Northern route preferred
THANK goodness there has not been a serious accident so far on the disputed stretch of the Western Highway near Mt Langi Ghiran.
Our group, Keep The Original Route Supporters (KORS), wants the highway widening to go ahead as soon as possible, before there is a serious accident.
Major Road Projects Victoria and the Victorian government are the cause of the delay. Years before any contract was signed, various community groups were presenting VicRoads with professional documents to show the unnecessary destruction planned by their favoured route. Major Road Projects Victoria has been taking advantage of the community trust by disguising their errors instead of fixing them.
Major Road Projects Victoria and the government are paid by us to build the least impact road by using genuine design effort, and working on best information. They have resisted this for reasons that we don't think are in the public interest.
KORS says, let's get on with it and on the right route - a win-win solution.
The Northern Option is faster to build - it could have been finished by now - and causes less damage to the land, including Aboriginal sites. It is millions of dollars cheaper.
Before there is a serious accident, let's get on with the Northern Option.
Neil Marriott, president, Keep The Original Route Supporters
Take action on obesity
PARENTS' Voice has joined a coalition of health organisations and experts in calling for increased government action on obesity.
The eight recommendations featured in A Healthier Start for Victorians, provide a comprehensive guide for action.
Our parent advocacy group calls on the Victorian government to act to protect Victorian children.
Almost one-in-four Victorian children are above a healthy weight, putting them at higher risk of developing type two diabetes, heart disease, stroke and 13 types of cancer. This a community-wide problem, that needs a whole of government response.
The report shows childhood obesity has largely been ignored by government and underline why we need urgent action.
It is more than a decade since Parents' Voice started campaigning to highlight the persuasive and misleading techniques used to promote unhealthy foods and drinks to children. We welcome the report's recommendation to shield children from junk food marketing.
Currently parents would need to cover their children's eyes to avoid them being exposed to junk food ads. Kids are targeted on public transport, around their schools, on digital platforms and on TV. This influences their food choices, as the promotions are impossible to avoid.
The report's recommendations also include supporting schools to increase physical activity programs, improve canteen offerings, introduce a public education campaign on healthy eating and develop initiatives to improve healthy eating by families.
Alice Pryor, campaigns manager, Parents' Voice
Family violence prevention
THE state government is helping stop family violence before it starts to better protect women and children across the state.
A funding boost of $9 million will go towards almost 60 projects and initiatives across Victoria to drive gender equality, workplace respect and increased women's participation in fields traditionally dominated by men - including $44,058 to Women's Health Grampians and $39,082 to Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership.
Family violence is a national emergency, with one woman murdered at the hands of a current or former partner every week. It is the leading cause of death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15 to 44.
Victoria has led the nation with a landmark Royal Commission that brought down 227 recommendations which we have committed to implementing.
The state government has so far invested $2.7 billion towards implementing these recommendations and keeping women and children safe - more than all the states, territories and the federal government combined.
Bad attitudes towards women lead to bad outcomes for women, which is why I'm proud we're investing in Western Victoria to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women.
Jaala Pulford, Member for Western Victoria