Comment Columns
Time to end the soft touch on crime
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Time to end the soft touch on crime

One of the most commonly raised complaints in my office of recent times has been the rising crime rate and the State Government’s soft stance on crime. In Parliament hearings last week, Victoria’s top policeman,…
Premier Dan dropping the ball on police numbers
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Premier Dan dropping the ball on police numbers

Much has been said recently in the media on police numbers, or lack thereof as Victoria experiences a massive increase in crime, but unfortunately it remains an area where we are not seeing improvement. State…
Non-locals making recommendations about East Gippsland is simply not on
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Non-locals making recommendations about East Gippsland is simply not on

I wish to provide comment on a matter that hit the news last week, that being the suggestion by the Labor Government appointed “Citizen Jury” to convert the Gippsland-Melbourne rail line to a Gippsland-Pakenham shuttle,…
Why the firefighters’ EBA should not be signed
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Why the firefighters’ EBA should not be signed

There has been much said and published about the CFA in recent months and the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) that is causing concern amongst many in the community over the hotly debated power of veto…
Time to actually invest in country roads
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Time to actually invest in country roads

People on country roads are being killed at almost four times the rate than those on city roads. Based on a five-year average, Victoria’s rural road network is responsible for 151 deaths per year. I’m…
Safe Schools program needs changing
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Safe Schools program needs changing

There has been considerable discussion over the Safe Schools program and I am supportive of the State Coalition’s announcement last week that it will scrap the program in its current form and replace it with…
Carols ban answers still being sought
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Carols ban answers still being sought

In this column I wish to make some comments around the government’s changes to the singing of Christmas Carols in primary schools and the uncertainty that remains relating to this matter. In the past six…
We simply don’t need to turn the de-sal on
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We simply don’t need to turn the de-sal on

The State Government this week made the decision to order 50 Gigalitres of water from the desalination plant at a cost of $27 million. Having considered the data in the attached table, I find it…
Ports lease deal must benefit country Victorians
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Ports lease deal must benefit country Victorians

The Nationals and Liberals are working hard to achieve a good deal for farmers, exporters and all Victorians on the Port of Melbourne lease sale. While we don’t have a deal yet, it appears close.…
Join me in giving an hour a week
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Join me in giving an hour a week

On a recent visit to Bairnsdale, former Chief Commissioner of Police and National Ice Taskforce Chairman, Ken Lay, had a clear message relate to ice use. He said police cannot arrest their way out of…
More understanding of the country required
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More understanding of the country required

Comments from the Greens member for Prahran while in East Gippsland last week and as reported in the East Gippsland News, provided some interesting content. Mr Sam Hibbins, the newly elected Member for Prahran, is…
Our future bright, but investment must continue
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Our future bright, but investment must continue

There is much to be positive about in relation to the future of East Gippsland. Unlike many other rural areas, our population, employment numbers and business sectors all continue to grow. Figures from earlier this…
Port sale short changes country Victoria
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Port sale short changes country Victoria

Last week in State Parliament the hottest topic of debate, both inside and outside the Chamber, was the Port of Melbourne sale. Although some may think it has little to do with East Gippsland, that’s…
Kokoda an incredible experience
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Kokoda an incredible experience

Last week I had the honour, of walking the Kokoda Track with my son, which apart from being a great physical challenge, was an incredibly emotional and educational experience - in some ways life changing…
Better understanding needed following Budget
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Better understanding needed following Budget

Last sitting week I delivered my speech in response to the State Budget. It was directed at informing a number of metropolitan MP’s on the importance of rural Victoria to the state and supporting our…
New public holiday to hit our business sector
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New public holiday to hit our business sector

I enjoy football season despite being deprived of success for some time as a Richmond supporter. However, the current State Government’s decision to declare the Friday before the grand final a public holiday for the…
Bully suggests an East Gippsland Pattie's pie night
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Bully suggests an East Gippsland Pattie's pie night

The last thing my waistline needs is to sink a pie (or two), but this weekend my family will be having a pie night – a Pattie’s Pie night – and I urge you all…
We need strong financial management and our fair share of funds
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We need strong financial management and our fair share of funds

There is an old saying that politics is like trying to solve a $100 problem with $50. There will always be demands for funding from all sectors, whether it be health, education, disability, roads, public…
New government must consider our needs
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New government must consider our needs

I wish to use this first column of the new electoral term to provide some comments around the recent State election. Firstly, I thank the people of Gippsland East for their support in having confidence…