15 May 2018

Travel Grants Helping Geelong’s Athletes Excel

Christine Couzens MP today announced Royal Geelong Yacht Club, Athletics Chilwell, Geelong Dragon Boat Club, Geelong Athletics, Geelong Swimming Club and St Mary’s Sporting Club would share in more than $290,000 from the latest round of the Andrews Government’s 2017/18 Athlete Pathway Travel Grant Program.

“The Athlete Pathway Travel Grant Program provides a fantastic opportunity to help our budding stars in Geelong progress from community to national representative level” 

To read the full press release:  Athletics Travel Pathways

The Andrews Government is getting things done – supporting the facilities that our communities deserve.

2 May 2018

Geelong will benefit from $153.2 million for the Geelong City Deal.  This funding is the Andrew’s Government’s promised contribution towards the Geelong City Deal, to be delivered in partnership with the Federal and local governments, across four projects.  We are still waiting for the Federal government to confirm their share of the funding.

  • Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct This funding will redevelop a central section of Geelong’s waterfront.  The Safe Harbour initiative will bring economic and tourism benefits to Geelong, including creating a number of jobs in the region.
  • Geelong Convention Centre Funding will be provided to construct an iconic Convention Centre in Geelong which will stimulate tourism and business growth across the region.
  • Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan – Malop Street Green Spine Project Revitalising Geelong’s Central Business District, continuing the transformation of Malop Street into a vibrant street and linear park.
  • Shipwreck Coast Masterplan Stage 2 implementation Improved infrastructure will benefit both the environment, visitors and the local community by ensuring sustainable tourism and supporting job creation. This project will increase tourism and tourist dollars spent in the Geelong region.

9 May 2018


People with special needs will now have access to more of Victoria’s popular attractions, parks and community venues thanks to the roll out of more world-class Changing Places toilets.

Member for Geelong, Christine Couzens, today announced the Royal Geelong Yacht Club would be one of 26 new locations to build a Changing Places toilet, the first in Geelong – giving 326,400 Victorians with disabilities the freedom to visit more of Victoria’s most popular destinations.

Changing Places are an example of best practice design, ensuring Victorians with a disability have access to bathrooms that are bigger, safer and more accessible.

The toilets have extra features and more space to meet the needs of people with a disability and their carers, who would otherwise not be able to use standard or even ambulant toilets.

Each facility has adjustable height, an adult-sized changing bench, a tracking hoist system, enough space for two people and provides a safer, cleaner environment.

Ms Couzens congratulated the Royal Geelong Yacht Club for their initiative and community mindedness in applying for the funding to make this toilet facility a reality in central Geelong.

The Government invested $2.6 million to build a network of Changing Places facilities across Victoria as part of the Absolutely Everyone: State Disability Plan 2017-2020.

Changing Places toilets are already available at the MCG, Hisense Arena, Melbourne Zoo, Victoria Park in Ballarat, Fraser St in Shepparton and St Kilda Life Saving Club.

There are also two portable Marveloos for hire at events at Maroondah Council and Bendigo Council.

“Changing Places is about enabling people of all abilities to access our cities and tourist areas. This is about providing bigger, safer and more accessible bathrooms for people with a disability, so they can enjoy the very best of our state.”

“I am thrilled to see a Changing Places toilet has come to the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, to give people with disabilities and their carers the opportunity to do things we often take for granted.”

27 June 2017

Geelong wins fight for rail upgrade

The Andrews Government said we would fight every day to get the money that was owed to Victorians and that’s exactly what we’ve done.

This will create thousands of jobs for Victoria. This deal will upgrade tracks, stations and signalling across the state, to run more trains and get people home safer and sooner to their loved ones, wherever they live.

It’s a win for Geelong and regional Victoria, and it’s a win for jobs.

8 May 2017

Regional Payroll Tax

As announced in the 2017/18 Victorian Budget the Andrews Labor Government is slashing payroll tax for regional businesses by 25%.

This is great for Geelong and regional business, and will enable business to employ more people in the Geelong region.

Download the Payroll Tax Package Q&A’s.




8 March 2017

My speech in parliament  – Fracking bill

I am proud that the Andrews Government has banned fracking in Victoria. This will save our environment for our children.

I am proud of the local residents and community groups who fought so hard to have fracking banned in their community.

