House of Cards Oxfam Shock — Frank Underwood in Donation Row

Apr 7, 2014



Team Members: Senator John Faulkner, Anthony Byrne MP, Ben Phillips & Nick McLennan.

The Tigers Oxfam Trailwalker Team are back for a fourteenth Trailwalk. Last year the Tigers – including our totally blind Team member Ben Phillips – completed the 100km Melbourne Trailwalk in 28 hours and 53 minutes, a world record time for a totally blind trailwalker.

This year Ben will be completing his fourth 100km Trailwalk, and the Tigers Team are hoping to beat their own record.

This will be the only Oxfam event for the Tigers in 2014 so your only chance to sponsor John, Anthony, Nick and Ben this year – please give generously!

To donate please visit:

To learn more about Ben Philips watch his Oxfam story here at:…

Anthony Byrne MP condemns proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act

Apr 4, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, caught up with Sarah Williams, Mehdi Noori, Shabnam Safa, Dani Rothwell, Kushan Nawagamuwage, Bao Truong, Asad Asim, Hafiza Zahidee and Jonathan Jayasinha to condemn the changes to the Racial Discrimination Act announced by Senator Brandis last month, as it will significantly water down protections against racist hate speech in Australia.

Senator Brandis has confirmed the repeal of Section 18C in the face of widespread opposition from the community, including ethnic groups.

The claims by the Attorney-General that these proposed amendments will “strengthen the Act’s protection against racism” are blatantly untrue.

The new section proposed by Senator Brandis removes the words offend, insult and humiliate and replaces them with the term “vilify”, which is narrowly defined as “to incite hatred against a person or group of persons”, and “intimidate”, which is causing “fear of physical harm” to a person, property or a group.

The amendments also remove the protections for freedom of speech in political communication contained in Section 18D.

The replacement provision to Section 18D is so broadly worded that it totally undermines the limited protections against racism that remain.

Under these changes, if statements are deliberately made for the purpose of racial abuse, they are protected.

“The insertion of this narrowly and ineptly drafted new provision in an Act, which has a strong history of consultation and community consensus, is a disgrace,” said Mr Byrne.

Sections 18C and 18D were introduced into the Act in response to a number of reports on racial violence, including the National Inquiry into Racist Violence by Race Discrimination Commissioner Irene Moss and the great Australian lawyer Ron Castan QC, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Law Reform Commission’s Report, Multiculturalism and the Law, as well as international treaty obligations, including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The recommendations in these reports were shaped into Section 18C and 18D following extensive consultations throughout the community, including ethnic groups.

“More than 150 cultures are represented in Casey with 26.7 per cent of Casey residents being born in non-English speaking countries and many people who now call Australia home, as well as leading members of local multicultural groups have conveyed to me that they are appalled by the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. Such views have not gone unnoticed by me and I will do all I can to convey the views of people in my electorate of Holt to the Attorney General,” said Mr Byrne.

Australians should send a message to Senator Brandis and Tony Abbott that these proposed changes should be rejected in their entirety.

If anyone wants to convey their rejection of changes to the Racial Discrimination Act then please call Anthony Byrne MP’s office on 9796 7533.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Neighbour Day 2014

Apr 1, 2014


Neighbours across the country came together for Australia’s annual celebration of community, Neighbour Day that celebrated its eleventh anniversary this year on Sunday 30 March 2014.

“Neighbour Day is the perfect opportunity for residents of all ages and backgrounds, and to come together with our neighbours’, said Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt.

“People in our region know that the only way to build a better community and a safer neighbourhood is by coming together. We can start this process by inviting our next door neighbour over on neighbour day,” said Mr Byrne.

To promote Neighbour Day 2014 Anthony Byrne MP attended an afternoon tea at Ruth Murray and Jenny Colvin’s home in Doveton.

“The community you want starts with Doveton icons Ruth Murray & Jenny Colvin.
Ruth and Jenny have lived in the Doveton community since 1979 and, since then, Ruth has been committed to giving to others. In doing so, she has taught her daughter and her fellow friends and neighbours to do likewise. For over 15 years, Ruth and Jenny have run an annual Christmas barbecue for neighbours, local community members, family and old friends at their home in Doveton. Over 150 people are invited to the local barbecue, which coincides with their amazing Christmas lights display. Ruth started this Christmas lights display by simply putting up an angel on the front of her house. Once kids came to have a look, she started welding new objects in front of the house so that kids could come over and even climb on them if they wished. The pair put on Christmas lights for the local community at their house, every year. Thousands of people come to see the lights and the sense of community created by this event is to be commended. Their story is inspiring to all and these people help to create the strong community we live in,’ said Mr Byrne.

Relationships Australia’s National Executive Office, Alison Brook said the best part about Neighbour Day is in its simplicity, “It’s entirely up to you and your neighbours how you get involved. It could be as simple as boiling the kettle and having a cup of tea together.

