Media Centre

$94,000 to keep Western Victoria safe

The Andrews Government has awarded $94,677 to a number of councils and organisations across Western Victoria to address local crime and safety issues under the Community Safety Fund. Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison joined Ballarat Councillor Belinda Coates at Delacombe’s Doug Dean Stadium today to announce seven projects across the region have received funding. YMCA Ballarat will receive $8,494 to install new lighting at the stadium to increase security for people entering and leaving the facility after dark. Across the region, seven projects have been funded including: $24,800 for Highlands LLEN to produce a video and resource materials for young people with a disability to gain a better understanding of the justice system in Victoria. $25,000 for Ararat Rural City to run workshops, produce information packs and a social media campaign targeting home safety and theft from motor vehicles and businesses. $20,000 for Hindmarsh Shire Council for new lighting at Jeparit’s Wimmera Mallee Pioneer Museum and the Dimboola Recreation Reserve. $2,276 for Hamilton Football Club for the installation of a wireless alarm system at Melville Oval. $5,886 for Port Fairy Life Saving Club for the installation of lockers to prevent theft of members belongings. $8,221 for Central Goldfields Shire Council for installation of LED lighting around the Maryborough Visitor Information Centre and Library. The projects are amongst 63 across Victoria sharing in more than $703,000 in funding under the 2019–20 round of grant allocations. The Community Safety Fund provides grants for Victorian councils and community organisations to deliver projects tackling local crime issues. Grants are provided under two streams of funding, with one for up to $10,000 for projects preventing crime in and around community facilities and public spaces, and another up to $25,000 to support education and awareness projects about home safety, personal property and theft reduction. Ms Addison said the grants form part of the government’s $25 million investment in the Community Crime Prevention Program, which aims to reduce crime and its root causes. “These projects are all about community safety at a local level and giving organisations and councils the tools they need to address the root causes of crime and I’m delighted that Doug Dean Stadium is one of a number of local recipients,” Ms Addison said. “The Community Safety Fund empowers our communities to address safety issues affecting local residents,” she said. Since 2015, the Labor Government has provided almost $3.7 million in Community Safety Fund grants to support 523 projects across Victoria. For further information about the grants visit: crimeprevention.vic.gov.au

$94,000 to keep Western Victoria safe

The Andrews Government has awarded $94,677 to a number of councils and organisations across Western Victoria to address local crime and safety issues under the Community Safety Fund. Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison joined Ballarat Councillor Belinda Coates at Delacombe’s Doug Dean Stadium today to announce seven projects across the region have received funding. YMCA Ballarat will receive $8,494 to install new lighting at the stadium to increase security for people entering and leaving the facility after dark. Across the region, seven projects have been funded including: $24,800 for Highlands LLEN to produce a video and resource materials for young people with a disability to gain a better understanding of the justice system in Victoria. $25,000 for Ararat Rural City to run workshops, produce information packs and a social media campaign targeting home safety and theft from motor vehicles and businesses. $20,000 for Hindmarsh Shire Council for new lighting at Jeparit’s Wimmera Mallee Pioneer Museum and the Dimboola Recreation Reserve. $2,276 for Hamilton Football Club for the installation of a wireless alarm system at Melville Oval. $5,886 for Port Fairy Life Saving Club for the installation of lockers to prevent theft of members belongings. $8,221 for Central Goldfields Shire Council for installation of LED lighting around the Maryborough Visitor Information Centre and Library. The projects are amongst 63 across Victoria sharing in more than $703,000 in funding under the 2019–20 round of grant allocations. The Community Safety Fund provides grants for Victorian councils and community organisations to deliver projects tackling local crime issues. Grants are provided under two streams of funding, with one for up to $10,000 for projects preventing crime in and around community facilities and public spaces, and another up to $25,000 to support education and awareness projects about home safety, personal property and theft reduction. Ms Addison said the grants form part of the government’s $25 million investment in the Community Crime Prevention Program, which aims to reduce crime and its root causes. “These projects are all about community safety at a local level and giving organisations and councils the tools they need to address the root causes of crime and I’m delighted that Doug Dean Stadium is one of a number of local recipients,” Ms Addison said. “The Community Safety Fund empowers our communities to address safety issues affecting local residents,” she said. Since 2015, the Labor Government has provided almost $3.7 million in Community Safety Fund grants to support 523 projects across Victoria. For further information about the grants visit: crimeprevention.vic.gov.au

