Pages tagged "feature"

Labor’s failed IT system ends up in sale of VicRoads

The Andrews Labor Government has today thrown in the towel with its outdated IT system for VicRoads and will instead sell off part of the business that runs licencing and number plates.

The privatisation of VicRoads’ licencing and number plate division will mean the data of all Victorian motorists will end up in the hands of a third party provider with no guarantee costs to drivers won’t increase.

Labor’s Treasurer has today admitted the sale is needed because of failures in its outdated IT system. A system that has been unable to modernise and keep the basics up to the millions of Victorians who interact with VicRoads.

Daniel Andrews has a horrible track record of privatisation. After the sale of the Port of Melbourne, port fees skyrocketed and every Victorian has paid the price through increases to goods and services. It is now one of the most expensive ports in the world to do business.

Fees also increased after Andrews’ sale of the Victorian Land Titles Office. Fees have continued to increase following this sale.

Previous Labor Government data breaches include:

  • 2016 multiple breaches of personal data of children in foster care
  • 2017 after a review into the Child Protection breaches, further breaches were identified
  • 15 million individuation data breaches by myki to a third party between 2015 and 2018
  • 2019/20 OVIC report has shown data breach notifications received over that time has increased year on year since Andrews came to government including a 16 per cent increase in that year alone.

This Labor Government cant not be trusted when it comes to privatisation or keeping Victorian’s data secure.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer Louise Staley:

“Labor’s privatisation of VicRoads will mean that every Victorian will pay more to get a driver’s licence and more for yearly car registration.

“Labor is giving away billions of dollars of future revenue to get an IT company in to run a system it is incapable of running.

“Labor is so skint it is mortgaging the future to pay for an IT upgrade.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Brad Battin:

“Victorians have once again been sold out due to Labor’s inability to run basic government services.

“Victorians can’t trust Daniel Andrews with data. Data is not just about a drivers licence but it is your identity to open bank accounts or start a home loan and we can’t put that at risk.

“We have seen millions of data breaches in Victoria since the Andrews Labor Government came to power in 2014 including a 16 per cent increase reported in 2019/20.”

 Media contact:  Tineka Everaardt   0408 210 293   [email protected]

Payroll jobs down as lockdown hits small business

The latest payroll jobs figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the effect Daniel Andrews’ Victoria-wide five-day lockdown had on employment, impacting mum and dad small businesses the hardest.

For the two week period between 30 January to 13 February, payroll jobs in Victoria fell 0.4 per cent. Victoria was one of only two states to suffer a fall in payroll jobs over these two weeks, the other being Western Australia which was also locked-down during part of this period.

All other states and territories in Australia enjoyed a rise in payroll jobs during this time.

Victorian small businesses bore the brunt of this loss of jobs associated with the lockdown, with payroll jobs in businesses with under 20 employees down 2.4 per cent.

Overall since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still small and medium businesses that have suffered the most, with Victorian businesses employing fewer than 200 employees, shedding jobs at over twice the rate as businesses with 200 employees or more over that time.

This report comes on the same day it was confirmed that 50 Victorian businesses went into liquidation in February, which was double the number for the previous month. Seven more Victorian businesses went into voluntary administration.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Today’s payroll jobs figures clearly demonstrate the devasting effect Daniel Andrews’ sudden five-day lockdown had on Victoria and particularly Victorian small businesses.

“We saw the result the two lockdowns last year had on small businesses, and just as many small businesses were starting to recover, another lockdown by Daniel Andrews has again hit them for six.

“Struggling small businesses need support in order to get back to work, but Daniel Andrews and Labor have sadly failed to provide the support that is needed.

“Small businesses also need certainty, and that is why the Liberal Nationals opposed a blank-cheque nine-month extension to the State of Emergency. With that legislation passed, small businesses will be worried about another snap lockdown from Daniel Andrews for the rest of 2021.

“Only the Liberal Nationals have a plan to provide small businesses support and certainty so they can get Back to Work and Back in Business.”

Media contact:     Anja Wolff     0435 827 028     [email protected]

ANZ report shows Melbourne faces biggest economic crisis in a generation

The latest ANZ Stateometer report has detailed the scope of the economic disaster that Melbourne is suffering.

