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Get Prepared To Stay Safe On The Water This Summer

With summer upon us, recreational boaters and fishers across Victoria are encouraged to brush up on safety rules and prepare their vessels to stay safe and avoid fines on the water. Marine incident rates are returning to pre-pandemic levels with 1,248 serious incidents in 2020-21, compared to 1,134 in 2019-20. These include boat fires, capsizes, structural failure, flooding, and a spear fisher struck by a vessel. With many boats and equipment sitting idle in garages over winter, authorities are concerned that incident levels could continue rising if critical checks aren’t done before people hit the water. In 2020, Maritime Safety Victoria reported vessel maintenance was an issue, with dramatic spikes in disablements directly after pandemic restrictions were eased.  Victorians can stay safe on the water by following simple steps, starting with checking they hold a valid recreational boating and/or fishing licence. Boat owners should check their vessel is stocked with charged batteries, flares, a torch, and a fire extinguisher, as well as replacing old fuel, checking trailer tyres, and starting the boat’s engine before leaving home. Keeping safety gear in working order is critical, including having lifejackets for every person on board. Checking the Boating Vic app for updated tide, weather, and boat ramp information is also important. Lifejackets are a must for jet skiers, kayakers, and ocean ski paddlers – and importantly, these buy people time while raising the alarm if something does go wrong, particularly if exposed to cold water in Port Phillip Bay. Keen fishers and divers should always tell a family member or friend before leaving for the water, and if rock fishing, a lifejacket is highly recommended. Fishers can download the VicFishing app to check bag and size limits for each species – it also includes a ‘Can I Fish Here?’ feature to help avoid fishing in a marine park. Speed infringement rates are also returning to pre-pandemic levels, with 255 in 2020-21, just shy of 278 in 2018-19. Brushing up on water safety rules before a trip can help boaters avoid these fines, which can also relate to offences such as distance incursions.  Jet ski registrations have boomed from 21,000 five years ago to nearly 26,000 this year. This represents a large proportion of new vessel owners who may not have as much on-water experience as traditional boaters. Victorians can familiarise themselves with waterway rules at transportsafety.vic.gov.au/msv/waterways. Quote attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne “These steps make all the difference in ensuring Victorian boaters and fishers make it home safely after a day on the water, particularly as we head into the busy, summer months on the bay and across our rivers and lakes.” “We know most Victorians will do the right thing, but Fisheries Officers will be out across the state to answer questions, check licences and check catch limits, while MSV will be ensuring boaters are safe on our waterways.”

Get Prepared To Stay Safe On The Water This Summer

With summer upon us, recreational boaters and fishers across Victoria are encouraged to brush up on safety rules and prepare their vessels to stay safe and avoid fines on the water. Marine incident rates are returning to pre-pandemic levels with 1,248 serious incidents in 2020-21, compared to 1,134 in 2019-20. These include boat fires, capsizes, structural failure, flooding, and a spear fisher struck by a vessel. With many boats and equipment sitting idle in garages over winter, authorities are concerned that incident levels could continue rising if critical checks aren’t done before people hit the water. In 2020, Maritime Safety Victoria reported vessel maintenance was an issue, with dramatic spikes in disablements directly after pandemic restrictions were eased.  Victorians can stay safe on the water by following simple steps, starting with checking they hold a valid recreational boating and/or fishing licence. Boat owners should check their vessel is stocked with charged batteries, flares, a torch, and a fire extinguisher, as well as replacing old fuel, checking trailer tyres, and starting the boat’s engine before leaving home. Keeping safety gear in working order is critical, including having lifejackets for every person on board. Checking the Boating Vic app for updated tide, weather, and boat ramp information is also important. Lifejackets are a must for jet skiers, kayakers, and ocean ski paddlers – and importantly, these buy people time while raising the alarm if something does go wrong, particularly if exposed to cold water in Port Phillip Bay. Keen fishers and divers should always tell a family member or friend before leaving for the water, and if rock fishing, a lifejacket is highly recommended. Fishers can download the VicFishing app to check bag and size limits for each species – it also includes a ‘Can I Fish Here?’ feature to help avoid fishing in a marine park. Speed infringement rates are also returning to pre-pandemic levels, with 255 in 2020-21, just shy of 278 in 2018-19. Brushing up on water safety rules before a trip can help boaters avoid these fines, which can also relate to offences such as distance incursions.  Jet ski registrations have boomed from 21,000 five years ago to nearly 26,000 this year. This represents a large proportion of new vessel owners who may not have as much on-water experience as traditional boaters. Victorians can familiarise themselves with waterway rules at transportsafety.vic.gov.au/msv/waterways. Quote attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne “These steps make all the difference in ensuring Victorian boaters and fishers make it home safely after a day on the water, particularly as we head into the busy, summer months on the bay and across our rivers and lakes.” “We know most Victorians will do the right thing, but Fisheries Officers will be out across the state to answer questions, check licences and check catch limits, while MSV will be ensuring boaters are safe on our waterways.”

