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Media Highlights - 4 August 2023

Victorian Nationals

Media Highlights – 4 August 2023

Kealy slams Labor’s sneaky regional deal

Deputy Nationals leader Emma Kealy has slammed the Andrews government’s decision to sign an Aboriginal land rights agreement without consulting local councils, calling it a “dirty deal in exchange for votes”.

Mayors in Western Victoria have accused the state government of failing to inform them about a sweeping land rights agreement, which they fear will give the Aboriginal bodies a “veto” power on a wide range of decisions, including the naming of all roads, bridges and public spaces.

Deputy Leader of The Nationals Emma Kealy said

“It’s simply not fair that Labor have struck a secret Treaty settlement which includes water and land rights, changing street names and writing blank cheques for Council jobs, with ratepayers left to pick up the tab.”


Benham quizzes ex-integrity chief

Member for Mildura Jade Benham is serving on a major parliamentary committee that has begun an inquiry into the performance of Victoria’s integrity agencies, including IBAC, during 2021/22.

Former IBAC Commissioner Robert Redlich recently appeared before the Committee, accusing Labor MPs on the Committee during his term of undermining IBAC’s work.

Member for Mildura Jade Benham said

“Obviously integrity is absolutely paramount to the operation of the Victorian Parliament. We really need to get to the bottom of these allegations and ensure that IBAC is able to do its work unimpeded.”


Labor’s housing shame

Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron, has slammed the Andrews Labor Government for its “shameful arrogance and inaction” on the housing crisis sweeping the Latrobe Valley.

Speaking to a notice of motion moved by the Minister for Housing in Parliament this week, Mr Cameron questioned Labor’s claims it was delivering 12,000 new social and affordable housing homes.

Member for Morwell Martin Cameron said

“Clearly the Minister is too busy to cast an eye east of Pakenham to see how dire the housing crisis is in my electorate of Morwell. Because if he did there is no way he could stand up with any conviction or integrity and claim to be addressing the crisis this government has created.”


Water Minister must give states confidence

Federal Water Minister Tanya Plibersek has admitted Labor’s plan to flush water down the Murray-Darling through buybacks is not a viable option, with an extension to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan expected.

Shadow Minister for Water Tim McCurdy said

“We know that buybacks are unviable, the Federal Government must give Victorian farmers the security they need by providing the necessary funding for Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism projects.”


Petition to address V/Line concerns

To address the ongoing concerns of local train passengers on the V/Line services between Albury and Melbourne, state member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland has launched a petition calling for more services.

Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland

“Every day my office is dealing with more and more concerns from frustrated passengers about this particular train line. By establishing this petition, members of our community can show just how many people have been impacted by this issue.”

Sign the petition here.


Labor’s “political” gas decision is premature

The decision to ban gas connections to new homes from next year is a response to inner-city politics and not the result of good energy policy.

That’s the view of The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien whose electorate is the source of 90 per cent of Victoria’s gas.

Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said

“With electricity prices going through the roof at the moment thanks to Labor’s mismanagement, the Government’s claims of bill savings by forcing people onto electricity alone just cannot be believed.”


Education cuts will hurt our most vulnerable

Despite assurances from the Department of Education that school staff would not be impacted to meet State Budget targets, shocking revelations have emerged that over 80 specialised teachers from the decades-long Visiting Teacher Service, have been made redundant.

Member for Shepparton Kim O’Keeffe said

“My office was contacted by a local teacher of deaf students, who shared her deep concerns about the proposed staff cuts. She said that deaf students require specialised support and cutting 73 per cent of the visiting teacher workforce will have a huge negative impact on their learning. We must advocate for these children and ensure they have appropriate access to education.”

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