Media Centre

Regional Focus For Mental Health System Reforms

The Andrews Labor Government will accept each and every one of the recommendations handed down by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, as part of its interim report. Minister for Regional Development and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes today visited Broadford Living and Learning Centre, an important local organisation dedicated to supporting community health and wellbeing. The Royal Commission has found too many Victorians needing help can’t find suitable support, while those who do access ‘the system’ find it hard to negotiate their way through it. People living with mental illness are waiting longer and getting sicker before they can access services. Poor mental health costs Victoria $14.2 billion annually. The Commission also found that the annual suicide rate was about 40 per cent higher in rural and regional Victoria than in metropolitan Melbourne. Only a Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System will truly fix the ailing system and make sure Victorians in crisis can get the help that they need. In regional Victoria, the Royal Commission recommends: Expanding the Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program to include the Goulburn Valley, Mildura and Warrnambool, in addition to existing sites in Wangaratta, Geelong, Latrobe Valley, Ballarat and Bendigo Better access to HOPE in regional and rural areas through extra clinical outreach services More acute beds Workforce development to address the workforce challenges that are even more pronounced in regional and rural Victoria. The recommendation includes additional graduate placements, scholarships, supporting international recruitment and adding Certificate IV in Mental Health to the Free TAFE list The state-wide rollout of Aboriginal health and wellbeing teams. The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System also recommends a revenue mechanism to support major mental health reform. The Government will consider how to deliver this recommendation. Every Victorian has felt the impact of mental health. Many Victorians don’t know where to turn – and it’s costing lives. The Royal Commission is about building a co-ordinated, quality mental health system from the ground up. In addition to previous community consultation sessions in Bendigo and Shepparton, the Commission will hold further public hearings in 2020 before delivering its final report in October. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Whether it’s our own experience or the experience of someone we love, everyone in our community has felt the real impact of mental health – and with it, the failure of our system.” “When it’s local families, local communities and local lives on the line, we can – we must – do better.”

Regional Focus For Mental Health System Reforms

The Andrews Labor Government will accept each and every one of the recommendations handed down by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, as part of its interim report. Minister for Regional Development and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes today visited Broadford Living and Learning Centre, an important local organisation dedicated to supporting community health and wellbeing. The Royal Commission has found too many Victorians needing help can’t find suitable support, while those who do access ‘the system’ find it hard to negotiate their way through it. People living with mental illness are waiting longer and getting sicker before they can access services. Poor mental health costs Victoria $14.2 billion annually. The Commission also found that the annual suicide rate was about 40 per cent higher in rural and regional Victoria than in metropolitan Melbourne. Only a Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System will truly fix the ailing system and make sure Victorians in crisis can get the help that they need. In regional Victoria, the Royal Commission recommends: Expanding the Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program to include the Goulburn Valley, Mildura and Warrnambool, in addition to existing sites in Wangaratta, Geelong, Latrobe Valley, Ballarat and Bendigo Better access to HOPE in regional and rural areas through extra clinical outreach services More acute beds Workforce development to address the workforce challenges that are even more pronounced in regional and rural Victoria. The recommendation includes additional graduate placements, scholarships, supporting international recruitment and adding Certificate IV in Mental Health to the Free TAFE list The state-wide rollout of Aboriginal health and wellbeing teams. The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System also recommends a revenue mechanism to support major mental health reform. The Government will consider how to deliver this recommendation. Every Victorian has felt the impact of mental health. Many Victorians don’t know where to turn – and it’s costing lives. The Royal Commission is about building a co-ordinated, quality mental health system from the ground up. In addition to previous community consultation sessions in Bendigo and Shepparton, the Commission will hold further public hearings in 2020 before delivering its final report in October. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Whether it’s our own experience or the experience of someone we love, everyone in our community has felt the real impact of mental health – and with it, the failure of our system.” “When it’s local families, local communities and local lives on the line, we can – we must – do better.”