Laws Pass To Stop Discrimination Against Victorians

The Andrews Labor Government has sent a strong message that there is no place for discrimination in Victorian schools and workplaces, with landmark laws passed in Parliament on Friday. Under the Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Bill 2021, religious organisations and schools will no longer be able to sack or refuse to hire people based on protected attributes such as sexuality, gender identity or martial status. Religious organisations and schools will only be able to make employment decisions based on an employee’s religious beliefs where these are inherent to the job such as a religious studies teacher, or a principal. The Bill recognises the rights of religious organisations and schools to continue to practice their faith, provide religious teaching and instill their religious ethos within their organisation. The legislation will not impact on how religious bodies can select priests, ministers, religious leaders or their members. In addition to the employment reforms, religious organisations that receive Victorian government funding to provide services will not be able to refuse to provide those services to people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Previous protections to prevent discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people were shamefully stripped back in 2011 by the former Liberal Government, and were also blocked by the Liberals from being reinstated in 2016. This left many teachers and other employees at religious organisations in fear of being outed to their employers, potentially risking their livelihoods where their sexuality, marital status or gender identity had nothing to do with their role. The Labor Government consulted extensively with LGBTIQ+ groups, education peak bodies, faith leaders and faith-based groups in drafting the legislation. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes “It’s been a long journey to fix these gaps in our laws – I hope with these changes all Victorians can live authentically, free of fear and in no doubt that the law has their back too.” “Our reforms respect the independence of religious bodies while reducing critical gaps in protections against discrimination.” Quote attributable to Minister for Equality Martin Foley “These laws send a clear message that discrimination against LGBTIQ+ Victorians based on who they are or who they love is simply not acceptable.”

Laws Pass To Stop Discrimination Against Victorians

The Andrews Labor Government has sent a strong message that there is no place for discrimination in Victorian schools and workplaces, with landmark laws passed in Parliament on Friday. Under the Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Bill 2021, religious organisations and schools will no longer be able to sack or refuse to hire people based on protected attributes such as sexuality, gender identity or martial status. Religious organisations and schools will only be able to make employment decisions based on an employee’s religious beliefs where these are inherent to the job such as a religious studies teacher, or a principal. The Bill recognises the rights of religious organisations and schools to continue to practice their faith, provide religious teaching and instill their religious ethos within their organisation. The legislation will not impact on how religious bodies can select priests, ministers, religious leaders or their members. In addition to the employment reforms, religious organisations that receive Victorian government funding to provide services will not be able to refuse to provide those services to people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Previous protections to prevent discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people were shamefully stripped back in 2011 by the former Liberal Government, and were also blocked by the Liberals from being reinstated in 2016. This left many teachers and other employees at religious organisations in fear of being outed to their employers, potentially risking their livelihoods where their sexuality, marital status or gender identity had nothing to do with their role. The Labor Government consulted extensively with LGBTIQ+ groups, education peak bodies, faith leaders and faith-based groups in drafting the legislation. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes “It’s been a long journey to fix these gaps in our laws – I hope with these changes all Victorians can live authentically, free of fear and in no doubt that the law has their back too.” “Our reforms respect the independence of religious bodies while reducing critical gaps in protections against discrimination.” Quote attributable to Minister for Equality Martin Foley “These laws send a clear message that discrimination against LGBTIQ+ Victorians based on who they are or who they love is simply not acceptable.”

