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UPGRADING SCHOOL FIRE SHELTERS IN MACEDON

Students in bushfire-prone areas will be safer, with the Andrews Labor Government making sure schools in fire danger areas are better prepared for bushfires. Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, announced today that five schools in the Macedon electorate will be among 81 schools across the state to share in an extra $8.84 million under the Planned Maintenance Program for their ‘Shelter-in-Place’ building. The schools include: Bullarto Primary School Drummond Primary School Hepburn Primary School Malmsbury Primary School Newham Primary School The Planned Maintenance Program provides targeted funding for vital maintenance works based on need. Funding is allocated based on the outcomes of a facilities evaluation that occurs at each school every five years. School Shelter-in-Place buildings are ember-resistant shelters that serve as temporary shelter for staff and students during a bushfire until emergency services arrive, or as a shelter of last resort if there is insufficient time to evacuate. The funding is in addition to the Bushfire Risk and Readiness Program, which has already funded essential maintenance of school bushfire shelter buildings so that 356 schools on the Bushfire at Risk Register met the required standard. This work will improve the standard further and includes a range of activities such as removing combustible materials on the building, covering openings in walls and roof penetrations, and reinforcing skylights. Schools will be contacted in coming weeks, with works commencing as soon as possible thereafter. Schools receiving funding are on the Bushfire at Risk Register and are in areas that are at the highest risk of fire danger within bushfire-prone areas. The last five State Budgets have allocated more than $6.1 billion to school facilities to ensure the right school infrastructure is in place to meet teacher, student and school community needs. Quote attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino: “We continue to see the ferocity of bushfires, so we are preparing by ensuring Victorian students living in bushfire risk areas are safer at school through these maintenance upgrades.” Quote attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas: “We know that we live in a high-risk fire region, and these upgrades are about ensuring school fire shelters across Macedon are even safer for students."

UPGRADING SCHOOL FIRE SHELTERS IN MACEDON

Students in bushfire-prone areas will be safer, with the Andrews Labor Government making sure schools in fire danger areas are better prepared for bushfires. Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, announced today that five schools in the Macedon electorate will be among 81 schools across the state to share in an extra $8.84 million under the Planned Maintenance Program for their ‘Shelter-in-Place’ building. The schools include: Bullarto Primary School Drummond Primary School Hepburn Primary School Malmsbury Primary School Newham Primary School The Planned Maintenance Program provides targeted funding for vital maintenance works based on need. Funding is allocated based on the outcomes of a facilities evaluation that occurs at each school every five years. School Shelter-in-Place buildings are ember-resistant shelters that serve as temporary shelter for staff and students during a bushfire until emergency services arrive, or as a shelter of last resort if there is insufficient time to evacuate. The funding is in addition to the Bushfire Risk and Readiness Program, which has already funded essential maintenance of school bushfire shelter buildings so that 356 schools on the Bushfire at Risk Register met the required standard. This work will improve the standard further and includes a range of activities such as removing combustible materials on the building, covering openings in walls and roof penetrations, and reinforcing skylights. Schools will be contacted in coming weeks, with works commencing as soon as possible thereafter. Schools receiving funding are on the Bushfire at Risk Register and are in areas that are at the highest risk of fire danger within bushfire-prone areas. The last five State Budgets have allocated more than $6.1 billion to school facilities to ensure the right school infrastructure is in place to meet teacher, student and school community needs. Quote attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino: “We continue to see the ferocity of bushfires, so we are preparing by ensuring Victorian students living in bushfire risk areas are safer at school through these maintenance upgrades.” Quote attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas: “We know that we live in a high-risk fire region, and these upgrades are about ensuring school fire shelters across Macedon are even safer for students."