“Neighbour Day isn’t about elaborate functions. It’s about creating opportunities to connect, chat and build trusting relationships among people who live closest to you,” said Alison.

Founder and Neighbour Day Ambassador, Andrew Heslop, is excited to see his legacy grow and the importance of neighbourly connections spread, “Whether you live in the city or the bush, in a house, an apartment or on a farm Neighbour Day is the day to say thanks for being a great neighbour, thanks for helping me out and thanks for being there when I needed you most.

To find out more information please visit:

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

City of Casey – 2014 Australia Day Study Tour Visit

Mar 5, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, today had the pleasure of meeting with representatives of Casey’s youth who are participating in the City of Casey’s – 2014 Australia Day Study Tour at Parliament House in Canberra.

“One of the best things you are able to do as an MP is to engage vibrant, intelligent young people in dialogue. It is exciting and challenging to talk about young people and about Australia’s future, particularly with young people who have passion, energy and ideas. After our discussions today, I am very sure about the future of our region, given the quality of the young people and the conversation we had. The questions put to me were probing and intelligent. I sincerely hope that a number of these young people, who are learning about community leadership and participation, will want to get involved in the political process,” said Mr Byrne.

The students participating in the 2014 Australia Day Study Tour are:

• Stephen Capon, Maranatha Christian School
• Samantha Chapman, Casey Grammar School
• Kelsy De Prada, Beaconhills College
• Sarah Dunstan, Casey Grammar School
• Sitarah Mohammadi, Narre Warren South P-12 College
• Mason Peatling, Beaconhills College
• Nelson Phan, Nossal High School
• Arnhie-Marie San Juan, Narre Warren South P-12 College
• Asanga Seneviratne, Haileybury College
• Wali Sultani, Cranbourne Secondary College

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Australia Day Study Tour program. I specifically congratulate the City of Casey for running this program. It is a great program which runs through all levels of government and gives 10 young students an insight into how each level of government works. That would not happen without the City of Casey. I congratulate them for their great endeavours over 30 years,” said Mr Byrne.

“Students participating in the Australia Day Study Tour program this year met with Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Tony Abbott MP and Jason Wood MP, the Federal Member for La Trobe. One of the key issues they raised was delivering mental health services for young people in the region. Through the efforts and endeavours of Casey youth we were able to establish a Headspace in Dandenong last year. In light of the fact that 60,000 young people live in the Casey region it is absolutely vital that we have a similar Headspace in Fountain Gate to service their very large youth population. I encourage the Federal Coalition Government to ensure that the best possible Headspace will be built in Fountain Gate before the end of the year,” said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Coolon LED Lighting Visit

Mar 4, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, last month had an inspiring visit to Coolon Led Lighting in Hallam, an innovative local manufacturing company run by Svetlana Zatsepin and Alex Zatsepin.

Coolon Led Lighting was formed in 2001 in Oakleigh and is now based in Hallam. Coolon LED Lighting has 40 employees and has invested heavily into R&D in order to utilise LEDs to produce highly reliable performing products. The products from this research are now used on a daily basis around the world. Coolon’s LED lights are highly electronically sophisticated, in fact they are probably closer to computers in complexity then they are to any conventional lamps. To compete successfully in the global market Coolon LED Lighting is constantly modifying and adapting its products to ensure it is a step ahead of its competitors.

Coolon LED Lighting’s clients include Mining Companies, Architectural Firms and Local Governments like the Melbourne City Council where its lights have been installed into many public projects. Some of Coolon LED Lightening’s largest and most prominent projects have won many industry recognition awards, and have even become recognised on the world scale.

By redirecting their expertise towards mining and heavy industrial applications, Coolon was able to create a range of industrial products that are now well known and globally recognised for being virtually indestructible. Coolon has since become an established supplier to many international mining leaders like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore, AngloAmerican, Barrick to name a few. The release of their first industrial product coincided with the GFC, however, during these tremendously challenging times Coolon’s high performing products were accepted by mining companies which helped Coolon to sustain stable growth, while ensuring mining companies by substantially reduced their lighting maintenance costs.

‘Our local manufacturing sector is encountering difficult and uncertain times but it is wonderful to see an innovative local manufacturing company like Coolon LED Lighting produce high quality and world leading products. It is imperative that we support local manufacturers like Coolon into the future’, said Mr Byrne.

For more information then please visit:

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Local Sporting Champions Grant

Feb 14, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, today caught up with rugby player Oisin Clarken from Doveton to award him a Local Sporting Champions Grant at Visy Park in Carlton.

“This grant has helped many young aspiring champions like Oisin Clarken and his family covering his expenses to compete in the Victorian Rugby Union team at the ARU National U16 Championships in NSW last year. If you need information about this grant please call my office on 9796 7533’, said Mr Byrne.

