Stop Hiding Behind Status Quo – Make the Peninsula Regional

Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (09:57): In June this year I raised by way of adjournment, again, the metropolitan status of the Mornington Peninsula. That was the fifth time I have raised the issue in the Parliament; this time will be the sixth.

The adjournment asked the Premier to take all actions necessary to reclassify the peninsula to regional. On Monday, only three weeks late, the Premier responded.

Did he address the request? No. Did he indicate whether he would consider taking action? No, he did not.

I got an explanation that the chief health officer has responsibility for providing public health advice, which we know.

I got an explanation that the definition of Melbourne is based on the Planning and Environment Act 1987, which I know.

I asked him to take action to reclassify the peninsula to regional; I did not ask the Premier to explain why the Mornington Peninsula is part of the metropolitan area.

The fact that the Premier was not prepared to address the issue directly makes it clear that there is absolutely no justification for the current situation. The response confirms that this is nothing more than a bureaucratic convenience. 

The peninsula is not an extension of the metropolitan area. The standard of government services on the Mornington Peninsula is not up to metropolitan standards. It is not now, and it never has been.

The interests of the peninsula are complementary to the metropolitan area, but there are significant differences. It is time those differences were recognised, and it is time the government stopped hiding behind the status quo and started addressing the need for change.

It’s Homelessness Week – Why is the Minister hiding the waiting lists?

The number of disadvantaged Victorians on Labor’s social housing waitlist is at record levels and growing but is being kept hidden.

Social housing is a key factor in the fight against homelessness, but five weeks after the end of the financial year Housing Minister Richard Wynne is yet to release the social housing waiting list data for the June Quarter.

The number of Victorian applicants on the social housing waiting list has soared since Labor came to power, jumping from a total of just 34,618 in September 2014 to almost 51,000 in the March 2021 quarter, a 47 per cent blowout.

For applicants classified as “priority” the situation is dire. In September 2014, 9,990 priority applicants were on the waiting list, in March this year the numbers had almost tripled to 27,500.

Daniel Andrews has no plan to tackle Victoria’s worsening public housing crisis or provide meaningful support for the tens of thousands of Victorians struggling with homelessness.

This week is National Homelessness Week, intended to raise awareness of homelessness and the importance of social housing as part of a serious solution. The 2016 census estimated that almost 25,000 Victorians were homeless.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Housing, David Morris:

“The delay in the release of the housing waiting lists makes me wonder just how bad the news is going to be when the Minister finally releases the data.

“Despite their rhetoric, Richard Wynne and Daniel Andrews are guilty of having no plan for those Victorians struggling with homelessness. Instead of wasted billions on metro project cost blow outs and to polish his own public image with secret taxpayer-funded focus groups, Labor needs a plan to focus on delivering real support for Victorians.

“Daniel Andrews is keeping Victorians in the dark on the true state of the waiting list, and must commit to releasing the figures no more than three weeks after the end of the quarter.”