Ballarat community comes together for bushfire relief

You can watch the video here Whilst the bushfires have been so devastating for so many people, for wildlife and for the environment, the way that members of the Ballarat community have responded shows our community at its very best. I wish to honour and recognise all members of the Ballarat community who have fought fires, organised fundraisers, given a helping hand and donated money. Today I would like to share just a few examples. Thank you to the members of the district 15 strike team that went to the Gippsland fires. Thank you to venturer Corey Loader, who was asked to help Clifton Creek Primary School and rose to the challenge and sourced an Australian flag and a pump. Thank you to everyone who donated money at the City of Ballarat Summer Sundays events. Thank you to Karl and Clem, who organised the Dunnstown to East Gippsland Hay Run. Thank you to Sam McColl, Lisa Laine, local musicians and the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute for putting on a sellout charity concert. Thank you to Charlotte, Nellie and Hugh from Ballarat North, who set up a little stall to raise money for the bushfires, with lolly bags, books, raffles, lemons and more, and raised a total of $481. Thank you to the North Ballarat Sports Club and the 200 people who attended one of the biggest bingo nights, who raised $6500 for the CFA. Thank you to the Ballarat Wildlife Park, who welcomed Willy the wombat from the Gorge Wildlife Park in South Australia. Our community is made up of so many local heroes. Well done and thank you.

Ballarat community comes together for bushfire relief

You can watch the video here Whilst the bushfires have been so devastating for so many people, for wildlife and for the environment, the way that members of the Ballarat community have responded shows our community at its very best. I wish to honour and recognise all members of the Ballarat community who have fought fires, organised fundraisers, given a helping hand and donated money. Today I would like to share just a few examples. Thank you to the members of the district 15 strike team that went to the Gippsland fires. Thank you to venturer Corey Loader, who was asked to help Clifton Creek Primary School and rose to the challenge and sourced an Australian flag and a pump. Thank you to everyone who donated money at the City of Ballarat Summer Sundays events. Thank you to Karl and Clem, who organised the Dunnstown to East Gippsland Hay Run. Thank you to Sam McColl, Lisa Laine, local musicians and the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute for putting on a sellout charity concert. Thank you to Charlotte, Nellie and Hugh from Ballarat North, who set up a little stall to raise money for the bushfires, with lolly bags, books, raffles, lemons and more, and raised a total of $481. Thank you to the North Ballarat Sports Club and the 200 people who attended one of the biggest bingo nights, who raised $6500 for the CFA. Thank you to the Ballarat Wildlife Park, who welcomed Willy the wombat from the Gorge Wildlife Park in South Australia. Our community is made up of so many local heroes. Well done and thank you.

Ballarat community comes together for bushfire relief

I stood in Parliament to honour and recognise all members of the Ballarat community who have fought fires, organised fundraisers, giving a helping hand and donated money. Around our great city, members of our community came together to help in any way they can. Thank you to the District 15 strike team that fought the fires in Gippsland. Thank you to venturer Corey Loader who rose to the challenge and sources an Australian flag and pump for Clifton Creek Primary School. Thank you to everyone who donated money at the City of Ballarat Summer Sundays events. Thank you to Karl and Clem, who organised the Dunnstown to East Gippsland Hay Run. Thank you to Sam McColl, Lisa Laine, local musicians and the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute for putting on a sellout charity concert. Thank you to Charlotte, Nellie and Hugh from Ballarat North, who set up a little stall to raise money for the bushfires, with lolly bags, books, raffles, lemons and more, and raised a total of $481. Thank you to the North Ballarat Sports Club and the 200 people who attended one of the biggest bingo nights, who raised $6500 for the CFA. Thank you to the Ballarat Wildlife Park, who welcomed Willy the wombat from the Gorge Wildlife Park in South Australia.