ANZ predicts Victoria to be the only state’s economy (Gross State Product) that will shrink in 2020-21 financial year, while every other state and territory is predicted to grow.

The report for the final quarter of 2020 also shows that Victoria’s economy is still lagging behind that of the rest of the country.

Details in the report demonstrate the unfolding economic disaster, particularly in Melbourne. According to the report, employment in Melbourne fell by more than any other capital city in 2020, with a reduction of 2.5 per cent.

Victorian house values and leases also fell, and Melbourne was the only capital city where residential approvals fell in the last three months of 2020, down almost 40 per cent.

The Andrews Labor Government’s mistakes in hotel quarantine led to Victoria being the only state in the country to endure three lockdowns.

The Liberal Nationals released a comprehensive plan to get Victoria Back to Work and Back in Business. Labor has no plan to fix our economy.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“This report from ANZ confirms that Melbourne is facing its biggest economic crisis in a generation.

“Employment, house values, housing approvals and leases have all fallen. These are the signs of a city suffering an economic disaster, causing the entire state’s economy to shrink.

“Melbourne is the engine room of the Victorian economy. Despite the clear and obvious signs of a city in severe economic distress, the Andrews Labor Government have no plan to get Melbourne’s CBD back to work.

“With the constant threat of lockdowns hanging over us, it is easy to see why businesses are reluctant to invest in Melbourne.

“There needs to be a plan to get Melbourne’s economy going again so the people of Melbourne can get back to work and back in business.”

Moody’s joins Standard & Poors in downgrading Victoria’s credit rating

Credit rating agency Moody’s has joined Standard & Poors in downgrading Victoria’s credit rating.

Less than three months after Standard & Poors downgraded its credit rating for Victoria two levels from AAA to AA, Moody’s has downgraded its credit rating for Victoria from AAA to AA1 and changed the outlook to ‘negative’.

In a statement, Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer John Manning said "The downgrades reflect a marked erosion in Victoria's governance of its public finances..."

The report said “The State’s debt burden will rise sharply and remain elevated for the remainder of the decade.”

This means both major credit rating agencies have major concerns over the Andrews Labor Government’s mismanagement of the budget.

Last year’s Labor budget ratcheted up government debt to $155 billion – the highest of any state in the country. 

With predictions that interest rates will increase, this will add significant strain to the state’s interest bill.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Today is a sad day for Victorians as Moody’s has followed Standard & Poors in downgrading Victoria’s credit rating.

“These are the most prestigious agencies in the world calling out Labor’s budget mismanagement and its ability to repay debt.

“With news this week that the Andrews Labor Government still has no idea of the extent of cost blowouts on major projects, it is little wonder the world financial community is deeply concerned about Labor’s ability to manage the budget.

“We know that over the next few years the Andrews Labor Government will rack up $155 billion of debt with no plan to repay it. Now that both major credit rating agencies have downgraded Victoria’s rating, that debt will cost more to repay, meaning less money for roads, schools, hospitals and police.

“What this says is that Victoria is as riskier place to invest in than other states due to the mismanagement of the Andrews Labor Government.

“As every home owner with a mortgage knows if you have a lot of debt and interest rates go up, so do your interest payments, cutting back on spending in other essential areas.”

Media contact:   Mitch Grayson   0427 003 670   [email protected]

Labor wastes more than $25 billion on cost blowouts

The Andrews Labor Government has proven again that it can’t manage taxpayers’ money. 

With only three months until the Victorian State Budget, Victorians and the Treasury Department are no closer to understanding the growing cost blowouts on Victoria’s major projects under Labor. 

During questioning by the Liberal Nationals, today at Public Accounts and Estimates hearings at State Parliament, DTF Secretary David Martine confirmed that the Treasury Department was still working through analysing the impact of Victoria’s major projects. 

Under Daniel Andrews, Victoria’s major projects have already blown out by more than $25 billion, with many more billions expected after problems with contaminated soil, workforce problems and overall government mismanagement. 

The Secretary also confirmed the latest five-day lockdown came with “economic consequences” and could not detail how much of the debt borrowings were being used to plug the holes in capital project blowouts. 

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley: 

“Victoria’s budget has already been hit hard with Daniel Andrews’ second wave and forced lockdowns. 