New Drought Assistance Now Rolling Out

Victorian farmers affected by drought and dry seasonal conditions are encouraged to apply for the Andrews Labor Government’s new grants programs offering on-farm assistance and household financial relief. The $15 million Farmers’ Drought Fund is part of the Labor Government’s $31 million support package announced in October, helping farming businesses and families to alleviate some of the immediate burden while supporting farmers to make investments in the long term. The $12 million On-Farm Drought Resilience Grants program will help eligible farm businesses invest in on-farm drought preparedness or business advice, with up to $5000 available per business. The program provides similar benefits to the Government’s previous drought support measures which were taken up by almost 5,000 farmers to assist with infrastructure. Farming families in need will be supported with $3 million in household financial relief, with the Country Women’s Association of Victoria to deliver up to $3000 per family through its CWA Drought Relief Program. The drought resilience and drought relief programs are available to farmers in the Wellington and East Gippsland shires, dryland farmers in the Millewa region and irrigation farmers in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District of northern Victoria. Eligible farmers who have received grants under the Labor Government’s previous drought support measures are welcome to apply for further support to extend their drought infrastructure or assist in business planning. For further information on available support and assistance and to apply, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “We’ve listened to drought-affected farmers and these grants reflect their need for both immediate relief and long-term investment.” “On-farm drought resilience grants have been incredibly popular elements of our drought support, and we want to make sure everyone who is eligible can access the grants.” “I encourage any farming family or business doing it tough through dry conditions to get in touch with Agriculture Victoria and find out what support is available to them.”

New Drought Assistance Now Rolling Out

Victorian farmers affected by drought and dry seasonal conditions are encouraged to apply for the Andrews Labor Government’s new grants programs offering on-farm assistance and household financial relief. The $15 million Farmers’ Drought Fund is part of the Labor Government’s $31 million support package announced in October, helping farming businesses and families to alleviate some of the immediate burden while supporting farmers to make investments in the long term. The $12 million On-Farm Drought Resilience Grants program will help eligible farm businesses invest in on-farm drought preparedness or business advice, with up to $5000 available per business. The program provides similar benefits to the Government’s previous drought support measures which were taken up by almost 5,000 farmers to assist with infrastructure. Farming families in need will be supported with $3 million in household financial relief, with the Country Women’s Association of Victoria to deliver up to $3000 per family through its CWA Drought Relief Program. The drought resilience and drought relief programs are available to farmers in the Wellington and East Gippsland shires, dryland farmers in the Millewa region and irrigation farmers in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District of northern Victoria. Eligible farmers who have received grants under the Labor Government’s previous drought support measures are welcome to apply for further support to extend their drought infrastructure or assist in business planning. For further information on available support and assistance and to apply, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “We’ve listened to drought-affected farmers and these grants reflect their need for both immediate relief and long-term investment.” “On-farm drought resilience grants have been incredibly popular elements of our drought support, and we want to make sure everyone who is eligible can access the grants.” “I encourage any farming family or business doing it tough through dry conditions to get in touch with Agriculture Victoria and find out what support is available to them.”

