Mr BURGESS — I had the pleasure on 9 February to present the young student leaders at Somerville Rise Primary School with leadership badges. There are many budding young leaders at this school, and I was impressed at how each one of them was able to look me in the eyes as they shook my hand. That is a great sign for the future for them. They will make outstanding ambassadors for their school. I would especially like to thank Mrs Nicky Fammartino, the principal at Somerville Rise Primary School, for her invitation.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) (09:42:36) — It was an honour to attend the annual Luke Batty Memorial Shield T20 cricket match on 25 January between the Tyabb All‑Stars and the Victoria Police Cricket Club. It was wonderful to see so many participants and spectators in attendance determined that they will never forget Luke’s tragic circumstances or our community’s commitment to putting an end to the scourge of domestic violence.
Mr BURGESS — On 10 February I was pleased to join Ann‑Marie Hermans, the local Liberal champion for community needs in Cranbourne and candidate at the next election, to meet Cranbourne residents to talk about the issues they face and how their concerns have been ignored for so long by Labor. Among the many messages of support Ann‑Marie received on the day were offers of assistance for her campaign and in other ways.
Mr BURGESS — On 26 January I was pleased to be invited to the Frankston City Council to attend an Australia Day citizenship ceremony alongside Christopher Crewther, the federal member for Dunkley, at the Frankston Arts Centre. Congratulations to all new Aussies who took the pledge to become citizens of this beautiful country.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) (11:50:20) — (14 016) My question is to the Minister for Families and Children. When will the Andrews Labor government deliver on its 2014 pre‑election commitment to increase funding for the neighbourhood houses that the community needs? Crib Point, Hastings, Somerville and Langwarrin are all community houses that are very important community assets. Constituents and patrons of these houses are concerned that their neighbourhood houses continue to face increasing needs and costs and are struggling to maintain current services. Neighbourhood houses offer a wide range of services and support, including diploma and certificate courses, computer courses, art and craft, Victorian certificate of applied learning classes, health and wellbeing programs, English as a second language, home improvement classes, playgroups, occasional child care and other facilities including hall hire. My community asks that the Labor government commits to supporting our neighbourhood houses in line with the promise it made to them.
Mr BURGESS — On 13 January I was pleased to attend a function at the Tyabb community hall to celebrate 125 years of the Tyabb Cricket Club. This magnificent achievement recognises the long and proud history of a remarkable club; it was a milestone well worth celebrating.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) (09:44:22) — On 24 January the member for South Barwon and I met with many Belmont small businesses following the announcement of the Andrews Labor government that it will fund the imposition of bike lanes through one of Geelong’s great local shopping strips and the removal of 70 vital car parking spaces in High Street, Belmont, in the process. The Labor member for Geelong has completely ignored the concerns of these local businesses which, less than a decade ago, invested more than $200 000 of their own money to create a similar number of desperately needed car parks. Removal of these 70 important car parking spaces will hit these family businesses hard by driving many of their regular customers away to areas where parking is more readily available.
Mr BURGESS — It was great to see the state Liberal opposition leader in Frankston on 19 January speaking at a luncheon hosted by the enormously effective Committee for Greater Frankston. He took the opportunity to speak on many topics, including the importance of the development of the port of Hastings and the electrification and duplication of the Stony Point railway line, and to emphasise the Liberal‑Nationals commitment to both.
Mr BURGESS — I was pleased to be able to join the team at Crib Point fire brigade and other emergency service personnel at their support day at Hastings Bunnings on 20 January. Sincere thanks to Bunnings for their great support for our emergency services workers.
Mr BURGESS (Hastings) (11:48:24) — (13 930) My question is to the Minister for Health. I am seeking information on behalf of the Pearcedale community about what can be provided to attract GPs to work in the Pearcedale Medical Centre. The Pearcedale Medical Centre is the only medical centre in this great little town, and it faithfully provides a high level of care, extended hours and emergency medical treatment to its community. Many Pearcedale residents have told me that this medical centre has been one of the best things to happen to Pearcedale in recent years, not only for the high level of medical care provided but also because of the extra business that has been attracted as a result of patients coming from other townships. Running a small business is difficult enough under the current state Labor regime, and when that small business encompasses caring for the health and wellbeing of local community residents, when it is in a regional area and it is ignored by the Andrews government and when attracting and retaining practitioners is so challenging, it is all the harder.