Do you think that planning for bushfire is only an issue if you live in the bush? Think again!
Sunrise visited the State Control Centre this week to chat to the experts and this is what they had to say. ... See MoreSee Less
Tuesday November 21st
Great to see a local young gun Jacob Mildren with a great initiative aimed at helping regional students with their university study.
The Australian National University
ANU Students for Regional Scholarships
The time has come.
Today, we are proud to announce the launch of the ANU Regional and Rural Equity Scholarship. The scholarship will provide a regional student moving to the ANU with $5,000 to assist them in their relocation and accommodation costs. The scholarship will be offered each year for the next 4 years.
We want this scholarship to help more students, and last longer than 4 years. But to do so, we need to fundraise enough money to grow the existing $20,000 we've raised into a fully fledged endowment fund, capable of producing multiple scholarships into perpetuity.
Our first 'checkpoint' in doing so is raising $5,000. And we need your help. You can do so by following the link below to our crowdfunding page, where you can find out more about the scholarship and our crowdfunding campaign. Share this link with your friends, like our page, and donate.
A scholarship enables a regional, low SES student the opportunity to join university clubs and societies, play college sport, volunteer and intern - experience enriching opportunities that they wouldn't have otherwise, ultimately leading them to 'give back' to the ANU and wider community in ways they couldn't have done so before.
Your support will mean that students, like us, are not constantly struggling financially and working endless hours to afford to go to University. Your support will have a lasting impact on the life of a student and, in turn, their family, their home community and the ANU community. ... See MoreSee Less
Injecting Room Speech
SPEECH THAT INTRODUCED READERS TO SMACKY MCSMACKFACE
As promised on The Border Mail Facebook site over the weekend here are the speech notes from my contributions to the debate on legalising drug injecting rooms in the Parliament of Victoria last week along with the video.
I won't apologise for using colourful language to get the attention of the media in the hope that they also pick up on the substance of those words and the failure of this legislation.
I rise today to speak on the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Medically Supervised Injecting Centre) Bill 2017.
Straight off the bat, I state that I am fundamentally opposed to the idea. I do however acknowledge that the government’s decision to introduce this legislation is motivated by a genuine desire to combat and negate the harmful effects of one of the most insidious, harmful and destructive influences on Victorian society. A menace which if not stopped, has the potential to ruin lives, destroy the family unit and lay waste to the people of Victoria as its influence is felt increasingly across the inner city suburbs of Melbourne.
I speak of course, of the Greens and the threat that they pose to the inner city seats held by this Labor government and I note the determination of the ALP to repel this assault on what they regard as their traditional lands.
No doubt the Premier, channelling Sir Winston Churchill, has pledged to fight them in Northcote, fight them in Melbourne, fight them in streets of Brunswick and Richmond and on the beaches of Albert Park. The best of British to you Premier.
What the Premier can’t do however is vow to never surrender, because this Bill shows that he has already done that; surrendering the few principles he holds for the sake of political expediency and survival.
I also commend the Government on their political athleticism that they have shown. Not since I last went to Cirque de Solei have I seen such a display of such enthusiastic back flipping. Many in this house would remember the Premier’s earnest declarations in the lead up to the last election that there would be no heroin injecting rooms under the government that he leads. He repeated this promise only weeks ago. Now we find ourselves in this place, debating this legislation. I always suspected the Premier was a Marxist but I didn’t think he would turn out to be Groucho. After all it was Groucho who said - Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.
No doubt the government will say that circumstances have changed and their analysis of statistical data convinces them that urgent action was required. I suppose in some ways they are right. A margin less than two percent in the Northcote opinion polls would need some ideological pork barreling to try and turn things around. WHAT A DIFFERENCE A BYELECTION MAKES.
From my side of the house, I must say what fun it has been to see the lefties bashing away at one another. Not since the little known 1979 border war between China and Vietnam have we seen two commo groups engaged in such ferocious combat over disputed territory.
Mr Speaker, much as I would like to dwell further on the reasons behind this Bill, time does not permit.
Turning to the legislation itself, this Bill would have to be one of the most shambolic and ill-conceived pieces of legislation ever cobbled together.
There are flaws and holes so large it causes me great concern. Much of this poorly drafted legislation, not only legalises drug use and possession but also its sale and supply. It's a sad day in Victoria when this parliament proposes legislation that serves to protect drug dealing.