SMILE SQUAD TO VISIT DAYLESFORD KIDS IN 2020

Students across the Hepburn Shire will have brighter and healthier smiles when the Smile Squad free dental program is rolled out to more schools in term one next year. Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas MP today announced the Smile Squad – Victoria’s new fleet of school dental vans – will provide free examinations and treatment at local public primary and secondary schools. From Term 1 next year, the vans will start visiting schools in the Hepburn Shire local government area. They will join schools in Box Hill, Barwon South, Cranbourne and Wodonga who have already been visited as part of the free dental program. In 2020, the fleet is expected to visit more than 150 schools and provide treatment to more than 50,000 students. More schools and locations will be announced in 2020. Oral disease is one of the most common and expensive diseases to treat, but it’s also the most preventable. Across Australia, a quarter of all children have untreated tooth decay; and in Victoria, dental conditions are the highest single cause of preventable hospitalisations for kids under 10. The Smile Squad vans will provide free check-ups and treatment including teeth cleaning, fluoride application, fillings, root canals and any other non-cosmetic treatments to make sure our kids have healthy teeth. All Victorian public primary and secondary school students will receive their own free dental packs, complete with a toothbrush, and lots of education about the benefits of a healthy, bright smile. The Labor Government’s landmark free dental care program will drive down big dental costs for families, with bills expected to be slashed by $400 each year for each kid. It’s also estimated to free up 100,000 places for adults in the public dental system each year, reducing wait times. Once fully rolled out in 2022, the program will provide check-ups and dental treatment for about 650,000 public school kids every year. Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas MP “Too many children aren’t getting the dental care they need because of the cost, the smile squad will help hard-working families save on expensive dental bills.” “Good oral health is one of the key foundations for lifelong health and wellbeing, so I’m thrilled to see that Hepburn Shire students will be amongst the first to benefit from a free dental visit.”

SMILE SQUAD TO VISIT DAYLESFORD KIDS IN 2020

Students across the Hepburn Shire will have brighter and healthier smiles when the Smile Squad free dental program is rolled out to more schools in term one next year. Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas MP today announced the Smile Squad – Victoria’s new fleet of school dental vans – will provide free examinations and treatment at local public primary and secondary schools. From Term 1 next year, the vans will start visiting schools in the Hepburn Shire local government area. They will join schools in Box Hill, Barwon South, Cranbourne and Wodonga who have already been visited as part of the free dental program. In 2020, the fleet is expected to visit more than 150 schools and provide treatment to more than 50,000 students. More schools and locations will be announced in 2020. Oral disease is one of the most common and expensive diseases to treat, but it’s also the most preventable. Across Australia, a quarter of all children have untreated tooth decay; and in Victoria, dental conditions are the highest single cause of preventable hospitalisations for kids under 10. The Smile Squad vans will provide free check-ups and treatment including teeth cleaning, fluoride application, fillings, root canals and any other non-cosmetic treatments to make sure our kids have healthy teeth. All Victorian public primary and secondary school students will receive their own free dental packs, complete with a toothbrush, and lots of education about the benefits of a healthy, bright smile. The Labor Government’s landmark free dental care program will drive down big dental costs for families, with bills expected to be slashed by $400 each year for each kid. It’s also estimated to free up 100,000 places for adults in the public dental system each year, reducing wait times. Once fully rolled out in 2022, the program will provide check-ups and dental treatment for about 650,000 public school kids every year. Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas MP “Too many children aren’t getting the dental care they need because of the cost, the smile squad will help hard-working families save on expensive dental bills.” “Good oral health is one of the key foundations for lifelong health and wellbeing, so I’m thrilled to see that Hepburn Shire students will be amongst the first to benefit from a free dental visit.”

TOOLERN VALE COMMUNITY CALLS FOR SPEED REDUCTION

A petition has been launched in Toolern Vale, calling for a speed reduction and road treatment on Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road to increase safety for pedestrians. Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, and Member for Melton, Steve McGhie, visited Toolern Vale to hear from community members about their safety concerns. Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road runs through the centre of the Toolern Vale township, with the school, general store and homes on one side, and the recreation reserve, an important community meeting place, on the opposite side. Community members said that the current speed of 80kms per hour does not allow for families to cross the road from one side of the township to the other safely. The online petition can be found here: http://www.mary-annethomas.com.au/campaign/speed-reduction-for-a-safer-toolern-vale/ Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas “The Toolern Vale community let us know that they want their families to be able to cross the road safely, that’s why we’ve launched this petition for a speed reduction on Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road.” “Everyone in Toolern Vale deserves to be able to get around the township safely.” Quotes attributable to Member for Melton, Steve McGhie “We know that Melton residents use Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road and I encourage all road users, whether they drive on this road or are pedestrians who cross this road, to sign the petition for a safer Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road.”