Setting Victorian Kids Up For The Best Start To 2022

The Andrews Labor Government will help Victorian kids enjoy the best camps, sporting programs and cultural experiences Victoria has to offer, re-engaging them in the extracurricular activities they loved before the pandemic. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino announced the $112.9 million Positive Start in 2022 initiative, which will help make up for the disruption the global pandemic has caused for primary and secondary school students, and give Victorian kids the best possible start to 2022. Victorians did an incredible job of looking after each other during the pandemic, staying home to slow the spread of coronavirus. But that also meant schools had to cancel sports, camps and all of the other extra activities kids love. Positive Start in 2022 will help get students back out and about around the state, and support their physical and emotional health and wellbeing. An investment of $84.3 million will deliver additional camps to benefit 81,200 students during school holidays and 2022 school terms – making sure students don’t miss out on vital outdoor education and socialising. The program will focus on students from government and low-fee non-government schools who have been most affected by COVID-19 school closures – as well as students and schools that might otherwise be unable to participate in an outdoor education or camp program. A further $12.4 million will provide access to a broad range of arts, sporting and cultural experiences for students at every government and low-fee non-government school in Victoria. From Sovereign Hill to the NGV, Melbourne Zoo and sporting workshops with the AFL, the program will provide more than 325,000 fully subsidised places for students across the various programs – boosting kids’ motivation and helping them rebuild their connections with friends, teachers and communities. An investment of $16.3 million will deliver more than 690,000 swimming and water safety lessons for students at government and Catholic primary schools – making sure students aren’t left behind without the vital skills they need to stay safe around water. This funding will supplement the $55.2 million in support the Labor Government has already provided for school swimming from 2022-24, providing extra lessons to make sure students can catch up on the practical skills they may have missed during the pandemic. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Victorian students and school communities did an amazing job helping our state slow the spread of coronavirus – and now we’re giving back, making sure 2022 is full of adventure and fun for every child across the state.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We know the pandemic has been challenging for many kids, missing out on the things that make our Education State so great – and this program makes up for lost time with exciting experiences for everyone.”

Setting Victorian Kids Up For The Best Start To 2022

The Andrews Labor Government will help Victorian kids enjoy the best camps, sporting programs and cultural experiences Victoria has to offer, re-engaging them in the extracurricular activities they loved before the pandemic. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino announced the $112.9 million Positive Start in 2022 initiative, which will help make up for the disruption the global pandemic has caused for primary and secondary school students, and give Victorian kids the best possible start to 2022. Victorians did an incredible job of looking after each other during the pandemic, staying home to slow the spread of coronavirus. But that also meant schools had to cancel sports, camps and all of the other extra activities kids love. Positive Start in 2022 will help get students back out and about around the state, and support their physical and emotional health and wellbeing. An investment of $84.3 million will deliver additional camps to benefit 81,200 students during school holidays and 2022 school terms – making sure students don’t miss out on vital outdoor education and socialising. The program will focus on students from government and low-fee non-government schools who have been most affected by COVID-19 school closures – as well as students and schools that might otherwise be unable to participate in an outdoor education or camp program. A further $12.4 million will provide access to a broad range of arts, sporting and cultural experiences for students at every government and low-fee non-government school in Victoria. From Sovereign Hill to the NGV, Melbourne Zoo and sporting workshops with the AFL, the program will provide more than 325,000 fully subsidised places for students across the various programs – boosting kids’ motivation and helping them rebuild their connections with friends, teachers and communities. An investment of $16.3 million will deliver more than 690,000 swimming and water safety lessons for students at government and Catholic primary schools – making sure students aren’t left behind without the vital skills they need to stay safe around water. This funding will supplement the $55.2 million in support the Labor Government has already provided for school swimming from 2022-24, providing extra lessons to make sure students can catch up on the practical skills they may have missed during the pandemic. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Victorian students and school communities did an amazing job helping our state slow the spread of coronavirus – and now we’re giving back, making sure 2022 is full of adventure and fun for every child across the state.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We know the pandemic has been challenging for many kids, missing out on the things that make our Education State so great – and this program makes up for lost time with exciting experiences for everyone.”

