Its been another fascinating week in parliament.

We had a victory on Wednesday with the legislative council narrowly voting in support of our plan for a parliamentary enquiry into Victoria’s waste crisis. 

The government has watched this crisis develop over the last 4 years, while half a billion dollars sit idle in the sustainability fund.

Due to their inaction, residents in 20 council areas are having their recycling sent to landfill.

The Greens’ inquiry will look at possible short-term and long-term solutions, including the solutions we’ve proposed:

  • building a local recycling industry
  • implementing a 10c refund on cans and bottles
  • banning all unnecessary single-use plastics

In some less than ideal news, the Labor government has extended CityLink tolls for another decade.

Video: West Gate Tunnel – Good for Transurban, bad for everyone else. 

This will deliver upwards of $20 billion to Transurban at the expense of people who use CityLink. 

Victorians will pay billions more for the toll road than it will cost to build. If we have to have this road, it would be much cheaper for the government to build it and collect the tolls.

In 2017, Transurban made $6 billion in revenue, including $687 million in tolls from Victorian drivers alone and contributed not one dollar in company tax.

Transurban exploits their dominance, gouging 86% profit margins on CityLink, and leaving people with little other choice.

The Westgate Tunnel Bill did, however, include some measures to limit the amount of debt drivers can accumulate for unpaid tolls. We called for these changes last year and support them now. 

We will continue to oppose the government’s disastrous toll road agenda, its privatisation agenda, and these kinds of disastrous deals that deliver mega profits to huge corporations and rip off Victorians.

What I did in Parliament this week

On Thursday morning I had the opportunity of asking the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change a question without notice. Here’s what I asked:

Video: Question Time. 

Minister D’Ambrosio’s answer was positive, as was her answer to my follow-up question, but fell short of committing to anything.

Just the day before I had spoken about climate change, and in particular the School Strike 4 Climate March. 

Video: Members statement on School Strike 4 Climate March. 

I also raised some unfinished business; the death of Tanya Day.

Tanya Day, a 55-year-old Yorta-Yorta woman, Aboriginal rights campaigner and mother of five tragically died in hospital after repeatedly falling and hitting her head in the cells of the Castlemaine Police Station. 

Video: Adjournment Speech – public drunkenness

That’s it for now, thanks for reading.

If you missed last fortnights blog, on my really challenging week in Parliament, check it out here. 

Tim Read MP