TOOLERN VALE COMMUNITY CALLS FOR SPEED REDUCTION

A petition has been launched in Toolern Vale, calling for a speed reduction and road treatment on Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road to increase safety for pedestrians. Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, and Member for Melton, Steve McGhie, visited Toolern Vale to hear from community members about their safety concerns. Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road runs through the centre of the Toolern Vale township, with the school, general store and homes on one side, and the recreation reserve, an important community meeting place, on the opposite side. Community members said that the current speed of 80kms per hour does not allow for families to cross the road from one side of the township to the other safely. The online petition can be found here: http://www.mary-annethomas.com.au/campaign/speed-reduction-for-a-safer-toolern-vale/ Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas “The Toolern Vale community let us know that they want their families to be able to cross the road safely, that’s why we’ve launched this petition for a speed reduction on Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road.” “Everyone in Toolern Vale deserves to be able to get around the township safely.” Quotes attributable to Member for Melton, Steve McGhie “We know that Melton residents use Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road and I encourage all road users, whether they drive on this road or are pedestrians who cross this road, to sign the petition for a safer Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road.”

DRIVING JOBS IN REGIONAL VICTORIA WITH WASTE TO ENERGY

A waste to energy facility in Creswick is transforming organic waste and boosting local job and business opportunities, thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. A biodigester that turns organic waste into valuable products in Creswick is helping to remove waste from the environment while creating opportunities for new jobs and businesses. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today visited the $1.65m Hepburn Shire Waste to Energy System which will save $280,000 each year by diverting 2,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill and turning it into methane gas, waste water and compost. The Labor Government invested $650,000 in the facility from the New Energy Jobs Fund, with the Hepburn Shire Council delivering the remaining funding. The facility turns organic food waste from the local RACV resort into energy, waste water for street plantings or dust mitigation, and into compost for plants or to be sold. The facility has been operational since July and will continue in its current testing phase through to early 2020, it will also explore how to inject clean, filtered green gas into the gas network – a Victorian first. The project is aiming to scale-up production to reduce waste shire-wide, with potential for the system to then be replicated across other Victorian councils. This will help work towards the Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “Projects like these create opportunities for new products and jobs across regional Victoria and mean less waste ends up in landfill.” “The Hepburn Shire Council is setting an example that councils across Victoria can follow and it’s clear there are more benefits to come from this project.” Quote attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas “Facilities like these provide benefits at all levels of the community – boosting jobs, getting more out of our waste and delivering much needed resources to local businesses.”

DRIVING JOBS IN REGIONAL VICTORIA WITH WASTE TO ENERGY

A waste to energy facility in Creswick is transforming organic waste and boosting local job and business opportunities, thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. A biodigester that turns organic waste into valuable products in Creswick is helping to remove waste from the environment while creating opportunities for new jobs and businesses. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today visited the $1.65m Hepburn Shire Waste to Energy System which will save $280,000 each year by diverting 2,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill and turning it into methane gas, waste water and compost. The Labor Government invested $650,000 in the facility from the New Energy Jobs Fund, with the Hepburn Shire Council delivering the remaining funding. The facility turns organic food waste from the local RACV resort into energy, waste water for street plantings or dust mitigation, and into compost for plants or to be sold. The facility has been operational since July and will continue in its current testing phase through to early 2020, it will also explore how to inject clean, filtered green gas into the gas network – a Victorian first. The project is aiming to scale-up production to reduce waste shire-wide, with potential for the system to then be replicated across other Victorian councils. This will help work towards the Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “Projects like these create opportunities for new products and jobs across regional Victoria and mean less waste ends up in landfill.” “The Hepburn Shire Council is setting an example that councils across Victoria can follow and it’s clear there are more benefits to come from this project.” Quote attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas “Facilities like these provide benefits at all levels of the community – boosting jobs, getting more out of our waste and delivering much needed resources to local businesses.”

Campaigns

Speed Reduction for a safer Toolern Vale

The Toolern Vale community is calling for a speed reduction on Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road. The road runs through the centre of the town with the school, general store and homes one on side, and the recreation reserve, an important community meeting place on the opposite side. The current speed limit of 80kms per hour does not allow families to cross the road from one side of the township to the other safely. Sign the petition to say that our community wants a speed reduction and road treatment to make it safe for pedestrians to cross Diggers Rest-Coimadai Rd.

Speed Reduction for a safer Toolern Vale

The Toolern Vale community is calling for a speed reduction on Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road. The road runs through the centre of the town with the school, general store and homes one on side, and the recreation reserve, an important community meeting place on the opposite side. The current speed limit of 80kms per hour does not allow families to cross the road from one side of the township to the other safely. Sign the petition to say that our community wants a speed reduction and road treatment to make it safe for pedestrians to cross Diggers Rest-Coimadai Rd.

