Pages tagged "Media release"

Maryborough Hospital not a funding priority for Labor

It has been almost two years since Labor Premier Daniel Andrews made an election promise that he would provide $100 million to rebuild Maryborough Hospital in this term of government.

Almost two years since Premier Daniel Andrews claimed his government cared about regional Victoria, that they understood the priorities of rural and regional health and that they were delivering for regional Victorians.

Almost two years and what do we see? Nothing. In the middle of the biggest health crisis our State has seen for a century, there is no money for Maryborough Hospital.

Ripon MP Louise Staley has repeatedly called on the Premier and Minister for Health, Hon. Jenny Mikakos MP to explain why the much-needed Maryborough Hospital redevelopment hasn’t been funded and hasn’t commenced.

On 27th May last year, Minister Mikakos claimed that the $100 million redevelopment of Maryborough Hospital is on track.

In February this year, Ms Staley raised funding for Maryborough Hospital again in the Parliament. Ms Staley asked the Minister for Health to ensure that the full $100 million promised by Labor for a new Maryborough hospital will be allocated in the upcoming Budget.

In Parliament, Ms Staley said, “in last year’s budget the hospital was not funded, and so it must be funded in this year’s budget in full if the government is to fulfil its promise to deliver the $100 million hospital to the people of Maryborough in this term of government.”

“Last week I finally received a response from the Minister, a response that simply said that planning had been done, but did not commit to constructing the hospital,” Ms Staley said.

“Yet again the Minister is refusing to promise that the hospital will be funded. Hospitals are not built overnight, and unless construction money is made available, this project will not be finished by the next election and the Premier’s promise will be broken,” Ms Staley said.

Hunting Licence Extension good news for Ripon Hunters

Last week’s news that Victoria’s 50,000-plus recreational game hunters will be compensated for lost hunting opportunities with an extension to current game licences by one year has been welcomed by the Member for Ripon, Louise Staley.

Under the State Government’s mandatory social distancing measures, game hunting has been banned. The game hunting seasons for hog and sambar deer, stubble quail and gamebirds have already been impacted and the upcoming duck hunting season will only be allowed on the property that you live on.

Ms Staley was pleased that the expiry date of all current game licences administered by the Game Management Authority will be extended by 12 months, allowing hunters to get the full value of their licence fee.

“Ripon has many local hunters, and this announcement will ensure those hunters can resume their sport when it is safe to do so,” Ms Staley said.

“Disappointingly though this decision has taken far too long to come. I have received many emails and calls from frustrated hunters across Ripon wanting to know what is happening with the season, their licences and whether they can legally hunt,”

“Game hunting is a sport that many people in Ripon participate in and enjoy every year. I know this year has been challenging and frustrating for many people,”

“I remind all hunters that Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has advised that to help slow the spread of coronavirus, people must not leave their property to go hunting.”

Mark ANZAC Day at home and ‘Light up the Dawn.’

People in Ripon are being encouraged to commemorate our servicemen and women from home this year.

All public ANZAC Day services have been cancelled this year as we all continue to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, but Louise Staley MP is urging the community to come together still to reflect and remember.

“This year’s ANZAC Day is going to be like no other, with traditional services not proceeding and the opportunity to attend and pay respects at the local cenotaph not allowed,” Ms Staley said.

“However, while confined to our own homes, it simply means we can, and should, reflect in a different way.

“The RSL is encouraging Victorians to ‘Light up the Dawn’ for ANZAC Day, by standing in their driveways at 6 am for a minute’s silence under the light of a candle, torch, or even a mobile phone.”

Ms Staley said this was a fitting way to recognise the sacrifices made by past servicemen and servicewomen and those who continue to serve our nation today.

“People can then choose to stay and reflect for a while, or tune into the live televised service from the Australian War Memorial that is proceeding without veterans or public in attendance,” Ms Staley said.

“Our communities are facing difficult times at present and in this situation we are facing, it is perhaps more pertinent than ever to give thought to the brave men and women who served, the challenges they faced and hardships they endured.”

COVID-19 Maryborough Taskforce says “Be the One.”

This Easter, we are calling on everyone in Maryborough and Central Goldfields to “Be the One” to help keep our community safe.

The COVID-19 Maryborough Taskforce is Louise Staley MP, Member for Ripon, Noel Harvey OAM, Chief Administrator Central Goldfields Shire Council, Lucy Roffey CEO Central Goldfields Shire Council, Windsor Main, Chair Committee for Maryborough, Garry Higgins OAM Deputy Chair Committee for Maryborough, Terry Welch CEO Maryborough & District Health Service, and Inspector Donna Mitchell Goldfields Division Police.

Every one of us can help defeat the virus by ensuring that they remain vigilant and stay home to save lives.

Easter is a time of year that many families get together to celebrate and many families also travel throughout the state to enjoy the extended break, to visit relatives, go camping and visit other parts of Victoria. This year, we are asking everyone to put those plans on hold. We know that it is hard and for many people, it is an occasion that they look forward to every year, but this year is different. This year we just cannot take the risk. We all need to “Be the One” to help keep our communities safe and ensure that the virus doesn’t spread.

