SPEECHES | Samantha Dunn
  • The Federal Government's uplisting of the Leadbeater’s Possum to the "critically endangered list" is a sad indictment on the failure of successive Victorian governments to protect the habitat of this State's faunal emblem.
  • My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Local Government. The action I request on behalf of the Public Libraries Victoria Network is that she release the full business case for the Victorian library funding model to allow local governments to properly assess its likely impact.
  • I refer to recent media reports of illegal logging of 1 hectare of rainforest on the Errinundra Plateau in East Gippsland. Will the minister guarantee that all logging operations will cease in the Errinundra Plateau area of East Gippsland while this matter is being investigated and until preventive action is taken to ensure that the causes of any unlawful logging have been addressed?
  • My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety. The action I request is that he ensure that further work on the Western Highway Duplication project cease, while the environmental impacts are further considered. The Beaufort to Stawell section of the Western Highway Duplication Project proceeded through the planning process, overseen by the former government in 2013. This section triggered the environmental impacts assessment process required by the legislative scheme that is intended to protect native vegetation.
  • The students of Mountain Gate Primary School know that we need to stand up for the Leadbeater’s Possum wherever possible. I thank the children of Class 6W for writing to me last week about their concerns. They know about the impact of logging on the habitat of Victoria’s faunal emblem. They know that the only way to guarantee its survival is to create the Great Forests National Park. The tree hollows that provide a home to the Leadbeater’s Possum and many other animals are only found in old mountain ash forests. Forests that are a unique asset to the people of Victoria. Forests that filter our water, protect biodiversity and provide an incredible asset for tourism and public health. Assets for future generations that deserve protection.
  • I know how important buses are in the areas of Melbourne that are not serviced by trains and trams. I ask the government not to get distracted by projects like the Melbourne Metro rail project.
  • Labor’s policy, supported by the Greens, was to retain the entire reserve as public open space with management passed to Parks Victoria. A bicycle path would also be constructed along the full length of the reserve from Springvale Road to Boronia Road. A sum of $650 000 was to be provided to partly fund this path.
  • Rail services from Doncaster Hill to the city would only take 20 minutes and would provide a genuine alternative to car travel. Each train could remove 800 cars from the road, which is badly needed, with peak‑hour traffic at gridlock along the Eastern Freeway. Doncaster rail is a far better solution to ease congestion than the east–west tunnel ever was.
  • The current law for motor vehicles overtaking bicycles is unclear and almost unenforceable. It requires everyone to leave a sufficient passing distance, but it leaves drivers and police uncertain – what exactly is a sufficient distance? Is it a centimetre or a metre? The current road rules also don’t allow drivers to move out of their lane or cross different types of white lines to pass a bike safely, even when it is safe to do so. Drivers have more flexibility to move around a spilled rubbish bin on the street than a bicycle. This bill fixes both of those problems. It defines a safe passing distance, it provides certainty for drivers and police officers and it allows drivers more flexibility to overtake.
  • I am delighted that the first notice of motion I am speaking on relates to the Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Regional Strategy Plan. I cannot stress how important that document is in terms of planning, and I commend the motion to the house.
  • My election reaffirms the need for a rail line to Doncaster, improvements to the existing rail and tram network and better bus services. People want to see a transition to renewables, action on climate change, a reduction in emissions and the establishment of a Great Forest National Park. I will be using my time in this place to be a strong advocate on these issues.