Ballarat community comes together for bushfire relief

I stood in Parliament to honour and recognise all members of the Ballarat community who have fought fires, organised fundraisers, giving a helping hand and donated money. Around our great city, members of our community came together to help in any way they can. Thank you to the District 15 strike team that fought the fires in Gippsland. Thank you to venturer Corey Loader who rose to the challenge and sources an Australian flag and pump for Clifton Creek Primary School. Thank you to everyone who donated money at the City of Ballarat Summer Sundays events. Thank you to Karl and Clem, who organised the Dunnstown to East Gippsland Hay Run. Thank you to Sam McColl, Lisa Laine, local musicians and the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute for putting on a sellout charity concert. Thank you to Charlotte, Nellie and Hugh from Ballarat North, who set up a little stall to raise money for the bushfires, with lolly bags, books, raffles, lemons and more, and raised a total of $481. Thank you to the North Ballarat Sports Club and the 200 people who attended one of the biggest bingo nights, who raised $6500 for the CFA. Thank you to the Ballarat Wildlife Park, who welcomed Willy the wombat from the Gorge Wildlife Park in South Australia.

The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019 – Second Reading Debate

You can watch the video here   I rise today to speak in support of the Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019, another Andrews Labor government landmark bill—a bill that recognises the state significance of the Great Ocean Road and its landscapes. I do this because I care deeply about the Great Ocean Road and its stunning coastal landscape, as well as wanting to support the people who live and work in the communities along the iconic road. Firstly, I would like to thank the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change for the work that she has put into this bill and acknowledge the work of her office and department to ensure the high level of consultation with stakeholders and local communities that has occurred. I would also really like to acknowledge the considered and well-thought-out contributions of members of this house. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this very special part of the world from a range of members, including the member for Geelong and the member for Lara. I was really interested in the Minister for Public Transport’s contribution about the Lorne pier and the timber industry, and also in the member for Burwood sharing with us that important translation from a First Nations language that has gone into this bill. It is really, really important that we hear those voices of the people who have cared for and nurtured the land for thousands and thousands of years. Families from my electorate of Wendouree love going down to the coast, particularly down the Great Ocean Road. I often remark in January that there are more Ballarat people down the coast than actually in Ballarat. It is where families take their caravans and others pitch a tent or rent a place to enjoy a summer at the beach. Our 243-kilometre Great Ocean Road’s beaches and coastal townships are places for spending quality time, making memories with family and friends and even making new friends. It is a place where the students I used to teach flocked for schoolies; concertgoers love to go down to the Falls Festival; keen swimmers love to compete in the pier-to-pub at Lorne; and runners undertake the challenging Great Ocean Road marathon at Apollo Bay. The Great Ocean Road is loved by many, and for very good reason. We have a responsibility to protect it. This bill will give our spectacular Great Ocean Road, its coast and its parks, the proper management and safeguards it deserves now and into the longer term future as well as protecting the coastal landscape for future environmental challenges. As a result of this, this bill will be well supported by many members of the Wendouree electorate. The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019 is another example of the Andrews Labor government living its values and delivering on its commitments to Victorians. The Great Ocean Road is on the lands of the traditional custodians, the Eastern Maar and Wadawurrung people, and I welcome that this bill recognises that sovereignty of our First Nations was never ceded. Ballarat is also a part of Wadawurrung land, and I pay my respects to all of the Gilson family and members of the Wadawurrung clans that live in my community. I was pleased to see that this bill strengthens and embeds traditional owner knowledge and culture into the management of the landscapes of the road and also, as already mentioned, that the traditional owners’ languages are embodied in the bill. This is very, very important. The bill also ensures an ongoing involvement of the traditional owners by guaranteeing a seat on the board of the parks management authority for traditional owners. This important bill is for all Victorians, today and into the future, as it protects our Great Ocean Road for generations to come. We will look back, and