Time to take action on crumbling road network
SINCE New Year’s Day, 87 lives have been lost on Victoria’s country roads.
Our rural road networks are crumbling and urgently need an immediate funding injection to improve safety.
Instead, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has slashed the regional roads budget by more than $360 million since coming to office in 2014.
Every time I speak to regional councils about their concerns, the return of the former Liberal Nationals government’s Country Roads and Bridges Programtops their wish lists.
A recent report by the Municipal Association of Victoria found regional councils are struggling to maintain – let alone upgrade – their roads. The Victorian Auditor-General also recently reported deterioration of Victoria’s country road network poses a “growing risk to public safety”. Both reports call on Daniel Andrews to urgently fund maintenance works.
The experts have spoken but the Andrews Labor Government is failing to act.
Peter Walsh, leader, The Nationals
Homelessness statistics are a cause for concern
HOMELESS Person’s Week runs from August 7 to 13.
There are more than 105,000 homeless people in Australia – 44,000 of which are under the age of 25. Homeless Person’s Week aims to raise awareness for those doing it tough.
One in five homeless people seeking assistance are being turned away from vital, emergency accommodation services.
People often only see homelessness as those sleeping and begging on the streets, but we need to ensure that our invisible homeless people are taken care of.
Homelessness is all around us.
People who are forced to couch surf, sleep in cars or those who just don’t have a home to return to every night are the invisible homeless.
It is often convenient for us to forget or ignore them but these people need our help.
Now in its fourth year, our campaign #laceitup aims to bring awareness and funds to fight homelessness.
Purchasing these laces and wearing them during homeless person’s week reminds us that taking off our shoes is a luxury.
This Homeless Person’s Week I implore everyone to stop and consider not only homeless Australians sleeping rough on the streets, but to think about how we can also help our invisible homeless.
Father Chris Riley, chief executive and founder, Youth Off The Streets
Greyhound racing reforms could prove costly
THE Andrews Labor Government’s proposed reforms to the greyhound racing industry could force many law-abiding Victorians out of an industry they love.
I urge Victorian greyhound owners and trainers to provide feedback on Daniel Andrews’ draft Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds before submissions close on Monday, August 14.
Since the draft reforms were published, many owners, trainers and clubs have contacted me to vent their frustration at what they see as Labor’s attempt to ban the industry by stealth.
Those in the industry caught doing the wrong thing should not only be banned from the industry but also receive a punitive punishment that makes an example of them to others who ever contemplate doing the wrong thing.
But these draft reforms appear to be overreach by a Labor Government ignoring the fact this could force Victorians out of business.
Make sure your concerns are heard by submitting your feedback at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets/dogs/greyhounds/code-of-practice.
Tim Bull, Shadow Minister for Racing