1995, until the government was heavily
lobbied by various property developers and their agents     Secondly, my colleague Mr Scheffer has been working
prior to the Acting Premier’s announcement?                 with me to look at whether we can find a better way
                                                            forward to deal with vulnerable consumers. As I have
   Mr LENDERS (Minister for Consumer Affairs) —             said to this house before, 80 per cent of consumer calls
First, one thing in response about consumer rights: I       are done by phone, so we are enhancing and improving
invite the Leader of the Opposition, and any other          that service — and that is a separate part. But we have
                                           QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                             COUNCIL                                                      31


identified that the remaining 20 per cent requires         Young for the Packaged Liquor Industry Development
face-to-face service.                                      Trust Fund and to the alarming findings in that report
                                                           that up to 50 per cent of independent liquor stores could
The government has also identified that many               be out of business by 2006, most at a significant loss on
vulnerable consumers are not getting access to the         their investment, and that Coles Myer and Woolworths
existing community programs that are based on bricks       will virtually double their current market share to 70 per
and mortar locations. The best way to service a            cent.
consumer is not necessarily to have an office in a fixed
place, and that is something we have been looking to       Will the minister concede to the house that her
improve. As has been announced, in north-east Victoria     legislation to remove the cap on liquor licences has had
in Wangaratta, which is in the centre of the region, we    and will continue to have disastrous consequences for
will have a consumer office. From that region we will      the small business sector and that strategies to address
have people going forth in mobile units to — —             the impact of deregulation will not prevent the
                                                           decimation of independent retailers?
  Hon. W. A. Lovell interjected.
                                                              Hon. M. R. THOMSON (Minister for Small
   Mr LENDERS — Ms Lovell interjects, and I                Business) — I do not concede that the changes made to
understand her defending her home town of                  liquor licensing will decimate the sector. In fact we
Shepparton, but I hope she reaches out to places like      have seen a 10 per cent increase in packaged liquor
Cobram, which does not get access to this service and      licences in the last two years, and most of that has been
which is 12 per cent Arabic speaking. I hope she would     by small retailers.
talk of towns like Rutherglen, Beechworth and others.
Rural communities are saying to this government that       If the member were to read the report, and I understand
decentralisation is more than Ballarat, Bendigo, the       he attended a briefing for the industry sector — I am
Latrobe Valley and Geelong.                                not sure under what guise or which hat he was wearing
                                                           at the time and whether he was there as the shadow
Regional communities are saying to us they expect          spokesperson, as a journalist or as a consultant — the
government services to be delivered to small towns and     report also indicated that a large number of small
communities. This model will enable us to go forward       retailers were anticipating the requirements of the
and go to those smaller towns, go where the need is and    market and were meeting the demands.
bring specialist services. We have indigenous consumer
workers; we now have Arabic-speaking and                   The government put in place a package of measures to
Vietnamese-speaking workers. We have a capacity with       assist the industry in this period of change; we have
this model that is being tried to reach out to our         programs in place that can assist those businesses. Even
vulnerable consumers in a more effective manner than       the Master Grocers Association of Victoria, the biggest
ever.                                                      of the independent associations, is saying that this was a
                                                           welcome measure by the state government and that it is
Underlining this, firstly, we are increasing funding to    a call to arms to independents to get their act together.
the program, but we are refocusing. Secondly, we are       We endorse what the master grocers say.
enhancing the services we have in place. This is being
done with consultation with these communities. Every                       Supplementary question
single service has been visited by me; Mr Scheffer has
met with most of them. Thirdly, we are trying to find        Hon. B. N. ATKINSON (Koonung) — I thank the
innovative new ways of reaching out to vulnerable          minister. She was not at the briefing; I was.
consumers. Fourthly, all the people who have worked
with these agencies have been approached by consumer       At the industry release of the review report this week,
affairs; we want them to work with us to deal with         Ernst and Young indicated that the current provision of
consumers who they and we care for. This government        $3 million contributed by Coles Myer and
has listened and acted to deliver to consumers.            Woolworths — you should not smile either, Sports
                                                           Minister, you were not at the VFL launch — —
                Liquor: licensing cap
                                                               The PRESIDENT — Order! Mr Atkinson!
  Hon. B. N. ATKINSON (Koonung) — I direct my
                                                              Hon. B. N. ATKINSON — The trust fund is
question without notice to the Minister for Small
                                                           unlikely to be an adequate amount to fund adjustment
Business. I refer the minister to the review of the
                                                           programs and support packages for independent liquor
Victorian packaged liquor retail industry by Ernst and
                                                           stores. Given the government received substantial grant
                                           QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

32                                                      COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


revenues in national competition fund allocations for       Candy Broad. Can the minister inform the house of the
the deregulation of the retail liquor industry, will the    Bracks government’s commitment to supporting public
minister commit to an allocation of government funds        libraries, and is the minister aware of any proposed
to top up the trust fund if the $3 million contributed by   alternative to that support?
the liquor chains is not enough to manage the industry
changes and massive exodus of independent retailers            Ms BROAD (Minister for Local Government) — I
from the industry?                                          thank the member for her question and for her ongoing
                                                            interest and support for one of our great institutions, our
   Hon. M. R. THOMSON (Minister for Small                   public libraries in Victoria. Public libraries are
Business) — I understand the member was not invited         primarily the responsibility of councils and have been
but managed to gatecrash the briefing for the industry      for some 30 years since the Whitlam Labor government
group. Neither is there any indication that the             made a major investment in them. Libraries always top
$3 million — —                                              the list of those services which ratepayers and residents
                                                            are very pleased to support when those services are
     Hon. B. N. Atkinson — I was there by invitation.       provided by councils.
     Honourable members interjecting.                       The Bracks government is also pleased to lend its
                                                            support to our public libraries, which continue to play a
     The PRESIDENT — Order!                                 very important role in strengthening communities and
  Hon. B. N. Atkinson — How many did you get? I             building a better future for all Victorians. That is why
got five.                                                   the government has increased funding in every year
                                                            since it was first elected in 1999, and that is why the
   The PRESIDENT — Order! Mr Atkinson, you                  government also has made a number of significant
have asked your question and a supplementary                one-off grants to libraries to assist with their purchases
question. I ask you to desist from interjecting to allow    of books and resources. It is also why the Bracks
the minister to respond and to allow Hansard to record      government has committed another $5 million, starting
that response.                                              in the middle of this year, for the purchase of additional
                                                            library resources — another election commitment
     Hon. B. N. Atkinson interjected.                       which the Bracks government will deliver in full.

  The PRESIDENT — Order! I also ask                         We have also delivered $12 million for the renovation
Mr Atkinson not to interrupt me while I am on my feet.      and replacement of library buildings throughout the
                                                            state of Victoria, and that is another election
   Hon. M. R. THOMSON — We are all well aware               commitment we are delivering in full. By the end of
that if the 1999 election had come down with a              this process over half of Victoria’s councils will have
different result, the 8 per cent would have been taken      received a library upgrade. Recently the halfway mark
away with no industry support. This government has          in that program was achieved with the opening of
put together a package to support the industry in the       refurbished libraries in Lalor and Carrum Downs.
adjustment period. That package is there for small
independents to take advantage of. It was one that the      I am aware of alternatives to the Bracks government’s
now Australian Competition and Consumer                     excellent record in funding for public libraries in that I
Commission chairman, Graeme Samuel, applauded at            understand the Liberal Party recently unveiled what it
the time of the agreements being reached. The liquor        describes as its first policy for the next election: it is on
stores also have the advantage of being able to use         library funding, and it is a real dud.
existing programs that the government has in place to
help them during this adjustment period, so the             It is clear that the Liberals either do not understand the
government believes there is adequate support for the       per capita funding formula that is used to fund libraries
industry.                                                   or that they are deliberately planning to cut funding to
                                                            libraries. Apart from the fact that in their press release
  The PRESIDENT — Order! The minister’s time                they get the amount wrong for recurrent funding, the
has expired.                                                Liberals falsely claim that recurrent funding for
                                                            libraries is $5 a head and that they would move this
                  Libraries: funding                        to $6.
   Ms HADDEN (Ballarat) — I refer my question to            Because the Bracks government’s formula for funding
the Minister for Local Government, the Honourable           public libraries takes account of the very complex
                                            QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                        33


needs of libraries throughout the state, the fact is that     What did we do? We set about trying to remove that
many library services receive in excess of what the           inequity. We have spent more than $200 million of
Liberals are claiming to promise. This means that,            public money in trying to equalise a flawed
according to the Liberals’ own press release, we would        privatisation scheme put in place by the previous
see a cut in funding to many libraries throughout the         government. We do not walk away from the decisions
state of Victoria under their proposals. Given that when      we have made in relation to this because we took a
the Liberals were last in government they saw fit to          deliberate decision in relation to the network tariff
slash council budgets and then to sack councils for           rebate for this coming financial year based on
good measure, it is hardly surprising that they would be      maintaining that equity, but we took two sets of
hawking around a policy which effectively means cuts          principles into consideration. One set of principles was
to the libraries in this state.                               to try to maintain a level of equity between country
                                                              Victoria and outer Melbourne — because they also
I do not see any mention whatsoever of the Liberals           suffered — and the metropolitan region.
committing extra funds over and above what the Bracks
government is doing to support libraries — recognition        We said that people who use electricity up to the
and real support to our great institutions.                   average level will be fully compensated so that they do
                                                              not pay any more than their city cousins pay. We also
         Electricity: network tariff rebate                   said we should not be in the business of subsidising
                                                              people for electricity use above the average. Instead of
   Hon. P. R. HALL (Gippsland) — My question                  having a program which simply subsidised the use of
without notice is directed to the Minister for Energy         electricity above the average, we have put in place a
Industries. I refer the minister to his government’s          whole series of programs in order to help country
decision to slash the network tariff rebate for electricity   Victorians reduce their electricity consumption. We
by $23 million.                                               have done a whole range of programs along those lines,
                                                              including a very recent one where we will subsidise
Given that from tomorrow, 1 April, many farmers and
                                                              country Victorians up to $1000 when they want to
businesses in country Victoria will have their annual
                                                              switch from an electricity-based heating system to a
electricity bills increased by more than $1000 — and
                                                              gas-based heating system.
presuming this is not an expensive April Fools Day
joke — could the minister inform the house with which             Honourable members interjecting.
groups the government consulted before making this
heartless decision?                                             Hon. T. C. THEOPHANOUS — Well, you’ve
                                                              never done it.
   Hon. T. C. THEOPHANOUS (Minister for Energy
Industries) — The Nationals — what are you: the               I am happy to talk about gas connections as well,
National Party or The Nationals? — have taken the             because in addition to that we have put in place a
‘party’ out of its party. This is the question that you       program of $70 million to deliver gas to country
would expect from a party which has no credibility left       regions that have never had it before. This opposition
in country Victoria, because the system it set up when it     has no credibility on this issue.
privatised the electricity industry was designed to
ensure that country Victorians paid more for electricity.                     Supplementary question

   Hon. P. R. Hall — CPI plus 1 per cent!                        Hon. P. R. HALL (Gippsland) — The minister
                                                              failed to answer my specific questions as to which
   Hon. T. C. THEOPHANOUS — You might not                     groups this government consulted with, and in an
like to hear it, Mr Hall, but that is what your party set     absence of the listing of one single group, I can only
up — a system which was structured and designed by            assume the government did not consult with anybody in
you and your cohorts so that country Victorians would         respect of this particular decision, so by way of
have to pay more!                                             supplementary question: given that there has been no
                                                              consultation on this particular matter, would the
We came into power and we were faced with a                   minister concede that the slashing of the electricity
structured problem where the costs of distributing            network tariff rebate is simply imposing on businesses
electricity in country Victoria were more and were            in country Victoria an additional impost of $23 million.
designed to be more under the privatisation scheme put
in place by the previous government than those in                Hon. T. C. THEOPHANOUS (Minister for Energy
metropolitan Melbourne.                                       Industries) — Perhaps I should remind the honourable
                                             QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

34                                                       COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


member that this government has just entered into, after       Today I had the pleasure of announcing that Business
a series of very difficult and tough negotiations with the     Objects, the world’s largest developer of business
various electricity companies, an historic,                    intelligence software and the 10th largest software
first-time-ever, four-year agreement on electricity            company in the world, will establish its Australia and
prices, which will mean —                                      New Zealand head office right here in Melbourne. The
                                                               company currently has around 80 staff in Australia and
  Hon. P. R. Hall — Did you talk to the VFF? Did               is expecting to grow to double that number by the end
you talk to anybody?                                           of 2005. Last June I was able to meet with executives
                                                               of Business Objects at their head office in San Jose,
   Hon. T. C. THEOPHANOUS — Listen to it,                      California. At that time the company had no plans to
Mr Hall! That will mean that over the course of four           increase its presence in Melbourne; it had little
years Victorians in general will pay at the end of that        knowledge of the capabilities and skills base of the ICT
four-year period up to 5.6 per cent less for their             sector here in Victoria. The meeting gave me the
electricity than they currently do. That is what we            opportunity to talk about Victoria’s attributes and the
negotiated, and that agreement does not exclude people         quality of our skilled work force. We have maintained
in country Victoria. We have set about trying to               that dialogue, and today we see that that has resulted in
equalise the prices, and we have done so in a concerted        the announcement of its head office for Australia and
way, which has included keeping prices down and                New Zealand in Melbourne. We welcome the head
forcing the utilities to keep prices down in country           office of Business Objects in Melbourne.
Victoria — and we will continue to do it.
                                                               This is a great example of the way the government can
 Information and communications technology:                    identify a company that has a fit with our ICT sector in
              Business Objects                                 Victoria and has the potential to help grow the
                                                               Victorian ICT industry. The reason the Bracks
    Mr SMITH (Chelsea) — I refer my question to the
                                                               government can do this is that it has a clear ICT
Minister for Information and Communication
                                                               industry plan, one that was worked on together with the
Technology, the Honourable Marsha Thomson. On
                                                               industry. The government has a solid commitment to
12 March multinational software company BMC
                                                               grow Victoria’s ICT industry, and it is working very
announced its decision to establish its Asia-Pacific sales
                                                               hard with the industry to ensure that growth. But if we
support centre in Melbourne, stating that Melbourne
                                                               are to sell Victoria and its capabilities, we also need the
was the best location in the Asia-Pacific region due to
                                                               federal government to help in that promotion. I call on
its ready supply of highly qualified, multilingual IT
                                                               the Howard government to work with the state and with
graduates, the quality of its IT and communications
                                                               the industry to develop an effective plan that maximises
infrastructure as well as the stability of the Australian
                                                               Australia’s potential to grow its ICT industry in what is
economy. Can the minister inform the house of other
                                                               now a very global market. It is also time for the
leading information and communications technology
                                                               Victorian Liberal Party to stand up and act. We know it
firms that have also recently made similar decision
                                                               has no policies in this area, but it too could use its
regarding their operations here in Melbourne?
                                                               influence on the Howard government to ensure that we
    Hon. M. R. THOMSON (Minister for Information               are growing Victoria’s ICT industry.
and Communication Technology) — I thank the
honourable member for his question. There are some
                                                                       Real estate agents: guarantee fund
great signs within the information and communications             Hon. A. P. OLEXANDER (Silvan) — I direct my
technology industry that Melbourne is being recognised         question to the Minister for Consumer Affairs. I refer
as a centre of ICT excellence and a place to invest, and       the minister to the cabinet document entitled ‘Review
BMC is one of those companies that has recognised it.          of Estate Agents Guarantee Fund’ dated
It is also great to hear that a company has chosen to          November 2003, which outlines the government’s plan
establish itself here because of the conditions that bring     to introduce amendments to legislation which would
about highly qualified staff with multilingual skills. It is   allow the government to gain access to over
not the only company to have made the decision on the          $200 million which is currently held in the fund’s asset
basis of Melbourne being the best place to invest for its      base. Can the minister explain to the house why in this
skills base, environment and also for economic growth.         cabinet document, signed by him, under the heading
In February Optus opened a 250-seat technical support          ‘Consultation’ it says ‘the estate agents industry has not
centre in Flinders Street. Its decision to locate in           been directly consulted’ and further ‘no public
Melbourne was also based on the highly qualified work          presentation is envisaged at this stage’?
force available.
                                          QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                        35


    Mr LENDERS (Minister for Consumer Affairs) —            the government to talk to stakeholders and say, ‘What
I thank Mr Olexander for his question. I will not           do you think should happen?’, it beggars imagination to
comment on alleged cabinet documents one way or the         think that I would not at least consult with my
other, but I will answer the policy question he raises      government colleagues first to say, ‘I am going to talk
about any changes that this government would propose        to industry. Within what parameters should I talk?’.
to the use of the Estate Agents Guarantee Fund and also     Mr Olexander says, ‘Wouldn’t it be outrageous if
how we would engage the industry on that.                   someone were to present a submission to a government
                                                            body and in that honestly say that they have not
As this house would know, the Estate Agents                 discussed it with industry, because first they wanted to
Guarantee Fund has been in place for a long time — in       get the parameters to go and talk with industry?’.
fact, I believe since the government of John Cain, Jr.
For a number of years the fund was primarily used to        Like its predecessor, this government realises that
deal with the situation when a person had a financial       something needs to be done about the fund. We have
arrangement with an estate agent and the estate agent       legislation that has now been tabled in the Legislative
did not comply with their part. It protected the            Assembly to try to deal with it, and it is a dialogue that I
consumer. The fund operates in part using consumers’        have directly at my dinners with the estate agents — —
money, whether it be money from deposits for
purchasing homes or rental money. Over time the               The PRESIDENT — Order! The minister’s time
money has accumulated and been used to pay consumer         has expired.
claims. During the time of the Cain and Kirner
governments the money was also used to assist                                Supplementary question
low-income home owners to establish their own                  Hon. A. P. OLEXANDER (Silvan) — I am not
homes — a portion of the fund that was removed by the       surprised that the minister does not wish to refer to his
Kennett government.                                         cabinet document, because it tells a very sorry story
So this fund has grown because its uses were reduced        about his motivations and the motivations of the
by the Kennett government. It is an issue that the          government. I ask the minister: is it not a fact that he
Honourable Jan Wade, as fair trading minister under the     and his cabinet colleagues have secretly contrived to
Kennett government, had to deal with, and it is an issue    gain access to the Estate Agents Guarantee Fund asset
that my immediate predecessors in the Bracks                base of more than $200 million in order to prop up their
government had to deal with to the extent that under its    budget bottom line in the portfolios of planning,
existing terms each year the fund grows at a far greater    environment and housing? Is that not the fact?
rate than any prudent government would draw upon.               Mr LENDERS (Minister for Consumer Affairs) —
  Hon. A. P. Olexander — Why?                               Two things: firstly, if this government were conspiring
                                                            to drain this fund without consultation, as the Minister
   Mr LENDERS — Mr Olexander asks why.                      for Finance under the Financial Management Act I
Because this government believes in using it to service     could sweep the fund without consultation. So first and
consumers and not for frivolous claims. It is something     foremost, if we wished to do it we have the power to do
that I had dialogue with Mr Forwood about in the            it. Secondly, we want to engage the stakeholders who
Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings last       have access to these funds by talking to them, and if he
year, and I have had dialogue with many members             cares about consumers Mr Olexander should realise
about it. It is an issue that Jan Wade realised needed to   that this is not estate agents’ money, it is consumers’
be addressed.                                               money — the consumers who pay rent and who pay
                                                            deposits on homes. That is where the money comes
In a bipartisan fashion, whether it was Minister Wade       from, and we are having a dialogue with these people
or the Labor ministers, we have all realised that           by having the legislation out there.
something needs to be done about it. What the
something is is a matter that we have been trying to        Mr Olexander needs to know that it is not estate agents’
work on, and in that nature we have been discussing it      money. This is consumers’ money, and this government
in government. The Auditor-General has reported on          will look after it and use it only for the interests of
the need for us to do something more prudently with         consumers.
this fund. The industry has been saying that we need to
do things more prudently with this fund. So I have been
engaging in a dialogue in a range of areas, but if,
hypothetically, I were to be going forward on behalf of
                                          QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

36                                                    COUNCIL                                Wednesday, 31 March 2004


     Australian Broadcasting Corporation:                   Somerville secondary college: Aboriginal relics
                Victorian sport
                                                               Hon. W. A. LOVELL (North Eastern) — My
   Hon. J. G. HILTON (Western Port) — I refer my            question is to Mr Gavin Jennings, the Minister for
question to the Minister for Sport and Recreation, the      Aboriginal Affairs. I refer the minister to the Bracks
Honourable Justin Madden. As all members will be            government’s promise to open a new Somerville
aware, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the         secondary college in January 2005. Given that the
ABC, has decided to dump local state sports bulletins in    government has known about Koori relics on the site
favour of pre-recorded national wraps. I ask the            for more than a year, what action will he take to ensure
minister to advise the house what actions the Bracks        that the construction of the school proceeds in time for
government has taken to ensure that ABC management          the opening of the 2005 school year while also ensuring
reconsiders this action.                                    the preservation of these significant relics?

   Hon. J. M. MADDEN (Minister for Sport and                   Mr GAVIN JENNINGS (Minister for Aboriginal
Recreation) — I welcome the member’s question,              Affairs) — That is a terrific question. An appropriate
because I know how interested he is in this matter. The     balance has to be struck with the commitments that
Bracks government has been at the forefront of the fight    have been made by our government for the significant
to persuade the ABC’s Sydney-centric management to          investment in the south-east area of Melbourne to
reverse its decision to dump local content in favour of a   deliver a school for the local community. It is an
national sports wrap. I believe I was the first to come     undertaking that we fully and comprehensibly expect to
out with a position on this when I aired my concerns in     make. However, we are constrained by the appropriate
the Age on 10 February. Since that time others have         identification and consideration of the important
voiced their strong opinion and their displeasure with      archaeological material that has been found on the site.
the Sydney-centric ABC management. Three state              In accordance with the cultural heritage act — which
premiers have written to the chairman of the ABC. We        members of Parliament may or may not know is
have seen many sporting leaders and administrators          commonwealth legislation with delegated responsibility
speak out. We have seen the former Liberal Party            in part to me but also to the local Aboriginal
treasurer attend his first rally ever in protest. He was    community — there are appropriate protocols and
joined by the Liberal state opposition leader. Both those   requirements to make sure that those materials are
people were interested in turning around the position of    protected. There has been an examination made of
the ABC.                                                    these issues.

We have seen the federal government come on board           Recommendations have been made about the
on this issue in recent months. The federal Treasurer       appropriate siting of the development. Some
has written to the ABC expressing similar concerns. It      outstanding issues may be addressed. The government
is good to see that the federal Treasurer has taken his     is acutely aware of these matters and of the inspections
focus away from the Prime Minister’s job and put an         that are required under the act to make sure that things
emphasis on the jobs of local Victorians, particularly      are protected. There are ongoing conversations with the
Angela Pippos and Christine Ahern. There has been           developers of the school site, and there has been
overwhelming angst about this matter. On the first night    communication between my office and the appropriate
of the national wrap, the ABC switchboard received          commonwealth minister’s office to discuss any
almost 600 calls of complaint. The Herald Sun               implications for the commonwealth legislation. But it is
conducted a poll on 16 March, and 94 per cent of            the government’s intention that all those competing
responders called for the scrapping of the new              requirements will be satisfactorily addressed in
Sydney-based sports coverage. There was a rally             delivering the school in a timely way.
attended by 300 people, including me, at the ABC
Southbank headquarters on 16 March. We hope and                             Supplementary question
expect the ABC management to reverse its decision, as
                                                               Hon. W. A. LOVELL (North Eastern) — I refer the
Victorian and particularly Melbourne viewers do not
                                                            minister to the fact that the recognised body, the
take up the option of tuning in to the ABC’s sports
                                                            Victorian Boonerwrung Elders Land Council, believes
wrap. I urge the Prime Minister to voice his view by
                                                            the school should be built and has offered to facilitate
writing to his friend, ABC chairman, Donald
                                                            the construction of the school with the protection of the
McDonald, reinforcing the concern of Victorians that
                                                            relics. Another group, the Boonerwrung Land Council
the ABC — particularly its sports coverage — does not
                                                            from Tasmania, is using its position to stop construction
become even more Sydney-centric in the future.
                                                            of the school, which would benefit the people of
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                        37


Somerville including young members of the                    initiative may in fact only establish equilibrium in
Boonerwrung community. Will the minister use his             relation to the benchmark.
powers to prevent this?
                                                             In terms of the figure, last year a report was published
   Mr GAVIN JENNINGS (Minister for Aboriginal                by La Trobe University in relation to residential aged
Affairs) — The supplementary question is not as good         care. I have referred to this report before. It estimates
as the first question for a variety of technical reasons.    that somewhere between $260 million and $405 million
The supplementary question is factually incorrect. The       per annum underfunding is received in relation to aged
land council that she referred to is not the designated      care allocations across the country. So this so-called
responsible agency under the commonwealth cultural           headline figure will in fact only be addressing what is
heritage act; that assumption is incorrect.                  an ongoing shortage of funding coming into the sector.

                 Aged care: funding                          The idea that there may be an increase in high-care
                                                             residential places — that is embedded in this article —
   Hon. J. H. EREN (Geelong) — My question is for            is a good one. I would applaud that. In fact that is
the Minister for Aged Care, Mr Gavin Jennings. I refer       something I took to the federal Minister for Health and
the minister to the report in today’s Herald Sun that        Ageing last week. I visited her in Canberra after she
Victoria is set to receive more than 4500 extra aged         finally acceded to receiving a visit from me and put it to
care places as a part of the federal government’s            her that there should be an increase in the allocation of
re-election strategy. Could the minister advise the house    high-care beds. However, we must be mindful of the
as to how this boost in places and funding will impact       fact that in the last allocation of licences to the state of
upon aged care services in Victoria?                         Victoria only 36 per cent of bed allocations were
                                                             high-care beds.
   Mr GAVIN JENNINGS (Minister for Aged
Care) — Like other members of the Victorian                  Today’s article lauds the fact that licences might be
community who got up this morning to have a look at          allocated on the basis of a ratio of 109 places per
their copy of the Herald Sun, I was instantly excited        1000 members of the community over the age of 70.
about the prospect of a significant injection of resources   That is all good and well. That is the current, existing
into the state of Victoria through the largesse of the       allocation of licences. The real problem for the state of
commonwealth government in relation to aged care             Victoria is that those allocated licences are not taken
services. However, once you get beyond the                   up. This is a matter — the phantom licence
$1.6 billion headline, the detail is somewhat alarming       applications — I pursued in cooperation with the Public
and concerning in terms of the actual effect of the          Accounts and Estimates Committee last year. Whilst
announcement that has been leaked out of the                 the commonwealth allocates about 109 places, only
commonwealth government. In fact there are                   80 places are actually made operational. Here is the
qualifications within the text of the article to say that    challenge: where is the capital going to come from to
these are subject to budgetary considerations and have       guarantee that these licences that have been referred to
not been signed off by the government. So in the first       are taken up to deliver quality aged care to the
instance we have a reference to $1.6 billion, which is in    Victorian people?
fact a national figure, only a subset of which will go to
Victoria. Indeed, what has been indicated to the
Victorian community is that 4500 aged care places may                    QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
be coming to Victoria, while under normal
circumstances bed licences are issued at in the order of                             Answers
2000 per year. The question must be asked: what is the
additional impact of these allocated licences as               Mr LENDERS (Minister for Finance) — I present
foreshadowed in this article and how will they be paid       answers to 235 questions on notice, being: 167, 168,
for?                                                         365, 367, 369, 569, 614, 878, 895, 920, 924, 926, 928,
                                                             929, 935, 938, 939, 944, 945, 968, 1008–10, 1028,
Members of the house will be acutely aware that over         1043, 1048, 1051–3, 1057, 1058, 1066, 1071,
my tenure as Minister for Aged Care in Victoria I have       1074–6, 1078, 1086, 1094, 1097, 1099, 1103, 1104,
alerted the house on any number of occasions to the          1110, 1112, 1116–19, 1121, 1127, 1138, 1140, |
fact that we are over 4000 beds short of the                 1144–6, 1153, 1157–75, 1177–89, 1203–38, 1240–6,
commonwealth’s own benchmark in terms of the                 1248, 1275, 1276, 1288, 1290–1300, 1305–13,
provision of residential aged care. So this so-called        1315–22, 1325–32, 1335, 1337, 1338, 1340–7, 1349,
                                                             1352–78, 1393–1401, 1405–9.
                                                       CORRECTION OF BILLS

38                                                              COUNCIL                                         Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           CORRECTION OF BILLS                                                     GARDINER FOUNDATION
   Mr LENDERS (Minister for Finance) — I move,                                                 Annual report
by leave:
                                                                    Hon. T. C. THEOPHANOUS (Minister for Energy
      That where a bill has passed through both houses and          Industries), by leave, presented report for 2002–03.
      any title of the bill includes a reference to a calendar
      year earlier than that in which passage of a bill was
      completed the Clerk of the Parliaments be empowered to
                                                                    Laid on table.
      alter the calendar year reference in the bill title and any
      corresponding reference within the bill itself to accord
      with the year in which its passage was completed.                          LAW REFORM COMMITTEE
Motion agreed to.                                                          Forensic sampling and DNA databases in
                                                                                    criminal investigations
                       PETITIONS                                    Ms HADDEN (Ballarat) presented report, together
                                                                    with appendices and minutes of evidence.
          Taxis: multipurpose program
                                                                    Laid on table.
Hon. P. R. HALL (Gippsland) presented petition
from certain citizens of Victoria requesting that the               Ordered that report and appendices be printed.
Legislative Council not support the introduction of a
financial cap to the multipurpose taxi program and                        Ms HADDEN (Ballarat) — I move:
that any proposed changes be delayed until full and
                                                                          That the Council take note of the report.
proper consultation has been held with
stakeholders, including the taxi industry, to consider              Firstly I wish to acknowledge the members of the Law
other options for the efficient operation of the                    Reform Committee of both the 54th session of
program, so that the special circumstances and                      Parliament and the current 55th session of Parliament.
needs of the elderly and disabled in rural Victoria                 They include the former chair, Mr Murray Thompson,
are fully considered (299 signatures).                              Ron Bowden, Peter Katsambanis, Telmo Languiller,
                                                                    Andrea McCall and Bob Stensholt. I was the deputy
Laid on table.                                                      chair of the last committee. I also acknowledge the
                                                                    great work done by the current committee in finalising
         Disability services: Grampians
                                                                    this important report: the chair, Rob Hudson, Noel
Ms HADDEN (Ballarat) presented petition from                        Maughan, Andrew Brideson, Richard Dalla-Riva,
certain citizens of Victoria praying that a house or                Dympna Beard and Tony Lupton.
other appropriate and suitable accommodation,
                                                                    I have been a part of the Law Reform Committee since
together with the appropriate support services to
                                                                    1999 and since this reference was given to the Law
meet emotional, social, educational and physical
                                                                    Reform Committee in 2001. The committee spent some
needs, be provided for young disabled people
                                                                    two and a half years investigating this reference. The
presently living in aged care facilities in the
                                                                    report before the house contains 477 pages. The
Grampians region (85 signatures).
                                                                    committee received over 40 submissions, held public
Laid on table.                                                      hearings and heard some 42 witnesses. The committee
                                                                    had overseas meetings in January–February 2002 in
              Hazardous waste: Tiega                                San Francisco, Washington, New York, London and
                                                                    Paris. The committee held interstate meetings in
Hon. B. W. BISHOP (North Western) presented                         September 2002 in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide.
petition from certain citizens of Victoria requesting
that the Victorian government abandon its proposal                  This report should be the bible of anyone who wants to
to place a toxic waste facility in the Ouyen area                   know something about or look towards reform of
(190 signatures).                                                   forensic sampling and DNA databases in criminal
                                                                    investigation in this state.
Laid on table.
                                                                    It is some 20 years since Sir Alec Jeffreys pioneered the
                                                                    technique of DNA profiling and applied it to exclude a
                                                                    suspect from a high-profile murder investigation in
                               SCRUTINY OF ACTS AND REGULATIONS COMMITTEE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                       39


England. Since then advances have been made in              effectively utilising forensic sampling and improving
genetic science and technology with significant benefits    criminal investigation in this state.
in the field of forensic DNA profiling. In fact Victoria
is one of the first Australian jurisdictions to undertake   Motion agreed to.
DNA profiling. In 1989 the Coldrey committee
introduced a blueprint for laws to authorise the
collection of bodily samples, and the first forensic        SCRUTINY OF ACTS AND REGULATIONS
procedures were enacted.                                               COMMITTEE

DNA is a powerful investigative tool and is also a                           Alert Digest No. 1
powerful evidentiary tool. The Law Reform Committee
made 14 recommendations and proposed an expansion           Ms ARGONDIZZO (Templestowe) presented Alert
of the use of DNA profiling in criminal investigations      Digest No. 1 of 2004, together with appendix.
by streamlining the way in which procedures are             Laid on table.
authorised and conducted as well as giving greater
legislative and administrative recognition to those         Ordered to be printed
responsible for delivering the services.
                                                                             Alert Digest No. 2
The Law Reform Committee worked hard to create a
framework of laws which would give Victoria Police          Ms ARGONDIZZO (Templestowe) presented Alert
the scope to detect crimes while simultaneously             Digest No. 2 of 2004, together with appendices.
minimising the risks of contamination and abuse. The
committee considered a number of areas such as ethics       Laid on table.
of sampling, offenders, suspects, volunteers, the role of
consent, police powers and responsibility, laboratory       Ordered to be printed.
systems et cetera, as well as looking to safeguarding the
disadvantaged groups with special needs within the
                                                                 DRUGS AND CRIME PREVENTION
criminal justice system.
                                                                         COMMITTEE
The committee recommended in 5.2 that the Crimes
Act schedule 8 offences be redefined as serious                      Fraud and electronic commerce
indictable offences for which a maximum of five years
                                                            The CLERK presented final report, together with
of imprisonment or more or a life sentence can be
                                                            appendices and minutes of evidence.
imposed. The committee concluded that it was
desirable to keep the Victorian provisions consistent
with the Commonwealth Crimes Act provisions and the               ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL
model bill as developed by the Model Criminal Code                  RESOURCES COMMITTEE
Officers committee.
                                                                     Impact and trends in soil acidity
Another topical recommendation, 10.4, was that the
Victorian Forensic Science Centre be established on an      The CLERK presented report, together with
independent footing — that is, managed by an                appendices and minutes of evidence.
independent board accountable to the Victorian
Parliament, be at arm’s length from its major clients
and be funded by a department separate from Victoria            PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND ESTIMATES
Police, such as is the case in England and Wales and in                   COMMITTEE
South Australia. Such a recommendation was made
after examining other jurisdictions and receiving and                Budget estimates and outcomes
considering evidence from witnesses and like
parliamentary committees. The committee concluded           The CLERK presented government responses to
that the Forensic Science Centre of Victoria should be      recommendations made in reports on budget
autonomous in its operations and be accessible to both      outcomes for 2000–01 and budget estimates for
prosecution and defence.                                    2002–03 and 2003–04.

In conclusion, the committee recommends a strategic
expansion of DNA profiling with a view to more
                                                                      PAPERS

40                                                                    COUNCIL                                         Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                              PAPERS                                            Keilor Cemetery Trust — Minister for Health’s report of
                                                                                failure to submit 2002 report to her within the prescribed
                                                                                period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.
Laid on table by Clerk:
                                                                                Lake Mountain Alpine Resort Management Board — Report
     Altona Memorial Park — Minister for Health’s report of                     for the year ended 31 October 2003.
     failure to submit 2002 report to her within the prescribed
     period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.                             Lilydale Memorial Park and Cemetery Trust — Minister for
                                                                                Health’s report of failure to submit 2002 report to her within
     Anderson’s Creek Cemetery Trust — Minister for Health’s                    the prescribed period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.
     report of failure to submit 2002 report to her within the
     prescribed period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.                  Mansfield District Hospital — Minister for Health’s report of
                                                                                failure to submit 2002-03 report to her within the prescribed
     Ballaarat General Cemeteries Trust — Minister for Health’s                 period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002-03 (two
     report of failure to submit 2002 report to her within the                  papers).
     prescribed period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.
                                                                                Melbourne City Link Act 1995 —
     Beechworth Health Service — Minister for Health’s report of
     failure to submit 2002-03 report to her within the prescribed                   City Link and Extension Projects Integration and
     period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002-03.                               Facilitation Agreement Eleventh Amending Deed,
                                                                                     24 December 2003, pursuant to section 15B(5) of the
     Bendigo Cemeteries Trust — Minister for Health’s report of                      Act.
     failure to submit 2002 report to her within the prescribed
     period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.                                  Exhibition Street Extension Seventh Amending Deed,
                                                                                     24 December 2003, pursuant to section 15D(6) of the
     Budget Sector — Mid-year Financial Report, 2003-04,                             Act.
     incorporating the Quarterly Financial Report No. 2 for the
     period ended 31 December 2003.                                                  Melbourne City Link Nineteenth Amending Deed,
                                                                                     24 December 2003, pursuant to section 15(2) of the Act.
     Cheltenham and Regional Cemeteries Trust — Minister for
     Health’s report of failure to submit 2002 report to her within                  Statement of Variation No. 1/2003 Detailed Tolling
     the prescribed period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.                   Strategy, 24 December 2003, pursuant to section
                                                                                     15B(5).
     Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 — Minister’s Orders
     giving approval to the granting of a lease at Mt Rouse Public              Mildura Cemetery Trust — Minister for Health’s report of
     Park Reserve, O’Donnell Gardens Reserve and the                            failure to submit 2002 report to her within the prescribed
     Shakespeare Grove Reserve, Riddells Creek Recreation                       period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.
     Reserve, St Vincent Gardens Reserve and Torquay Public
     Reserve and granting of licences at Dallas Brooks Drive                    Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort Management Board —
     House and Gallery, and Mordialloc-Mentone Beach Park                       Minister for Environment’s report of failure to submit 1
     Reserve (seven papers).                                                    November 2002 to 31 October 2003 report to him within the
                                                                                prescribed period and the reasons therefor.
     Docklands Authority — Minister for Major Project’s report
     of failure to submit year ended 31 July 2003 report to him*                Mount Buller Alpine Resort Management Board — Minister
     within the prescribed period and the reasons therefor. Report              for Environment’s report of failure to submit 1 November
     for the year ended 31 July 2003.                                           2002 to 31 October 2003 report to him within the prescribed
                                                                                period and the reasons therefor.
     Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 —
     Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons,                  Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board — Report
     No. 18, Amendment No. 2, 1 January 2004 and Notice                         for the year ended 31 October 2003.
     regarding amendment of Part 2 of Chapter 1 and Minister’s
     Notices regarding the amendment, commencement and                          Mount Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board — Minister
     availability of the Poisons Code (three papers).                           for Environment’s report of failure to submit 1 November
                                                                                2002 to 31 October 2003 report to him within the prescribed
     Falls Creek Alpine Resort Management Board — Minister                      period and the reasons therefor.
     for Environment’s report of failure to submit 1 November
     2002 to 31 October 2003 report to him within the prescribed                Murray-Darling Basin Commission — Report, 2001-02.
     period and the reasons therefor.
                                                                                National Environment Protection Council — Report,
     Fawkner Crematorium and Memorial Park — Minister for                       2002-03.
     Health’s report of failure to submit 2002 report to her within
     the prescribed period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.              Necropolis Springvale — Minister for Health’s report of
                                                                                failure to submit 2002 report to her within the prescribed
     Geelong Cemeteries Trust — Minister for Health’s report of                 period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.
     failure to submit 2002 report to her within the prescribed
     period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.                             Northern Victorian Fresh Tomato Industry Development
                                                                                Committee — Minister for Agriculture’s report of receipt of
     [* Subsequently corrected]                                                 2002-03 report.
                                                             PAPERS

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                     COUNCIL                                                        41


  Parliamentary Committees Act 2003 — Minister’s response              Hume Planning Scheme — Amendments C31 and C49.
  to recommendations in Economic Development Committee’s
  Report on Export Opportunities for Victorian Rural                   Indigo Planning Scheme — Amendment C23.
  Industries.
                                                                       Knox Planning Scheme — Amendments C22 and C23.
  Planning and Environment Act 1987 — Notices of Approval
  of the following amendments to planning schemes:                     La Trobe Planning Scheme — Amendment C22.

       Ararat Planning Scheme — Amendment C6.                          Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme —
                                                                       Amendment C29.
       Ballarat Planning Scheme — Amendments C67 (Part 1),
       C68 and C70.                                                    Manningham Planning Scheme — Amendments C24,
                                                                       C33 (Part 1), C38 and C39.
       Banyule Planning Scheme — Amendments C33 (Part 1)
       and C34 (Part 1).                                               Maribyrnong Planning Scheme — Amendments C17
                                                                       (Part 1) and C30.
       Bass Coast Planning Scheme — Amendments C22, C31
       and C33.                                                        Maroondah Planning Scheme — Amendment C33.

       Baw Baw Planning Scheme — Amendments C19 and                    Melbourne Planning Scheme — Amendments C39,
       C25.                                                            C86, C89 and No. 81.

       Bayside Planning Scheme — Amendments C2 (Part 2),               Melton Planning Scheme — Amendment C26.
       C29 (Part 1) and C32.
                                                                       Mildura Planning Scheme — Amendments C12, C17,
       Bendigo — Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme —                     C19, C22 and C24 (Part 1).
       Amendments C27 and C56.
                                                                       Mitchell Planning Scheme — Amendments C15
       Brimbank Planning Scheme — Amendments C52, C55                  (Part 2), C31 and C33.
       and C56.
                                                                       Moira Planning Scheme — Amendments C13 and C15.
       Buloke Planning Scheme — Amendment C4.
                                                                       Monash Planning Scheme — Amendments C32 and
       Cardinia Planning Scheme — Amendments C13 (Part                 C50.
       2), C20, C32 (Part 2), C34 (Part 2), C53 and C54.
                                                                       Moonee Valley Planning Scheme — Amendment C47.
       Casey Planning Scheme — Amendments C38, C49 and
       C71.                                                            Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme —
                                                                       Amendments C40 (Part 2), C47 (Part 1) and C60 to
       Central Goldfields Planning Scheme — Amendment                  C63.
       C5.
                                                                       Mount Alexander Planning Scheme —
       Corangamite Planning Scheme — Amendments C2 and                 Amendment C17.
       C10.
                                                                       Moyne Planning Scheme — Amendments C10 and
       Dandenong — Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme —                 C11.
       Amendment C38.
                                                                       Nillumbik Planning Scheme — Amendments C19, C22
       Darebin Planning Scheme — Amendment C56.                        (Part 1) and C29.

       East Gippsland Planning Scheme — Amendments C16                 Port Phillip Planning Scheme — Amendment C35.
       and C21.
                                                                       Pyrenees Planning Scheme — Amendments C2 and C8.
       Frankston Planning Scheme — Amendment C23.
                                                                       Queenscliffe Planning Scheme — Amendment C13.
       Geelong — Greater Geelong Planning Scheme —
       Amendments C35, C64, C66 and C90.                               Shepparton — Greater Shepparton — Planning
                                                                       Scheme — Amendments C43 and C45.
       Glen Eira Planning Scheme — Amendments C19 (Part
       2), C28, C29, C32 and C33.                                      South Gippsland Planning Scheme — Amendments
                                                                       C12 and C27.
       Golden Plains Planning Scheme — Amendment C16.
                                                                       Surf Coast Planning Scheme — Amendment C17.
       Hepburn Planning Scheme — Amendments C13, C20
       and C21.                                                        Swan Hill Planning Scheme — Amendment C6 (Part 1).

       Hobsons Bay Planning Scheme — Amendments C21,                   Victoria Planning Provisions — Amendment VC20.
       C24 and C32.
                                                                       Warrnambool Planning Scheme — Amendments C27,
       Horsham Planning Scheme — Amendment C17.                        C30, C33, C34 and C35.
                                                                  PAPERS

42                                                                COUNCIL                                         Wednesday, 31 March 2004


          Wellington Planning Scheme — Amendments C11, C21                       Magistrates’ Court Act 1989 — No. 144/2003.
          and C22.
                                                                                 Marine Act 1988 — No. 143/2003 and No. 16/2004.
          West Wimmera Planning Scheme — Amendment C5.
                                                                                 National Parks Act 1975 — No. 150/2003.
          Whitehorse Planning Scheme — Amendments C44 and
          C49.                                                                   Occupational Health and Safety Act 1985 —
                                                                                 No. 10/2004.
          Whittlesea Planning Scheme — Amendment C49.
                                                                                 Occupational Health and Safety Act 1985 — Dangerous
          Wyndham Planning Scheme — Amendments C30, C54,                         Goods Act 1985 — No. 157/2003.
          C57 and C60.
                                                                                 Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 —
          Yarra Planning Scheme — Amendments C40 and C44.                        No. 13/2004.

          Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme — Amendments C25,                         Police Regulation Act 1958 — Nos. 155/2003 and
          C31 and C39.                                                           12/2004.

          Yarriambiack Planning Scheme — Amendment C2.                           Sale of Land Act 1962 — No. 5/2004.

     Preston Cemetery Trust — Minister for Health’s report of                    Subordinate Legislation Act 1994 — No. 151/2003 and
     failure to submit 2002 report to her within the prescribed                  Nos. 17 and 18/2004.
     period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.
                                                                                 Survey Co-ordination Act 1958 — No. 21/2004.
     Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 — Code of
     Practice for the Tethering of Animals (Revision Number 1).                  Transport Accident Act 1986 — No. 156/2003.

     Project Development and Construction Management Act                         Valuation of Land Act 1960 — No. 153/2003.
     1994 — Orders in Council of 28 January 2004 and 10 March
     2004 of nomination and application orders (four papers).                    Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 — No. 147/2003.

     Rural Finance Act 1988 — Treasurer’s directives of 24                       Wildlife Act 1975 — No. 20/2004.
     December 2003 and 15 March 2004 to the Rural Finance
     Corporation.                                                           Subordinate Legislation Act 1994 —

     Snowy Hydro Limited — Report for the period 29 June 2002                    Ministers’ exception certificates under section 8(4) in
     to 28 June 2003.                                                            respect of Statutory Rule Nos. 144, 150, 151 and
                                                                                 152/2003 and Nos. 17 and 18/2004.
     Statutory Rules under the following Acts of Parliament:
                                                                                 Ministers’ exemption certificates under section 9(6) in
          Australian Crime Commission (State Provisions) Act                     respect of Statutory Rule Nos. 145, 147, 148, 153 and
          2003 — No. 15/2004.                                                    155/2003 and Nos. 4, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15 and 20/2004.

          Building Act 1993 — No. 2/2004.                                   Templestowe Cemetery Trust — Minister for Health’s report
                                                                            of failure to submit 2002 report to her within the prescribed
          Children’s Services Act 1996 — No. 14/2004.                       period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.

          Conservation, Forests and Lands Act 1987 —                        Water Act 1989 — Hoddles Creek Water Supply Protection
          No. 11/2004.                                                      Area Stream Flow Management Plan 2003.

          Country Fire Authority Act 1958 — No. 9/2004.                     West Wimmera Health Service — Minister for Health’s
                                                                            report of failure to submit 2002-03 report to her within the
          Electricity Safety Act 1998 — Nos. 146 and 149/2003.              prescribed period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002-03.

          Estate Agents Act 1980 — No. 148/2003 and Nos. 3 and              Wyndham Cemetery Trust — Minister for Health’s report of
          4/2004.                                                           failure to submit 2002 report to her within the prescribed
                                                                            period and the reasons therefor. Report, 2002.
          Firearms Act 1996 — No. 154/2003.
                                                                      Proclamations of the Governor in Council fixing
          Fisheries Act 1995 — No. 145/2003 and No. 22/2004.
                                                                      operative dates in respect of the following Acts:
          Forests Act 1958 — Nos. 6 and 7/2004.
                                                                            Accident Compensation and Transport Accident Acts
          Health Act 1958 — No. 8/2004.                                     (Amendment) Act 2003 — Section 5 — 1 February 2004
                                                                            (Gazette No. G5, 29 January 2004); sections 10, 11 and 12 —
          Health Services Act 1988 — No. 19/2004.                           1 March 2004 (Gazette No. G9, 26 February 2004).

          Land Act 1958 — No. 152/2003.                                     Albury-Wodonga Agreement (Repeal) Act 2003 — Sections
                                                                            4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 16 and 17 — 1 March 2004 (Gazette No. G9,
          Livestock Disease Control Act 1994 — No. 1/2004.                  26 February 2004).
                                                               RIGHT OF REPLY

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                               COUNCIL                                                                        43


   Animals Legislation (Animal Welfare) Act 2003 — Section                    The PRESIDENT — Order! There is an error; the
   32 — 22 January 2004 (Gazette No. G4, 22 January 2004).                 ‘her’ should be deleted and ‘him’ inserted.
   Child Employment Act 2003 — 12 June 2004 (Gazette
   No. S61, 15 March 2004).
                                                                                                  RIGHT OF REPLY
   Estate Agents and Sale of Land Acts (Amendment) Act
   2003 — Remaining provisions (except section 21) —                                               City of Boroondara
   1 February 2004 (Gazette No. G5, 29 February 2004).

   Federal Awards (Uniform System) Act 2003 — Sections 1                      The PRESIDENT — Order! Pursuant to the
   (except paragraph (b)) and 2 and Part 5 — 17 December 2003              standing orders of the Legislative Council, I present a
   (Gazette No. S238, 17 December 2003).                                   right of reply from the City of Boroondara to statements
   Federal Courts (Consequential Amendments) Act 2000 —
                                                                           made in the Council by the Honourable David Davis,
   Sections 22 and 23 — 8 March 2004 (Gazette No. G10,                     MLC, on 8 October 2003.
   4 March 2004).
                                                                           During my consideration of the application for the right
   Instruments (Enduring Powers of Attorney) Act 2003 —                    of reply, I gave notice of the submission in writing to
   1 April 2004 (Gazette No. G8, 19 February 2004).
                                                                           Mr David Davis and also consulted with him prior to
   Local Government (Democratic Reform) Act 2003 — Part 2,                 the right of reply being presented to the Council. I have
   sections 15 to 18, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 32, 33, 35(1), 36, 37, 40,       omitted some expressions which I deemed not to be in
   41, 42, 46, 47 to 51, 52(1), 52(2), 52(4), 52(5), 54, 55, 56, 61,       accordance with the spirit of the standing order.
   64 to 69, 78, 79, 84 to 88, 92, 93, 95(1), 95(2), 96, 99, 102,
   103 and 104 — 10 December 2003; sections 34 and 35(2) —
   7 January 2004; sections 80, 82 and 83 — 13 February 2004
                                                                           Having considered the application and determined that
   (Gazette No. S230, 10 December 2003).                                   the right of reply should be incorporated into the
                                                                           parliamentary record, I remind the house that the
   Non-Emergency Patient Transport Act 2003 — Sections 1, 2,               standing order requires me when considering a
   65, 66 and 67 — 25 March 2004 (Gazette No. G13, 25 March
   2004).
                                                                           submission under the order to not consider or judge the
                                                                           truth of any statements made in the council or the
   Port Services (Port Management Reform) Act 2003 —                       submission.
   Sections 5(2), 5(3), 9, 23, 26(1) and 29 — 1 January 2004
   (Gazette No. G51, 18 December 2003).                                    In accordance with the standing orders the right of reply
   Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003 — Provisions of               is hereby ordered to be printed and incorporated in
   Part 6 — 25 February 2004 (Gazette No. S42, 25 February                 Hansard.
   2004).
                                                                           Reply as follows:
   Water Legislation (Essential Services Commission and Other
   Amendments) Act 2003 — Remaining provisions, except for                            APPLICATION FOR A RIGHT OF REPLY TO BE
   sections 5, 6 and 9 — 1 January 2004 (Gazette No. G50,                             INCORPORATED INTO THE PARLIAMENTARY
   11 December 2003).                                                                                RECORD
   Wrongs and Limitation of Actions Acts (Insurance Reform)                      1.    On 4 February 2004, the City of Boroondara made
   Act 2003 — Sections 3, 17 and 18 — 1 January 2004                                   application for a right of reply to be incorporated into the
   (Gazette No. G51, 18 December 2003).                                                parliamentary record, pursuant to the Standing Orders of
                                                                                       the Legislative Council.
   Wrongs and Other Acts (Law of Negligence) Act 2003 —
   Part 5 — 1 January 2004 (Gazette No. G51, 18 December                         2.    The application relates to comments made by the
   2003).                                                                              Honourable D. M. Davis, MLC, during debate on
                                                                                       8 October 2003 on a motion regarding Kew Residential
   Hon. Bill Forwood — On a point of order,                                            Services (Victorian Parliamentary Debates, pages
President, I note that on the first page of the papers just                            316-22).
read by the Clerk, under Docklands Authority, it states:
                                                                                 3.    During my consideration of the application I gave notice
   Minister for Major Project’s report of failure to submit year                       of the submission in writing to Mr Davis. I have also
   ended 31 July 2003 report to her within the prescribed                              consulted with Mr Davis prior to the right of reply being
   period …                                                                            presented to the Council.

