Media Centre

Safer Workplaces For The Timber Industry

The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring all Victorians are safe at work, with protestors engaging in dangerous activity to face stronger penalties when putting the safety and wellbeing of forestry workers at risk. Introduced to Parliament today, the Sustainable Forests Timber Amendment (Timber Harvesting Safety Zones) Bill 2022 will modernise enforcement measures to better deter dangerous protest activities within Timber Harvesting Safety Zones. These zones are small and restricted areas where forestry activities are being undertaken. Protestors who illegally enter these zones and dangerously interfere with workers or their machinery, will be subject to stronger penalties including maximum fines of more than $21,000 or 12-months imprisonment. PVC and metal pipes, which can be used in dangerous protest activities, will be added to the prohibited items list meaning they potentially attract extra fines if used to hinder or obstruct timber harvesting operations. To prevent repeated safety risks across multiple Timber Harvesting Safety Zones, Authorised Officers will be able to issue Banning Notices. The notices will aim to stop individuals from repeatedly engaging in dangerous activities in Timber Harvesting Safety Zones and other forestry coupe areas. Authorised Officers will be given additional powers to search containers, bags and vehicles for prohibited items. This Bill will bring the Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004 in line with other similar pieces of legislation such as the Wildlife Act 1975. For more information visit vic.gov.au/forestry. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas “Every Victorian has the right to be safe at work. Protests are becoming increasingly dangerous - particularly for workers - which is why this legislation will support them to get on with their job and minimise disruption to the industry.”   “We respect the right to protest safely but want to make sure workers go home to their families each day.” Quote attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt “The agriculture industry is already a dangerous environment and is sadly overrepresented in serious incidents and fatalities. Every Victorian deserves to be safe at work, and these laws will strengthen protections for forestry workers.”

Safer Workplaces For The Timber Industry

The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring all Victorians are safe at work, with protestors engaging in dangerous activity to face stronger penalties when putting the safety and wellbeing of forestry workers at risk. Introduced to Parliament today, the Sustainable Forests Timber Amendment (Timber Harvesting Safety Zones) Bill 2022 will modernise enforcement measures to better deter dangerous protest activities within Timber Harvesting Safety Zones. These zones are small and restricted areas where forestry activities are being undertaken. Protestors who illegally enter these zones and dangerously interfere with workers or their machinery, will be subject to stronger penalties including maximum fines of more than $21,000 or 12-months imprisonment. PVC and metal pipes, which can be used in dangerous protest activities, will be added to the prohibited items list meaning they potentially attract extra fines if used to hinder or obstruct timber harvesting operations. To prevent repeated safety risks across multiple Timber Harvesting Safety Zones, Authorised Officers will be able to issue Banning Notices. The notices will aim to stop individuals from repeatedly engaging in dangerous activities in Timber Harvesting Safety Zones and other forestry coupe areas. Authorised Officers will be given additional powers to search containers, bags and vehicles for prohibited items. This Bill will bring the Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004 in line with other similar pieces of legislation such as the Wildlife Act 1975. For more information visit vic.gov.au/forestry. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas “Every Victorian has the right to be safe at work. Protests are becoming increasingly dangerous - particularly for workers - which is why this legislation will support them to get on with their job and minimise disruption to the industry.”   “We respect the right to protest safely but want to make sure workers go home to their families each day.” Quote attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt “The agriculture industry is already a dangerous environment and is sadly overrepresented in serious incidents and fatalities. Every Victorian deserves to be safe at work, and these laws will strengthen protections for forestry workers.”

Delivering Stronger Powers To Regulate Gambling

The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to ensure the state upholds the highest possible standard of gambling regulation, with legislation to implement further recommendations from the Crown Royal Commission introduced to Parliament today. The legislation will see casino inspectors be given greater access to surveillance equipment and casino records and require casino employees to assist inspectors to access and operate surveillance equipment to monitor all activity on the gaming floor. The legislation will also implement new regulatory arrangements, with enhanced powers for the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) and the transfer of liquor regulation to the Department of Justice and Community Safety. The changes will also make gambling harm minimisation part of the VGCCC’s core business and increase its powers to take action against Crown Melbourne if it fails to abide by the gambling code of conduct. The new laws will mean a single breach of the code is grounds for disciplinary action. Previously the VGCCC could only initiate disciplinary action after repeated breaches of the gambling code. Work is currently underway to transition the regulation of liquor to the department, which will enable the VGCCC to exclusively focus on monitoring gambling and the casino. The liquor regulator will comprise statutory commissioners supported by the department to regulate the liquor sector and undertake licensing, compliance and enforcement activity. Legislation passed in 2021 means the VGCCC already has increased powers to hold Crown to account, including a duty for casino operators and their associates to comply with the VGCCC in a frank manner and do everything necessary to ensure the casino operations are conducted with integrity. These reforms also increased the maximum penalty the VGCCC can impose for disciplinary action which will see Crown face fines of up to $100 million. The design of the VGCCC is being informed by best practice regulatory arrangements from around the world. Quotes attributable to Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne “This important legislation will enhance compliance and enforcement powers and ensure reducing gambling harm is a key priority of the regulator.” “We’re continuing to hold Crown to account, and these changes will strengthen the already robust oversight of the casino operator.” “The legislation introduced today is an important step in implementing every one of the Royal Commission’s recommendations, with further reforms to be introduced later this year.”

