Common sense needed on fishing, hunting bans

Bans in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 must be common sense. Victorians who live in country communities are rightly frustrated with the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to put a blanket ban on all recreational fishing and hunting – even for those who live nearby rivers, lakes, forests and wetlands. Leader of The Nationals…

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New smartphone app protecting our communities

The Federal Government’s new COVIDSafe smartphone application is a critical step forward to save lives and better protect our community against the spread of coronavirus. COVIDSafe will provide accurate information that will speed up the process of identifying people who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus. Participation is voluntary. Leader of…

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Local kids should return to school

Students in the Murray Plains electorate must be allowed to get back into the classroom, in line with expert medical advice that says our schools are safe. The Andrews Labor Government is refusing to listen to advice from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) endorsing a return to school…

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*** DAILY HANSARD PROOF ONLY – DO NOT QUOTE *** APPROPRIATION (INTERIM) BILL 2020 Thursday 23 April 2020

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) (11:50): I rise to speak on the Appropriation (Interim) Bill 2020, the Appropriation (Parliament) (Interim) Bill 2020 and the State Taxation Acts Amendment (Relief Measures) Bill 2020. As our lead speaker, the Shadow Treasurer, the member for Ripon, said, I will speak particularly on the bushfire component of the state taxation bill. It seems…

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ANZAC Appeal moves online

Our dedicated RSL volunteers can’t get out in the community selling badges and collecting donations this year, but the Murray Plains community can still contribute to the cause through the online ANZAC Day Appeal. Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh encouraged local people to get behind the online Appeal, which…

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Slow clean-up a setback for bushfire recovery

Communities in north east Victoria and East Gippsland are questioning slow progress on work to clean up homes destroyed in the summer’s catastrophic bushfires. As of Monday, only 41 of 692 properties decimated in the bushfires have been cleaned up by government-appointed contractor, Grocon. Many families are now fearful their homes will not be cleaned…

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How low can VLine go?

Passengers on the Swan Hill and Echuca, and Bendigo lines continue to be plagued by frustrating delays and unreliable train services. Just 78.7 per cent of Bendigo services ran on time in March, while the Swan Hill and Echuca lines were on time 84.8 per cent of the time. All but one of Victoria’s eleven…

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Mark ANZAC Day at home and ‘Light up The Dawn’

The Murray Plains community is encouraged to commemorate our servicemen and women from home this year. All public ANZAC Day services have been cancelled this year as we all continue to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, but Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh urged the community…

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Editor, The emergency sitting of the Victorian Parliament is a critical opportunity to give our communities a voice during the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak. With the State of Emergency now in place until May 11, the sitting of Parliament on April 23 is our one chance to pass necessary legislation to keep our communities running.…

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Rates freeze to ease financial burden

The Liberal Nationals are calling for a freeze on farm rates to support farmers struggling with financial pressure caused by both the bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic. In recent years, massive increases to farm rates in some Local Government Areas have pushed up farmers’ rates burden by tens of thousands of dollars. Councils are currently…

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Expanded testing must include agriculture workforce

Any plans to expand criteria for priority testing for COVID-19 must include Victoria’s agriculture workforce. The Premier told Victorians today that “with such a substantial reduction in the tests we have to do on returned travellers, we have the potential to increase testing in other settings”. Currently, even a suspected case of coronavirus will put…

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JobKeeper payments must be exempt from payroll tax

Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh is calling for the Federal Government’s $1500-a-fortnight JobKeeper payments to be exempt from Victoria’s payroll tax. The unprecedented package from the Federal Government is a boost for the small businesses and workers most hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. But Mr Walsh said without changes to existing Victorian law,…

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Victoria exposed to disease risk unless ag scientist job cuts are reversed

The Andrews Government must reverse its unexpected decision to close the Victorian Pig Services Centre (VPSC) – the industry’s frontline defence against devastating disease outbreaks. The Victorian Government blindsided our pork producers with the sudden closure of the Bendigo Centre on March 27 – without consultation with producers, the Victorian Farmers Federation or the national…

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Liberal Nationals call for transparency on COVID-19 response

A Joint House Committee of the Victorian Parliament should be established to ensure oversight on Victoria’s response to COVID-19 while parliamentary sittings are on indefinite hold. To save lives we will need to continue to take unprecedented action to combat the spread of COVID-19. But, like all government initiatives, these decisions should not be taken…

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Priority testing for food supply chain businesses

Food supply chain businesses will be relieved the State Government has finally come out to confirm our agriculture sector is an essential service. Farmers, food processors and businesses critical to making sure our supermarket shelves remain fully stocked have been desperate for clarification since Stage 1 restrictions to combat COVID-19 were announced more than a…

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