For example, section 55k of the Bill provides that a user of injecting room is exempt from Part Five of the Act for any act involving the possession, use, administration or Supply of heroin. Part Five contains all of the criminal provisions pertaining to drug trafficking. I emphasise the word supply because the Act at Section 4 defines supply as being to
supply, provide, give or deliver, whether or not for fee, reward or consideration or in expectation of fee, reward or consideration;
Section 55L is even worse as it provides immunity from prosecution for staff working in the centre if they supply drugs to others irrespective of the type of drug or the quantity supplied.
Again, with reference to Section 4, Supply, includes supplying drugs for fee or reward. What this Bill does is legalise drug dealing with people being free to sell drugs to others with immunity once inside the doors.
If this was not yet bad enough, section 55M appears to have been designed to place pressure on police to go soft on anyone caught with drugs near or whilst travelling to the centre. Under the social engineering pressure that this Bill seeks to exert, I fear for the career of any police officer that arrests and charges a drug addict within 10 miles of a drug injecting room. Imagine the outcry of the social justice set when Harry the heroin addict is banged up by the coppers and his drugs are confiscated whilst supposedly enroute to Dan’s Drug Den to participate in some harm minimization.
Mr Speaker, I note that the proposed first site for heroin injecting room is to be located at the North Richmond Community Health Centre, which just happens top be next door to the West Richmond Primary School.
What an inspired piece of thinking it was to locate a heroin injecting room next to a primary school. The risks associated with exposing children to drugs are well known. This is acknowledged by the provisions of section 71AC(2) of the Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act which increase the maximum penalty for trafficking drugs from 15 years to 20 if the trafficking takes place within 500 metres of a school. Which genius dreamt up the idea that having a bunch of drug addicts and their dealers hanging out next to a school would be a great idea.
If you think that this room will be the only one established under this legislation, think again. Already the Member for Geelong is calling for a drug den to be established in her electorate. Fast forward a few years and who knows, maybe some bright spark will set a franchise operation where local addicts can meet with their dealer in the car park before heading inside McSmack’s to minimise the harm they do themselves. Whilst mummy gets high, the kids can play in the adjacent play room or watch Smacky McSmackFace the clown make animals out of the discarded heroin balloons. Then it’s back in the car whilst mum drive home whilst affected by drugs.
Mr Speaker, we are constantly told that heroin-injecting rooms are a part of the harm minimisation model. This is best practice we are told.
I always find it amusing that people think that the best way to minimise harm is to actively support and provide mechanisms by which people can inject a deadly poison into themselves. It’s entirely at odds with the approach taken to counter other social ills. Think about it. Since I’ve been in this Parliament we’ve banned smoking in restaurants and other public places, outlawed sun tanning beds and prohibited the sale of bongs and ice pipes. At the more ridiculous end of the scale, how often do we hear do-gooders denounce sugar and fast food as evil and call for it’s outlawing?
Yet we are all too ready to encourage the usage of an illicit substance that we all know can cause great harm.
Many years ago this Parliament led the world in addressing the social harm caused by drink driving. We did this by publically denouncing those who engaged in such actions, labeling them as bloody idiots. Additionally, we introduced and continue to introduce tough penalty provisions for those who choose to break the law. Drink drivers now face the very real prospect of prison and other significant penalties.
We have adopted similarly tough approaches to dealing with other driving behaviour that poses a risk to life. Almost universally this get-tough approach had been acclaimed as the right way to go.This approach is real harm minimisation that has produced real results.
Why is it that we are so prepared to get tough on almost every social ill or aberrant behaviour yet we retreat on drugs?
Perhaps if we took an approach similar to that taken with drink driving and enforced the law, resourced our police force to tackle the issue and publicly denounced the taking of illegal drugs, rather than just surrendering and collaborating, we might be able to change things. To offer open support and assistance to those who choose to break the law is not the role of this parliament.
I will not be supporting this Bill. ... See MoreSee Less
Well said bill
I am neither Green nor Labor Bill, and I live in Michael O'Brian's electorate of Malvern. The world has failed in its attempts to control access to various drugs. From the spectacular failure of U.S. prohibition on alcohol, to now. All governments do when they try to enforce abstinence is to encourage crime. Criminals have no sympathy for the poor addicted souls and they do not care what they put into the drugs they sell. Consider the pragmatic approach which is to make drugs available from legal sources, to control the quality, to apply the warnings and to encourage rehabilitation. People like Ken Lay understand this argument, so why doesn't our party? Perhaps if we had the courage to really change things we might get somewhere. Oh and think of the revenue! One of the most successful approaches has been that of Portugal. Research the Portuguese approach.