My understanding is that the Minister for Major                                  4.    Having considered the application, I have determined
                                                                                       that the right of reply should be incorporated into the
Projects is in fact the Honourable Peter Batchelor. One                                parliamentary record.
would have thought that in those circumstances there is
an error.                                                                        5.    Having determined that the right of reply should be
                                                                                       incorporated into the parliamentary record, I wish to
                                                                                       draw attention to Standing Order 19.04 that requires me,
                                                                RIGHT OF REPLY

44                                                                     COUNCIL                                          Wednesday, 31 March 2004


          in considering a submission under the Order, to not                    The comments of Mr Davis infer that this Council is open to
          consider or judge the truth of any statements made in the              improper influence in its decision making processes, and that
          Council or the submission.                                             Council’s decision in the matter of Kew Residential Services
                                                                                 was the result of ‘pressure’ from the State Government, from
     Monica Gould                                                                Council Officers and, in particular, from its Chief Executive. I
     President of the Legislative Council                                        note that Council’s position in this regard has since been put
     31 March 2004                                                               beyond question by the State Government publicly rejecting
                                                                                 the position adopted by the Council. Indeed this is a matter of
            RIGHT OF REPLY FROM THE CITY OF                                      continuing and legitimate dispute between this local
                      BOROONDARA                                                 government and the State Government, hardly the stuff of an
                                                                                 inappropriate relationship.
     Council wishes to formally seek a right of reply to comments
     made by the Hon. David Davis, MLC, in the Legislative                       Council’s Chief Executive Officer rang Mr Davis at his
     Council concerning Kew Residential Services on 8 October                    electorate office on Friday 10 October and inquired regarding
     2003.                                                                       any evidence for his assertions. Mr Davis reaffirmed his
                                                                                 allegations but was unable to provide any evidence.
     In the debate concerning Kew Residential Services on                        Mr Johstone advised Mr Davis that his allegations of
     8 October, Mr Davis made allegations inferring collusion,                   collusion, improper influence and tainted decision-making on
     improper influence and tainted decision making on the part of               the part of Council and Officers were categorically untrue and
     this Council, its Chief Executive Officer and officers of                   could be demonstrated to be so, and requested Mr Davis to
     Council. Mr Davis’ comments were an attack on the integrity                 attend the Council office on Monday 13 October to hear clear
     of the elected Council of this City. His comments apparently                evidence of the facts. Mr Davis did not take up the invitation.
     sought to damage the reputation of Councillors and their                    Mr Davis’ office subsequently provided the local Progress
     Chief Executive Officer in the minds of community members.                  Leader with a copy of his Hansard speech, thus ensuring
     In addition to seeking to impugn the reputations of                         local publicity for his remarks.
     Councillors who are well known as the community’s elected
     representatives, Mr Davis also sought to impugn the                         On Monday evening 13 October, Council’s Services Special
     reputation of the Chief Executive Officer Peter Johnstone by                Committee, a committee comprising the full Council,
     name, alleging an improper relationship with the State                      unanimously supported a statement repudiating the
     Government against the interests of Council’s constituents.                 allegations of Mr Davis. Subsequently, Council’s Chief
                                                                                 Executive Officer and I met with the Leader of the
     Mr Davis has made no attempt to substantiate these                          Opposition Robert Doyle MP to seek some resolution of the
     allegations. The comments attributed to Mr Davis in the                     matter. The meeting was unproductive. Mr Davis, invited to
     Hansard of the Legislative Council for 8 October 2003, as                   the meeting by Mr Doyle, again refused to offer evidence of,
     part of a debate on Kew Residential Services, are as follows:               or to retract, the allegations.
     1,   ‘We have seen the heavy hand of these government                       In making allegations, without any evidence, of improper
          organisations pressuring and leaning on Councillors and                decision-making by the City of Boroondara Mr Davis has
          Council Officers to force an outcome…’                                 effectively sought to lessen the confidence of our community
                                                                                 and indeed his electorate in the standard of governance by this
     2.   ‘Some Councillors … were prepared to buck the                          local government. Worse, Mr Davis has impugned the
          pressure from the State Government and buck the                        reputations of Councillors, Officers and by name the Chief
          pressure from Council Officers and the Chief Executive                 Executive Officer of this Council, a person who has
          of the Council, Peter Johnstone, who is working in this, I             established his reputation over many years of service at senior
          believe, hand in glove with the State Government to                    levels to all levels of Australian government, both Liberal and
          achieve an outcome that is not in the interests of the                 Labor. Reputations are hard earned and should not be
          people of the City of Boroondara.’                                     impugned without evidence.
     3.   ‘…I was greatly saddened at the Council meeting some                   This Council believes that all elected representatives have a
          months ago to see the Council in what can only be                      duty to uphold the highest standards of integrity, particularly
          described as disarray, with Council Officers buzzing                   in their formal role.
          backwards and forwards trying to shore up the votes and
          the positions of certain Councillors.                                  I request under the provisions of Standing Order 19.02 that
                                                                                 this letter be incorporated in the Parliamentary record as a
     There is no truth in any of these statements which are little               formal response from the Council of the City of Boroondara
     more than a crude misrepresentation of the responsible and                  to Mr Davis’ comments. I have copied this letter for
     careful process undertaken by this Council in its proper role               information to the Leader of the Opposition and to David
     as local government and planning authority for the City of                  Davis.
     Boroondara. This Council is not aware of any attempts to
     influence its decisions improperly in the important and                     Yours sincerely,
     complex matters affecting the redevelopment of Kew                          Cr Judith Voce
     Residential Services. There is no basis for the insulting                   Mayor
     language in the last quotation above. I would stress that this
     Council has the highest regard for, and greatly values the            Laid on table.
     advice of officers, which is always provided properly and
     respectfully.                                                         Order to be printed.
                                              MEMBERS STATEMENTS

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                       45


           MEMBERS STATEMENTS                               of interest which have been preserved for future
                                                            generations. I wish to congratulate the joint managers
             Boroondara: performance                        of the Crown reserve, the City of Ballarat and the
                                                            Golden Plains shire as well as the Woady Yaloak and
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS (East Yarra) — I wish, as             the Linton and district historical societies for
part of my contribution to 90-second statements today,      developing and preserving this historic rail-trail reserve
to reflect upon the Boroondara City Council, a council      for all time and for future generations.
that has lost its way; a council that is doing the
government’s bidding. It is cosying up to the Bracks                           Corres Schubert
government on planning. It is a council that is led by
the nose by an overblown chief executive officer,              Hon. W. A. LOVELL (North Eastern) — I would
Mr Peter Johnstone, who has cosied up to the Bracks         like to congratulate Corres Schubert, a volunteer art
government on planning and is doing its bidding to the      teacher from Waaia, who was recently given the 2004
tremendous damage of our city.                              Premier’s Victorian Senior of the Year award. Corres
                                                            Schubert has been an inspiration to the residents of the
The City of Boroondara is to be impacted heavily by         Numurkah Pioneer Lodge aged care hostel and the
the 2030 plans of the Bracks government. The Bracks         Nathalia Baala nursing home, teaching the residents art
government’s plans for 2030 are being implemented           and encouraging them to display their work in
with gusto and enthusiasm by this council, and the          exhibitions across the Goulburn Valley.
council has refused to listen to the community of
Boroondara. The government has refused to listen to         In addition to teaching art, Corres also volunteers her
the City of Boroondara, because it is not in touch. In      services at Numurkah and District Health Service
particular I note that the mayor’s handling of the issues   where she hosts outings for residents, drives a bus and
around the Kew Cottages planning is very sad. I believe     provides one-on-one assistance to frail residents. Last
people in the City of Boroondara, and in the Kew area       week, together with the Minister for Aged Care,
in particular, are very concerned about the                 Mr Gavin Jennings, the Honourable Bill Baxter and
government’s plans. It is clear that the council was        Mr Ken Jasper, the honourable member for Murray
played for a patsy, and through its actions the council     Valley in another place, I had the pleasure of viewing
facilitated the government’s calling in of the Kew          some of the exceptional art works produced by the
Cottages issue. I note also that the Camberwell railway     residents of Numurkah and District Health Service.
station issue where the council is again riding             Mrs Schubert was nominated for this award by
roughshod over the community — —                            Numurkah Health Service, which paid tribute to her
                                                            volunteer spirit. I congratulate Corres Schubert on
  The PRESIDENT — Order! The member’s time                  receiving this award, and commend the work of Corres
has expired.                                                and all volunteers who contribute so much to the
                                                            quality of life of all Victorians.
             Ballarat–Skipton rail trail
                                                                                  Ian Thorpe
   Ms HADDEN (Ballarat) — On 12 March the
Minister for State and Regional Development,                   Mr SMITH (Chelsea) — I rise to congratulate a
Mr Brumby, opened the upgrade of the major tourist          young Australian man who has displayed an
attraction within the Golden Plains shire, the              unbelievable amount of good grace and sportsmanship
Ballarat–Skipton rail trail. The state government’s         through what can only be described as a sporting
Living Regions Living Suburbs program contributed           disaster. His willingness to accept the umpire and rules
$280 000 towards the $545 000 project cost for the          that govern his sport and his support for his team mate
restoration of the historic Nimmons Bridge over the         are a lesson for us all. What a fantastic ambassador for
Woady Yaloak River at Newtown, including the lower          his sport and his country. I speak, of course, of Mr Ian
trail access over the river.                                Thorpe. I congratulate Mr Thorpe; well done and good
                                                            luck in Athens.
Nimmons Bridge is one of Victoria’s oldest and largest
timber trestle bridges and joins up the two sections of                 Seniors Festival: free travel
the Ballarat–Skipton rail trail. This rail trail runs for
53 kilometres from Ballarat through the picturesque            Hon. ANDREA COOTE (Monash) — Victoria
northern plains and historic towns of Smythesdale,          recently celebrated seniors week, from 14 to 21 March.
Scarsdale, Linton, Pittong and Skipton. Adjoining the       It was a great success and had many varied programs.
trail are numerous natural, social and historical points    But why were senior country Victorians discriminated
                                                           MEMBERS STATEMENTS

46                                                                    COUNCIL                               Wednesday, 31 March 2004


against with five days of free travel compared with                                         Prisons: capacity
eight days of free travel for their city counterparts? The
booklet produced for the festival says under ‘Free                           Hon. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA (East Yarra) — I
Travel’:                                                                  rise to congratulate a former federal MP, Dr Andrew
                                                                          Theophanous, who in stark contrast to the Labor Party
     With your Victorian Seniors Card you can travel free on              opposite has identified the fact that the Bracks Labor
     metropolitan trams, trains and buses for the eight days ...
                                                                          government has failed to address the problems in the
Free country rail and coach services were available on                    prison system in this state. This person has experienced
only five days for country Victorians. This is actually a                 the corrections system and has had the fortitude to
great inequity and is not fair. I had a letter which states:              come out on the public record and say exactly what the
                                                                          problem is.
     My 80-year-old father ... travelled from Melbourne to
     Warrnambool on Sunday, 14 March.                                     Let us look at the issues that have confronted us. The
                                                                          Minister for Corrections in the other place, the
     Dad, knowing that senior citizens week had started that day,
     approached the ticket counter with his Seniors Card to be told       Honourable André Haermeyer, has said how wonderful
     he could not travel for free on Sunday, he could have                the system is. The reality is that we have a jail system
     travelled the day before.                                            operating well over its capacity and which is the worst
                                                                          of any state, as the Productivity Commission has
This inequity is unacceptable for senior Victorians.                      recently shown. The government has been running into
Presumably the minister is reviewing the 2004 seniors                     enormous problems with the amount of drugs in jails.
week and is doing his forward planning for seniors                        There is also a problem with high levels of recidivism
week for next year. I ask the minister while he is doing                  and the fact that the government is intent on closing
that to guarantee there will be free travel for all senior,               country jails. The opposition has already put out a
rural and regional Victorians throughout Victoria on                      policy to say it will retain the Won Wron jail, but the
either trains or coaches — —                                              government wants to close it down and continue the
  The PRESIDENT — Order! The member’s time                                overcrowding in our jails. The minister does not
has expired.                                                              understand. It is important that people who have been
                                                                          in the jail system in this state identify the problems
                 Women: local government                                  under this government.

   Ms MIKAKOS (Jika Jika) — I reflect on an                                 The DEPUTY PRESIDENT — Order! The
important development in local government,                                honourable member’s time has expired.
particularly for the north-east of Melbourne. Over the
last two weeks the following mayors have been elected:                          Eumemmerring Province: industrial land
Cr Rae Perry in the City of Darebin, Cr Lara Carli in                        Mr SOMYUREK (Eumemmerring) — I rise to
the City of Whittlesea, Cr Kay Meadows in the City of                     congratulate the state government for investing
Yarra, and Cr Jenny Mulholland for her second                             $1.6 million in Melbourne’s south-east region as part of
consecutive year as mayor of the City of Banyule.                         the Melbourne 2030 plan for balanced growth and
Cr Lara Carli is the first female mayor in Whittlesea’s                   development. This includes a grant of $75 000 for
130-year history. I extend my congratulations to each of                  planning work for the city of Greater Dandenong to
these talented and remarkable women on their election                     allow the council to develop a blueprint for important
and wish them every success in their term as mayor. I                     industrial land in the municipality’s south. The plan
also look forward to working with each of them for the                    will form the basis of future planning controls within
benefit of our local communities.                                         the area, which is of metropolitan-wide significance
Sadly, today only 28.6 per cent of Victoria’s councillors                 and is vital to the economic prosperity of the south-east
are women, although as of today 31.1 per cent are                         region.
mayors. The Bracks government’s support for                               The South Dandenong land was identified last
increasing the number and diversity of women                              November and included in the urban growth boundary
candidates and councillors through funding the                            after research showed a significant shortfall in industrial
‘Strengthening communities through women’s                                land reserves in this crucial area. The decision to rezone
participation’ project should see these numbers increase                  a further 1040 hectares of industrial land more than met
in the future. I certainly hope that more women are                       the government’s commitment to provide a 15-year
encouraged to nominate and participate in this year’s                     supply of industrial land in key areas.
local government elections.
                                               MEMBERS STATEMENTS

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                      47


With more than 40 per cent of Victoria’s total               at the RAAF base at Point Cook, which is in my
manufacturing industry located in and around my              electorate of Melbourne West. Some of the night’s
electorate, it is important to protect the strategic         highlights included the commando skydivers; a flying
strength of the region. The state government is              display of the RAAF Museum heritage aircraft; the
spending a total of $5.6 million on important transport      Roulettes giving a truly spectacular aerobatic flying
and planning issues throughout the south-east region.        display, which simply wowed the whole crowd; and
This includes grants totalling $230 000 for the City of      being entertained by the RAAF Central Band including
Greater Dandenong over the last two years. The               a performance of the 1812 Overture with fireworks.
government is working in partnership with local
councils across Eumemmerring Province and the                The Point Cook airfield was established back in 1913
south-east region generally. The government has given        and is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuously
grants totalling $1.6 million to eight councils — —          operating military airports in the world. It is the home
                                                             of the RAAF Museum, and I certainly recommend that
  The DEPUTY PRESIDENT — Order! The                          all members take some time out to visit it. I
honourable member’s time has expired.                        congratulate Air Commander Rod Luke, Squadron
                                                             Leader Cliff Winnett, Wing Commander Craig White,
       Shop trading hours: Easter Sunday                     Ms Lauren Pettis, and the officer training school for
                                                             what really was a spectacular birthday celebration at
   Hon. B. W. BISHOP (North Western) — My issue              Point Cook.
today stems from the inconsistent and arbitrary decision
making in relation to Easter Sunday trading by the                  Korean War commemorative quilt
Minister for Small Business. I am delighted she is in the
house to hear this particular issue.                            Hon. DAVID KOCH (Western) — I bring to the
                                                             attention of members the unveiling of a memorial quilt
The issue covers areas of Victoria such as Wodonga           that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the end of
and parts of Gippsland, and perhaps more, but I wish to      the Korean War. The quilt was made by 22 Coleraine
address the fact that the minister wrote to the Swan Hill    women using traditional Korean monks linen and
Rural City Council in April last year recommending           taking over 1000 hours to complete. The quilt lists all
that an exemption be given across the municipality to        340 Australian soldiers who lost their lives in this
trade on Easter Sunday. I will quote what the minister       conflict. Being handmade it has special significance for
wrote, in part, that secured the exemption last year —       the many Australian families who lost husbands,
that is, ‘on the basis of longstanding local events during   fathers, sons and brothers more than 50 years ago and is
the Easter period’.                                          a public recognition of the supreme sacrifice these
                                                             young soldiers made. The commemorative quilt weaves
While none of these events has changed — in fact, I          a story of the life and death of these unsung Australian
suspect they have increased — the traders and the            heroes, including the ideals of peace and freedom in an
community were stunned to learn that the Easter              ever-uncertain world.
Sunday trading has been excluded from the
municipality this year. We note that the neighbouring        The quilt has been touring Australia, including Ballarat,
municipalities of Gannawarra and Mildura certainly           and is expected to be in Hamilton for Anzac Day.
enjoy the status of exemption.                               Supported by the Australia-Korea Foundation, the quilt
                                                             will also be displayed at Pusan, Korea’s war memorial,
I request that the minister immediately reverse this         in memory of those Australians involved in the Korean
decision and allow these traders to trade on Easter          campaign.
Sunday as they have for many years, or is she prepared
to compensate them for their economic loss?                  Congratulations to Coleraine’s Nola Gunning and her
                                                             team of dedicated volunteers who created this
    Point Cook: Royal Australian Air Force                   extraordinary and unique memorial. This memorial
                 anniversary                                 quilt demonstrates the ongoing community recognition
                                                             of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that
   Hon. KAYE DARVENIZA (Melbourne West) — I
                                                             we retain the freedoms we enjoy today.
inform the house of how delighted I was to attend,
along with my parliamentary colleague the                                  Avalon Airport: Jetstar
Honourable Ron Bowden, the Royal Australian Air
Force twilight spectacular celebrating the 83rd birthday        Hon. J. H. EREN (Geelong) — I am delighted by
of the RAAF. The celebrations took place last Saturday       the wonderful news that Jetstar has landed in Victoria,
                                                 MEMBERS STATEMENTS

48                                                        COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


particularly at Avalon. I mentioned in my inaugural                                  Iraq: conflict
speech the enormous potential of Avalon Airport, and
obviously those in the private sector have now                     Hon. J. G. HILTON (Western Port) — Slowly but
developed a vision for what this place could be and its         inexorably it is becoming clear that the reasons the
importance to Geelong. However, all levels of                   Australian people were given for going to war in Iraq
government needed to fully appreciate that vision and           were completely bogus. There are no weapons of mass
get behind it, and Geelong needed this very important           destruction, there is no link between Saddam Hussein
development.                                                    and Al-Qaeda and certainly the world is not a safer
                                                                place.
I am informed that the airport currently employs about
1000 people, but with the announcement that Jetstar             However, we are now told that we went to war for a
will use Avalon as a base for its Sydney and Brisbane           different reason: Saddam Hussein was a vicious tyrant
flights the potential for more employment is endless. I         who slaughtered his own people and the world is a
urge everyone to get behind Jetstar, especially                 better place without him. That is true, but in recent
considering that the Bracks Labor government worked             times there have been other vicious tyrants — Idi
so hard to ensure that Jetstar would use Victoria as its        Amin, Pol Pot, General Galtieri and General Pinochet.
base. In keeping with this government’s commitment to           These tyrants also slaughtered their own people — in
regional areas it is appropriate that such a great boost to     Pol Pot’s case, by the millions — but I do not recall that
the Victorian economy should come out of the                    we invaded their countries. At the present time the
second-biggest city in Victoria, Geelong. Special               regimes in North Korea, Burma and Zimbabwe are run
congratulations should go to Linfox at Avalon for its           by vicious tyrants, but I do not see us invading those
strength and foresight in working with various levels of        countries any time soon. No, as is increasingly
government to see such a wonderful outcome as this.             becoming clear, the real reason the Prime Minister sent
                                                                our troops to Iraq is that George Bush asked him to.
               Professor John Funder                            Later this year Australia will have an opportunity to
                                                                vote for either a government whose primary interests
   Hon. BILL FORWOOD (Templestowe) — I want                     are those of the United States or a government whose
to place on record the outstanding contribution made by         primary interests are those of Australia. The choice
Professor John Funder to the Victorian Health                   could not be more stark.
Promotion Foundation. Professor Funder chaired his
last board meeting on 17 March, and after seven                       Real estate agents: government action
years — he was appointed by the Kennett government
in 1997 — has finished his term as chairman of                     Hon. B. N. ATKINSON (Koonung) — I wish to
VicHealth. Honourable members would know that I                 report to the house that the Honourable Robert Doyle,
have been appointed by the Parliament as one of the             the Leader of the Opposition in another place, and I
VicHealth board members.                                        attended the Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s (REIV)
                                                                annual dinner this month. I note that there was nobody
VicHealth is an iconic institution in this state and an         from the government at that dinner. That continued a
example to others of the Parliament working at its best         contempt of the real estate industry, a contempt that has
to create an institution of lasting benefit to the state and    been shown by John Brumby, the Treasurer, who
to the people. However, it has depended very much, of           continues to disparage the real estate institute for its
course, on the quality of the people who have headed            advocacy of a reduction in stamp duties and land taxes
the institution since it started. It was first chaired by Sir   by indicating that that is from some sort of self-interest
Gus Nossal and then John, and it has had two                    of the industry, when in fact consumers and businesses
outstanding chief executive officers in Rhonda Galbally         pay stamp duties and land taxes and there is no income
and now Rob Moodie.                                             for estate agents.
As many would know, Professor Funder has a very                 I am concerned that the government failed to appoint
long history as head of the Baker Medical Research              representatives to the Estate Agents Council in time to
Institute. He brought an extraordinary depth of                 enable that council to hold its formal meeting in March.
experience and wisdom to the board, and under his               The council failed to have a formal meeting as there
leadership VicHealth continued to grow in the esteem            was no quorum because the minister had not appointed
of the people of Victoria and to their benefit.                 the appropriate people.

                                                                I am also concerned about the changes to legislation
                                                                that were passed by this house in the last sitting. The
                                                  JOINT SITTING OF PARLIAMENT

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                            COUNCIL                                                                       49


REIV has conducted training programs for estate agents                  Ordered that message be sent to Assembly
from its own resources despite the fact that the                        acquainting them with resolution.
regulations for that legislation were not finalised until
days before the act was due to come into force. I now                                  BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
notice — —
                                                                                                  Sessional orders
   The PRESIDENT — Order! The time for members
statements has expired.                                                 Mr LENDERS having been given leave to amend
                                                                        notice of motion 1:

     JOINT SITTING OF PARLIAMENT                                           Mr LENDERS (Minister for Finance) — By leave,
                                                                        I move:
                      Senate vacancy
                                                                              That the sessional orders of the Council, adopted on
   The PRESIDENT — Order! I have received the                                 26 February 2003, be amended as follows:
following message from the Governor:                                          Days and hours of meeting
  The Governor transmits to the Legislative Council a copy of a               1.   In sessional order 1 after ‘Tuesday at 2.00 p.m.’ insert
  dispatch which has been received from the Honourable the                         ‘and at 9.30 a.m. in the final week of each autumn and
  President of the Senate notifying that a vacancy has happened                    spring sitting period’.
  in the representation of the state of Victoria in the Senate of
  the commonwealth of Australia.                                              Routine of business

and a letter from the President of the Senate to the                          2.   In sessional order 2, in paragraph (c), omit ‘Motions to
Governor:                                                                          take note of reports and papers (30 minutes)’ and insert
                                                                                   ‘Statements on reports and papers (60 minutes)’.
  Pursuant to the provisions of section 21 of the commonwealth
  of Australia constitution, I notify Your Excellency that a                  Government business
  vacancy has occurred in the representation of the state of
  Victoria through the resignation on 10 February 2004 of                     3.   In sessional order 3, omit ‘5.23 (a), (b), (c), (e) and (f)’
  Senator the Honourable Richard Kenneth Robert Alston.                            and insert ‘5.23 (a), (b), (c) and (e)’.

I have also received the following message from the                           General business
Assembly:                                                                     4.   Omit sessional order 5 and insert:

  The Legislative Assembly has agreed to the following                             ‘The transaction of general business will take
  resolution:                                                                      precedence of all other business on Wednesday for
                                                                                   3 hours following members statements, excluding any
       That this house meets the Legislative Council for the                       period of suspension of the sitting: provided that, in the
       purpose of sitting and voting together to choose a person                   final sitting week of each autumn and spring sitting
       to hold the place in the Senate rendered vacant by the                      period general business will take precedence for
       resignation of Senator the Honourable Richard Kenneth                       2 hours.’
       Robert Alston and proposes that the time and place of
       such meeting be the Legislative Assembly chamber on                         ‘Unless otherwise ordered by the Council, when debate
       Wednesday, 31 March 2004 at 6.15 p.m.                                       has concluded on each general business matter the
                                                                                   President must put the question.’
  which is presented for the agreement of the Legislative
  Council.                                                                         ‘Of the time allocated for consideration of a general
                                                                                   business matter under sessional order 5, not less than
   Mr LENDERS (Minister for Finance) — By leave,                                   5 minutes must be given to the mover of the motion to
I move:                                                                            exercise his or her right of reply prior to the question
                                                                                   being put.’
  That this house meet the Legislative Assembly for the
  purpose of sitting and voting together to choose a person to                Notices of motion
  hold the place in the Senate rendered vacant by the
  resignation of Senator the Honourable Richard Kenneth                       5.   Insert the following new sessional order to follow
  Robert Alston and, as proposed by the Assembly, the place                        sessional order 9:
  and time of such meeting be the Legislative Assembly
  chamber on Wednesday, 31 March 2004 at 6.15 p.m.                                 ‘Standing order 5.04 be suspended to provide that
                                                                                   notices of motion may be given after the presentation of
Motion agreed to.                                                                  papers for a period not exceeding 15 minutes. No notice
                                                                                   of motion will, without leave of the Council, be received
                                                                                   after the Council has proceeded to the orders of the day.’
                                                           BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

50                                                                      COUNCIL                                          Wednesday, 31 March 2004


     Discharge of business from the notice paper                                       the final sitting week of each autumn and spring sitting
                                                                                       period. At the conclusion of the time allocated under this
     6.   Insert the following new sessional order to precede                          sessional order, the President will then put the question.
          sessional order 10:
                                                                                       Nothing in this sessional order will preclude a member
          ‘Standing order 5.12 be suspended to provide that a                          from —
          notice of motion and an order of the day, general
          business, other than for the consideration of a bill, will                        (i)   giving notice of a report previously discussed
          be discharged from the notice paper after it has been                                   on a Thursday; or
          listed for 20 consecutive sitting days.’
                                                                                            (ii) giving notice to take note of a report or paper
     Daily adjournment of the Council                                                            for consideration during general business.

     7.   In sessional order 10, omit paragraph (a) and insert:                        Subject to the provisions of sessional order 41, a
                                                                                       member may also make a statement under this sessional
          ‘(a) At 10.00 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and at                           order regarding the failure of a minister to provide either
               4.30 p.m. on Thursday, the President will interrupt                     an answer or an explanation to a question on notice.’
               the business before the house, or if the house is in
               committee, the Chair of Committees will report                     Government business program
               progress and the President will then interrupt such
               business: provided that —                                          10. In sessional order 20, omit paragraph (a) and insert:

               (i)   if a division is in progress at the time of such                  ‘(a) as required, the remaining questions necessary for
                     interruption, the division will be completed                           the passage of the bill through the house will be
                     and the result announced;                                              combined (except in the case of a bill that requires
                                                                                            the third reading to be passed by an absolute or
               (ii) the Chair will have discretion to extend the                            special majority of the whole number of the
                    time for a maximum of 10 minutes to allow                               members of the Legislative Council, the question
                    for the completion of a speech on a motion for                          for the third reading will be put separately), the
                    the second reading of a bill within the                                 committee stage of a bill being dispensed with if no
                    allocated time;                                                         government amendments have been circulated
                                                                                            pursuant to sessional order 22; and’.
               (iii) the Chair will not be required to call the next
                     speaker if a speaker completes his or her                    11. In sessional order 21, omit paragraph (b) and insert:
                     speech within 3 minutes prior to the time
                     fixed for such interruption.’                                     ‘(b) in the case of a bill that requires the third reading to
                                                                                            be passed by an absolute or special majority of the
     8.   In sessional order 10, omit subparagraph (ii) of                                  whole number of the members of the Legislative
          paragraph (b) and insert:                                                         Council, put separately the questions necessary for
                                                                                            the passage of the bill through the house (including
          ‘(ii) If a minister does not move such motion, the                                a combined question relating to any amendments
                President will forthwith propose the question “That                         and new clauses and schedules desired by the
                the house do now adjourn” which question may not                            government which have been circulated pursuant to
                be amended but can be open to debate. Provided                              sessional order 22) the committee stage being
                that, before proposing such question the President                          dispensed with; and’
                will announce to the Council the receipt of any
                messages from the Assembly and any bills                          Extension of government business program
                transmitted will be read a first time and their
                second reading made an order of the day for the                   12. In sessional order 23, in paragraph (a), omit ‘4.00 p.m.’
                next day of meeting. At the conclusion of the                         and insert ‘4.30 p.m.’
                debate, the President will adjourn the house until
                the time of the next meeting without putting any                  Incorporation of second-reading speeches in Hansard
                question.’
                                                                                  13. Omit sessional order 30 and insert:
     Statements on reports and papers
                                                                                       ‘Standing order 12.05 be suspended so that when a bill
     9.   Omit sessional order 13 and insert:                                          originating in the Legislative Assembly has passed that
                                                                                       house and is transmitted and introduced into the
          ‘Following members statements on Thursdays, the                              Legislative Council, on the order of the day being read
          President will propose the question “That reports and                        for the second reading of that bill, the minister may
          papers tabled in the Council be noted” and any member                        make introductory remarks on the contents of the bill,
          may make a statement of not more than 5 minutes on                           including a statement of any amendments made by the
          any report or paper proposed for discussion that day. A                      Legislative Assembly to the bill which have been
          member must give not less than one day’s notice of a                         reflected in the second-reading speech and may move a
          report or paper proposed for discussion and may propose                      motion without notice for the incorporation of the
          not more than one report or paper for discussion each                        second-reading speech (except so much of the speech
          week. The time allocated for discussion on reports and                       that may contain a statement under section 85(5) of the
          papers may not exceed 60 minutes, and 30 minutes in
                                                        BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                             COUNCIL                                                                    51


       Constitution Act 1975) of that bill into Hansard. Such                       (f)   The maximum time for a debate on a motion to
       motion may not be amended or debated.                                              take note of a ministerial statement may not exceed
                                                                                          2 hours, following which, unless otherwise ordered
       On moving the motion for the second reading of a bill,                             by the Council, the President must put the
       the minister must (if required) make a statement under                             question’.
       section 85(5) of the Constitution Act 1975.’
                                                                               Procedure where answers to questions on notice not
  14. Omit sessional order 31 and insert:                                      provided
       ‘On the order of the day being read for the second                      18. Insert the following new sessional order to precede
       reading of a bill originating in the Legislative Council,                   sessional order 35:
       the minister may make introductory remarks on the
       contents of the bill and may move a motion for the                           ‘Standing order 6.08(2) be suspended to provide that in
       incorporation of the second-reading speech (except so                        the event that a minister does not provide an
       much of the speech that may contain a statement under                        explanation, notice may forthwith be given of a motion
       section 85(5) of the Constitution Act 1975) of that bill                     regarding the minister’s failure to provide either an
       into Hansard only with the leave of the Council.                             answer or an explanation to a question on notice which
                                                                                    can only be debated on Wednesdays during general
       On moving the motion for the second reading of a bill,                       business. Members may also make a statement on
       the minister must (if required) make a statement under                       Thursdays within the time allocated for “Statements on
       section 85(5) of the Constitution Act 1975.’                                 reports and papers”, provided that at least one day’s
                                                                                    notice of intention to make such statement is given by a
  Third reading of bills                                                            member. A member may speak for not more than
                                                                                    5 minutes on such statement.’
  15. In sessional order 33, after ‘absolute’ insert ‘or special’.
                                                                               Renumbering of sessional orders and correction of
  Debate on amendments in committee of the whole                               references
  16. Insert the following new sessional order to follow                       19. The Clerk be authorised to renumber the existing
      sessional order 33:                                                          sessional orders and correct any internal references as a
                                                                                   consequence of these amendments.
       ‘Immediately after the Council resolves itself into
       committee of the whole on a bill on the consideration of
       clause 1, a minister may circulate and move any number            The motion clearly deals with amendments to the
       of government amendments proposed to be made in the               sessional orders. To recap, this house, at its first
       bill, after which other members may circulate                     meeting in 2003, adopted sessional orders and we had a
       amendments and speak in general terms on their                    long and vigorous debate. It fair to say that a lot of the
       proposed amendments. Consideration of the
       amendments will be in accordance with the provisions
                                                                         debate revolved around the issue of whether things that
       of standing orders 12.14 to 12.21.’                               were practice and not codified should be codified and
                                                                         whether there were some other areas beyond the
  Ministerial statements                                                 codification in the government business program —
  17. Insert the following new sessional order to follow                 time limits in particular was probably the most
      sessional order 34:                                                contentious issue at the time. There was a long debate.

       ‘Standing order 5.06 be suspended and that the                    These are very important debates in a Parliament,
       following procedure apply to ministerial statements:              because in the end a debate on sessional and standing
       (a) A minister may make a ministerial statement                   orders ultimately regulates how we conduct our
           without leave at any time in government business              business. Understandably members will have strong
           provided that there is no question before the Chair.          views about what is the best way for the regulation and
                                                                         behaviour of 44 individuals who all obviously have the
       (b) The minister must provide a copy of the statement
           to the President and party leaders at least 2 hours
                                                                         traditions of the Parliament near and dear to them and
           before it is proposed to be made.                             have views on the best way for Parliament to operate.

       (c) The minister may not speak for more than                      One year on from the adoption of the sessional orders
           20 minutes.                                                   we again have in front of us amendments to those
       (d) At the conclusion of the ministerial statement, a
                                                                         sessional orders. The amendments essentially fall into
           motion may be moved without notice, “That the                 three categories. The first seeks to clarify some areas
           Council take note of the ministerial statement”.              that either time has shown could be done better or
                                                                         where circumstances have changed. Secondly, some of
       (e) The lead speakers for the other parties may speak             the amendments deal with how we can more efficiently
           on the motion for not more than 20 minutes,
           following which the time limits prescribed by                 use the time we have, in particular removing potentially
           sub-paragraph (iii) of paragraph (a) of sessional             time-wasting issues from the sessional orders. Thirdly,
           order 33 will apply.
                                              BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

52                                                     COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


there are a couple of areas where there is a conscious       Mr Forwood that it does go back to the 60-minute
decision in this proposal to change the way the chamber      timing of reports, which was a case in the
operates. I will go through the sessional orders fairly      54th Parliament, but it also broadens the scope of what
briefly to outline where they fit in, but I think they       can be debated.
primarily fall into those headings.
                                                             The next amendment concerns government business.
From when the consolidated resolution was first read
into the house on its last sitting day last year there has       Hon. Bill Forwood — What about this?
been discussion between parties, and in a number of
areas these new sessional orders incorporate                    Mr LENDERS — I will not take up Mr Forwood’s
amendments that were suggested in some of the areas          interjection because I missed it.
to deal with either unforeseen consequences or to vary          Hon. Bill Forwood — Did you check with the
them. I would not purport to say that there is agreement     Auditor-General what his views are on this? He wants
over these, but in some of the areas the edges have been     his report debated in this place.
smoothed.
                                                                Mr LENDERS — My major discussions with the
The first amendment ‘Days and hours of meeting’              Auditor-General at the moment are on the fascinating
seeks to codify what already happens in a final week of      subject of international accounting standards. One day I
a sitting when this house sits and the Assembly does         will give Mr Forwood the benefit of my accumulated
not.                                                         knowledge on that. But today I can assure Mr Forwood,
Amendment 2, ‘Routine of business’ deals with                the house and the Victorian community that we will
extending. At the moment debate has been in place            have the capacity to debate 12 Auditor-General’s
about whether a half hour debate on reports goes to          reports, rather than one, every week.
1 hour — —                                                   I move to amendment 3, which concerns government
  Hon. Bill Forwood — Putting it back to what it             business. Again, the purpose of this amendment is to
was.                                                         clarify the priority of government business in an area. It
                                                             goes to the issue of whether a minister has been
   Mr LENDERS — I take up Mr Forwood’s                       tardy — and I use the word deliberately — in replying
interjection. No, it does not go back to what it was; it     to questions on notice. Today we had a wonderful 200
broadens it. The time goes back to what was in place,        or so answers to questions on notice. This amendment
but the scope is broadened. This proposes that where a       goes to the issue of the sanctions of this house if a
motion on a particular report that all members need to       minister does not deal with a question. There are two
debate is moved, individual members of the                   ways that this can be dealt with. Clearly there is the
chamber — probably 12 of them — are empowered to             issue of embarrassing a minister by their being held to
debate any report they are interested in that is relevant    account by people asking, ‘Is the question answered?’
to their electorate rather than everybody being required     Under the existing rules there is also a capacity to move
to follow the first item that has been brought forward.      a motion forthwith.

It is probably worth spending just a moment on that          One of the concerns that government members have in
issue, because if we are a house of review there are two     dealing with this is to remove from the sessional orders
ways that you look to review. You either review one          things that can be used for filibustering, and there is
item that is brought forward, and everyone is required       always a fine balance involved in dealing with that. I
to debate — —                                                would say that the first and foremost issue here is the
                                                             right of the opposition or the third party to hold the
     Hon. Bill Forwood — An audit report.                    minister to account in general business where a motion
                                                             can at any time be moved.
   Mr LENDERS — Mr Forwood says, ‘An audit
report’. That is an incredibly significant report.           If it is the view of the opposition or the third party that
Previously the first person moved one item and every         general business should be used for other things, it is
member debated it. Under this proposal there is no           their call and priority that determines what is the most
reason that 12 members cannot debate 12 separate audit       important thing. Under these proposals when making a
reports. There is no reason that a member cannot debate      statement on a report any member — government,
a report about their electorate or an issue that they have   opposition or any other member — can use their
worked on or are interested in. This amendment               5 minutes to draw the attention of the house and the
enhances this house as a house of review. I concede to       community to the fact that a minister has been tardy. So
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                 COUNCIL                                                        53


there is still a capacity for resolution under general             Hon. P. R. Hall — He will come back.
business, but an acknowledgment that you would not
want to make that the only vehicle. A person who has a           Mr LENDERS — He is listening in his room, and I
problem can ask a minister a question, can deal with the     am sure he will come back, Mr Hall. The government
general business resolution and also can raise it in         acknowledges that the purpose of time limits is to allow
reports. So there are three vehicles, but the prime reason   an orderly way for debate to proceed, as happens in the
for the amendment is again the issue of time.                other house. The reality has been that the rigorous
                                                             application of the 10 o’clock adjournment, without
Moving to amendment 4, which concerns general                exception, occasionally has meant that a member in full
business, there has been some discussion, and the            flight, giving his or her wisdom to the chamber, has
government has accepted the opposition’s amendment           been cut off. Some members have found this a bit
about only one item being appropriate in general             frustrating. Government members acknowledge this, so
business. The government accepts that general business       we give discretion under these proposed sessional
is not government business, so it has been removed at        orders for the Chair to let the debate go on for a few
the request of the opposition and the National Party.        minutes longer than it would otherwise take to
What remains is to clarify that a question is actually       complete a debate.
put, and that there is a right of reply for the mover.
They are the only changes that are proposed to the             Hon. Bill Forwood — So do we take it as an
sessional order concerning general business. Again the       admission that you got it wrong last time?
government has accepted the opposition’s and The
Nationals’ requirement that says, ‘This is not                  Mr LENDERS — I will take up Mr Forwood’s
government business, so do not prescribe that it only be     interjection. He said that this government got it wrong
one item’.                                                   last time. This government is always open to
                                                             suggestions about how to improve the running, so that
Moving on to notices of motion in amendment 5, again         is why it is proposing amendment 7. This is a way of
it is simply an issue of time. It means that there will be   dealing with those issues where a little more debate
a 15-minute period in which people can read notices of       would make the issue clearer.
motion. I do not think that has ever been exceeded, and
certainly under this proposal it would mean that it never    Amendment 8 is about statements on reports and
could be exceeded.                                           papers; I touched on it earlier. This gives a greater
                                                             capacity for members of this place to have a vehicle. At
  Hon. Philip Davis interjected.                             the moment members have adjournment debates with
                                                             fairly strict rules and 90-second statements, but other
   Hon. Bill Forwood — It has never been exceeded,           than someone who is actually presenting a report there
so why do you want it to say that?                           often is not scope to talk on reports if members want to.
                                                             From the perspective of the non-government parties,
    Mr LENDERS — I will take up the interjections            there would be more speaking time. If they wish to,
made by the Leader of the Opposition and                     they can talk about the Auditor-General or whatever
Mr Forwood. Part of the purpose of this tightening of        issue. They can talk on them all, but it also means that
the sessional orders is to remove the capacity for           government members can talk on reports that are
filibustering.                                               important to them. As we move forward to being the
                                                             house of review that the constitution makes us, this
Amendment 6 concerns the discharge of business from          amendment, which is an important reform, broadens the
the notice paper. Again, this could all be done by the       scope of debate in this place.
agreement of members, but at the moment the printing
of our notice paper is causing multiple trees to be          Amendments 10 and 11 essentially deal with the
slaughtered every day. Part of the purpose of this           government business program and the fact that the
change is that after 20 sitting days a motion goes off the   constitution has been changed so that we no longer
notice paper, but if a member still feels strongly about     have second-reading speeches requiring statutory
it, they can make a statement and have it put back on. I     majorities.
would say that this is our environmental clause — that
is, the provision dealing with the protection of trees       The purpose of amendment 12 is twofold: firstly, it
from slaughter. It will shorten our notice paper.            better facilitates the receiving of resolutions from the
                                                             Legislative Assembly; and secondly, it means that the
It is a pity my friend Mr Baxter is not in the chamber       Council will sit a bit longer and make up the time that
for this one, because this is what I will call — —           would otherwise come out of government business
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54                                                      COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


from the time allowed for reports being extended by           minimum, a member has had the capacity to outline
half an hour to an hour. The purpose of amendment 12          their proposed amendment. That is essentially the
is to allow extra time.                                       nature of amendment 16.

Amendment 13 concerns the incorporation of                    Amendment 17 concerns ministerial statements. This is
second-reading speeches into Hansard. The                     a combination of codifications, but it is also essentially
government has had advice from Chief Parliamentary            a replication of the Assembly requirement. I am sure
Counsel that, under the Constitution Act, section 85          there will be debate about this. Some members will say,
statements are required to be read. I have sought further     ‘Why can we not do this by agreement?’ This
advice as to whether it is just the section 85 statement      amendment seeks to say that if there is no agreement,
or the whole speech. The advice provided is that the          there is a minimum of 2 hours where the full statement
statement be read rather than the whole second-reading        is circulated to members.
speech. This amendment deals with that advice, and I
urge the Council to adopt ,it because there is no             I give an unequivocal commitment that for anything
difference in principle in bills that have come out of the    that I, as a minister, deal with, at a minimum I will
Legislative Assembly to what we have already had. The         advise the other parties and give them the same sort of
protection that was always in these sessional orders,         notice we have for general business — that is, the day
and still remains, was that a bill can be introduced for      before — and that if, for example, a statement on
the first time into the Legislative Council only by leave.    insurance or whatever is introduced, hopefully the
                                                              wording is given earlier to let people be prepared. This
   Hon. Bill Forwood — If it has been incorporated in         amendment seeks to put in a minimum requirement,
that house, it must be read in this house.                    that ministers are entitled to make statements during the
                                                              time for government business and that an opposition
   Mr LENDERS — I will take up Mr Forwood’s                   member, as well as the President, is entitled to have at
interjection. Under its sessional orders the Legislative      least 2 hours notice beforehand to see the document and
Assembly does not have a capacity to incorporate bills.       prepare for what would be an important debate.
     Hon. Bill Forwood — Yes, it does.                        Then we move on to amendment 18. It means there is a
                                                              vehicle for holding ministers to account if they are
    Mr LENDERS — Very occasionally they are done              tardy.
by leave, but the purpose of the Council’s sessional
orders is that, at least in theory, a bill that has come      That summarises the amendments and I look forward to
from the Assembly has been in the public domain for           the debate because I understand there will be some
two weeks, that the second-reading speech has been            areas that, out of principle, people will argue against.
read and seen, and that is of a different standard to a       That is to be expected, but given the sessional orders
speech that has been read in here for a first time. So that   we started off with and the decisions of this place a year
is the policy behind the amendment. Again, in principle       ago to bring those sessional orders into place, I think
it is no different to what we have other than it excises      they seek to enhance and improve debate in this place.
those parts of second-reading speeches that were caught       They will increase opportunities, particularly with
up because a section 85 statement was included in             reports, and people will be able to talk on issues that
them.                                                         they have been involved in and are concerned about,
                                                              more so than under the existing sessional orders or
Amendment 15 is purely procedural and deals with              under the sessional and standing orders of the 54th
constitutional changes.                                       Parliament.
Amendment 16 again deals with the issue that if there            Hon. PHILIP DAVIS (Gippsland) — Firstly,
are amendments proposed in committee, the proposer            before making my substantive remarks I should
of those amendment gets a chance to outline them. So          acknowledge the cooperation of the Leader of the
the committee stage remains unchanged, but it means           Government in making these proposed amendments to
that if, for argument’s sake, Mr Forwood has an               the sessional orders less bad, which is the only way I
amendment to clause 80 or if I have an amendment to           could describe it! That is the one acknowledgment I
clause 85 of a bill, we can at least propose what we          will make.
wish to do at the start in general terms so that time is
not lost for debate. Clearly if we get to the stage where     Having said that, I will not dignify the sessional orders
the sessional orders click in and it goes to a vote, this     which the government imposed on this place last year
proposed amendment will guarantee that, at a                  with any indication of acceptance that any modification
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                  COUNCIL                                                         55


could make them anything but otherwise flawed. You               giving notice is absolutely pathetic, and in the
cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear — and that           minister’s own words, we have never exceeded
is exactly what the minister is talking about. He is             15 minutes for giving notices of motion, anyway.
talking about further codification; he is talking about a
further restriction of opportunities for members of this         The most important change which is proposed to the
place to represent the community on important issues.            sessional orders is to relieve ministers of a sanction
                                                                 which was implied but not exercised — and, to the best
It is quite clear that the sessional orders which were           of my understanding, only on one sitting day has the
introduced into this place and under which we now                sanction in relation to ministers failing to respond to
operate changed the whole premise on which this house            questions on notice been exercised. I think that
has operated since its entire existence — which was one          happened about two years ago by my colleagues the
of cooperation between all sides of the Parliament.              honourables Graeme Stoney, Andrea Coote and David
Over the last year members were gagged repeatedly by             Davis in relation to questions on notice that had not
the operation of the sessional orders, and the guillotine        been handled in the appropriate way.
was imposed in ways that it had never, ever been done
in the history of the upper house.                               That sanction of considering a minister’s failure to
                                                                 respond appropriately to a question on notice is there to
The minister made a couple of interesting comments.              assist the minister as much as anything in meeting the
He talked about time wasting and time limits. The                time lines that have always been set down for questions
biggest time-wasting device introduced into this                 on notice. I think the government will find it causes it
Parliament has been the introduction of time limits on           more problems in ensuring that the people advising it in
members’ speeches. Indeed, it is clearly the case that           its departments are dealing attentively with the process
this house has operated less effectively in dealing with         of delivering responses to questions on notice. We
its legislative responsibilities in the last year than it ever   know that matters that are subjected to a procedure
has before. It was only by the extraordinary cooperation         which exposes them to public purview as a result of
of the opposition parties at the end of the last sitting that    their being before Parliament puts a discipline into the
the government was able to crunch through 20 bills in            public service in a way that ensures that these matters
two weeks — which was a reflection of the                        are dealt with seriously.
extraordinary incapacity of the government to manage
the house, but more importantly the ineffectiveness of           I believe that any relaxation of those disciplines will be
this codification and restriction on the ability of              to the detriment of the Parliament; the Parliament will
members to be able to go about dealing with some                 not be treated quite as significantly in this process as it
sensible arrangements in a cooperative sense.                    ought to be. I regret that the change has been
                                                                 determined to be made, and I acknowledge that this
I do not intend to nitpick my way through the proposed           matter was considered in conversation with the Leader
detail of the changes to the sessional orders. The               of the Government, but I am very disturbed about it. I
opposition is opposed to these amendments as it was              think it is inevitable that this will cause a diminution of
opposed to the introduction of the sessional orders as           regard for the process of dealing with questions on
they exist in the first place. Therefore there is no point       notice and, that being the case, the opportunity for
in going into detail, but I will say this: to introduce, as      Victorians to have proper scrutiny of government will
the minister has proposed to do, time restrictions on            also be further reduced.
giving notice and putting a cap on in case notices of
motion might be used to filibuster is the most bizarre           I believe these sessional orders achieve nothing more
example of the nature of the government in wanting to            than tinkering with a bad arrangement which the
codify every aspect of the way in which our society              opposition has previously voted against. Therefore we
lives.                                                           will be voting against these amendments.

