Vic. Parliament News – December 2016

Landmark parliamentary reports get responses

The Victorian Government has accepted the majority of recommendations made in a parliamentary committee report on end of life choices.

Responding to a recommendation to introduce a legal framework for assisted dying, the government indicated that this remained under review and that “further significant and detailed work would need to be undertaken considering the implementation of this recommendation”.

The recommendation to increase access in rural and regional communities to community palliative care services has been supported.

The response is available from the Legal and Social Issues Committee website.

Government responses have also been received for two other major parliamentary committee reports: abuse in disability services; and the CFA training college at Fiskville.

For the Fiskville inquiry report, the government supported the 31 recommendations made by the Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee, noting that some of the recommendations need further analysis or could be achieved in another way.

“This was a very detailed and significant inquiry and the response is a crucial part of dealing with the shocking aftermath of what happened at Fiskville, and to ensure it cannot happen again,” Committee Chair Bronwyn Halfpenny said.

New reports from parliamentary committees have also been presented recently.

The Environment and Planning Committee tabled its third report on the Victorian Government’s rate capping policy, as well as an interim report on fire season preparedness.

A report by the Economy and Infrastructure Committee into the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016 called for the bill’s withdrawal and the establishment of a stakeholder group of industry, municipal and community representatives to consult on the drafting of a new bill. The original bill was aimed at further regulating the breeding and sale of dogs and cats in Victoria.

While parliamentary sittings have ended for 2016, parliamentary committees continue to work on a number of public inquiries.

A report is being prepared on whether the P-plate licence age in Victoria should be lowered to 17, for an expected tabling in March 2017.

Public hearings on the retirement housing inquiry have concluded and the Legal and Social Issues Committee is working on its report. More than 760 submissions were received for the inquiry and public hearings were held across Victoria.

That Committee has also commenced a new public inquiry into youth justice centres in Victoria. Public submissions on the inquiry are due by 3 March 2017.

“This is an opportunity for people who have experience of youth justice centres to present their views to our cross-party Committee so that we can make appropriate recommendations back to the Parliament,” Committee Chair Edward O’Donohue said.

A bill to regulate the provision of short-stay accommodation in buildings administered by an owners corporation is being examined by the Environment and Planning Committee. Submissions on the bill can be made until 30 December 2016. More details are available from the Committee’s website.

As the new year approaches, the 2017 sitting dates are available from the Victorian Parliament’s website.

Christmas Greetings from the Victorian Parliament and best wishes for the new year.

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Kat Baddeley

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