Proportionate Steps To Protect Victorians From Omicron

The Victorian Government will maintain enhanced quarantine arrangements for overseas travellers to protect the state from the new Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern until more is known about the strain. These public health measures – being implemented by Victoria and New South Wales – are in line with additional national border security measures from the Commonwealth and are a precautionary response to Omicron. There are currently no known cases of the Omicron variant reported in Victoria. In line with the Australian Government’s measures, all travellers arriving in Victoria who have visited South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Malawi during the 14-day period before their arrival must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days – regardless of their vaccination status. As the Seychelles has been removed from the Commonwealth’s list of countries of concern, Victoria will no longer consider it a country of concern from 11:59pm tonight. Continuing measures announced on Sunday, all other overseas travellers must complete a PCR test and isolate for a full 72 hours at a nominated address or accommodation. Travellers may exit isolation after 72 hours and following a negative PCR test. Travellers must also complete an additional PCR test between days 5 to 7 after arrival. All flight crew who have been overseas during the 14-day period before their arrival in Victoria must comply with requirements for overseas returning travellers, until their next flight. All vaccinated Australian based aircrew who have been to one of the eight countries above must quarantine for 14 days at their place of residence or alternate accommodation. All vaccinated Australian based aircrew arriving from another international country and have not been to one of the eight countries listed above must quarantine at home or their place of residence for 72 hours. International aircrew who do not reside in Victoria will have to quarantine in Victoria's hotel quarantine program for 72 hours or 14 days or until their next flight – depending on whether they have been in one of the eight countries or not. Testing requirements also apply. Anyone who has already arrived in Victoria who has been in any of the eight African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, and call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “The last couple of days have shown us that this isn’t over, and our response needs to be nimble. We’re taking proportionate, precautionary steps to keep Victorians safe until we know more about Omicron and the risks it poses to our community.” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “As we continue to learn to live with COVID, the best thing you can do to keep your family and your community safe is get vaccinated – and if you’re eligible for a booster, book in today.”

Proportionate Steps To Protect Victorians From Omicron

The Victorian Government will maintain enhanced quarantine arrangements for overseas travellers to protect the state from the new Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern until more is known about the strain. These public health measures – being implemented by Victoria and New South Wales – are in line with additional national border security measures from the Commonwealth and are a precautionary response to Omicron. There are currently no known cases of the Omicron variant reported in Victoria. In line with the Australian Government’s measures, all travellers arriving in Victoria who have visited South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Malawi during the 14-day period before their arrival must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days – regardless of their vaccination status. As the Seychelles has been removed from the Commonwealth’s list of countries of concern, Victoria will no longer consider it a country of concern from 11:59pm tonight. Continuing measures announced on Sunday, all other overseas travellers must complete a PCR test and isolate for a full 72 hours at a nominated address or accommodation. Travellers may exit isolation after 72 hours and following a negative PCR test. Travellers must also complete an additional PCR test between days 5 to 7 after arrival. All flight crew who have been overseas during the 14-day period before their arrival in Victoria must comply with requirements for overseas returning travellers, until their next flight. All vaccinated Australian based aircrew who have been to one of the eight countries above must quarantine for 14 days at their place of residence or alternate accommodation. All vaccinated Australian based aircrew arriving from another international country and have not been to one of the eight countries listed above must quarantine at home or their place of residence for 72 hours. International aircrew who do not reside in Victoria will have to quarantine in Victoria's hotel quarantine program for 72 hours or 14 days or until their next flight – depending on whether they have been in one of the eight countries or not. Testing requirements also apply. Anyone who has already arrived in Victoria who has been in any of the eight African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, and call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “The last couple of days have shown us that this isn’t over, and our response needs to be nimble. We’re taking proportionate, precautionary steps to keep Victorians safe until we know more about Omicron and the risks it poses to our community.” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “As we continue to learn to live with COVID, the best thing you can do to keep your family and your community safe is get vaccinated – and if you’re eligible for a booster, book in today.”