We remind everyone that Stage 3 restrictions are now in place and that staying home is enforceable. A reminder that under Stage 3 restrictions you should only be leaving the house to:

  • Shop for what you need – food and essential supplies
  • Medical, care or compassionate needs
  • Exercise in compliance with the public gatherings requirements
  • Work and study if you can’t work remotely

Anyone caught breaching these directions can face on-the-spot fines of $1,652 for individuals and $9,193 for businesses.

This Easter we are calling on residents of Central Goldfields Shire to “Be the One”. Be the One who leads by example, Be the One who looks after the family, Be the One who spreads the word about staying home to save lives.

We wish you all a Happy Easter. Please, stay home, stay safe and stay well.

JobKeeper payments need to be exempt from payroll tax

April 05, 2020
Contact: Louise Staley

The Federal Government’s $1,500-a-fortnight JobKeeper payments need to be exempt from Victoria’s payroll tax.


The Federal Government’s historic JobKeeper payment is designed to keep businesses connected to their workforce and to keep workers afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.


However, under existing Victorian law, these payments will attract payroll tax. In some cases, where the businesses employ mainly juniors or those on lower wages, the JobKeeper payment will be higher than pre-existing wages. It is unfair that employers in that situation should now face a Victorian payroll tax bill for receiving Federal Government support.


When the Parliament next sits, the Government needs to include payroll tax exemption for these payments. There must be no unintended and unfair impost on businesses already impacted by the pandemic and the restrictions introduced to limit its spread.


Other Australian parliaments, including the Federal Parliament and those of New South Wales and South Australia, have continued to meet as needed since the pandemic. It is time the Victorian Parliament met, so unintended consequences of fast-moving changes are dealt with.


Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:


“Victoria’s limited payroll tax relief for COVID-19 cuts out at just $3 million, compared to $10 million in NSW.


“Federal JobKeeker payments must not increase payroll tax liability for Victorian businesses or make them ineligible for the limited relief available”.


Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:


“Victorian employers who are keeping their workforce on during COVID-19 need to know they won’t be paying additional payroll tax on Federal Government JobKeeper payments.


“The Federal JobKeeper support must not be an inadvertent tax grab for Victorian payroll tax.”


Media Contact:        Simon Watson         0484 000 051  

Staley calls for rates relief for Ripon residents

The Victorian Government should urgently provide council rates relief for residents struggling with the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, says Member for Ripon Louise Staley.

With many rural and regional residents already dealing with higher rates than their Melbourne counterparts, Ms Staley said the economic effects of the current pandemic would hit those outside Melbourne even harder.

“Many people in rural and regional have lost their livelihoods or have been stood down from work due to this outbreak. The State Government should step in and support councils to provide rates relief to residents struggling to pay them”, Ms Staley said.

“We also know that local rural and regional councils, like those in Ripon, want to be helping residents and providing essential services. The State Government needs to provide this support so that rural and regional councils and their residents can survive.”

“Councils are currently in the process of preparing their budgets for the next financial year. This move would give councils certainty about their financial position at a time of great uncertainty, and enable them to guarantee that they will continue to provide essential services to residents.”

“This pandemic and its economic outcomes affect all Victorians, not just those living along the tram tracks in Metropolitan Melbourne. Providing rates relief is a meaningful way to ease the strain on rural and regional families who are really struggling.”

Liberal Nationals call for land tax relief to support tenants and property owners

March 25, 2020
Contact: Louise Staley

The Liberal Nationals call on the Victorian Government to deliver land tax credits for property owners who provide rent relief to tenants affected by COVID-19 restrictions.


Landlords who do the right thing and lower the rent for commercial tenants who have had to shut their doors or residential tenants who have lost their jobs should have that amount credited to their land tax.


Many small businesses have been forced to close because of necessary decisions by the National Cabinet. We have also seen thousands of workers lose their jobs from many industries and from businesses, large and small, who now cannot pay their residential rent. Landlords should be encouraged to do the right thing by those tenants and provide rent relief.


This would apply to those currently on the list of businesses forced to close by the National Cabinet in response to the COVID-19 outbreak or those residential tenants who are without a job because of closures.


The land tax relief would be in the way of credits against a property owner’s land tax bill and apply on a dollar credit for every dollar of rent relief provided.


Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:


“We know that many renters are doing it tough right now. Where a landlord offers rent relief, it’s only fair that there should be land tax relief as well.


“We are all in this together. If tenants and landlords are playing their part, so should the Victorian Government.”


Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:


“Many businesses have been forced to shut down due to the National Cabinet’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.


“Encouraging property owners to provide rent relief to those small businesses by giving them credits on their land tax is one important way the Victorian Government can provide support to small business so that they can make it through these hard times.”


Media contact:     Joshua Morris     0409 931 430

Small business package leaves questions unanswered

March 21, 2020
Contact: Louise Staley

Small businesses have been crying out for a comprehensive relief package to stop them closing their doors and cutting Victorian jobs as a result of the unprecedented pressure of COVID-19.