we will be proud. We will tell our children and our grandchildren that we supported this bill—that when people did not want to do the work, did not want to take the action to support the Great Ocean Road, we did. That is a legacy that we will all be incredibly proud of. The area and the environment of the Great Ocean Road is a world-renowned treasure that must be protected, and that is what we are going to do. With its unrivalled beauty, it is no wonder that the Great Ocean Road is an iconic international tourist drawcard for Victoria and Australia. Annually the Great Ocean Road attracts 17 million visitors to marvel at the unique landscapes of this stunning piece of coastline as well as the awe-inspiring engineering feat. It is our top tourist attraction. Last year visitors to the Great Ocean Road spent more than $1.3 billion and provided employment for more than 11 200 people. I note with interest that this is more visitors than Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef combined, a very significant fact. However, the popularity of our iconic Great Ocean Road and booming tourist numbers are creating significant pressures on the landscape and the seascape, which are also experiencing the effects of natural processes and the impact of climate change. The reforms being introduced in this bill are about addressing these pressures whilst guaranteeing the road continues to bring visitors to Victoria. By getting this balance right—and it is a very important balance to get right—we will deliver the economic and environmental benefits for regional communities. Consequently it is vital that we act to give effect to the management reforms in the government’s Great Ocean Road Action Plan: one, to protect our treasured coast and parks; two, to ensure the livability of our local communities; three, to encourage tourism by improving the visitor experience; and four, just as importantly, to boost jobs on the Surf Coast and in south-western Victoria. I love the Great Ocean Road, and it is undoubtedly great for so many reasons, including the history of its construction by returned soldiers from the Great War. The first part of the road, from Eastern View round to Apollo Bay, was built by 3000 soldiers who had just returned home from World War I and is a lasting memorial to all those who served. Photos taken from the time when the road was being built in the 1920s show men hanging from ropes and using shovels, sledgehammers and picks to move mud and small explosives to get through the rock to construct the windy and dangerous road that grips our magnificent coastline. Men who had bravely served our nation on the other side of the world had returned home to then be a part of a landmark construction project that would further build our national identity and create a permanent memorial to all those who served. Further, the Great Ocean Road has been officially recognised as the longest war memorial in the world. We have an obligation, we have a duty, to preserve this memorial, and we will. I love spending time at the beachside towns and communities along the Great Ocean Road, and it is very special to me and all members of the Dickinson family. Growing up in landlocked Ballarat, a highlight of each year was for my family to head down to the Great Ocean Road during the January school holidays for a two-week coastal holiday. Mostly we stayed at Anglesea, but we also spent some summers in Lorne. Some of my happiest child memories are swimming at Point Roadknight, visiting Aireys Inlet lighthouse and eating fish and chips at the beach. We also loved going to see the kangaroos at the Anglesea golf course, bushwalking in the Otways and riding the rapids at Lorne. Therefore I support the moves in this bill that will enshrine increased transparency and public accountability in the management of the Great Ocean Road’s coast and parks. It is one of my happiest places, and I want to make sure it stays that way. It is also a place that I love to share with others. Whenever we have international visitors, especially Mike’s family when they visit from the UK, a trip along the Great Ocean Road is a must. It is an early start from Ballarat but well worth it. We undertake the ultimate drive from Port Campbell along the Great Ocean Road to Torquay before heading home. It is a massive day but a wonderful way to showcase our special corner of the world, including admiring the Twelve Apostles, a coffee stop at Apollo Bay, lunch at the pier at Lorne and so many stops along the way to take photos of the views. Regardless of the weather or the time of year, our visitors always leave in awe of the Great Ocean Road and are so pleased that they have had the opportunity to tick it off their bucket list. I am proud to be supporting this legislation that recognises the importance of the Great Ocean Road and the need to protect our beautiful asset through the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority and ensuring stricter planning controls. So I am so pleased to commend this bill to the house. It will reform the management of the Great Ocean Road and protect our uniquely beautiful assets for future Victorians and the world.