Big Rig Brings Rock-Solid Promise Of Low-Emissions Future

A 150-metre tall drilling rig has arrived in Port Phillip Bay before heading along the coast to spend the summer in Gippsland, testing rocks that could store carbon dioxide and reduce Victoria’s emissions. The Noble Tom Prosser rig will soon be drilling in Bass Strait – about eight kilometres offshore from Ninety Mile Beach – for the CarbonNet project, supported by the Andrews Labor Government. The aim of the drilling program is to prove that rock structures deep under the seabed can permanently store carbon dioxide emissions from the nearby Latrobe Valley, reducing emissions into the atmosphere. Ahead of its trip to Gippsland, the rig will be viewable from the Port Phillip Bay shore as it comes through the heads and is unloaded from a large lift vessel before being towed out of the bay and east towards Gippsland. The CarbonNet project is advancing the science of commercial-scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) through investigations at the Pelican site in Bass Strait, which has the potential to store the equivalent emissions from one million cars a year over a 25-year period. CCS has been extensively trialled in Victoria with 80,000 tonnes of CO2 safely stored for a decade at the CO2CRC’s Otway research facility. The process involves capturing emissions from industry and storing the carbon deep below the seabed in rock structures, similar to the way oil and gas is stored naturally. Drilling at the Pelican site in Bass Strait is expected to take between 45 and 60 days – the rig will operate with a 500m exclusion zone in place for marine safety. Offshore appraisal wells are used to confirm the properties of rock layers below the seabed and are common to the oil and gas sector in Bass Strait, having been used for more than 50 years. This drilling activity has an approved Environmental Plan and will not target oil or gas deposits. Governments around the world are looking to CCS to help meet greenhouse gas emission targets, complementing increased use of renewables and improved energy efficiency, with CarbonNet one of 51 CCS projects proposed or in place globally. Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes “We’ve proven the science behind CCS and now it’s time to test that work into action at the Pelican site, helping secure a low emissions future for Victoria.” “CarbonNet has the potential to store a wide range of emissions, from fertiliser and hydrogen production to energy generation.” “These investigations are important steps in delivering climate change action – if the Pelican site is successful, it will be significant in achieving our emissions targets.”

Big Rig Brings Rock-Solid Promise Of Low-Emissions Future

A 150-metre tall drilling rig has arrived in Port Phillip Bay before heading along the coast to spend the summer in Gippsland, testing rocks that could store carbon dioxide and reduce Victoria’s emissions. The Noble Tom Prosser rig will soon be drilling in Bass Strait – about eight kilometres offshore from Ninety Mile Beach – for the CarbonNet project, supported by the Andrews Labor Government. The aim of the drilling program is to prove that rock structures deep under the seabed can permanently store carbon dioxide emissions from the nearby Latrobe Valley, reducing emissions into the atmosphere. Ahead of its trip to Gippsland, the rig will be viewable from the Port Phillip Bay shore as it comes through the heads and is unloaded from a large lift vessel before being towed out of the bay and east towards Gippsland. The CarbonNet project is advancing the science of commercial-scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) through investigations at the Pelican site in Bass Strait, which has the potential to store the equivalent emissions from one million cars a year over a 25-year period. CCS has been extensively trialled in Victoria with 80,000 tonnes of CO2 safely stored for a decade at the CO2CRC’s Otway research facility. The process involves capturing emissions from industry and storing the carbon deep below the seabed in rock structures, similar to the way oil and gas is stored naturally. Drilling at the Pelican site in Bass Strait is expected to take between 45 and 60 days – the rig will operate with a 500m exclusion zone in place for marine safety. Offshore appraisal wells are used to confirm the properties of rock layers below the seabed and are common to the oil and gas sector in Bass Strait, having been used for more than 50 years. This drilling activity has an approved Environmental Plan and will not target oil or gas deposits. Governments around the world are looking to CCS to help meet greenhouse gas emission targets, complementing increased use of renewables and improved energy efficiency, with CarbonNet one of 51 CCS projects proposed or in place globally. Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes “We’ve proven the science behind CCS and now it’s time to test that work into action at the Pelican site, helping secure a low emissions future for Victoria.” “CarbonNet has the potential to store a wide range of emissions, from fertiliser and hydrogen production to energy generation.” “These investigations are important steps in delivering climate change action – if the Pelican site is successful, it will be significant in achieving our emissions targets.”

