Good news on a bad news day - May Newsletter
I’m sure you’ve heard the disappointing news that our lockdown is being extended. If you have any questions I’ll do my best to answer them. Contact me here.
I’ve tried to make this update a brief one as I’m sure you already have enough on your mind.
Brunswick for bikes art tour
My team and I have been working with local bike shops and mural artists to create an art tour on bikes. This will promote bike riding and support local artists who are painting murals specifically for this tour. Restrictions allowing, the opening event is slated to take place on Saturday, June 26th, at 10 am, starting at a bike shop on Lygon St, then making our way towards Brunswick station. We'll stop at each mural and the artist will talk about their work. It’s a family-friendly event. Make sure you’re following my ‘Brunswick For Bikes’ Facebook group for details.
Moreland Road needs a pedestrian crossing
The community around Moreland Road (between Coonans and Melville Road) in West Brunswick and Pascoe Vale South have been calling for a safe crossing on Moreland Rd for over 10 years. The community is joining together with this open letter to the Minister for Roads.
Improved pedestrian safety for Pascoe Vale South Primary school
Months ago parents contacted me about cars speeding down Reynard Street, oblivious to the children crossing the road to get to school.
I helped the parents raise the issue with Moreland Council and they were successful in getting the crossing improved. The walkway was raised, forcing drivers to slow down, and pinch points (side sections that come in) were also installed, to help drivers identify the crossing and slow down. I visited on Walk to School Day and it was great to see what a motivated group of residents can achieve.
Nicholson St Bends Update
Last month, I met with the Department of Transport to discuss local pedestrian safety issues, this intersection was top of the agenda. Department staff know this intersection and told me that in the short term they are asking police to enforce the speed limit here.
But later this year they plan to “review the road geometry” which will inform any further work.
I’m pleased to hear the Department at least talk about addressing this properly rather than merely putting more paint and signs on the road.
Local Budget Wins
I'm glad to see some things the community has been campaigning on have been funded in the recent state budget. Including,
- Much needed extra services for the once-an-hour Parkville Gardens bus
- Funding for the Brunswick Design District, topping up council $
- Confirmation of previously announced funds to move Sydney Road Community School to their new home around the corner, and to continue works at Brunswick North West Primary School
Congratulations to all the community groups and individuals who have successfully campaigned for funding. It's been a pleasure working with you.
Raising the age of criminal responsibility to keep kids out of jail
Next week, people in the Brunswick electorate will receive a postcard from me, asking you to sign an open letter calling on the state government to raise the age of legal responsibility from 10 to 14. You may have already seen this video with Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe MP.
In Victoria, a child as young as 10 can be arrested, sent to court and even locked up. Aboriginal children are more likely than white children to be locked up. First Nations and medical groups want to change this, as do Amnesty and the UN. So I’m trying to change the law, to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14. But I need your help.
Climate strike and #FundOurFutureNotGas
It was an honour to attend the recent climate strike rally. I’m pleased to say it’s been a bad week for fossil fuel companies. Anjali Sharma, the speaker in this video produced by my office, is one of the students who took the Federal Environment Minister to court, and won. Fighting for these kid’s futures is the very reason I stood for election, so it’s wonderful to see them having an impact.
Duck hunting season begins and allowed under lockdown
Over the weekend, the Victorian Labor Government added duck shooting to the list of reasons you can leave your home during lockdown, under the same restrictions as exercise.
When Victorians have given up so much for this now extended lockdown, this is just astonishing.
The EV Tax passes parliament
Victorian Labor’s electric vehicle tax passed Parliament with the help of Fiona Patten (Reason), Andy Meddick (Animal Justice), Transport Matters and Hinch MPs.
Carbon emissions are rising in the transport sector faster than any other industry. Victoria has the opportunity to lead on climate action but this is a backwards step. Getting people out of cars and onto public transport, bikes and walking needs to be the ultimate goal, but we can't change that overnight - particularly in our outer suburbs with very little public transport.
EVs have an important role in reducing emissions over the coming decade and we need to transition to them as quickly as possible. The Greens will move to repeal this backwards-looking tax on clean air.
Casuals need more financial support
Casual workers have already been hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19 and along with my colleagues, we’re urging state and federal governments to make a special payment available for casuals who will be missing out on income for a substantial amount of time. A lot of casual workers live paycheck to paycheck and what’s happening to them right now is really worrying.
A lot more has been going on in State Parliament, and many of my speeches are on my website including a recent speech in defence of the proposed second supervised injecting room in the CBD, after the Liberals moved to condemn this.