2016/2017 Victorian Budget

MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — To say it gives me pleasure to speak on the budget papers would be an understatement. It is the kind of budget that I really feel like doing cartwheels over and screaming about from the rooftops — not because of any sense of pride necessarily but because of a sense of deep commitment to the people that we made commitments to prior to the last election and to the people we have made commitments to since the last election. This budget delivers so much of that agenda and those commitments.

It also gives me enormous pleasure because many of those commitments relate to my community and to social policy initiatives. We have heard about a number of commitments relating to the Royal Commission into Family Violence, multicultural affairs, the LGBTI community and refugees and asylum seekers. The budget also goes to the core values that members of my community support, which are health, education and public transport. Those key areas of government service delivery, particularly state government service delivery, are very well represented in this budget.

Of course we have the huge infrastructure program and the jobs that it underpins, and the economic fundamentals of the stewardship of the Premier and the Treasurer have led us to be the fastest growing economy in Australia, having a debt which is lower than the one we inherited and having an employment rate which is higher than the one we inherited.

Deputy Speaker, it gives me pleasure to talk about some of these commitments, and if you would indulge me, I have a list. The list is 101 key achievements for our community, particularly the community that I have the absolute pleasure of representing: the electorate of Oakleigh. We are removing the level crossings at Grange Road, Carnegie; Koornang Road, Carnegie; Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena; and Poath Road, Hughesdale. We are removing those crossings right now. The work is going on right now, and it is very, very visible, so there is no illusion about this. There are no smoke and mirrors; this is happening as we speak. Every time I walk, drive or catch a train in my community I see that work in progress.

We are also removing the level crossings at Clayton Road, Clayton, and at Centre Road, Clayton. My good friend the member for Clarinda is very pleased about those because he has advocated for a long time for those. We are rebuilding Carnegie train station with escalators and lifts, an enhancement on the previous Carnegie station. We are rebuilding Murrumbeena train station, again with escalators and lifts. We are rebuilding Hughesdale train station with escalators and lifts, and we are rebuilding Clayton train station, again with escalators and lifts.

We are enhancing the power and signalling along the Cranbourne-Pakenham line as part of this significant project to remove nine level crossings along the line. We are creating 225 000 square metres of brand-new open space for use by the community, and right now we are giving the community an opportunity to have a say in how that space should be used and how it should be activated.

We have removed the level crossing at North Road, Ormond. I saw the member for Bentleigh a moment ago, who is a champion for that cause. We have built a brand-new train station at Ormond, which looks fantastic. I drove past it on the weekend. We have removed the level crossing at McKinnon Road, McKinnon. We have built a brand-new train station at McKinnon. We removed the level crossing — —

The DEPUTY SPEAKER — Order! The time has come for me to interrupt the proceedings of the house. The honourable member will have the call when this matter is next before the Parliament.

Business interrupted under sessional orders.

MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — When this motion was last before the house I was referring to the actions that the government has taken in my community to keep faith with those people who elected us. I was about to talk about the fact that we have removed the level crossing at Centre Road in Bentleigh. While that crossing is in the wonderful electorate of Bentleigh with the even more wonderful member for Bentleigh, it certainly affects my community also because we are neighbouring electorates.

We also built the brand-new train station at Bentleigh. We have provided $7.6 million to create a brand-new bus interchange at Huntingdale train station, including fixing the notoriously bad car park there which has been on the front page of the local paper for the last few years. We rolled out protective services officers at Murrumbeena train station. We rolled out protective services officers at Hughesdale train station. Through the Minister for Public Transport and her department, we provided an app for real-time tracking of the route 822 bus.

Mr J. Bull — Busy government.

Mr DIMOPOULOS — We are absolutely a busy government, as the member for Sunbury reminds me. We established a world-leading public transport research centre at Monash University in partnership with that great institution in my electorate.

