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LOCAL MP ANNOUNCES MEMBERS OF YOUTH INITIATIVE

Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas has announced the 13 members to take part in the inaugural Macedon Youth Advisory Council. Aged between 16 and 21, from 8 different towns, the members are graduates or current students from each secondary college in the electorate. Ms Thomas made the announcement today in a Members Statement to the State Parliament. The 13 members selected from across the Macedon electorate are:  Miranda Johnson-Jones of Kyneton  Maddi Condron of Kyneton  Tara Kankindji of Kyneton  Oliver Bagin of Riddells Creek  Molly Spencer-Stewart of Woodend  Shaylyn Blyth of Woodend  Laura Crozier of Woodend  Sean Doherty of Gisborne  Kate McIntosh of New Gisborne  Joel Blanch of Edgecombe  William Morris of Trentham  Marlon Toner-McLachlan of Hepburn  Santino D’Onghia of Hepburn The first meeting of the Youth Advisory Council was held at Riddells Creek Senior Citizens Centre in May. The Youth Advisory Council will meet five more times over the next twelve months and its aims are to provide a platform for the perspectives and priorities of young people across Macedon, empower young people to take action, show leadership and learn about government and its processes. Future meetings will take place in other parts of the Macedon electorate including Woodend, Daylesford and Kyneton. The announcement of the Macedon Youth Advisory Council delivers on an election commitment made by Ms Thomas prior to the 2018 election. Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas: “I was so impressed with the depth of our discussion at our first meeting - we are going to have a very productive time over the course of this program.” “I look forward to empowering the members with the skills and knowledge they need to become better advocates and change-makers in our community.” Quotes attributable to Macedon Youth Advisory Council Member, Joel Blanch: “I see this council as an opportunity to bring my voice into the discussion – it’s a way to ensure that the voice of the youth in our community is heard.” “I think it’s great to see a Member of Parliament actively engaging young people and it’s something we should see more of.”

LOCAL MP ANNOUNCES MEMBERS OF YOUTH INITIATIVE

Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas has announced the 13 members to take part in the inaugural Macedon Youth Advisory Council. Aged between 16 and 21, from 8 different towns, the members are graduates or current students from each secondary college in the electorate. Ms Thomas made the announcement today in a Members Statement to the State Parliament. The 13 members selected from across the Macedon electorate are:  Miranda Johnson-Jones of Kyneton  Maddi Condron of Kyneton  Tara Kankindji of Kyneton  Oliver Bagin of Riddells Creek  Molly Spencer-Stewart of Woodend  Shaylyn Blyth of Woodend  Laura Crozier of Woodend  Sean Doherty of Gisborne  Kate McIntosh of New Gisborne  Joel Blanch of Edgecombe  William Morris of Trentham  Marlon Toner-McLachlan of Hepburn  Santino D’Onghia of Hepburn The first meeting of the Youth Advisory Council was held at Riddells Creek Senior Citizens Centre in May. The Youth Advisory Council will meet five more times over the next twelve months and its aims are to provide a platform for the perspectives and priorities of young people across Macedon, empower young people to take action, show leadership and learn about government and its processes. Future meetings will take place in other parts of the Macedon electorate including Woodend, Daylesford and Kyneton. The announcement of the Macedon Youth Advisory Council delivers on an election commitment made by Ms Thomas prior to the 2018 election. Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas: “I was so impressed with the depth of our discussion at our first meeting - we are going to have a very productive time over the course of this program.” “I look forward to empowering the members with the skills and knowledge they need to become better advocates and change-makers in our community.” Quotes attributable to Macedon Youth Advisory Council Member, Joel Blanch: “I see this council as an opportunity to bring my voice into the discussion – it’s a way to ensure that the voice of the youth in our community is heard.” “I think it’s great to see a Member of Parliament actively engaging young people and it’s something we should see more of.”

