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12 March 1991 - Current

APPROPRIATION (2019–2020) BILL 2019
Page 1691
28 May 2019
ASSEMBLY Second reading Frank McGuire
Mr McGUIRE (Broadmeadows) (14:58:28): This AAA-rated budget defines why Labor matters. Victoria’s economy leads the nation, driving the world record for uninterrupted growth. The Andrews Labor government recognises the economic benefits of building infrastructure, highlighted by the International Monetary Fund and the OECD. Victoria’s Big Build invests in an unprecedented overhaul of our transport network. The scale is sweeping, from roundabouts to the biggest project in Victoria’s history, the Suburban Rail Loop. Headlines are goggle-eyed. It is an infrastructure investment of $107 billion in a year. This is more than the Australian government is committing for a decade. The suburban transport blitz fully funds more than $15 billion for the missing link in our road network, the North East Link. A further $6.6 billion will remove another 25 level crossings, improving safety, easing congestion and increasing productivity. The budget also provides $680 million to develop the business case for the long-awaited Melbourne Airport rail link. Delivering such a long pipeline of projects has a human face. It will create 115 000 jobs. This adds to the record jobs growth already established for the state and spread throughout our regions. Despite the challenge of $5.2 billion in writedowns on stamp duty, the Treasurer wrapped up the budget with a billion-dollar surplus. I have had the privilege of working with some of our best and brightest for my second term as Victoria’s first Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research and can report to the house that institutional leaders are delighted with the $116.5 million investment in this budget. This commitment will help deliver elegant groundbreaking science to change lives and save lives. The Victorian government will support the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery at St Vincent’s Hospital, Australia’s first research and education centre for biomedical engineering. This collaborative hub features St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, the Bionics Institute and the Centre for Eye Research Australia, combining doctors, scientists and researchers to focus on chronic conditions to yield significant patient care and economic impact, adding to this billion-dollar sector. Funding to the Australian Drug Discovery Centre at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research will enable biomedical discoveries into life-saving treatments for patients faster. At the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre patients will have access to a broader suite of treatments, with the establishment of a machine that performs precision radiosurgery, the gamma knife service. This technology will particularly benefit people with brain tumours too small for conventional radiotherapy. The chair of Victoria’s chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes, Professor Brendan Crabb, said: It’s terrific news for the sector—every day, researchers across our institutes are developing new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies, and by continual strong support from the State Government we’re able to get these treatments to patients who need them. That is delivering in the public interest. A beaming Professor Melissa Wake from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute declared, and I quote: Today we are absolutely thrilled that the Andrews government has announced $14 million to make the Generation Victoria project a reality ... It’s the largest children’s health and wellbeing project ever to be mounted … it’s going to enable us to really start to speed up solutions to ... autism, obesity, asthma, learning problems, mental health problems. These are the issues that kids face every day, and we can’t wait to get started. Professor Wake even made a video to express her gratitude and excitement at the significance of this investment to track the health milestones of 100 000 Victorian babies. It has enormous potential to improve lives, address the social determinants of health and improve the development and wellbeing of all Victorian children. That is how significant this investment is. I cannot thank enough the Treasurer, the Premier and the current and former ministers for health for delivering such precise and vital investments in this budget, because it also sets Victorian institutions up to win the lion’s share of the Medical Research Future Fund, rising to $20 billion, so Victoria can continue to lead like the lion. In my other role as Parliamentary Secretary for Crime Prevention, given that half of Victoria’s prisoners come from 6 per cent of postcodes, we know where crime lives: the same place as disadvantage. That is where most crime lives. So it is crucial to address key causes of crime: poverty, unemployment and disconnection. We must also address the social determinants of life, including health, family cohesion and education. This is why investments in this budget for early parenting centres, three-year-old kinder, skills and free TAFE to help deliver lifelong learning and jobs for individuals, families and communities are so significant. Creating opportunity in postcodes of disadvantage remains critical. The Andrews government is thankfully investing millions of dollars to revitalise Broadmeadows, and I cannot thank them enough as the local member. The government has committed $8.1 million for the Family Drug Treatment Court in Broadmeadows to help parents struggling with addiction to get their lives back on track and to get their families back. A further $3.5 million will go to the Broadmeadows town centre, and importantly this budget’s investments add to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring new industries back to where they are needed most following the recent announcement of a $500 million redevelopment of the Ford sites, estimated to deliver up to 2000 jobs. They are the sites in both Broadmeadows and Geelong. Victoria’s Labor government is delivering on its promises to the people of Broadmeadows, with investments in economic development, education, health and transport through this budget. The Australian government has also committed to developing a north-west Melbourne city deal, vital for future planning and investment in this booming region. As part of the Andrews government’s massive $1.8 billion investment in schools throughout the state, this year’s Victorian budget delivers funding to make sure that students at the Jacana School for Autism have the learning spaces they deserve, replacing an older building with a new architecturally designed building fit for 21st century learning. I was happy to visit the school recently with the Parliamentary Secretary for Schools. The excitement was palpable. These are wonderful families, and the staff and everything they do is outstanding. Students in Broadmeadows will also have a brighter smile, thanks to the Labor government’s