 

Local Voices To Preserve Victoria’s History

The Andrews Labor Government is preserving Victoria’s past with the Local History Grants program, making the state’s rich history and the lived stories behind it more accessible to all Victorians. Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson today announced $350,000 for the program which will support projects that preserve, record and share Victoria’s history. Managed by Public Record Office Victoria, the program is now accepting applications for funding up to $15,000 per project, for local historians and community organisations across the state. The Local History Grants have seen the diverse tapestry of Victoria’s local history enshrined, with last year’s fund attracting 52 community groups who explored their unique stories across multiple mediums. Museum of Chinese Australian History delivered Chinese Australian family stories in a podcast series, while Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations created video stories depicting challenges faced by Turkish migrants in regional Victoria from 1968 to 1974. Palais Arts Fund captured oral histories in a series of events held at Geelong’s Palais, setting the stories against a backdrop of the city’s evolution into a multicultural metropolis. Other successful projects have helped reach more Victorians by capturing the state’s history in new ways, including interactive online exhibitions, e-books and apps. Community groups can apply for funding at prov.vic.gov.au/community. Quotes attributable to Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson “Capturing Victoria’s diverse history allows us to celebrate, reflect and learn – which is why we’re supporting the innovative and creative work to keep our history alive through the Local History Grants program.” “This funding for community and history groups will help to preserve and share Victoria’s rich local history for generations to come.” Quote attributable to Public Record Office Victoria Director and Keeper of Public Records Justine Heazlewood “From sports club and school anniversary projects, to historical society and museum collection preservation works, we encourage all groups committed to sharing Victoria’s history to apply for the Local History Grants Program.”

Local Voices To Preserve Victoria’s History

The Andrews Labor Government is preserving Victoria’s past with the Local History Grants program, making the state’s rich history and the lived stories behind it more accessible to all Victorians. Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson today announced $350,000 for the program which will support projects that preserve, record and share Victoria’s history. Managed by Public Record Office Victoria, the program is now accepting applications for funding up to $15,000 per project, for local historians and community organisations across the state. The Local History Grants have seen the diverse tapestry of Victoria’s local history enshrined, with last year’s fund attracting 52 community groups who explored their unique stories across multiple mediums. Museum of Chinese Australian History delivered Chinese Australian family stories in a podcast series, while Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations created video stories depicting challenges faced by Turkish migrants in regional Victoria from 1968 to 1974. Palais Arts Fund captured oral histories in a series of events held at Geelong’s Palais, setting the stories against a backdrop of the city’s evolution into a multicultural metropolis. Other successful projects have helped reach more Victorians by capturing the state’s history in new ways, including interactive online exhibitions, e-books and apps. Community groups can apply for funding at prov.vic.gov.au/community. Quotes attributable to Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson “Capturing Victoria’s diverse history allows us to celebrate, reflect and learn – which is why we’re supporting the innovative and creative work to keep our history alive through the Local History Grants program.” “This funding for community and history groups will help to preserve and share Victoria’s rich local history for generations to come.” Quote attributable to Public Record Office Victoria Director and Keeper of Public Records Justine Heazlewood “From sports club and school anniversary projects, to historical society and museum collection preservation works, we encourage all groups committed to sharing Victoria’s history to apply for the Local History Grants Program.”

Supporting Multicultural Community Infrastructure

The Andrews Labor Government is helping build new, accessible spaces where Victoria’s multicultural communities can celebrate their history and culture. Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence today invited community organisations to apply for grants of up to $500,000 to upgrade, renovate or build community facilities. The $4.25 million Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund supports communities to come together and ensure community organisations can continue to deliver services and activities in a safe, accessible environment. The funding supports projects throughout Victoria and prioritises applications from rural and regional groups. New and emerging communities are also encouraged to apply. Applications are open until 31 January 2022. For more information or to apply, visit: vic.gov.au/multicultural-community-infrastructure-fund. Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence “Victoria’s multicultural communities have remained strong throughout the pandemic – and we are supporting them to reconnect as we recover.” “This funding will provide modern, safe and accessible spaces for local multicultural groups to continue sharing and celebrating their culture and traditions.”