DELIVERING THE BEST FACILITIES FOR RIDDELLS CREEK CFA

The Andrews Labor Government is boosting support for local firefighters in Riddells Creek, with $3 million to build a new CFA station to meet the demands of volunteer firefighters and the community into the future. Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today visited the volunteer brigade on behalf of Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Lisa Neville. In last year’s State Election Labor committed to a refurbishment of the brigade’s facilities. After working with the CFA, the Victorian Budget 2019/20 included funding to provide the brigade and the community with a new, larger and fully maintained station. Its features will include a three-bay motor room, support and meeting areas, offices, turn-out areas for firefighters, as well as a kitchen, training yard, communications infrastructure, fencing and a car park. The Riddells Creek Fire Brigade is made up of 61 volunteers - including 23 females and 38 males - and responds to around 160 incidents a year. As part of the rebuild, a new and larger site will be selected with construction expected to be completed by the end of 2021. As part of the budget, the CFA and Life Saving Victoria will receive $17 million to ensure our volunteers and staff can protect lives and property both on land and in the water. The Government has invested $8.5 million for better mental health care for police and emergency service workers, including a 12-month pilot of provisional payments, so the men and women who keep our state safe get mental health support as soon as they need it. A $5.4 million investment will also build on our emergency alert infrastructure to help keep Victorians safe, protecting lives and property. Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas: “Our CFA volunteers play a vital role in the community, especially in Riddells Creek where the brigade is being kept busy as the area continues to grow.” “The brigade has outgrown the current facility, which was built in 1984, and our investment will provide a fit-for-purpose base for our local volunteers and the community.” “We’ll continue to work with the CFA to ensure firefighters have the infrastructure, equipment and training they need to keep people safe.”

DELIVERING THE BEST FACILITIES FOR RIDDELLS CREEK CFA

The Andrews Labor Government is boosting support for local firefighters in Riddells Creek, with $3 million to build a new CFA station to meet the demands of volunteer firefighters and the community into the future. Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today visited the volunteer brigade on behalf of Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Lisa Neville. In last year’s State Election Labor committed to a refurbishment of the brigade’s facilities. After working with the CFA, the Victorian Budget 2019/20 included funding to provide the brigade and the community with a new, larger and fully maintained station. Its features will include a three-bay motor room, support and meeting areas, offices, turn-out areas for firefighters, as well as a kitchen, training yard, communications infrastructure, fencing and a car park. The Riddells Creek Fire Brigade is made up of 61 volunteers - including 23 females and 38 males - and responds to around 160 incidents a year. As part of the rebuild, a new and larger site will be selected with construction expected to be completed by the end of 2021. As part of the budget, the CFA and Life Saving Victoria will receive $17 million to ensure our volunteers and staff can protect lives and property both on land and in the water. The Government has invested $8.5 million for better mental health care for police and emergency service workers, including a 12-month pilot of provisional payments, so the men and women who keep our state safe get mental health support as soon as they need it. A $5.4 million investment will also build on our emergency alert infrastructure to help keep Victorians safe, protecting lives and property. Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas: “Our CFA volunteers play a vital role in the community, especially in Riddells Creek where the brigade is being kept busy as the area continues to grow.” “The brigade has outgrown the current facility, which was built in 1984, and our investment will provide a fit-for-purpose base for our local volunteers and the community.” “We’ll continue to work with the CFA to ensure firefighters have the infrastructure, equipment and training they need to keep people safe.”

