Tuesday, 16 May 2023





Anthony CARBINES (Ivanhoe – Minister for Police, Minister for Crime Prevention, Minister for Racing) (19:19): I am pleased to just rattle through a few requests for action from colleagues in the chamber tonight. The member for Croydon raised a matter for the Minister for Community Sport, in particular seeking action on funding for new accessible facilities at Mooroolbark Heights Reserve, and he went into details about those matters. The member for Broadmeadows, my former work colleague in various roles across the community services sector, has raised a matter for the Minister for Veterans – to join her in a visit to the mighty Fawkner RSL and the amazing members and veterans, who do such great work advocating for the services that veterans need at Fawkner RSL. The member for Euroa raised a matter for the Minister for Health. The action that she sought was to ensure that regional Victorian health services are not affected by federal Commonwealth government funding arrangements, and she went into some detail about those matters. I will be sure that too is passed on –

Members interjecting.

Anthony CARBINES: Well, she went to those details, and they are in Hansard.

The member for Narre Warren South raised a matter for the Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep, particularly about more information that is needed about the Andrews Labor government’s support for children services in the mighty Narre Warren South electorate.

A matter was raised also by the member for Polwarth for the Minister for Community Sport – to visit the Polwarth electorate and some of those amazing volunteer and sporting clubs. The Irrewillipe sports club was one that he would like to see the minister visit and also one out in Birregurra. I am sure those sporting clubs out there would not mind if the minister dropped in to Brae while she is in that neck of the woods. I will come to the member for Monbulk at the end, as I am responding in more detail there.

The member for Ovens Valley raised a matter for the Minister for Environment. In particular the action that he sought was to direct the EPA to do their role more effectively in Wangaratta with regard to noise pollution. He went into some detail about those matters, so we will see that they are followed up by the Minister for Environment.

The member for Narre Warren North raised a matter for the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, and those matters relate to the Narre Warren North road upgrades, particularly at Fox Road and Belgrave-Hallam Road, so we will make sure that they are also acted on by the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure.

The member for Narracan – I almost said he is not with us, but he is here in the chamber – raised a matter for the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the member for Bundoora, asking about the Gippsland community connections program. What fantastic work they do. He touched on that and how the future of the program is super important, and he is keen to see action from the minister in relation to supporting the Gippsland community connections program.

The member for Lara of course raised a matter for the Minister for Industry and Innovation and several other portfolios that he holds in relation to visiting the Geelong Ring Road employment precinct to see not only the very significant work that they do now but to help with the advocacy that she wants to see happen in relation to that precinct growing to provide a further engine for jobs in the Lara electorate.

I am really pleased to respond to a matter raised by the member for Monbulk, in particular requesting that we visit the Monbulk police station to discuss community safety and express our gratitude for the service of the local police. I know everyone tonight will be thinking about our first responders and the work that they are doing in Melton in relation to a very significant and tragic bus and truck crash that has happened there. I think in more broad terms the member for Melton and all members of this house wish our first responders well and the families who are dealing with the very significant and tragic event that has happened today in outer Melbourne.

But in relation to the member for Monbulk, and I suppose touching on the fact of our first responders’ work, we had the opportunity before she was elected to this place, when she was a candidate, to visit the Monbulk electorate. We went out to the Emerald police station. It was just fantastic really and an opportunity to thank again in broad terms our first responders and our police for their work. It is a tough and hard job. But at Emerald we certainly met some old-timers who have seen it all and done it all and who are great leaders for new and emerging police who are learning the ropes out there at Emerald. There is a real community feel. Each station is different. Each station has its own set of circumstances to deal with, and I would be really pleased to get out there with the member for Monbulk and meet some of the 3637 additional police that our government has funded through the $4.5 billion investment, since we have been in office, in Victoria Police. It is also part of delivering on the 502 additional police in the last budget that we funded and the 50 additional protective services officers, who should never be underestimated on the commitment they provide and the work that they do in so many public buildings and services, not just on our transport network but here in the Parliament itself.

I will take the opportunity as well to say to the member for Monbulk and the people in her electorate: we are recruiting. Made for More is the campaign Victoria Police are running right now in Victoria. If you know people in our community who want to serve others and who have something to give of themselves to the community, Victoria Police needs them and needs them now. It is a great career and a great opportunity to keep people safe and to make a contribution in so many ways through the work that Victoria Police do. I would certainly encourage people to give consideration to that and encourage members to continue to impress upon those in their communities the opportunity to make a lifelong difference, through Victoria Police, to their local communities.

We have seen 97 additional police in the Knox division out there in Monbulk, including 18 family violence specialists. Right across our state there is very significant involvement and engagement with family violence. We have seen that through not only the Royal Commission into Family Violence, led by our government, but the resources and the services that we have needed to provide to keep families safe. We have seen that in particular through Victoria Police and the work that they do with our community service organisations.

Lastly, can I just say, as mentioned by the member, according to most recent crime statistics, there has been a decrease of almost 7.5 per cent in criminal incidents in the Yarra Ranges shire. That is pretty significant, but it is also an indication that when things do not go well criminal incidents do happen. Regardless of what our statistics might say, for anyone who has been a victim of crime, that is a serious matter. The opportunity to understand and support people in our community who have been victims of crime never goes away. That sticks with people for a long time, and we will continue our work there. But ultimately through the investment in Victoria Police, the investment in our services, we have seen in broad terms our criminal incident rates – our crime rates – down to 2005 levels. That is when we last saw these levels. That is an indication of the improvements that we have made and an indication of what is required. If you invest in our police force, in our police service and in our services, the results are there to support our community.

In September 2022, when we visited Emerald police station, I think we came away with the fact that there is the job and there is the work but there is also the personal commitment that people make. When you live in a community, you have a stake in it. You just go to that extra level and you have that extra accountability. I am sure we will see that too when we visit the Monbulk community, and I look forward to visiting the police members at Monbulk with the member for Monbulk very soon. We will be sure to do that. Perhaps we will take the opportunity to not just encourage others in her community to step up and make a contribution to the community as members of Victoria Police but also to thank those members for the sacrifice and the contribution they make in showing great leadership in local communities, putting their lives on the line every day, 24/7, to keep people safe. With those comments, I will sit down.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Correct weight. Thank you, Minister. The house stands adjourned until tomorrow.

House adjourned 7:28 pm.