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Thursday, 25 October 2018
Page: 11217

Mr ANDREWS (Menzies) (16:45): On Saturday, 24 November Victorians have an opportunity to address the real issues that are facing them in the state. Those issues include the congestion on the roads; the crime rate, which is out of hand in parts of Melbourne and other places in Victoria; and, indeed, the cost of living. The Victorian Liberal-National opposition, led by my friend and state parliamentary colleague Matthew Guy have already announced a series of policies to address these issues.

There are policies to deal with congestion, including building the biggest connected highway in Victoria's history, the East West Link, which is important to constituents of your electorate, Mr Speaker, as well as mine, and the North East Link; building the biggest traffic-congestion-busting project in Victoria's history; a $4.1 billion to $5.3 billion infrastructure project to remove traffic lights and roundabouts through grade separations at 55 of Melbourne and Geelong's busiest and most dangerous intersections; and building the high-speed European-style rail network across Victoria, which will take some of the pressure off the growth in Melbourne in particular. We know that, already with a population of five million people and growing at 2,700 people a week, which is an equivalent of 140,000 extra Victorians each year, congestion is a major problem so far as Victorians are concerned. These sorts of projects, which would be implanted by a Liberal-National government in Victoria, would make a big difference.

In terms of crime, there are policies of mandatory minimum sentences for repeat violent criminals of 11 serious crimes, including murder, rape, aggravated home invasions, carjackings, one-punch hits and aggravated burglaries. An overhaul has been announced of our bail system to ensure that the most violent and dangerous offenders aren't immediately put back on the street. That includes the introduction of a presumption of remand for those charged with violent offences, the introduction of the 'one strike and you're out' policy for anyone breaching bail and the reinstatement of the offence of breaching bail by juveniles. In addition to that, there are 'community policing and protection for the safety of our local community' policies, which have been announced by the Liberal-National opposition in Victoria.

Then, of course, there are policies in relation to education, such as the abolition of the political Safe Schools Program, to be replaced by an actual antibullying program targeting all aspects of discrimination to ensure that kids in schools in Victoria can learn safely and happily. There's the scrapping when it comes to the cost of living, or the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, to help stop electricity costs from continuing to skyrocket for homes and businesses throughout Victoria. Speak to any home owner, as you know, Mr Speaker, in Victoria or any small-business operator and one of the things that they'll immediately mention unprompted to you is the spiralling costs of electricity for their homes or their businesses. Therefore, the policy to allow the onshore conventional-gas exploration and production would also help to keep a downward pressure on electricity and power prices and gas prices in Victoria.

These are some of more than 100 policies that have now been announced by the Liberal-National Party in Victoria, and, as I said, these are aimed squarely at the real issues facing the people of Victoria—the congestion on the roads and the public transport, the crime spate which has occurred in various parts of Victoria and, indeed, the cost-of-living pressures. So a vote on 24 November for Matthew Guy and his team is a vote to make some real change in Victoria.

I've had the pleasure over the last few weeks of being out with a number of candidates—with Nick McGowan in Eltham; with Monica Clark in Ivanhoe at her launch just recently; down at Narre Warren with Vikki Fitzgerald; and in Bentleigh with Asher Judah. I hope to also be able to help out with Brad Rowswell in Sandringham. These are candidates who have got the future of Victoria in their sights, who want to do things which will make Victoria an even better place to live than it is at the present time and who are working as hard as they can to respond to the issues that Victorians have been raising with them and with us over many weeks and months now. As I said, Victorians have an opportunity on 24 November to make a real difference in terms of the future of the state. A vote for Matthew Guy and his team will ensure that we have a much stronger, more prosperous Victoria in the future.