Investing In The Next Generation Of Victorian Farmers

Thirteen young farmers from across Victoria have received the Andrews Labor Government’s Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarships, supporting the state’s future agriculture leaders to shine. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today announced the winners of the fifth round of scholarships, delivering on the Labor Government’s election commitment and celebrating young farmers from around Victoria across diverse agriculture sectors including goat dairy, cropping, chestnuts and livestock. Upskill and Invest Young Farmer Scholarships are worth up to $10,000 per farmer – with $5000 to upskill through training and study in areas like farm management, financial literacy, product development or innovative farming techniques, making sure the next generation of farming leaders are developing world-class skills. Once they complete their studies, recipients are eligible for an additional funding boost of up to $5,000 to invest on-farm or in professional development – putting their new skills into practice and boosting their businesses. To date, the scholarship program has seen 63 young recipients go from strength to strength in their careers – and is an important part of the Labor Government’s commitment to grow the state’s agriculture sector to $20 billion by 2030. The successful recipients include: Sophia Christoe, dairy (goat), Mount Alexander Hannah Dowsett, livestock (mixed), Wellington Bridget Doyle, livestock (beef), Benalla Clay Gowers, cropping, Mildura Edward Guthridge, dairy, Corangamite Jackson Keane, horticulture (garlic) and livestock (sheep), Macedon Ranges Jessica Knight, dairy, Wellington Nicola Letts, horticulture (chestnuts) and livestock (pigs) Alpine Andrew Murphy, dairy, Campaspe Joseph Sutherland, livestock (sheep), Southern Grampians Joseph Watts, cropping and livestock (sheep), Buloke Dallas Willersdorf, livestock (sheep) and grains, Mildura Rebekah Winter, dairy, Colac-Otway. Applications for the 2020 Young Farmers Scholarships will open in mid 2020, with farmers aged 35 or under encouraged to apply. To find out more about the scholarships program, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/youngfarmers. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “We’re proud to be backing the next generation of farmers develop the skills they will need to thrive in a changing industry and keep Victoria’s agriculture sector growing.” “Young farmers are crucial to the ongoing success of our $14.9 billion agriculture industry and the innovative work these farmers are doing will help us meet the growing demand for Victoria’s high quality, safe produce from right around the world.”

Investing In The Next Generation Of Victorian Farmers

Thirteen young farmers from across Victoria have received the Andrews Labor Government’s Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarships, supporting the state’s future agriculture leaders to shine. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today announced the winners of the fifth round of scholarships, delivering on the Labor Government’s election commitment and celebrating young farmers from around Victoria across diverse agriculture sectors including goat dairy, cropping, chestnuts and livestock. Upskill and Invest Young Farmer Scholarships are worth up to $10,000 per farmer – with $5000 to upskill through training and study in areas like farm management, financial literacy, product development or innovative farming techniques, making sure the next generation of farming leaders are developing world-class skills. Once they complete their studies, recipients are eligible for an additional funding boost of up to $5,000 to invest on-farm or in professional development – putting their new skills into practice and boosting their businesses. To date, the scholarship program has seen 63 young recipients go from strength to strength in their careers – and is an important part of the Labor Government’s commitment to grow the state’s agriculture sector to $20 billion by 2030. The successful recipients include: Sophia Christoe, dairy (goat), Mount Alexander Hannah Dowsett, livestock (mixed), Wellington Bridget Doyle, livestock (beef), Benalla Clay Gowers, cropping, Mildura Edward Guthridge, dairy, Corangamite Jackson Keane, horticulture (garlic) and livestock (sheep), Macedon Ranges Jessica Knight, dairy, Wellington Nicola Letts, horticulture (chestnuts) and livestock (pigs) Alpine Andrew Murphy, dairy, Campaspe Joseph Sutherland, livestock (sheep), Southern Grampians Joseph Watts, cropping and livestock (sheep), Buloke Dallas Willersdorf, livestock (sheep) and grains, Mildura Rebekah Winter, dairy, Colac-Otway. Applications for the 2020 Young Farmers Scholarships will open in mid 2020, with farmers aged 35 or under encouraged to apply. To find out more about the scholarships program, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/youngfarmers. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “We’re proud to be backing the next generation of farmers develop the skills they will need to thrive in a changing industry and keep Victoria’s agriculture sector growing.” “Young farmers are crucial to the ongoing success of our $14.9 billion agriculture industry and the innovative work these farmers are doing will help us meet the growing demand for Victoria’s high quality, safe produce from right around the world.”

Policies

Policy Documents

Victorian Labor Party Policy