May I say more broadly, that is what country Victorians             Hon. P. R. HALL (Gippsland) — In speaking to
have been complaining about over the last year. In just          this motion, the first thing I want to say is that The
about every week the government brings in a new                  Nationals acknowledge that we need a set of guidelines
codification about the way people have to live —                 and a set of rules to conduct the orderly operation of
whether it is about their grandchildren or how they deal         business through this chamber. We accept that, and we
with their private land or how they manage their farms.          have always accepted that there needs to be a form of
This is typical mantra from the Labor Party. Its only            sessional orders. But like other debates on sessional
understanding about government is to interfere with the          orders we have warned this Parliament about the
lives of ordinary Victorians. The time restriction on            dangers of being overly prescriptive. Invariably once
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56                                                     COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


you start being prescriptive there need to be continual      10.00 p.m. instead of 3 minutes to 10.00 p.m., or what
adjustments and change, and things cannot be done            if they finish at 11 minutes past 10.00 p.m.? We did not
with cooperation, goodwill and understanding between         have these problems before because — —
the parties.
                                                                 Mr Lenders — We did not finish before 10.00 p.m.
When this government came to power and introduced
its first set of sessional orders, The Nationals and the        Hon. P. R. HALL — That is absolutely not true.
Liberal Party argued very strongly that this house has       There was always some cooperation between the two
always conducted its business efficiently, with an           parties to say, ‘This is our target time, so let us work
understanding of goodwill between all parties                towards the target’. I would say that 99 per cent of the
represented in this chamber, and it accomplished what        time those targets were achieved within acceptable,
needed to be accomplished quite efficiently. I agree         reasonable limits. We are now finding that even though
with the comments of the Leader of the Opposition now        there is some variation of the 10.00 p.m. rule on
that we are seeing things being done less efficiently,       Tuesday and Wednesday nights, they are still reflective
because we are being overly prescriptive with these          and will still be inefficient to some extent.
rules under which we can operate and which we have
before us.                                                   Before I comment on a couple of the changes, I want to
                                                             say that we are seeing variations to the sessional orders
I too make an analogy. It is a bit like the issue of         at the start of this autumn session of 2004. I expect that
overregulation out there in the general community, and       we will see some changes to sessional orders at the start
very sadly that is where Victoria is moving. Under           of every session between now and the next election,
previous Labor governments Victoria was called the           because once you have a strict set of rules, people being
rust-bucket state; now we are being called the red-tape      what they are they will try and find ways to get around
state because of the excessive amount of regulation that     them. They will try to break those rules and seek an
is being applied. Some call us the nanny state — —           advantage over them. Consequently, my bet to anybody
                                                             in this chamber is that we will be back before too long
     Mr Viney interjected.                                   to seek some further changes to these sessional
                                                             orders — changes that could have been avoided if there
    Hon. P. R. HALL — Well, they do: it is a common          was that atmosphere of cooperation, trust and goodwill
phrase that people are using, because the government is      between all parties.
telling people what they can and cannot do! It is the
red-tape mentality of this government. These sessional       In commenting on the issue of the specific changes, I
orders are a reflection of that red-tape mentality; they     want to take up the points made by the Leader of the
are overly prescriptive, and they overregulate the ways      Opposition about the effect of some of the changes
in which this chamber can operate. As I said, it impacts     proposed in this motion. For example, I refer to the very
upon the efficiency with which we can conduct                first one. We are putting in place the practice that has
business. I will give one example. The previous              applied for at least the 15 years that I have been in this
sessional orders put in place the finishing time of          place, and that is that when the Assembly is not sitting,
10.00 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and             we start at 9.30 a.m. or 10.00 a.m. as was the normal
4.00 p.m. on Thursday evenings. With these changes to        starting time in years back. Now we are putting in
sessional orders we now see that that was not the wisest     writing that if the Assembly is not sitting in the last
thing to do, because there were inefficiencies. We saw       week of the sitting, we definitely have to start at
people who had just got to their feet prior to the           9:30 a.m. instead of 2.00 p.m. We did not need a rule
10.00 p.m. deadline having to start their speech for 2, 3    for that. For my 15 years and probably for the hundred
or 4 minutes and then terminating it, or we saw people       years before that, it has worked perfectly well without
getting close to finishing their speech and not being        having to specify such a rule. One wonders why we
able to do so because of the strict application of the       need to put it in writing.
10.00 p.m. deadline before going on to the adjournment
debate. I acknowledge that we have here some                 It is the same with some of the other things. The Leader
refinements to the 10.00 p.m. rule. Now there is some        of the Government admitted with amendment 5 —
scope for the Chair to allow a person to continue for up     notices of motion — that at this time no-one has ever
to 10 minutes after 10.00 p.m. to finish their speech, or    exceeded the 15-minute time limit for the moving of
if we are within 3 minutes of 10.00 p.m., then the           notices of motion. So I ask simply, as has already been
person in the Chair is no longer required to call the next   asked: what is the point in doing that?
speaker. That is sensible, but it is also puts in definite
time lines. What if the person finishes at 4 minutes to
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The Leader of the Government made an interesting              I want to make this quick comment about
comment on the change when he was explaining                  amendment 12 where we are changing the 4.00 p.m.
amendment 6 — that is, the expiration of some of the          finish of business on Thursdays to 4.30 p.m. I do not
items on the notice paper after they have been on it for      think we have ever finished at 4.00 p.m. on a Thursday.
20 days. He calls it the government’s environmental           If my memory is correct, the government has always
clause. I cannot help but be a bit cynical about the          extended that by leave beyond 4.00 p.m. where needed.
comment that it is an environmental clause to cut down        Leave has never been refused, and I cannot remember
on the use of paper. One thing that always annoys me is       us finishing exactly on 4.00 p.m. Can anybody else?
the fact that we have supposedly moved to a
technological age where we all have laptops and that is           An honourable member — I can.
supposed to cut down on paper. I can tell you,
President, that nothing is further from the truth. In fact       Hon. P. R. HALL — I cannot. The majority of
the opposite is the truth with me. One of the annoying        times the government has sought leave to extend it
things I find about laptops is that government reports        beyond 4.00 p.m. where required to receive business
are now on the Internet so we have to download them           from the other house, and that has always been
from our computers. If it is a 60-page government             achieved. I put that in the category of an unnecessary
report then I have 60 A4 pages in my hand when I              addition to the very strict set of prescribed rules that we
download it, whereas if I had picked up a printed copy,       are now going to have to follow.
I would have 30 smaller pages printed on both sides           I also want to thank the government for taking up the
and the actual paper used in the production of those          concerns of the opposition and The Nationals with
reports would be about one quarter of the volume. So if       amendments like 16, where we go into committee.
the minister says that we have to do this for                 There is some sense in allowing each person who has a
environmental reasons to cut back on paper, what about        set of amendments to be moved in the committee to be
making some real differences in the amount of paper           able to canvass all of them in a block at the start of the
that is floating around this place by addressing some of      committee. Committees could be guillotined through
the other issues? Taking off reports will save one or two     the current sessional orders, so I think anybody who has
pages every day. It is a bit of a con to suggest that it is   a set of amendments should have the opportunity to at
being done for environmental reasons.                         least speak to them prior to any curtailing of the
I have already commented on amendment 7, which                committee’s activity. I want to thank the government
gives the Chair some flexibility in the finishing time on     for making that change to what was previously
each day.                                                     proposed, in the same way that I thank it for changing
                                                              what was proposed as the number of items that could be
I want to make some quick comments about the Leader           considered in general business on Wednesday
of the Government’s comment about amendment 9                 mornings.
giving more flexibility to speak on a greater range of
reports. Yes, in theory we will be able to speak on           My last comment is about no. 17, which relates to
12 different reports. I welcome the fact that                 ministerial statements. I get cynical about ministerial
12 members can get up and speak for 5 minutes on              statements. In recent years, not just under this
reports. The previous set of sessional orders did not         government but under other recent governments as
stop members from choosing six different reports to           well, ministerial statements have been used as an
speak on, and I know that when members of The                 exercise to validate something that the minister might
Nationals had an opportunity to speak, quite frequently       already have said publicly. For example, the last
we would choose some other reports to speak about             ministerial statement that was made in this chamber
than the previous speakers. From my understanding, the        was announced at a breakfast just across the road prior
previous sessional orders did not limit everyone to           to being given in this house. It makes ministerial
speak on the same reports, and certainly the practice of      statements a joke. Further, it makes a joke of the
our party was to choose a report that was different to        requirement to give opposition parties and third parties
other speakers so that we could speak on it. So, yes, we      a copy of the ministerial statement only 2 hours prior to
can say that it is good to the extent that more people are    that statement being made. Obviously the government
able to speak, but it really does not increase the range of   and the minister have the advantage, over many weeks,
reports that people can speak on. We always had that          months or perhaps years, of preparing for that
particular option.                                            ministerial statement and doing that research.

                                                              For oppositions and third parties to have only 2 hours to
                                                              consider the content of a ministerial statement makes it
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58                                                     COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


difficult for us to respond in a strong and meaningful        the details and elaborating on or clarifying the standing
way. I would have thought at least 24 hours prior to its      orders. At times these override and take precedence in
being made would have been a more reasonable time             the interests of reflecting and responding to the current
for the government to get a copy of the ministerial           political climate. The sessional orders update, improve
statement to the opposition parties. In the past it has       and establish current practice in the house.
often been the practice that a copy was given to the
opposition parties 24 hours beforehand. I cannot think        I sat on the Standing Orders Committee in the previous
of any instances where, if confidentiality or embargo         Parliament, when it undertook the first major review of
was required in the delivery of the copy, that embargo        the standing orders since, I think, 1924. That review
was breached by opposition parties. It has always been        was completed at the end of the 54th Parliament. In our
respected. So I get a bit cynical about ministerial           attempt to modernise the standing orders and make
statements. If we are going to be fair dinkum about           them more accessible it was interesting to see that there
them, I would have thought it fairer for all concerned        were many sessional orders which reflected
that opposition parties be given a copy of the ministerial    longstanding practices in the house which had become
statement in a far more timely fashion than has been          incorporated into the standing orders at the time.
proposed by this strict set of orders.
                                                              As we went through that modernising process —
I conclude by saying that The Nationals, like the             looking at gender-neutral language and ways to make
opposition, find the sessional orders that were brought       the standing orders more up to date — it was
in by the government in this chamber repulsive in many        recognised that many sessional orders had been in place
ways. Our opportunity to raise matters has been               over a period of time, had been tested and tried, and that
curtailed. The Leader of the Opposition has mentioned         it was time to incorporate them into the standing orders.
the timing of speeches in this Parliament. I also mention     The amendments to the sessional orders we have before
the limitation that has been set upon members of              us today put to the house further changes and
Parliament raising matters of concern for their               refinements — —
electorates, particularly the limitations in the
adjournment debate. We are allowed to raise only one             Hon. Bill Forwood — Jackboot!
adjournment item a week. I think it is a terribly sad            Ms ROMANES — And indeed, Mr Forward, they
state of affairs if a member of Parliament who wishes to      are part of the normal, ongoing process of this house
raise matters on behalf of their constituents is limited to   over many years.
one item a week and one members statement a week. I
do not think the sessional orders work all that well for      When I looked at the changes I, in a similar way to the
this chamber.                                                 Leader of the Government, tried to classify the nature
                                                              of the different changes we are dealing with today. One
As I said at the start, I acknowledge that we need some       kind of change is to formalise current practice — for
form of rules with which to efficiently transact              example, the generally accepted 9.30 a.m. start on the
business, but I think these are overprescriptive, and I do    final week of the autumn and spring sittings and the
not think these changes will help much.                       reduction of general business in that week to 2 hours in
    Ms ROMANES (Melbourne) — Thank you for this               order to expedite business and get away on time, as it
opportunity to speak on the amendment moved by the            were.
Leader of the Government this afternoon. One of the           There are also consequential amendments, where a bill
challenges for new members who come into this house           requires questions to be put separately in the case of an
is to come to terms with what at first appears to be a        absolute or special majority. These consequential
complex, confusing labyrinth of standing orders               amendments arise out of the constitutional reform bill
overlaid by sessional orders. These can seem                  that was passed by the house in 2003.
mystifying at first. But over time members watch the
application of these standing orders and sessional            As the Leader of the Government, Mr Lenders, said,
orders and come to appreciate how the two sets of rules       there are changes that add to or clarify the operation of
work side by side to define how we do business in this        the business of the house in various ways, and the
house. My understanding is that the standing orders are       procedure relating to ministerial statements is one of
the underlying set of rules and principles which guide        those. The clarification of what happens at the end of
the operation of the chamber. These have evolved since        general business in terms of whether a question is put
the very beginning of the upper house over 150 years          and what right of reply — and duration of time for that
ago. The sessional orders have the purpose of filling in      reply — the mover of a motion has is also clarified. In
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                         59


terms of clarification I am delighted that the procedure    be, whether it had the capacity to become a house of
for dealing with the introduction of amendments into        review and how we might move in that direction. I
debate — when the minister or members may circulate         accept that the opposition introduced that Thursday
their proposed amendments and speak in general terms        morning discussion as a further act of scrutiny of
on them — during the committee of the whole is              executive government. It was a good move and a move
included, because that provides the capacity within the     in the right direction. I applaud the opposition for doing
committee of the whole to foreshadow all the proposed       it, whatever its motivation was, but I pose the question:
amendments and the thrust of the debate to come             why, during all the years it had the opportunity to do it
without precluding detailed consideration of the matters    while in government did it not?
in the clauses of the bill.
                                                            The proposed amendments to standing orders have sat
According to my classification the fourth category          on the notice paper since the end of 2002. I know there
contains further significant changes. The daily             has been consultation and collaboration with the
adjournment was mentioned by Mr Hall. In my view            opposition over these changes, and I am pleased to see
time caps have worked; they have given more certainty       that there have been a number of changes from the
to the end of the day in terms of Council sittings. The     amendments that were first put on the notice paper to
changes introduced in revised sessional order 10            what we are dealing with today. Many of those changes
provide for a commonsense approach in terms of the          mean we are dealing with much improved amendments
completion of a speech in process and a tidier end of       today, but I want to remind the opposition, given
the day. We already had that in regard to how to handle     Mr Davis’s statements about how this house has always
a division, but this further clarifies how we might         worked on the premise of cooperation, that there was
handle speeches that are drawing to a close at the time     one period in the early part of the 54th Parliament —
the daily adjournment is upon us.                           and you, President, may remember this — when the
                                                            opposition, then having the numbers in this house even
A further important change is the reversion back to         though it was not the government, introduced some
60 minutes for consideration of statements and reports      sessional orders without any consultation with members
on a Thursday morning. I am pleased that we have            on this side of the house. Words are cheap; actions and
expanded this period to once again provide for a full       history and the way in which parties conduct
hour to consider important documents, which are tabled      themselves are what we need to look at.
on a very regular basis. Various bodies, government
agencies and authorities report to Parliament, so it is     I am aware that there are still some concerns on the
important for us to have the opportunity to debate and      other side about time limits, but I feel that time limits
comment on these important matters. I note the              have served the house extremely well in the last year
comments made by the Leader of the Government on            and have contributed to those who have spoken being
the enhanced scope for debate in this hour and concur       much more focused and much more succinct in
that it is now possible for individual MPs and the three    delivery of much of the material through this house. It
parties to decide how they wish to prioritise topics for    has therefore been an efficient measure that has been
discussion on Thursday morning. That is not a great         introduced through sessional orders. I was one of those
difference, as members have pointed out, but it             who were in the house when we did not have time
provides for greater flexibility and, in that 60 minutes,   limits as well as during the period since we introduced
some important discussion.                                  them.

I remind the house that it was the opposition that          There will be disagreements between the opposition
introduced this change to the sessional orders in the       and the government on the opportunity during the
54th Parliament. It has been a very positive move, and I    business week to debate the failure of a minister to
am sure the opposition has looked in a pleased manner       answer a question on notice within the prescribed
at the lower house, which I understand has introduced       30 days. The government’s view is to not give such a
the same provision in its rules of the house to provide     motion priority over government business and to see
that opportunity for discussion of statements and           the opposition take up any such motion within its
reports. I then ask the question: why did the opposition    3 hours on a Wednesday morning and 1 hour when
not introduce that sessional order when it was in           there is an opportunity on a Thursday morning to take
government? Again I go back to the fact that sessional      up such issues.
orders often reflect a political climate. At the time the
Labor government came to power in 1999 there was            Overall I think there are some important changes and
increased talk about what the future of this house would    the formalisation of a lot of the practices that have
                                                            become acceptable to all sides of the house, as well as
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60                                                                     COUNCIL                                         Wednesday, 31 March 2004


some good measures to provide further clarification and                    with the opportunity to refrain from answering
for the smoother running of the house, so I support the                    questions as they see fit.
motion and am very pleased to do so.
                                                                           The fact is that the current sessional orders and the
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS (East Yarra) — I want to                             standing orders, when they interplay with these
make a contribution to this debate on sessional orders.                    changes, will lead to a very unsatisfactory outcome.
In doing so I indicate that I oppose the amendments to                     Standing order 6.08 covers the procedure where
sessional orders. There are in this list some                              answers to questions on notice are not provided and
amendments which are constructive and worth while                          standing order 5.23 deals with business to take
and which the opposition accepts. However, there are                       precedence. I note that the business to take precedence
other amendments that we think offend extremely basic                      under standing order 5.23 includes a motion for a vote
principles and are aimed — —                                               of thanks of the Council, a motion for leave of absence
                                                                           to a member, a motion relating to the qualification of a
     Hon. Philip Davis interjected.                                        member, a motion to approve, allow, disallow, revoke
                                                                           or otherwise void — I will not continue with the full
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — No, we are not. We are                             length of that description — a statutory rule or other
going to oppose this absolutely. But there are within                      instrument by which an act is expressed and
these amendments items that have resulted from
discussion. That is the point.                                                   (e) an order of the day for the consideration of a report of
                                                                                     the Standing Orders Committee or, arising from any
     Hon. Philip Davis — Yes, very true.                                             such report, a motion to vary or adopt standing orders of
                                                                                     the Council; and —
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — But equally there are
other items that the opposition, and certainly I, find                     and this is the critical one —
obnoxious and repugnant.                                                         (f)   a motion pursuant to standing order 6.08.

   Mr Viney — You are going to get with the                                The removal of paragraph (f) from the business to take
corporate game!                                                            precedence will mean that standing order 6.08 will not
                                                                           be able to be effectively implemented.
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — No, I make the point very
clearly that I oppose — —                                                  Let us not mince around with this, let us be very clear:
                                                                           this changed set of sessional orders, whatever the
     Mr Viney interjected.
                                                                           dress-ups and other small amendments and changes, is
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — No, I know exactly what I                          directed solely at this. This is the sole change that the
want to say. I want to make it clear that I have the                       government has needed and has sought to impose on
strongest opposition to these changes to sessional                         the opposition. I believe this change will greatly
orders which were introduced by the government and                         disempower members in the chamber and prevent them
were passed and which we will pass — —                                     from being able to properly scrutinise the government,
                                                                           because the government will return to a time pre-1990
  Mr Viney — You are supposed to be saying that                            when amendments were made to two standing orders to
you think it is bad, not good!                                             enable such a motion to bring a minister to account for
                                                                           not answering questions, and at that time there was very
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — I think the amendments to                          good reason to change.
the sessional orders are deeply offensive. I am just
about to move to what I think about the changes to                         We know from reading Hansard back at that period
government business. The amendment states:                                 that the issue was sent to the Standing Orders
                                                                           Committee through the Honourable Mark Birrell, the
     In sessional order 3, omit ‘5.23(a), (b), (c), (e) and (f)’ and       Leader of the Opposition in this place at the time.. The
     insert ‘5.23 (a), (b), (c) and (e)’.
                                                                           committee met in bipartisan style and came back with
I make the point that that sounds like a very small                        recommendations to put in place changes to the
change, but it is a deeply offensive change. It will                       standing orders. Those changed standing orders, the
change the nature of this chamber forever. It will deeply                  equivalent of our present 6.08, enable a minister to be
reduce the ability of this chamber to scrutinise the                       brought to account and enable precedence to be given
activity of the government. This is a jackbooted                           to a motion to bring a minister to account. It is clear
approach that will enable ministers to evade scrutiny. It                  from the behaviour of the house earlier and the
is an approach that is designed to provide ministers                       behaviour of other chambers, including the Assembly
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                             COUNCIL                                                                      61


here, that ministers do not answer questions. I make the                 notice for enormous lengths of time, sometimes
point that that could probably be said of both sides of                  three years. That length of time is unjustified, and I
the chamber. In terms of the answering of questions,                     strongly predict that we will return to that pattern. By
this mechanism has ensured that ministers on both                        introducing these changes today the government is
political sides have answered questions in this chamber                  seeking to avoid scrutiny; it is doing it so that it will not
going back to the Cain and Kirner governments and                        be held accountable. It is doing it so that it can evade
through the whole period of the Kennett government                       the precedents that the clauses in our sessional and
and into the period of this government. But this historic                standing orders give — —
change that we are to see today will in effect deprive
the members in this house of the ability to use that                           Ms Romanes interjected.
precedence clause to compel a minister to answer
questions, and I think that in the future today will be                     Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — No, the point is that there
looked upon as the day on which the power of this                        will be no opportunity to hold the minister to account
chamber to hold governments accountable, to scrutinise                   and to interrupt the government business program,
governments, was massively damaged, and that is a                        which is the current mechanism that can operate. The
very sad reflection.                                                     current mechanism is that the government business
                                                                         program can be interrupted. That is a significant
I went back and read the debate that was held in this                    embarrassment to ministers, and that will not occur
chamber on 13 March 1990 on the motion of the                            after these changes — that is the reality of it.
Honourable Mark Birrell seeking to make those
changes. He made some very worthwhile points.                            It is interesting to reflect on the situation in other states.
                                                                         For example, Western Australia has recently introduced
  The concept of questions on notice is clear: a member of               changes to give more power, and provides that:
  Parliament making searching and specific inquiries should be
  able to put on notice a question that then leads to the minister             If a question on the notice paper remains unanswered after
  providing a great deal of information. It is a rich part of the              nine sitting days, the minister or member to whom the
  Westminster tradition but has been dying a long death in the                 question is directed is to state at the conclusion of the period
  Victorian Parliament.                                                        of oral questions on the next sitting day whether an answer
                                                                               will be provided and when that will occur.
He made that point in 1990. It had been dying a slow
death. The introduction of the clauses in 1990                           Western Australia is moving to tighten these
resurrected that power in this place and enabled                         requirements on ministers. That was inserted on
questions to be followed. At the time the Honourable                     23 May 2001.
Mark Birrell made the point:
                                                                         In South Australia a compact, which was signed with
  I am delighted that the report enjoyed all-party support for the       Independent Peter Lewis, sought that questions be
  proposition that the standard has to be tightened up. It is            answered within 10 sitting days. That is the direction of
  notable that this very day we have examples of how ministers           movement in South Australia. In Queensland sessional
  are evading their duty to provide information in answer to
  questions.
                                                                         orders provide that an answer to a question on notice:
                                                                               … is to be answered and supplied to the table office within
He went further and said:                                                      30 calendar days.
  I stress the point: the duty of answering questions on notice is
  not a duty that simply burdens a Labor government. I am                In the Australian Capital Territory there is a mechanism
  more than happy to see it burden a future Liberal government.          that:
  It leads to good government if there is pressure on bureaucrats
  and on office-bearers to tell the truth and provide detailed                 If a minister does not answer a question on notice … asked by
  answers to these questions.                                                  a member, within 30 days of asking of that question, and does
                                                                               not, within that period, provide to the member who asked the
The Standing Orders Committee that recommended                                 question an explanation satisfactory to that member of why an
                                                                               answer has not yet been provided, then:
these changes found that the average time to provide
answers to questions on notice in the Legislative                              (a) at the conclusion of questions without notice on any day
Council is approximately 150 days. That is an                                      after that period, that member may ask the relevant
enormous period — 5 months or so.                                                  minister for such an explanation...

  Ms Romanes interjected.                                                The direction of movement is towards tightening the
                                                                         provisions and requirements of members. In the
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — That was the average                             Legislative Assembly of New South Wales the standing
time. The debate referred to questions that had been on                  orders state that:
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62                                                                     COUNCIL                               Wednesday, 31 March 2004


     Ministers shall lodge answers to questions on notice within           forefront of that, and I know that my colleagues on this
     35 calendar days …                                                    side of the house will be also.
     If an answer to a question on notice is not received within
     35 calendar days the Speaker, at the next sitting day after the             Ms Romanes interjected.
     expiry date, shall forthwith inform the house and the ministers
     shall immediately explain to the house the reason for                    Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — I hope I will be here, and
     non-compliance.                                                       that you may be here. We may represent the same seat.
                                                                           This is a serious matter — one that will be looked at in
The fact is that these amendments will not only weaken                     the future as a very important day where the power of
the position of members of the opposition and                              this house and the ability of members to scrutinise the
government backbenchers but also this Parliament.                          government has been wound back massively. This
Victorians will not have the scrutiny they deserve. I                      government, given the financial disasters that it is
confidently predict that the government will return to a                   slowly looming towards, is moving to put in place a
position pre-1990 and behave as the Cain and Kirner                        system where it can avoid proper scrutiny.
governments did with callous disregard and scant focus
on its obligations to the people of Victoria to answer                         Mr VINEY (Chelsea) — I have decided to join this
relevant and pertinent questions about the conduct of                      debate today, because I want to respond to some of the
the government.                                                            nonsense coming from the other side. It is extraordinary
                                                                           sometimes to sit in this chamber and listen to the
     Mr Lenders interjected.                                               propositions put by opposition members that somehow
     Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — They what?                                       they stand for accountability in government and
                                                                           somehow they stand for the value of the proper
   Mr Lenders — They actually called Parliament                            processes of debate in a parliamentary chamber when
together periodically in the Cain and Kirner                               we well know, and the community well knows, that it
governments.                                                               was that side of politics, the other side of the chamber
                                                                           when it was in government, that almost closed
    Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — I take up the interjection;                       Parliament down. In 1999 the Parliament met for about
it is 31 March today, the first sitting week.                              18 days, and the average in its time was about 30-odd
                                                                           days a year. Where was the opportunity for the then
  Hon. Bill Forwood — Since 4 December last year,                          opposition when Parliament was not sitting to draw the
and we are getting up for a fortnight!                                     government to account? What did members do when in
                                                                           government in terms of the procedures of the house?
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — And I notice today that
                                                                           Were there 90-second statements for opposition
there are scores of questions on notice that have not
                                                                           members to raise matters? No. Were there take-note
been answered. It is hard to see why a minister could
                                                                           motions for reports? No. They were introduced when
not have answered those questions over that lengthy
                                                                           this government came into power. When the opposition
period. This failure to answer questions today presages
                                                                           was in government and had a majority in this house it
what will occur under these new orders. It is clear that
                                                                           tried to look for all sorts of opportunities to get up
the government in its jackboot style is determined to
                                                                           stumps. That is the reality of what it was doing in its
ride roughshod over the rights — —
                                                                           time in this chamber. It is all very well to go on about
     Mr Viney interjected.                                                 how this chamber worked by consensus. It is easy for
                                                                           the opposition to make that argument when for
    Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — What is occurring today                           150 years the conservative forces had a majority in this
is an absolute outrage. The opposition is deeply                           chamber.
concerned about the future of this chamber and its
ability to scrutinise. This is an attempt to weaken the                    Yes, it is very easy for opposition members to protest. It
chamber ahead of the constitutional changes that will                      is very easy to protest that everything worked on
occur in 2006 at the election when the new method of                       consensus when they were in control whereas the
election comes into operation. I confidently predict that                  former members who were in this chamber when they
at that time if the chamber is not controlled by any                       were in control tell me it was nothing like that at all.
party, the parties at that time will work together to                      Time and again this chamber was misused to score
introduce a system that brings back proper                                 political points, and when the opposition was in
accountability for ministers and brings back a proper                      government and had control in this house, we know it
system of forcing them to answer relevant questions on                     attempted to close this place down. It tried to close
government administration. I will certainly be at the                      down criticism. Those opposition members who are
                                                                           screaming and carrying on now about some minor
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                      63


changes in the sessional orders were a bunch of jelly        note of reports and papers’. Of course, there is always
backs during the Kennett period. They did not stand up       the usual opportunity for members of this house to raise
to those things he did to the Victorian community. They      almost any matter through either a 90-second statement
tried not only to not stand up to what Kennett was           or the adjournment debate. They are long traditions. In
doing but they tried to make sure the opposition at that     fact, the 90-second statement was only introduced into
time had the minimum number of opportunities to call         this chamber by Mr Forwood when the opposition had
the government to account.                                   a majority here although we were in government. It did
                                                             that because it saw the process as an opportunity for the
If we look at some of the things that will be put in place   opposition to raise matters for the government.
by these sessional orders, we can see a number of very
positive moves and changes. As a member of this house        I understand that those changes, along with a number of
I have often participated in the Thursday                    others, were introduced into this chamber without any
take-note-of-reports debate. It would be fair to say that    consultation with the government at all. They were
members would have to agree that as a member I have          raised in opposition business on a Wednesday and
a strong interest in that part of the business program of    came into effect, as I understand it, the next day.
the house. In fact two or three of the items that are        Opposition members can go on about consultation,
listed on the notice paper under the motions to take note    consensus and cooperation, but that consultation,
of reports and papers will never get up. They have been      consensus and cooperation only happened among
on the notice paper so long under the existing system        themselves when they had a majority.
that they are out of date. We are talking about 2001 and
2002 reports that I asked to be taken note of, and they          Hon. Bill Forwood — You were not here!
are still sitting on the notice paper. Under the current
sessional orders there will be no opportunity for those         Mr VINEY — I have talked to enough people to
matters to be debated.                                       know the story and to know all about it. I was a
                                                             member of this Parliament and knew quite well what
   Hon. P. R. Hall — But you can move to take them           was going on in this chamber between 1999 and 2002. I
off the notice paper.                                        am well able to speak on this because I know the way
                                                             this chamber was used for political purposes instead of
   Mr VINEY — I can move to take them off and I              moving forward on proper debate.
can move to put other matters on the notice paper under
the ‘Motions to take note of reports and papers’. But        This chamber has an unfortunate history of not being
unless they meet the strict criteria at the moment of        used as a house of review or of not being used in a
being either a report from the Auditor-General or a          manner to hold the government to account when the
report from a parliamentary committee, there is              conservative forces were in government. We know very
absolutely no chance of those reports being debated.         well that the opposition, when in government, had no
What has happened with these sessional orders is an          interest in those processes. Not only did opposition
extremely positive development where we now have             members have no interest in holding Premier Jeff
1 hour for the motions to take note of reports and           Kennett to account in their own party room but they did
papers, and members will get the opportunity, if they        not do it here either — and they tried to close the
are on the speaking list, to raise matters related to a      Parliament down.
report that is of particular interest to them and they
think should be drawn to the attention of the house.         The changes are important because they document what
Members should be able to raise a matter that is of          the business practice of this house is about. That is
particular interest or concern to them. It is an extremely   fundamentally good and proper. It is important for any
positive development.                                        business to have its business practice and rules of
                                                             operation clearly documented. It is a spurious argument
Another point about this debate today is that the            for members on the other side to say, ‘We do not need
opposition has been complaining about the ability to         to write these things down; we can work it all out’.
hold ministers to account on questions on notice. I          Fundamentally, the way any business works is it
agree. All ministers in this chamber, and certainly the      documents its processes. That is good business quality
ministers in the other chamber, believe strongly in the      management practice, and that is the sort of thing that
principle of questions on notice and their importance.       needs to occur in this chamber as well. How this
Under the changes to the sessional orders members of         chamber works and the processes that it works by need
this house will have two clear opportunities to raise        to be documented.
matters in relation to questions on notice through either
government business or the Thursday ‘Motions to take
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64                                                      COUNCIL                                      Wednesday, 31 March 2004


It is also within the control of the house, by leave, to      hold the government to account in a quarter-of-an-hour
reach other agreements for the benefit and cooperation        speech on the budget?
of either the government business program or to enable
the opposition to raise matters that it might wish to raise   In the past we did not have time limits, but we always
in this chamber. Those processes are still open to this       accommodated the capacity of people to say what they
chamber so that at any time it can, by leave, alter the       wanted to say about those issues and also moved the
business of the house and do things in a slightly             government business program through. I leave that as
different way than what might be in the sessional             an example. If you want to make this place work, you
orders. Therefore I am more than happy to support and         have to give individuals — not parties — the capacity
commend the proposed amendments to the sessional              to do the work they need to do to represent their
orders now before the house.                                  electorates and to hold the government to account.

   Hon. BILL FORWOOD (Templestowe) — I                        Let me go to the issue also raised by our colleagues
welcome the opportunity to speak on the changes to the        from the Vic Nats or whatever they are calling
sessional orders that have been moved in the chamber          themselves today — that is, the issue of the number of
today. Let me make a couple of observations first. The        people being limited on the adjournment debate. It is
chamber has a number of purposes: one is to facilitate        unfortunate to the nth degree that we are specifically
the government business program. The government has           told that each member will have one opportunity of
legislation it rightly wants to get through. That is a        raising issues from their own electorate during the
legitimate purpose and one of which we always need to         adjournment. Ms Romanes is a person, as Mrs Hogg
be cognisant.                                                 was in her time, who uses the adjournment in the
                                                              interests of her constituents. That capacity has now
It has other purposes as well. It has the purpose of          gone; we have been limited by that.
holding the executive to account. It also has the equally
important role of enabling members to represent their         I turn to the issue of questions on notice and the
communities. So in any set of sessional orders or             mechanisms for answering them. I have in front of me
standing orders, we need a balance between the three.         question 1176 that I asked the Minister for Finance on
There are other ways of looking at it, but the                29 October last year:
government business program, holding the executive to             To ask the Minister for Finance (for the Minister for
account, and the capacity to represent our electorates            WorkCover): In relation to environmental tobacco smoke in
seem to me to be the ones we need to concentrate on for           the workplace in 2002–03:
the purposes of this argument.
                                                                       (a) How many improvement notices were issued.
I put it to the Leader of the Government that he has not               (b) How many prohibition notices were issued.
got the balance right. I put it to the Leader of the
Government that these changes coming on top of the                     (c) How many directions were issued.
changes made previously in fact distort it to the
detriment of the Parliament and to the detriment of the       I would think that this is a fundamental issue of
capacity of individual members to represent their             importance. I regard it as important. The minister will
electorates, and particularly the capacity to hold the        know now, of course, that tomorrow I will be writing
executive to account. I can understand that the               him a letter in which I ask that the question be
executive does not wish to be held to account. It is not a    answered when we return to this place on 20 April. I
particularly pleasant feeling when people hold you to         make the point that all of November, December,
account for your actions. But I do not think it is good       January, February, March and the first three weeks of
for democracy or for the Westminster system if you            April will fall inside the 30-day rule.
spend your time under sessional orders limiting the
capacity of people to hold the government to account or       My leader made the point that only once in the history
to represent their electorates.                               of this place have we moved to use the President’s
                                                              order, but there are occasions when that should be
Let me pick up one example. During these sittings we          required.
will debate the budget. That is a massive enterprise, but
under the sessional orders brought in by the                      Hon. D. McL. Davis — It’s the existing strength.
government most members in this place will get a                 Hon. BILL FORWOOD — It is the existing
quarter of an hour — that is all! Does anyone seriously       strength, as Mr Davis says. The requirement to get
believe that they can represent their constituency and        ministers to focus on these issues, which I admit are not
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                      65


uppermost in their minds, is an important part of the         accountability function, and Parliament should look and
accountability process. It is also an important part of the   debate what the audit office says.
information-gathering process. I happen to think that
the issue of environmental tobacco smoke, particularly            Mr Viney — You can still do that.
in relation to the actions of WorkCover — I being the
shadow Minister for WorkCover — are important. I                 Hon. BILL FORWOOD — Mr Viney says that we
have followed sensible and due process. It is a sensible      can still do that. What we have had in the past, and I
question asked, and yet I face the prospect of being told     know that Mr Viney will accept this, is a debate
that my sanction in relation to this is to have 5 minutes     between two people. Now the proposal is that anyone
on a Thursday or to bring it up on a Wednesday. I             can get up and say what they like. There is no attempt
believe that this is a retrograde step and one that we will   to focus on a debate. There is no attempt for the
live to regret.                                               Parliament to scrutinise a document, two documents or
                                                              three documents, and I make the point again that it was
Ministers may not be comfortable in having to do some         this government which reduced the amount of time on
of this work, but that does not mean that they should         Thursdays. As was pointed out by Mr Hall, we used to
not do it in the interests of the Parliament, in the          do more than one report; we could do that by
interests of our constituents and in the interests of good    negotiation.
government. I put it to Minister Lenders that his will be
a better government if it takes these issues seriously. If    I put it to Mr Viney that if he had wished, he only had
it looks at and treats questions on notice seriously, I       to come to us, say that he regarded his report on taking
believe that we will all get benefit out of operating that    note — I think it was on the report of the community
particular system better.                                     visitor under the Mental Health Act — to be important,
                                                              and say, ‘Can we have an opportunity to do this? I
One of the things that upsets me most about the               would like 10 minutes’. But he never came to us and
contributions that we heard today, particularly from          asked, did he? The way the place used to work was that
Mr Viney, is an attempt to say that the system in the         we would have got around it; we would have said, ‘We
house now — we have moved to codification — works             want to do this one’ and the opposition would have
better than it did in the past. I, along with Mr Bishop,      said, ‘We want to do this one’. We would have ended
Mr Davis and Mr Stoney, was in this place in 1992             up with an agreement on how it was done. Now we
when members of the then opposition were given                have moved down the codification route and the
absolute opportunity to say what they wanted to say           government proposes to reduce the time available. The
about issues — and they did.                                  government limited its own opportunities, but now
                                                              what it is doing — —
  Hon. E. G. Stoney — We sat all night.
                                                                Mr Viney — We still do it; we could do that now.
    Hon. BILL FORWOOD — We sat here, we                       You can speak on an audit report, and I can respond.
listened to them say it and we argued with them, but          That is a perfectly good system.
they were entitled to have their say. What we now have
is the Leader of the Government curtailing the amount            Hon. BILL FORWOOD — I look forward to
of time for moving motions out of fear of filibustering.      watching this system happen, and I look forward to it
What is going on? Why is the government, out of fear,         operating in practice, as I am sure the President does as
taking away people’s rights? There has been no                well. I for one want to make sure this is not a subterfuge
demonstrated misuse of the moving of motions. It is a         to get notices 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, which were moved by
nonsense to say that this place operates better when you      me and the Leader of The Nationals and which all take
start to codify these things.                                 note of audit reports, off the notice paper.

I move to the issue of Thursdays and the house taking           Mr Viney — That can still be done; you can do that
note of reports. Mr Viney complains that he has not had       now.
an opportunity to get his up. In this place we
deliberately chose to have audit reports first because of        Hon. BILL FORWOOD — I look forward to the
the importance of the role of the Auditor-General. As         opportunity for that to happen. My understanding is that
Mr Viney well knows, we have had occasions where              we will all be limited to our 5 minutes, once each. So
there has been debate across the chamber in relation to       while five of these notices of motion have been moved
audit reports. That is healthy; it is what we should have.    by me, I take it that that means that my capacity to
The audit office is an important part of the                  speak on these debates is going to be personally limited.
                                                              That would be right, would it not, Mr Hall? The
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66                                                      COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


sessional order says that only one person can speak on        supporter of the tradition and character of this place
these, does it not?                                           which is to protect the capacity of any members to be
                                                              able to put their points of view at any time.
     Mr Lenders — No, multiple.
                                                              I will pick up some comments, one of which was made
  Hon. BILL FORWOOD — As long as I only                       by Mr Viney, who has unfortunately left the chamber.
move one? Can I move one, but speak on them all?              Mr Viney is quite entitled to say what he likes in this
                                                              place, and he is quite entitled to have a point of view.
   Mr Viney — If you are on the speaking list you can         However, I challenge his capacity to be able to
speak on any report.                                          benchmark what happened in this house before the
   Hon. BILL FORWOOD — I stand corrected, and I               sessional orders were brought into place and what
look forward to vigorous participation on a Thursday in       happens now. He was not here. I know he can be a
response to the issues that Mr Viney will be raising.         student of this house if he wishes, but even I know that
                                                              I could not judge what the operations are in the
Let me finish by saying that there is no doubt that this      Assembly of this Parliament anywhere near as well as I
place is worse off for the use of the guillotine and the      could judge the operations of this particular house.
gag. There is no doubt that this place is worse off
because of the limits on the capacities of members,           I will also remark on the comments made by
through 90-second statements and particularly during          Ms Romanes in relation to the review we did on
the adjournment debate, to raise issues of importance to      standing orders and put that in its right perspective.
them in their local areas. There is no doubt that this        Ms Romanes was a valuable part of that excellent team.
place is worse off because of the decision to remove the      It took a long time to work through what was quite a
capacity for precedents to be given on the issue of           complicated set of standing orders, and it was done
answering questions on notice. There is absolutely no         most amicably. I congratulate the previous President of
doubt this place is diminished because of the                 this house, the Honourable Bruce Chamberlain. If we
requirement that motions on Wednesdays, under                 struck a snag he would move on, but we would come
general business, be brought to a conclusion. What            back to it and inevitably solve the problem. The skills
happens if the debate has not finished? What happens if       of the clerks certainly assisted us as members of that
other people wish to contribute to the debate? I put it to    review committee to come up with a set of standing
you, President, that although government members              orders that was agreed to by all parties and passed in
gave no reason for doing this, the only reason I can          this place with only good, strong, supportive debate.
think of is that government members do not like to have       I turn to the difference in the way that the first sessional
a motion sitting on the notice paper condemning one of        orders were brought into this place, which is the way
their ministers. As I have said in this place a million       that I suspect these sessional orders will be imposed as
times before, if you do not like it, bring it on, debate it   well. I agree with other people that certain guidelines
and vote it down yourselves.                                  need to operate in this house. The secret is to always get
I have been in this place and managed government              that right — with the right amounts of flexibility and
business, as has Mr Theophanous. The government has           order.
control of the notice paper; it can bring on things when      Like other members when the original sessional orders
it wishes. It absolutely has the capacity to do that.         were first introduced into this place, I argued against
Anyway, I think this amendment is awful. It is another        them vehemently, and I will do so again. They are far
case where this government, in its fear of something          too restrictive and prescriptive for the character of this
that one day may happen, mucks around with the rules          place, which I maintain was able to work very well as a
to the detriment of the smooth operation of the               house of review without that prescription.
chamber. But more particularly it shows the                   I will make some comments on one particular issue in
government’s paranoia about scrutiny. The government          relation to these proposed changes to the sessional
does not want an opposition that is equipped through          orders. Amendment 17(b) concerning ministerial
the rules of the house to scrutinise the activities of the    statements is just another example of a backflip by this
government.                                                   government in relation to openness and transparency.
   Hon. B. W. BISHOP (North Western) — I must                 We are all a bit cynical about ministerial statements,
say that I was not going to speak on this particular          and we wonder why they come into this place.
issue, even though I have always taken a great interest       However, it is absolutely ridiculous for we on the other
in the workings of this house, and I am a strong              side of the house to have only a couple of hours to
                                       PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS (AMENDMENT) BILL

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                                      67


gather ourselves to take note of those ministerial            PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS (AMENDMENT)
statements. It is sudden death; there is little or no time                  BILL
to do any research. As my leader, the Honourable Peter
Hall, said today, ministerial teams probably have had                                   Second reading
weeks, perhaps months, to work on a ministerial
statement, and it is fair enough that they do a good job.       Hon. J. M. MADDEN (Minister for Sport and
That is what we would expect in this house. But the           Recreation) — I move:
same set of rules ought to apply for those of us who feel         That the bill be now read a second time.
the need to respond. The Nationals think that to restrict
that to only 2 hours is a restriction on the rights of this   Second-reading speech as follows incorporated on
side of the house. If the government is fair dinkum           motion of Hon. J. M. MADDEN (Minister for Sport
about openness and transparency it would allow a              and Recreation):
reasonable time. From our point of view that certainly
would be 24 hours.                                                The bill amends the Public Prosecutions Act 1994 to confer
                                                                  an immunity from personal liability on the Director of Public
                                                                  Prosecutions and other persons as specified when acting in
I will conclude my brief remarks by saying that I                 good faith and carrying out prosecutorial duties on behalf of
believe we are taking a far too restrictive approach to           the Office of Public Prosecutions.
the operation of this house that will not make it a better
house of review.                                                  The bill provides a statutory immunity for those persons as
                                                                  specified when performing their duties in relation to the
                                                                  Public Prosecutions Act in good faith, with liability reverting
House divided on motion.                                          to the state. The persons as specified in the bill are:
                           Ayes, 23                                    the Director of Public Prosecutions;
Argondizzo, Ms              Mikakos, Ms
Broad, Ms                   Mitchell, Mr                               the Chief Crown Prosecutor;
Carbines, Ms (Teller)       Nguyen, Mr
Darveniza, Ms               Pullen, Mr                                 Crown prosecutors;
Eren, Mr                    Romanes, Ms
                                                                       associate Crown prosecutors;
Hadden, Ms                  Scheffer, Mr
Hilton, Mr                  Smith, Mr                                  the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions;
Hirsh, Ms                   Somyurek, Mr
Jennings, Mr                Theophanous, Mr                            members of staff of the Office of Public Prosecutions
Lenders, Mr                 Thomson, Ms                                acting on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions;
McQuilten, Mr               Viney, Mr (Teller)                         and
Madden, Mr
                                                                       members of the Committee for Public Prosecutions
                           Noes, 18                                    appointed by the Governor in Council.
Baxter, Mr                  Forwood, Mr                           The bill also provides for the immunity to extend to the
Bishop, Mr                  Hall, Mr (Teller)                     persons as specified whether currently or formerly employed
Bowden, Mr                  Koch, Mr                              in those positions by the Office of Public Prosecutions. It is
Brideson, Mr                Lovell, Ms                            necessary to include both former and current persons as
Coote, Mrs                  Olexander, Mr                         specified to ensure that the resources of the Office of Public
Dalla-Riva, Mr              Rich-Phillips, Mr                     Prosecutions are not diverted unnecessarily in the defence of
Davis, Mr D. McL.           Stoney, Mr                            expensive and protracted civil litigation from the proper
Davis, Mr P. R.             Strong, Mr (Teller)                   function of the Office of Public Prosecutions in the conduct of
Drum, Mr                    Vogels, Mr                            criminal prosecutions. It also ensures that the Office of Public
                                                                  Prosecutions will continue to attract highly skilled persons to
                            Pair                                  the various prosecutorial roles without the restrictions
Ms Buckingham               Mr Atkinson                           imposed by the threat of unqualified civil liability in the
                                                                  future.
Motion agreed to.
                                                                  As proposed in the bill, the statutory immunity will apply to
                                                                  any causes of action whether arising before or after the
   The PRESIDENT — Order! As a result of changes                  commencement of the act, except for the rights of the parties
to the sessional orders, the category of motions to take          in any proceedings that may be already on foot.
note of reports and papers on Thursdays is now
redundant. I have therefore directed that the 103 notices         It should be noted, however, that even with a personal
                                                                  immunity for those specified persons, litigation may still
appearing on the notice paper under that category be              proceed against the state where there is a case to answer but
removed. If members wish to have those notices                    where those persons have acted in good faith in carrying out
standing in their name relisted under general business            their duties on behalf of the Office of Public Prosecutions.
they should inform the clerks in writing.
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68                                                                       COUNCIL                                         Wednesday, 31 March 2004


     The rights of members of the community to seek redress have                   public interest that persons employed by the Office of Public
     therefore been retained.                                                      Prosecutions are able to perform their work on behalf of the
                                                                                   public without restrictions imposed by unqualified civil
     The primary function of the Office of Public Prosecutions to                  liability. The Office of Public Prosecutions acts for the public
     conduct indictable criminal prosecutions on behalf of the                     as a whole in the public interest, and it has a role independent
     Crown is central to a just society, to the protection of the                  of the interest of the government of the day. The prosecutorial
     community and for the protection of the welfare of victims                    work of the criminal justice system is intrinsic to the
     and other witnesses. Furthermore, the Public Prosecutions Act                 maintenance of public safety together with the maintenance
     requires that the performance of prosecutorial functions be                   of a belief in the system of justice by the general
     carried out ‘effectively, economically and efficiently’. Such                 community — essential to retaining the cohesion of society.
     functions are adversely affected if it becomes necessary to
     expend any of the limited financial and other resources                       This bill provides a clear signal, both to persons who are
     available to the Office of Public Prosecutions in defending                   covered by the immunity provision and to any potential
     civil suits.                                                                  litigant, that the government is prepared to stand behind the
                                                                                   Director of Public Prosecutions and those who act on his or
     There is a real risk these days of persons carrying out criminal              her behalf. It should also prevent unfounded and vexatious
     prosecutions being sued by disaffected persons involved in                    actions by litigants and thereby minimise the cost to the
     the criminal justice system, with a high degree of exposure to                criminal justice system of civil proceedings. The bill will
     civil actions where damages can be very high. This may lead                   ensure that those entrusted with these important prosecutorial
     to a defensive approach by prosecutors and introduce a risk                   functions and powers act and provide advice without fear for
     that prosecutors would act so as to protect themselves from                   their own personal liability.
     claims of negligence, and thereby affect the efficiency and
     quality of the criminal justice system.                                       I commend the bill to the house.

     Crown prosecutors, along with witnesses, judges and                     Debate adjourned on motion of
     advocates, do have an absolute immunity from civil                      Hon. C. A. STRONG (Higinbotham)
     proceedings for anything done or said by them in preparation
     for, or in the course of, judicial proceedings. While
     common-law immunities are available to prosecutors, the                 Debate adjourned until next day.
     common law itself is often subject to challenges and changes.
     Moreover, this ‘in-court’ immunity may not extend to advice
     work, decisions to prosecute and nolle prosequi decisions. By            GAS INDUSTRY (RESIDUAL PROVISIONS)
     way of contrast, it is currently the situation that while an                     (AMENDMENT) BILL
     accused cannot sue his or her own counsel, a prosecutor is not
     immune from civil litigation instituted by an accused.
                                                                                                         Second reading
     The bill therefore provides persons carrying out prosecutorial
     duties on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions with               Hon. T. C. THEOPHANOUS (Minister for Energy
     an immunity from negligence and other non-intentional torts             Industries) — I move:
     for all things done and said, whether in or out of court. In
     providing a statutory immunity, the bill seeks to prevent                     That the bill be now read a second time.
     unfounded and vexatious actions by litigants and thereby
     ensures that the scarce resources (both funding and staffing)           Second-reading speech as follows incorporated on
     provided to the Office of Public Prosecutions for the conduct           motion of Hon. T. C. THEOPHANOUS (Minister
     of criminal prosecutions will not be diverted in the defence of
     civil proceedings.                                                      for Energy Industries):

     In providing a statutory immunity for the Director of Public                  The purpose of this bill is to amend the Gas Industry
     Prosecutions and those persons acting on behalf of the                        (Residual Provisions) Act 1994 (act) to remove from Gascor
     director, the bill further reinforces the independence of this                certain statutory powers and obligations.
     office. The Director of Public Prosecutions is now appointed
     under the Constitution Act 1975, paid the same as a judge of                  Gascor was established under the act in 1994 but was
     the Supreme Court, and can only be removed from office by                     converted into a company registered under the Corporations
     Parliament in accordance with procedures set out in the                       Act pursuant to the State Owned Enterprises Act 1992 in
     Constitution Act. The Bracks government in its first term in                  December 1998.
     office implemented these changes to enhance the
                                                                                   Gascor acts as a gas wholesaler. Its core activity is to
     independence of prosecutorial decision making in Victoria
                                                                                   purchase gas from Esso-BHP Billiton and provide it to
     from government or political interference. As an entrenched
                                                                                   Victoria’s private sector gas retailers Origin Energy (Vic) Pty
     office-holder under the Constitution Act, the Director of
                                                                                   Ltd, AGL Victoria Pty Ltd and TXU Australia Pty Ltd (gas
     Public Prosecutions should not be, or be seen to be, subject to
                                                                                   retailers).
     the discretion of the executive in relation to seeking an
     indemnity for performing his or her duties in good faith.                     When the Bracks government was elected in 1999 the gas
     Unlike other Crown servants and agents, the Director of                       industry (apart from Gascor) had passed to private ownership.
     Public Prosecutions does not act on the directions of the                     Pre-existing contractual arrangements established as part of
     executive.                                                                    the reform process provided the state with options to require
                                                                                   each of the gas retailers to purchase one-third of the shares in
     The immunity exists not for the benefit of the individual as
                                                                                   Gascor.
     specified but for the benefit of the general public. It is in the
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                               COUNCIL                                                                        69


  In December 2002 the state exercised these options, having                     obligation to report to the Treasurer and the obligation to pay
  determined that transfer of Gascor to the gas retailers was in                 dividends to the state.
  the public interest. The transfer was completed in September
  2003.                                                                          Section 7 of the bill amends provisions in part 7 of the act
                                                                                 regarding certification functions undertaken by Gascor.
  The transfer of Gascor to the gas retailers is wholly consistent               Section 71 of the act enables the chief executive officer of
  with this government’s objective of ensuring that Victorians                   Gascor (or its subsidiary) to certify that specified assets or
  enjoy the benefits of a competitive and efficient gas industry.                liabilities of Gascor (or the subsidiary) have been transferred
  Furthermore the transfer has been achieved without                             to another entity. A certificate so issued is conclusive
  diminution of the independent regulation of the gas industry.                  evidence of the transfer to which it relates. Certificates of this
  Seminal to this regulatory regime is the Essential Services                    kind are most often required to evidence the ownership of
  Commission (ESC), the establishment of which was an                            interests in real property, particularly property easements
  important initiative of this government. In particular the ESC                 transferred to privatised gas distributors during the gas
  has ongoing powers to oversee gas pricing arrangements. The                    reforms. Under section 79 of the act, the registrar of titles
  mechanisms by which gas prices are set are unchanged as a                      must recognise a certificate under section 71 for the purpose
  result of the transfer of Gascor to the gas retailers.                         of registering an interest in land.

  Gascor has certain powers and obligations under the act.                       Under section 7 of the bill this certification function is
  These are unrelated to Gascor’s activities as a gas wholesaler                 transferred to the administrator of the SECV (or such other
  and are of a procedural nature. The retention of these powers                  person as the Treasurer may appoint). In addition, the
  and obligations is inappropriate following cessation of state                  evidentiary value of any certificate issued by Gascor (or a
  ownership of Gascor. There are two main reasons for this.                      subsidiary) prior to commencement of the bill is preserved.

