Media Centre

Vietnam Veterans

I had the pleasure of welcoming to the Bellarine the state sub-branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association, which held its first council meeting for 2017 at the Queenscliff-Point Lonsdale RSL. The association is an important organisation that provides a very effective support and advocacy service to Vietnam vets, many of whom 50 years later still suffer physically or psychologically or both as a result of their service. I take this opportunity to commend the state sub-branch president, Bob Elworthy, AM, and his state delegates and also the Geelong and district sub-branch president, Rieny Nieuwenhof, and his team for the work they are doing for local veterans and families, not forgetting their host for the day, the Queenscliff-Point Lonsdale RSL, which amongst many things always organises a very fitting Anzac dawn service, which every year I have the honour of attending.

Vietnam Veterans

I had the pleasure of welcoming to the Bellarine the state sub-branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association, which held its first council meeting for 2017 at the Queenscliff-Point Lonsdale RSL. The association is an important organisation that provides a very effective support and advocacy service to Vietnam vets, many of whom 50 years later still suffer physically or psychologically or both as a result of their service. I take this opportunity to commend the state sub-branch president, Bob Elworthy, AM, and his state delegates and also the Geelong and district sub-branch president, Rieny Nieuwenhof, and his team for the work they are doing for local veterans and families, not forgetting their host for the day, the Queenscliff-Point Lonsdale RSL, which amongst many things always organises a very fitting Anzac dawn service, which every year I have the honour of attending.

Bellarine Electorate Integrated Brigades

I was pleased to spend time with the volunteers and career staff at the Ocean Grove integrated brigade and also the Corio, Belmont and Geelong brigades. We have seen a 78 per cent increase in responses and call-outs from our integrated brigades in the last 10 years. Rohan Luke, the deputy chief fire officer, and I provided detailed information on the proposal to build a stronger volunteer firefighting Country Fire Authority and Fire Rescue Victoria. It was very well received. It was a very positive reception, and they are keen to work with us to deliver this important reform and especially presumptive rights legislation.

Bellarine Electorate Integrated Brigades

I was pleased to spend time with the volunteers and career staff at the Ocean Grove integrated brigade and also the Corio, Belmont and Geelong brigades. We have seen a 78 per cent increase in responses and call-outs from our integrated brigades in the last 10 years. Rohan Luke, the deputy chief fire officer, and I provided detailed information on the proposal to build a stronger volunteer firefighting Country Fire Authority and Fire Rescue Victoria. It was very well received. It was a very positive reception, and they are keen to work with us to deliver this important reform and especially presumptive rights legislation.

New Ambulance Service

I was also recently pleased, with the Minister for Health, to celebrate the new ambulance station that is being built in Bellarine for the Swan Bay area, plus a new team of seven paramedics who have already started and are operating across the Bellarine region.

New Ambulance Service

I was also recently pleased, with the Minister for Health, to celebrate the new ambulance station that is being built in Bellarine for the Swan Bay area, plus a new team of seven paramedics who have already started and are operating across the Bellarine region.

Barwon Heads Library

The City of Greater Geelong recently announced its intention to close the Barwon Heads Community Library. I have been working closely with the local residents and the administrators of the council about this issue. It is absolutely critical, in my view, that this important local asset remain open, and I reiterate today my full and strong support for keeping it open. In doing so I again call on the City of Greater Geelong to reverse this short-sighted decision. Following the announcement I met with the council administrators and I did welcome their commitment to delay the closure of the Barwon Heads library until 30 September to provide more opportunity for the community to speak to and work with the council and really to hope for a decision reversal on this issue. It is absolutely incorrect to close these libraries in small communities when this particular public asset is so critical to the community. As the Save Barwon Heads Community Library group has said, local libraries increase engagement, reduce isolation and perpetuate community spirit. As the local member I could not agree more with that sentiment. Again I respectfully call on the council administrators to reverse this decision, to acknowledge that they have got this wrong, to agree to continue to open this library and to involve the community in its ongoing future.

Barwon Heads Library

The City of Greater Geelong recently announced its intention to close the Barwon Heads Community Library. I have been working closely with the local residents and the administrators of the council about this issue. It is absolutely critical, in my view, that this important local asset remain open, and I reiterate today my full and strong support for keeping it open. In doing so I again call on the City of Greater Geelong to reverse this short-sighted decision. Following the announcement I met with the council administrators and I did welcome their commitment to delay the closure of the Barwon Heads library until 30 September to provide more opportunity for the community to speak to and work with the council and really to hope for a decision reversal on this issue. It is absolutely incorrect to close these libraries in small communities when this particular public asset is so critical to the community. As the Save Barwon Heads Community Library group has said, local libraries increase engagement, reduce isolation and perpetuate community spirit. As the local member I could not agree more with that sentiment. Again I respectfully call on the council administrators to reverse this decision, to acknowledge that they have got this wrong, to agree to continue to open this library and to involve the community in its ongoing future.