John, Thank you for joining the conversation. I really wanted our regional Community to join the debate even though the MSIC is identified Richmond as the trial location, although I have read the Portugal study. I thank you for the reminder. Bill
Well said Bill. God help us all.
Well spoken Bill, if this passes maybe the could have rape rooms , or pedophile rooms just to please the few.
COAST GUARD NEEDS CREW
The Lake Hume Coast guard unveiled their latest vessel on Saturday but the volunteer group would really like to add some new members to the team as well. With "silly season" about to rev up they'll be out on the water trying to keep people safe this summer. Call Deputy Commander James "Jimmy" Tucker on 0448 464 423 to find out more. ... See MoreSee Less
Friday November 17th
Away from the "argy bargy" of state politics had the chance this week to attend Cricket Victoria function in Melbourne on Wednesday night, roll the arm over (better than John Howard), hold the 2015 World Cup without dropping it and talk Border cricket with Tony Dodemaide. ... See MoreSee Less
That is so awesome Bill. What a blessing. ☺
Thursday November 16th
P-Plate driving age constituency question
LOWERING P-PLATE DRIVING AGE TO 17
The Labor Government says 17-year-olds in country Victoria aren't missing out on jobs, education or sport because they can't drive. In Parliament this week I asked the Employment Minister to prove it. #buildingabetterBenambra ... See MoreSee Less
Yeap we are the only state who give our young people the licence to drink and drive at the same time
The good news Bill is that they sometimes change their minds, like they did with the heroin injecting room, which we would never have. And, of course, no-one in that outfit is more than five minutes from a bus stop.
Caleb Dykes you might get your chance after all.
Monday November 13th
Taking a seat in the Parliament
BACK IN THE "BIG" HOUSE
The other "big" house that is ... Victorian Parliament sitting week and I'd encourage all and sundry to come down, catch up and say hello. #inittogther ... See MoreSee Less
You buy coffee BIlly, you're on.
Doug says your coffee cant be better than Tracy's and hers is closer
Great work Bill
Come along to the market this Sunday the 12th from 9am and enjoy a hot coffee and breakfast roll, and fill your basket with the best local produce. Can’t wait to see you there! ... See MoreSee Less
Bill Tilley MP added 3 new photos.
Friday November 10th
VENTURING INTO THE UNKNOWN
Thanks to the 3rd Wodonga Scout Group Venturers for the chance to talk politics and parliament this week. Loved the fact that you were across so many issues and passionate about the need to change the P-plate age back to 17 and a future 130kmh limit on an improved Hume Freeway. #buildingabetterBenambra ... See MoreSee Less
Bill Tilley MP added 3 new photos.
Wednesday November 8th
CHAMPION CFA VOLUNTEERS
What a great afternoon with the team from the Kiewa Fire Brigade on Sunday. There were a whole host of awards ranging from five years to 70 years for Mick Bartel. CFA volunteers are vital part of the fabric of our regional and rural communities and Kiewa is another outstanding example. ... See MoreSee Less
We would find it hard to survive without them. We must NEVER let the Andrews Labor Government and the Fire Fighters Union destroy them.
Wednesday November 8th
Monday November 6th
If you haven’t worked out your Melb Cup eve calendar as yet, consider sliding down to the Wodonga RSL for their Calcutta tonight. ... See MoreSee Less
Saturday November 4th
LABOR SLASHES SIGN LANGUAGE COURSES
The Andrews Labor Government has cut funding for Australian sign language (AUSLAN) courses, says Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan.
For more info billtilley.com.au/?p=2793 ... See MoreSee Less
Friday November 3rd
OUR GOLD HISTORY IS NO THEME PARK.
Raised the hecklers from Bendigo and Ballarat out of their seats yesterday when I highlighted the fact that Beechworth is living, breathing history from our gold rich past. I also promised to do all in my power to get due recognition for the Wallaby and Rechabite mine sites.
Beechworth Chamber of Commerce
Ovens and Murray Advertiser ... See MoreSee Less
Gold should be present as well as history. Not to mention future. We are still a gold rich state with almost no gold mines. Go figure!
More reports in the media at the weekend of bullying of our brave firefighters by members of the thuggish United Firefighters Union (UFU) raises the...