  Firstly, the act provides for Gascor to undertake certain                      Section 8 of the bill repeals subsections 87E(1) and (2) of the
  miscellaneous statutory functions such as the certification of                 act, which provide for Gascor to give directions to the trustees
  property transfers made by Gascor and the authorisation of                     of the Gas and Fuel Superannuation Fund.
  proceedings for offences under the act. As a matter of policy
  it is not appropriate for these functions to be undertaken by                  Section 9 of the bill amends subsection 88A(1) of the act by
  private sector entities.                                                       removing from that provision a reference to section 23 of the
                                                                                 act. This amendment is consequential to the repeal of
  The purpose of this bill is to remove these powers and                         section 23 under section 6 of the bill.
  obligations from Gascor. Where necessary some powers will
  be transferred to the administrator of the State Electricity                   Section 10 of the bill repeals section 95 of the act. Section 95
  Commission of Victoria (SECV), a state-owned entity.                           provides for a method of service of documents on Gascor.

  Secondly, the act contains provisions relating to the functions                Section 11 of the bill amends section 96 of the act, which is
  and powers of Gascor. As Gascor is now a privately owned                       an evidentiary provision regarding documents issued by
  entity these provisions are superfluous and therefore should                   Gascor. The effect of the amendment is to disapply this
  be repealed. Most of the sections identified for repeal in                     provision in relation to documents issued by Gascor on or
  divisions 2, 3 and 4 of part 2 of the act fall into this category.             after commencement of the bill.

  I will now provide an outline of the bill.                                     Section 12 of the bill amends section 96A of the act, which
                                                                                 provides for persons to be authorised by Gascor, the Office of
  Sections 1 and 2 of the bill contain preliminary information.                  Gas Safety or Vencorp to bring proceedings for offences
  Section 1 includes a statement of the purpose of the bill,                     under the act. Section 96A is amended to remove references
  which is to provide for the repeal of certain redundant                        to Gascor.
  provisions in relation to Gascor. Section 2 provides for
  commencement of the legislation on the day after royal assent                  Section 13 of the bill amends provisions in part 13A of the act
  is received.                                                                   which enable Gascor to undertake a certification function
                                                                                 similar to that outlined above in the context of amendments to
  Section 3 of the bill repeals or amends redundant definitions                  part 7 of the act. In conformity with those amendments this
  or parts of definitions in the act. These definitions need to be               certification function is to be transferred to the administrator
  repealed or altered as a consequence of the removal of other                   of the SECV (or such other person as the Treasurer appoints).
  sections in the act.
                                                                                 Section 14 of the bill repeals schedule 1 of the act, which
  Section 4 of the bill repeals division 2 of part 2 of the act.                 contains additional regulatory provisions in relation to
  This division deals with the establishment of Gascor. It also                  governance of Gascor.
  contains provisions relating to the functions and powers of
  Gascor.                                                                        I commend the bill to the house.

  Section 5 of the bill repeals certain provisions of division 3 of        Debate adjourned on motion of
  part 2 of the act. These provisions enable the Treasurer to              Hon. BILL FORWOOD (Templestowe).
  appoint an administrator to Gascor and also deal with related
  matters.
                                                                           Debate adjourned until next day.
  Section 6 of the bill repeals division 4 of part 2 of the act.
  This division deals with the governance of Gascor. In
  particular it contains provisions dealing with the duties of
  directors, the giving of directions by the Treasurer, the
                                                         NURSES (AMENDMENT) BILL

70                                                                      COUNCIL                                          Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           NURSES (AMENDMENT) BILL                                                Their scope of practice is more limited than nurses from other
                                                                                  divisions and is consistent with the national competency
                                                                                  standards for enrolled nurses published by the Australian
                           Second reading                                         Nursing Council (2002).
  Mr GAVIN JENNINGS (Minister for Aged                                            Currently, the educational preparation and scope of practice
Care) — I move:                                                                   of division 2 registered nurses does not prepare them to
                                                                                  administer medications to patients.
     That the bill be now read a second time.
                                                                                  The inclusion of medication administration in the scope of
Second-reading speech as follows incorporated on                                  practice of division 2 nurses will enhance the contribution that
                                                                                  these nurses can make to the management of clients and is
motion of Mr GAVIN JENNINGS (Minister for
                                                                                  expected to provide an incentive to division 2 registered
Aged Care):                                                                       nurses to return to and remain in the work force.
     Nurses form the largest professional group in the health care                An enhanced scope of practice will also contribute to a more
     work force and are essential to the delivery of health services              flexible nurse work force by providing employers with an
     for all Victorians.                                                          expanded pool of trained professionals.
     The government has a serious commitment to expanding and                     In 2002, the commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing
     supporting the profession of nursing in Victoria.                            requested states to work towards the development of a
                                                                                  nationally consistent scope of practice for enrolled nurses
     In the last four years, the government has increased nurse                   (division 2 nurses in Victoria). A number of practice areas
     recruitment, lifted retention rates and actively supported the               have been identified, and medication administration has been
     ongoing professional career development of nurses. More                      targeted as a priority.
     than 4000 nurses have been attracted back to Victorian public
     hospitals. A range of initiatives have been put in place to                  In all jurisdictions, except Victoria and the Australian Capital
     address nurses’ concerns and their professional needs and                    Territory, medication administration is already integral to the
     aspirations. In particular, the government has developed better              scope of practice for the enrolled nurses. Extending the scope
     ways to match nursing services to patients’ needs, with                      of practice of division 2 nurses in Victoria to include
     benefits to both.                                                            medication administration will bring Victoria closer to
                                                                                  practice in other jurisdictions.
     However, Victoria lags behind some other Australian
     jurisdictions in the development of a more flexible nursing                  Currently, the board’s guidelines provide that division 2
     work force.                                                                  nurses may not administer any medication in health settings.
                                                                                  The board has determined that division 2 nurses are not yet
     The best possible use of all our nurses requires a rebalancing               sufficiently trained to administer medication to their patients.
     of the work force to ensure that our most skilled clinicians are
     able to concentrate their energies on the most skilled work,                 In order to expand the scope of practice of division 2 nurses,
     and that there is an adequate supply of certificate trained                  amendments are required to the Nurses Act to empower the
     nursing staff who are available to carry out the range of other              nurses board to properly regulate this expanded scope of
     critical direct care roles.                                                  practice and ensure safe practice.
     As part of an overall health work force strategy, the                        The bill empowers the nurses board to endorse the
     government has determined in consultation with the nurses                    registration of division 2 nurses who can demonstrate that
     board and key industry members to support an expansion in                    they have completed the approved training and have acquired
     the scope of practice of division 2 nurses in Victoria,                      the necessary competencies to safely administer medication
     including the administration of medication to patients.                      within the health sector.
     Nurses of all divisions are expected to operate within a scope               This is the first step in ensuring adequate regulation of the
     of practice that is determined by their training, their                      administration of medication by division 2 nurses.
     competence on the job, and the legal and ethical framework
     within which they operate.                                                   The second step requires a change to the authorising
                                                                                  provisions contained in the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled
     The Nurses Act 1993 establishes five divisions of the nurses                 Substances Regulations 1995, which govern the
     register, empowers the Nurses Board of Victoria to regulate                  administration of drugs and poisons in Victoria.
     the standards of practice of nursing in the public interest, and
     to identify and distinguish between the principal functions                  It is intended that, following these changes to the Nurses Act,
     that may be carried out by nurses registered in each division.               there be an amendment to those regulations to authorise
                                                                                  division 2 nurses who have been endorsed by the nurses
     The nurses board also has a discretionary power to prepare                   board to administer scheduled medication.
     codes for the guidance of registered nurses about
     recommended standards of practice.                                           The combined effect of these changes will be to authorise
                                                                                  suitably qualified and endorsed division 2 nurses to
     Division 2 nurses (‘enrolled nurses’, as they are known in                   administer scheduled and unscheduled medications to patients
     other states) generally work under the supervision and/or                    within the health sector in accordance with the standards of
     direction of the division 1, 3 or 4 registered nurse.                        practice determined by the nurses board.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                             COUNCIL                                                      71


  Since an endorsement would appear on the register against              lot of the planning and so forth was worked through
  the division 2 nurse’s name, the endorsement provides a                and, unfortunately, as I will explain to the member for
  mechanism through which the board can indicate to the
  industry and employers those nurses who are qualified to               Silvan, the planning that was well advanced in 1999 on
  administer medication.                                                 these matters to provide flexibility for the nursing work
                                                                         force, was stalled under this government. Unfortunately
  The bill will:                                                         it is now 2004 and we have had to wait four years for
       allow the board to approve courses in the administration          these sorts of changes that should have come through in
       of medication;                                                    late 1999 or early 2000.
       grant powers for the board to endorse, review or revoke           It is fair to say that Victoria lags behind other states on
       an endorsement or place conditions on an endorsement
       of the registration of a division 2 nurse;
                                                                         the issue of flexibility for the Victorian nursing work
                                                                         force, and that is a serious issue. This bill only goes part
       provide mechanisms of review of the endorsement                   of the way that the government could go in terms of
       process;                                                          improving flexibility. There are creative ways that the
       establish offences prohibiting a person or a nurse                government could look at expanding the flexibility of
       claiming or holding themselves out as an endorsed                 the Victorian nursing work force. It is important to
       division 2 nurse;                                                 point out that there have been some changes. The
       in line with other offences in the act, include an offence
                                                                         introduction of nurse practitioners is something that the
       for an agent to arrange for an endorsed division 2 nurse          opposition welcomed and supported. I note also that
       to work in contravention of the endorsement; and                  this bill will improve the position in Victoria of
                                                                         division 2 nurses and their administration of certain
       provide the board with greater control over the standards
       of practice of nurses administering medication.
                                                                         medications. That does need to be improved as Victoria
                                                                         lags behind other states in this aspect. It is true to say
  The Nurses Act provides that one of the board’s functions is           that in other states there are more enlightened
  to provide requested information to the Minister for Health.           regulatory regimes in place that enable division 2
  It is the minister’s intention to request regular data about any       nurses to administer medication. I note that really only
  complaints or incidents related to the administration of               the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria remain
  medication by division 2 nurses from the board.                        outside a system of administration of medication by
                                                                         division 2 nurses.
  In this way, the government and the board will be able to
  undertake a proper evaluation of the impact of the extension
  to the scope of practice of division 2 nurses.                         It is important to record some notes about the position
                                                                         of division 2 nurses. While supporting the general
  The purpose of this monitoring is to ensure continuing high            direction, the opposition recognises that this has got to
  standards of practice and quality outcomes for the Victorian
                                                                         be implemented properly. It recognises that proper
  public.
                                                                         training has to be in place. It recognises that for the
  It is also the government’s intention to amend the Drugs,              system to work the training needs to be of sufficient
  Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 1995 as soon             standard, and it also needs to be designed in such a way
  as possible, subject to the passage of this bill, to authorise
                                                                         that it will not act as an impediment to the
  those division 2 nurses who have been endorsed as suitably
  qualified in an approved course.                                       accomplishment of the objectives of the act. So in terms
                                                                         of this bill the opposition thinks that the government
  In this way, the flexibility of the nursing work force will be         will need to give some explanation in the committee
  enhanced and the health and safety of the public will continue
  to be protected by appropriate standards of practice.
                                                                         stage as to how precisely it plans to implement some
                                                                         aspects of the bill. Opposition members have some
  I commend the bill to the house.                                       concerns around how the government will implement
                                                                         aspects regarding supervision by division 1 nurses of
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS (East Yarra) — I am pleased                        division 2 nurses and how that will be defined, and I
to make a contribution to the Nurses (Amendment)                         will seek some clarification from the minister as to how
Bill 2003, and in doing so indicate that the opposition                  he intends that to operate.
will not oppose this bill. I also indicate that the
opposition supports — —                                                  I will also seek some clarification on the issue of
                                                                         training. I want to seek some commitments on the
  Hon. C. D. Hirsh interjected.                                          record. But before I make my comments I want to
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — We support many of the                           record my thanks to the minister for the briefing that
principles behind the bill, and much of this was in                      was provided and the detailed information that was
operation before the change of government in 1999. A                     provided. I also want to thank the parliamentary
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72                                                         COUNCIL                                        Wednesday, 31 March 2004


secretary, Daniel Andrews, for his assistance in                 significant costs. That central step can help manage the
providing some of the information and also the                   costs in the health care system. We think the
bureaucrats who probably do the work in providing the            government’s current financial issues in Victorian
information. The opposition appreciates that                     hospitals and other health care institutions will be
information and acknowledges very clearly that it has            assisted by this bill and would have been assisted if the
put it in a position where it understands this bill a lot        government had moved more swiftly. It is not just in
better.                                                          the health care system that this will apply; it is also in
                                                                 the aged care sector. I know my colleague the
In continuing my point about some of the clarification           Honourable Andrea Coote will make some comments
that we need to seek, during the briefing we talked              about the impact of this bill in the aged care sector.
about mutual recognition and the interplay of that               Suffice it to say proper efficiencies will be achieved in
regime of mutual recognition and the issues that                 that sector if this is implemented in a safe manner. It is
surround the mobility of nurses. I am very keen to see           important to note that a lot of state-run nursing homes
that there are no unnecessary restrictions that may              employ division 2 nurses, and there will be some
hinder the movement of nurses into this state to                 efficiencies there. The state government has achieved
undertake the full regime where they are appropriately           that through some of the agreements that have been
qualified as division 2 nurses who are able to                   signed over the last few years
administer medication in Victoria.
                                                                 I note that the nursing EBA (enterprise bargaining
There are a number of other points that need to come             agreement) is up for renegotiation at the moment. The
out here. It seems to me that the nursing board has been         nurses have a meeting today, and they will have had
a little slower than it might have been in moving                something considerable to say about the EBA. The
forward with some of these issues. I know that there             government’s industrial decisions three years ago have
were a variety of views at nursing board level about             impacted on costs in nursing homes significantly.
how division 2 nurses could be empowered to                      Those industrial decisions were not fully and properly
undertake the administration of medication as outlined           funded in the health care sector, and they drove costs up
in the amendments that this bill makes to section 8 of           in the aged care sector. It is true that the federal
the act. That variety of views at nursing board level —          government is the primary funder in aged care;
and certainly in conversations that I have had with              however, in state-run nursing homes the state
people close to the nursing board — made it clear that           government’s industrial decisions have an impact on
none of this was an easy set of steps. I know the                cost structures. It is important that reforms of this nature
Australian Nursing Federation had its reservations as            are in place to enable costs to be managed properly
well, but the opposition believes that the general               within safe parameters inside aged care settings. It is
direction of this bill is correct. It believes that division 2   important that when the government moves to sign the
nurses who are appropriately trained can safely                  EBA in the next few weeks or months it has an eye to
administer medication, and that this is finally coming to        the costs that will be passed through the system and that
fruition through some of these changes. I note                   this time it does properly fund the industrial agreements
Ms Darveniza is smiling: I think she is a division 1             it signs. The Auditor-General was very clear that, last
nurse, is that correct?                                          time, costs were not fully funded. In his report on
                                                                 public sector agencies of February 2003, in relation to
   Hon. Kaye Darveniza — Don’t you worry, I can                  the nursing agreements and funding of hospitals, he
give injections!                                                 states at paragraph 5.277 on page 114:
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — Yes, you can do lots of                      In relation to those hospitals that are continuing to encounter
things. I am sure you will make a contribution to this               financial difficulties, we recommend that the department
debate in due course.                                                undertake a thorough review of the number of additional
                                                                     nurse positions funded in comparison with the number
I want to record the opposition’s view that these                    actually employed as a result of the agreement to determine
                                                                     whether any unfunded salary increases were incurred by those
changes will assist not only the provision of better                 hospitals as a result of implementing the agreement.
health care — but only if they are correctly
implemented — but will also enable the more efficient            He went on further to state in paragraph 5.293:
provision of health care.
                                                                     Despite the injection of once-off funding to address liquidity
We know that there is a situation where appropriately                issues in 2000–01 in a number of metropolitan health services
                                                                     and the provision of additional funding in 2001–02 for annual
trained division 2 nurses can substitute some of the                 leave and agency nurse expenditure, and the nurses enterprise
duties undertaken by division 1 nurses, thereby saving
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                           COUNCIL                                                       73


   bargaining agreement costs, the overall position of hospitals       people in that region, but in effect it will be closed. The
   deteriorated sharply...                                             Minister for Health does not want to use that word, but
He made it clear that the significant financial                        the fact is that the service will be closed. It will join a
deterioration that came to light in November 2003 was                  series of services closed across country and city
in significant measure an outcome of the nursing                       areas — not only Hopetoun and Warracknabeal but
agreements, because the government did not fully and                   Nathalia, Nhill, Boort — —
properly fund those issues. As the government works
                                                                             Hon. D. K. Drum — Bairnsdale.
its way through the agreement with the nursing unions,
I urge it to ensure that there is proper and full funding.                Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — Bairnsdale is slightly
Given the tawdry and unhappy performance over the                      different, and I was going to mention it. I am pointing
last two years of public hospitals, the opposition is                  to the issues concerning maternity services, which
looking to ensure that the agreements signed now will                  relate directly to one group of nurses that I will talk
be properly funded. We will look closely to ensure that.               about in a minute. The closed services are at Nathalia,
                                                                       Nhill, Yarram, Warracknabeal and Hopetoun, and the
The nursing unions have a significant case to put. I
                                                                       crisis at Seymour has been a significant one in that
have talked to the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF)
                                                                       town.
about issues surrounding its claim, and I will make it
my business in the next few days to talk further with it.              I visited Seymour the other day. It is a remarkably good
But the opposition is prepared to make the point that                  hospital with a remarkably good maternity and
there is significant waste within the public hospitals and             obstetrics unit that should be working. I note that
particularly within the Department of Human Services                   whatever the issues may be between management and
(DHS). I made the point strongly at the ANF                            health practitioners, and which have brought the issue
conference earlier this year that the minister does not                to a head at Seymour hospital, the fact is that the
come to these negotiations with clean and pristine                     minister has the ultimate responsibility for the delivery
hands. She comes from a position of having wasted a                    of health care services in places like Seymour. She
considerable amount of money in the portfolio. As I                    needs to stop dodging and weaving, and to accept that
talked to the ANF conference I made the point that with                responsibility. She needs to work with the management
this $300 million deal for the new DHS building lease                  at the hospital to ensure the adequate provision of a
costs in this financial year — I see Mr Strong shaking                 medical and nursing work force in that town.
his head — the fit-out costs at the new Lonsdale Street
office will be $51.8 million.                                             Hon. R. G. Mitchell — What are your federal
                                                                       colleagues doing about doctors?
   Hon. C. A. Strong — What about patients?
                                                                          Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — They are doing a hell of a
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — That is a lot of money for                     lot in Victoria. Rural Workforce Agency, Victoria, has
patients. It is certainly a lot of carpet; that is all I can           done a great deal, but I think the Bracks government
say. The money would have been much better used in                     has, for its own reasons, been prepared to wind back
assisting nurses. It would have been much better                       some of the services in country towns.
employed in patient services and delivery than assisting
people to have more grand office accommodation. The                       Hon. R. G. Mitchell — That’s the little boy who
minister might try to defend that, but I do not think it is            cried wolf.
defensible in light of the nursing shortages that we face
or in terms of the cuts and closures that we are                         Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — The Hume report of last
experiencing around the state.                                         year made it very clear where this government was
                                                                       heading.
I know the situation with regard to the nursing work
force in country Victoria is significant; I believe this                  Hon. R. G. Mitchell — What happened to that
bill will help assist with some of those issues. Recently              report?
the issues at Manangatang hospital were discussed
widely, and there are many other examples of hospitals                    Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — It is being implemented
that are under threat across the state. Another example                across country Victoria, and the minister has made it
is today’s announcement of the effective closure — and                 clear on a number of occasions on country radio —
however it is dressed up, it is an effective closure — of              maybe you do not listen to that, Mr Mitchell — that
the Williamstown maternity service. That very valuable                 hospitals will have to lose their obstetric and surgical
service is appreciated, respected and supported by the                 units in many places across country Victoria. Those are
                                                                       her words, and that is her decision.
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74                                                      COUNCIL                                Wednesday, 31 March 2004


I think the Bracks government was elected on a couple        Under the Kennett government Seymour hospital was
of core promises. One was that it would protect, not         able to deliver services. I am very concerned with
wind up services in country Victoria. It is absolutely the   Mr Mitchell’s tone and his approach to this. I find it
case that there are less nurses in many country areas.       quite disappointing that he is not prepared to step
                                                             forward and indicate that he is prepared to intervene.
     Hon. R. G. Mitchell interjected.
                                                               Hon. R. G. Mitchell — You said I don’t find it
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — I can tell you that there            amusing; no, I don’t find it amusing.
are very clear problems. I visited the hospital and
nursing home at Hopetoun the other day. Maternity              Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — What have you actually
services in that town are unlikely to ever open again        done to deal with the crisis at Seymour? You have done
under this government, nor are they unlikely to ever         nothing.
open again in Warracknabeal also under this
government. Women who live many miles outside                I believe Mr Mitchell, as a member for Central
Hopetoun face a drive of close to 2 hours to get to          Highlands, should represent his constituency and
Horsham to have their babies delivered.                      indeed his future constituency. He might even do some
                                                             work for those who come into the area.
     Hon. R. G. Mitchell interjected.
                                                                  An honourable member interjected.
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — You may not find it
amusing, Mr Mitchell, but it is an electorate that you         Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — I can tell you that we
may represent in the next Parliament. I suggest you get      would have dealt with the indemnity crisis earlier, like
across some of the issues in places like Hopetoun and        Bob Carr and Peter Beattie did, instead of losing a
Warracknabeal that may well be in the new electorate         medical work force.
that you may represent. You may be very flippant about
the issues that face people in country Victoria at the          Hon. R. G. Mitchell — What are the bulk-billing
moment, but you should stand up and protect them. I          rates in Seymour?
am disappointed that you, Mr Mitchell, are not prepared        Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — The Medicare Plus
to indicate even a level of concern about some of these      package is going to make a big difference in country
issues in country Victoria. What have you done, as a         Victoria.
member who represents the area around Seymour, to
actually fix the problem?                                         Hon. R. G. Mitchell interjected.
     Hon. R. G. Mitchell — Quite a bit.                         Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — You cannot tell me,
                                                             Mr Mitchell, that the fact that additional payments will
 Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — What have you done?                    be made to doctors in country Victoria will not help
What have you done about areas like Warracknabeal?           them with their practice costs.
  Hon. R. G. Mitchell — It’s called repairing the               Hon. R. G. Mitchell — But it is not going across
damage.                                                      the board, is it?
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — People cannot have                      Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — It is in country Victoria;
babies delivered at Seymour now, but they could have         there is a very significant increase in rural and regional
under the Kennett government. You have gone back             Victoria. I find it disappointing that you are not
into history there.                                          prepared to support increased payments to doctors in
Under the Kennett government women could have                country Victoria, Mr Mitchell. You may well have
babies delivered in Seymour or in Warracknabeal or in        supported voting against the bill that introduced the
Yarram; they could have babies delivered in                  Medicare Plus changes in federal Parliament. However,
Nathalia — —                                                 the damage that your party would have done in country
                                                             Victoria is very significant, given the assistance
     Mr Smith — What is your answer?                         of — —

   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — My answer is that the                  Hon. R. G. Mitchell — How many nurses did you
minister has to get in there and fix the problem. She has    remove from country Victoria?
to accept responsibility for this.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                     75


   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — I want to make the point           costs of ambulances, a cost that would not have existed
that in Victoria at the moment the situation with health   otherwise.
services is very dire.
                                                           I know the management of intensive care units is also
  Hon. R. G. Mitchell — What did you close when            an area of significance with the nursing work force. A
you were in government? How many hospitals?                number of the people in the nursing work force that I
                                                           have spoken to have told me about the difficulty in
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — We did not close as many           recruiting sufficient intensive care nurses and the
as you are closing! You are closing them, that is what     difficulty of being able to place those intensive care
you are doing. You are closing them one by one. You        nurses in the appropriate spots. There is clearly a
are calling it by other names, but you are closing them.   significant crisis with intensive care in Victoria. We
We know what is happening and we know how you are          have seen the closure of the two-bed paediatric
doing it, and the country people know exactly what you     intensive care unit at Monash Medical Centre, and we
are doing. You might take people in the country for        have seen the significant impact of the lack of intensive
being silly, but they know what is going on. They know     care beds for children and neonatal intensive care beds
when their hospitals are being wound back. They know       in Victoria over the recent period with the transport of
when their services are being cut. The women in            mothers due to give birth to their babies in areas of
Warracknabeal, in the electorate you hope to               country Victoria as well as in the city.
represent — —
                                                           I am told very reliably that there is a growing number
  Hon. R. G. Mitchell — Who knows?                         of cases and that that is not being addressed by the
                                                           current system. I am also reliably informed that there
   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — Indeed, who knows? The             will need to be an increase in the number of neonatal
way you are going you may not represent it, but the        intensive care beds in this state. Victoria is not
women there know that they cannot deliver their babies     adequately coping, and it is my strong view that a city
at Warracknabeal and they cannot deliver their babies      like Melbourne and a state such as Victoria —
at Hopetoun. They are forced to drive a very long way      Australia’s second largest state — ought to be able to
down to Horsham.                                           provide proper neonatal intensive care and proper care
  Hon. R. G. Mitchell interjected.                         for women at times of need.

   Hon. D. McL. DAVIS — I am telling you: your             In returning to the strict aspect of the bill, I make the
government is responsible for those changes. Your          point that there are some useful models statewide for
government is responsible for the financial difficulties   the implementation of the Nurses (Amendment) Bill
faced by many of those country health services.            and the giving to division 2 nurses the power to
                                                           administer medications where appropriately trained. It
Mr Drum raised the issue of Bairnsdale. Look at what       has certainly been put to me by many industry
has happened at Bairnsdale, at Hamilton and at other       leaders — my reading of this seems to bear this out —
places around country Victoria where elective surgery      that the scope of the Queensland nursing practice
cuts are being implemented. I would challenge the          decision-making framework seems to offer some useful
minister to come clean on where these elective surgery     approaches, and I would urge the government to be
cuts are being imposed. These cuts are having a very       cognisant of that. I would not go so far as to say I
significant impact on country Victorians.                  would endorse it entirely, but I do think it offers some
                                                           very useful approaches that could be used as the
I know that those in Bairnsdale with whom I have           government implements aspects of this bill.
talked are very concerned about the impact on their
hospital and particularly on the patients who will be      I want to draw the house’s attention to the aged care
forced in many cases to come to Melbourne with the         enrolled nurse working party paper prepared for the
related transport costs. Funds to cover those huge costs   federal Minister for Ageing in March 2003. Looking at
should properly be put into the health service in          that paper it is very clear indeed that Victoria has
Bairnsdale rather than be used on transporting patients    lagged significantly on the ability of enrolled nurses to
halfway across the countryside. This whole system of       administer medications. When you go through the
inadequate provision of services is generating more        charts of enrolled nurse supervision, it seems there is a
costs. All those people who are going to have to go        significant issue around the supervision of division 2
from far north of Hopetoun down south to Horsham to        nurses by division 1 nurses. As I said earlier, I will seek
have their babies delivered will have the additional       some indications from the minister as to how that is
                                                           intended to be appropriately implemented. Will division
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76                                                    COUNCIL                                         Wednesday, 31 March 2004


1 nurses be required to be on the premises to supervise     was good to have the briefings at a time that suited us
division 2 nurses to administer injections on all           both.
occasions or will there be some arrangement where
division 1 nurses are on call? What precise                 The purpose of the bill is to amend the Nurses Act 1993
arrangements will there be? I want do get some clarity      and to effectively empower the Nurses Board of
on that.                                                    Victoria to register division 2 nurses who have
                                                            completed the approved training and acquired the
In conclusion, I want to make this point quite strongly:    necessary competencies to administer medications
The opposition supports the direction this bill is          within the health system. We have consulted with
heading. We certainly do not oppose the bill, and we        hospitals and professions and understand that this is a
believe that a great deal can be done to improve the        popular bill, and we are in support of it and will not
nursing work force through the passage of this bill.        oppose it.

Debate interrupted.                                         Research shows that there are approximately 68 000
                                                            registered nurses throughout Victoria, of whom about
   The ACTING PRESIDENT                                     17 500 are registered as division 2 nurses. Currently
(Hon. J. G. Hilton) — Order! The house will now             those 68 000 nurses are not only divided into divisions
adjourn for the purpose of meeting with members of the      1 and 2, there are five divisions. However, divisions 3,
Assembly in the Assembly chamber in order to choose         4 and 5 are closed to new registrants. Division 1
a person to hold the place in the Senate rendered vacant    includes graduates from an accredited university course
by the resignation of Senator the Honourable Richard        as well as midwives, maternal and child health and
Kenneth Robert Alston.                                      psychiatric nurses, and nurse practitioners by
                                                            endorsement. Division 2 includes graduates from
Sitting suspended 6.12 p.m. until 8.04 p.m.                 accredited courses in the veterinary sector. Division 3
                                                            deals with psychiatric nurses; division 4 deals with
     JOINT SITTING OF PARLIAMENT                            mental retardation nurses; and division 5 deals with
                                                            mothercraft nurses.
                   Senate vacancy
                                                            Clearly division 2 nurses cannot administer medication,
   The PRESIDENT — Order! I have to report that             irrespective of whether that medication be in tablet,
this house met with the Legislative Assembly this day       capsule or liquid form. They may, however, instil eye
to choose a person to hold the place in the Senate          drops, ointments and so forth, providing they do not
rendered vacant by the resignation of Senator the           contain scheduled medications. The nurses board refers
Honourable Richard Kenneth Robert Alston and that           to the scheduled medications that division 2 nurses are
Mr Mitchell Peter Fifield was chosen to hold the vacant     prohibited from administering as follows:
place in the Senate.                                            ‘Scheduled medications’ refers to those substances listed in
                                                                one of the nine schedules contained in the poisons code. The
                                                                substances are controlled via the regulations of the Drugs,
        NURSES (AMENDMENT) BILL                                 Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981. The 1995
                                                                regulations of this act prohibit the administration of schedule
                    Second reading                              4, schedule 8 or schedule 9 substances by division 2
                                                                registered nurses. Specifically, these regulations, under
Debate resumed.                                                 ‘Division 6 — administration’, state:

                                                                 Section 45. Persons who may administer drugs and poisons
   Hon. D. K. DRUM (North Western) — I am happy                 in health services.
to contribute to the debate on the Nurses (Amendment)
Bill. I thank my colleague in the other house, the              (1) a person who is responsible for the management of a
                                                                    health service must take all reasonable steps to ensure
member for Lowan, Mr Hugh Delahunty, who                            that the administration of a drug of dependence, a
undertook a lot of research for The Nationals on the bill           schedule 4 poison, schedule 8 poisons or schedule 9
and was able to cover a lot of the background and                   poisons by or in that health service is carried out only by
organise some of the briefings with the department, the             a medical practitioner, pharmacist, dentist, authorised
minister and advisers. We received briefings at short               optometrist or nurse in accordance with these
                                                                    regulations.
notice and wish to thank Mr Andrew McKenzie,
Dr Christine Breakwell and Anne-Louise Carlton for          It clearly states the current situation where division 2
getting together at short notice at a time that suited      nurses are unable to administer such medication, and it
Mr Delahunty and me, being the country members. It          clearly states the various poisons that are included in
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                             COUNCIL                                                      77


the code. The regulations are further expanded in                        Effectively all that means is that as yet the
relation to what constitutes a health service.                           recency-of-practice and currency-of-competence issues
                                                                         are not quite finalised. It is still a work in progress. We
One of the major concerns throughout the industry was                    still need to get that finalised. Once we do, it will make
how the broadening of the medication administration                      the bill a lot more complete.
procedures will work in relation to the ongoing
competencies. Once we acknowledged that division 2                       The bill is about much more than simply getting our
nurses will be trained and broaden their skills, there was               division 2 nurses trained to a level where they will then
an issue of ongoing competencies. I am sure everybody                    be able to administer medication. There is a lot more
in the chamber would understand the enormous                             involved than simply doing that. We have to work out
responsibility on the shoulders of anyone who has been                   guidelines with which we are confident to ensure that
given the task of administering medication, the                          our nurses who have been trained up will remain at that
responsibility of getting it right and the responsibility of             up-skilled level. This whole area is an integral part of
acknowledging the signs that certain medications about                   the bill and we need to see how it will be enacted in the
to be administered may be against better judgment and                    work program to gauge how it is going to go. These
then to call for a possible second opinion to ensure that                issues have been on the agenda since October 2002 and
the instructions that were first laid down are correct.                  we would have thought that they would have been
                                                                         covered by now and that these guidelines would have
We sometimes underestimate the skills and the                            been well and truly put in place by the system so that
experience gained by nurses in the health sector and                     once the bill was passed, all the guidelines and
just how important that experience is. The experience                    regulations would also have been put in place as a fait
and knowledge required by a nurse needs to be clearly                    accompli — it would all have been done.
stated. Preferably all nurses need to know exactly what
the ongoing requirements are in relation to the                          I understand that in practice and in the real world these
frequency of medication and administration of that                       issues of competency, recency of practice and currency
medication.                                                              of competence would currently be handled by nurses
                                                                         being honest and that commonsense would play a huge
At the departmental briefing we asked some questions                     role with nurses simply being able to say, ‘I am
of Dr Christine Breakwell. She was good enough to get                    competent to do that; I can handle that, but I am out of
back to us, and we appreciate the fact that she did reply.               my depth here’. I understand that would happen in the
I wish to quote from her reply, because this is an                       real world and in general practice. I am led to believe
important issue. Once nurses have been given the                         that is how it happens at the moment. Quite a lot of
training and have acquired the skills to deliver the                     division 1 nurses at the moment are qualified to
medication, we think it is important that we get the next                administer medication, but occasionally they will put
part of it right. What are the ongoing competencies?                     their hand up and say, ‘I am not used to doing this type
What are the standards that will be set by the system to                 of work; I do not have the currency of skills to
make sure that once people have acquired their training                  administer this type of medication; you are possibly
skills, they will be kept up to speed with the necessary                 better off to use someone else or at least see if you can
frequency of use so as to remain competent at that                       get my work supervised by someone with more
level? In response to our questions, Dr Christine                        competence in this area’.
Breakwell said the following:
                                                                         A certain amount of practical skills are associated with
   In response to your questions about ongoing competence in
                                                                         the workplace, which I suppose happen as a matter of
   medication administration, the board is currently researching
   and reviewing mechanisms for establishing ‘recency of                 course but are simply not covered in the legislation or
   practice’ and ‘currency of competence’. The national nursing          the regulations. It is a hugely important part of the bill,
   and nurse education task force, chaired by Ms Belinda                 and I would like to think it is too important to be simply
   Moyes, Victoria’s principal nurse, has overall responsibility         left to the self-reporting or self-regulation mechanisms
   for implementing recommendation 6 of the national review of
   nursing education, with respect to monitoring the
                                                                         that are currently in place.
   development of a consistent approach to ‘audited
   self-reporting for continuing registration of registered nurses       The bill empowers the Nurses Board of Victoria to
   and enrolled nurses using indicators that demonstrate                 endorse the regulation of division 2 nurses who can
   currency of competency ...                                            demonstrate that they have completed the approved
                                                                         training courses and that they have acquired the
She goes on to say:
                                                                         necessary competence to safely administer medication
   Future work undertaken in Victoria in this area will be               within the health sector. The bill will allow the board to
   consistent with the national approach.                                approve courses in the administration of medication and
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to grant powers to the board to review or revoke an              I would also like to mention, as Mr David Davis did in
endorsement. It will give the board the powers to enact          his contribution, the challenges facing many hospitals
the training programs.                                           in the country areas of Victoria. Just in my area in
                                                                 North Western Province there are an enormous number
The bill will provide the mechanisms of review, which            of health centres and hospitals, and they are asking for a
will be vitally important as nurses have to continually          lot of assistance. Ninety per cent — —
prove their level of competency on an annual basis. It
will provide the board with greater control over the                Hon. J. M. McQuilten interjected.
standards of practice of nurses administering this type
of medication. That is the upshot of the bill. It is                Hon. D. K. DRUM — Mr McQuilten, when you
reasonably straightforward and, after speaking with              talk I will let you talk.
people within the industry, we believe it is a popular
bill.                                                            A lot of people involved in the health system are asking
                                                                 for help, and most of the help revolves around finances.
I am concerned with the training model and how the               It is a situation that has become quite serious. There is
training will be done. The best-case scenario with these         no doubt when you read what the Auditor-General has
training courses to get the division 2 nurses up to the          to say about this that a lot more nurses have been
standard is that they will be provided by mid-2004.              employed. The various chief executive officers of the
That is the best-case scenario — that by the middle of           health campuses that we visit are open and clear about
this year these cases will start being trained up. My            the fact that the last nurses’ enterprise bargaining
understanding is that there will be approximately                agreement (EBA) put in place involved employing a lot
40 training providers, both government and                       more nurses than was previously the case. But equally
non-government, who will be likely to deliver these              there is no doubt that the nurses’ positions created
training courses.                                                under the last EBA were not funded fully. It is clear that
                                                                 smaller hospitals cannot cope for any period of time
There are some questions I would like to have                    with the employment of staff if their positions are not
answered either by the department or the minister in             funded correctly. It is a simple mathematical problem
summing up on this bill. How much are these courses              that has happened in many small hospitals throughout
likely to cost? I have been told through informal                country Victoria. It is an undeniable fact.
discussions with the government that the costs that are
incurred in these courses will be recouped rather                Many hospitals in country Victoria cannot carry the
quickly by the individuals, so there might be an                 unfunded places for very long. I need to put this on the
expectation that the individual will have to fork out the        books. I met Mr McQuilten last time at the Rheola
cost of the training. It is interesting to note that this does   festival, which is a great festival that has been running
not happen within other sectors within the community.            for more than 130 years. Maybe he can tell me how
Who is going to pay? How many training positions will            long that festival has been running?
be made available by the government with government
training providers, and how many will be made                       Hon. J. M. McQuilten — For 128 years.
available by the private sector?                                    Hon. D. K. DRUM — Yes, in the vicinity of
I am led to believe that this training program is to be a        130 years. The proceeds from the Rheola festival go to
minimum of 6 weeks or 190 hours, with 40 hours being             two small country hospitals at Inglewood and Dunolly.
given to clinical training. That puts it into perspective,       The community has no problem getting behind these
but that is at a minimum. If they are not able to get the        two hospitals and generating funds for them, but it is
type of training all in one go at an intensive-type              not going to do that indefinitely if the money raised is
course, for how long will this course then be strung out,        eaten up by general revenue and operational costs.
and how long will these division 2 nurses, who are               Right across Victoria people will get behind their local
attempting to gain these extra qualifications, be without        hospitals provided the money raised goes towards
incomes if they are forced not only to pay for the course        capital improvement or the opportunity to buy some
out of their own finances but also to be without wages           special piece of equipment and the people will see an
when they are up-killing? There are some issues there            absolute benefit to their respective community
that I would like to have answered. The government               hospitals. At the moment these hospitals have been
may be able to answer them if it has a grasp on this bill        forced to eat into their capital reserves. It is a position
as it goes through.                                              that is unable to be sustained, and we certainly need to
                                                                 do something about it. It is happening in my area, and I
                                                                 am sure it is happening around the state.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                 COUNCIL                                                      79


This is a very good bill, and The Nationals will not be        The administration of medication and the ability for
opposing it. We have put forward three or four                 level 2 nurses to have the scope of their work practice
questions that we think are fair to be answered. Even          include the administration of medication will certainly
the division 1 nurses to whom we spoke are effectively         enhance the contribution the nurses will be able to
in favour of the bill going ahead. There are some issues       make to the management, care and support of the
about being able to administer injections. The nurses          clients and patients whom they will be caring for. I
who will be able to administer medication will still not       believe it also will act as a real incentive not only to
be able to administer injections. Maybe we will need to        encourage and to attract division 2 nurses back into our
fix up that area with this bill, because that will bring us    health care system but also to assist in having them
closer in line with some of the other states. With those       remain in the work force. Work force flexibility is
comments, I complete my contribution.                          incredibly important, and over time, through attracting
                                                               and retaining more division 2 nurses, we will have
   Hon. KAYE DARVENIZA (Melbourne West) — I                    greater flexibility and we will have more positions in
am delighted to be able to make a contribution to the          our health care system that will be filled by these
debate and to speak in support of the Nurses                   division 2 nurses.
(Amendment) Bill. It is always pleasing to make a
contribution on a bill that is not being opposed by the        In all states, apart from Victoria and the Australian
opposition. It demonstrates that this is a good bill, and it   Capital Territory, enrolled nurses are able to administer
goes a long way to ensuring that we have a more                medication as part of their scope of practice. It varies
flexible nursing work force in our health system. The          from state to state, but they are all able to administer
government aims to ensure the existence of an                  medication. Victoria is lagging behind other states and
educated, experienced and skilled nursing work force of        territories, and it was the federal Minister for Health
an adequate size and composition and that the                  and Ageing who requested that all states work towards
distribution of the nursing work force meets the needs         the development of some national consistencies for the
of Victorians.                                                 scope of practice for enrolled nurses.

There has been some debate during the last two                 In May 2001 the nursing policy branch of the
contributions about the state of our current health            Department of Human Services established a working
system. Whilst I will not go into that at length, I do         group of key stakeholders to examine the extent of
want to bring to the house’s attention what the                scope of practice for division 2 nurses here in Victoria.
government has done to significantly increase our              The group was extensive and inclusive, and its
nursing work force over the last four years. We have           establishment again demonstrates this government’s
recruited nurses; we have lifted retention rates and we        ability to consult widely before introducing bills into
have actively supported ongoing professional and               this house. The group included representatives from the
career development for nurses. More than 4000 nurses           Department of Human Services, special interest groups,
have been attracted back to Victorian public hospitals.        unions, educational experts and educational providers,
A number of initiatives have also been introduced and          and health service providers, as well as employers from
put in place by the government to address the                  both the public and private sectors, and from the many
professional needs and the aspirations of our nursing          different areas where health care is provided — from
work force.                                                    the acute and subacute areas as well as the community
                                                               and residential aged care areas.
I could go on about the kind of depleted nursing work
force that Victoria had when we first came to                  The Nurses Board of Victoria was involved, as were the
government in 1999, but I am fearful that once I get           Victorian Association of Health and Extended Care; the
started down that path I will do my 15 minutes and not         Aged Care Association of Victoria; the Victorian
get an opportunity to say some of the things that I            Hospitals Association; the Victorian and Tasmanian
would like to say in relation to the bill.                     Deans of Nursing; the Monitoring Delivery Committee,
                                                               Certificate IV in Health (Nursing), for the course
   Hon. Andrea Coote interjected.                              coordinators of TAFE institutes in Victoria; the
                                                               Australian Nursing Federation; the Health Services
  Hon. KAYE DARVENIZA — Having been a                          Union of Australia; the Health and Community
nurse myself and having represented nurses for many            Services Union; the National Enrolled Nurse
years prior to coming into this place, I do have a lot of      Association; the Enrolled Nurse Specialist Interest
nurse stories that I could tell you, Andrea.                   Group; the Office of Post-compulsory Education,
                                                               Training and Employment; the Community Services
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80                                                     COUNCIL                                Wednesday, 31 March 2004


and Health Industry Training Board; the Department of       successfully achieved competencies and the necessary
Human Services; the Royal District Nursing Service;         training that is required for them to be able to
and the Metropolitan Executive Nurses Group. It was a       administer medication.
very extensive group of stakeholders and people who
had expertise in the practice, delivery and regulation of   In addition the board will accredit training courses for
nursing practice. All of these people were brought          those division 2 nurses in medication administration,
together to examine the issue of extending the scope of     and it will put in place the necessary codes for safe
practice for division 2 nurses.                             practice. I will talk a little bit about the training,
                                                            because it is an important element of having nurses who
A number of practice areas were identified by this          are trained and who are competent to administer
group, and medication administration was flagged as         medication. Vocational education for division 2 nurses
being a real priority that needed to be addressed. They     here in Victoria operates under two regulatory
developed a report called ‘The working group on the         frameworks. The Victorian Qualifications Authority
administration of medication by division 2 nurses           accredits the courses, and of course nurses are regulated
report’, and that came out in February 2002. It made a      by the Nurses Board of Victoria, which is authorised to
series of recommendations that were accepted by the         accredit those training courses. In order to be able to
then Minister for Health, John Thwaites.                    meet the nurses board’s requirements for safe practice,
                                                            division 2 registered nurses must successfully complete
In light of these recommendations key pieces of work        a course that has been accredited by the Nurses Board
have been progressing throughout the last two years to      of Victoria in the administration of medication.
extend this scope of practice. They include the
development of courses in medication administration         These courses will be approved by tertiary and further
for division 2 nurses and the development of guidelines     education or registered training organisations prior to
and standards of practice for division 2 nurses in          the nurses being able to administer medication in a
medication administration, as well as looking at some       health care setting. The course is going to be classified
guidelines for the nurses in the other divisions — that     as a short course, and it is going to comprise two
is, in divisions 1, 3 and 4 — who would be supervising.     compulsory units of competency. These will meet the
                                                            Australian quality training framework for accreditation,
A couple of barriers to extending the scope of practice     and the course will provide the necessary knowledge,
were identified, and that is why this bill is before us     skills and clinical competencies for these nurses to be
today. The first one was that under the Drugs, Poisons      able to safely administer these medications in a broad
and Controlled Substances Act and regulations only          range of different practice settings.
division 1, 3 and 4 nurses are authorised to administer
the schedule 4, 8 and 9 drugs. These drugs are              The courses have been approved by those key
scheduled because they need to be subject to greater        stakeholders we consulted during the development of
controls because of the risk of adverse reactions and       the courses, and they have been accredited by both the
side effects to them as well as the potential for them to   Victorian Qualifications Authority and the Nurses
be addictive and for them possibly to end up in the         Board of Victoria.
illicit drug markets. That was the first area that we
needed to address legislatively.                            I shall pick up on a couple of the comments that were
                                                            made by the previous speaker, Mr Drum, about
Secondly, the nurses board’s current policy for             competencies. I was on the Nurses Board of Victoria
division 2 nurses does not allow for the administration     for many years. The board has the discretionary power
of medication in any health setting, even of those          to prepare codes for the guidance of nurses about
medications that are not governed by the drugs, poisons     standards of practice. Whilst it can prepare these codes
and controlled substances regulations, so the board had     as guidance, the codes are not legally binding. They are
to determine that division 2 nurses needed sufficient       only guides and not rules of practice. The codes go a
training to become competent to administer medication.      long way in assisting the board to determine that nurses
                                                            comply with the practice and standards that are
In order to expand the scope of practice for division 2     expected of them.
nurses, these amendments are required to the drugs,
poisons and controlled substances regulations to allow      Nurses of all divisions are expected to operate within a
appropriate training, and to qualify division 2 nurses to   code of practice that is determined by their training.
be authorised to administer medications. The                Mr Drum talked about what really happens in the work
amendments to the Nurses Act provide the mechanism          place and the way that nurses behave when they think
for the board to identify those nurses who have             they do not have the competencies and skills to be able
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                 COUNCIL                                                                     81


to carry out a particular task. He is very much on the         only are the baby boomers expensive to keep but they
money, and one of the reasons nurses behave in this            are living longer, and medical achievements are
way is that they understand that they operate within a         keeping them healthy for longer.
scope of practice that is determined by their training
and competencies, and there are legal and ethical              The interesting part is that it is not just the baby
frameworks within which they operate. Nurses, like any         boomers who are getting older; we are finding that our
other registered health professionals, have personal           nursing fraternity is getting older as well. They are
responsibilities not to hold themselves out to be doing        finding it difficult to stay within this area, and we have
things they are not trained to do or undertake certain         to address this as an issue. They are not only going to
skills and procedures in which they are not competent.         be older themselves but there are going to be more
The nurses who work outside that scope of practice             people to care for.
may be breaching professional conduct and the board
has the power to investigate — —                               I would like to quote Mary Barry, who is the chief
                                                               executive officer of the Victorian Association of Health
  The PRESIDENT — Order! The member’s time                     and Extended Care. She talks about university places
has expired.                                                   for nurses and encapsulates what I am speaking about:
                                                                   An ageing work force and a shortage of university graduates
    Hon. ANDREA COOTE (Monash) — Whilst the
                                                                   are set to rob Victoria of one-quarter of its nurses within two
Liberal Party generally supports the thrust of this bill, it       years.
does not believe it goes far enough. It improves the
flexibility of the Victorian nurse work force, and that is     This article was written in January 2004. It continues:
certainly welcomed. These changes were commenced
                                                                   Research has shown that the demands of an ageing population
under the previous Liberal government, and I ask: why              will exacerbate the current nurse shortage, causing an
on earth has it taken so long to get to this stage? Why            Australia-wide shortfall of more than 4000 graduates by
did the government not take the opportunity to take it             2006. Victoria is expected to have only three-quarters of the
further and make a really big difference? One must ask:            nurses it needs. The situation is made worse still by the
is this Bracks government concerned about its                      ageing of the current nursing work force. By 2006 the average
                                                                   age of a nurse will be 49 years.
relationship with the unions? Does it not want to step
on the union’s toes? Those questions are a logical             I have heard of all sorts of other pressures being put on
flow-on from the lack of evidence of that in this bill,        nursing. In aged care we have heard about the increase
and it is a great pity it did not go further.                  in obesity in older people and the difficulty that brings
                                                               with having to use lifting equipment. We are looking at
Under the hat of my shadow portfolio I would like to           a scenario that is very concerning. Therefore we are
put this bill into the context of aged care. We have to        going to need as many nurses as possible, and those
look at the whole of the work force, and I go back to the      nurses will need to be freed from tedious and
May 2002 federal budget when Peter Costello came out           time-consuming tasks. One of the pleasing issues in this
with an intergenerational report, in which he talked           bill is that it recognises that division 2 nurses can
about what the future holds. This will have an impact          dispense medication.
on how we age in this state, how we nurse aged people
and what will happen to elderly and frail Victorians into      One of the interesting things I saw as I went around this
the future. Demographics do not lie, and we are going          state was in a nursing home in country Victoria. It was
to find that instead of facing unemployment as we have         a 30-bed residential aged care hostel for high-care
done in the past we are going to have under                    needs. It took one nurse 21⁄2 hours to dispense
employment. It is going to be very difficult to get the        medication to those 30 people. Two and a half hours is
staff to support those of us who are baby boomers. We          a very long time when the nurses could be taking care
are a very expensive group of people to maintain and           of and using their skills to look after those frail, elderly
we have a five-star — —                                        patients in a far better way.
   Hon. Kaye Darveniza — Not cheap to keep.                    Products such as the Webster-pak contain antibiotics in
                                                               packets which divide up the doses patients are supposed
   Hon. ANDREA COOTE — We are not cheap to                     to have, and you just pop out the pills. It does not really
keep, Ms Darveniza! We have five-star requirements             need a brain surgeon to sort out exactly what is
with a three-star budget. The difficulty is that as we go      required. We have to be cautious and careful about it,
into aged care we are starting to see the ramifications        but the anomaly we have at the moment is that family
and the implications of what this is going to mean for         members and personal care assistants can come into
nursing in this state and for Australia as a whole. Not
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82                                                                   COUNCIL                                         Wednesday, 31 March 2004


hospitals and pop out those pills, but division 2 nurses                       directed to meeting the needs and serving the interests of
cannot do this.                                                                people.