rollout of free dental care for all public primary and secondary schools. This year’s budget begins the rollout, investing $321.9 million and delivering on the government’s promise to bring back dental vans. This is a really important investment, particularly in areas of disadvantage like Broadmeadows, because it will save families around $400 a year per child in dental costs. That is significant. As well, it will save parents the inconvenience of taking time off work for appointments. Once fully rolled out this initiative will free up more than 100 000 places in the public dental care system each year. Delivering on our commitments to create five new dedicated children’s emergency departments, the budget will kickstart planning for the Northern Hospital, giving local parents peace of mind that their children will benefit from calm and compassionate care in the moments that matter most. This is also significant because it is the busiest emergency department in any hospital in the state. The budget delivers $3.38 million in response to youth homelessness. This is for operating costs for staff at the 40-bed youth foyer operated by Launch Housing at Kangan TAFE in Broadmeadows. Youth foyers break the cycle of homelessness by providing 16 to 24-year-olds with safe and secure accommodation on campus for two years while they study towards a career. This allows young people to access education and training while helping them develop independent living skills. The budget provides funding for the Family Drug Treatment Court, to help up to 30 parents a year address drug and alcohol dependence and to keep families together, supporting some of our most vulnerable people. Victoria’s Labor government is also investing $3.5 million as part of a package to continue the work of the Broadmeadows Revitalisation Board. This is an important investment to help coordinate opportunities that I have long campaigned for, including the city deal in 2016 and the Creating Opportunities: Postcodes of Hope plan, and continuing the campaign for the plan for Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs in the 2018 report Buildings Smarter Cities: Stronger Communities. I am pleased to see, having chaired the Broadmeadows Revitalisation Board, that this work will continue. I thank the government for this investment so that we can coordinate the various tiers of government, business and civil society to get the best results. This delivers again the opportunity to connect up with the revitalisation of the proposal for the Ford site. That is really important because then the other issue that we will look at is how we get the unity tickets to get the new jobs and the new industries that are so vital, particularly in this community. The Labor government has also kickstarted detailed planning and preconstruction works on the Suburban Rail Loop, the biggest transformation of public transport in Victoria. With 12 new underground stations, including Broadmeadows, this new 90-kilometre rail line will circle Melbourne’s suburbs, connecting every major rail line, from the Frankston line to the Werribee line. From upgrading the roundabouts to building the state’s biggest transport projects, this is what I am emphasising as the significance of the investment in infrastructure, the jobs that it will create and the opportunities it will deliver. This year’s budget also provides a major investment of $154 million to create more than 6500 hectares of parkland across our suburbs, including the Upper Merri Parklands, stretching from Broadmeadows to Wallan. The government is delivering on its promise of a new park for the northern suburbs, giving local families a place to enjoy for health and leisure. I note that the previous speaker said that funding should be according to need. I am very pleased that he has actually brought that up from the coalition side of the house, because that is what I will be looking for in this proposed city deal from the commonwealth government. I note the member was not here in the last term and may not be aware, but I really reached out to former coalition governments on many occasions. I will cite an article in the Herald Sun headed 'Absent Joe misses chance to really help’. This article says: We have a chance to turn adversity into opportunity, to develop industries for the future, to create new jobs for the next generation, to address housing affordability and to replace anxiety and fear with hope. So, say it ain’t so, Joe. Say it ain’t so that Australia’s Treasurer refuses to participate in an Economic and Cultural Development Summit designed to deliver a coordinated response to urgent and critical issues confronting our country: globalisation, the demise of local manufacturing, population growth, multiculturalism and a fair go. That was dated 15 June 2015. I had written to the then Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. I had written to the entire cabinet and to the parliamentary secretaries. Do you know how many of them turned up? None. Do you know who did turn up in Broadmeadows when I did another conference? It was the current Treasurer of Victoria. He was there. Bill Shorten came with the head of the Australian Industry Group, Tim Piper. I like to do unity tickets to try to get things done. We even got the Business Council of Australia to come to a special conference. That turned out to be really important, because we had the CEO of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott. We also had the CEOs of Siemens, Dulux and, most importantly, Ford, and the man who is now making the investment in both sites came along and said he was inspired by what he heard. He heard the vision, he saw the opportunity, and that was critical in him making his investment—that is what he said. That was part of a proposition that I was able to put together with the Business Council of Australia on its campaign for building a smarter Australia. So these are the unity tickets. This is how we have been able to get it done. This is how we build opportunity. I really look forward to dealing with the Australian government in good faith on trying to get that city deal done for Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs, because we know we are going through population growth that will mean that Melbourne’s north and west will both soon be bigger in population than Adelaide. We have, particularly in the north, an opportunity with the blue chip infrastructure, so here is the chance. We cannot go back to the old lifters and leaners rhetoric. Do you remember that? That was the first Abbott government’s rhetoric—lifters and leaners. We cannot go back to that. Come and meet the real heavy lifters who have through their muscle, sweat and manufacturing nous underwritten prosperity for generations. These are the people that have had the imagination to dream of a better future and the courage to cross the world to pursue it. All they want is a fair go. This will be the test of the Australian government. The Victorian government in this budget has done what the Premier always said: it has delivered.