The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019 – Second Reading Debate

You can watch the video here   I rise today to speak in support of the Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019, another Andrews Labor government landmark bill—a bill that recognises the state significance of the Great Ocean Road and its landscapes. I do this because I care deeply about the Great Ocean Road and its stunning coastal landscape, as well as wanting to support the people who live and work in the communities along the iconic road. Firstly, I would like to thank the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change for the work that she has put into this bill and acknowledge the work of her office and department to ensure the high level of consultation with stakeholders and local communities that has occurred. I would also really like to acknowledge the considered and well-thought-out contributions of members of this house. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this very special part of the world from a range of members, including the member for Geelong and the member for Lara. I was really interested in the Minister for Public Transport’s contribution about the Lorne pier and the timber industry, and also in the member for Burwood sharing with us that important translation from a First Nations language that has gone into this bill. It is really, really important that we hear those voices of the people who have cared for and nurtured the land for thousands and thousands of years. Families from my electorate of Wendouree love going down to the coast, particularly down the Great Ocean Road. I often remark in January that there are more Ballarat people down the coast than actually in Ballarat. It is where families take their caravans and others pitch a tent or rent a place to enjoy a summer at the beach. Our 243-kilometre Great Ocean Road’s beaches and coastal townships are places for spending quality time, making memories with family and friends and even making new friends. It is a place where the students I used to teach flocked for schoolies; concertgoers love to go down to the Falls Festival; keen swimmers love to compete in the pier-to-pub at Lorne; and runners undertake the challenging Great Ocean Road marathon at Apollo Bay. The Great Ocean Road is loved by many, and for very good reason. We have a responsibility to protect it. This bill will give our spectacular Great Ocean Road, its coast and its parks, the proper management and safeguards it deserves now and into the longer term future as well as protecting the coastal landscape for future environmental challenges. As a result of this, this bill will be well supported by many members of the Wendouree electorate. The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019 is another example of the Andrews Labor government living its values and delivering on its commitments to Victorians. The Great Ocean Road is on the lands of the traditional custodians, the Eastern Maar and Wadawurrung people, and I welcome that this bill recognises that sovereignty of our First Nations was never ceded. Ballarat is also a part of Wadawurrung land, and I pay my respects to all of the Gilson family and members of the Wadawurrung clans that live in my community. I was pleased to see that this bill strengthens and embeds traditional owner knowledge and culture into the management of the landscapes of the road and also, as already mentioned, that the traditional owners’ languages are embodied in the bill. This is very, very important. The bill also ensures an ongoing involvement of the traditional owners by guaranteeing a seat on the board of the parks management authority for traditional owners. This important bill is for all Victorians, today and into the future, as it protects our Great Ocean Road for generations to come. We will look back, and we will be proud. We will tell our children and our grandchildren that we supported this bill—that when people did not want to do the work, did not want to take the action to support the Great Ocean Road, we did. That is a legacy that we will all be incredibly proud of. The area and the environment of the Great Ocean Road is a world-renowned treasure that must be protected, and that is what we are going to do. With its unrivalled beauty, it is no wonder that the Great Ocean Road is an iconic international tourist drawcard for Victoria and Australia. Annually the Great Ocean Road attracts 17 million visitors to marvel at the unique landscapes of this