All other states and the Federal Government have already announced small business relief packages, but the Andrews Labor Government’s delays left Victorian jobs and the future of too many of our small businesses on the line.

The small business package the Andrews Labor Government has announced today leaves many questions unanswered.

Daniel Andrews says this package includes funding for small businesses that don’t pay payroll tax, but couldn’t say what measures they will be able to access.

Our smallest businesses, particularly those in the entertainment, hospitality and tourism sectors, are some of the most vulnerable to the pressures of COVID-19.

Comment attributable to Leader of the Opposition Michael O’Brien

Unprecedented times require an unprecedented response. Victorian small businesses have had to wait for an announcement from Daniel Andrews.

I was hoping to see land tax relief for tenanted residential properties, as tenants and their landlords need support. Questions also remain about exactly what support sole traders and micro businesses under the payroll tax threshold will receive.

Small businesses and their staff are among the most vulnerable to the economic pressure created by the COVID-19 crisis.

This announcement is a start, but it is only a start. More will need to be done to protect small businesses and save jobs.

Comment attributable to Shadow Treasurer Louise Staley

The COVID-19 pandemic has already forced many small businesses in the entertainment, hospitality and tourism sector to their knees while Daniel Andrews failed to follow the lead of every other state with direct support for business.

Small businesses that don’t pay payroll tax are suffering now. They are being forced to lay off workers now. They can’t afford to wait for assistance.


Media contact: Emma Manser   0437 225 386

The Federal Liberal Nationals Government gives, and the State Labor Government takes away

March 17, 2020
Contact: Louise Staley

Despite the devastating impact COVID-19 is having on the Victorian economy, Labor Treasurer Tim Pallas refused in Question Time today to rule out increasing taxes and charges in the upcoming State Budget.


The Federal Liberal Nationals Government has announced an $18 billion stimulus package with a further package to come.


The stimulus package is designed to put more money into the pockets of households, pensioners and small businesses to protect jobs in the face of COVID-19.


By contrast, Labor’s Treasurer, Tim Pallas has promised $4 billion in budget cuts and a new billion-dollar bin tax.


Tim Pallas was also questioned why the Andrews Labor Government has failed to announce a stimulus package.


The Western Australian Government, by contrast, has already announced a $607 million stimulus package for households, small businesses and seniors.


New South Wales has announced a $2.3 billion package.


Queensland has announced payroll tax relief for six months for certain businesses and a raft of other stimulus measures.


South Australia has committed a $350 million stimulus package for the state.


Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:


“Daniel Andrews and his Treasurer are failing to act at a time when small businesses are struggling and face an uncertain future.


“Instead of clobbering Victorians with new taxes, Labor should be announcing a comprehensive stimulus package to support the ailing Victorian economy.


“Labor buggered the budget and now has no money to ensure small businesses can survive.”


Media contact:         Joshua Morris     0409 931 430

Labor hands down disastrous mid-year financial report

March 13, 2020
Contact: Louise Staley

Labor has officially buggered the budget.


Today the Andrews Labor Government handed down its disastrous Mid-Year Financial Report with a staggering $1.1 billion deficit.


And it’s only going to get worse considering this result was until December 2019, before the devastating bushfires or the coronavirus.


It’s the third negative quarter in a row for Daniel Andrews and Labor who have failed to rein in spending and continued to plummet the state further into debt.


Prior to today’s report, we already knew:


  • that the unemployment rate in Victoria at 5.4 per cent is above the national average of 5.3 per cent and well above the NSW rate of 4.5 per cent
  • economic growth in the previous quarter is negative, and well below the national average and the growth seen in NSW
  • Victoria’s budget was already in deficit in the first quarter of 2019-20.


Today, the Government is in hiding, refusing to come clean with Victorians that the budget deficit of $1.1 billion is entirely of its making.


Since being elected Daniel Andrews and Labor have increased or introduced 28 new taxes. Tax revenue has increased by almost $470 million for the first half of 19/20 compared to the same time last year.


Public servant employee expenses are up almost $1 billion in the first half of 19/20 compared to the same time last year.


Debt continues to rise, with $10 billion being added to the state’s net debt, increasing by almost 40 per cent in just six months. Net debt to GSP has jumped from 5.7 per cent to 7.6 per cent over this period.


This government has lost control of the budget and now things are serious - with bushfires and coronavirus - it hasn’t got the capacity to be able to stimulate the economy.


Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:


“Today’s report confirms what every Victorian already knows, that Andrews has buggered the budget and has resorted to more and more taxes.


“Labor has lost control of its spending. It’s not a revenue problem, it’s a spending problem for Daniel Andrews and Labor who have overseen $25 billion in waste and blowouts on major projects.


“When Labor runs out of money it comes after yours, and we’re seeing this through its 28 new or increased taxes hurting every Victorian.


“On one hand we’re seeing economic stimulus packages from the Federal Government encouraging spending, and on the other hand we’re seeing the Andrews Labor Government taking money from Victorians’ pockets with its new taxes and promising $4 billion in cuts.”   


Media contact:         Joshua Morris     0409 931 430