Thursday, 23 June 2022




Mr LEANE (Eastern Metropolitan—Minister for Local Government, Minister for Suburban Development, Minister for Veterans) (17:58): Tonight there were 10 adjournment matters from MLCs, and seven of them were directed to ministers other than me—eight matters to seven different ministers other than me. Two matters were directed to me as Minister for Local Government.

If I could start with Dr Cumming’s adjournment, I actually thank her for her insight and appreciation of the Growing Suburbs Fund and what it can deliver. As far as the action to increase the annual amount from $50 000 to $75 000, there would be scope in the budget process, which is not completely in my realm, but I can advocate to the expenditure review committee. I think this is a really good thing to advocate for. I agree with Dr Cumming. It is a really important fund, and I appreciate that the project she put on the record is a fantastic project. So that is a commitment I can give personally to her.

Mrs McArthur asked me as an action to examine the draft budget of a council. That is far from within my responsibilities, given that councils have autonomy to set their own draft budgets and set their own budgets. Mrs McArthur, I think for the concern you have about the government’s rate capping policy not being effective I can quote some figures that are indicative. If the rate cap were not in place and the average annual 6 per cent increase in rates had been maintained, the average rate levied in Victoria in 2021–22 would have been around $2346 rather than the actual of $1830, so we are talking about a difference of about $500. Because of the rate cap, property owners across Victoria have saved an average total of $1655 each since 2015–16. As I said, these figures are indicative across the whole state, so I can definitely support that the rate cap has been a good vehicle for ensuring that ratepayers are not asked to pay exorbitant rates. I can add I was a bit disappointed to hear the opposition spokesperson say in the Assembly today that the opposition do not support the rate cap. I am not too sure if that is a policy that the opposition are going to go to the election with, but I can put on the record that our government will maintain the rate cap policy for the election and into the next term.

Mrs McArthur: On a point of order, President, I would just like to draw to your attention some adjournment matters that have not been answered: 1863, due 5 May this year, to the Attorney-General, for the Minister for Industrial Relations; and 1024, due 25 December 2020, to the Minister for Training and Skills, for the Attorney-General.

Mr LEANE: On the point of order, President: Mrs McArthur, I cannot tell you at this point where those particular responses are at, but I can give you a commitment that those adjournment matters will be in Hansard. I will get my chief of staff early next week to contact the chiefs of staff of those particular ministers and make sure that you receive your responses within a reasonable time.

Dr Cumming: On a point of order, President, I thank the Minister for Local Government tonight for answering my question. It has been quite rare for me to get an adjournment answered. I was looking through some, and some have lasted years—from other ministers, not this minister. So I would like to thank the Minister for Local Government tonight.

The PRESIDENT: The house stands adjourned.

House adjourned 6.03 pm until Tuesday, 2 August.