Supporting Multicultural Community Infrastructure

The Andrews Labor Government is helping build new, accessible spaces where Victoria’s multicultural communities can celebrate their history and culture. Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence today invited community organisations to apply for grants of up to $500,000 to upgrade, renovate or build community facilities. The $4.25 million Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund supports communities to come together and ensure community organisations can continue to deliver services and activities in a safe, accessible environment. The funding supports projects throughout Victoria and prioritises applications from rural and regional groups. New and emerging communities are also encouraged to apply. Applications are open until 31 January 2022. For more information or to apply, visit: vic.gov.au/multicultural-community-infrastructure-fund. Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence “Victoria’s multicultural communities have remained strong throughout the pandemic – and we are supporting them to reconnect as we recover.” “This funding will provide modern, safe and accessible spaces for local multicultural groups to continue sharing and celebrating their culture and traditions.”

Victorians Urged To Be Wary Of Fake Tradies

With warmer weather approaching, Victorians are being reminded to make sure any building or maintenance work they’re seeking to undertake is completed by a legitimate, qualified tradesperson. Consumer Affairs Victoria received more than 129 reports of fake tradies during the past financial year. Consumers lost money in more than 70 per cent of the reported fake tradie cases, with the total amount of financial losses being more than $660,000. Fake tradies knock on doors of homes and small businesses, or send flyers out offering to complete maintenance work, driveway resurfacing, painting or roof repairs at a cheap rate. Fake tradies are also known to advertise their services online, usually through third-party websites. Doug from Newport is one of the hundreds of Victorians who lost money after he was scammed out of $400 when engaging the services of an individual who marketed themselves as a skilled tradesperson. The fake tradie requested an upfront payment directly into his bank account before commencing the work of replacing the decaying weatherboards on Doug’s home. After transferring the funds, the fake tradie quickly became uncontactable, and Doug is yet to recover the funds. Another Victorian found what he thought was a legitimate business to do some carpentry work at his holiday house. After making contact and agreeing on a price, the tradesman demanded a deposit of $10,000 to buy materials. The tradesman then found continuous excuses not to start the work – which stretched into weeks, then several months, with no work ever being completed. He hasn’t been able to contact the tradesman since. If you’re considering having work done on your property, seek out more than one quote, use established tradespeople who provide written quotes, ask for contact details of previous clients to check references and ask for the full name and registration or licence details (if applicable) so you can check with their industry. The warning comes as Consumer Affairs Victoria takes criminal action against an unregistered builder for advertising cheap building services and taking payment for work he never started, left incomplete, or completed below standard. Victorians should report any interactions with suspected fake tradies to Consumer Affairs Victoria’s dedicated fake tradie hotline on 1300 133 408. Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne “Be wary of tradies who approach you at home or online and pressure you to accept their offer or pay cash upfront – a legitimate tradie will give you a quote and time to consider their offer.” “If an interaction with a tradie doesn’t feel right - it’s probably not.” “I urge Victorians to report any interactions with suspected fake tradies to the authorities so we can get these dodgy scammers off the streets and avoid more people being cruelly ripped off.”