We are building Australia’s first ever heart hospital right here at Monash University in Clayton with a government commitment of $150 million. We are completing the Monash Children’s Hospital in Clayton, as the Minister for Health again said today in question time. We are putting back the much-needed helipad at Monash Children’s Hospital. We are putting in $14 million for the early life mental health service at the Monash Children’s Hospital, which I was fortunate to attend with the Minister for Mental Health the other month. We are building a brand-new school at Monash Children’s Hospital so sick kids do not miss out on an education, again as the Minister for Health reminded us today.

We are spending $16.5 million for a new specialist suite at the Monash hospital in Moorabbin, and the member for Bentleigh and I had a tour of that facility recently. We are spending $7.1 million to improve important water and drainage issues at Monash hospital in Clayton. We are spending $1.2 million for a major refurbishment of the Waverley ambulance station on Waverley Road, which I also had the pleasure of visiting recently. We are spending, again as the minister said today in question time, $330 million to boost elective surgery, which includes major funding for beds and equipment increases for Monash Health in my community.

We are spending $65 000 for the Monash Health’s hospital in Moorabbin to improve fetal surveillance to better monitor women and their unborn babies, $210 000 at Monash Medical Centre in Clayton for a specialist allergy centre for jumping jack ant allergies. Any kid who had a jumping jack ant allergy would have had to go to Tasmania, and that is outrageous. I had the pleasure of attending that launch with the Minister for Health a few months ago. We are providing a pilot program at the Monash hospital in Clayton so private midwives can provide birthing services in public hospitals — another election commitment that we made — and there are a couple of trial sites. We oversaw and opened the new premises of Link Health and Community in Oakleigh, and I was proud to attend that with the Premier of Victoria.

We started fixing the notorious black spot at the intersection of Grange Road and Oakleigh Road in Carnegie with the installation of traffic lights — a campaign commenced by my predecessor some years ago. We are fixing the intersection at Gardiner Road and Ferntree Gully Road in Notting Hill. We are fixing the intersection at Forster Road and Ferntree Gully Road in Mount Waverley. We are providing safety improvements at Batesford Road and Warrigal Road, Chadstone, and safety improvements at Rugby Road and Warrigal Road, Hughesdale. I was very fortunate to be allowed to make that announcement for the Minister for Public Transport on site. There was about $1 million worth of announcements in those four traffic improvements. We are increasing capacity on the Monash Freeway with more lanes and new technology for better traffic flow. Again I was at that announcement with the Minister for Roads and Road Safety and the Premier.

We are providing $5.68 million extra in student resource package funding for the 2017 school year for 11 government schools in and surrounding the electorate of Oakleigh. In the 2017 school year these 11 schools in our community will receive $50 million in funding under the student resource package collectively. We are providing $5.7 million for an upgrade at Amsleigh Park Primary School in Oakleigh, something we committed to in the 2010 election and recommitted to in 2014, and now it is underway. We are providing $10.1 million for an upgrade of Glen Eira College, and that is in full swing with hoardings up.

We are providing $4 million for a major upgrade at Carnegie Primary School, $13.4 million for the major upgrade at Bentleigh Secondary College, $2 million for Glenallen School in Glen Waverley, $290 000 to Glen Huntly Primary School to complete needed works to add to the $390 000 previously provided, $290 000 to Murrumbeena Primary School for urgent works and $160 000 to Clayton North Primary School for urgent works. We have provided funding to assist the rebranding and promotion of Mount Waverley Heights Primary School. We have provided major funding for Hughesdale Primary School to plan for future upgrades, and we have done the same for Oakleigh Primary School to plan for future upgrades. We have provided funding to ensure Oakleigh Primary School can install a new security fence and fix drainage problems which were very desperate.

We are bringing back tech schools, and I am proud to have 1 of the 10 in my community in Monash. Planning is significantly advanced in relation to that. We are providing $10 million for a rebuild of the Alexander Theatre at Monash University, an excellent resource both for the university and local schools that use the Alexander Theatre very often.

We are providing funding to Glen Huntly Primary School as part of the statewide Bully Stoppers program to develop a new curriculum and material for that very important program. We have provided funding for Sacred Heart Girls College in Oakleigh as part of that same statewide Bully Stoppers program. We are providing a breakfast club program at the Clayton North Primary School in my community in conjunction with Foodbank Victoria to make sure kids can get a healthy breakfast every morning at school.