Fair funding for the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct

The Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct is an ambitious, community-initiated project that will deliver the indoor and outdoor sporting and recreational facilities our kids need now and into the future. The Andrews Labor Government is committed to this project and that's why we have delivered $11.6 million towards making the Precinct a reality. Macedon Ranges Shire Council are leading the development of the Precinct and have a planned contribution of $10 million. This project will only be delivered with all three levels of government paying their fair share. Sign our petition and tell Prime Minister Scott Morrison that we need $10 million from the federal government to make the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct a reality. 

Fair funding for the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct

The Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct is an ambitious, community-initiated project that will deliver the indoor and outdoor sporting and recreational facilities our kids need now and into the future. The Andrews Labor Government is committed to this project and that's why we have delivered $11.6 million towards making the Precinct a reality. Macedon Ranges Shire Council are leading the development of the Precinct and have a planned contribution of $10 million. This project will only be delivered with all three levels of government paying their fair share. Sign our petition and tell Prime Minister Scott Morrison that we need $10 million from the federal government to make the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct a reality. 

MACEDON YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL

In 2018, I made a public commitment that I would start a Youth Advisory Council if I were elected for another term. I'm thrilled that the Macedon community has entrusted me with another four years as their representative so that I can make good on my promise to young people in my electorate! The aims of the Youth Advisory Council are to provide a platform for the perspectives and priorities of young people across Macedon, to empower young people to take action, show leadership and learn about government and its processes. I want to hear from young people across the Macedon electorate about what matters to them.  Mary-Anne Thomas MP   Who is it for? The Youth Advisory Council is for 12 passionate and community-minded young people from across the Macedon electorate. Applicants should be between the ages of 16 – 26 inclusive and be committed to attending all sessions. What is the commitment? The Youth Advisory Council will meet five times over a year at various locations including at the Victorian Parliament. Why apply for the Youth Advisory Council? The Youth Advisory Council will bring together young people who are interested in taking a leadership role within our community. This unique program will provide participants with the opportunity to build their understanding of government, the role and responsibilities of a Member of Parliament, and to understand pathways into politics. How can I apply for the Youth Advisory Council? There are 4 simple questions to answer in the application for the Youth Advisory Council. Applicants can answer them in writing  or via a video. What do you love about living in the Macedon electorate? What issues are most important to you, and why? Why do you want to be a part of the Youth Advisory Council? In your opinion, what do you think is something that could be improved for our community? Applications are now closed.   For more information or any other questions, email korey.fernando@parliament.vic.gov.au        

MACEDON YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL

In 2018, I made a public commitment that I would start a Youth Advisory Council if I were elected for another term. I'm thrilled that the Macedon community has entrusted me with another four years as their representative so that I can make good on my promise to young people in my electorate! The aims of the Youth Advisory Council are to provide a platform for the perspectives and priorities of young people across Macedon, to empower young people to take action, show leadership and learn about government and its processes. I want to hear from young people across the Macedon electorate about what matters to them.  Mary-Anne Thomas MP   Who is it for? The Youth Advisory Council is for 12 passionate and community-minded young people from across the Macedon electorate. Applicants should be between the ages of 16 – 26 inclusive and be committed to attending all sessions. What is the commitment? The Youth Advisory Council will meet five times over a year at various locations including at the Victorian Parliament. Why apply for the Youth Advisory Council? The Youth Advisory Council will bring together young people who are interested in taking a leadership role within our community. This unique program will provide participants with the opportunity to build their understanding of government, the role and responsibilities of a Member of Parliament, and to understand pathways into politics. How can I apply for the Youth Advisory Council? There are 4 simple questions to answer in the application for the Youth Advisory Council. Applicants can answer them in writing  or via a video. What do you love about living in the Macedon electorate? What issues are most important to you, and why? Why do you want to be a part of the Youth Advisory Council? In your opinion, what do you think is something that could be improved for our community? Applications are now closed.   For more information or any other questions, email korey.fernando@parliament.vic.gov.au        

TIME FOR ACTION ON BARRY STREET

Join me in calling for action at the Barry Street and Main Street intersection.