                                                                         Finally, it states:
That is an anomaly that we really have to look at and be
more understanding of. It is not to say that we do not                         The Framework is consistent with and complementary to
have to be extremely cautious; it is very important that                       existing regulation and practice parameters in Queensland. It
the right medication gets to the patients and that all care                    complements the requirements for educational preparation,
is taken.                                                                      competency development, registration, enrolment,
                                                                               endorsement and ongoing professional practice. It is
                                                                               consistent with and needs to be implemented in conjunction
If division 2 nurses can be given flexibility to dispense                      with the National Competency Standards for the Registered
more medication it will free up more time for them to                          Nurse and the Enrolled Nurse (2000) and the Code of Ethics
look after the elderly patients they are in charge of. A                       for Nurses in Australia (1993).
part of the bill that is of concern to the aged care sector
concerns training. As the bill stands, there is some                     I am not a nurse, but from looking through this
cause for concern about how the training time will be                    document it is very clear that it is all here. There is no
taken. Will division 2 nurses have to take time off from                 confusion. In fact the Queensland government has done
their current place of work and be trained for an hour a                 an excellent job on this. It is succinct, it is clear, and it
week or in a comprehensive block of time, and will                       is a very good document. I hope and suggest that the
they have to go without pay? Will the facility that they                 minister might take a closer look at developing a
have come from have to find a replacement for the time                   decision-making framework for Victoria to give some
that a nurse is off work? There are some costs and                       certainty, understanding and context to what is
confusions that need to be looked at and addressed                       happening here.
when dealing with this bill.                                             As I said before, we have some concern about the lack
It is all very well for me to say that the thrust of the bill            of nurses. We have a problem between aged care and
is where we believe it should go but that it does not go                 acute nurses. Aged care nursing is not seen to be as
far enough. So what is the answer? As Ms Darveniza                       attractive as acute care nursing. There is about a 6 per
explained in her contribution, Victoria and Victorian                    cent discrepancy between what an aged care nurse and
nurse training is a long way behind the other states.                    an acute nurse receive — an acute care nurse gets more.
There has been a call for national recognition of                        We need to look at the whole sector and make it much
terminology, standards et cetera. From my research and                   more appealing for people to get into.
from the people I have approached, it has been said that                 The state government could look at encouraging more
two states are doing it far better than we do it here in                 people with scholarships to enhance the reputation of
Victoria. One is Western Australia and the other is                      aged care nursing, because, as I said at the outset of my
Queensland. In 2002 Queensland came up with a                            contribution, we are facing a rapidly ageing population
document entitled Scope of Nursing Practice Decision                     which will have some very high care needs. We need to
Making Framework — Application of the Framework                          get as many well-qualified nurses as we possibly can
in Nursing Practice — June 2002. I will read from the                    into this sector.
introduction about what it was to do, because I think we
could take some notice of it and perhaps implement a                     I would like to suggest that the government looks at
similar code and framework in Victoria. From all                         what the federal Minister for Aged Care, Julie Bishop,
accounts, it works extremely well. The introduction                      has done to encourage nurses into the aged care sector.
states:                                                                  I will read from the press release from the Royal
     The Queensland Nursing Council has developed the Scope of
                                                                         College of Nursing Australia, headed ‘Australian
     Nursing Practice Decision Making Framework (the                     government aged care nursing scholarship scheme and
     Framework) to provide guidance for individual nurses, the           aged care support systems pilot project’. It states:
     nursing profession, other health care personnel, service
     providers and consumers, in decision making about issues of               The Australian government aged care nursing scholarship
     nursing practice.                                                         scheme aims to increase the number of nurses with a rural and
                                                                               regional background and a special interest in aged care
It goes on to say:                                                             entering undergraduate, honours and continuing professional
                                                                               development (CPD) study programs at accredited Australian
     Increasingly, nursing practice exists in dynamic and rapidly              institutions.
     evolving contexts. This environment requires nurses to
     continually acquire new knowledge and incorporate relevant          I will pause there to talk about rural and regional
     change into their practice. Each aspect of practice should be       Victoria. If we believe that the baby boomers are going
                                                                         to be expensive to keep here in the city, they are going
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                            COUNCIL                                                                         83


to be just as expensive in the country, and it is going to              Australian Capital Territory — which has resulted in
be very difficult to keep aged care nurses in country                   Victorian nurses not being able to administer
areas. We really have to face that issue now and do                     medications and subsequently provide enhanced and
something about it. I urge the government to seriously                  more timely health service provisions to Victorian
consider what it is going to do.                                        patients.

The press release continues:                                            Proposed section 8(c)(i), to be inserted by clause 5,
                                                                        states in part:
   Scholarships are available to contribute towards each of these
   programs. The schemes provide financial assistance worth up                The Board may endorse the registration of a nurse registered
   to a total of $30 000 ...                                                  under division 2 of the register if the board is satisfied that the
                                                                              nurse —
That is per applicant over a three-year period. For
honours programs, it is up to a total of $10 000 a year,                           (a) has satisfactorily completed a course of study in
and I presume that it is a four-year course.                                           medication administration approved by the Board;
                                                                                       or
The initiative for the pilot program through the support                           (b) has satisfactorily completed a course of study or
systems for aged care nursing scholarship holders                                      has a qualification which, in the opinion of the
includes a mentoring program; a dedicated web site                                     board, is substantially equivalent ...
with links to relevant online resources and
organisations; online discussion groups; electronic                     In clause 8, under the heading ‘Refusal to renew
bulletins; academic skills resources; selected literature               registration or endorsement’, proposed section 14(3)
database and project officers to help access and use                    makes it clear by stating:
programs and resources.                                                       Without limiting the powers of the Board under sub-sections
                                                                              (1) and (2), the Board may refuse to renew the endorsement
I encourage the government to have a look at this                             of registration under section 8(C) of an applicant under this
model: I think it is something that could be helpful. We                      Part if the Board is satisfied that the applicant for renewal has
have to be much more proactive in this state to see what                      not maintained the required competencies in medication
                                                                              administration for that endorsement.
we can do to encourage high quality, highly trained
people into this sector. It is incumbent on this                        This is an important provision in the legislation,
government to make certain that we have enough                          because it will ensure that competencies of nurses are
nurses who are going to be well trained to take us into                 recognised and the nurses board must notify nurses if it
the future.                                                             intends not to renew their registration. It is essential
                                                                        Victorian nurses are provided with the opportunity to
As the Honourable David Davis said, the Liberal Party
                                                                        have their skills recognised.
will not oppose this bill, although I think it is a pity that
it does not go far enough. I certainly welcome the                      Under the heading ‘Suspension of endorsement’
changes that have been made in it and look forward to                   clause 9 states:
seeing them implemented.
                                                                              For the purposes of this Act, a nurse whose endorsement of
   Hon. W. A. LOVELL (North Eastern) — It is a                                registration under section 8C is suspended is deemed not to
pleasure to contribute to the debate on this bill and in                      have her or his registration endorsed under that section for the
                                                                              period of that suspension.
doing so to say that the opposition does not oppose it.
Today should be a day of celebration as this legislation                This is an important clause, because it ensures that
has made it to this chamber and will finally be passed to               nurses’ competencies will be reviewed. If the nurses
enable better health services for all Victorians.                       board deems the competencies to be inadequate, the
                                                                        nurse will be unable to continue administering the
This legislation will enable nurses who have undertaken
                                                                        medications. This is an important safeguard for
the appropriate training to administer certain
                                                                        patients.
medications. The Nurses Board of Victoria will
approve the training courses for these nurses and                       The Liberal Party has a number of concerns about this
provide the authority for them to administer the                        legislation. As mentioned earlier, it is disappointing that
medications. The drugs, poisons and controlled                          the Bracks government has taken four and a half years
substances regulations will be amended to allow                         longer than required to introduce this important
division 2 nurses to administer the medications. It is of               legislation. The Bracks government’s mismanagement
concern that other Australian states implemented this                   of health is having a real impact on Victorian local
legislation some years ago — with the exception of the                  communities, on patients and their families. A clear
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84                                                      COUNCIL                                          Wednesday, 31 March 2004


example is the ongoing crisis facing hospital services in        Hon. J. A. VOGELS (Western) — It is with great
country Victoria. These include cuts to obstetric and         pleasure that I rise to support the Nurses (Amendment)
elective surgery at Warracknabeal and Hopetoun and            Bill. As a few speakers have mentioned, this legislation
the threatened closure of those hospitals; the proposed       was on the table probably around 1999. It has taken
closure of the Rushworth hospital; the ongoing crisis         nearly five years to bring it to fruition. I believe this is
surrounding obstetric services at Seymour; the ongoing        mainly because of union opposition. Division 1 nurses
equipment crisis affecting Echuca hospital which              fear that allowing division 2 nurses to administer drugs
according to the Auditor-General needs over                   will encroach on their patch or responsibilities. Never
$800 000 of urgent equipment upgrades; the                    mind that their reluctance has left the residential aged
$1.1 million of equipment upgrades required at                care sector in crisis, because many of these facilities
Wangaratta; and over $380 000 of urgently needed              were in breach of the legislation governing the
equipment upgrades at Goulburn Valley Health in               administration of medication by staff. I will quote from
Shepparton. Waiting lists for urgent elective surgery at      a letter I received from the May Noonan Memorial
Goulburn Valley Health have increased 25 per cent             Hostel for the Aged based in Terang, in my electorate,
under the Bracks government. Semi-urgent elective             and the response I received from the then Minister for
surgery waiting lists have increased 67 per cent under        Aged Care, the Honourable Bronwyn Pike, more than
the Bracks government. My electorate hospitals are            two years ago. The Terang hostel representative wrote,
under deep financial pressure with massive operating          saying:
deficits. Goulburn Valley Health has a deficit of
                                                                  Re: Scope of registered nurses division 2
$4 688 000. At Wangaratta it is $1 986 000. At the
Wodonga Regional Health Service it is $3 571 000. At              I am writing to you on behalf of the board of management
the Yarrawonga District Health Service it is $961 900.            and the registered nurses division 2, to ask you for the latest
The Tallangatta Health Service has a deficit of                   information on the scope of registered nurses division 2
                                                                  regarding the administration of medication from
$522 437. This is the mismanagement in my electorate
                                                                  Webster-paks.
alone.
                                                                  At the end of this year May Noonan memorial hostel will
I call on the Bracks government now to take                       again go for accreditation like all other aged care facilities.
responsibility and fix the health crisis that is forcing          Again we will be faced with the dilemma of not complying to
                                                                  standards and maybe only gain accreditation for a short time
patients in my electorate to go without. This legislation
                                                                  rather than the three years, due to the anomaly that faces aged
is important, but it is only a first step. Additional             care facilities that employ registered nurses division 2 in
measures should have been taken by the government in              hostels.
relation to this work force issue. In particular the
                                                                  We would appreciate feedback on where the situation is
training courses these nurses will need to undertake              heading.
appear to be highly expensive, putting them out of the
reach of many nurses. The new administering powers                Yours sincerely
for these suitably trained nurses do not go as far in other       Jan Barnes, Hostel Manager.
states — for example, in other states these nurses are
                                                              I sent that letter off to the Minister for Aged Care,
able to inject certain medications. There are also
                                                              Bronwyn Pike, and I actually spoke to her about this.
concerns as to how the Nurses Board of Victoria will
                                                              The minister wrote back to me in December 2001 —
implement the new supervision requirements for these
                                                              which is now nearly two and a half years ago —
nurses.
                                                              saying:
In conclusion the opposition does not oppose the bill.            Thank you for your letter of 31 October 2001 on behalf of
However, we remain concerned about the cumbersome                 May Noonan hostel in Terang regarding the administration of
processes of administering the qualifications, providing          medication to aged care residents by division 2 nurses.
access to the qualifications and supervising the nurses
                                                                  The Victorian government is taking action to advance an
registered to administer these medications. Victorian             extended scope of practice for division 2 nurses as a matter of
nurses are committed and dedicated to the provision of            priority.
quality health care. It is the responsibility of the
government of the day to support, train and empower           Remember this is two and a half years ago.
our nurses. Victorians will benefit from Victorian                This initiative will be of benefit across a range of the health
nurses gaining these responsibilities. It is important that       and aged care settings where division 2 nurses are employed.
the government continue to take steps that recognise the
skills of our nurses and promote further training and             A working group for the extended scope of practice of
                                                                  division 2 registered nurses, comprising of key stakeholders,
educational opportunities for them.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                            COUNCIL                                                     85


   including aged care representatives, has been meeting since          I fully support division 2 nurses being able to
   June 2001.                                                           administer drugs. It seems absolutely ludicrous to me
   Currently the focus of the working group is on the                   that while a mum or dad, son, daughter, neighbour or
   management and administration of medication which is one             anyone else in the district can come and hand out drugs
   component of an extended scope of practice.                          quite capably and safely to a person living in their own
   I understand that the May Noonan hostel has also written to
                                                                        house, once that person goes into a nursing home or
   directly to Ms Belinda Moyes, assistant director, nurse policy       hostel a division 2 nurse, who is much better qualified,
   unit, in relation to this issue.                                     is unable to hand out the drugs. Surely it is not difficult
                                                                        to have quality-assurance procedures in place in these
   The government is committed to fostering and strengthening
   the work force in health and aged care services, and the             aged care facilities. Proper records are kept, usually
   Minister for Health, the Minister for Community Services and         hanging on the end of a bed or in the room, and when a
   myself are all keen that measures for expanding the scope of         nurse comes in everybody knows — or should know, if
   practice for division 2 nurses are implemented as soon as            quality-assurance records are kept — what this patient’s
   possible.
                                                                        medication is. The Webster-pak, for example, is ideal. I
This was in 2001. We are now in 2004, and we are                        do not know if many members have seen one: it is a
finally seeing some legislation. These letters and                      blue pack, and it probably has a week’s, or two weeks’,
responses would be carbon copies for most of the aged                   drugs in it. It says ‘Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
care facilities across the state.                                       Saturday, Sunday; morning, midday, evening’. The
                                                                        pills are all in their own little spot, and whoever is
This legislation gives the opportunity for approximately                handing out the morning or afternoon pills just pushes
7500 division 2 nurses to complete a relevant training                  the little vial, the pills pop out, and they are handed
course that would allow them to administer certain                      over to the patient. It is very simple, and I cannot
types of medication within a supervised setting. What                   believe division 2 nurses would need 114 hours and a
does this entail? It concerns me if these training courses              three-week course, or something, to learn how to use it.
can only be done in high-care facilities — that is, in                  We see diabetic sufferers inject themselves, sometimes
nursing homes — and not in lower care facilities such                   two or three times a day, and I find it amazing that
as hostels. In the case of the May Noonan hostel, which                 division 2 nurses need to be supervised when they
I described earlier, this will mean that nurses will have               administer a drug.
to find work at another facility, leaving May Noonan
short-staffed, and the facility where this training needs               In conclusion, this legislation is at least going some
to occur will need to employ extra staff.                               way to addressing the concerns of hostels and aged care
                                                                        facilities. I hope the guidelines and regulations, when
Apparently the training requires 114 hours of theory                    they are produced, are not too restrictive; that would
and 76 hours of clinical supervision. Who is going to                   make this legislation meaningless.
pay for this extra workload and the increase in salary
that division 2 nurses will be entitled to because of their             Motion agreed to.
extra skills? Health services across the state well
                                                                        Read second time.
remember Commissioner Blair’s intervention when the
Bracks government first got elected and handed down                     Committed.
new awards and staffing ratios for nurses but refused to
pick up the tab.                                                                               Committee
Regarding the supervised setting, it is not clear to me                 Clause 1
how the supervision of division 2 nurses by division 1
nurses is to be carried out. Does the division 1 nurse                     Hon. D. McL. DAVIS (East Yarra) — I seek from
need to be looking over the shoulder of the division 2                  the Minister for Aged Care some indication as to how
nurse every time he or she dispenses a medication or                    he expects the regulations surrounding the bill to be
drug? In country Victoria many hostels do not, and                      implemented. If he could explain, I am particularly
cannot afford to, employ a division 1 nurse in the first                interested in the issue of the supervision by division 1
place, and this is one of the very reasons this legislation             nurses of division 2 nurses. How does he understand
is required. If the guidelines and regulations are too                  the process by which the regulations would be
strict, then, in country Victoria especially, this                      implemented? How does he see those regulations
legislation will be of very little benefit.                             operating, and what level of supervision would exist for
                                                                        division 2 nurses who are trained to administer
                                                                        medications?
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86                                                     COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


   Mr GAVIN JENNINGS (Minister for Aged                      What does this mean in practice? It means that in
Care) — I thank the committee for the opportunity to         practice, in hospital a division 2 nurse who is
outline how the government believes this important           appropriately trained and registered within the Nurses
reform in relation to administration of medication           Board of Victoria will be able to administer certain
within the nursing sector will assist and enhance the        medications as described by the regulation on the basis
degree of work force flexibility within both the health      of a written direction by a medical practitioner or other
and aged care industries in Victoria.                        professional and in addition to this must be directly
                                                             supervised by a division 1, 3 or 4 nurse; and in a
To go to the heart of Mr Davis’s question, it is             hospital setting this would also be the case, 24 hours a
important for the committee to understand that the           day, each and every day.
scope of practice that would be available to division 2
nurses to administer medication will be determined           In an aged care setting you would expect that same
through guidelines which have been established and           direction to apply. However, it is possible that the
will be maintained by the Nurses Board of Victoria           division 1, 3 or 4 nurse may not be on site but would be
consistent with the responsibility of the nurses board       accessible, and the division 2 nurse who is
under the Nurses Act, in accordance with the Australian      appropriately trained and registered would be obliged to
Nursing Council guidelines and in particular the             seek and to obtain direction from that appropriate
definitions of delegation and supervision, so there will     authority. It is the intention of the Nurses Board of
be an interlocking consistent regulatory regime.             Victoria to implement this regime, to recognise that in
                                                             the rollout of these new arrangements it is essential that
In the first instance the scope of practice that has been    there be rigour imposed within that supervisory regime,
determined by the nurses board has been developed into       and it is a requirement, as indicated in the
guidelines, which are currently available on the web         second-reading speech, that the Nurses Board of
site of the Nurses Board of Victoria. They provide a         Victoria will actively monitor this, that it will regularly
range of circumstances under which practices can be          report on the effectiveness of those supervisory
undertaken within the health and aged care sector.           practices and that it will review them to ensure that
There are a number of key parameters to those                rigour is applied within health care settings in Victoria
supervision guidelines. In the first instance it is          upon the introduction of this new regime.
essential for the community to understand that
division 2 nurses’ scope of practice requires them to           Hon. D. McL. DAVIS (East Yarra) — Further on
work under the direction of a division 1, 3 or 4             the purposes clause, I thank the minister for his
registered nurse in keeping with the Australian Nursing      explanation and indicate that I am considerably
Council competencies and standards for registered            reassured that both direct and indirect supervision will
nurses and enrolled nurses. In addition to this there is a   be possible under this system and that where
legal requirement that the registered nurses only            appropriately trained division 2 nurses are in an aged
administer schedule 4, 8 and 9 poisons on the written        care setting there will be scope for an arrangement to be
instruction of the medical practitioner, dentist or          made where they will be indirectly supervised.
authorised optometrist as described in the drugs,
poisons and controlled substances regulations of 1995.       My second question under the purposes clause relates
Currently a regulatory impact statement is being             to training and the training provisions that are in place.
prepared to ensure that those regulations are brought        Will the minister outline to the house briefly how he
into line with the provisions that are contained within      sees the training arrangements operating for division 2
this bill.                                                   nurses who will be able to administer the appropriate
                                                             medications? What number of places will be available?
Beyond this, the guidelines that have been prepared by       How will the government facilitate the process of
the nurses board go on to describe that supervision may      ensuring that sufficient numbers of division 2 nurses are
be undertaken in either a direct or an indirect fashion.     trained to be able to administer medication?
Direct supervision is described as being provided when
the registered nurse is actually present, observes the          Mr GAVIN JENNINGS (Minister for Aged
work and directs the person who is being supervised;         Care) — As a starting point, the qualifications and the
and indirect supervision is being provided when the          training that have been established have the active
division 1, 3 or 4 registered nurse in the Victorian         participation of the Nurses Board of Victoria. They
setting is easily contactable but does not directly          have been approved by the Victorian Qualifications
observe the activities.                                      Authority and the Office of Training and Tertiary
                                                             Education, the body appropriately designated with the
                                                             responsibility of ensuring that the administrative
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                  COUNCIL                                                        87


arrangements are in place and to make sure that their           important aspect of our ongoing commitment. We are
training providers meet the standards of the registered         absolutely dedicated, after going through the swings
training bodies of the providers of those courses, which        and roundabouts and enduring the brickbats in getting
usually would be a TAFE body. Beyond that the                   to this stage, to ensuring that we maximise training
training itself will be based upon modules of 190 hours         opportunities into the future.
training, which is 114 hours of theory and 76 hours of
practical training in a clinical setting. This regime will         Hon. D. McL. DAVIS (East Yarra) — I thank the
be made available to approximately 17 000 division 2            minister for that explanation. My final question relates
nurses who are currently working within Victorian               to the system of mutual recognition that exists between
health care settings.                                           the other states of Australia and indeed New Zealand.
                                                                Will the minister outline how he sees mutual
In the first instance the government has provided funds         recognition operating in the other states with respect to
in this calendar year to train 360 division 2 nurses at an      division 2 nurses who are registered and practising their
estimated cost of in the order of $500 000. On my               division 2 skills, including the administration of
recent journey to visit the commonwealth minister I             medication, who wish to transfer to Victoria? Under
encouraged her, given the enthusiasm of the                     mutual recognition, will those nurses who are trained
commonwealth government to see its rollout of this, to          and administering medication as division 2 nurses and
look at ways in which we might share this                       qualified and registered under their state or territory acts
responsibility in future, and I was pleased that the            be automatically able to undertake the same procedures
commonwealth minister is entertaining this.                     in Victoria — to the extent of Victorian law?

It goes to the heart of the question asked by Mr Drum              Mr GAVIN JENNINGS (Minister for Aged
in the second-reading stage of this debate about the            Care) — That is a very good qualification, because the
capacity to roll out training, and we recognise that this       extent of Victorian law is the key criterion in relation to
is a significant issue. We will make sure that of the           answering the question. The interlocking nature of this
initial 360 places, there are appropriate opportunities         law and the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances
for division 2 nurses in regional Victoria to be                Act is a central dual-part component of what this new
accommodated and to make this training available to             scope of practice will be in terms of administering
them — but the take-up rate is an issue. We would               medication.
anticipate there would be a variation in the costs of the
training module which may have some degree of                   The important concept is whether the Nurses Board of
elasticity in pricing, perhaps in the order of $1200 to         Victoria recognises the qualifications of a nurse who
$3000, depending on the training provider and the               comes from another jurisdiction into Victoria and
clinical settings and the arrangements that may be in           whether the underlying qualification is directly
place. One size will not fit all, but it is the intention of    transferable. There may be some requirement for
the government to arrange for flexible arrangements             people who cross jurisdictions to undergo some
such as part-time training to be available, so the price        additional training if it is perceived that their training
structure may vary.                                             falls short of the training standard that will be set in the
                                                                training module that underpins this act. However, it will
We anticipate that the government, as a major provider          be our intention as much as possible to harmonise the
of the service and as an employer, will have an acute           qualifications between jurisdictions without allowing a
interest in the take-up rate of division 2 nurses               diminution of the standard of care that we are expecting
increasing their scope of practice. We will actively look       within Victoria and the standard of the qualification.
at funding places into the future, although I cannot
make any undertakings beyond the 500 at the moment.             The Nurses Board of Victoria has been participating in
We will be encouraging employers to see that this adds          a national forum facilitated by the Australian Nursing
to their flexibility and will assist in the pricing structure   Council to find a way that will ensure harmonisation
of their work force to pay for those training modules           takes place. There is mutual recognition in accordance
We anticipate that it will be an attractive option for          with the Mutual Recognition (Victoria) Act, and the
employers.                                                      obligations under this act and the Drugs, Poisons and
                                                                Controlled Substances Act is, as much as possible, to
I understand that Mr Drum was concerned about the               allow for people to cross jurisdictions in a way that we
potentially onerous cost for the nurses themselves. We          can have confidence that it will not diminish the
would anticipate that this would be driven at the level         standard of care and the standard of qualification in this
of employer, although there will be capacity for people         act.
to fund themselves. We recognise that this is an
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88                                                    COUNCIL                                          Wednesday, 31 March 2004


   Hon. D. K. DRUM (North Western) — I thank the                That the bill be now read a third time.
minister, and I also thank him for his answers during
                                                            In so doing I thank all members who have contributed
the committee stage. I would like to ask him about the
                                                            to the debate and the opposition parties for allowing the
currency of competencies. Does more work need to be
                                                            speedy consideration of this matter today and the
done on the currency of competencies, or will the
                                                            passage of the bill.
current system, which effectively calls for nurses to be
aware of their own capabilities and be responsible for      Motion agreed to.
their own actions, be safeguard enough as a new range
of nurses with new skills are introduced?                   Read third time.
   Mr GAVIN JENNINGS (Minister for Aged                                             Remaining stages
Care) — I appreciate Mr Drum’s question and the
concern that underlies it. Part of the reason why the       Passed remaining stages.
government and other players have been criticised
about the slow preparation of this legislation, the new
guidelines and the new training has been the absolute                    BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
rigour that every stakeholder within the sector in
Victoria has maintained in ensuring that standards do                                 Adjournment
not slip and that the highest standards of professional         Mr LENDERS (Minister for Finance) — I move:
care, responsibility and obligation are met.
                                                                That the Council, at its rising, adjourn until Tuesday,
Part of the reason why we might have been perceived             20 April.
as moving too slowly is that we do not want to see
standards slipping and do not want to make any patient      Motion agreed to.
in the Victorian health care setting vulnerable. All the
players, including the government and the Nurses
Board of Victoria, will continue to be vigilant on this                           ADJOURNMENT
question. We would anticipate, as part of the evaluation        Mr LENDERS (Minister for Finance) — I move:
being done by the Nurses Board of Victoria, that there
will be active reporting on the standards of care and the       That the house do now adjourn.
quality of action that is now available under the
broadening of the scope of practice. We would expect                          Whitehorse: councillors
to be continually vigilant on that question.
                                                               Hon. BILL FORWOOD (Templestowe) — The
Whether there is any particular issue where standards       issue I wish to raise tonight, through the Minister for
may be brought into question, there is ample scope          Sport and Recreation, is with the Minister for Local
within the domain and responsibility of the Nurses          Government. As the minister would know, I am the
Board of Victoria to examine and make determinations        shadow Minister for WorkCover. If members go to
on the appropriate ongoing registration of any particular   WorkCover’s web site they will see a sign saying,
nurse in Victoria. There are also opportunities under the   ‘Prevent bullying and violence at work’. That goes to
responsibility of the health commissioner to make           the heart of the issue I wish to raise.
similar decisions and determinations about the quality
of care. We think the combination of those review           On the night of 18 March, two weeks ago, the City of
processes and the sanctions that may be applied,            Whitehorse held its annual business awards. At the end
particularly in relation to the Nurses Board of Victoria,   of those awards, Cr Peter Allan and Cr George
will maintain the highest scrutiny of those standards.      Droutsas invited Cr Sharon Partridge to the Blackburn
                                                            Hotel for a cup of coffee. What happened during that
Clause agreed to; clauses 2 to 12 agreed to.                cup of coffee goes to the heart of good governance in
                                                            local government, because by the time Crs Droutsas
Reported to house without amendment.                        and Allan had finished with Cr Partridge she was
                                                            sobbing at the table. They, of course, then left her there
Report adopted.                                             sobbing late at night. I am advised it was 11.30 p.m.
                                                            when they first arrived at the hotel. Then Cr Droutsas,
                     Third reading                          who I understand is only young — 24 or 25 —
  Mr GAVIN JENNINGS (Minister for Aged                      proceeded to suggest to Cr Partridge that, ‘The
Care) — I move:                                             collective will go after you if you don’t toe the line’. In
                                                    ADJOURNMENT

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                       89


other words this was an attempt by two councillors to         Doveton-Eumemmerring neighbourhood renewal
silence another councillor. As I said, by the time they       project, and I understand the City of Casey has also
had finished with her she was in tears.                       allocated $1 million for improvements to public space,
                                                              capital assets and local services. The project will
One of the things that was said to her in the course of       enhance housing and the built environment with
this conversation was, ‘We control the council and we         $810 000 allocated for the financial year to upgrade
will not give you anything at all’. I suggest members         100 properties; boost employment and training
look at the web site for this council. They will find         opportunities, creating up to 49 jobs through the
there are 33 official council appointments, and she is        community jobs program; improve community safety
not one. Every other councillor on that council has been      and reduce crime; and promote health and wellbeing.
given an official council position — but not
Cr Partridge.                                                 Other communities within my electorate are
                                                              socioeconomically disadvantaged just like the
We have a situation where one of the two independent          Doveton-Eumemmerring community. I therefore
councillors on this council has been taken away by the        request that the minister provide some advice as to how
young bovver boy, the foot soldier, the thug from Mike        other communities in my electorate, which are not
Danby and Luke Donnellan’s office, the numbers boy,           designated neighbourhood renewal sites, can benefit
the Labor Party hit man, in an attempt to silence an          from the actions the Bracks government is taking
independent councillor. I say to members opposite: if         through this highly successful program.
they are behaving like this in councils, where else will it
go? This is a case where a woman was browbeaten by                   Shop trading hours: Easter Sunday
two thugs from the Labor Party and was left in tears.
                                                                 Hon. B. N. ATKINSON (Koonung) — I wish to
  The PRESIDENT — Order! The member’s time                    raise a matter with the Minister for Small Business. The
has expired.                                                  matter I bring to her attention and on which I seek some
                                                              guidance is to do with Easter Sunday trading. I note that
  Local government: neighbourhood renewal                     during the break between sittings the government made
                                                              a further backflip on the Easter Sunday trading fiasco
   Mr SOMYUREK (Eumemmerring) — I raise a                     and has now allowed hardware chains to open on Easter
matter for the attention of the Minister for Local            Sunday, particularly the Mitre 10 and Bunnings
Government, who is also the Minister for Housing,             warehouse groups, which are retailers that generate
concerning the government’s neighbourhood renewal             more than $1 billion in sales and therefore are
program, which aims to narrow the gap between some            businesses that I would not really regard as small
of the most disadvantaged communities in Victoria and         businesses, which surely was the import of the Easter
the rest of the state by bringing together and building on    Sunday trading changes that were made by the state
the expertise and resources of local residents, local         government.
governments, local businesses and local service
providers.                                                    Indeed, contrary to what the minister said about people
                                                              having a day off or a holiday on Easter Sunday, we now
Last month I had the pleasure of accompanying the             have a holiday that is determined by who you work for
minister to the launch of the Doveton-Eumemmerring            rather than any other particular provision. Somebody
neighbourhood renewal program at Autumn Place in              who works for Bunnings, which is, as I said, a
Doveton. This launch included a sausage sizzle,               $1 billion-plus retail business, has to work, whereas
Aboriginal face painting and a performance by Doveton         somebody working for Coles supermarkets, which also
North Primary School choir, Doves on the Run. The             have multibillion dollar sales, is not allowed to work on
Doveton-Eumemmerring neighbourhood renewal                    that day. It again continues the anomalies of this entire
program is the first neighbourhood renewal project to         process.
include a formal partnership between local
governments and state government, thus putting into           What concerns me more about this situation is that the
effect the state government’s commitment to work in           Melbourne City Council believes it was not worth
partnership with local governments and to strengthen          while lodging an application to seek an exemption this
communities.                                                  year for Easter Sunday trading, because it had been
                                                              dissuaded by the government’s advice last year about
Each project is governed by a committee encouraged to         its potential to actually open, despite the fact that the
comprise 40 per cent of local residents. The Bracks           Melbourne central business district area is a
government has allocated $1.6 million for the                 considerable tourist mecca. I am also concerned about
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90                                                        COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


Swan Hill, which last year had approval for trading on          debate should be used, and I ask you to rule that
Easter Sunday but this year was denied the opportunity          Ms Darveniza’s contribution is a speech.
to trade on Easter Sunday under the government’s
regulations.                                                       The PRESIDENT — Order! With respect to the
                                                                rulings that I have made, I asked members to take four
I ask the minister to provide me with the details of            points into account: to indicate to whom the matter is
those people who made applications for Easter Sunday            being directed, and the member has done that; to give a
trading this year who were denied the opportunity to            brief resume of the facts, and the member has done that;
trade and to explain in particular why the Swan Hill            and there are two more points to be achieved following
area has not received approval this year when it had            that ruling of October last year, which were to set out
approval last year.                                             the request, query or complaint, then to suggest the
                                                                action sought. The member is halfway through her
Step into Voluntary Work program: promotion                     allotted time; she has met half the points and has a
                                                                minute and a bit to fulfil them. I ask the member to be
    Hon. KAYE DARVENIZA (Melbourne West) —                      cognisant of that ruling and address those two
The issue I wish to raise for the attention of the Minister     outstanding areas.
assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs relates to
the recent announcement made by Minister                           Hon. KAYE DARVENIZA — Given that my
Pandazopoulos of a grant of $196 000 from the                   electorate of Melbourne West is one of the most
Community Support Fund to support more migrant                  culturally and linguistically diverse areas in Melbourne,
women to become community volunteers. I                         I would like to know what is being done to ensure that
congratulate the minister on this grant. The funding will       my constituents are made aware of this important
build on the $362 000 of funding which established the          training opportunity. I believe the program is an
first stage of the Step into Voluntary Work program.            excellent one, particularly for migrant women, as it
The additional grant involves training workers in               offers a combination of skills and learning
community organisations to recruit, train and support           opportunities: it offers opportunities to learn English —
women from culturally and linguistically diverse                there is language training, formal education — and it
backgrounds who want to do voluntary work.                      also includes on-the-job volunteering experience in that
                                                                range of important community organisations that I have
The Australian Multicultural Foundation will train              already outlined.
community organisations such as Parks Victoria, the
Australian Red Cross, the Melbourne 2006                        Again, I want to congratulate the minister for
Commonwealth Games Corporation, the Association of              establishing this program with the Community Support
Neighbourhood House and Learning Centres,                       Fund, which will give culturally and linguistically
Volunteering Victoria, the Cancer Council Victoria, the         diverse women the confidence and the skills to be more
Immigration Museum, volunteer resource centres,                 involved in the broader community.
Family Court networks as well as the Adult Migrant
Education Service.                                                 Hon. Bill Forwood — Further on the point of order,
                                                                President, we have all been listening very carefully to
   Hon. Bill Forwood — On a point of order,                     the completion of Ms Darveniza’s contribution. In the
President, I have been listening carefully to the               end what she requested, I suspect, was that action be
contribution from the member for Melbourne West                 taken to make people aware — I think they were the
Province. I suggest that what we have now is a set              words she used — and I put it to you that that is
speech.                                                         completely outside the guidelines that you just
                                                                adumbrated in the house.
     An honourable member interjected.
                                                                   The PRESIDENT — Order! The member for
   Hon. Bill Forwood — It started with a                        Melbourne West Province asked the minister to advise
congratulation to the minister in relation to the second        her what action the minister is taking to advise her
amount of funds made available for this program, it             constituents of those facilities. That was the request; she
then talked about the first amount of funds that have           asked the minister to advise her about that. I believe the
been available for the program and then listed all the          action that has been asked of the minister by the
various organisations that have been granted funds to           member is in line with the ruling I made in October.
be used in this way. I put it to you, President, that that is
not the purpose of the adjournment debate. In your                 Hon. W. A. Lovell — Further on the point of order,
recent guidelines you indicated how the adjournment             President, when I asked the Minister for Small Business
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                        COUNCIL                                                               91


to advise me of something you ruled that adjournment                expected. He is very good at speaking the speak, but he
issue out of order.                                                 is not so good at living by his words and implementing
                                                                    policy to the benefit of Victorian consumers.
    Consumer and tenancy services: delivery                         Mr Lenders is now offering a mobile unit service to
                                                                    thousands of Victorian consumers — he is sacking staff
   Hon. A. P. OLEXANDER (Silvan) — I seek the                       across Victoria, and he is closing offices.
assistance of the Minister for Consumer Affairs on an
issue about consumer and tenancy services. Tenancy                  Will the Minister for Finance accept the advice of many
and consumer services play a key role in advising,                  of his backbench colleagues, many in the community
advocating and settling issues which can be complex,                and the opposition and review this terrible decision and
time consuming and difficult for all parties. They are              restore these services to Victorian consumers?
instrumental in providing assistance to some of our
most vulnerable community members, including those                                     Pap smear tests: Geelong
who have disabilities, literacy or language difficulties.
                                                                       Ms CARBINES (Geelong) — I wish to raise a
Consumer and tenancy issues can be highly complex.                  matter with the Minister for Health in the other place
In his media release of 5 March, the Minister for                   concerning recently published data detailing a decline
Consumer Affairs, Mr Lenders, said, ‘We understand                  in the number of Geelong women who have regular
the need for face-to-face consumer and advocacy                     Pap smear tests. An article in the Geelong Advertiser of
services’. It is unthinkable that by removing consumer              24 March is headed ‘Decline in Geelong Pap tests’ and
and tenancy offices the minister can claim he                       explains there has been a 4 per cent drop in the number
understands the need for consumer and advocacy                      of women across the Barwon region who have these
services at all.                                                    tests. Indeed, at 64 per cent Geelong women are well
                                                                    below the national target of 90 per cent. This is very
I refer to the latest discussion paper or inquiry, so to            disturbing news given that PapScreen Victoria
speak, from the Bracks government entitled What Do                  manager, Kate Broun, has stated:
We Mean by ‘Vulnerable’ and ‘Disadvantaged’
Consumers? I will tell the Bracks government what we                      ... we know that if women have regular Pap smears, we can
in the Liberal Party mean by vulnerable and                               prevent up to 90 per cent of cervical cancers.
disadvantaged consumers: they are the members of the                Given the important role that these tests play in
Victorian community whose services the Bracks                       screening for cancer, PapScreen Victoria research has
government is taking away. I am not sure if                         shown — and this is detailed in the article — that
Minister Lenders has misled Parliament by suggesting                embarrassment, lack of an appropriate doctor, putting
today in question time and in his media release of                  off appointments and busy schedules all deter women
5 March that consumers will benefit from these                      from having these tests. Disappointingly it seems that
changes, or if the test of time will simply demonstrate             Geelong women are no exception. In raising this matter
that he and his government are incompetent. This is a               as a member for Geelong Province I encourage all
very simple proposition. I will give the government the             women in my region to ensure that their health is
answer now. Vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers                  accorded a high priority, and to ensure that they have a
are the people across my electorate and throughout                  Pap smear test every two years. As Ms Broun said in
Victoria who are outraged by his decision — and the                 this article:
government only need pick up a local paper to know
this.                                                                     Having a test every two years saves lives.

The report ridiculously entitled The Way Forward                    What action can the Minister for Health take to promote
compiled by Mr Scheffer, a member for Monash                        the importance of Pap smear screening to women in the
Province, says:                                                     Barwon region?

  A small but important number of people, whose                                                Fishing: trout
  circumstances make them vulnerable in the marketplace, need
  additional information and face-to-face support...                   Hon. E. G. STONEY (Central Highlands) — I raise
This is very interesting because that face-to-face                  a matter for the attention of the Minister for
support now is being ripped away by this government.                Environment in the other place regarding maintaining a
                                                                    reasonable population of trout in our premium cold
Mr Lenders is now forcing the Shepparton and                        water trout streams. I point out that the trout population
Wodonga services to close 10 weeks earlier than                     has absolutely collapsed in a lot of our rivers, including
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92                                                       COUNCIL                                          Wednesday, 31 March 2004


those not affected by bushfires, and something must be        years. There are significant community concerns about
done about it in order to preserve the tourism created by     this trust, including the lack of a public and transparent
fishing in those areas.                                       planning process. This lack of process is one of the key
                                                              reasons why the groups walked out, and they should be
The situation is affecting tourism. People cannot catch a     applauded for their courageous action.
fish, therefore they will not return. The department has
not done any sort of research on fish numbers in these        The following was said by Mr Bob Stewart, president
rivers for some years, and perhaps it does not intend to      of the Southern Peninsula Rescue Squad:
do much about it at all. It does have a secret policy of
                                                                   The whole process has lapsed into petty politicking, with no
not stocking rivers because trout are not native fish. In
                                                                   regard for the interests of either the local community or the
fact many people believe that the department has an                wider Victorian community ... I have been threatened with
agenda to reduce trout numbers in favour of native fish,           legal action, and I have been stood over to sign letters that say
even in rivers that are not suitable for native sporting           things I do not believe. This is not how a public process
fish. It is therefore a matter for government to intercede         should be run.
and answer the basic question: do we or do we not                  It’s four months since the parliamentary secretary for defence
foster non-native fish in our rivers?                              announced a trust would be set up, and nothing but trouble
                                                                   has happened since. If the bushland is to become a national
I believe the government must outline and enunciate a              park and the master plan is acceptable as a concept, then let it
clear policy on trout and native fish and how they                 happen and hand it over to the state authority. Stop the
                                                                   name-calling and get on with it.
co-exist and must manage their co-existence in our
rivers. If this basic philosophical issue is not resolved,    On Sunday the commonwealth government handed
the hiatus that has existed for 10 years will continue.       over 17 hectares of Point Nepean, locally know as
                                                              Police Point. The handover on Sunday was again a
I point out that it is possible to manage streams so that
                                                              cynical exercise on behalf of the commonwealth
native fish can exist in some streams, trout can exist in
                                                              government to divide the community, as indeed it
other streams and small native fish can exist in our
                                                              wishes to divide Point Nepean. Unfortunately now the
headwaters. It is possible to manage all that; it is just a
                                                              council has been dragged into the issue. I have a great
matter of applying ourselves to how best we do that. At
                                                              deal of respect for the councillors of the Mornington
present it has not been decided how we should do it.
                                                              Peninsula, and I believe it is most unfortunate that they
The whole situation is chaos and, as I said earlier, the
                                                              now are being used as pawns in a cynical political
trout populations have collapsed.
                                                              exercise.
There is no stocking of premium trout waters in
                                                              I ask the minister to lobby the commonwealth
Victoria of any note. There is stocking of
                                                              government to give the people of the Mornington
impoundments but no stocking of our premium trout
                                                              Peninsula, and indeed all Victorians, what they want —
streams. Together with fishing, drought and bushfires,
                                                              that is, one national park and one manager.
that has caused trout populations to collapse. The
department claims that rivers are self-sustaining, but I           Western Port Highway, Lyndhurst: traffic
say very strongly that this is not true. I ask the minister                        control
to make a decision which will foster both native fish
and the introduced trout in Victorian rivers. I believe           Hon. R. H. BOWDEN (South Eastern) — This is
that can be done, so I ask him to look at how best it can     the seventh time since 17 September last year that I
be done so that stocks are maintained at reasonable           have raised this issue, and I will continue to raise it until
levels for the good of Victoria’s economy.                    the government starts to listen. It is to do with the
                                                              important issue of the capacity of the Western Port
                Point Nepean: future                          Highway at Lyndhurst. The arrogant attitude of
                                                              VicRoads and the non-cooperation of the City of Casey
   Hon. J. G. HILTON (Western Port) — My
                                                              is causing appalling trouble in relation to the capacity of
adjournment matter this evening is for the attention of
                                                              the Western Port Highway. Lights are being planned
the Minister for Environment in the other place. The
                                                              and installed, and this is definitely against the interests
issue relates to Point Nepean, and unfortunately the
                                                              of motorists in the area.
saga continues. On 24 March this year the Southern
Peninsula Rescue Squad and Maritime Museums of                VicRoads is not taking care to protect the efficiency of
Victoria walked away from the commonwealth                    this highway and indeed is cooperating with the City of
government’s proposed Point Nepean community trust            Casey to ensure that designs of subdivisions not yet
which it has set up to manage Point Nepean for five           constructed will obstruct the efficiency and capacity of
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                 COUNCIL                                                         93


this very important arterial road. One set of lights has      I am also concerned about the fact that only one
already been installed but not yet commissioned. I have       councillor saw fit to meet with the minister to discuss
a letter from the minister advising that the lights will be   ways and means of improving — —
commissioned and that a lower speed limit of
90 kilometres per hour will be put on this very                    Hon. Bill Forwood — Name him!
important road.
                                                                 Mr SMITH — It was the ex-mayor, Cathy Wilson,
The Minister for Transport in the other place has the         who was the only one to discuss ways and means of
opportunity to educate VicRoads as to its                     improving all aspects of that road to benefit Frankston,
responsibilities as thousands of motorists require a          in exactly the same way as the City of Greater
definite capacity to be maintained. There is congestion       Dandenong council has done. It has met with the
now, and it will get worse. On one stretch of that road       government to discuss ways and means of improving
at least three and maybe four sets of lights can be           the area as a result of that roadway. Frankston council
expected to be installed, and that will cause havoc on        needs to do the same thing. It needs to understand that it
this very important regional artery.                          is over; this tolling is a done deal, and it is going to
                                                              happen.
The pattern of dumping suburban traffic onto major
arteries is a well-known signature of VicRoads, and it        The issue of funding the Frankston Business Chamber’s
simply has to cease. We only have to look at recent           campaign is absolutely abhorrent as far as I am
exercises on the South Gippsland Highway, where               concerned. We saw the very worst of the Liberal
between Lyndhurst and Cranbourne the efficiency of            supporters in the council chamber and the thuggery
that road has been dramatically cut because of the            they got up to on Monday when they attacked the
installation of traffic lights on nearly every intersection   Labor councillors on the floor of the chamber in a most
over a substantial stretch of road. It is a pattern we        disgraceful manner — a matter that has been reported
cannot afford to continue in the arterial road system,        in the Herald Sun, and a matter that has been reported
particularly in the south-east, and it simply has to stop.    to the police. It is an absolute disgrace.

I have to inform honourable members that the attitude         The reality is that this is an overt political campaign.
and the arrogance of VicRoads is deplorable. It is            The proof of the pudding of that statement is the fact
appalling, and its connivance and regular interaction         that the man responsible for coordinating this campaign
with councils is totally unacceptable. VicRoads is            for the Frankston Business Chamber is a Mr Scott
uncaring, and it needs to understand that part of its         Rankin. Now — shock, horror! — Mr Scott Rankin is
responsibility — indeed a major responsibility — is to        not only a failed candidate at the last state election but
look at the safety and also the maintenance of the            also happens to be the brother-in-law of the federal
capacity of these important roads. VicRoads seems to          member for Dunkley, Mr Bruce Billson. Tell me this is
have forgotten the ability to put overpasses over             not a political stunt. Of course it is a political stunt, but
important intersections.                                      how dumb of Mr Rankin to have admitted that he is the
                                                              brother-in-law of Mr Billson.
My question is: will the Minister for Transport please
require VicRoads to cease ruining the Western Port            What a joke this is, what a farce. They need to pull their
Highway capacity with unnecessary traffic lights and          heads in on the Frankston council and get on with the
not commission the lights now installed at Lyndhurst?         business of delivering — —

       Mitcham–Frankston freeway: tolls:                         The PRESIDENT — Order! The member’s time
                                                              has expired; however, the minister should not respond
   Mr SMITH (Chelsea) — I wish to raise a matter for          to the member’s request because he did not make a
the Minister for Transport in the other place through the     request to the Minister for Transport in the other place.
Minister for Sport and Recreation. The matter concerns
the ongoing saga of the Frankston City Council funding              Agriculture: genetically modified crops
a political campaign to assist the Frankston Business
Chamber in attacking this government on tolling of the           Hon. B. W. BISHOP (North Western) — I direct
Mitcham–Frankston road. I state clearly that I am not         my adjournment matter to the Premier. It concerns the
opposed to the council engaging in a political                Bracks government’s proposal to impose a four-year
campaign, because that is its right, as so too it is the      moratorium on the commercial planting of genetically
right of the business chamber, but it has no right to         modified (GM) canola in Victoria. Those of us
expend ratepayers funds to do it.                             involved in the production of food and fibre see this as
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94                                                                    COUNCIL                                        Wednesday, 31 March 2004


a head-in-the-sand attitude and one that will put                         concerns the special rates and charges legislation and
Victorian agriculture a generation behind in research                     the difficulty that strip shopping centre tourist
and development. This backward step flies in the face                     promotion schemes and economic and community
of the government’s own Lloyd report that examined                        development projects now face in calculating a
export and market implications and the ability of the                     proportion of the total benefit to allow them to continue
industry to segregate GM and non-GM products.                             with this charge.

The Lloyd report recommended commercial trials of                         Will the minister take action to address the concerns
GM canola in Victoria — a practical move and one that                     raised by many communities or is she happy to see
I fully support — so that we can carefully test the                       them collapse? I have an article from the Stonnington
concerns some people have raised in the debate, and I                     Leader dated 1 March headed ‘Shock for traders —
completely understand their concerns. Unless the                          fear for loss of strips’ identities’, which states:
government changes its decision and allows these
                                                                                Moves to change the way Stonnington’s five retail strips are
commercial trials to proceed we will send a message to
                                                                                promoted are ‘ludicrous and ill timed’, traders say.
the world that we do not want to be a leader in
biotechnology — a claim that I have noticed the                           It continues by saying that promotion of the strips,
Minister for Innovation, Industry and Regional                            which include Chapel and High streets and Toorak and
Development has trumpeted recently.                                       Glenferrie roads, Armadale, Malvern and South Yarra,
                                                                          will collapse, as will promotions carried out on behalf
I remind the house that one of our toughest competitors                   of the Heidelberg Central shopping precinct and
has been growing GM canola since 1996 and has                             Whitehorse City Council. I could go on and on about a
successfully sold into its markets, where millions of                     television receiver in another shire and garbage
people have eaten billions of meals using canola oil                      collection at Dinner Plain.
without any problem. Leading journalist, Andrew Bolt,
in his column in the Herald Sun of Sunday, 28 March,                      Does the minister agree with the member for Prahran,
said:                                                                     who recently stated that the growth in tourism,
                                                                          particularly international tourism, is part of the ongoing
     This will cost us. Dr Robert Norton of Melbourne
     University’s school of agriculture and food systems says GM          revitalisation of the Chapel Street and Toorak Road
     canola will add $135 million a year to Australia’s harvest and       business precincts? If one looks at the Toorak Road
     let farmers use 640 tonnes less triazine herbicide. And our          area, which a few years ago was in the doldrums, one
     claims to be at the cutting edge of the biotech industry are         finds that there has been a significant increase in
     exposed as a joke. Green bull baffles brains here, which is
     why Monsanto, which bred a GM canola, is thinking of
                                                                          business activity there, and a large part of that is
     pulling out of this silly country.                                   because when international tourists come to Melbourne
                                                                          they go to Chapel Street and Toorak Road. This is a
I note that on 3 March 2004 the European Food Safety                      direct result of the special rates and charges levied on
Authority said a genetically modified rapeseed                            those traders, which they were happy to pay and which
produced by Monsanto was safe for human and animal                        are now in jeopardy. It is not possible to calculate the
consumption. This decision by the EFSA, which                             proportion of total benefit of those sorts of schemes.
advised the European Union Commission on food                             The action I seek is for the minister to rethink the
safety issues, moved the commission a small step closer                   special rates and charges legislation and simply
to revoking the unofficial ban it placed on genetically                   differentiate between capital works such as drainage,
modified foods in 1998. The world is moving on, and                       footpaths and roadworks as opposed to marketing,
we must move with it or be left behind.                                   promotion, advertising and the management of those
                                                                          schemes.
Not to proceed is turn-out-the-light-as-you-leave stuff.
These commercial GM trials must continue, otherwise                                       Hospitals: rural and regional
we will be the laughing-stock of the world every time
we talk about research, development and                                      Hon. DAVID KOCH (Western) — My matter for
biotechnology. I request the Premier to call off this                     the Minister for Health in the other place relates to
ill-conceived policy of no trials and reinstate the                       financial cutbacks to country hospitals that mean the
commercial GM canola trials immediately.                                  closure of beds and the cancellation of elective surgery.
                                                                          At least two major hospitals in regional Victoria are
     Local government: strip shopping centres                             being forced to close hospital beds and cut elective
                                                                          surgery in an effort to avoid falling into multimillion
   Hon. J. A. VOGELS (Western) — I raise a matter                         dollar deficits. These admission limits are causing
for the Minister for Local Government, Candy Broad. It
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                      95


serious concern to senior medical staff, who are not        relation to hospital funding. My issue is specifically
able to perform elective surgery on patients who are in     regarding the forced service cuts at the Bairnsdale
urgent need. Doctors have warned that patients will         Regional Health Service. I call on the health minister to
face unnecessary waits for elective surgery, leaving        provide that service with sufficient additional funding
country people with unacceptable health support.            to avoid any of the announced cuts to hospital services.