Delivering Stronger Powers To Regulate Gambling

The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to ensure the state upholds the highest possible standard of gambling regulation, with legislation to implement further recommendations from the Crown Royal Commission introduced to Parliament today. The legislation will see casino inspectors be given greater access to surveillance equipment and casino records and require casino employees to assist inspectors to access and operate surveillance equipment to monitor all activity on the gaming floor. The legislation will also implement new regulatory arrangements, with enhanced powers for the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) and the transfer of liquor regulation to the Department of Justice and Community Safety. The changes will also make gambling harm minimisation part of the VGCCC’s core business and increase its powers to take action against Crown Melbourne if it fails to abide by the gambling code of conduct. The new laws will mean a single breach of the code is grounds for disciplinary action. Previously the VGCCC could only initiate disciplinary action after repeated breaches of the gambling code. Work is currently underway to transition the regulation of liquor to the department, which will enable the VGCCC to exclusively focus on monitoring gambling and the casino. The liquor regulator will comprise statutory commissioners supported by the department to regulate the liquor sector and undertake licensing, compliance and enforcement activity. Legislation passed in 2021 means the VGCCC already has increased powers to hold Crown to account, including a duty for casino operators and their associates to comply with the VGCCC in a frank manner and do everything necessary to ensure the casino operations are conducted with integrity. These reforms also increased the maximum penalty the VGCCC can impose for disciplinary action which will see Crown face fines of up to $100 million. The design of the VGCCC is being informed by best practice regulatory arrangements from around the world. Quotes attributable to Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne “This important legislation will enhance compliance and enforcement powers and ensure reducing gambling harm is a key priority of the regulator.” “We’re continuing to hold Crown to account, and these changes will strengthen the already robust oversight of the casino operator.” “The legislation introduced today is an important step in implementing every one of the Royal Commission’s recommendations, with further reforms to be introduced later this year.”

Businesses To Cut Costs And Emissions With Electric Fleets

The Andrews Labor Government is helping Victorian businesses include Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEVs) in their fleets, driving down emissions and pollution and cutting operating costs for businesses. All Victorian businesses can now apply for a share of $1.5 million in grants to install Electric Vehicle charging stations, smoothing their transition to a cheaper, cleaner electric fleet. The Electric Vehicle Charging for Business Fleets program will reduce operating costs and emissions by supporting chargers for business fleets and stimulating the purchase and lease of ZEVs for business operations.  By switching to Zero Emission Vehicles, businesses could save up to $500 per month per car in their fleet. The turn-over of fleets will flow-on to the second-hand EV market, in turn making them more affordable for Victorians and cutting the cost of living for the community. Transport is one of Australia’s largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 25 per cent of Victoria’s total carbon footprint. The Labor Government has set an ambitious goal for Zero Emission Vehicles to make up half of all new light vehicle sales by 2030, helping Victoria halve emissions. The grant program is a key part of the Government’s $19.21 million Acceleration of Zero Emissions Vehicles Adoption package and nation-leading $100 million ZEV Roadmap. Applications are open until 5pm Friday, 22 July 2022 at: energy.vic.gov.au/grants/ev-charging-business-fleets. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “Cars have to be a vehicle for change as we halve emissions by 2030 – by getting more zero emissions vehicles on our roads we’re reducing transport’s massive contribution to climate change and cutting costs for businesses.” “By supporting businesses with chargers we are slashing emissions and operating costs and building the zero-emission second-hand market, getting closer to our target of half of light vehicle sales by 2030.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport, Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll “Transport is the second largest contributor to Victoria’s emissions, and these grants will help support all sectors of the community to transition to zero emission vehicles.”  “This is not only another step towards achieving zero emissions, but it also creates jobs and provides a boost to the economy.”