NEW TIMETABLE A BOOST FOR MACEDON RANGES BUS SERVICES

Timetables are now available for the new bus services being introduced by the Andrews Labor Government to better connect Lancefield and Romsey with Clarkefield Station, Gisborne and Sunbury. Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas said that introducing 60 extra bus services and a simpler timetable will make travel between key destinations in the Macedon Ranges easier and more convenient for locals. Under the changes being introduced on 7 July the number of weekday services connecting Lancefield, Romsey and Monegeetta with surrounding destinations will increase from 85 to 145. The existing Lancefield to Kyneton service via Sunbury will be broken down into three distinct routes, each with their own timetables, with extra services added on each route. Lancefield to Sunbury will increase to nine return trips on weekdays, and the Lancefield to Gisborne services will increase from two return services a week, to ten. Lancefield to Sunbury services will also better connect with trains at Sunbury whilst maintaining existing connections at Clarkefield Station in the peak. All services will now run to the same stopping patterns from Monday to Saturday, reducing the confusion passengers often experienced under the previous timetable which offered eight trip variations. These extra services add to more than 100 new bus services introduced in April to the Kyneton bus network including a new Kyneton-Trentham route which has given Trentham and Tylden residents public transport access to key Kyneton destinations for the first time. New timetables and maps outlining the service changes are now available (from 7 June) on the PTV website at ptv.vic.gov.au, at Kyneton, Sunbury and Gisborne train stations, or by calling PTV on 1300 800 007. Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas: “We have listened to Lancefield and Romsey residents who told us they were looking for better connections with existing public transport, simpler timetables and more regular services.” “We said we’d improve public transport for people in the Macedon Ranges and this is another example of delivering on that promise.”

NEW TIMETABLE A BOOST FOR MACEDON RANGES BUS SERVICES

Timetables are now available for the new bus services being introduced by the Andrews Labor Government to better connect Lancefield and Romsey with Clarkefield Station, Gisborne and Sunbury. Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas said that introducing 60 extra bus services and a simpler timetable will make travel between key destinations in the Macedon Ranges easier and more convenient for locals. Under the changes being introduced on 7 July the number of weekday services connecting Lancefield, Romsey and Monegeetta with surrounding destinations will increase from 85 to 145. The existing Lancefield to Kyneton service via Sunbury will be broken down into three distinct routes, each with their own timetables, with extra services added on each route. Lancefield to Sunbury will increase to nine return trips on weekdays, and the Lancefield to Gisborne services will increase from two return services a week, to ten. Lancefield to Sunbury services will also better connect with trains at Sunbury whilst maintaining existing connections at Clarkefield Station in the peak. All services will now run to the same stopping patterns from Monday to Saturday, reducing the confusion passengers often experienced under the previous timetable which offered eight trip variations. These extra services add to more than 100 new bus services introduced in April to the Kyneton bus network including a new Kyneton-Trentham route which has given Trentham and Tylden residents public transport access to key Kyneton destinations for the first time. New timetables and maps outlining the service changes are now available (from 7 June) on the PTV website at ptv.vic.gov.au, at Kyneton, Sunbury and Gisborne train stations, or by calling PTV on 1300 800 007. Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas: “We have listened to Lancefield and Romsey residents who told us they were looking for better connections with existing public transport, simpler timetables and more regular services.” “We said we’d improve public transport for people in the Macedon Ranges and this is another example of delivering on that promise.”

ENCOURAGING ASPIRING KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS IN HEPBURN SHIRE