Both the Hamilton and Bairnsdale hospitals are facing       Faced with an operating deficit in the vicinity of
budget shortfalls due to a lack of sufficient funding for   $1.1 million at the end of January, earlier this month the
rising admission rates — in Hamilton’s case by 14 per       board of the Bairnsdale Regional Health Service was
cent, although the minister claims that funding for the     forced to make some significant cuts to services at the
Hamilton Base Hospital has risen by 25 per cent since       hospital. They included a cut to elective surgery
the Bracks government came to power in 1999. As an          services across the board by 15 per cent, severely
immediate past board member, I can assure the house         reduced gynaecology, ear, nose and throat,
that these numbers are mythical with consumer price         ophthalmology, orthopaedic and urology services and
index increases not even being maintained. Funding          the closure of 10 inpatient beds.
increases have never covered the enterprise bargaining
agreement undertaken by the government, leaving             The demand for services has exceeded those for which
country Victorian hospitals with real and serious           the service is funded, and I might add that the increase
deficits.                                                   in demand is totally due to increased local needs and
                                                            the availability of medical staff to deliver those
Along with many other country hospitals, Hamilton is        services. If there is a genuine need for a service, then I
being financially squeezed at a time when there is a        believe that service should be fully funded, especially in
growth in demand. The Bracks government has failed          rural areas where it is a well-recognised fact that the
to provide adequate funding to meet community               health status of rural Australians, including rural
demand in health services. The minister has implied         Victorians, is far less than that of people who live in
that the funding problems are caused by                     cities around this country.
mismanagement by hospitals. This is simply not true.
Hospitals across the state have run up deficits totalling   East Gippslanders are isolated relative to the other
more than $120 million due to flawed funding models         major health service providers in this state, Bairnsdale
and failure to recompense hospitals for salary increases.   being some 31/2 hours from Melbourne. Other residents
The government continues to break funding promises at       in the East Gippsland health service catchment area are
a cost to country health services.                          up to 61/2 hours away from areas of Melbourne. These
                                                            people are entitled to receive an adequate service where
This government’s unwillingness to provide proper           there is a need and where there are the health
funding to country public hospitals means that country      professionals to provide it. I call on the minister to
people must continue to wait for elective surgery, in       provide the required funding for health services in
many cases with pain and discomfort. The government         Gippsland to ensure that the services the board is being
must immediately address this serious problem. In the       forced to close are kept open. With its announced
next few months more than 180 patients are expected to      budget surplus this government has sufficient funds to
have their surgery cancelled or at best delayed at the      provide that, and I urgently call on the health minister
Hamilton hospital due to funding shortfalls.                to dip into those funds to ensure that the people of East
                                                            Gippsland are not further disadvantaged by the forced
Will the minister qualify his claim of a 25 per cent        cut in health services provided by the Bairnsdale
growth in the budget at the Hamilton hospital,              Regional Health Service.
particularly to the operating budget between 1999 and
2003? Will he guarantee to review the serious shortfall                           Responses
in country hospital operating budgets and ensure that
regional patients are not forced to endure unnecessarily      Hon. J. M. MADDEN (Minister for Sport and
long waiting periods to undergo much-needed surgery?        Recreation) — The Honourable Bill Forwood raised
                                                            matters regarding the Whitehorse City Council, and I
 Bairnsdale Regional Health Service: funding                will bring those to the attention of the Minister for
                                                            Local Government.
   Hon. P. R. HALL (Gippsland) — Tonight I want to
raise an extremely urgent issue for the attention of the    Mr Somyurek raised matters relating to the
Minister for Health in another place, and it follows on     Doveton-Eumemmerring neighbourhood renewal
the comments made by my colleague Mr Koch in
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96                                                      COUNCIL                             Wednesday, 31 March 2004


program, and I will refer them to the Minister for            Motion agreed to.
Housing.
                                                              House adjourned 10.15 p.m. until Tuesday, 20 April.
The Honourable Bruce Atkinson raised matters
regarding Easter Sunday trading provisions, in
particular their application in the Swan Hill region, and
I will raise them with the Minister for Small Business.

The Honourable Kaye Darveniza raised the issue of the
Community Support Fund and trainers for volunteer
recruitment within the multicultural community. I will
draw that to the attention of the Minister assisting the
Premier on Multicultural Affairs in another place.

The Honourable Andrew Olexander raised the matter of
consumer tenancy services in Victoria, and I will refer
that to the Minister for Consumer Affairs.

Ms Carbines raised the matter of the decline in Pap
smear tests in the Geelong and Barwon regions, and I
will refer that to the Minister for Health in the other
place.

The Honourable Graeme Stoney raised the matter of
trout in cold water streams, and I will raise that with the
Minister for Environment in the other place.

The Honourable Geoff Hilton raised the matter of the
ongoing Point Nepean saga, and I will draw that to the
attention of the Minister for Environment in the other
place.

The Honourable Ron Bowden raised the matter of the
Western Port Highway at Lyndhurst, and I will draw
that to the attention of the Minister for Transport in the
other place.

The Honourable Barry Bishop raised the matter of
genetically modified canola, and I will refer that matter
to the Premier.

The Honourable John Vogels raised the matter of
special rates and charges on strip shopping centres, and
I will draw that to the attention of the Minister for Local
Government.

The Honourable David Koch raised the matter of
country hospital beds and elective surgery, and I will
draw that to the attention of the Minister for Health in
the other place.

The Honourable Peter Hall raised the matter of the
Bairnsdale Regional Health Service and service
provision in the region, and I will draw that to the
attention of the Minister for Health in the other place.
                                                     JOINT SITTING OF PARLIAMENT

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                               COUNCIL                                                                      97


            Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                       represented in the Senate by Senator the Honourable
                                                                           Richard Kenneth Robert Alston.

      JOINT SITTING OF PARLIAMENT                                             Mr DOYLE (Leader of the Opposition) — I second
                                                                           the proposal.
                        Senate vacancy
                                                                              The PRESIDENT — Order! Are there any further
Honourable members of both houses met in                                   proposals?
Assembly chamber at 6.15 p.m.
                                                                           As no other members have been proposed, I declare
   The Clerk — Before proceeding with the business                         that Mr Mitchell Peter Fifield has been chosen to hold
of this joint sitting it will be necessary to appoint a                    the place in the Senate rendered vacant by the
President. I call the Premier.                                             resignation of Senator the Honourable Richard Kenneth
                                                                           Robert Alston.
   Mr BRACKS (Premier) — I move:
                                                                                 Mr BRACKS (Premier) — I move:
   That Judy Maddigan, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly,
   be appointed President of this joint sitting.                                 That the President of the joint sitting inform the Governor that
                                                                                 Mr Mitchell Peter Fifield has been chosen to hold the place in
   Mr DOYLE (Leader of the Opposition) — I second                                the Senate rendered vacant by the resignation of Senator the
the motion.                                                                      Honourable Richard Kenneth Robert Alston.

Motion agreed to.                                                             Mr DOYLE (Leader of the Opposition) — I second
                                                                           the motion.
  The PRESIDENT — Order! I thank honourable
members for the nomination. I call the Premier.                            Motion agreed to.

  Mr BRACKS (Premier) — President, I desire to                                Mr INGRAM (Gippsland East) — I object to the
submit the rules of procedure, which are in the hands of                   process for filling casual vacancies, so I would like my
honourable members, and I accordingly move:                                dissent to be recorded.

   That these rules be the rules of procedure for this joint sitting         The PRESIDENT — Order! The member for
   to fill the Senate vacancy                                              Gippsland East has asked that his dissent be recorded.
   Mr DOYLE (Leader of the Opposition) — I second                             Mr SAVAGE (Mildura) — Likewise, I wish my
the motion.                                                                dissent to be recorded on the same grounds.
Motion agreed to.                                                            The PRESIDENT — Order! The member for
                                                                           Mildura has asked that his dissent be recorded.
   The PRESIDENT — Order! The rules having been
adopted, I am now prepared to receive proposals for the                    I congratulate the new senator for Victoria. There being
appointment of a person to hold the place in the Senate                    no further business, I now declare the joint sitting
rendered vacant by the resignation of Senator the                          closed.
Honourable Richard Kenneth Robert Alston.
                                                                           Proceedings terminated 6.20 p.m.
   Mr BRACKS (Premier) — I propose:
   That Mr Mitchell Peter Fifield hold the place in the Senate
   rendered vacant by the resignation of Senator the Honourable
   Richard Kenneth Robert Alston.

I understand that Mr Mitchell Peter Fifield is willing to
hold the vacant position if chosen.

In order to satisfy the joint sitting as to the requirements
of section 15 of the commonwealth constitution, I also
declare that I am in possession of advice from the
Leader of the Opposition that the nominee is the
selection of the Liberal Party, the party previously
98   COUNCIL   Wednesday, 31 March 2004
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                        99



                                           QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
              Answers to the following questions on notice were circulated on the date shown.
             Questions have been incorporated from the notice paper of the Legislative Council.
Answers have been incorporated in the form supplied by the departments on behalf of the appropriate ministers.
             The portfolio of the minister answering the question on notice starts each heading.

                                         Wednesday, 31 March 2004

                                   Treasurer: Spencer Street station project
167.        THE HON. BRUCE ATKINSON — To ask the Minister for Finance (for the Honourable the
            Treasurer): With reference to the Auditor General’s finding that the $1 billion Spencer Street Station
            contract with Civic Nexus consortium is now recognised in the budget papers as a liability, what has
            been the impact of this accounting recognition on the State Budget papers, and in particular, the State
            Government’s debt profile.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

There is an amount of $436 million recorded as a liability in the State’s Budget Papers within the 2005-06 projected
Statement of Financial Position. This liability impacts the State’s net debt by the same amount ($436 million) and
was reflected in the Government’s net debt projections as published in the 2003-04 Budget. The $436 million
represents the present value of the State’s payment obligations over the life of the contract discounted back to
today’s dollars. On the other side of the State’s ledger there is an asset that reflects the fair value of the Spencer St
Station facility that also appears in the Statement of Financial Position from 2005-06.


                                   Treasurer: Spencer Street station project
168.        THE HON. BRUCE ATKINSON — To ask the Minister for Finance (for the Honourable the
            Treasurer): Why is it that the Civic Nexus contract with the State Government is for $341 million, and
            not $234.4 million.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The reason that the contract with Civic Nexus is for $341 million, and not $234.4 million is because:

– the $341 million figure was the present value of the payment stream (only) by the State over the life of the
  contract to Civic Nexus at the time of financial close (excluding GST);
– the $234.4 million figure was an initial estimate, by external financial advisors, of the net present value to the
  State for the construction and operation of the proposed facility by the private sector, including a payment to the
  State for development rights as part of the ‘business case analysis’. This estimate was subsequently used in the
  analysis to establish the final Public Sector Cost benchmark of $301m.

The Auditor General in his report to Parliament stated that the independent probity auditor concluded that the
tender process was conducted fairly and impartially, and all bidders were evaluated in accordance with agreed
criteria.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

100                                                    COUNCIL                                   Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                          Police and emergency services: electorate office opening
365.        THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Honourable the Minister for Energy Industries (for
            the Honourable the Minister for Police and Emergency Services):

            (a)   What amount of taxpayers funds were spent at the opening of the Minister’s electorate office and
                  ministerial office between 30 November 2002 and 10 April 2003 on — (i) food; (ii) alcohol; (iii)
                  labour costs; and (iv) other incidental expenses.

            (b)   What amount of taxpayers funds have been spent by the Minister between 30 November 2002 and
                  10 April 2003 in the carrying out of ministerial duties on — (i) food; (ii) alcohol; (iii) labour hire;
                  and (iv) other incidental expenses.

ANSWER:

a)     There has been no official opening of my electorate or Ministerial office within the time period specified.

b)     Records are not available for the periods specified but I have been advised that from 1 December 02 to
       31 March 03, the following expenses have been incurred as part of my official duties as a minister: (i)-
       meetings and hospitality $1,997 (ii)- temporary staff $8,677 (iii)- incidentals $1,689.


                                      Treasurer: electorate office opening
367.        THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Finance (for the Honourable the
            Treasurer):

            (a)   What amount of taxpayers funds were spent at the opening of the Treasurer’s electorate office and
                  ministerial office between 30 November 2002 and 10 April 2003 on — (i) food; (ii) alcohol; (iii)
                  labour costs; and (iv) other incidental expenses.

            (b)   What amount of taxpayers funds have been spent by the Treasurer between 30 November 2002
                  and 10 April 2003 in the carrying out of ministerial duties on — (i) food; (ii) alcohol; (iii) labour
                  hire; and (iv) other incidental expenses.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)    The Treasurer’s electorate office does not fall under the administration of Government or his responsibilities
       as Treasurer. There was no official opening of the Treasurer’s ministerial office.

(b)    The research required to provide a response to the remainder of the question would place an unreasonable
       burden on the time and resources of the Treasurer’s office.


                                  Attorney-General: electorate office opening
369.        THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Honourable the Minister for Sport and Recreation
            (for the Honourable the Attorney-General):

            (a)   What amount of taxpayers funds were spent at the opening of the Attorney-General’s electorate
                  office and ministerial office between 30 November 2002 and 10 April 2003 on — (i) food; (ii)
                  alcohol; (iii) labour costs; and (iv) other incidental expenses.

            (b)   What amount of taxpayers funds have been spent by the Attorney-General between 30 November
                  2002 and 10 April 2003 in the carrying out of ministerial duties on — (i) food; (ii) alcohol; (iii)
                  labour hire; and (iv) other incidental expenses.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                       101


ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)    My electorate office does not fall under the administration of Government or my responsibilities as Attorney-
       General.

       There was no official opening of my ministerial office.

(b)    The research required to provide a response to the remainder of the question would place an unreasonable
       burden on the time and resources of my office.


                           Corrections: prisoner supervision and support budget
569.        THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison and within the context of Enforcing
            Correctional Order – Prisoner Supervision and Support (Budget Paper No. 3, p.233), what was/is the
            annual budget for each prison facility for 2002-03 and 2003-04.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The CORE budget for the following years is as identified.

1998/99           $106.713m

1999/00           $106.692m

2000/01           $122.584m

2001/02           $139.727m

2002/03           $174.529m

2003/04           Reintegrations of Corrections. CORE ceased to exist

I note with interest your media release of early 2003 in which you criticise increases in prison expenditure and the
conflicting release in which you claim prison overcrowding.

Please note that the increase in the CORE Budget is due to increases in bed capacity to address overcrowding
caused by the failure of the Kennett Government to provide enough beds to accommodate massive prisoner growth
during the late 1990s. Approximately 100 additional beds were provided despite the 1000 extra prisoners added to
the system.

Funding is also utilised to implement considerable additional security measures to address the unacceptably high
escape rate (4.9 per 100 days) under the Kennett Government, and to stop rampant drug use, the traffic of
contraband, and assaults which were not adequately addressed under the Kennett Government.


                                    Corrections: budget — prison facilities
614.        THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to the 2003-04 Budget Estimates, where is the allocation of funds, capital or
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

102                                                    COUNCIL                                    Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           recurrent for — (i) existing prison facilities to be expanded; and (ii) new prison facilities to be built, to
           meet the growth in the prisoner population.

ANSWER:

I am informed that/as follows

In 2001-02 Budget Paper 2 (pages 252 and 257) the Government recognised the continuing growth in prisoner
numbers and committed to the Corrections Long Term Management Strategy. This multi year strategy (including
2003-04), provides among other things, initiatives to reduce demand for prison beds, plus a 10 Year Facilities
Master Plan to expand the Victorian prison system by a nett 716 beds.

Figures relating to the implementation of the program are contained in the forward estimates.

Recurrent funding has been provided in line with the commissioning of the CIP and funding for 2003-04 is
$40.670m. The recurrent funding is included in the cost of the Prisoner Supervision and Support Output shown on
the page 233 of 2003-04 Budget Paper No. 3.

I note that this compares extremely favourable with Opposition commitments as you have not released a
Corrections Policy and have allocated not one cent to any correctional facility.


                         Corrections: prisoners — training and education review
878.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections):

           (a)   What is the current status of the review for prisoner training and education.

           (b)   What is the level of funding allocated for specific initiatives to be undertaken in 2003-04.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All funding for corrections education is provided by the Department of Education and Training. The allocation for
2003/04 is $7,499,187.

I note that this compares very favourably with the education and training allocation during the previous
Government, and particularly well with your proposed allocation prior to the last election at which time no funding
was allocated as there was no Corrections Policy.


                      Environment: Albert Park — rent increases for sporting clubs
895.       THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation (for the Minister for
           Environment): In relation to the rent increases given to sporting clubs operating in Albert Park:

           (a)   What is the total increase in annual revenue that the Government will receive as a result of the rent
                 increase in 2003-04.

           (b)   On what is this increase in revenue being spent.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                         103


Some concern has recently been expressed by community based clubs at Albert Park relating to the outcomes of a
recent three yearly market rental review undertaken in accordance with long standing Government policy on
community use tenancy arrangements.

The market rental review conditions were included in leases entered under the previous Liberal/National
Government.

Parks Victoria is working with the Department of Sustainability and Environment to review the policy on pricing of
community use tenancy. Parks Victoria has advised that in light of the proposed review, rentals at Albert Park will
be contained to CPI only increases until the results of the policy review are known.


                                     Treasurer: overseas ministerial visits
920.     THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Finance (for the Treasurer):

            (a)   What was the total cost of international air travel incurred by the Treasurer’s office from 1 March
                  2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Treasurer, the Treasurer’s staff and
                  advisors and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

            (b)   What was the total cost of interstate air travel incurred by the Treasurer’s office from 26 March
                  2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Treasurer, the Treasurer’s staff and
                  advisors and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

            (c)   What was the total cost of intrastate air travel incurred by the Treasurer’s office from 26 March
                  2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Treasurer, the Treasurer’s staff and
                  advisors and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)    The total cost of international air travel incurred by my office for trips taken between 1 March 2003 and
       30 September 2003 by myself and any accompanying ministerial staff, advisor or Parliamentary Secretary is
       $31,862.00

(b) and (c)
      The total cost of domestic air travel incurred by my office for trips taken between 26 March 2003 and
      30 September 2003 by myself and my accompanying ministerial staff, advisor or Parliamentary Secretary is
      $8,503.86


                                Industrial relations: overseas ministerial visits
924.        THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for
            Industrial Relations):

            (a)   What was the total cost of international air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 1 March
                  2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                  and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

            (b)   What was the total cost of interstate air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 26 March
                  2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                  and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

            (c)   What was the total cost of intrastate air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 26 March
                  2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                  and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.
                                                 QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

104                                                      COUNCIL                                   Wednesday, 31 March 2004


ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

(a)    The total cost of international air travel incurred by my office for trips (related to the portfolios of Attorney
       General and Industrial Relations) taken between 1 March 2003 and 30 September 2003 by myself and any
       accompanying ministerial staff, advisor or Parliamentary Secretary is $6173.88

(b) and (c)
      The total cost of domestic air travel incurred by my office for trips (related to the portfolios of Attorney
      General and Industrial Relations) taken between 26 March 2003 and 30 September 2003 by myself and any
      accompanying ministerial staff, advisor or Parliamentary Secretary is $11,740.74


                                     Environment: overseas ministerial visits
926.         THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister
             for Environment):

             (a)   What was the total cost of international air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 1 March
                   2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                   and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

             (b)   What was the total cost of interstate air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 26 March
                   2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                   and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

             (c)   What was the total cost of intrastate air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 26 March
                   2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                   and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)    The total cost of international air travel incurred by my office for trips taken between 1 March 2003 and
       30 September 2003 by myself and any accompanying ministerial staff, advisor or Parliamentary Secretary is
       $13,948.24.

(b) and (c)
      The total cost of domestic air travel costs incurred by my office for trips taken between 26 March 2003 and
      30 September 2003 by myself and any accompanying ministerial staff, advisor or Parliamentary Secretary is
      $34,062.87.


                                Sport and recreation: overseas ministerial visits
928.         THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation:

             (a)   What was the total cost of international air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 1 March
                   2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                   and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

             (b)   What was the total cost of interstate air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 26 March
                   2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                   and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.
                                                 QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                 COUNCIL                                                           105


             (c)   What was the total cost of intrastate air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 26 March
                   2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                   and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

(a)    The total cost of international air travel incurred by my office for trips taken between 1 March 2003 and
       30 September 2003 by myself and any accompanying ministerial staff, advisor or Parliamentary Secretary is
       $12,807.

(b) and (c)
      The total cost of domestic air travel incurred by my office for trips taken between 26 March 2003 and
      30 September 2003 by myself and any accompanying ministerial staff, advisor or Parliamentary Secretary is
      $18,296.25.


                                  Attorney-General: overseas ministerial visits
929.         THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation (for the
             Attorney-General):

             (a)   What was the total cost of international air travel incurred by the Attorney-General’s office from 1
                   March 2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Attorney-General, Attorney-
                   General’s staff and advisors and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

             (b)   What was the total cost of interstate air travel incurred by the Attorney-General’s office from 26
                   March 2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Attorney-General, Attorney-
                   General’s staff and advisors and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

             (c)   What was the total cost of intrastate air travel incurred by the Attorney-General’s office from 26
                   March 2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Attorney-General, Attorney-
                   General’s staff and advisors and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)    The total cost of international air travel incurred by my office for trips (related to the portfolios of Attorney
       General and Industrial Relations) taken between 1 March 2003 and 30 September 2003 by myself and any
       accompanying ministerial staff, advisors or Parliamentary Secretary is $6173.88.

(b) and (c)
      The total cost of domestic air travel incurred by my office for trips (related to the portfolios of Attorney
      General and Industrial Relations) taken between 26 March 2003 and 30 September 2003 by myself and any
      accompanying ministerial staff, advisors or Parliamentary Secretary is $11740.74.


                           Police and emergency services: overseas ministerial visits
935.         THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
             Police and Emergency Services):

             (a)   What was the total cost of international air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 1 March
                   2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                   and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

106                                                    COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


            (b)   What was the total cost of interstate air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 26 March
                  2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                  and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

            (c)   What was the total cost of intrastate air travel incurred by the Minister’s office from 26 March
                  2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by the Minister, ministerial staff and advisors
                  and the relevant Parliamentary Secretary.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)    No international air travel was incurred by the my office (related to the portfolios of Police and Emergency
       Services and Corrections) from 1 March 2003 to 30 September 2003, including trips taken by myself,
       ministerial staff, advisors or Parliamentary Secretary.

(b) and (c)
      The total cost of domestic air travel incurred by my office for trips (related to the portfolios of Police and
      Emergency Services and Corrections) taken between 26 March 2003 and 30 September 2003 by myself and
      any accompanying ministerial staff, advisor or Parliamentary Secretary is $14,764.32.


                             Attorney-General: law courts — awarding of costs
938.        THE HON. JOHN VOGELS — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation (for the
            Attorney-General): What percentage of people found guilty in a court of law in Victoria who have costs
            awarded against them never pay their debts.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows

Courts throughout Victoria handle thousands of cases per year and a wide range of monetary penalties, including
costs orders, may be made in the course of hearing those matters. Costs in the criminal jurisdictions of our Courts
commonly refer to costs associated with a witness in the relevant proceedings attending Court to give evidence. A
Court may order, for example, that a defendant pay the costs associated with a prosecution witness for loss of their
earnings, the witnesses’ transportation to and from Court or accommodation and/or meal expenses incurred as a
result of their attendance.

By far the majority of such costs orders are made in the Magistrates’ Courts throughout Victoria. These orders
typically provide for payment to be made within a three month period, and a warrant is automatically issued by the
Court in the event of non-payment.

In addition, the term ‘debts’ is generally associated with civil rather criminal proceedings.

The work involved in providing the information you are seeking would substantially and unreasonably divert the
resources of the Department from its core operations.


                             Attorney-General: law courts — awarding of costs
939.        THE HON. JOHN VOGELS — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation (for the Attorney-
            General): How much is owed by people found guilty in a court of law in Victoria who have had costs
            awarded against them.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                             COUNCIL                                                     107


Courts throughout Victoria handle thousands of cases per year, and many costs orders are made in the course of
hearing those matters. Costs in the criminal jurisdictions of our Courts commonly refer to costs associated with a
witness in the relevant proceedings attending Court to give evidence. A Court may order, for example, that a
defendant pay the costs associated with a prosecution witness for loss of their earnings, the witnesses’
transportation to and from Court or accommodation and/or meal expenses incurred as a result of their attendance.

By far the majority of such costs orders are made in the Magistrates’ Courts throughout Victoria. These orders
typically provide for payment to be made within a three month period, and a warrant is automatically issued by the
Court in the event of non-payment.

The work involved in providing the information you are seeking would substantially and unreasonably divert the
resources of the Department from its core operations.


                               Environment: fire access tracks — maintenance
944.        THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
            Environment): What was the actual cost of the maintenance of fire access tracks in 1997-98, 1998-99,
            1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02, and 2002-03, respectively.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The table below shows the amount spent on fire access roads and tracks managed by the Department of
Sustainability and Environment over the past 6 years. The amounts include expenditure on flood damage
restoration during 1998/99, as road maintenance was deferred in preference to these essential restoration works.
The amounts include expenditure by the commercial forestry, forest management and parks programs on roads that
form part of the fire access tracks network.

       1997/1998           $16,424,647

       1998/1999           $15,545,023

       1999/2000           $17,185,675

       2000/2001           $17,712,913

       2001/2002           $18,143,538

       2002/2003           $15,545,710      (refer note)

Note: Expenditure during 02/03 was less as personnel and equipment were diverted to fighting the Alpine fires and
the extensive recovery and rehabilitation programs.


                               Environment: fire access tracks — maintenance
945.        THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
            Environment): Since 1997, what is the value of the annual 4WD track maintenance fund that is
            managed by Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability and Environment in conjunction with
            4WD Victoria and its predecessor, the Victoria Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs Inc.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The value of the Four Wheel Drive Works Program over the last 6 years (including current financial year) has been
$1,225,000 per annum.
                                             QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

108                                                  COUNCIL                                Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                                 Corrections: prisons — education budget
968.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): What is the 2003-04 budget for education programs at HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
           Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal
           Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison
           Won Wron, Fulham Correctional Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison,
           respectively.

ANSWER:

I am advised that:

All funding for corrections education is provided by the Department of Education and Training. The allocation for
2003/04 is $7,499,187.

I note that this compares very favourably with the education and training allocation during the previous
Government, and particularly well with your proposed allocation prior to the last election at which time no funding
was allocated as there was no Corrections Policy.


                 Environment: Our Forests, Our Future industry transition program
1008.      THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
           Environment): In relation to the Our Forests, Our Future Industry Transition Program which provides
           various programs to be made available to contractors, workers and sawmill owners affected by the
           implementation of the Voluntary Licence Reduction Program (VLRP), the Contractor Assistance
           Program (CAP), Worker Assistance Program (WAP):

           (a)   What was the total dollar amount made available under the Program.

           (b)   How much of the total dollar amount made available under the Program has been spent.

           (c)   On which month did the Program commence and when will it conclude.

           (d)   How much money of the Program has been spent on consultants and outside advice to the
                 Government on planning and implementing the Program.

           (e)   How many workers have applied for and have been granted assistance under the WAP to 30
                 September 2003.

           (f)   What has been the total amount of money paid to workers under the WAP to 30 September 2003.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Our Forests Our Future Industry Transition Program is an $89 million dollar package.

The Program was announced by the then Minister for Conservation and Environment in August 2002, although
planning and design work had commenced following the Our Forests Our Future policy statement in February
2002.

As at 30 September 2003, 448 workers had applied for assistance and 419 workers had been granted assistance
under the Worker Assistance Program.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                             COUNCIL                                                    109


                  Environment: Our Forests, Our Future industry transition program
1009.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
            Environment): In relation to the Our Forests, Our Future Industry Transition Program, which provides
            various programs to be made available to contractors, workers and sawmill owners affected by the
            implementation of the Voluntary Licence Reduction Program (VLRP):

            (a)   How many contractors have applied for assistance under the Contractor Assistance Program
                  (CAP) to 30 September 2003.

            (b)   How many contractors who have been identified as cutting and hauling logs to sawmills have
                  applied for and have been granted assistance under the CAP to 30 September 2003.

            (c)   What has been the total amount of money paid to contractors who have been identified as cutting
                  and hauling logs to sawmills under the CAP to 30 September 2003.

            (d)   How many contractors who have been identified as hauling sawn timber from sawmills have
                  applied for and have been granted assistance under the CAP to 30 September 2003.

            (e)   What has been the total amount of money paid to contractors who have been identified as hauling
                  sawn timber from sawmills under the CAP to 30 September 2003.

            (f)   How many sawmills have applied for assistance under the VLRP to 30 September 2003.

            (g)   How many sawmills have accepted the conditions of the VLRP and have closed down operations
                  to 30 September 2003.

            (h)   What has been the total amount of money paid to sawmills under the VLRP to 30 September
                  2003.

            (i)   What additional amount of sawlog annual licences have been made available by the closure of
                  sawmills under the VLRP to 30 September 2003.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

175 contractors applied for the Contractor Assistance Program by the closing date of 29 November 2003.

The Voluntary Licence Reduction Program (VLRP) involved licensees applying to surrender all or part of their
volume on licence. 46 licensee applications were received by 31 October 2003, the closing date for Round 1 of the
VLRP. Of these 46 - 3 were withdrawn, one deferred and 42 were approved for processing.

To 30 September 2003, 260,184m3 has been bought back from licensees.


                  Environment: Our Forests, Our Future industry transition program
1010.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
            Environment): In relation to the Our Forests, Our Future Industry Transition Program, which provides
            various programs to be made available to contractors, workers and sawmill owners affected by the
            implementation of the Voluntary Licence Reduction Program (VLRP) under the Industry Transition
            Program, what other expenditure (other than payments to contractors under the Contractor Assistance
            Program, workers under the Worker Assistance Program and sawmills under the Voluntary Licence
            Reduction Program) relating to the Program has been paid from the total amount of money available
            under the Program to 30 September 2003.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

110                                                    COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


ANSWER: I am informed that:

The Our Forests Our Future transition program has been an $89 million package. Over 260,000m3 of licensed
timber has been bought back and over 400 workers assisted.


                                Treasurer: information technology upgrades
1028.      THE HON. BILL FORWOOD — To ask the Minister for Finance (for the Treasurer):

           (a)   Since October 1999, which authorities (as defined in the Audit Act 1994) that report to the
                 Treasurer have initiated projects costing $1 million or more for the upgrade, expansion or
                 enhancement of their information technology.

           (b)   When did each such project commence.

           (c)   When did each such completed project finish, and what is the estimated finishing date for each
                 such project not yet completed.

           (d)   What were the objectives of each such project.

           (e)   What did each such project consist of.

           (f)   What has been the cost of each such project that has been completed, and what is the estimated
                 cost of each such project not yet completed.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

To provide details of expenditures made by authorities under my administration as required by this question would
be an unreasonable diversion of my department’s resources.

The Honourable Member may wish to submit a more specific question outlining which particular authority they are
interested in.


                                       Agriculture: fisheries — wild carp
1043.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
           Agriculture): In relation to Fisheries Victoria’s $1 million study into carp released in April 2003, what
           steps has the Government taken since then to address the problem of wild carp infestation.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The study was commissioned by Fisheries Victoria in response to the growing recognition and public support for
carp management. The objective of the research was to determine the population dynamics of carp with the aim to
evaluate and determine potential control strategies.

The results of the project have provided valuable insight into the population structure of carp and will be vital in
providing guidance on the application of management strategies such as the daughterless carp technology being
developed by CSIRO, amongst other control techniques.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is represented on the Pest Animal Control CRC Working Group that is
funding the Daughterless Carp Project as well as other research aimed at supporting this control strategy should it
prove feasible.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                       111


                               Agriculture: genetically modified technologies
1048.       THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
            Agriculture):

            (a)   How much funding has the Government invested in research to investigate the potential of
                  Genetically Modified technologies to deliver benefits to farmers and consumers.

            (b)   Where has that funding been directed.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Victorian Government’s investment in Biotechnology for the benefit of Victoria’s farmers and consumers is
made under the State’s AgBio21 strategy.

Biotechnology research focuses on technologies of mapping, sequencing and understanding the functions of plant
and animal genes. Genetic modification is only one of the possible end uses of the technologies.

Over the last 3 years, Government has established a strong base of platform technologies in agricultural
biotechnology.

The key focus of the biotechnology research is for forage and oilseed crops, milk production of dairy cows, disease
detection in plants and animals and animal vaccine development.


                                        Corrections: Beechworth prison
1051.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to the construction of the Beechworth Prison which will have 120 new
            beds, replacing the current prison at Beechworth which the Government states holds 132 beds, how will
            the reduction of the prison design capacity in new jails facilitate improving the overcrowded jail system.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The new prison being minimum security does not replace the current medium security prison at Beechworth given
the differing security rating.

All the issues and available statistics around design capacity, actual capacity and prison occupancy rates were
canvassed at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee Hearing on 23 May, 2003.

I point out that comparing occupancy against design capacity is a meaningless exercise given that following major
expansions the actual capacity of our prisons is now 1400 beds greater than the original design capacity.

Your question also fails to understand that in addition to the 120 beds at Beechworth, a 600 bed remand prison is to
be constructed at Ravenhall and another 300 bed Programs Prison is to be constructed at Lara. I note that this
greatly exceeds zero additional beds committed to in the Liberal Party’s non-existent Corrections Police at last
year’s election.

I further note that the Liberal Party allocated not one cent to Corrections in its pre-election costings document


                                        Corrections: Beechworth prison
1052.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): Given that the new prison at Beechworth will be a minimum security facility replacing
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

112                                                   COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           a medium security jail, to where will the Government move the current classified ‘medium security’
           prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The new minimum security prison at Beechworth is not replacing the existing medium security prison. The closure
of the current prison and the opening of the new prison are separate components of the overall Corrections Long
Term Management Strategy which has been outlined to you on numerous occasions.

Given the above, it is planned to move classified medium security prisoners remaining at Beechworth to other
medium security placements at the appropriate time.


                                    Corrections: assaults on prison officers
1053.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison, what is Corrections Victoria doing to prevent
           prisoners assaulting prison officers.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Corrections Victoria has a wide range of policies and procedures ensuring the protection and safe working
environment of prison officers.

Guidelines concerning safety of prison officers are set out in the Corrections Act, the Corrections Regulations, the
Corrections Victoria Operating Procedures Manual and the Operating Procedures Manuals of the two private
providers. These documents are all available in the Resource Centre at the Office of the Correctional Services
Commissioner.


                                  Agriculture: genetically modified — canola
1057.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
           Agriculture): Has the Government invested any research money into GM Canola.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Government has provided limited research money for GM Canola in the context of its broader breeding and
development program for canola in Victoria.

It should be noted that there is no State Government budget for funding of the GM Canola varieties currently
proposed for commercialisation by private companies.


                                    Agriculture: animal and plant officers
1058.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
           Agriculture): In relation to the 2002 election policy where the Government promised to commit
           $2 million over 4 years to employ animal and plant officers, training for existing vets and a campaign to
           attract additional vets to rural Victoria:
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                         113


            (a)   How many Animal Officers have been employed.

            (b)   How many Animal Officers does the Government plan to employ over the 4 years.

            (c)   How many Plant Officers have been employed.

            (d)   How many Plant Officers does the Government plan to employ over the 4 years.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

In May 2003, the Bracks Government announced additional funding of $24.1m over an initial 4 years from July
2003, for biosecurity programs to defend farms against diseases such as foot & mouth disease, mad cow disease,
Newcastle disease and anthrax.

$2 million over 4 years was identified to amongst other initiatives, employ animal and plant health officers.

In 2003, the Department of Primary Industries has employed 7 new Animal Health Officers. In addition, two
Animal Health Officers will begin work with DPI by early January 2004.

DPI is currently advertising for 9 Animal Health Officers. It is expected that these staff will meet the biosecurity
program requirements over the initial four years.

Plant Standards have employed 2 staff in 2003 and plans to employ a total of 3 plant health officers over the next 4
years.

The Bracks Government remains committed to ensuring its comprehensive biosecurity package delivers the secure
base from which Victoria’s Agribusiness can grow.


                                  Corrections: prisons — indigenous adults
1066.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In view of recent reports indicating that Victorian indigenous adults are 10.5 times
            more likely to be imprisoned than non-indigenous adults:

            (a)   What programs has the Government put in place to deal with this highly overrepresented group.

            (b)   At what stage are the Government’s programs implemented in dealing with this group.

            (c)   How effective are these programs in dealing with this group.

            (d)   What are the benefits or outcomes to the Aboriginal community.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Information about programs for indigenous prisoners is contained in Annual Reports of the Department of Justice;
in the magazine ‘Koori Justice’ which is produced by the Indigenous Issues Unit of the Department of Justice; and
in other publications which can be accessed at the Corrections Victoria Resource Centre, Level 6, 452 Flinders
Street, Melbourne.

Programs are very extensive, and answering this question here in greater detail would substantially and
unreasonably interfere with the functions of the Office of the Correctional Services Commissioner.

I note that the Liberal Party’s 2002 election policy did not include a single initiative to deal with the over
representation of indigenous people in the prison system, and did not allocate one cent to address this situation. I
understand that this was because the Liberal Party did not have a Corrections Policy.
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114                                                  COUNCIL                             Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                         Attorney-General: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1071.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation (for the Attorney-
            General): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                  Attorney-General’s administration since 5 December 2002.

            (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I advise that:

To provide details of payments made by agencies and statutory bodies under my administration would be an
unreasonable diversion of my department’s resources.

The Honourable Member may wish to submit a more specific question outlining which particular agency or
statutory body they are interested in.


                             Corrections: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1074.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
            Corrections): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                  Minister’s administration since 5 December 2002.

            (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am advised that:

No payments have been made to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd by any agency or statutory body under my administration
since 5 December 2002.


                      Commonwealth Games: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1075.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Commonwealth Games: In relation to
            Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                  Minister’s administration since 5 December 2002.

            (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

Nil.
                                             QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                             COUNCIL                                               115


                      Education and training: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1076.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
            Education and Training): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                  Minister’s administration since 5 December 2002.

            (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

To provide details of payments made by agencies and statutory bodies under my administration would be an
unreasonable diversion of my department’s resources.

The Honourable Member may wish to submit a more specific question outlining which particular agency or
statutory body they are interested in.


                  Employment and youth affairs: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1078.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for
            Employment and Youth Affairs): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                  Minister’s administration since 5 December 2002.

            (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

Nil


          Information and communication technology: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1086.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Information and Communication
            Technology: In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                  Minister’s administration since 5 December 2002.

            (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am advised that no payments have been made.
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116                                                 COUNCIL                              Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                 Police and emergency services: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1094.      THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
           Police and Emergency Services): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

           (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                 Minister’s administration since 5 December 2002.

           (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

           (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am advised that:

No payments have been made to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd by any agency or statutory body under my administration
since 5 December 2002.


                             Resources: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1097.      THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to Shannon’s Way
           Pty Ltd:

           (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                 Minister’s administration since 5 December 2002.

           (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

           (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

To provide details of payments made by agencies and statutory bodies under my administration would be an
unreasonable diversion of my department’s resources.

The Honourable Member may wish to submit a more specific question outlining which particular agency or
statutory body they are interested in.


                       Sport and recreation: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1099.      THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation: In relation to
           Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

           (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                 Minister’s administration since 5 December 2002.

           (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

           (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:
                                             QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                             COUNCIL                                                   117


To provide details of payments made by agencies and statutory bodies under my administration would be an
unreasonable diversion of my department’s resources.

The Honourable Member may wish to submit a more specific question outlining which particular agency or
statutory body they are interested in.


                              Treasurer: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1103.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Finance (for the Treasurer): In relation to
            Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                  Treasurer’s administration since 5 December 2002.

            (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

To provide details of payments made by agencies and statutory bodies under the Treasurer’s administration would
be an unreasonable diversion of his department’s resources.

The Honourable Member may wish to submit a more specific question outlining which particular agency or
statutory body they are interested in.


                       Victorian communities: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1104.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for
            Victorian Communities): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)   What payments have been made to the company by any agency or statutory body under the
                  Minister’s administration since 5 December 2002.

            (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

Nil


                             Agriculture: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1110.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
            Agriculture): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)   What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                  since 27 March 2003.

            (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

118                                                   COUNCIL                                Wednesday, 31 March 2004


ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Department of Primary Industries has made one payment to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.

(a)     The amount of the payment was $15,851.98.

(b)     The payment was made on 24 September 2003.

(c)     Shannon’s Way was requested to prepare a presentation to the Royal Agricultural Society Board in relation to
        the formation of a Joint Venture for the redevelopment of the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.

No payments were made by my Private Office to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                           Attorney-General: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1112.        THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation (for the Attorney-
             General): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

             (a)   What payments have been made to the company by the Attorney-General’s department or private
                   office since 27 March 2003.

             (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

             (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

No payments have been made by the Department of Justice to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.

No payments have been made by my Private Office to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                       Commonwealth Games: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1116.        THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Commonwealth Games: In relation to
             Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

             (a)   What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                   since 27 March 2003.

             (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

             (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

No payments have been made by the Department for Victorian Communities or my private office to the firm
Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                   119


                       Education and training: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1117.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
            Education and Training): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)    What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                   since 27 March 2003.

            (b)    On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)    What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

Department:

No payments have been made by the Department of Education and Training to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.

Private Office:

No payments were made by my Private Office to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                           Education services: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1118.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
            Education Services): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)    What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                   since 27 March 2003.

            (b)    On what dates were the payments made.

            (c)    What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

Departments:

No payments have been made by the Department of Education and Training to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.

Private Offices:

No payments were made by my Private Office to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                   Employment and youth affairs: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1119.       THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for
            Employment and Youth Affairs): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

            (a)    What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                   since 27 March 2003.

            (b)    On what dates were the payments made.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

120                                                   COUNCIL                             Wednesday, 31 March 2004


             (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

No payments have been made by the Department for Victorian Communities or my private office to the firm
Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                             Environment: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1121.        THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
             Environment): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

             (a)   What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                   since 27 March 2003.

             (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

             (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Department of Sustainability and Environment has made the following 5 payments to the firm Shannon’s Way
Pty Ltd during the period 27 March 2003 to 29 October 2003.

1.      Marine National Parks - Design and production of a downloadable Marine National Parks screensaver
        June 2003
        $1,980.00

2.      ‘Our Future, Our Water’ Campaign - Narrative tapes and boards
        September 2003
        $7,672.50

3.      ‘Our Future, Our Water’ Campaign - 50% Deposit for TV production for Advertisement and Water Savers
        September 2003
        $33,852.35

4.      ‘Our Future, Our Water’ Campaign - consultancy costs
        September 2003
        $121,884.40

5.      ‘Our Future, Our Water’ Campaign - changes to commercial
        October 2003
        $855.80

No payments were made by my Private Office to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


           Information and communication technology: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1127.        THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Information and Communication
             Technology: In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

             (a)   What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                   since 27 March 2003.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                    121


             (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

             (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am advised that:

Department:

No payments have been made by the Department Of Infrastructure to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.

Private Office:

No payments were made by my Private Office to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                               Resources: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1138.        THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to Shannon’s Way
             Pty Ltd:

             (a)   What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                   since 27 March 2003.

             (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

             (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Department of Primary Industries has made one payment to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.

(a)     The amount of the payment was $15,851.98.

(b)     The payment was made on 24 September 2003.

(c)     Shannon’s Way was requested to prepare a presentation to the Royal Agricultural Society Board in relation to
        the formation of a Joint Venture for the redevelopment of the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.

No payments were made by my Private Office to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                           Sport and recreation: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1140.        THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation: In relation to
             Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

             (a)   What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                   since 27 March 2003.

             (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

             (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:
                                            QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

122                                                 COUNCIL                             Wednesday, 31 March 2004


No payments have been made by the Department for Victorian Communities or my private office to the firm
Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                             Treasurer: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1144.      THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Finance (for the Treasurer): In relation to
           Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

           (a)   What payments have been made to the company by the Treasurer’s department or private office
                 since 27 March 2003.

           (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

           (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

No payments have been made by the Department of Treasury and Finance to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.

No payments were made by the Treasurer’s Private Office to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                      Victorian communities: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1145.      THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for
           Victorian Communities): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

           (a)   What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                 since 27 March 2003.

           (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

           (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

No payments have been made by the Department for Victorian Communities or my private office to the firm
Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                               Water: Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd — contracts
1146.      THE HON. GRAEME STONEY — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
           Water): In relation to Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd:

           (a)   What payments have been made to the company by the Minister’s department or private office
                 since 27 March 2003.

           (b)   On what dates were the payments made.

           (c)   What are the details of the projects for which payment was made.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:
                                                QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                     123


The Department of Sustainability and Environment has made the following 5 payments to the firm Shannon’s Way
Pty Ltd during the period 27 March 2003 to 29 October 2003.

1.      Marine National Parks - Design and production of a downloadable Marine National Parks screensaver
        June 2003
        $1,980.00

2.      ‘Our Future, Our Water’ Campaign - Narrative tapes and boards
        September 2003
        $7,672.50

3.      ‘Our Future, Our Water’ Campaign - 50% Deposit for TV production for Advertisement and Water Savers
        September 2003
        $33,852.35

4.      ‘Our Future, Our Water’ Campaign - consultancy costs
        September 2003
        $121,884.40

5.      ‘Our Future, Our Water’ Campaign - changes to commercial
        October 2003
        $855.80

No payments were made by my Private Office to the firm Shannon’s Way Pty Ltd.


                                             Housing: state home loans
1153.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the various State
             Home Loans (such as the HOLS and SHOS schemes):

             (a)   How many people still have loans with the Office of Housing.

             (b)   How many people have taken advantage of the Government’s home loans offer since it was
                   introduced.

             (c)   How many of the borrowers who still have loans with the Office of Housing are eligible for the
                   Government scheme.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(1)     The reference in the question to HOLS and SHOS schemes has been interpreted to mean that the question
        related to the provision of long term home ownership loans.

        Accordingly as at 31 October 2003 there are 5653 such loans and a further 450 SHOS arrangements which no
        longer have a loan component.

(2)     As at 31 October 2003, 281 people have taken advantage of assistance under the Home Loan Support
        Package since it was introduced.

(3)     556 borrowers who still have loans with the Office of Housing have been identified as being potentially
        eligible for assistance under the package.

        In the future any borrower who meets the criteria will be eligible for assistance under this package.
                                                 QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

124                                                      COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                                    Housing: Bendigo — transitional housing
1157.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing:

             (a)   How many houses has the Government purchased in the Bendigo region for transitional housing
                   between December 1999 and October 2003

             (b)   What was the total cost of the houses purchased.

             (c)   In what suburbs are each of the purchased properties located.

             (d)   What is the size of each property purchased.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(1)     A total of 22 houses/units were purchased in the Bendigo region for transitional housing between December
        1999 and October 2003.

(2)     The total purchase price for the 22 transitional housing properties was $3,121,328.46.

(3)     The properties were purchased in the suburbs of Strathdale, Bendigo, Kangaroo Flat, Eaglehawk, Spring
        Gully, Quarry Hill and Golden Square.

(4)     Seventeen of properties were 2 bedroom homes and five were 3 bedroom homes.


                                 Housing: estates — Elizabeth Street, Richmond
1158.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
             redevelopment of the public housing estate at Elizabeth St, Richmond:

             (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

             (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

             (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

             (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                   with the relevant Council; if so, when.

             (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

             (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003-04.

             (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

             (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i) public
                   housing; and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      As feasibility studies for the project are still underway, timelines cannot be confirmed at present. It is
        anticipated that the project may take approximately seven years subject to community consultation and
        statutory approval processes.

b)      A developer has not been selected for this project.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                 COUNCIL                                                          125


c)      A planning permit has not been received at this time.

d)      A planning permit application has not been lodged with the City of Yarra.

e)      A budget for the life of the project has not been confirmed as the project is still in the process of development.

f)      The budget allowed in 2003-04 is $2.51m.

g)      A completion date for the project has not been confirmed as the project is still in the process of development.

h)      Unit and bedroom numbers for public and private housing have not been determined as the project is still in
        the process of development.


                               Housing: estates — Victory Boulevard, Ashburton
1159.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
             redevelopment of the public housing estate at Victory Boulevard, Ashburton:

             (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

             (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

             (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

             (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                   with the relevant Council; if so, when.

             (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

             (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003-04.

             (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

             (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i)
                          public housing; and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      It is anticipated that this redevelopment project will take a year to fully complete, including the sale of the
        land for private housing.

b)      Loriana Homes (Vic) Pty Ltd has been engaged for the construction of the public housing.

c)      The planning permit for the public housing was issued in June 2002.

d)      The planning permit for public housing development has been issued.

e)      A budget over the life for this specific redevelopment project has not been determined.

f)      The budget allowed for 2003-2004 is $3.28m.

g)      Construction of the public housing is expected to be completed in April 2004.

h)      The completed redevelopment will provide (i) 37 two-bedroom older person dwellings for public rental, and
        (ii) 10 private dwellings.
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126                                                     COUNCIL                                   Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                              Housing: estates — Kensington Estate, Kensington
1160.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
             redevelopment of the public housing estate at the Kensington Estate, Kensington:

             (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

             (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

             (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so when.

             (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                   with the relevant Council; if so, when.

             (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

             (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003-04.

             (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

             (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i) public
                   housing; and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      Construction of the new public and private housing is to be spread over several stages with final completion
        scheduled for 2008.

b)      A developer, Becton Group, has been selected for this project.

c)      A planning permit for the redevelopment was issued in 1999.

d)      A planning permit has been received.

e)      A budget over the life for this specific redevelopment project has not been determined.

f)      A budget allowance of $10.96m has been allowed in 2003 / 04.

g)      The redevelopment is expected to be completed in 2008. It is anticipated that the completed redevelopment
        may provide accommodation for up to 650 new households (30% public/ 70% private), in addition to
        approximately 241 dwellings in the two remaining high-rise towers. The public units will comprise 50% older
        persons units, 30% two-bedroom family units, 18% three-bedroom family units, and 2% four-bedroom
        family units.


                                    Housing: estates — Long Gully, Bendigo
1161.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
             redevelopment of the public housing estate at Long Gully Bendigo:

             (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

             (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

             (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

             (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                   with the relevant Council; if so, when.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                       127


             (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

             (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003-04.

             (g)   What is the expected the completion date of the project.

             (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i) public
                   housing; and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      The Long Gully Advisory Committee was established in November 1998. The strategy Plan was approved in
        July 2002. It is anticipated that the project will be completed June 2005.

b)      Developers have been selected for the first two stages of this project;. Big G Trading Pty Ltd and Gerard K
        House Pty Ltd.

c)      Town planning permits have been received for the redevelopment. The permit for stage 1 was granted on 5
        January 2001 and the permit for stage 2 was granted on 10 April 2002.

d)      The town planning permit for stage 3 will be lodged in 2004 subject to the availability of suitably located
        vacant lots.

e)      A budget over the life for this specific redevelopment project has not been determined.

f)      A budget of $3.27 million is allowed for this development in 2003–04.

g)      The expected completion date of this project is June 2005.

h)      A total of 75 new public housing dwellings are provided in this redevelopment, 43 one-bedroom units, 30
        two-bedroom units, 1 three-bedroom unit and 1 four-bedroom unit. The up-grade of 91 existing houses is
        complete. A further 10 homes will proceed under the Self Build Program.


                                   Housing: estates — Maidstone-Braybrook
1162.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
             redevelopment of the public housing estate at the Maidstone/Braybrook Estate:

             (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

             (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

             (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

             (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                   with the relevant Council; if so, when.

             (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

             (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003-04.

             (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

             (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i) public
                   housing; and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.
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128                                                     COUNCIL                                Wednesday, 31 March 2004


ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      The Office of Housing (OOH) has been undertaking redevelopment activities in the area over the last 5–6
        years based on a Master Plan agreed with the City of Maribyrnong in 1995. It is anticipated that this
        redevelopment project will continue over the next 4–5 years.

b)      No single overall developer has been selected for this redevelopment. Many building contractors have been
        engaged for separate contracts throughout the area.

c)      Planning permits have progressively been issued on numerous multi-unit developments in the area since
        1995.

d)      Town planning applications are lodged progressively as OoH properties becomes available for
        redevelopment.

e)      Budget for the redevelopment works is determined annually, subject to the availability of vacant dwellings.

f)      Funding of $4.36m has been allowed in the 2003 / 04 budget.

g)      Although the redevelopment is expected to continue over the next 4-5 years, its completion is subject to the
        availability of properties becoming vacant for redevelopment.

h)      This project involves the steady renewal of part of a suburb of mixed public and private housing rather than
        the redevelopment of a single estate. As at October 2003, 510 public housing of various stock types have
        been completed.


                                  Housing: estates — Mark-Rundle, Wodonga
1163.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
             redevelopment of the public housing estate at the Mark/Rundle Estate, Wodonga:

             (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

             (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

             (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

             (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                   with the relevant Council; if so, when.

             (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

             (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003-04.

             (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

             (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i) public
                   housing; and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      The redevelopment was first announced in 1999, tenders were called in September 2002 and negotiations are
        proceeding with a preferred tenderer.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                      129


b)      A preferred developer has been announced for this project. Negotiations are in progress with Elmwood Grove
        Retirement Village Syndicate.

c)      A development plan was approved by Council in June 2001.

d)      A planning permit has been received.

e)      A budget over the life for this specific redevelopment project has not been determined..

f)      An amount of $30,000 has been budgeted for this development in 2003–04.

g)      The expected completion date of this project is 2006.

h)      The completed project will provide 20 one-bedroom public housing units and 59 one-bedroom private units.