“The cost of Victoria’s major projects is growing by the week and debt is surging to cover the costs. Victorians know that our children and grandchildren will be paying the costs of the Andrews Labor Government’s economic mismanagement. 

“The Andrews Labor Government hid its most recent cost blow-outs under the cover of COVID. Today we’ve learned it still doesn’t know how badly the Minister for Transport Infrastructure is mismanaging her portfolio.” 

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis: 

“Treasury must pull the Minister for Transport Infrastructure into line. From today’s sworn evidence it appears Treasury has not got grip on the size, scale or reasons of the massive cost blowouts on our major transport infrastructure project. 

“Most of these transport projects are either late, botched or billions of dollars over budget. 

“Where are the business cases for these projects like the Suburban Rail Loop? Where is the oversight? It’s clear the Andrews Labor Government can’t manage these major projects.  Its waste and mismanagement will cost taxpayers dearly unless they are held to account.” 

Media contact:  Tineka Everaardt   0408 210 293   [email protected]

Little sign of jobs recovery in Victoria before lockdown

The latest payroll jobs figures for the last two weeks of January, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), show little sign of a recovery in Victorian jobs.

For the two weeks from 16 January to 30 January, the growth in payroll jobs in Victoria was the smallest in Australia except for Western Australia, at a meagre 1.0 per cent.

Overall, Victoria’s loss in payroll jobs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is still clearly the largest in the country at 3.7 per cent, which is double the rate of loss of payroll jobs across Australia, at 1.9 per cent. These figures are before Victoria was plunged into a third hard lockdown last Friday.

The job numbers for small businesses in Victoria continue to be dire, with businesses that employ fewer than 20 employees shedding jobs at twice the rate as businesses with 200 or more employees since the start of the pandemic.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“These latest payroll job numbers show that Victoria was still languishing behind the rest of the country in getting people back to work before this latest hard lockdown.

“The jobs lost during the pandemic need to come back, as people need to work so they can look after their families and pay household expenses.

“This was before this last lockdown, a lockdown that has been particularly hard on small businesses. We’ve seen the biggest weekend of the year for florists, Valentine’s Day, ruined by this lockdown. Restaurants normally full with bookings for Lunar New Year also bore the brunt of this swift lockdown.

“Despite this, only 1 in 5 small businesses have received any support from the Andrews Labor Government, and there is no sign of any further support forthcoming.

“I am calling on Daniel Andrews to compensate small businesses hit hard by his sudden lockdown as soon as possible.”

Media contact:     Anja Wolff     0435 827 028     [email protected]

Conditions for Victorian small business still worst in Australia

Data released by the National Australia Bank (NAB) today has confirmed that business conditions for Victorian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) remain the worst in Australia.

The NAB Quarterly SME Survey, released today, shows Victorian SME business conditions at less than +5 points, which is well behind overall Australian SME businesses conditions (+11 points).

Victorian SME business conditions also lag well behind the next lowest state which is New South Wales (+9 points).

The number reflects the depths of the economic crisis Victorian small businesses have faced in the last year.

According to NAB Group Chief Economist Alan Oster, “… even with a sharp bounce in business conditions, Victorian SMEs are still lagging behind the other states.

Today’s data shows that while Victorian small businesses are showing incredible strength and resilience in the face of incredible challenges, they need more support to get back to the levels they were at before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“The latest NAB Quarterly SME survey shows, once again, that the conditions Victorian small business continue to face are the worst in Australia.

“Business conditions for Victorian small businesses are still lagging behind the rest of Australia. It demonstrates that Victoria is well behind matching the economic recovery that has started to take place in the rest of Australia.

“Small business is the engine room of the Victorian economy. Despite this, and the challenges small businesses have faced since the start of the pandemic, only 1 in 5 small businesses have received any support from the Andrews Labor Government. This is why small businesses have been shedding jobs at three times the rate of larger businesses.

“The Liberal Nationals have a plan to support small businesses so Victorians can get Back to Work and Back in Business.”