stunning piece of coastline as well as the awe-inspiring engineering feat. It is our top tourist attraction. Last year visitors to the Great Ocean Road spent more than $1.3 billion and provided employment for more than 11 200 people. I note with interest that this is more visitors than Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef combined, a very significant fact. However, the popularity of our iconic Great Ocean Road and booming tourist numbers are creating significant pressures on the landscape and the seascape, which are also experiencing the effects of natural processes and the impact of climate change. The reforms being introduced in this bill are about addressing these pressures whilst guaranteeing the road continues to bring visitors to Victoria. By getting this balance right—and it is a very important balance to get right—we will deliver the economic and environmental benefits for regional communities. Consequently it is vital that we act to give effect to the management reforms in the government’s Great Ocean Road Action Plan: one, to protect our treasured coast and parks; two, to ensure the livability of our local communities; three, to encourage tourism by improving the visitor experience; and four, just as importantly, to boost jobs on the Surf Coast and in south-western Victoria. I love the Great Ocean Road, and it is undoubtedly great for so many reasons, including the history of its construction by returned soldiers from the Great War. The first part of the road, from Eastern View round to Apollo Bay, was built by 3000 soldiers who had just returned home from World War I and is a lasting memorial to all those who served. Photos taken from the time when the road was being built in the 1920s show men hanging from ropes and using shovels, sledgehammers and picks to move mud and small explosives to get through the rock to construct the windy and dangerous road that grips our magnificent coastline. Men who had bravely served our nation on the other side of the world had returned home to then be a part of a landmark construction project that would further build our national identity and create a permanent memorial to all those who served. Further, the Great Ocean Road has been officially recognised as the longest war memorial in the world. We have an obligation, we have a duty, to preserve this memorial, and we will. I love spending time at the beachside towns and communities along the Great Ocean Road, and it is very special to me and all members of the Dickinson family. Growing up in landlocked Ballarat, a highlight of each year was for my family to head down to the Great Ocean Road during the January school holidays for a two-week coastal holiday. Mostly we stayed at Anglesea, but we also spent some summers in Lorne. Some of my happiest child memories are swimming at Point Roadknight, visiting Aireys Inlet lighthouse and eating fish and chips at the beach. We also loved going to see the kangaroos at the Anglesea golf course, bushwalking in the Otways and riding the rapids at Lorne. Therefore I support the moves in this bill that will enshrine increased transparency and public accountability in the management of the Great Ocean Road’s coast and parks. It is one of my happiest places, and I want to make sure it stays that way. It is also a place that I love to share with others. Whenever we have international visitors, especially Mike’s family when they visit from the UK, a trip along the Great Ocean Road is a must. It is an early start from Ballarat but well worth it. We undertake the ultimate drive from Port Campbell along the Great Ocean Road to Torquay before heading home. It is a massive day but a wonderful way to showcase our special corner of the world, including admiring the Twelve Apostles, a coffee stop at Apollo Bay, lunch at the pier at Lorne and so many stops along the way to take photos of the views. Regardless of the weather or the time of year, our visitors always leave in awe of the Great Ocean Road and are so pleased that they have had the opportunity to tick it off their bucket list. I am proud to be supporting this legislation that recognises the importance of the Great Ocean Road and the need to protect our beautiful asset through the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority and ensuring stricter planning controls. So I am so pleased to commend this bill to the house. It will reform the management of the Great Ocean Road and protect our uniquely beautiful assets for future Victorians and the world.