                                    Housing: estates — Parkside, Shepparton
1164.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
             redevelopment of the public housing estate at the Parkside Estate, Shepparton:

             (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

             (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

             (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

             (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                   with the relevant Council; if so, when.

             (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

             (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003 -04.

             (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

             (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i) public
                   housing; and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      Renewal works began in 2001. Four display units have been up-graded in 2001 and launched in October
        2001. With Shepparton being confirmed as a Neighbourhood Renewal area in mid 2002, the focus of the
        project was expanded. An overall master plan has been prepared in liaison with VicUrban, the Council and
        the community.

b)      A developer has not been selected for this project.

c)      A overall planning permit has not been received.

d)      A planning application was lodged by VicUrban in October 2003.

e)      An overall budget has not been established.

f)      $1.78m has been allowed for this project in the 2003/04 financial year budget.

g)      It is anticipated that this redevelopment would take 2–3 years to complete, subject to the final master plan and
        receipt of planning approvals from Council.
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130                                                       COUNCIL                              Wednesday, 31 March 2004


h)      The number of people the redevelopment will house is subject to the final master plan and receipt of planning
        approvals from Council.


                                     Housing: estates — Peace Court, Doveton
1165.         THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
              redevelopment of the public housing estate at Peace Court, Doveton:

              (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

              (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

              (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

              (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                    with the relevant Council; if so, when.

              (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

              (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003-04.

              (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

              (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i) public
                    housing; and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      Walk up blocks were vacated and demolished in mid 2000. New replacement older–persons housing was
        constructed in the area for the relocation of residents. A working group comprising Office of Housing (OOH)
        and City of Casey has reviewed options for the site, including other adjacent Government-owned land. The
        vacant site is planned for sale in 2003/04.

b)      A developer has not been selected for this project.

c)      A planning permit has not been received.

d)      A planning application has not been made.

e)      There is no budget for any redevelopment of the site.

f)      No budget allocation has been allowed in 2003/04.

g)      It is expected that the site will be sold in 2003/04.

h)      The previous 132 units on this site have been replaced in the area with new stock.


                                         Housing: Office of Housing — sales
1166.         THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing:

              (a)   How many houses has the Office of Housing sold in each of the financial years ending 30 June
                    1999 to 30 June 2003, respectively, by Department of Human Services (DHS) region.

              (b)   How many properties has the Office of Housing acquired in each of the financial years ending 30
                    June 1999 to 30 June 2003, respectively, by DHS region.
                                                 QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                  COUNCIL                                                        131


ANSWER:

I am informed that:

Details of the numbers of houses/units sold and acquired by the Office of Housing (OoH) by Department of Human
Services region in each of the financial years ending 30 June 1999 to 30 June 2003 are available from the annual
Summary of Housing Assistance Programs, available on the Department of Human Services website at:

        http://hnb.dhs.vic.gov.au/ooh/oohninte.nsf/frameset/Ooh?Opendocument

Note that the Summary of Housing Assistance Programs includes acquisition figures only for properties owned by
the Director of Housing. To understand total housing acquisitions for social housing, units leased by OOH and
utilised in public housing, as well as those units funded by OOH and owned and managed by community
organisations, should also be considered. Inclusive of these units, the table below outlines all OoH funded social
housing acquisitions between 1999-00 and 2002-03.

Total Social Housing Acquisitions funded by OOH by Region (1999–2003). Includes community owned and
leased properties.
 Region                                      1999-00*      2000-01*       2001-02     2002-03
 Barwon South West                                 117             39            60        179
 Gippsland                                           80            53            28         60
 Grampians                                           74            33            47         43
 Hume                                              121             71            64         69
 Loddon Mallee                                     199           126           103         133
 Eastern Metro                                     238           201           176         217
 Northern Metro                                    452           272           235         244
 Southern Metro                                    462           411           607         421
 Western Metro                                     494           320           341         247
 Total Acquisitions                             2,250*        1,605*         1,661       1,613

* Due to information systems limitations, units acquired by Common Equity Rental Coops and Joint Venture Partners in the
years 1999-00 and 2000-01 cannot be broken down by region. The above total for these years therefore includes an additional
13 units for 1999-00 and 79 units for 2000-01, which are not included in the regional breakdown.


                              Housing: estates — Raglan Ingles, Port Melbourne
1167.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
             redevelopment of the public housing estate at the Raglan Ingles Estate, Port Melbourne:

             (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

             (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

             (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

             (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                   with the relevant Council; if so, when.

             (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

             (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003-04.
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132                                                       COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


              (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

              (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i) public
                    housing; and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      It is anticipated that the project will take a year to complete.

b)      The builder accepted for this project is L.U. Simon Builders Pty Ltd.

c)      The planning permit was received in September 2002.

d)      A planning permit has been issued.

e)      A budget over the life for this specific redevelopment project has not been determined.

f)      The budget allowed for 2003-04 is $11m.

g)      Completion is expected in November 2004

h)      The completed redevelopment will provide 64 new public housing dwellings and a possible further 50 private
        dwellings subject to Council approval. The 64 public housing dwellings will consist of: 26 one bedroom, 28
        two bedrooms, 8 three bedrooms, and 2 four bedrooms.


                                  Housing: estates — Rathdowne Street, Carlton
1168.         THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
              redevelopment of the public housing estate at Rathdowne St, Carlton:

              (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

              (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

              (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

              (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                    with the relevant Council; if so, when.

              (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

              (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003-04.

              (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

              (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i) public
                    housing; and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      As feasibility studies for the project are still underway, timelines cannot be confirmed at present. It is
        anticipated that the project may take approximately seven years subject to community consultation and
        statutory approval processes.

b)      A developer has not been selected for this project.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                 COUNCIL                                                       133


c)      A planning permit has not been received at this time.

d)      A planning permit application has not been lodged with the City of Melbourne. A concept plan submitted to
        Council in Jun. 2003 has received “in principle” endorsement.

e)      A budget for the life of the project has not been confirmed as the project is still in the process of development.

f)      The budget for Rathdowne St, Carlton in 2003-04 is $500,000.

g)      A completion date for the project has not been confirmed as the project is still in the process of development.

h)      Unit and bedroom numbers for public and private housing have not been determined as the project is still in
        the process of development.


                                   Housing: estates — Thomson, Geelong East
1169.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
             redevelopment of the public housing estate at the Thomson Estate, Geelong East:

             (a)   What is the timeline for the redevelopment.

             (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

             (c)   Has the Government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

             (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                   with the relevant Council; if so, when.

             (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

             (f)   How much has been budgeted for this development in 2003-04.

             (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

             (h)   Broken down by the number of bedrooms, how many units will be available for — (i) public
                   housing and (ii) private housing as a result of this redevelopment.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      In 2001 the then Minister announced the commencement of work. The public housing components of
        redevelopment was completed in February 2003.

b)      A developer, Hamlan Homes Pty Ltd, was selected for this project.

c)      The City of Greater Geelong issued an amendment to the local planning scheme on 15 March 2001.

d)      Planning permits were obtained for each individual multi-unit development.

e)      There is no budget as it has been completed.

f)      As the project was complete last financial year no further funds are required.

g)      The public housing component of the redevelopment was completed in February 2003. Private housing has
        been completed on 32 of the 37 lots and it is expected that the remaining 5 private housing lots will be
        developed early in 2004 subject to market conditions.
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134                                                     COUNCIL                                   Wednesday, 31 March 2004


h)      This redevelopment provides 71 new public housing dwellings, 18 one-bedroom units, 45 two-bedroom units,
        2 three-bedroom houses and 6 four-bedroom houses. The redevelopment of 37 lots sold to the developer will
        yield up to 53 new dwellings for sale to private homeowners.


                                  Housing: estates — Raleigh Street, Windsor
1170.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask Minister for Housing: In relation to the proposed
             redevelopment of the public housing estate at Raleigh Street, Windsor:

             (a)   What is the time line for the redevelopment.

             (b)   Has a developer been selected for this project; if so, who.

             (c)   Has the government received a planning permit for the redevelopment; if so, when.

             (d)   If a planning permit has not been received for the redevelopment, has an application been lodged
                   with the Council; if so, when.

             (e)   What is the budget for the redevelopment over the life of the project.

             (f)   What is the 2002-03 budget for the redevelopment.

             (g)   What is the expected completion date of the project.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

a)      A construction contract for the redevelopment is currently planned to be let in March 2004 subject to
        successful tendering.

b)      A developer has not been selected.

c)      A planning permit for the redevelopment was received in June 2003.

d)      A planning permit has been received.

e)      A budget over the life for this specific redevelopment project has not been determined.

f)      The 2002-2003 budget for the redevelopment is $700,000.

g)      The project is expected to be completed by August 2006.


                         Housing: Wendouree West neighbourhood renewal project
1171.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask Minister for Housing: What is the total expected cost of
             the Wendouree West Neighbourhood renewal project.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

While some of the immediate improvement works and upgrade works have begun, the final masterplan and
program of works associated with the Neighbourhood Renewal project in Wendouree West is still in development.
The total expected cost of the project is therefore not precisely known at this stage.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                        135


                           Housing: Wendouree West neighbourhood renewal project
1172.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: What is the amount in the
             2003-04 State budget for the Wendouree West Neighbourhood renewal projects.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

$3,545,000 has been allocated for the Wendouree West Neighbourhood Renewal project this financial year.


                           Housing: Wendouree West neighbourhood renewal project
1173.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the Wendouree
             West Neighbourhood renewal projects, when is work scheduled to commence on the 11 properties
             whose tenants have decided on design options for their properties.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

Work on the 11 properties in Hyacinth Grove commenced in August 2002 and is now complete.


                           Housing: WendoureeWest neighbourhood renewal project
1174.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the Wendouree
             West Neighbourhood renewal project:

             (a)   How many public properties will be redeveloped as part of this project.

             (b)   What is the total cost of the redevelopment of these properties.

             (c)   Has a developer been selected for the redevelopment; if so, who.

             (d)   What is the commencement date of the works.

             (e)   What is the anticipated completion date of the works.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

In relation to the Wendouree West Neighbourhood Renewal project:

a)      The final housing master plan has not yet been approved.

b)      An estimation of the total cost of the redevelopment of properties in Wendouree West is reliant on the final
        master plan, which has not yet been approved.

c)      No developer has been selected to redevelop the area.

d)      Upgrade works in the Neighbourhood Renewal area commenced in August 2002.

e)      The housing and physical improvement works associated with the Neighbourhood Renewal program are
        anticipated to take approximately five years.
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136                                                      COUNCIL                                    Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                         Housing: WendoureeWest neighbourhood renewal project
1175.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the Wendouree
             West Neighbourhood renewal project:

             (a)   What is the budget for 2003-04 for physical improvements and redevelopment of properties.

             (b)   What is the budget for 2003-04 for all other elements of the Neighbourhood Renewal Project.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

In relation to the Wendouree West Neighbourhood Renewal project:

(a)     $3,037,000 has been allocated for housing and improvement works for 2003-04 financial year.

(b)     $508,000 has been allocated for all other elements of the Neighbourhood Renewal project in Wendouree
        West for 2003-04 financial year.


                                          Corrections: prisons — cleaning
1177.        THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
             for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM
             Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
             Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
             Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

             (a)   Who does the cleaning in regard to — (i) prison cells; (ii) recreation areas; and (iii) other areas.

             (b)   How often is this cleaning done.

             (c)   What is the responsibility of each of the correctional facilities in regard to the clean up of spills,
                   water or other wet substance spills in each of the areas specified in (a)         above.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Generally speaking, prisoners are engaged as billets in areas that prisoners have access to. All billets are supervised
by trained staff employed in prisons. Prisoners are expected to keep their own accommodation cells or rooms clean
and tidy, a condition which is checked and monitored by staff. If the spill is blood or body related, there is an
Operating Procedure (2.15) which articulates the process in cleaning the type of spill. If a billet has been asked to
clean the spill, they are supervised by a trained staff member.

However, a contractor can be called to clean the spill, depending on the circumstances.

“The Contractors are obliged under the Prison Services Agreements to keep the Facilities in good and substantial
repair and condition. The Contractor must also keep the Facility clean and free of rubbish and store waste and
garbage in proper receptacles.”


                                     Corrections: prisons — risk assessment
1178.        THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
             for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM
             Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
             Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                        137


            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison, is an audit or review undertaken in regard to
            identifying and correcting areas of risk of injury, either physical or otherwise, in respect of — (i)
            prisoners; (ii) prison officers; and (iii) visitors.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

On a day to day basis, staff at the local level are identifying and assessing potential areas of risk in order to
minimise injury to the range of people that are accommodated, work or visit prisons.

Staff are trained in OH&S and understand the duty of care they have to prisoners and visitors. Security and safety
issues are a critical function for custodial staff. Various internal, that is, local initiatives are in place and from an
organisational perspective, the Review and Ethical Standards Unit performs a role in investigating and monitoring
areas of risk, as well as identifying an opportunity for statewide learning/continuous improvement.

Corrections Victoria is also in pursuit of the Australian Business Excellence Framework which provides a structure
that applies to all areas of operations to ensure improvement processes are identified and deployed throughout the
organisation.

The Corrections Inspectorate, as an independent body, also plays a role.


                                        Corrections: prisons — recidivism
1179.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to the recidivism rate in Victoria and figures released by the Minister for
            Corrections at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing on 23 May 2003 which show that
            out of every 100 prisoners released from Victorian Prisons, more than 33.4 per cent will return to prison
            within two years:

            (a)   Why has the re-offending rate increased from 25.5 per cent in 1997-98 to now over 33 per cent.

            (b)   Why has the recidivism rate not decreased despite the claim in the Department of Justice’s 2001-
                  02 Annual Report that $10.3 million has been committed each year to combat recidivism.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The recidivism rate is based on the number of people returning to prisons and community correctional services
within two years of leaving, therefore recidivism statistics have a two year lag time.

Current statistics are still affected by the previous governments lack of investment in programs targeted at reducing
reoffending and reducing recidivism.

I would have you note that the recidivism rate has now started to fall as a direct result of this Governments
programs. This follows the exponential rise during the 1990s due to the neglect of services and programs targeting
reduced reoffending and rehabilitation of offenders.


                                  Corrections: Barwon prison — Grevillea unit
1180.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections):

            (a)   What is the total cost of the opening of the 75 bed Grevillea Unit at Barwon Prison and the 34 bed
                  Barrowdale Unit at Port Phillip Prison.
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138                                                   COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           (b)   Were they completed on time and on budget.

           (c)   What initiatives, other than the building of new prisons, will the Minister undertake in 2003-04
                 under the Correctional Infrastructure Program to upgrade the State’s prison infrastructure.

           (d)   What are the details of these initiatives and what level of funding has been allocated for each.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The 75-bed Grevillea Unit at Barwon Prison and the 34-bed Borrowdale Unit at Port Phillip Prison, Laverton, were
built as part of the $334.5 million Corrections Long Term Management Strategy, to boost the capacity Victoria's
prison system.

Other new beds opened under the strategy include:
– Port Phillip Prison (Borrowdale) – 34 beds;
– Dame Phyllis Frost Centre - 50 beds;
– Barwon Prison – 75 beds;
– Fulham Correctional Centre – 68 beds;
– Loddon Prison – 70 beds; and
– Tarrengower Prison – 22 beds.

Other new prisons being built under the strategy including:
– 120 bed minimum security prison at Beechworth (under way)
– 300 bed medium security Correctional Programs Centre at Lara (adjacent to Barwon Prison)
– 600 bed Remand prison at Ravenhall (adjacent to Dame Phyllis Frost Centre)


                                              Corrections: funding
1181.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections):

           (a)   Will there be an allocation of funding to strengthen Community Correctional Services in 2003-04.

           (b)   What are the required outcomes to be met for the allocation of funds.

           (c)   Will these outcomes have performance measures and targets.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

As outlined to you at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee Hearing on 23 May, 2003, and on the occasion
of a formal briefing from the Correctional Services Commissioner, Community Correctional Services are currently
being redeveloped as a component of the Corrections Long Term Management Strategy.

The Government has provided $42.3 million over a four-year period commencing 2001-02 with the expectation
that the redevelopment will contribute bed savings of 350 against a pre-development prisoner number projected for
2006.

The redevelopment includes development of statistical models, programs to address offending behaviour, and
reviewed offender management practices.

All programs will be evaluated as a component of the Corrections Long Term Management Strategy.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                      139


I note that the previous Coalition Government starved the CCS of funds as staff-prisoner supervision ratios blew
out.

I also note that the Liberal Party did not allocate one cent to CCS in it's 2002 pre-election funding commitments or
its non-existent corrections policy.


                       Corrections: correctional services employment pilot program
1182.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections):

            (a)   What have the results and outcomes been for the Correctional Services Employment Pilot
                  Program.

            (b)   What are the initiatives and associated funding levels undertaken to support the Correctional
                  Services Employment Pilot Program.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Funded as part of the Corrections Long Term Management Strategy, the Correctional Services Employment Pilot
Program runs from July 2002 to June 2004, with an annual budget of $1.9m.

The program results to date (end November 2003) are very pleasing, however the evaluation of the program has
just commenced, and is being undertaken by Deakin University School of Health Sciences.

The program provides vocational training and advice; job search and placement; follow up support; and skills and
experience which improves long-term career options and motivation to remain crime free, a key component of the
CLTMS Reducing Re-offending strategy.


                            Commonwealth Games: village — aged care facility
1183.       THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Commonwealth Games: On what date will
            construction begin on the aged care facility that is part of the Commonwealth Games Village
            development.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

The Aged Care Facility will be built post-Games. The date on which construction will commence is yet to be
determined.


                            Commonwealth Games: village — aged care facility
1184.       THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Commonwealth Games: What is the
            expected completion date for construction of the aged care facility that is part of the Commonwealth
            Games Village development.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

The Project Delivery Agreement for the Games Village will require that the Aged Care Facility be completed by
31 December 2011.
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140                                                    COUNCIL                                   Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                            Commonwealth Games: village — aged care facility
1185.      THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Commonwealth Games: In relation to the
           aged care facility that is part of the Commonwealth Games Village development, what is the
           configuration of high care, low care and dementia specific beds that will make up the 100 bed facility.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

The configuration of beds for the Aged Care Facility is still to be determined. Village Park Consortium, the
developer of the Games Village, is responsible for finding an appropriate Aged Care provider. This is likely to
occur post-Games.


                            Commonwealth Games: village — aged care facility
1186.      THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Commonwealth Games: In relation to the
           aged care facility that is part of the Commonwealth Games Village development, what is the name of
           the organisation that will apply for the bed licences to operate the aged care facility; if this has not been
           decided, when will this decision be made.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

The applicant for the bed licences will be determined once an appropriate Aged Care provider is nominated. It is
expected that this will occur within the next three years.


                            Commonwealth Games: village — aged care facility
1187.      THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Commonwealth Games: Will the aged care
           facility that is part of the Commonwealth Games Village development be managed by — (i)                 a
           private sector operator; (ii) the State Government; (iii) a community organisation; or (iv) a religious
           organisation.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

The operator of the Aged Care Facility is yet to be determined, however it will not be a State run facility.


                            Commonwealth Games: village — aged care facility
1188.      THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Commonwealth Games: In relation to the
           aged care facility that is part of the Commonwealth Games Village development, what aged care
           facilities has Australand previously built.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

Australand, a member of Village Park Consortium, is a respected construction company which has built many
community facilities in the past and is capable of building a facility of this kind. Village Park Consortium will build
the facility according to the specifications put forward by the chosen provider.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                        141


                            Commonwealth Games: village — aged care facility
1189.       THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Commonwealth Games: In relation to the
            aged care facility that is part of the Commonwealth Games Village development, what aged care
            facilities has Citta Property Group previously built.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

The Citta Property Group is a specialist Property Development Company which has worked on many public sector
projects in the past. Citta will provide their specialist expertise to work with Australand and the chosen provider of
the Aged Care Facility to build the Facility to the required specifications.


                                         Corrections: long-term strategy
1203.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to the Corrections Long Term Strategy for 2003-04 which outlines that
            specific initiatives will be allocated funding:

            (a)   What specific initiatives are planned and what levels of funding will be allocated for each
                  initiative.

            (b)   What are the details of the effectiveness of the evaluation of the $3.2 million for the Strategy.

            (c)   What is the status of the development of the evaluation and what level of funding has been
                  allocated in 2003-04 and from which output group.

            (d)   With additional funding of $15.9 million to the Corrections Portfolio in the 2003-04 Budget, what
                  major initiatives will the Minister implement or commence.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The initiatives within the Corrections Long Term Management Strategy vary between locations and depend upon
the security level of the prison, the prisoner profile, and the specific needs of the prisoners. Information on the
range of programs is publicly available from Corrections Victoria.

Sufficiently detailed information to answer other parts of this question is not readily available without substantially
and unreasonably interfering with the functions of the Office of the Correctional Services Commissioner.


                      Resources: mining industry — employees in regional Victoria
1204.       THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: How many people are employed
            in the mining industry in regional Victoria.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

For the year ending 30 June 2003, the total number of people employed in the mining industry (including
exploration industry) in regional Victoria is 1792.

Regional Victoria is defined as areas outside of the Melbourne Inspectorate District.
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142                                                  COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


The figure represents the statistics as reported, and includes part-time and casual employment of persons directly
employed in the industry


                   Resources: extractive industries — employees in regional Victoria
1205.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: How many people are employed
           in the extractive industries in regional Victoria.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

For the year ending 30 June 2003, the total number of people employed in the extractive industry in regional
Victoria is 980.


                      Resources: petroleum industry — employees in regional Victoria
1206.   THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: How many people are employed in
        the petroleum industry in regional Victoria.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that in 2001 there were a total of 5116 people directly employed in the
petroleum industry.


                                Resources: sustainability unit — employees
1207.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources:

           (a)   How many people are employed in the department’s new sustainability unit.

           (b)   How many are on contract and how many are permanent employees.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

There are 5 staff members employed by the Department of Primary Industries in the Minerals and Petroleum
Regulation’s Sustainability Unit. Four of these positions are ongoing permanent staff members, one position is
filled as a development opportunity for outstanding students in the field of regulation and sustainability.


                               Resources: environmental review committees
1208.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: How many environmental review
           committees have been formed across the State to allow council, industry and community representation.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

My Department participates in 29 separate Environmental Review Committees across the State.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                        143


                                Resources: environmental review committees
1209.       THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: Where are the environmental
            review committees located in the State.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

My Department is involved in environmental review committees in many areas of the State.

These are:
AGD - COSTERFIELD                           North Central Victoria
ALLIANCE MINING–MALDON                      North West Victoria
AXEDALE SAND & GRAVEL                       North West Victoria
BALLARAT EAST GOLD MINE                     South West Victoria
BALLARAT GOLDFIELDS                         South West Victoria
BENDIGO MINING NL                           North West Victoria
CSR PAKENHAM                                South East Victoria
EXCEL DIGGERS REST                          Western Melbourne metro area
GRANTVILLE                                  South Eastern Melbourne metro area
ILLUKA RESOURCES–DOUGLAS                    South West Victoria
KARKAROOK                                   South Eastern Melbourne metro area
LOY YANG                                    Gippsland
HAZELWOOD                                   Gippsland
YALLOURN                                    Gippsland
MURRAY BASIN TITANIUM                       North Western Victoria
MT EGERTON                                  South West Victoria
OAKLANDS JUNCTION                           North Western Melbourne metro area
ONDIT QUARRY                                South West Victoria
PERSEVERANCE MINING                         North West Victoria
SKYE QUARRIES                               South Eastern Melbourne metro area
STAWELL GOLD MINES                          North West Victoria
MINERVA PIPELINE PROJECT                    South West Victoria


                                Resources: environmental review committees
1210.       THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: What funding and administrative
            resources has the Department of Primary Industries provided for the environmental review committees
            that have been formed across the State to allow council, industry and community representation.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

In most cases the operating costs associated with environmental review committees are borne by the industry
proponent whose project is under the committee’s scrutiny. The Department provides administrative support for
some committees by providing a minute secretary, distributing agendas, minutes and other papers and co-
ordinating the calling of meetings.

The Department assists community members of the committees by providing appropriate information and
interpretation to assist them to understand technical aspects of the projects. In addition the Department attempts
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144                                                  COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


wherever possible to ensure meetings are held at a time and place creating the least inconvenience for community
representatives.


                                Resources: resources for community groups
1211.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: What resources has the
           Department of Primary Industries provided to assist community groups to advocate on local mining and
           resources industry issues.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Department of Primary Industries assists community groups to advocate on local mining and resource industry
issues by providing information and access to staff at regional centres who can advise on mining and resources
issues, local impacts, regulation and administrative procedures. The Department also assists community groups
through

– Environmental Review Committees (ERCs);
– direct community engagement;
– publication of guidance notes;
– education campaigns; and
– dispute resolution through the Mining Warden.

The Department of Primary Industries has up to 30 people across the State directly employed on mining and
resource industry issues within the Minerals Petroleum Regulation Branch. All of these staff provide support to
assist community groups to advocate on local mining and resource industry issues as part of their overall role
within the Department.


                                Resources: community groups — assistance
1212.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: How many community groups
           have received assistance from the Department of Primary Industries.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

This question tends to refer to all assistance provided by the Department of Primary Industries rather than being
specifically directed to my resources portfolio.

Accordingly I suggest you direct the request to Minister Cameron, who is the lead Minister for the Department and
can provide you with a complete response on all such assistance provided by the Department.


                         Resources: mining and resource companies — programs
1213.   THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: What programs has the Department
        of Primary Industries initiated to assist mining and resource companies to develop harmonious working
        relations with local communities.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

Principally the Department of Primary Industries uses:
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                       145


– Environmental Review Committees (ERCs);
– direct community engagement;
– publication of guidance notes; and
– education campaigns
as its major strategies to develop harmonious working relationships with local communities.


                                        Resources: planned investment
1214.       THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to the Minister’s
            statement at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing that there is $4 billion worth of
            planned investment in the minerals, petroleum and extractive industries in Victoria over the next six
            years:

            (a)   How much of this planned investment is in the petroleum industry.

            (b)   Where is this petroleum investment planned in the State.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

An estimated $3.5 billion worth of the planned investment is in the petroleum industry.

Of that amount, approximately $1.73 billion is for projects in the Gippsland area including the BassGas project by
Origin. The other $1.77 billion is for projects in the Otway including the Otway gas project to be developed by
Woodside Energy Ltd.


                                        Resources: planned investment
1215.       THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to the Minister’s
            statement at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing that there is $4 billion worth of
            planned investment in the minerals, petroleum and extractive industries in Victoria over the next six
            years:

            (a)   How much of this planned investment is in the minerals industry.

            (b)   Where is this minerals industry investment planned in the State.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

In my statement to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee the estimated capital expenditure on minerals
and petroleum projects in Victoria for 2002-2007 was $4.429 billion. This comprises $3.501 billion for petroleum
and $0.928 billion for minerals projects.

The minerals projects cover gold mining in central Victoria (including Bendigo and Fosterville in central Victoria),
mineral sands (Douglas, southwest of Horsham and two projects near Ouyen) and brown coal mining and
processing in the Latrobe Valley.


                                        Resources: planned investment
1216.       THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to the Minister’s
            statement at Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing that there is $4 billion worth of planned
            investment in the minerals, petroleum and extractive Industries in Victoria over the next six years:
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146                                                   COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           (a)   How much of this planned investment is in the extractive industries.

           (b)   Where is this extractive industries investment planned in the State.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

There is currently in the order of $100 million of planned new investment in extractive industries over the next 6
years. This money will be primarily spent in two regions:

– developing the existing hard rock sites in the East Metropolitan Region (also North and West Metropolitan
  areas); and
– developing new sand reserves in the Grantville area and existing sites at Bacchus Marsh.


                                      Resources: mineral sands industry
1217.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: What is the Department of
           Primary Industries’ predicted value of the mineral sand industry in Northern Victoria.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The value of future mineral sands developments in this State is impressive and has a number of different facets.
Should all four of the projects considered gain Government approval, based on information provided by the
companies, gross revenue from the sale of minerals based on current commodity prices and exchange rates could
amount to approximately $3.9 billion.


                                      Resources: mineral sands industry
1218.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: What royalties will the mineral
           sand industry generate for Victoria.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

Future royalties from currently approved projects will amount to $3.4 million annually. This figure is for Stage 1 of
Iluka Resources Douglas project alone. Over the predicted ‘life’ of that stage royalties will amount to
approximately $23.8 million in total.

The estimates are subject to considerable variation due to fluctuations in commodity prices, production levels and
exchange rates.


                                      Resources: mineral sands industry
1219.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: How much revenue was collected
           in mineral sand exploration royalties in Victoria in 2000-01 2001-02 and 2002-03, respectively.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

Royalties on mineral sand exploration do not exist and have never existed in the term of the Mineral Resources
Development Act 1990. Therefore the answer to the Honourable Member’s question is zero.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                      147


                                      Resources: mineral sands industry
1220.       THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: How many people were employed
            in the mineral sand industry in Northern Victoria in 2000, 2001 and 2002, respectively.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

In the year 2000 there were 86 direct employees of the mineral sand industry of Victoria.
In the year 2001 there were 175 direct employees and in 2002 there were 190.


                                          Resources: portfolio revenue
1221.       THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to the Public Accounts
            and Estimates Committee hearing in May 2003 where the Minister predicted that revenue for the
            portfolio is expected to be just over $28.1 million, what royalties constitute the base for the predicted
            $23.4 million of that revenue.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The estimated revenue from royalties in 2003-04 as presented at the PAEC hearing was $24.3 million (refer to
Hansard, page 330) and not $23.4 million as indicated in the question. The royalties that constitute the base of the
$24.3 million revenue are detailed below:

Extractive Material Royalty - Collected under the Extractive Industries Development Act 1995 under which
‘Extractive Industry’ refers to quarries and ‘Extractive Material’ refers to stone.

Mineral Resources Regulations Royalty - Collected under the Minerals Resources Development Act 1990 and
refers to any substance which occurs naturally as part of the earth’s crust but excludes water and stone peat or
petroleum.

Onshore Petroleum Royalty - Collected under the Petroleum Act 1998 and applies to all petroleum extracted or
recovered from any well within the land of Victoria.


                                          Resources: portfolio revenue
1222.       THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to the Public Accounts
            and Estimates Committee hearing in May 2003 where the Minister predicted that revenue for the
            portfolio is expected to be just over $28.1 million, what is the expected revenue from each particular
            royalty that will constitute the predicted $23.4 million of that revenue.

I am informed that:

The estimated revenue from royalties in 2003-04 as presented at the PAEC hearing was $24.3 million (refer to
Hansard, page 330) and not $23.4 million as indicated in the question. The revenue from these royalties is detailed
below:

$2.4m Extractive Material Royalties

$16.4m Mineral Resources Regulations Royalties (includes Brown Coal Royalty of $16.0m)

$5.5m Onshore Petroleum Royalties

$24.3m Total
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148                                                    COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                                  Resources: primary industries — royalties
1223.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: What royalties were collected by
           the Department of Primary Industries in 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03, respectively.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) was established on 5 December 2002 and in accordance with an Order
in Council made pursuant to the Administrative Arrangements Act 1983 on 26 June 2003, DPI’s financial report
reflects only the six month period between 1 January 2003 to 30 June 2003. During this six month period DPI
collected $10.2 million of revenue from royalties.


                                             Resources: lease revenue
1224.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to the Public Accounts
           and Estimates Committee hearing in May 2003 where the Minister predicted that revenue from leases is
           expected to be $3.6 million in 2003-04, what were the revenues from leases in 1999-2000, 2000-01,
           2001-02 and 2002-03, respectively.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) was established on 5 December 2002 and in accordance with an Order
in Council made pursuant to the Administrative Arrangements Act 1983 on 26 June 2003, DPI’s financial report
reflects only the six month period between 1 January 2003 to 30 June 2003. During this six month period DPI
collected $1.6 million of revenue from leases and licences.


                            Resources: revenue — fees and infringement notices
1225.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to the Public Accounts
           and Estimates Committee hearing in May 2003 where the Minister predicted that revenue from fees and
           infringement notices is expected to be $3.6 million in 2003-04, what were the revenues from fees and
           infringement notices in 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03, respectively.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

As the Department of Primary Industries was only established on 5 December 2002, information relating to prior
financial years is not available. An amount of $0.3 million was collected for the Minerals and Petroleum portfolio
in revenue from fees and infringement notices in the six month period from 1 January to 30 June 2003.


                                       Resources: Pipelines Act — review
1226.   THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: What is the proposed timeline to
        complete the review of the Pipelines Act 1967.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The review of the Pipelines Act 1967 is continuing. At the present time, issues raised as a result of the public
release of the Pipelines Proposal Paper are being addressed. It is expected that a draft Bill will be available in 2004.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                 COUNCIL                                                        149


                                    Resources: fees and charges — indexation
1227.        THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources:

             (a)   What fees and charges are set to rise with the Government’s policy of indexing fees and charges.

             (b)   What increase in revenue for the Department of Primary Industries is the rise in fees and charges
                   predicted to deliver.

             (c)   Does the Department have a target to meet with respect to increased revenue from fees and
                   charges.

             (d)   When will the mineral and resource industry receive notification of the increased fees and charges.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

As the first three parts of your question refer to the whole of DPI, they should be referred to the co-ordinating
Minister for Department of Primary Industries, Minister Cameron.

In regard to the final part of your question, fees and charges for the mineral and resource industry are exempt from
being indexed in 2003-04.


                      Resources: Victorian Initiative Mineral and Petroleum — datasets
1228.        THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources:

             (a)   What is the timeline for the Department of Primary Industries to have all the Victorian Initiative
                   Mineral and Petroleum (VIMP) existing and future datasets available online.

             (b)   Will the Government charge users for access to all the VIMP existing and future datasets when
                   they are available online.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)     Major steps have been taken in the last year in providing geoscience data on-line. In May 2003, as part of the
        2003 VIMP data release, I launched Minerals and Petroleum’s Mapshare. Mapshare now provides on-line
        geoscience data of value to the minerals and petroleum industries. A second version of Mapshare was
        released in November 2003, which allows for some downloading as well as viewing of data.

        My Department, through further versions of Minerals and Petroleum Mapshare and under its “Deeply-on-
        line” initiative is planning to increase progressively the availability of on-line geoscience data and services. In
        the future this would see further access to the state’s geoscience databases, including open file Exploration
        Licence reports, and on-line applications, lodgements and payments.

(b)     In keeping with most of the other States and the Commonwealth, access to geoscience data on-line is free.


                                             Resources: Latrobe aquifer
1229.        THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to the moratorium
             placed on the Latrobe Group Aquifer in 1997 and the establishment of a consultative committee to
             develop a draft groundwater management plan to lift the moratorium:

             (a)   How many times has this committee met.
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150                                                   COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           (b)   What is the timeline for the committee to develop the draft plan.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The matter of the moratorium does not fall within the portfolio responsibilities and should be directed to the
Minister for Environment and Water.


                                Resources: Bendigo mining — water savings
1230.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: What assistance is the Department
           of Primary Industries providing to Bendigo mining to develop water saving and recycling initiatives.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

Bendigo Mining NL is looking to fully exploit the beneficial re-use of waste products including water, tailings and
waste rock produced by its Bendigo Gold Project.

The Minerals and Petroleum Division of the Department of Primary Industries has actively supported the
development of recycling initiatives developed by the company. This has included close technical liaison between
Department engineers and the company and facilitating discussions with the Environment Protection Authority
with a view to resolving regulatory issues.

I understand Bendigo Mining, in conjunction with Coliban Water, EPA and the City of Greater Bendigo, has
successfully applied for a $150,000 grant under the Water for Growth program to examine the re-use of mine
water.


                                Resources: mining industry — water savings
1231.      THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: What are the Minister’s targets for
           water savings in the mining industry.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Bracks Government is committed to building and maintaining a sustainable and thriving mining industry in
Victoria. To ensure that the mining industry maintains community support and has a vibrant and sustainable future,
all aspects of mining operations must reflect community values and concerns including the effective and efficient
use of water resources.

The Bracks government believes that the most effective way of achieving lasting water savings in the mining
industry is for the mining sector to be part of a broad integrated water management strategy. During April 2003, the
Minister for Water, John Thwaites, released a Statement on Water, “Valuing Victoria’s Water”, outlining the
Government’s future directions toward achieving sustainability in this area. In August 2003, the Bracks
Government released a Green Paper, “Securing Our Water Future”, marking the first step in achieving this goal and
an important milestone in the Water Review process. All stakeholders including the mining industry were asked to
make submissions on “Securing Our Water Future”.

The Bracks government will use this input to determine priorities, which will be announced through a White Paper
in early 2004, heading toward conclusion of the Victorian Water Review process. The review will identify a
strategy for management of Victoria’s water resources with actions across the government, industry and
community sectors. It is not appropriate for me to nominate water savings targets for a particular industry sector
while the review is in progress.
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                                    Resources: mining industry — water savings
1232.          THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources: What programs is the Minister
               implementing to achieve water savings in the mining industry.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has adopted a pragmatic and pro-active approach to achieving water
savings in the mining industry. Programs for achieving water savings in the mining and resources sector include:

– The provision of assistance / advice to existing operators on water savings strategies. This includes the
  development of water efficient production operations, re-design of existing production processes, introduction of
  new technology to minimise production water, dust suppression, water tanks to catch and store run off, water
  saving devices in employee facilities, and rehabilitation using drought resistant species;

– Requiring new mining operations to purchase water at a price, which reflects the cost of implementing water
  conservation measures to provide for their usage; and

– Applying licence conditions to new mining operations to include strategies to achieve water savings - such as
  water efficient mines policy.

The DPI is committed to assisting the mining and resources sector to achieve substantial water savings by
managing our water resources in a sustainable manner for all Victorians.


                                               Resources: mining licences
1233.          THE HON. PHILIP DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Resources:

               (a)   What percentage of all mining licences in Victoria are not active.

               (b)   What action is being taken to assist in activating these licences.

               (c)   How many jobs would be generated if these licences were activated.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)     73% of mining licences granted in Victoria are “active” in terms of having reported to DPI on production and
        royalty.

        Of the remaining 27% mining licences that are “not active”, the explanation as to why they are so is as
        follows:

        –   some are held principally by farmers to mine gypsum intermittently;
        –   some are held by licensees in administration/bankruptcy;
        –   some have licence conditions suspended for short term periods; and
        –   the remainder are recently granted and are progressing towards being issued a “work authority” which
            allows mining to commence.

(b)     Action taken to assist in activating these “non-active” licences:

        Involves DPI having implemented a compliance auditing program which is designed to educate licensees
        about licence obligations and responsibilities; or if this is unsuccessful DPI moves to cancel licences.
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(c)     It is difficult to reliably estimate how many jobs could be generated. However, a best estimate is 30 jobs
        equivalent.


                     Police and emergency services: national handgun buyback scheme
1234.        THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
             Police and Emergency Services): In relation to the National Handgun Buyback Scheme:

             (a)   How much has been paid to gun owners for the three months ending 31 October 2003.

             (b)   What was the administration cost for these three months.

             (c)   What was the cost associated with the destruction of guns that have been handed in.

ANSWER:

I am advised by Victoria Police that:

(a)     $13.2 million has been paid as compensation to handgun owners and licensed firearms dealers for handguns,
        parts and accessories during the period 1 July 2003 to 31 October 2003;

(b)     $692,000 has been incurred by Victoria Police in administration costs for the operation of handgun buyback
        centres during the period 1 July 2003 to 31 October 2003;

(c)     no cost has been incurred to date for the destruction of handguns. All handguns are being smelted by
        Smorgan’s Steel Recycling at no immediate cost to the Government or Victoria Police. Costs in relation to
        this process will be known once independent audit fees and the processing of ammunition surrendered by
        licensed firearms dealers has been completed. A total of $100,000 has been allocated by Victoria Police for
        the destruction of handguns, ammunition, parts and accessories.


                                Major projects: proposed hazardous waste sites
1235.        THE HON. PETER HALL — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for Major
             Projects): In relation to the proposed hazardous waste sites:

             (a)   Why is the Hazardous Waste Siting Advisory Committee not mentioned in any of the material
                   released by the Government and did it play any role in the site selection.

             (b)   Where were the other 100, 14 and six sites that were originally identified before the Government
                   decided on the final three at Violet Town, Pittong and Tiega.

             (c)   Why is it that the soil recycling facility at Dutson Downs will not be subject to an Environmental
                   Effects Statement when these three other sites will.

             (d)   What were the “30 stringent criteria” used by the Government to identify the three sites.

             (e)   On what criteria was two thirds of the State ruled out through computer mapping alone.

             (f)   Why could no suitable Crown land be found.

             (g)   Given that the Government expects the facility to be highly secure, why is it that no sites were
                   short-listed in the metropolitan area where the bulk of the waste will come from.

             (h)   How long has this process been underway and were any tests taken on private land without the
                   consent of landholders.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                       153


ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)     The Hazardous Waste Siting Advisory Committee was not involved in identification or selection of sites for
        the Containment Facility. The Committee’s activities were limited to finding sites for a Soil Recycling
        Facility. The Committee ceased meeting last year, prior to the commencement of siting investigations for the
        Containment Facility.

(b)     The more than 30 siting criteria adopted by Government in December 2000 after significant community
        consultation was applied to the entire State in order to exclude land which was unlikely to be suitable, and to
        identify potentially suitable sites all around the State. As more information was collected the number of
        investigation areas were progressively reduced until the best three areas remained.

(c)     The Minister for Planning determined that no EES would be required for the Soil Recycling Facility because
        of the limited potential for environmental impact of a recycling plant, plus the opportunity for further public
        review during the EPA works approval process. It is appropriate that an EES be conducted for the
        Containment Facility project because of the more complex environmental, social and economic issues
        involved.

(d)     The siting criteria for the Containment Facility were published in the Final Report of the Hazardous Waste
        Consultative Committee in April 2000. That report is available in full on the Major Projects Victoria website.
        The criteria include measures to protect natural and community resources such as water and parks, achieve
        adequate separation from sensitive uses and to meet the technical requirements of the facility.

(e)   The siting investigations included the computer-based application of the best available data matching the
      siting criteria, plus field investigations and technical advice from expert geologists, groundwater and other
      natural resources specialists.

(f)     Government owned land was included in the State wide review. No Government land was identified that
        adequately met the siting criteria.

(g)     Sites close to Melbourne were investigated first, in order the minimise transport distances. However, no site
        could be found that adequately met the siting criteria.

(h)     The siting process has been conducted since the start of 2003 and no tests were conducted on private land
        without the consent of landholders.


                     Police and emergency services: national handgun buyback scheme
1236.        THE HON. PETER HALL — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for Police
             and Emergency Services): In relation to the National Handgun Buyback Scheme:

             (a)   How many handguns have been surrendered.

             (b)   What is the total cost of the buyback plan at this stage.

             (c)   How does this compare with Government estimates.

ANSWER:

I am advised by Victoria Police that:

(a)     up to 15 December 2003, a total of 17, 685 handguns have been surrendered;

(b)     up to 15 December 2003, the total cost of the handgun buyback is $19.8 million;
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154                                                      COUNCIL                               Wednesday, 31 March 2004


(c)     up to 15 December 2003, the total cost of the handgun buyback is $19.8 million. This figure exceeds the
        original estimate, which was determined on the basis that compensation would be paid for newly prohibited
        handguns only. Following the formulation of this estimate, it was subsequently agreed by the Commonwealth
        and all States and Territories that non-prohibited handguns would be the subject of compensation in the case
        of handgun target shooters exiting the sport of handgun target shooting and also in the case of handgun
        collectors unable or unwilling to comply with the new requirements for a category 2 firearms collectors
        licence for the collection of handguns manufactured on or after 1 January 1947. This expansion in the scope
        of the buyback significantly increased compensation and administration costs.


                              Tourism: Australian Tourist Commission — funding
1237.           THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Small Business (for the Minister for
                Tourism): How much has Tourism Victoria contributed to the Australian Tourist Commission in 1999,
                2000, 2001, and 2002, respectively.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

As the Australian Tourist Commission is a Commonwealth Government agency, it is not funded by the Victorian
Government.


                                  Tourism: regional tourism development plans
1238.     THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Small Business (for the Minister for
          Tourism): In relation to the review process of the existing Regional Tourism Development Plans:

          (a)      What are the exact boundaries of the six zones that the Regions have now been aligned into.

          (b)      What is the purpose of realigning the 13 Regions into six zones.

          (c)      When will the draft paper of the Regional Tourism Development plan be completed and distributed.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

(a)     At the beginning of the Zonal Tourism Development Plan process, Victoria was divided into six zones.
        During this process, Great Ocean Road and Grampians were split to make a seventh zone. The zones are
        based on local government boundaries and are listed below:

        Melbourne Surrounds
        Queenscliff, Greater Geelong, Golden Plains, Moorabool, Macedon Ranges, Mitchell, Yarra Ranges,
        Cardinia and Phillip Island.

        Goldfields
        Pyrenees, Ballarat, Hepburn, Central Goldfields, Mount Alexander, Greater Bendigo and Loddon.

        Great Ocean Road
        Surf Coast, Colac Otway, Corangamite, Moyne, Warrnambool and Glenelg.

        Grampians
        Ararat, Southern Grampians, West Wimmera, Horsham, Northern Grampians, Buloke, Yarriambiack and
        Hindmarsh.

        Murray
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                       155


        Mildura, Swan Hill, Gannawarra, Campaspe, Greater Shepparton, Moira and Wodonga.

        North East Victoria
        Strathbogie, Murrindindi, Mansfield, Benalla, Wangaratta, Alpine, Indigo and Towong.

        Gippsland
        Bass Coast (excluding Phillip Island), South Gippsland, Baw Baw, Latrobe, Wellington and East Gippsland.

(b)     At this stage, the seven zones are being used for planning purposes only. Implementation plans will be
        outlined in the zonal plans and may recommend changes to boundaries. Any recommendations for boundary
        changes will be made in consultation with the tourism industry.

(c)     Draft Zonal Tourism Development Plans will be circulated for industry consultation in early 2004.


                                       Corrections: prison design capacity
1240.        THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
             for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
             HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
             Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
             Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

             (a)   What was the actual prison design capacity as at — (i) 1 July 2003; (ii) 1 August 2003; (iii) 1
                   September 2003; (iv) 1 October 2003; and (v) 1 November 2003 in each of these prisons.

             (b)   What was the daily muster as at — (i) 1 July 2003; (ii) 1 August 2003; (iii) 1 September 2003; (iv)
                   1 October 2003; and (v) 1 November 2003 in each of these prisons.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

As has been pointed out on numerous occasion, including Ministerial office briefings, and the Public Accounts and
Estimates Committee Hearing on 23 May, 2003, comparing occupancy against design capacity is a meaningless
exercise given that following major expansions the actual capacity of our prisons is now 1400 beds greater than the
original design capacity.


                                  Transport: Deakin University — rail platform
1241.        THE HON. JOHN VOGELS — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
             Transport): In relation to the Government’s election promise to provide $250,000 within 12 months to
             build a rail platform at Deakin University, at what stage is the planning for this rail platform.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

Planning for the construction of a new railway platform adjacent to Deakin University in Warrnambool is being
progressed with the various stakeholders including West Coast Railway, Freight Australia, Warrnambool City
Council and Deakin University.

Discussions with Freight Australia to determine the safety requirements for this project are progressing well and it
is expected that an announcement regarding the platform construction will be made shortly.
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156                                                      COUNCIL                                Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                   Resources: Crown of Thorns collapse — Port Campbell-Peterborough
1242.        THE HON. JOHN VOGELS — To ask the Minister for Resources: In relation to the collapse of the
             land formation known as the Crown of Thorns between Port Campbell and Peterborough:

             (a)   Will the Minister assure the local community that the collapse of this tourist icon has nothing to do
                   with the seismic testing simultaneously being carried out by Woodside Energy.

             (b)   What expert opinion has the Minister relied upon to make such assurance.

             (c)   Will the Minister make the expert opinion available to the public.

             (d)   Will the Minister initiate an independent review of the factors causing the collapse of the
                   aforementioned tourist icon.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The collapse of the rock formations along the Otway coast is a natural result of the action of the sea and the wind
on a soft limestone coast subject to significant storms.

I have relied on advice from my Department and on statements by the Chief Ranger of Parks Victoria in the area.

This response reflects advice from the Department of Primary Industries. The statements by the Chief Ranger are
already on the public record, having been reported in the local media.

An independent review of the factors is not justified.

Your negative attitude to current seismic exploration activities by companies such as Woodside has been noted. It
is in contrast to the Federal Liberal Party’s support of such exploration activities.


                         Environment: Melbourne zoo — entry fees and concessions
1243.        THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
             Environment): In relation to entry fees and concessions at Melbourne Zoo:

             (a)   Is the Seniors Card currently recognised as a concession card at the Zoo.

             (b)   What is the current entry price for a person over the age of 65 years at the Zoo.

             (c)   Was the Seniors Card recognised as a concession card at the Zoo during each of the years 1999,
                   2000, 2001 and 2002.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)     Holders of Seniors Cards are eligible for concessional entry prices at Melbourne Zoo.

(b)     The current entry price for adults, including those over 65 years of age, is $17.50. The entry price for
        concession card holders (including pensioners and health care card holders) is $13.00 and for Seniors Card
        holders is $15.80.

(c)     The Seniors Card was recognised as a concession card at the Zoo during each of the years 1999, 2000, 2001
        and 2002. Holders of Seniors Cards are also offered free admission to Melbourne Zoo on one day during
        Seniors Week.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                      157


                     Environment: Healesville Sanctuary — entry fees and concessions
1244.        THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
             Environment): In relation to entry fees and concessions at the Healesville Sanctuary:

             (a)   Is the Seniors Card currently recognised as a concession card at the Sanctuary.

             (b)   What is the current entry price for a person over the age of 65 years at the Sanctuary.

             (c)   Was the Seniors Card recognised as a concession card at the Sanctuary during each of the years
                   1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)     Holders of Seniors Cards are eligible for concessional entry prices at the Healesville Sanctuary.

(b)     The current entry price for adults, including those over 65 years of age, is $17.50. The entry price for
        concession card holders (including pensioners and health care card holders) is $13.00 and for Seniors Card
        holders is $15.80.

(c)     The Seniors Card was recognised as a concession card at the Sanctuary during each of the years 1999, 2000,
        2001 and 2002. Holders of Seniors Cards are also offered half price admission to the Sanctuary during
        Seniors Week.


                   Environment: Werribee Open Range Zoo — entry fees and concessions
1245.        THE HON. ANDREA COOTE —To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
             Environment): In relation to entry fees and concessions at the Werribee Open Range Zoo:

             (a)   Is the Seniors Card currently recognised as a concession card at the Zoo.

             (b)   What is the current entry price for a person over the age of 65 years at the Zoo.

             (c)   Was the Seniors Card recognised as a concession card at the Zoo during each of the years 1999,
                   2000, 2001 and 2002.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)     Holders of Seniors Cards are eligible for concessional entry prices at Werribee Open Range Zoo (WORZ).

(b)     The current entry price for adults, including those over 65 years of age, is $17.50. The entry price for
        concession card holders (including pensioners and health care card holders) is $13.00 and for Seniors Card
        holders is $15.80.

(c)     No. Holders of Seniors Cards have received discounted admissions at WORZ since August 2003. However,
        Seniors Card holders have been offered half price admission to WORZ during Seniors Week for more than
        10 years.


                                   Tourism: brand health survey — research
1246.        THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Small Business (for the Minister for
             Tourism): In relation to the Brand Health research being undertaken by Tourism Victoria:

             (a)   What is the cost of the research.
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158                                                     COUNCIL                                Wednesday, 31 March 2004


             (b)   Is this research undertaken by Tourism Victoria or is it outsourced.

             (c)   Will the research be available publicly; if so, when.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

(a)     The cost of Tourism Victoria’s Brand Health Survey for 2003 was $24,745.

(b)     The survey was undertaken by Roy Morgan Research.

(c)     A summary of results of the survey was included in the August edition of the Tourism Victoria Newsletter,
        which is available online at www.tourismvictoria.com.au. Results have also been presented at a range of
        planning and strategy development sessions with relevant industry stakeholders.


                                       Consumer Affairs: ministerial staff
1248.        THE HON. W.R. BAXTER — To ask the Minister for Consumer Affairs: Are any members of the
             Minister’s staff listed in the 2003-04 Victorian Government Directory, persons who have replaced those
             listed, or staff engaged since the Directory’s publication, remunerated by way of consultancy fees in lieu
             of salary and allowances.