Businesses To Cut Costs And Emissions With Electric Fleets

The Andrews Labor Government is helping Victorian businesses include Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEVs) in their fleets, driving down emissions and pollution and cutting operating costs for businesses. All Victorian businesses can now apply for a share of $1.5 million in grants to install Electric Vehicle charging stations, smoothing their transition to a cheaper, cleaner electric fleet. The Electric Vehicle Charging for Business Fleets program will reduce operating costs and emissions by supporting chargers for business fleets and stimulating the purchase and lease of ZEVs for business operations.  By switching to Zero Emission Vehicles, businesses could save up to $500 per month per car in their fleet. The turn-over of fleets will flow-on to the second-hand EV market, in turn making them more affordable for Victorians and cutting the cost of living for the community. Transport is one of Australia’s largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 25 per cent of Victoria’s total carbon footprint. The Labor Government has set an ambitious goal for Zero Emission Vehicles to make up half of all new light vehicle sales by 2030, helping Victoria halve emissions. The grant program is a key part of the Government’s $19.21 million Acceleration of Zero Emissions Vehicles Adoption package and nation-leading $100 million ZEV Roadmap. Applications are open until 5pm Friday, 22 July 2022 at: energy.vic.gov.au/grants/ev-charging-business-fleets. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “Cars have to be a vehicle for change as we halve emissions by 2030 – by getting more zero emissions vehicles on our roads we’re reducing transport’s massive contribution to climate change and cutting costs for businesses.” “By supporting businesses with chargers we are slashing emissions and operating costs and building the zero-emission second-hand market, getting closer to our target of half of light vehicle sales by 2030.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport, Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll “Transport is the second largest contributor to Victoria’s emissions, and these grants will help support all sectors of the community to transition to zero emission vehicles.”  “This is not only another step towards achieving zero emissions, but it also creates jobs and provides a boost to the economy.”

Supporting Apprentices From Classroom To Workplace

The Andrews Labor Government is boosting a TAFE apprenticeship program that gives Victorian apprentices the support they need to navigate the journey from classroom to workplace – and employers the confidence that graduates are job-ready. The Labor Government has invested $12 million through the Victorian Budget 2022/23 to boost the Apprenticeship Support Officers (ASO) program – supporting thousands of new apprentices on their path to a meaningful career. The ASO program gives tailored support to apprentices, including advice on training and employment, safety and workplace concerns, mental and physical wellbeing, housing and financial difficulties, drug and alcohol issues. ASOs also work with employers to support them in providing high-quality workplace conditions, appropriately resolve conflict, and deliver great training opportunities – to address skills demands and increase apprentice completion and retention rates. The program made about 80,000 contacts with apprentices in 2021 alone and will support even more as Victoria continues to lead the nation in apprenticeship commencements – which doubled to almost 50,000 in the 12 months to September 2021. Some of the most popular apprenticeships were Automotive and Engineering, with a 141.7 per cent increase, and Electrotechnology and Telecommunications, with a 177.3 per cent increase, according to data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. The additional investment builds on the Labor Government’s existing $9.3 million funding package for the program as well as a range of other initiatives like a $5 million fund to remove barriers faced by women in traditionally male-dominated trades and the $33 million Big Build Apprenticeships program. Since 2014, the Government has made a record $3.2 billion investment to rebuild TAFE and support universities and higher education to ensure Victorians have access to high quality education and rewarding career pathways. Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “We know how important the Apprenticeship Support Officers program is to Victorian jobseekers and employers – in supporting and retaining apprentices – which is why we’re giving it a significant funding boost.” “Only a Labor Government supports great TAFE and training opportunities for Victorian jobseekers – supporting skills demands experienced now and into the future by industries right across the state.”

Supporting Apprentices From Classroom To Workplace

The Andrews Labor Government is boosting a TAFE apprenticeship program that gives Victorian apprentices the support they need to navigate the journey from classroom to workplace – and employers the confidence that graduates are job-ready. The Labor Government has invested $12 million through the Victorian Budget 2022/23 to boost the Apprenticeship Support Officers (ASO) program – supporting thousands of new apprentices on their path to a meaningful career. The ASO program gives tailored support to apprentices, including advice on training and employment, safety and workplace concerns, mental and physical wellbeing, housing and financial difficulties, drug and alcohol issues. ASOs also work with employers to support them in providing high-quality workplace conditions, appropriately resolve conflict, and deliver great training opportunities – to address skills demands and increase apprentice completion and retention rates. The program made about 80,000 contacts with apprentices in 2021 alone and will support even more as Victoria continues to lead the nation in apprenticeship commencements – which doubled to almost 50,000 in the 12 months to September 2021. Some of the most popular apprenticeships were Automotive and Engineering, with a 141.7 per cent increase, and Electrotechnology and Telecommunications, with a 177.3 per cent increase, according to data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. The additional investment builds on the Labor Government’s existing $9.3 million funding package for the program as well as a range of other initiatives like a $5 million fund to remove barriers faced by women in traditionally male-dominated trades and the $33 million Big Build Apprenticeships program. Since 2014, the Government has made a record $3.2 billion investment to rebuild TAFE and support universities and higher education to ensure Victorians have access to high quality education and rewarding career pathways. Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “We know how important the Apprenticeship Support Officers program is to Victorian jobseekers and employers – in supporting and retaining apprentices – which is why we’re giving it a significant funding boost.” “Only a Labor Government supports great TAFE and training opportunities for Victorian jobseekers – supporting skills demands experienced now and into the future by industries right across the state.”

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