Anthony Byrne MP today encouraged Holt’s young athletes and teams to follow in Oisin Clarken’s footsteps and apply for funding support to help them realise their sporting dreams and compete in a championship.

Anthony Byrne MP said that the Australian Government’s Local Sporting Champions program is aimed at helping our junior sport stars meet the costs of participation at eligible sporting competitions.

Local junior athletes can apply for a grant to cover the cost of their travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment associated with participating in an eligible championship.

“The Australian Government is committed to promoting participation in sport and providing support to boost our community sporting programs,” said Mr Byrne.

“This grant program is designed to help more families cover the costs of expenses associated with participating in sporting competitions and support our junior athletes and future Olympians”, said Mr Byrne.

“Individual athletes and teams who are participating in appropriately endorsed state school sport championships or international competitions are now also eligible to apply for support”, said Mr Byrne.

“I encourage parents, coaches and junior athletes to apply for a Local Sporting Champions grant to help them meet the costs of their involvement in a sporting championship”, said Mr Byrne.

The Australian Government now provides $3.17 million in funding through the Local Sporting Champions program each year to support junior athletes perform at a championship level.

“This has been a very successful and popular program and the Australian Government is proud to help support young Australians achieve their sporting dreams,” said Mr Byrne.

The Local Sporting Champions program offers grants of $500 for individuals and $3000 for teams and applications for next round close on 28 February 2014.

For more information on the Local Sporting Champions program visit the Australian Sports Commission website:

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Calling for Traffic Calming Measures for Hinrichsen Drv, Hallam

Feb 10, 2014


Luke Donnellan MP, State Member for Narre Warren North, and Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, met with residents living in Hinrichsen Drive, Hallam, to call for traffic calming measures to be urgently installed along Hinrichsen Drive after a spate of accidents caused by speeding drivers.

Both Luke Donnellan MP and Anthony Byrne MP are asking local residents to sign a peitition that will be sent to the City of Casey, so that traffic calming measures like speed humps can be installed along Hinrichsen Drive, Hallam, in order to slow cars down and improve road safety in the local area.

Hinrichsen Drive, Hallam, is very popular with drivers trying to take a short cut from the Princes Hwy through to Hallam Rd, Hallam. However, far too many vehicles are being driven at really fast speeds to take the short cut. This has led to a number of accidents involving one car smashing into a house at 96A Hinrichsen Drive and another one smashing into some trees and shurbs. Local residents feel unsafe to walk along the road and to allow the children out of the house. Action is now need to build speed humps along Hinrichsen Drive to improve road safety in the local community.

“Residents have told me how the road is popular with motorists who “rat-run” through from Princes Highway to Hallam Road, trying to avoid peak hour traffic. This is putting local residents – especially seniors and children – at risk. I believe the local community deserves better. We believe local residents deserve peace of mind on their own local roads, and shouldn’t have to contend with motorists breaking the law, speeding and endangering lives’, said Luke Donnellan MP.

“It is vital that residents feel safe in their local community and if residents feel unsafe due to speeding drivers then action needs to be taken to improve road safety in the local community, said Mr Byrne.

If local residents wish to sign the petition then please contact Luke Donnellan MP’s office on 9706 0566 or Anthony Byrne MP’s offfice on 9796 7533 for a petition to be sent out to you.

Media Enquires:
Daniel White Media Adviser to Anthony Byrne MP (03) 9796 7533
Alex Drummond Media Adviser to Luke Donnellan MP (03) 9706 0566

Anzac Centenary Grants

Feb 6, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, met with Mr Barry Rogers, Secretary of the Dandenong-Cranbourne RSL Sub Branch to invite local RSLs, schools, local cultural insitiutions, local organisations, sporting clubs and individuals to apply for a grant under the Anzac Cnetenary Grants Program (ACLGP).

The Anzac Centenary Grants Program is an important Australian Government program which commerates the Centenary of Anzac. Each Federal Electorate including the Federal Electorate of Holt has up to $125,000 available to commeorate the Centenary of Anzac.

The Holt Anzac Centenary Grants Committee advises that proposed projects and events must be directly commemorative of the involvement, service and sacrifice of Australia’s servicemen and women in the First World War. Types of projects eligible under this program include:

• public commemorative events, including the commemoration of important military anniversaries, enlistments and other First World War events that have had a significant impact on the local community;
• new First World War memorials or honour boards;
• the restoration of existing First World War memorials or honour boards;
• the preservation, interpretation and display of First World War wartime and military memorabilia and artefacts; and
• relevant school projects, such as research with a focus on military involvement and social impacts, and the products of research, e.g. written material, documentaries etc.

