Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — I am pleased to rise to make a short contribution to the debate on the Corrections Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2017. The bill actually implements eight broad amendments. Those amendments introduce a new offence to strengthen the operation of the corrections system by addressing possession or use of prohibited contraband in prisons; create a new security officer role to provide security at the Adult Parole Board of Victoria because there have been significant problems caused at the parole board premises; improve the operation of the parole system, including putting beyond doubt the application of laws introduced last year in the case of police murderers; create an explicit power to remove electronic monitoring devices and equipment; clarify that provisions relating to the discharge of firearms in prison emergencies apply to police officers who are authorised to exercise the powers of prison officers; allow regulations to permit a trial of paid prisoner employment schemes, with mandatory contributions to victims of crime and their families; make provisions for community corrections officers to carry out or supervise offender alcohol and drug tests; and clarify the custody arrangements for prisoners appearing before the chief examiner.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — I thank the member for Ivanhoe for allowing other members to have their say today. I will make my contribution short because there are others who would like to follow me. My comments are on the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Bill 2017. The purpose of the bill is to establish a modern and transparent governance framework which provides the new reserve trust with the necessary powers to manage the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve for the purposes for which it has been reserved. The City of Glen Eira is very low on open space for sports and other recreational pursuits, and yet there are 54 hectares reserved in the Caulfield Racecourse — a great racecourse and one that we want to see continue operating well and truly into the future.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — It is a pleasure to finally rise to speak on the Appropriation (2017–2018) Bill. I have been on the speakers list many times since the budget, but we moved on from the debate just before it became my turn. I am actually the last speaker on the budget this year, not that it is a great budget. I think it is fair to say that it is a massive disappointment for the majority of Victorians, specifically given the circumstances that the budget should be in if the government had done the job that it should have done. It had a windfall of over $9 billion from the sale of an income‑producing asset, which it seems to have now buried in the ground. It had an increase of more than 22.2 per cent in state taxes, and on top of that the state has gone further and further into debt. So with all of that money being available to the state —
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — (13 031) My constituency question today is for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. I ask the minister to instruct her department to take immediate action to repair and then regularly maintain the roads, roadsides and bridge on French Island. I have recently been contacted by a French Island constituent, regarding the very bad state of the island’s roads, roadsides and bridge. My constituent has provided a series of photos showing roads with a large number of deep and wide potholes, roadsides with little or no drainage capacity and a bridge in complete disrepair.
My constituent has stated the majority of French Island roads are in poor condition. Tankerton Road is now so damaged it represents a hazard to motorists, coastal scrub has encroached so far onto Coast Road that it has been reduced to a one‑way only road and Coast Road bridge is badly in need of repair. I therefore ask the minister to instruct her department to take immediate action to repair and then to regularly maintain French Island’s roads, roadsides and bridge.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — (12 988) My constituency question is to the Minister for Public Transport. At 9.40 a.m. on 15 August a constituent parked her car at the Bittern railway station before travelling to the city by train. On her return to the station at 4.40 p.m. my constituent discovered to her horror that her car had been keyed, vomited on and had its windscreen smashed. When reporting this damage to local police, my constituent was shocked to be informed that the CCTV cameras located at the station were not working. When I last raised this security matter with the minister two years ago, following a bicycle theft at the same station, I was advised that cameras at the station were not operational — two years later and no action, Minister. I therefore ask the minister on behalf of local rail commuters whether she will now finally take action to have these important security devices fixed.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — On 3 August I again met with Frankston residents and traders from Young Street, Frankston, to discuss the Andrews government’s botched redevelopment of Young Street and the devastating effects it is having on their city. Many Frankston people have contacted me for help because they say their local Labor MP, the member for Frankston, has deserted them. Many complain about not getting their calls returned or about being avoided when they visit his office. In a further cowardly approach the Frankston MP also uses his close Labor associate Brad Hill and various Facebook pseudonyms in a hate campaign to attack and defame anyone who might criticise or not agree with him.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — (12 910) My constituency question is to the Minister for Police. With armed robberies continuing to occur in townships throughout my community, including Baxter, Somerville and Pearcedale, I ask the minister on behalf of very concerned local businesses and residents who are now living in constant fear: when will you finally end your political game and open the Somerville police station?
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — On Monday of this week I spoke directly with 15 angry Frankston small business owners and staff at Lucky’s Deli in Young Street, where so many businesses have been driven out of business or are on the verge of disaster because of the negligent running of the Young Street improvement project. The Andrews Labor government originally told Frankston locals that the project would be completed by March. This then turned into May, and then into October. There has also been no explanation forthcoming from the government as to why the workmen turned up and erected their bollards, blocking a lot of the shopping facilities and shops at their busiest selling time, just six weeks before Christmas, and yet work did not actually commence on site until well after Christmas.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — (12 837) My question is to the Minister for Public Transport. On behalf of my community the information I seek from the minister, through her department, is to identify the status of the planned redirection of bus routes 782 and 783 to include the north end of High Street, Hastings.
Mr BURGESS — At last week’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings we heard that the Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis, has jetted around the world on an astonishing seven overseas junkets in the past year, charging taxpayers a whopping $209 000 for the cost of flights, accommodation and expenses. You would think that a person who has spent that much money would come back with a swathe of new initiatives and benefits for Victorian small businesses, yet apparently not one trip was dedicated to that portfolio. When pressed on the nature of these junkets, the minister said his department was looking into new and emerging trade relations, again hoping someone else would generate something that he could claim.