The Andrews Labor Government is offering an additional 300 scholarships to aspiring kinder teachers, as well as $9,000 incentives to support early childhood teachers to move to areas where three-year-old kinder is rolling out. Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today encouraged Hepburn Shire residents to consider pursuing careers in early childhood education, with an additional $3.82 million available in scholarships and incentives to start supporting those pursuing careers in this rewarding field. Early childhood education is one of Victoria’s fastest growing professions, with more teachers and support staff needed as the Labor Government delivers universal three-year-old kindergarten for all children. The roll-out of nearly $5 billion for this program begins in 2020. Over the next decade, every Victorian child will have access to a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder. Hepburn Shire children will benefit from five hours of kindergarten by 2021. The 2019/20 Victorian Budget provided $881.6 million investment for the rollout of Three-year-old Kindergarten and was part of a $4.1 billion investment in education – from kinders and schools through to higher education and TAFE. To address the increased demand for kinder teachers, incentive payments of up to $9,000 will be available for early childhood teachers who move to areas where subsidised three-year-old kinder programs will be rolled out first. This is part of a $92.4 million investment to support early childhood teachers and educators through more professional development, mentoring and scholarships, so children continue have access to highly-trained teachers, also from the 2019/20 State Budget. This will build on the Labor Government’s existing $8 million Early Childhood Scholarship Program, which opened in October 2018 and has already offered more than 200 scholarships to eligible students. The new funding to commence 300 scholarships will mean approximately 700 scholarships are on offer. Coupled with the employment incentives, this money will help cover costs including course fees, study materials and financial support in the early years of their career. The roll out of three-year-old kinder is expected to create 6,000 jobs. More than 4,000 additional kinder teachers and more than 2,000 additional early childhood educators are needed as the program expands state-wide. To apply, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/professionals/profdev/Pages/scholarships.aspx Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino: “Introducing universal three-year-old kindergarten is one of the biggest social reforms in Victoria’s history. There’s never been a better time to be an early childhood teacher and change children’s lives for the better.” Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas: “For Hepburn Shire residents considering a career change into kindergarten teaching, now is the time. These scholarships will help to cover the costs of study and provide incentives to get started in a new career.” “Early childhood education has such a transformative effect on young minds and I’m so proud to be part of a government that is focused on ensuring we have the workforce needed to deliver subsidised three year old kinder”.

ENCOURAGING ASPIRING KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS IN HEPBURN SHIRE

The Andrews Labor Government is offering an additional 300 scholarships to aspiring kinder teachers, as well as $9,000 incentives to support early childhood teachers to move to areas where three-year-old kinder is rolling out. Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today encouraged Hepburn Shire residents to consider pursuing careers in early childhood education, with an additional $3.82 million available in scholarships and incentives to start supporting those pursuing careers in this rewarding field. Early childhood education is one of Victoria’s fastest growing professions, with more teachers and support staff needed as the Labor Government delivers universal three-year-old kindergarten for all children. The roll-out of nearly $5 billion for this program begins in 2020. Over the next decade, every Victorian child will have access to a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder. Hepburn Shire children will benefit from five hours of kindergarten by 2021. The 2019/20 Victorian Budget provided $881.6 million investment for the rollout of Three-year-old Kindergarten and was part of a $4.1 billion investment in education – from kinders and schools through to higher education and TAFE. To address the increased demand for kinder teachers, incentive payments of up to $9,000 will be available for early childhood teachers who move to areas where subsidised three-year-old kinder programs will be rolled out first. This is part of a $92.4 million investment to support early childhood teachers and educators through more professional development, mentoring and scholarships, so children continue have access to highly-trained teachers, also from the 2019/20 State Budget. This will build on the Labor Government’s existing $8 million Early Childhood Scholarship Program, which opened in October 2018 and has already offered more than 200 scholarships to eligible students. The new funding to commence 300 scholarships will mean approximately 700 scholarships are on offer. Coupled with the employment incentives, this money will help cover costs including course fees, study materials and financial support in the early years of their career. The roll out of three-year-old kinder is expected to create 6,000 jobs. More than 4,000 additional kinder teachers and more than 2,000 additional early childhood educators are needed as the program expands state-wide. To apply, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/professionals/profdev/Pages/scholarships.aspx Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino: “Introducing universal three-year-old kindergarten is one of the biggest social reforms in Victoria’s history. There’s never been a better time to be an early childhood teacher and change children’s lives for the better.” Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas: “For Hepburn Shire residents considering a career change into kindergarten teaching, now is the time. These scholarships will help to cover the costs of study and provide incentives to get started in a new career.” “Early childhood education has such a transformative effect on young minds and I’m so proud to be part of a government that is focused on ensuring we have the workforce needed to deliver subsidised three year old kinder”.

Campaigns

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.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

Learn about my position on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill