Late last month I had the honour of signing a pledge to show support for our local brigade firefighters. Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria(VFBV), the body that represents volunteer firefighters across our state, has launched a campaign to encourage Victorian MPs to support all firefighters in recognition of the risks they run of contracting cancer from exposure to toxins as part of their firefighting service role.
The Hastings electorate has been ignored during the Premier's first year in office. For 11 years under the Bracks and Brumby governments budget after budget neglected our area. In stark contrast, over the four years the coalition was in government hundreds of millions of dollars were poured into badly needed upgrades to local infrastructure and services.
I raise a matter for the Minister for Ports. The action I seek is for the minister to reverse Labor's policy position and commit to building a second container port at Hastings. Under a coalition government the port of Hastings meant thousands of jobs for our state, greater opportunities for our businesses, improved services, infrastructure for our community and respect and protection for our environment.
The Hastings electorate has been ignored during the Premier's first year in office. For 11 years under the Bracks and Brumby governments, budget after budget neglected our area.
It is an interesting opportunity to stand and speak today, far from being an enjoyable one, but it is one that I think we all need to express ourselves on and be heard in our communities and across the broader state and across the country because, as was indicated by several speakers today, we do face what can only be described as an epidemic and an epidemic of the worst kind, which is taking up to two women from our community every week.
The submarine HMAS Otama was left to rot in Western Port for close to 10 years by the Bracks and Brumby Governments. Immediately after winning government in 2010 I wrote to the new Minister for Environment and Climate Change to ask him to overturn the decisions of the past and give permission for the submarine to come ashore and be granted an actual home location.
On 14 October I joined the Member for Ripon in Ballarat to speak to small businesses about the urgency of relocating VicRoads headquarters to Ballarat. The relocation of VicRoads to the civic hall site in Ballarat was instituted by the Coalition government in March last year.
Last Friday evening I was pleased to attend the opening night of another wonderful Coastal Villages Art Group exhibition at the Warneet Motor Yacht Club.
A newspaper article appearing earlier this week reported that in keeping with its new method of policing, Victoria Police has added yet another police station to its growing list of fully or partially closed police stations.
It is a pleasure to rise to speak on this important matter of public importance. I will take a moment to pick up on some of the things said by the previous speaker, the member for Bundoora.