Victorians Urged To Be Wary Of Fake Tradies

With warmer weather approaching, Victorians are being reminded to make sure any building or maintenance work they’re seeking to undertake is completed by a legitimate, qualified tradesperson. Consumer Affairs Victoria received more than 129 reports of fake tradies during the past financial year. Consumers lost money in more than 70 per cent of the reported fake tradie cases, with the total amount of financial losses being more than $660,000. Fake tradies knock on doors of homes and small businesses, or send flyers out offering to complete maintenance work, driveway resurfacing, painting or roof repairs at a cheap rate. Fake tradies are also known to advertise their services online, usually through third-party websites. Doug from Newport is one of the hundreds of Victorians who lost money after he was scammed out of $400 when engaging the services of an individual who marketed themselves as a skilled tradesperson. The fake tradie requested an upfront payment directly into his bank account before commencing the work of replacing the decaying weatherboards on Doug’s home. After transferring the funds, the fake tradie quickly became uncontactable, and Doug is yet to recover the funds. Another Victorian found what he thought was a legitimate business to do some carpentry work at his holiday house. After making contact and agreeing on a price, the tradesman demanded a deposit of $10,000 to buy materials. The tradesman then found continuous excuses not to start the work – which stretched into weeks, then several months, with no work ever being completed. He hasn’t been able to contact the tradesman since. If you’re considering having work done on your property, seek out more than one quote, use established tradespeople who provide written quotes, ask for contact details of previous clients to check references and ask for the full name and registration or licence details (if applicable) so you can check with their industry. The warning comes as Consumer Affairs Victoria takes criminal action against an unregistered builder for advertising cheap building services and taking payment for work he never started, left incomplete, or completed below standard. Victorians should report any interactions with suspected fake tradies to Consumer Affairs Victoria’s dedicated fake tradie hotline on 1300 133 408. Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne “Be wary of tradies who approach you at home or online and pressure you to accept their offer or pay cash upfront – a legitimate tradie will give you a quote and time to consider their offer.” “If an interaction with a tradie doesn’t feel right - it’s probably not.” “I urge Victorians to report any interactions with suspected fake tradies to the authorities so we can get these dodgy scammers off the streets and avoid more people being cruelly ripped off.”

LAND FOR A NEW AMBULANCE STATION IN TAYLORS LAKES SECURED

The Andrews Labor Government is boosting ambulance resources in Taylors Lakes, making sure paramedics have the facilities and support they need to quickly respond to local emergencies and save lives. The new 24-hour ambulance branch on Kings Road, in Taylors Lakes will feature a four-bay garage, four bedrooms for our hard-working paramedics to rest and recuperate, training facilities, a fully equipped kitchen and improved security and car parking to make sure our paramedics are safe. The location of the new branch on Kings Road allows ease of access to main roads and major sites including schools, shopping precincts and community facilities. The Victorian Government has committed approximately $249 million since 2015/16 to upgrade and rebuild ambulance stations to provide better working conditions for paramedics and ensure lifesaving emergency care is available for all Victorians. The new Taylors Lakes ambulance branch is being delivered in partnership with the May Constructions and is expected to be completed in mid-2022. Quote attributable to Member for Sydenham, Natalie Hutchins “We’re making sure paramedics across the Sydenham electorate have the facilities to grow and do what they do best - save lives.” “It is wonderful that work will shortly get underway on a state-of-the-art facility that Taylors Lakes’ hardworking paramedics will be proud to call home. Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health, Martin Foley ” We’re upgrading and building new ambulance stations across Victoria, including in Taylors Lakes.” “These modern, advanced and well-located ambulance stations mean Victorians can receive the best lifesaving emergency care, now – and into the future.”

LAND FOR A NEW AMBULANCE STATION IN TAYLORS LAKES SECURED

The Andrews Labor Government is boosting ambulance resources in Taylors Lakes, making sure paramedics have the facilities and support they need to quickly respond to local emergencies and save lives. The new 24-hour ambulance branch on Kings Road, in Taylors Lakes will feature a four-bay garage, four bedrooms for our hard-working paramedics to rest and recuperate, training facilities, a fully equipped kitchen and improved security and car parking to make sure our paramedics are safe. The location of the new branch on Kings Road allows ease of access to main roads and major sites including schools, shopping precincts and community facilities. The Victorian Government has committed approximately $249 million since 2015/16 to upgrade and rebuild ambulance stations to provide better working conditions for paramedics and ensure lifesaving emergency care is available for all Victorians. The new Taylors Lakes ambulance branch is being delivered in partnership with the May Constructions and is expected to be completed in mid-2022. Quote attributable to Member for Sydenham, Natalie Hutchins “We’re making sure paramedics across the Sydenham electorate have the facilities to grow and do what they do best - save lives.” “It is wonderful that work will shortly get underway on a state-of-the-art facility that Taylors Lakes’ hardworking paramedics will be proud to call home. Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health, Martin Foley ” We’re upgrading and building new ambulance stations across Victoria, including in Taylors Lakes.” “These modern, advanced and well-located ambulance stations mean Victorians can receive the best lifesaving emergency care, now – and into the future.”