 

Queens Birthday Honors

I want to offer my sincere congratulations to a number of very worthy recipients of this year's Queen's Birthday awards. Anne Brackley, who I am proud to say has been a work colleague and friend for almost 20 years, received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her lifetime contribution to Girl Guides Victoria — 41 years of leadership. She has also touched the lives of many people in Drysdale and Clifton Springs, including through school, through children with a disability and of course through her work at the SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre. She is a very, very worthy recipient. I also want to acknowledge Jocelyn Grant, who received an OAM for her significant contribution to Queenscliff, especially the Queenscliffe Historical Museum, including 12 years as president. Lorraine Stokes was awarded an OAM for her contribution to the community of Portarlington. She was instrumental in establishing the Portarlington Neighbourhood House, being the inaugural president, and was part of the Portarlington Mussel Festival and the Port Arts Network. It has been an absolute privilege working with these three amazing women. I also want to acknowledge Darryl Thomas of Clifton Springs, Stan Canny of St Leonards and, last but not least, Brian Bourke, who was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to the legal profession and football and as co-founder of Amnesty International. I also want to congratulate Hugh Seward, who is a long-time friend and also my GP.

Queens Birthday Honors

I want to offer my sincere congratulations to a number of very worthy recipients of this year's Queen's Birthday awards. Anne Brackley, who I am proud to say has been a work colleague and friend for almost 20 years, received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her lifetime contribution to Girl Guides Victoria — 41 years of leadership. She has also touched the lives of many people in Drysdale and Clifton Springs, including through school, through children with a disability and of course through her work at the SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre. She is a very, very worthy recipient. I also want to acknowledge Jocelyn Grant, who received an OAM for her significant contribution to Queenscliff, especially the Queenscliffe Historical Museum, including 12 years as president. Lorraine Stokes was awarded an OAM for her contribution to the community of Portarlington. She was instrumental in establishing the Portarlington Neighbourhood House, being the inaugural president, and was part of the Portarlington Mussel Festival and the Port Arts Network. It has been an absolute privilege working with these three amazing women. I also want to acknowledge Darryl Thomas of Clifton Springs, Stan Canny of St Leonards and, last but not least, Brian Bourke, who was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to the legal profession and football and as co-founder of Amnesty International. I also want to congratulate Hugh Seward, who is a long-time friend and also my GP.

NEVILLE CALLS FOR PLANE COLLISION INVESTIGATION

Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville has called on the Australian Transport Safety Bureau   (ATSB) as a matter of urgency to investigate an incident where an aeroplane struck a truck while landing at the Barwon Heads airport on March 29. Ms Neville said given the seriousness of the incident it is totally unacceptable that the ATSB have stated that “they will not be investigating the collision as there does not appear to be any systemic issue”. ( GA 4/4/17). I have today written to both the Chief Commissioner of the ATSB, Mr Greg Hood, and the Federal Minister for Transport, Darren Chester, requesting that this collision be immediately investigated, Ms Neville said. Without overstating it, it is not hard to imagine that this collision could have easily resulted in something far more devastating and therefore it is not good enough that no investigation at all is to be carried out, Ms Neville said. Ms Neville said that with local residents reporting planes flying over the Barwon Heads Road extremely low on a regular basis this incident should be ringing major warning bells for the ATSB. I have lobbied both the council and the airport on behalf of residents in the past requesting changes to flight patterns because of these exact safety concerns, Ms Neville said. Ms Neville said many serious accidents have a history of prior warning signs, near misses and minor incidents. And as local member I do not accept that the ATSB can just let things continue as if nothing has happened. This is a serious collision that demands investigation, Ms Neville concluded.  

NEVILLE CALLS FOR PLANE COLLISION INVESTIGATION

Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville has called on the Australian Transport Safety Bureau   (ATSB) as a matter of urgency to investigate an incident where an aeroplane struck a truck while landing at the Barwon Heads airport on March 29. Ms Neville said given the seriousness of the incident it is totally unacceptable that the ATSB have stated that “they will not be investigating the collision as there does not appear to be any systemic issue”. ( GA 4/4/17). I have today written to both the Chief Commissioner of the ATSB, Mr Greg Hood, and the Federal Minister for Transport, Darren Chester, requesting that this collision be immediately investigated, Ms Neville said. Without overstating it, it is not hard to imagine that this collision could have easily resulted in something far more devastating and therefore it is not good enough that no investigation at all is to be carried out, Ms Neville said. Ms Neville said that with local residents reporting planes flying over the Barwon Heads Road extremely low on a regular basis this incident should be ringing major warning bells for the ATSB. I have lobbied both the council and the airport on behalf of residents in the past requesting changes to flight patterns because of these exact safety concerns, Ms Neville said. Ms Neville said many serious accidents have a history of prior warning signs, near misses and minor incidents. And as local member I do not accept that the ATSB can just let things continue as if nothing has happened. This is a serious collision that demands investigation, Ms Neville concluded.  