Media contact:     Anja Wolff     0435 827 028     [email protected]

Ripon farmers to be hit with more red tape over manure

News this week that the Andrews Labor Government is proceeding with plans to classify animal manure as industrial waste is another blow for farmers says Member for Ripon Louise Staley.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has decided that from 1 July, animal manure will be classified as industrial waste. This will impose significant restrictions on how farmers can store, transport and use animal manure.

Ms Staley said this was extremely disappointing.

“This is a massive blow to farmers right across Ripon. This move will whack farmers with another lot of red tape they don’t need, at a time when the burden of red tape needs to ease on farmers,” Ms Staley said.

“Animal manure clearly is not industrial waste. The EPA has been told this time and again by farmers, but from their offices in the middle of Melbourne, the EPA has completely ignored them.”

“The re-use of animal manure has been part of farming for centuries and has been done without risk to farmers, communities and consumers. This over-reach by Melbourne-based public servants has to be stopped.”

“For organic and biodynamic farmers, animal manure is their main source of fertiliser so to classify it as industrial waste has particular negative consequences for these farming systems.”

Ms Staley called on the Minister for Agriculture, Mary-Anne Thomas, to intervene and fix this mess.

“Mary-Anne Thomas has been Minister for Agriculture for a very short time, but she can make her mark and represent farmers and the agricultural industry by stopping this change. She needs to work for farmers by reducing red tape and looking for ways to support the industry, rather than dropping more forms and more costs on farmers when they don’t have the time or the money to deal with them.”

December figures show Victorian retail in crisis

The December retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that the Victorian retail sector is in a deep crisis.

According to the figures, compared to the previous month, in December retail trade shrunk in Victoria in seasonally adjusted terms by 6.8 per cent, the largest fall in Australia. Victoria’s fall compared poorly with an overall fall in retail trade in December in Australia of 4.1 per cent.

Some of the Victorian retail sectors that suffered the sharpest falls were:

  • 8.6 per cent fall for clothing
  • 8.0 per cent fall for hardware, building and garden supplies
  • 8.5 per cent fall for newsagents and booksellers
  • 16.4 per cent fall for footwear and other personal accessories
  • 24.5 per cent fall for recreational goods

This collapse in retail trade came at the end of a year when many retail businesses were unable to open due to COVID-19 restrictions being enforced and then re-introduced due to Labor’s second wave.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley: 

“These latest retail trade numbers clearly show the crisis that the sector faces here in Victoria.

“It shows again the Victorian economy lagging behind while the rest of the country starts to recover.

“The overall retail trade figures for Victoria are worrying, but what is more concerning is the sectors that are particularly struggling. Many of the retail businesses in the clothing, hardware, newsagents, footwear and sporting goods sectors are small businesses.

“The Andrews Labor Government has not provided sufficient support for small business through this pandemic, with only 1 in 5 small businesses having received any support from Labor. We are seeing the results: jobs being lost in small business at three times the rate of large businesses, and the retail sector suffering greatly.

“Only when small businesses thrive can Victoria start to recover.”

Media contact:   Alexander Woff   0434 972 166   [email protected]

Victorian business conditions worst in Australia

Data released today by the National Australia Bank (NAB) show business conditions in Victoria are the worst in Australia. 

According to NAB's Quarterly Business Survey, Victoria's business conditions remained negative for the December 2020 quarter, while they improved in every other mainland Australian state. While overall business conditions in Australia improved by nine points, in Victoria they went down by one. 

This was the third consecutive quarter where a negative business conditions have been recorded in Victoria. 

The new data from NAB comes a week after they released data showing a fall in business confidence in Victoria in December, and a week after CommSec reported than Victoria's retail sector was the worst-performing in Australia.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley: 

"Another week passes and another NAB report is confirming that business is struggling in Victoria like nowhere else in Australia. 

"Victoria was the only state in mainland Australia where business conditions worsened in the December quarter. This is more evidence that while where economic recovery is underway everywhere else in Australia, Victorian businesses are still suffering. 

"This week, we have seen payroll jobs figures that show small businesses are still shedding jobs and migration numbers that show people are leaving Victoria for good at levels not seen in a generation. 

“With local small business jobs, retail spending and business conditions all lagging the nation, it’s clear that under Daniel Andrews, Victorians are in for a longer, harder road to recovery.” 

Media contact:   Alexander Woff   0434 972 166   [email protected]