Read my recent speech in Parliament where I acknowledge those that fought for this historic outcome for the benefit of our communities and our environment.

7 March 2017

Great News for First Home Buyers.


Stamp duty will be abolished for first home buyers for purchases below
$600,000, helping thousands of Victorians find their first home, as the Andrews
Labor Government tackles housing affordability head on.

Those buying a home valued between $600,000 and $750,000 will also be
eligible for a concession, applied on a sliding scale. The exemption and
concession will apply to both new and established homes, in a move that is
expected help 25,000 Victorians find their first home.


Thousands of Victorians, dreaming of buying their first home, will be able to
make their dream a reality, thanks to two new changes announced by the Andrews
Labor Government.

A new $50 million pilot scheme, HomesVic, will target first home buyers who
are able to meet regular mortgage repayments, but because of rising rental
costs, haven’t been able to save a big enough deposit.

Under the scheme, to be introduced in January 2018, HomesVic will co-purchase
up to 400 homes, taking an equity share of up to 25 per cent in these
properties. It will be available for both new and existing homes.

By allowing homebuyers to purchase less than 100 per cent of the property,
they will require a smaller deposit and are able to enter the market sooner. In
the long term, it will also mean having a smaller loan to service.

Eligible applicants will include couples earning up to $95,000, and singles
earning up to $75,000. Buyers will need to have a 5 per cent deposit. The pilot
will be tested across the state, and when the properties are sold, HomesVic will
recover its share of the equity.

To further improve buyers’ chances of owning their own home, the Labor
Government will also contribute $5 million to a national, community sector,
shared equity scheme, Buy Assist.

With similar goals to HomesVic, Buy Assist will help deliver an additional
100 shared equity homes and help low to medium income households get a foothold
in the property market.

The Government is also set to give first home buyers priority in
government-led urban renewal developments, with at least 10 per cent of all
properties allocated to first time buyers.


27 February 2017

Rockin’ the Laneways

The Victorian Government’s Rockin’ the Laneways grant program is now open for applications and singing out for projects that celebrate Victoria’s rich music culture.

Grants of up to $25,000 are available for projects that bring the state’s music history to life for the public in innovative ways.

This program is designed to enliven public places; attract tourism and community activity, and ingrain our proud music heritage into the fabric of Victoria’s cities, suburbs and regions.

Previously supported projects including an audio walking tour exploring the life of Chrissy Amphlett, a digital map of significant music sites in Ballarat and a music and art festival celebrating the music heritage of the Mornington Peninsula.

Rockin’ the Laneways is open for applications until 5pm on Monday 20 March. For more information visit www.creative.vic.gov.au

Marketing Innovation Fund

Grants are now available to assist Victorian creative industries organisations to grow their businesses and reach through innovative marketing approaches.

Part of the Victorian Government’s Creative State strategy, the Marketing Innovation Fund provides one-off support for marketing projects that explore different ways to engaging new audiences or reach new customers, build brand awareness and increase income.

With a total pool of $100,000, the fund provides grants ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 to support small-to- medium sized organisations.

For further information on the program, visit www.creative.vic.gov.au/marketing-innovation-fund

22 February 2017

Over the past two years, the Andrews Labor Government has undertaken significant reform in improving end of life choices for Victorians. We have released Victoria’s end of life and palliative care framework, to guide improvements in end of life and palliative care services over the next decade.

At the end of last year, the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act was passed by the Parliament which provides statutory recognition of advance care directives.

These two reforms represent significant improvements for the end of life care and choices given to every Victorian.

The Premier announced in December that consistent with the proposed voluntary assisted dying framework recommended in the Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into end of life choices final report, the Government will introduce legislation into Parliament in 2017 to legalise voluntary assisted dying for terminally ill people in Victoria.

To support this work, the Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, has established an Expert Ministerial Advisory Panel made up of clinical, legal and consumer experts.
Members of the public are welcome to make submissions.

The Ministerial Advisory Panel for the Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation recently released a discussion paper for community input to the panel on this legislation.

I attach a copy of the discussion paper for your information.

Members of the community are invited to provide feedback on this discussion paper to assisteddying.frameworkresponses@dhhs.vic.gov.au
by Monday 10 April 2017.

9 February 2017

Report card

Here is a report card comparing the records of the Andrews Labor Government and the former Liberal Government on things that matter to Victorians.

Download the report card.