 

The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019 – Second Reading Debate

The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019 will create greater protections for our Great Ocean Road, the coast, parks and scenic landscapes, as well as deliver great benefits for the local Surf Coast and South Western Victorian communities. This bill will give the spectacular Great Ocean Road and its environment the proper management and safeguards it deserves now and into longer term, as well as protect the coastal landscape from future environmental challenges. It will also enhance visitor numbers, which will create jobs and support local businesses. We will protect our treasured Great Ocean Road for future generations of locals, Victorians and Australians, as well as visitors from around the world. This new legislation is another example of the

The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019 – Second Reading Debate

The Great Ocean Road and Environs Protection Bill 2019 will create greater protections for our Great Ocean Road, the coast, parks and scenic landscapes, as well as deliver great benefits for the local Surf Coast and South Western Victorian communities. This bill will give the spectacular Great Ocean Road and its environment the proper management and safeguards it deserves now and into longer term, as well as protect the coastal landscape from future environmental challenges. It will also enhance visitor numbers, which will create jobs and support local businesses. We will protect our treasured Great Ocean Road for future generations of locals, Victorians and Australians, as well as visitors from around the world. This new legislation is another example of the

SAFER HOSPITAL ACCESS FOR BALLARAT

The Andrews Labor Government is making it safer and easier for pedestrians to move around Ballarat’s busy medical precinct with a range of upgrades getting underway. Minister for Roads and Road Safety Jaala Pulford and Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison today announced a package of improvements along Drummond Street North – improving access to medical services including the emergency department at Ballarat Base Hospital, St John of God Hospital and specialist services. The works include a new pedestrian crossing near the entrance of Ballarat Health Services, upgraded crossings at the Drummond Street-Mair Street roundabout and centre median line marking on Drummond Street between Sturt and Webster streets. A permanent 40km/h speed limit will also be introduced along the section of Drummond Street between Sturt and Webster streets. The upgrades are being delivered as part of the part of the Labor Government’s $9.3 million Ballarat Safer Cycling Connections package, funded by the Transport Accident Commission and delivered by Regional Roads Victoria. Works are due for completion by the end of March 2020 and will be scheduled to avoid peak travel periods to minimise impact on traffic flow. Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Jaala Pulford “These upgrades will make it safer and easier for Ballarat residents to access the important medical services they need at many Ballarat facilities.” “Ballarat’s medical facilities are world-class – and we’re making it easier for people to get around the precinct safely on foot.” Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison “This is just one of the ways that we’re improving safety for pedestrians right across Ballarat, making it easier to move around our rapidly growing city.” Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle “Our pedestrian upgrades are helping the Ballarat community get where they need to go, and encouraging local people to walk and get active.”

SAFER HOSPITAL ACCESS FOR BALLARAT

The Andrews Labor Government is making it safer and easier for pedestrians to move around Ballarat’s busy medical precinct with a range of upgrades getting underway. Minister for Roads and Road Safety Jaala Pulford and Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison today announced a package of improvements along Drummond Street North – improving access to medical services including the emergency department at Ballarat Base Hospital, St John of God Hospital and specialist services. The works include a new pedestrian crossing near the entrance of Ballarat Health Services, upgraded crossings at the Drummond Street-Mair Street roundabout and centre median line marking on Drummond Street between Sturt and Webster streets. A permanent 40km/h speed limit will also be introduced along the section of Drummond Street between Sturt and Webster streets. The upgrades are being delivered as part of the part of the Labor Government’s $9.3 million Ballarat Safer Cycling Connections package, funded by the Transport Accident Commission and delivered by Regional Roads Victoria. Works are due for completion by the end of March 2020 and will be scheduled to avoid peak travel periods to minimise impact on traffic flow. Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Jaala Pulford “These upgrades will make it safer and easier for Ballarat residents to access the important medical services they need at many Ballarat facilities.” “Ballarat’s medical facilities are world-class – and we’re making it easier for people to get around the precinct safely on foot.” Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison “This is just one of the ways that we’re improving safety for pedestrians right across Ballarat, making it easier to move around our rapidly growing city.” Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle “Our pedestrian upgrades are helping the Ballarat community get where they need to go, and encouraging local people to walk and get active.”

Community Road Safety grants now open

The Andrews Government is calling for community groups and Ballarat City Council to apply for grants to boost road safety awareness in the region. Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, said that applications for this year’s $1.5 million Community Road Safety Grants Program are now open. The grants program will support a range of road safety education programs and initiatives that target cyclists, pedestrians, drivers and passengers, and motorcyclists. Funding is also available to support electronic speed signs, road safety banners and mobile billboards that communicate specific messages to road users at locations identified by local communities. Last year grants were provided to 57 recipients including councils, schools and not-for-profit organisations to deliver 190 projects promoting road safety. Ms Addison said applications will close on Wednesday 11 March. “Everyone has a part to play when it comes to road safety which is why we’re giving communities the resources they need to take the lead on road safety in their area,” she said. “We’re encouraging Ballarat schools and community groups and council to apply for this grant program because we know just how effective a grassroot safety campaign can be,” Ms Addison said. For more information go to vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/road-safety-programs

Community Road Safety grants now open

The Andrews Government is calling for community groups and Ballarat City Council to apply for grants to boost road safety awareness in the region. Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, said that applications for this year’s $1.5 million Community Road Safety Grants Program are now open. The grants program will support a range of road safety education programs and initiatives that target cyclists, pedestrians, drivers and passengers, and motorcyclists. Funding is also available to support electronic speed signs, road safety banners and mobile billboards that communicate specific messages to road users at locations identified by local communities. Last year grants were provided to 57 recipients including councils, schools and not-for-profit organisations to deliver 190 projects promoting road safety. Ms Addison said applications will close on Wednesday 11 March. “Everyone has a part to play when it comes to road safety which is why we’re giving communities the resources they need to take the lead on road safety in their area,” she said. “We’re encouraging Ballarat schools and community groups and council to apply for this grant program because we know just how effective a grassroot safety campaign can be,” Ms Addison said. For more information go to vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/road-safety-programs