ANSWER:

I advise that:

No member of my staff listed in the 2003-04 Victorian Government Directory, persons who have replaced those
listed, or staff engaged since the Directory’s publication, have been remunerated by way of consultancy fees in lieu
of salary and allowances.


                                             Gaming: ministerial staff
1275.        THE HON. W.R. BAXTER — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation (for the Minister for
             Gaming): Are any members of the Minister’s staff listed in the 2003-04 Victorian Government
             Directory, persons who have replaced those listed, or staff engaged since the Directory’s publication,
             remunerated by way of consultancy fees in lieu of salary and allowances.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

No member of my staff listed in the 2003-04 Victorian Government Directory, persons who have replaced those
listed, or staff engaged since the Directory’s publication, have been remunerated by way of consultancy fees in lieu
of salary and allowances.


                                              Racing: ministerial staff
1276.        THE HON. W.R. BAXTER — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation (for the Minister for
             Racing): Are any members of the Minister’s staff listed in the 2003-04 Victorian Government
             Directory, persons who have replaced those listed, or staff engaged since the Directory’s publication,
             remunerated by way of consultancy fees in lieu of salary and allowances.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                        159


No member of my staff listed in the 2003-04 Victorian Government Directory, persons who have replaced those
listed, or staff engaged since the Directory’s publication, have been remunerated by way of consultancy fees in lieu
of salary and allowances.


                      Corrections: Public Correctional Enterprise — tobacco smoke
1288.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to the concern of health effects by employees of the Public Correctional
            Enterprise (CORE), Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) and Group 4 FALCK to the
            exposure to environmental tobacco smoke:

            (a)   Have the employees been affected by environmental tobacco smoke.

            (b)   For what period of time have employees taken time off work due to environmental tobacco smoke
                  in 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03, respectively.

            (c)   What processes are in place when employees complain about environmental tobacco smoke.

            (d)   What are the rights and obligations of employees affected by environmental tobacco smoke.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

In the mid-1990s, Corrections Victoria commissioned tests to monitor the exposure of staff who are required to
work in accommodation areas to passive smoke; these showed that the exposure is (or was) at acceptable levels.
Prisoners’ exposure to passive smoking is minimised wherever possible. During the day, no smoking is allowed
indoors.

Prisoners are asked at each location whether, if they are to share accommodation with others, they would prefer to
be with non-smokers. Usually a non-smoker’s request to be housed with other non-smokers can be accommodated
within a few days, if not immediately. Smoking is not allowed in transport vehicles. Each prison is also now giving
considering to establishing one or more entirely non-smoking units.

I note that issues relating to passive cigarette smoke in prisons did not feature in Opposition Policy prior to the
2002 election. I understand that this was because the Liberal Party did not have a Corrections Policy.


                      Corrections: Public Correctional Enterprise — tobacco smoke
1290.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to the concern of health effects by prisoners of the Public Correctional
            Enterprise (CORE), Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) and Group 4 FALCK to the
            exposure to environmental tobacco smoke:

            (a)   Have the prisoners been affected by environmental tobacco smoke.

            (b)   What processes are in place when prisoners complain about environmental tobacco smoke.

            (c)   What are the rights and obligations of prisoners affected by environmental tobacco smoke.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

In the mid-1990s, Corrections Victoria commissioned tests to monitor the exposure of staff who are required to
work in accommodation areas to passive smoke; these showed that the exposure is (or was) at acceptable levels.
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160                                                    COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


Prisoners’ exposure to passive smoking is minimised wherever possible. During the day, no smoking is allowed
indoors.

Prisoners are asked at each location whether, if they are to share accommodation with others, they would prefer to
be with non-smokers. Usually a non-smoker’s request to be housed with other non-smokers can be accommodated
within a few days, if not immediately. Smoking is not allowed in transport vehicles. Each prison is also now giving
considering to establishing one or more entirely non-smoking units.

I note that issues relating to passive cigarette smoke in prisons did not feature in Opposition Policy prior to the
2002 election. I understand that this was because the Liberal Party did not have a Corrections Policy.


                      Health: Public Correctional Enterprise — healthy lifestyle grant
1291.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for
           Health): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison
           Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne
           Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and in
           relation to the $5,000 grant provided by VicHealth to the Public Correctional Enterprise (CORE) for the
           healthy lifestyle for older inmates in prison:

           (a)   How have the benefits from this grant supported the facilities outlined above.

           (b)   What specific improvements to those facilities can be directly attributed to the grant.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The information requested is in relation to a VicHealth Program and is not routinely collected by the Department of
Human Services.

The grant was provided under the “Active for Life” Program and would have provided a physical activity program
rather than infrastructure.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1292.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in November 2002 to travel interstate
                 and/or intrastate.

           (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

           (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

           (d)   Where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The numbers of prisoners accessing compassionate leave changes on a monthly basis.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                         161


All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship. The permit supports the Government’s principle of
managing offenders in a just and humane manner.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1293.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in December 2002 to travel interstate
                  and/or intrastate.

            (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

            (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

            (d)   To where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The numbers of prisoners accessing compassionate leave changes on a monthly basis.

All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship. The permit supports the Government’s principle of
managing offenders in a just and humane manner.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1294.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in January 2003 to travel interstate and/or
                  intrastate.

            (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

            (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

            (d)   Where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

162                                                   COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The numbers of prisoners accessing compassionate leave changes on a monthly basis.

All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship. The permit supports the Government’s principle of
managing offenders in a just and humane manner.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1295.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in February 2003 to travel interstate
                 and/or intrastate.

           (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

           (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

           (d)   Where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The numbers of prisoners accessing compassionate leave changes on a monthly basis.

All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship. The permit supports the Government’s principle of
managing offenders in a just and humane manner.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                             Corrections: private prisons contract review notice
1296.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   When the Public and Private Review Notice was negotiated did the review notice take into
                 account the contractor’s record for ensuring prisoner and staff safety.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                        163


            (b)   How did this proposal contribute to the effectiveness of the private operated prisons.

            (c)   How did this proposal contribute to the effective operation of the public operated prisons.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

There is no Public and Private Review Notice, however you may be confused with the Private Prisons Contract
Review Notice.

As such it has no relevance to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM
Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM
Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, and the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre:

I note that issues related to the contractor’s record for ensuring prisoner and staff safety were not canvassed in the
Liberal 2002 pre-election Corrections policy. This is possibly because there was no Liberal 2002 pre-election
Corrections policy.


                             Corrections: private prisons contract review notice
1297.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   When the Public and Private Review Notice was negotiated did the review notice take into
                  account the adequacy of the contractor’s staffing numbers and staff skills.

            (b)   How did this proposal contribute to the effectiveness of the private operated prisons.

            (c)   How did this proposal contribute to the effective operation of the public operated prisons.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

There is no Public and Private Review Notice, however you may be confused with the Private Prisons Contract
Review Notice.

As such it has no relevance to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM
Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM
Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, and the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre:

I note that issues related to negotiations with the private prisons regarding adequacy of the contractor’s staffing
numbers and staff skills were not canvassed in the Liberal 2002 pre-election Corrections policy. This is possibly
because there was no Liberal 2002 pre-election Corrections policy.


                                  Tourism: regional tourism destination web sites
1298.       THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Small Business (for the Minister for
            Tourism):
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

164                                                  COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           (a)   Which regional tourism destination websites does Tourism Victoria currently host and manage.

           (b)   Which regional tourism destination websites did Tourism Victoria host and manage in 2000, 2001
                 and 2002, respectively.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

Tourism Victoria does not host or manage regional destination websites.


                                  Tourism: regional tourism destination web sites
1299.      THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Small Business (for the Minister for
           Tourism): What is the average cost of Tourism Victoria’s website development services.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

Tourism Victoria does not provide or offer website development services.


                                  Tourism: regional tourism destination web sites
1300.      THE HON. ANDREA COOTE — To ask the Minister for Small Business (for the Minister for
           Tourism): On what date did Tourism Victoria begin offering website development and hosting services
           to regional campaign committees.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

Tourism Victoria does not offer website development services to regional campaign committees, rather it is
working with the committees to establish regional gateways and comprehensive regional tourism information on
visitvictoria.com, which it hosts.


                             Corrections: private prisons contract review notice
1305.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   When the Public and Private Review Notice was negotiated did the review notice take into
                 account the history of incidence management.

           (b)   How did this proposal contribute to the effectiveness of the private operated prisons.

           (c)   How did this proposal contribute to the effective operation of the public operated prisons.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

There is no Public and Private Review Notice, however you may be confused with the Private Prisons Contract
Review Notice.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                       165


As such it has no relevance to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM
Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM
Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, and the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre:

I note that issues related to negotiations with the private prisons regarding history of incidence management were
not canvassed in the Liberal 2002 pre-election Corrections policy. This is possibly because there was no Liberal
2002 pre-election Corrections policy.


                             Corrections: private prisons contract review notice
1306.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   When the Public and Private Review Notice was negotiated did the review notice take into
                  account the completeness and accuracy of incident reporting in terms of the number of reports and
                  content.

            (b)   How did this proposal contribute to the effectiveness of the private operated prisons.

            (c)   How did this proposal contribute to the effective operation of the public operated prisons.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

There is no Public and Private Review Notice, however you may be confused with the Private Prisons Contract
Review Notice.

As such it has no relevance to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison
Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment
Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, and the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre:

I note that issues related to negotiatons with the private prisons regarding accuracy of reporting and effectiveness of
operations were not canvassed in the Liberal 2002 pre-election Corrections policy. This is possibly because there
was no Liberal 2002 pre-election Corrections policy.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1307.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in March 2003 to travel interstate and/or
                  intrastate.

            (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

            (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

            (d)   To where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

166                                                   COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The numbers of prisoners accessing compassionate leave changes on a monthly basis.

All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship. The permit supports the Government’s principle of
managing offenders in a just and humane manner.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                             Corrections: private prisons contract review notice
1308.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   When the Public and Private Review Notice was negotiated did the review notice take into
                 account the timeframe for correcting default orders.

           (b)   How did this proposal contribute to the effectiveness of the private operated prisons.

           (c)   How did this proposal contribute to the effective operation of the public operated prisons.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

There is no Public and Private Review Notice, however you may be confused with the Private Prisons Contract
Review Notice.

As such it has no relevance to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM
Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM
Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, and the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre:

I note that issues related to the timeframe for correcting default orders were not canvassed in the Liberal 2002 pre-
election Corrections policy. This is possibly because there was no Liberal 2002 pre-election Corrections policy.


                   Police and emergency services: proposed Tarnagulla police station
1309.      THE HON. DAMIAN DRUM — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
           Police and Emergency Services): In relation to the promised new police station yet to be built at
           Tarnagulla:

           (a)   What is the expected starting date for the new station.

           (b)   How long is it expected to take to build.

           (c)   What is the expected completion date, and is this different to the original date planned.
                                                  QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                  COUNCIL                                                        167


              (d)   How does the expected final cost compare with the original estimate of the costs involved.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

(a)     Construction of the Tarnagulla police station is expected to start in March 2004.

(b)     The construction is expected to take approximately eight months.

(c)     Construction is expected to be completed by late October or early November 2004. These timelines are
        consistent with the timelines in the construction contract.

(d)     As this project is subject to tender in the New Year it is not possible to release the estimated project cost.
        Final costs will depend on the review of tenders received.


                                             Environment: duck hunting
1310.         THE HON. DAMIAN DRUM — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister for
              Environment):

              (a)   Will a duck hunting season be declared in 2004.

              (b)   Does the Minister support duck hunting continuing.

              (c)   Will fee-paying game bird licence holders be able to continue their tradition and cultural activities
                    in 2004.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

While conditions for waterfowl have improved from last year, the total game bird population across eastern
Australia remains low and there will be a modified duck season held in 2004 to ensure that hunting does not affect
the status of the overall game bird population. The duck season will be reduced to eight weeks opening on Saturday
20 March and closing on Sunday 16 May. The bag limit is reduced to two birds per day. An additional three Wood
Duck may also be taken on each day of the season. Blue-winged Shoveler are protected in 2004 and must not be
hunted.

Recreational game hunting is a legal activity in Victoria and the Government will continue to ensure that it is
conducted in a responsible, ethical and sustainable manner, taking into account the views of hunters and hunting
organisations and those of the broader community in the strategies employed.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1311.         THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
              for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
              HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
              Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
              Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

              (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in April 2003 to travel interstate and/or
                    intrastate.

              (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

              (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

168                                                    COUNCIL                                   Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           (d)   To where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The numbers of prisoners accessing compassionate leave changes on a monthly basis.

All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship. The permit supports the Government’s principle of
managing offenders in a just and humane manner.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                             Corrections: private prisons contract review notice
1312.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   When the Public and Private Review Notice was negotiated did the review notice take into
                 account the serious of, and/or frequency of, issue of default orders.

           (b)   How did this proposal contribute to the effectiveness of the private operated prisons.

           (c)   How did this proposal contribute to the effective operation of the public operated prisons.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

There is no Public and Private Review Notice, however you may be confused with the Private Prisons Contract
Review Notice.

As such it has no relevance to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison

Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM

Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM

Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, and the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre:

I note that issues related to negotiations with the private prisons regarding the serious of, and/or frequency of, issue
of default orders were not canvassed in the Liberal 2002 pre-election Corrections policy. This is possibly because
there was no Liberal 2002 pre-election Corrections policy.


                                  Attorney-General: chief justice appointment
1313.      THE HON. BRUCE ATKINSON — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation (for the Attorney-
           General): In relation to the recent appointment of the new Chief Justice which followed a period of
           public advertising, how much money was spent advertising the position in — (i) Victoria; (ii)
                                                  QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                  COUNCIL                                                          169


             Tasmania; (iii) South Australia; (iv) Western Australia; (v) Northern Territory and Australian Capital
             Territory; (vi) Queensland; and (vii) New South Wales.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

The cost of advertising for the position of Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Victoria was $11,545.34 expended as
follows:

1 advertisement in the Australian Financial Review - Friday 2/5/03          - $3,474.00
1 advertisement in the Australian - Saturday 3/5/03                         - $4,412.48
1 advertisement in the Melbourne Age - Saturday 3/5/03                      - $2,609.28
Plus GST                                                                    - $1,049.58
Total                                                                       $11,545.34


                                                   Treasurer: revenue
1315.        THE HON. BILL FORWOOD — To ask the Minister for Finance (for the Treasurer): What was the
             amount of revenue received in 2002-03, and what is the estimated amount of revenue to be received in
             2003-04, from each of the following heads of duty: (i) transfers of real property; (ii) declarations of
             trust; (iii) public liability insurance policies; (iv) other non-life insurance policies; (v) mortgages; (vi)
             new motor vehicles; (vii) used motor vehicles; (viii) Transport Accident Charge; (ix) hire of goods; (x)
             temporary or term life insurance policies; (xi) other life insurance policies; (xii) sale of cattle; (xiii) sale
             of sheep and goats; and (xiv) any other head of duty.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

1.      The State Revenue Office does not require taxpayers to provide information to the level of detail requested by
        Mr Clark. The collection of such detailed information would place excessive administrative burdens on
        Victorian taxpayers.

2.      However I would direct the Honourable Member to information which is already publicly available.

3.      Details of the 2003-04 budget estimates are contained in the 2003-04 Budget paper No. 3 (pages 448 – 459)
        and were updated in the 2003-04 Budget Update. Details of the 2002-03 actual outcomes are provided in the
        2002-03 Financial Report.


                              Housing: property at 299 Humffray Street, Ballarat
1316.        THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the construction
             and operation of the facility at 299 Humffray St, Ballarat:

             (a)   What is the size of the property in square metres.

             (b)   How many disabled toilets are there in the building.

             (c)   How many bathrooms are there in the building.

             (d)   Are the bathrooms configured to meet specifications for use by disabled persons.

             (e)   How many laundries are there in the building.

             (f)   How many kitchens are there in the building.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

170                                                   COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           (g)   How many lounge areas are there in the building.

           (h)   Is there wheelchair access to the building.

           (i)   On what date did construction begin.

           (j)   On what date did construction finish.

           (k)   What is the maximum number of residents that can be housed in the building.

           (l)   How many staff are required to operate the facility.

           (m) Are there sleeping and living facilities for the staff; if so, how many rooms are allocated for this
               purpose.

           (n)   What is the expected cost per square metre for the building of this residence under the
                 construction contract.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The matters raised in the question do not fall within my portfolio responsibilities. The Honourable Member should
direct the question to the responsible Minister for Community Services.


                          Housing: facility at 3 Amaranth Avenue, Altona North
1317.      THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the construction
           and operation of the facility at 3 Amaranth Ave, Altona North:

           (a)   What is the size of the property in square metres.

           (b)   How many disabled toilets are there in the building.

           (c)   How many bathrooms are there in the building.

           (d)   Are the bathrooms configured to meet specifications for use by disabled persons.

           (e)   How many laundries are there in the building.

           (f)   How many kitchens are there in the building.

           (g)   How many Lounge areas are there in the building.

           (h)   Is there wheelchair access to the building.

           (i)   On what date did construction begin.

           (j)   On what date did construction finish.

           (k)   What is the maximum number of residents that can be housed in the building.

           (l)   How many staff are required to operate the facility.

           (m) Are there sleeping and living facilities for the staff; if so, how many rooms are allocated for this
               purpose.

           (n)   What is the expected cost per square metre for the building of this residence under the
                 construction contract.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                         171


ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The matters raised in the question do not fall within my portfolio responsibilities. The Honourable Member should
direct the question to the responsible Minister for Community Services.


                               Housing: facility at 1069 High Street, Reservoir
1318.       THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the construction
            and operation of the facility at 1069 High St, Reservoir:

            (a)   What is the size of the property in square metres.

            (b)   How many disabled toilets are there in the building.

            (c)   How many bathrooms are there in the building.

            (d)   Are the bathrooms configured to meet specifications for use by disabled persons.

            (e)   How many laundries are there in the building.

            (f)   How many kitchens are there in the building.

            (g)   How many lounge areas are there in the building.

            (h)   Is there wheelchair access to the building.

            (i)   On what date did construction begin.

            (j)   On what date did construction finish.

            (k)   What is the maximum number of residents that can be housed in the building.

            (l)   How many staff are required to operate the facility.

            (m) Are there sleeping and living facilities for the staff; if so, how many rooms are allocated for this
                purpose.

            (n)   What is the expected cost per square metre for the building of this residence under the
                  construction contract.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The matters raised in the question do not fall within my portfolio responsibilities. The Honourable Member should
direct the question to the responsible Minister for Community Services.


                           Housing: facility at 134 Princes Highway, Dandenong
1319.       THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the construction
            and operation of the facility at 134 Princes Hwy, Dandenong:

            (a)   What is the size of the property in square metres.

            (b)   How many disabled toilets are there in the building.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

172                                                   COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           (c)   How many bathrooms are there in the building.

           (d)   Are the bathrooms configured to meet specifications for use by disabled persons.

           (e)   How many laundries are there in the building.

           (f)   How many kitchens are there in the building.

           (g)   How many lounge areas are there in the building.

           (h)   Is there wheelchair access to the building.

           (i)   On what date did construction begin.

           (j)   On what date did construction finish.

           (k)   What is the maximum number of residents that can be housed in the building.

           (l)   How many staff are required to operate the facility.

           (m) Are there sleeping and living facilities for the staff; if so, how many rooms are allocated for this
               purpose.

           (n)   What is the expected cost per square metre for the building of this residence under the
                 construction contract.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The matters raised in the question do not fall within my portfolio responsibilities. The Honourable Member should
direct the question to the responsible Minister for Community Services.


                              Housing: facility at 11 Station Road, Deer Park
1320.      THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the construction
           and operation of the facility at 11 Station Rd, Deer Park:

           (a)   What is the size of the property in square metres.

           (b)   How many disabled toilets are there in the building.

           (c)   How many bathrooms are there in the building.

           (d)   Are the bathrooms configured to meet specifications for use by disabled persons.

           (e)   How many laundries are there in the building.

           (f)   How many kitchens are there in the building.

           (g)   How many lounge areas are there in the building.

           (h)   Is there wheelchair access to the building.

           (i)   On what date did construction begin.

           (j)   On what date did construction finish.

           (k)   What is the maximum number of residents that can be housed in the building.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                         173


            (l)   How many staff are required to operate the facility.

            (m) Are there sleeping and living facilities for the staff; if so, how many rooms are allocated for this
                purpose.

            (n)   What is the expected cost per square metre for the building of this residence under the
                  construction contract.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The matters raised in the question do not fall within my portfolio responsibilities. The Honourable Member should
direct the question to the responsible Minister for Community Services.


                                  Housing: facility at 86 East Road, Seaford
1321.       THE HON. WENDY LOVELL — To ask the Minister for Housing: In relation to the construction
            and operation of the facility at 86 East Rd, Seaford:

            (a)   What is the size of the property in square metres.

            (b)   How many disabled toilets are there in the building.

            (c)   How many bathrooms are there in the building.

            (d)   Are the bathrooms configured to meet specifications for use by disabled persons.

            (e)   How many laundries are there in the building.

            (f)   How many kitchens are there in the building.

            (g)   How many lounge areas are there in the building.

            (h)   Is there wheelchair access to the building.

            (i)   On what date did construction begin.

            (j)   On what date did construction finish.

            (k)   What is the maximum number of residents that can be housed in the building.

            (l)   How many staff are required to operate the facility.

            (m) Are there sleeping and living facilities for the staff; if so, how many rooms are allocated for this
                purpose.

            (n)   What is the expected cost per square metre for the building of this residence under the
                  construction contract.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The matters raised in the question do not fall within my portfolio responsibilities. The Honourable Member should
direct the question to the responsible Minister for Community Services.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

174                                                   COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1322.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in May 2003 to travel interstate and/or
                 intrastate.

           (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

           (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

           (d)   To where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship.

Requests for compassionate leave are thoroughly risk assessed and evaluated on their respective merits.
Compassionate leave has been granted under this Government and under the previous Liberal National Party
Government.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1325.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in June 2003 to travel interstate and/or
                 intrastate.

           (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

           (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

           (d)   To where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                         175


Requests for compassionate leave are thoroughly risk assessed and evaluated on their respective merits.
Compassionate leave has been granted under this Government and under the previous Liberal National Party
Government.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1326.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in July 2003 to travel interstate and/or
                  intrastate.

            (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

            (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

            (d)   To where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship.

Requests for compassionate leave are thoroughly risk assessed and evaluated on their respective merits.
Compassionate leave has been granted under this Government and under the previous Liberal National Party
Government.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1327.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in August 2003 to travel interstate and/or
                  intrastate.

            (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

            (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

            (d)   To where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

176                                                   COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship.

Requests for compassionate leave are thoroughly risk assessed and evaluated on their respective merits.
Compassionate leave has been granted under this Government and under the previous Liberal National Party
Government.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                  Corrections: building design review project
1328.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections):

           (a)   What is the status of the Building Design Review Project in relation to fire safety and the
                 minimisation of potential ‘hanging points’.

           (b)   Has the Minister planned any specific initiatives for 2003-04 and the level of funding allocated for
                 these initiatives.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The following key activities in relation to the BDRP Implementation Works are being undertaken:

– Establishment of the Cell Safety & Fire Safety priorities.
– Progression of design, procurement & construction of various elements of the Cell Safety and Fire Safety
  Upgrade of Maximum security prisons.
– Progression of high priority Fire Safety works at Medium & Minimum security prisons.
– Further progression of design and construction works for the implementation of Cell Safety & Fire Safety
  upgrades to Management Cells at Medium and Minimum security prisons.
– A successful presentation to the Coroner on the Cell & Fire Safety Guidelines was made in early November.

The BDRP will continue throughout 2003-04 as outlined to you in your briefing from Corrections Victoria and at
the PAEC hearings.


                         Water: Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock — consumption
1329.      THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister
           for Water): What percentage and volume of water from Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock has been
           released for domestic consumption and irrigation purposes in each of the past five years.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                          177


The amounts released from Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock over the last five years for domestic and irrigation
purposes are shown in the tables below. The percentages are approximate as actual deliveries are a mixture of water
released from these storages and water harvested from catchments below these storages.

Volume and percentage released from Lake Eildon for domestic & irrigation consumption
Financial Year     Volume         Percentage used for irrigation         Percentage used for
                     (GL)                 consumption                   domestic consumption

    1998/99                1044                     98                                   2

    1999/00                1012                     98                                   2

    2000/01                1023                     97                                   3

    2001/02                1112                     98                                   2

    2002/03                722                      97                                   3


Volume and percentage released from Lake Eppalock for domestic & irrigation consumption
Financial Year     Volume         Percentage used for irrigation         Percentage used for
                     (GL)                 consumption                  domestic consumption

    1998/99                52                       81                                  19

    1999/00                44                       81                                  19

    2000/01                76                       89                                  11

    2001/02                79                       88                                  12

    2002/03                55                       82                                  18


                           Water: Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock — consumption
1330.       THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister
            for Water): What percentage of water from Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock is projected to be used for
            domestic and irrigation purposes for each of the next five years.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The percentage of water from Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock that will be used for domestic and irrigation
purposes over the next five years will depend on the climatic conditions prevailing over that period. If dry
conditions continue, the percentages are likely to be similar to those of the last five years. However, if catchment
inflows improve the percentage of release used for domestic and irrigation will vary according to the water
available for allocation and the prevailing weather conditions.


                           Water: Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock — consumption
1331.       THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister
            for Water): What water quality issues exist for the use of water at Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock for
            domestic consumption.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

178                                                   COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


ANSWER:

I am informed that:

In general, water in its raw state from surface bodies such as Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock can be used for
domestic use, like bathing cleaning or washing, but not for drinking, food preparation or consumption or ice
making without suitable treatment. Even so, the water must not be taken from a part of the lake that is liable to
contamination by houseboat sewage, storm run-off, debris, sediment, toxic blue green algae or algae blooms in
general, as may occur from time to time.

Naturally, if water is supplied on a larger scale, then it would be expected to have in place multiple barriers to
contamination, such as filtration, storage detention and disinfection, to ensure that water used for drinking is always
safe. A water authority needs to determine the effectiveness of each barrier to contamination and their added value
in reducing water quality risks.

Lake Eildon is the source of water for drinking for Bonnie Doon and Eildon township after disinfection and a large
number of towns further downstream, while water from Lake Eppalock is piped to Bendigo to become, after
filtration and disinfection, drinking water for Bendigo.

There are also risks associated with the use of the lakes for recreation and the potential for water supply
contamination, especially during full water contact activities. These risks need to be identified and appropriately
managed.

Managers of storages from which water is sourced for drinking purposes (such as Eildon and Eppalock) may be
required, under the Victorian Safe Drinking Water Act 2003, to prepare and implement risk management plans and
systems to manage risks. This Act comes into operation on 1 July 2004.

It is good practice for recreators on a lake, such as houseboats or any user or land holder that discharges any water,
waste or runoff into a lake, to ensure that its activities do not pollute a communal resource.


                               Water: retail tenancies — commercial releases
1332.      THE HON. ANDREW BRIDESON — To ask the Minister for Local Government (for the Minister
           for Water): Do any government departments not adhere to the principles espoused in the Retail
           Tenancies Act 1997 when entering into commercial releases.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

Your question was directed to me as Minister for Water and I can only answer for the Department of Sustainability
and Environment, no other government department.

I am unable to answer your question as:

– there is no "Retail Tenancies Act 1997", and
– it is unclear from your question what you mean by "entering into commercial releases".


                              Health: Victorian public service — secondments
1335.      THE HON. DAVID DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for Health): As at
           30 June 2003, how many staff were employed by the Minister on secondment from the Victorian Public
           Service, as at 30 June 2003, and — (i) what are their names; and (ii) what is the cost.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                    179


The Minister for Health does not employ any staff on secondment from the Victorian Public Service.


                                               Health: consultancies
1337.       THE HON. DAVID DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for Health): In
            relation to each of the following organisations known as CPR Communications, Socom Response
            Public Relations, Auspoll Pty Ltd, The Strategy Shop, Social Shift Pty Ltd, Shannons Way, Essential
            Media Communications Pty Ltd and AKZ Consultancies:

            (a)   How many consultancies or other fee-chargeable contracts were let by the Minister or a member
                  of the Minister’s department in the financial year ending 30 June 2003.

            (b)   What was the nature and purpose of each contract.

            (c)   What is the start date, duration and end date of each contract.

            (d)   What is the total cost of each contract.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

CPR Communications
(a) 1
(b) Problem Gambling Communication Campaign
(c) 1 November 2002, 1 year, 30 November 2003
(d) $1,371,828.00

Socom Response Public Relations
(a) 1
(b) Communication Strategy for Obesity Summit
(c) 11 September 2002, 2 months, 10 November 2002
(d) $48,232.16

Auspoll Pty Ltd
(a) nil

The Strategy Shop
(a) nil

Social Shift Pty ltd
(a) nil

Shannons Way
(a) 4
(b) Problem Gambling Communication Campaign
    Problem Gambling Communication Campaign
    Alcohol Prevention and Awareness Campaign
    Problem Gambling Communication Campaign
(c) 26 September 2002, 1 month 2 days, 27 October 2002
    27 August 2002, 1 month 27 days, 22 October 2002
    8 January 2003, 11 months 24 days, 31 December 2003
    5 March 2003, 2 months 3 days, 7 May 2003
(d) $22,000
    $67,022.80
                                                 QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

180                                                      COUNCIL                                     Wednesday, 31 March 2004


        $327,550.58
        $70,000

Essential Media Communications Pty Ltd
(a) nil

AKZ Consultancies
(a) 1
(b) Health Ministerial Liaison Project Management
(c) 3 March 2003, 1 year 2 days, 4 March 2004
(d) $198,000


                                          Health: public hospitals — staff
1338.       THE HON. DAVID DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for Health): In
            relation to each financial year from 1999-2000 to 2002-2003, how many staff were working in the
            public hospital system as — (i) medical staff; (ii) nursing staff; (iii) allied health staff; (iv) catering staff;
            (v) cleaning and maintenance staff; (vi) administrative staff; and (vii) social workers.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

Under the reporting requirements in terms of Part 7 of the Financial Management Act 1994, public hospitals are
required to include in their annual reports a statement of workforce data for the current and previous financial year.
These reports are tabled in Parliament and are available to the Hon. member.


                                            Health: public relations unit
1340.       THE HON. DAVID DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for Health):

            (a)   What is the number of staff working in each Public Relations Unit under her control, indicating
                  the — (i) total operating budget; and (ii) total promotional budget.

            (b)   What contracts have been entered into in the 2002-03 financial year for public relations and/or
                  communications strategies with outside consultants or, persons, including — (i) the
                  person/company contracted; (ii) the date of the contract; (iii) the contract sum; (iv) the amount
                  paid; and (v) a brief summary of work done.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

There is no Public Relations Unit under the control of the Minister for Health. The Department of Human Services
does not have a Public Relations Unit.

The Minister for Health has not directly contracted outside consultants for the purpose of public relations and /or
communication strategies.


                                            Health: budget adjustments
1341.       THE HON. DAVID DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for Health): As
            the figures displayed in Figure 5C on page 64 of the Report of the Auditor-General on the Finances of
            the State of Victoria, 2002-03 for the health services sector exclude adjustments to grants paid to non-
            government agencies relating to safety net adjustment, non-government parity and award simplification
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                        181


            outcomes, what is the cost or estimated cost of the adjustment to grants listed as excluded in each sector
            for which the Minister has responsibility in each of the years 2002-03 to 2005-06.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The budget adjustments for the Health portfolio relating to safety net adjustment, non-government parity and award
simplification outcomes is $3.8m in 2002-03 and $5.1m in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06.


                                  Health: superannuation — unfunded liabilities
1342.       THE HON. DAVID DAVIS — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for Health): As
            the figure displayed in Figure 5C on page 64 of the Report of the Auditor-General on the Finances of
            the State of Victoria, 2002-03 relating to the total net cost to the State of new agreements for 2002-03 is
            listed as $1,151,463,000 but does not include the consequential impact on unfunded superannuation
            liability, what is the department’s estimate of unfunded superannuation liability for Department of
            Human Services employees in each of the years listed in the Auditor General’s Figure 5C.

ANSWER:

I am informed that:

The responsibility for determining the unfunded liabilities of the State’s superannuation schemes lies with the
Minister for Finance.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1343.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in September 2003 to travel interstate
                  and/or intrastate.

            (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

            (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

            (d)   To where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for emergency
(compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration permits, and
would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom the prisoner
has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship.

Requests for compassionate leave are thoroughly risk assessed and evaluated on their respective merits.
Compassionate leave has been granted under this Government and under the previous Liberal National Party
Government.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

182                                                   COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1344.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in October 2003 to travel interstate and/or
                 intrastate.

           (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

           (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

           (d)   To Where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Where appropriate prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for
emergency (compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration
permits, and would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom
the prisoner has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship.

Requests for compassionate leave are thoroughly risk assessed and evaluated on their respective merits.
Compassionate leave has been granted under this Government and under the previous Liberal National Party
Government.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1345.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in November 2003 to travel interstate
                 and/or intrastate.

           (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

           (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

           (d)   To where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                     183


Where appropriate prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for
emergency (compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration
permits, and would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom
the prisoner has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship.

Requests for compassionate leave are thoroughly risk assessed and evaluated on their respective merits.
Compassionate leave has been granted under this Government and under the previous Liberal National Party
Government.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                  Corrections: prisoners — compassionate leave
1346.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   How many prisoners were granted compassionate leave in December 2003 to date to travel
                  interstate and/or intrastate.

            (b)   Under what circumstances were prisoners granted compassionate leave.

            (c)   When was compassionate leave taken to travel interstate and/or intrastate.

            (d)   To where was compassionate leave taken at any one time.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Where appropriate prisoners, whether sentenced or remanded into prison custody, are able to access permits for
emergency (compassionate) reasons. This type of permit falls under the category of Corrections Administration
permits, and would typically include visiting seriously ill relatives or attendance at funerals of people with whom
the prisoner has a long standing close and demonstrable relationship.

Requests for compassionate leave are thoroughly risk assessed and evaluated on their respective merits.
Compassionate leave has been granted under this Government and under the previous Liberal National Party
Government.

Applications from Aboriginal prisoners are referred to the Indigenous Services or Aboriginal Welfare Officer for a
recommendation.


                                       Corrections: prisoners — transport
1347.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to Group 4 Falck providing prisoner transport between prisons and between
            prisons and courts when the existing service arrangement with Australian Integrated Management
            Services (AIMS) ceases:

            (a)   How was due process of providing the new service arrangement organised.

            (b)   When did due process of providing the new service agreement begin.

            (c)   Where did due process of providing the new service agreement become formalised.
                                                 QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

184                                                     COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The new Contract for Prisoner Transportation commenced on 1 July 2003. This contract was finalised and formally
executed in October 2003. The public tender process commenced with a request for a Registration of Interest
(ROI). The companies short-listed from the ROI then provided a Request for Tender. Group 4 was the preferred
tender.


                                   Attorney-General: home detention program
1349.        THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Sport and Recreation (for the
             Attorney-General): In relation to the new Home Detention Program:

             (a)   Will Victorian courts be trained to administer the pre-release option.

             (b)   What on-going training will be provided.

             (c)   From which funding source will training and on-going administrative support be paid.

             (d)   How will the courts administer the pre-release option from sentencing.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

Will Victorian courts be trained to administer the pre-release option.

(a)     The Corrections and Sentencing Acts (Home Detention) Act 2003 (the Act) facilitates home detention as a
        sentencing option and as a pre-release mechanism for eligible prisoners currently in prison. The Act provides
        home detention as a sentencing option for the courts. Home detention as a pre-release mechanism will be
        administered by the Adult Parole Board.

        Training in the new sentencing option has already been provided through Corrections Victoria and with the
        assistance of the Judicial College of Victoria. It is anticipated that there will be opportunities for further
        training during 2004.

(b)     What on-going training will be provided.

        Regular feedback regarding the operation of the Program will be provided to the courts and to the Adult
        Parole Board. This will predominantly be through regular meetings between Corrections Victoria and the
        courts or the Adult Parole Board. More formal feedback and training will be provided to the courts and the
        Adult Parole Board as the need arises.

(c)     From what funding source will training and on-going administrative support be paid.

        Training and the provision of information about the Program is funded from the allocation for the Home
        Detention Program.

(d)     How will the courts administer the pre-release option from sentencing.

        As stated above, the Adult Parole Board will be responsible for administering home detention as a pre-release
        mechanism.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                        185


                            Corrections: custodial community permit programs
1352.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to the review of the prison system’s Custodial Community Permit Program:

            (a)   What is the current status of the review of the Program.

            (b)   What are the key recommendation arising out of this review.

            (c)   What is the timeframe for implementation of this review.

            (d)   What are the specific initiatives planned for 2003-04 and the levels of funding involved.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The findings of the review to which you refer were made public in my media release of 9 October, 2003.


                             Corrections: Ararat prison — education programs
1353.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to education programs at HM Prison Ararat:

            (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

            (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

            (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                  employment options.

            (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                            Corrections: Barwon prison — education programs
1354.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to education programs at HM Prison Barwon:

            (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

            (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

            (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                  employment options.

            (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:
                                             QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

186                                                  COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                          Corrections: Beechworth prison — education programs
1355.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to education programs at HM Prison Beechworth:

           (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

           (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

           (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                 employment options.

           (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                            Corrections: Bendigo prison — education programs
1356.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to education programs at HM Prison Bendigo:

           (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

           (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

           (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                 employment options.

           (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                        187


                            Corrections: Dhurringile prison — education programs
1357.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to education programs at HM Prison Dhurringile:

            (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

            (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

            (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                  employment options.

            (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                           Corrections: Langi Kal Kal prison — education programs
1358.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to education programs at HM Prison Langi Kal Kal:

            (a) What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

            (b) How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

            (c) What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                 employment options.

            (d) How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                              Corrections: Loddon prison — education programs
1359.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to education programs at HM Prison Loddon:

            (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

            (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.
                                             QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

188                                                  COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                 employment options.

           (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                   Corrections: Melbourne Assessment Prison — education programs
1360.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to education programs at HM Melbourne Assessment Prison:

           (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

           (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

           (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                 employment options.

           (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                         Corrections: Tarrengower prison — education programs
1361.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to education programs at HM Prison Tarrengower:

           (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

           (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

           (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                 employment options.

           (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                        189


Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                           Corrections: Won Wron prison — education programs
1362.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to education programs at HM Prison Won Wron:

            (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

            (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

            (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                  employment options.

            (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                    Corrections: Fulham Correctional Centre — education programs
1363.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to education programs at Fulham Correctional Centre:

            (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

            (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

            (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                  employment options.

            (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.
                                             QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

190                                                  COUNCIL                                 Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                     Corrections: Dame Phyllis Frost Centre — education programs
1364. THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister for
         Corrections): In relation to education programs at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre:

           (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

           (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

           (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                 employment options.

           (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                          Corrections: Port Phillip prison — education programs
1365.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to education programs at Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   What innovative strategies are in place at the prison that would provide employment options.

           (b)   How will these innovative strategies that provide employment options work.

           (c)   What are the details of the specific performance measures for innovative strategies that provide
                 employment options.

           (d)   How successful have these innovative strategies that provide employment options been.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Strategies to enhance employment options for prisoners include the availability of Prison Education Centres, and
within all prisons a range of Prison Employment Programs. Prison Education Centres provide vocational education
and training programs for prisoners, whilst the Prison Employment Program offers targeted, intensive, voluntary
programs, which address obstacles to prisoners and offenders finding and keeping work. Since the introduction of
the program in June 2002, 448 prisoners have found full-time work.


                            Corrections: Ararat prison — assessment processes
1366.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Ararat:

           (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                 entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

           (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                     191


            (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.


                            Corrections: Barwon prison — assessment processes
1367.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Barwon:

            (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                  entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

            (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.


                           Corrections: Beechworth prison — assessment processes
1368.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Beechworth:

            (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                  entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

            (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

192                                                  COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                           Corrections: Bendigo prison — assessment processes
1369.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Bendigo:

           (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                 entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

           (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

           (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

           (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.


                         Corrections: Dhurringile prison — assessment processes
1370.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Dhurringile:

           (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                 entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

           (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

           (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

           (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.


                        Corrections: Langi Kal Kal prison — assessment processes
1371.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Langi Kal Kal:

           (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                 entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

           (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

           (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                     193


            (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.


                            Corrections: Loddon prison — assessment processes
1372.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Loddon:

            (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                  entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

            (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.


                   Corrections: Melbourne Assessment Prison — assessment processes
1373.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to HM Melbourne Assessment Prison:

            (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                  entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

            (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

194                                                  COUNCIL                                  Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                        Corrections: Tarrengower prison — assessment processes
1374.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Tarrengower:

           (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                 entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

           (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

           (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

           (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.


                         Corrections: Won Wron prison — assessment processes
1375.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to HM Prison Won Wron:

           (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                 entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

           (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

           (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

           (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.


                   Corrections: Fulham Correctional Centre — assessment processes
1376.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to Fulham Correctional Centre:

           (a)   What are the assessment processes that the centre has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                 entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

           (b)   How has the mental health service of the centre managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

           (c)   When does the centre undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                              COUNCIL                                                     195


            (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.


                     Corrections: Dame Phyllis Frost Centre — assessment processes
1377.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to Dame Phyllis Frost Centre:

            (a)   What are the assessment processes that the centre has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                  entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

            (b)   How has the mental health service of the centre managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (c)   When does the centre undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.


                           Corrections: Port Phillip prison — assessment processes
1378.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   What are the assessment processes that the prison has undertaken to detect prisoners who have
                  entered the prison system with a mental illness or a dependency on drugs.

            (b)   How has the mental health service of the prison managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (c)   When does the prison undertake to treat mentally ill prisoners.

            (d)   How is the prisoner mental health services managed to treat mentally ill prisoners.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

All prisoners undergo a range of immediate assessments upon entering the prison system, including the
administration of the Reception Assessment, the Structured Interview Tool for Understanding Prisoner Safety
(SITUPS) and screening for drug and alcohol issues. Prison officers and assessment staff are able to refer a prisoner
to psychiatric staff at any time should there be concerns about the prisoner's mental state.
                                             QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

196                                                    COUNCIL                               Wednesday, 31 March 2004


                      Employment and youth affairs: unemployed — prison system
1393.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Aged Care (for the Minister for
           Employment and Youth Affairs): In relation to the unemployed representing an over-proportion of
           representation in Victorian jails:

           (a)   What programs link within the prison system are available specifically for unemployed adult
                 prisoners.

           (b)   What was the level of funding allocated for such programs in 2002-03.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

This question should be referred to the Honourable Minister for Corrections, who has portfolio responsibility for
this matter.


                                      Aboriginal affairs: prison system
1394.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs: In relation to
           Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders representing an over-proportion of representation in Victorian
           jails:

           (a)   What programs link within the prison system are available specifically for indigenous adult
                 prisoners.

           (b)   What was the level of funding allocated for such programs in 2002-03 and in 2003-04.

ANSWER:

I am informed as follows:

This question should be referred to the Honourable Minister for Corrections, who as a signatory to the Victorian
Aboriginal Justice Agreement has portfolio responsibility for this matter.


                                        Corrections: prisoner escapes
1395.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to prisoner escapes from each of HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
           Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal
           Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison
           Won Wron, Fulham Correctional Centre and Port Phillip Prison between 1 January 2000 to 30 June
           2000:

           (a)   How many escapes occurred over this period.

           (b)   What were the breaches in security.

           (c)   Which prisons were involved.

           (d)   How has security been improved to prevent further escapes in relation to each of the prisons
                 outlined in (b) above.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:
                                              QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                  197


Data on prisoner escapes for the financial year 1999/2000 can be found in the DoJ Annual Report 02/03.


                                         Corrections: prisoner escapes
1396.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to prisoner escapes from each of HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
            Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal
            Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison
            Won Wron, Fulham Correctional Centre and Port Phillip Prison between 1 July 2000 to 30 December
            2000:

            (a)   How many escapes occurred over this period.

            (b)   What were the breaches in security.

            (c)   Which prisons were involved.

            (d)   How has security been improved to prevent further escapes in relation to each of the prisons
                  outlined in (b) above.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Data on prisoner escapes for the financial year 2000/2001 can be found in the DoJ Annual Report 2002-03.


                                         Corrections: prisoner escapes
1397.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to prisoner escapes from each of HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
            Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal
            Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison
            Won Wron, Fulham Correctional Centre and Port Phillip Prison between 1 January 2001 to 30 June
            2001:

            (a)   How many escapes occurred over this period.

            (b)   What were the breaches in security.

            (c)   Which prisons were involved.

            (d)   How has security been improved to prevent further escapes in relation to each of the prisons
                  outlined in (b) above.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Data on prisoner escapes for the financial year 2000/2001 can be found in the DoJ Annual Report 2002-03.


                                         Corrections: prisoner escapes
1398.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to prisoner escapes from each of HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
            Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal
            Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison
                                             QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

198                                                    COUNCIL                              Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           Won Wron, Fulham Correctional Centre and Port Phillip Prison between 1 July 2001 to 30 December
           2001:

           (a)   How many escapes occurred over this period.

           (b)   What were the breaches in security.

           (c)   Which prisons were involved.

           (d)   How has security been improved to prevent further escapes in relation to each of the prisons
                 outlined in (b) above.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Data on prisoner escapes for the financial year 2001/2002 can be found in the DoJ Annual Report 2002-03.


                                        Corrections: prisoner escapes
1399.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to prisoner escapes from each of HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
           Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal
           Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison
           Won Wron, Fulham Correctional Centre and Port Phillip Prison between 1 January 2002 to 30 June
           2002:

           (a)   How many escapes occurred over this period.

           (b)   What were the breaches in security.

           (c)   Which prisons were involved.

           (d)   How has security been improved to prevent further escapes in relation to each of the prisons
                 outlined in (b) above.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Data on prisoner escapes for the financial year 2001/2002 can be found in the DoJ Annual Report 2002-03.


                                        Corrections: prisoner escapes
1400.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to prisoner escapes from each of HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
           Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal
           Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison
           Won Wron, Fulham Correctional Centre and Port Phillip Prison between 1 July 2002 to 30 December
           2002:

           (a)   How many escapes occurred over this period.

           (b)   What were the breaches in security.

           (c)   Which prisons were involved.
                                                QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                                COUNCIL                                                        199


            (d)   How has security been improved to prevent further escapes in relation to each of the prisons
                  outlined in (b) above.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Data on prisoner escapes for the financial year 2002/2003 can be found in the DoJ Annual Report 2002-03.


                                          Corrections: prisoner escapes
1401.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to prisoner escapes from each of HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison
            Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth, HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal
            Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison
            Won Wron, Fulham Correctional Centre and Port Phillip Prison between 1 January 2003 to 30 June
            2003:

            (a)   How many escapes occurred over this period.

            (b)   What were the breaches in security.

            (c)   Which prisons were involved.

            (d)   How has security been improved to prevent further escapes in relation to each of the prisons
                  outlined in (b) above.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Data on prisoner escapes for the financial year 2002/2003 can be found in the DoJ Annual Report 2002-03.


                                       Corrections: prisoners — drug use
1405.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

            (a)   What was the total number of prisoners at each facility that tested positive for illicit drug use
                  between 1 January 2003 and 4 December 2003.

            (b)   What was the percentage of the total prison population at each facility that tested positive for illicit
                  drug use between 1 January 2003 and 4 December 2003.

            (c)   What was the performance benchmark as a percentage of total prison population allowable for
                  illicit drug use as agreed in their Service Agreement for Public Prisons and the Contract
                  Agreement for Private Prisons at each facility between 1 January 2003 and 4 December 2003.

            (d)   What was the total number of prisoners treated for illicit drug use at each facility between 1
                  January 2003 and 4 December 2004.

            (e)   What was the maximum number of prisoners at each facility who could access drug treatment
                  programs between 1 January 2003 and 4 December 2003.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

200                                                    COUNCIL                                   Wednesday, 31 March 2004


           (f)   How many prisoners were unable to access drug treatment programs due to resource constraints at
                 each facility between 1 January 2003 and 4 December 2003.

           (g)   What was the total number of prisoners who accessed drug awareness programs at each facility
                 between 1 January 2003 and 4 December 2003.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Collation of information in the specific format sought by the Honourable member demands a significant diversion
of resources by Corrections Victoria.

I note that issues related to illicit drug use in prisons were not canvassed in the Liberal 2002 pre-election
Corrections policy. This is possibly because there was no Liberal 2002 pre-election Corrections policy.


                                     Corrections: design prisoner capacity
1406.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
           HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
           Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
           Centre and Port Phillip Prison:

           (a)   What was the ‘design’ prisoner capacity at each facility as at 30 June 2003 and 4 December 2003.

           (b)   What was the actual prisoner population at each facility as at 30 June 2003 and 4 December 2003.

           (c)   How many prisoners committed suicide in each prison between 1 January 2003 and 4 December
                 2003.

           (d)   How many prisoners escaped legal custody between 1 January 2003 and 4 December 2003.

           (e)   For each escapee, what offences led to their imprisonment and what additional offences were
                 committed (if any) before the escapee was apprehended.

           (f)   On what date did they escape from legal custody and on what date were they apprehended and
                 returned to legal custody.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Collation of information in the specific format sought by the Honourable member demands a significant diversion
of resources by Corrections Victoria.


                 Corrections: Office of the Correctional Services Commissioner — staff
1407.      THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
           for Corrections): In relation to the Office of the Correctional Services Commissioner:

           (a)   What was the number of effective full time employees as at 1 January 2003 and 4 December
                 2003.

           (b)   What was the actual cost of employee remuneration and entitlements as at 1 January 2003 and 4
                 December 2003.
                                               QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Wednesday, 31 March 2004                               COUNCIL                                                        201


            (c)   What was the organisation structure of the Office, what were their classifications and what duties
                  were performed by each area/unit according to the organisational structure as at 4 December 2003.

            (d)   How many employees were classified as Senior Executives as at 1 January 2003 and 4 December
                  2003, respectively.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Substantial, detailed information regarding staffing and employees will be provided to the Public Accounts and
Estimates Committee.

Information related to the time period requested will be available at that time, however collation of information in
the specific format sought by the Honourable member, at this time, demands a significant diversion of resources by
Corrections Victoria.


                            Corrections: Public Correctional Enterprise — staff
1408.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): In relation to employees at Public Correctional Enterprise (CORE):

            (a)   What was the total number of effective full time employees as at 30 June 2003 and 4 December
                  2003.

            (b)   What was the actual cost of employee remuneration and entitlements as at 30 June 2003 and 4
                  December 2003.

ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

Substantial, detailed information regarding staffing and employees will be provided to the Public Accounts and
Estimates Committee.

Information related to the time period requested will be available at that time, however collation of information in
the specific format sought by the Honourable member, at this time, demands a significant diversion of resources by
Corrections Victoria.


                                      Corrections: prisoners — drug use
1409.       THE HON. RICHARD DALLA-RIVA — To ask the Minister for Energy Industries (for the Minister
            for Corrections): With reference to HM Prison Ararat, HM Prison Barwon, HM Prison Beechworth,
            HM Prison Bendigo, HM Prison Dhurringile, HM Prison Langi Kal Kal, HM Prison Loddon, HM
            Melbourne Assessment Prison, HM Prison Tarrengower, HM Prison Won Wron, Fulham Correctional
            Centre and Port Phillip Prison and in relation to the Victorian Prison Drug Strategy Report:

            (a)   When high levels of current prisoners are using illicit drugs whilst in Victorian jails, how much is
                  the Government spending to stop the use of illicit drugs in prisons.

            (b)   Given that illicit drugs can be obtained by prisoners through contact visits, staff, being thrown
                  over the wall, carried internally or by service deliveries to the prisons, how has the Government
                  addressed this problem in reducing these breaches.

            (c)   What measures (if any) are in place to stop prisoners, staff, visitors and/or couriers from gaining
                  access to illicit drugs in prison.
202                                                 COUNCIL                               Wednesday, 31 March 2004


ANSWER:

I am advised that / as follows:

The Victorian Prison Drug Strategy (VPDS) was implemented on 26 March 2002 and aims to prevent or minimise
the health problems and harms caused by drug activity in prisons. Funding of $4 million over four years was made
available in 2000/01 to support the introduction of new measures to deal with drug related problems in Victoria
prisons. Funding of $1,013,000 per annum has been extended until 2006/07.

				
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