There is over $190 000 in extra funding to 600 students under the Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund in my community; $3.5 million for Holmesglen TAFE to boost support for vulnerable students; $4.17 million to Holmesglen TAFE to get almost 1400 people skilled up for jobs in growing industries; $8 million for a new student hub at Holmesglen TAFE; $1.3 million to Holmesglen TAFE to boost important relevant training and to drive growth in apprenticeships and traineeships; $25 000 for the Brine Street, Hughesdale, kindergarten to increase its capacity, and I have had the real pleasure of visiting that fantastic kinder a few times in the last couple of years; $9000 for the Monash Children’s Centre in Clayton to refurbish the children’s bathroom; $9900 to the Monash Children’s Centre in Beddoe Avenue, another facility, for the new doors; and $500 000 for the much-needed upgrade and rebuild of the Scrammell Reserve pavilion in Oakleigh South, home to the Crushers, where I am the no. 1 ticketholder and very proud to be.

We opened the Duncan Mackinnon Pavilion upgrade in Murrumbeena with half a million dollars provided under the previous Labor government. We opened up Caulfield Racecourse for greater public use, and I was proud to be on the committee with Ken Ryan and the member for Caulfield. We provided defibrillators for Glen Eira soccer club, as part of the government’s rollout of the 1000 defibrillator program, and also defibrillators for Ormond Tennis Club and Oakleigh Bowling Club, and we have provided a community safety grant to Murrumbeena Bowls Club for new security shutters, and I went and inspected the locations for the installation of those recently.

We provided active club grants to Murrumbeena Netball Club, East Oakleigh Sports Club, Murrumbeena Bowls Club, Monash University rugby football club and Caulfield Football Club. We have provided sporting club grants to Chadstone Lacrosse Club, Emmanuel Calisthenics, Monash City junior soccer club, Murrumbeena Bowls Club and Murrumbeena Netball Club. We have provided sporting club grants to Murrumbeena Netball Club for skill development under the volunteer coaching training. We have provided sporting club grants to the Glen Eira Football Club for uniforms, Oakleigh District senior football club for uniforms and Oakleigh youth football club for uniforms.

We have boosted police numbers locally, with many more to come. The police academy in Glen Waverley, which I had the fortunate pleasure of visiting with the minister, is running at capacity, training more than 1000 new police officers. We have provided $10 000 to Notting Hill Neighbourhood House under the Living Victoria grants. We have provided funding for local festivals like Glendi and Pan Macedonian in my community. We have reviewed the Glen Eira planning scheme and the entirety of the former government’s botched installation and implementation of the residential zones, and I understand there will be more to say on that in the next few months.

We have provided $100 000 to the Monash State Emergency Service unit for the purchase of a medium rescue truck, and funding support for the Polish Community Council of Victoria’s ethnic schools. The Polish community council and I have offices in the same building. We are providing funding support to Sylogos Halkidikeon and Halkidiki for a senior support program; a $10 000 grant to the Southern Cross Recycling Group in partnership with the Monash council to prevent illegal dumping; $30 000 to the Monash Men’s Shed; $160 000 to GriefLine in Moorabbin; and an extra 40 total educators in Glen Eira and Monash, after we increased the educators-to-children ratios in kindergartens.

Acting Speaker, thank you for your indulgence. I have just read out, in this contribution and in my contribution two days ago on the budget papers, 101 actions, funding and achievements already in my community over two years — 101. It is officially on the record. I am enormously proud, not because of a sense of pride in myself but of a sense of commitment, that we promised and we are delivering to the people who elected us, and even to those who did not and will hopefully give us a go next time. With these kinds of actions in my community at the two-year mark, I look forward to making a similar contribution in another two years, or in a year’s time, to extend that 101 to a number of other needs — —

Mr J. Bull — Two hundred and two!

Mr DIMOPOULOS — Two hundred and two, the member for Sunbury says.

An honourable member interjected.

Mr DIMOPOULOS — It could be 1001, but fundamentally it is keeping faith with the community that has trusted us with the great privilege of office.

 

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