Local Ballarat businesses saving big on payroll tax

Businesses across regional Victoria are saving millions thanks to the Andrews Government’s regional payroll tax cuts, with more savings on the horizon. Labor Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, said more than 4,400 businesses in regional Victoria – including 422 businesses in Ballarat – are forecast to share in $154 million in savings just this financial year. Across Ballarat, it’s estimated the cuts will save businesses $14.8 million. The Andrews Government is making it easier to do business in regional Victoria – and in turn supporting local jobs – by cutting regional payroll tax to just a quarter of the metropolitan rate, phased in over three years. For the current financial year, it sits at 2.425 per cent – half the metro rate. From 1 July, the regional payroll tax rate be cut by 0.4 percentage points each year until it hits a quarter of the metro rate in 2022-23 – making it the lowest payroll tax rate in Australia. That’s on top of the cut the Government made in July 2018, which brought the regional rate down from 3.65 per cent to the current rate. Ms Addison said the cut was delivering more jobs and a stronger economy in Ballarat. “For every small to medium business that pays regional payroll tax, these changes have meant thousands, if not millions of dollars in savings,” Ms Addison said. “This is about supporting Ballarat businesses so they can continue supporting local jobs and economic growth in our region,” she said. Treasurer Tim Pallas said the cuts are designed to make life easier for regional employers. “In just a few months’ time, we’ll be cutting the payroll tax rate again to 2.02 per cent, less than half the metropolitan rate. We’re giving regional businesses the security they need to keep creating jobs, with a fairer tax system that spreads the benefits right across the state,” Mr Pallas said. The Labor Government has also relaxed the eligibility requirements so that more businesses can access the regional tax rate even if their business is registered in the metro area or interstate. They now qualify as long as 85 per cent of their wages are paid to staff working in regional Victoria. Victoria’s regional unemployment rate remains consistently low, at 3.7 per cent in the three months to December – the lowest in the nation and well below the national average. Across the state, more than 23,000 people found a job in regional areas during this period – an increase of 3.3 per cent, the highest growth in the country.

Local Ballarat businesses saving big on payroll tax

Businesses across regional Victoria are saving millions thanks to the Andrews Government’s regional payroll tax cuts, with more savings on the horizon. Labor Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, said more than 4,400 businesses in regional Victoria – including 422 businesses in Ballarat – are forecast to share in $154 million in savings just this financial year. Across Ballarat, it’s estimated the cuts will save businesses $14.8 million. The Andrews Government is making it easier to do business in regional Victoria – and in turn supporting local jobs – by cutting regional payroll tax to just a quarter of the metropolitan rate, phased in over three years. For the current financial year, it sits at 2.425 per cent – half the metro rate. From 1 July, the regional payroll tax rate be cut by 0.4 percentage points each year until it hits a quarter of the metro rate in 2022-23 – making it the lowest payroll tax rate in Australia. That’s on top of the cut the Government made in July 2018, which brought the regional rate down from 3.65 per cent to the current rate. Ms Addison said the cut was delivering more jobs and a stronger economy in Ballarat. “For every small to medium business that pays regional payroll tax, these changes have meant thousands, if not millions of dollars in savings,” Ms Addison said. “This is about supporting Ballarat businesses so they can continue supporting local jobs and economic growth in our region,” she said. Treasurer Tim Pallas said the cuts are designed to make life easier for regional employers. “In just a few months’ time, we’ll be cutting the payroll tax rate again to 2.02 per cent, less than half the metropolitan rate. We’re giving regional businesses the security they need to keep creating jobs, with a fairer tax system that spreads the benefits right across the state,” Mr Pallas said. The Labor Government has also relaxed the eligibility requirements so that more businesses can access the regional tax rate even if their business is registered in the metro area or interstate. They now qualify as long as 85 per cent of their wages are paid to staff working in regional Victoria. Victoria’s regional unemployment rate remains consistently low, at 3.7 per cent in the three months to December – the lowest in the nation and well below the national average. Across the state, more than 23,000 people found a job in regional areas during this period – an increase of 3.3 per cent, the highest growth in the country.