HIGH STREET NOW SAFER FOR THE COMMUNITY

The Andrews Labor Government has upgraded High Street in Drysdale, making it safer and easier to use for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville today announced the completion of work to install new designated bike lanes, pedestrian crossing points and flashing 40km/h school zone signs. As part of the $3 million upgrade, road shoulders have been widened to improve safety for drivers turning into driveways and side streets. Improvements have also been made to street lighting, kerbs, barriers and parking facilities. The upgrade has been guided by significant community consultation, which found that making High Street safer was a priority for locals. VicRoads worked closely with the City of Greater Geelong to ensure plans retained the rural feel of the town’s main street. These improvements are the beginning of a range of upgrades being delivered as part of the Labor Government’s $109 million Drysdale Bypass project, which will get trucks out of the centre of Drysdale and onto an alternative route. Final road surface sealing will take place in warmer months later this year, with a further stage of upgrades to improve connectivity and amenity to be made at the completion of the Drysdale Bypass.

HIGH STREET NOW SAFER FOR THE COMMUNITY

The Andrews Labor Government has upgraded High Street in Drysdale, making it safer and easier to use for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville today announced the completion of work to install new designated bike lanes, pedestrian crossing points and flashing 40km/h school zone signs. As part of the $3 million upgrade, road shoulders have been widened to improve safety for drivers turning into driveways and side streets. Improvements have also been made to street lighting, kerbs, barriers and parking facilities. The upgrade has been guided by significant community consultation, which found that making High Street safer was a priority for locals. VicRoads worked closely with the City of Greater Geelong to ensure plans retained the rural feel of the town’s main street. These improvements are the beginning of a range of upgrades being delivered as part of the Labor Government’s $109 million Drysdale Bypass project, which will get trucks out of the centre of Drysdale and onto an alternative route. Final road surface sealing will take place in warmer months later this year, with a further stage of upgrades to improve connectivity and amenity to be made at the completion of the Drysdale Bypass.

MAKING MELALUKA ROAD SAFER FOR DRIVERS AND PEDESTRIANS

Member for Bellarine, Lisa Neville, has announced the start of geotechnical work as part of a $1.2 million safety upgrade. The upgrade will see new traffic and pedestrian lights installed to ensure local school students can cross Geelong-Portarlington Road to catch the bus without needing to dodge oncoming traffic on the five-lane road. The traffic lights will feature right-hand turn arrows, making it easier for drivers to get in and out of Melaluka Road. The upgrade has been designed in-line with significant community feedback, following a collision in March 2016 when a student was hit by a car while crossing Geelong-Portarlington Road. There have been four reported crashes at this intersection over the past five years. These works follow a review of the location by VicRoads, Victoria Police and Public Transport Victoria after the accident in March 2016. After the work is complete, signs will advise drivers of a new 80km/h speed limit for 200 metres in both directions on Geelong-Portarlington Road to ensure drivers approach the intersection safely. VicRoads reduced the Geelong-bound speed limit in 2012, from 100km/h to 80km/h, and this has reduced the frequency of crashes in that direction. With planning work on this intersection underway and early works set to start, the new traffic lights are expected to be operational by early 2018. This project is part of the Labor Government’s ‘Building Our Regions’ program which delivers transport improvements in regional Victoria.

MAKING MELALUKA ROAD SAFER FOR DRIVERS AND PEDESTRIANS

Member for Bellarine, Lisa Neville, has announced the start of geotechnical work as part of a $1.2 million safety upgrade. The upgrade will see new traffic and pedestrian lights installed to ensure local school students can cross Geelong-Portarlington Road to catch the bus without needing to dodge oncoming traffic on the five-lane road. The traffic lights will feature right-hand turn arrows, making it easier for drivers to get in and out of Melaluka Road. The upgrade has been designed in-line with significant community feedback, following a collision in March 2016 when a student was hit by a car while crossing Geelong-Portarlington Road. There have been four reported crashes at this intersection over the past five years. These works follow a review of the location by VicRoads, Victoria Police and Public Transport Victoria after the accident in March 2016. After the work is complete, signs will advise drivers of a new 80km/h speed limit for 200 metres in both directions on Geelong-Portarlington Road to ensure drivers approach the intersection safely. VicRoads reduced the Geelong-bound speed limit in 2012, from 100km/h to 80km/h, and this has reduced the frequency of crashes in that direction. With planning work on this intersection underway and early works set to start, the new traffic lights are expected to be operational by early 2018. This project is part of the Labor Government’s ‘Building Our Regions’ program which delivers transport improvements in regional Victoria.