“Next year’s Anzac Centenary will be a special occasion and the Anzac Centenary Grants Program provides funding to assist the local community in commemorating the involvement, service and sacrifice of Australia’s servicemen and women in the First World War and the Anzac bond that was forged at Gallipoli in 1915,” said Mr Byrne.

To find out more about the Anzac Centenary Grants Program and to download an application form please visit All completed applications should be sent to the Holt Anzac Centenary Grants Committee for consideration by 1 May 2014 – Address: Shop HM 2B 8-10 Overland Drive, Fountain Gate VIC 3805. If you have any queries about this grant then please do not hesitate to contact Anthony Byrne MP’s office on 9796 7533.
Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

Youth 20 Summit

Feb 6, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, caught up with Adam Sullivan and Amanda Carron to encourage Casey’s Youth to apply to be an Australian delegate participating in the Youth 20 (Y20) Summit, to be held over 12-15 July 2015 in Sydney.

The Y20 Summit is the premier youth forum associated with the G20 event, the Summit is organised by the Y20 Planning Group with the support from the Department of Education. The Summit, which will be held in Sydney in July 2014, is the main platform for young people to make their voices heard on pressing global economic challenges and involves policy discussions by youth from the G20 member states.

The Summit will provide an excellent opportunity for five young Australians, aged 18-30, to represent Australia at this international event. The Australian delegates will work with delegates from the G20 member and invited countries, supported by the Australian Y20 Planning Group, to develop policy on the broad themes of growth, youth enemplopyment, and sustainable economic development. Outcomes from the Summit will be presented at the November G20 leaders meeting.

“I am really proud of Casey’s Youth and I believe we should have a representative to be an Australian delegate at the Y20 Summit this year to not only convey the challenges that young people face living in the outer suburbs of Melbourne but also provide the new ideas for the 21st century. The Y20 plays an important role in providing new ideas that are presented to the G20 Leaders Summit for consideration in their discussions,” said Mr Byrne.

Further information on the selection criteria and the Y20 Summit can be found at Alternatively the Y20 Information Line of 1300 857 536 or [email protected] can assist with questions regarding the selection process. Applications close on the 21st February 2014.

If you need assistance with applying to be an applicant then please do not hesitate to contact Anthony Byrne MP’s Office on 9796 7533.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

2014 Holt Australia Day Awards

Jan 28, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt honoured 39 outstanding individuals and two local organisations for their contribution to our community on Australia Day.

The 2014 Holt Australia Day Awards were presented at the Day of Nations celebrations in Hampton Park with a large crowd of families and friends turning out to support the recipients.

‘Australia Day is a wonderful day when we can recognise those people who contribute to the community and make our community a better place’, said Mr Byrne.

The 2014 Holt Australia Day Awards were an opportunity to recognise people like Joan Graham who has provided a home for over 300 children in her 40 years as a foster carer. She has fostered kids, some with difficult backgrounds, since she was in her 20’s and even though her husband passed away 4 years ago, she still continues to foster. Looking after children became a strong part of her family with her own four children who are now grown up with children of their own. Joan still sees many of her foster children and is very fond of all of them.

In 2012 Joan’s house burnt down, yet she managed to soldier on. The community rallied around Joan and raised funds to help her get back on her feet and buy much needed necessities. Joan was also on the Board of the Fostercare Association of Victoria and assists other carers as a “mentor”. Joan is loving and well-grounded and offers her foster children much needed stability, security and love.

Also amongst the Award Recipients was Keith Pimblett who is proof of the impact a teachers can have on students and the community, his foresight was instrumental in developing the idea of a Trade Training Centre at Hallam Secondary College, which has now become a reality not only in Hallam but right across Australia.

As a secondary school teacher himself, Keith is passionate about addressing skill shortages and providing extra educational opportunities for young people in their transition into TAFE and the apprenticeship stream. The Program allows secondary students from years 9 to 12 to access vocational education and training to give students a broader range of options to help improve Year 12 attainment and enhance pathways into vocational careers.The then government embraced this initiative developed by Keith and rolled it out to other schools in Australia as a result of Keith’s initial idea.

This has provided a career opportunity to many thousands of young students wishing to qualify in a trade and assisted business with well qualified and trained students all because one man believed so passionately in his students and the roles that trades men and women can play in our community.

Another recipient worthy of mention is Marianne Dawes who is a wildlife carer and rescuer and whilst she works with all species she specializes in kangaroos, rescuing them and caring for their orphans. Like many carers and rescuers Marianne’s days can range from 12-18 hours as one Kangaroo or Wallaby rescue can last up to 8 hours and sometimes even days.
Kangaroos that are injured can be very dangerous and are often hard to help as they cover long distances across hazardous terrain, Marianne has also taken on the role of teaching and mentoring many other volunteers who are learning how to best help injured wildlife.

“I congratulate all those receiving a Holt Australia Day Award for their exemplary community spirit and endless hours of volunteer work making our community a better and safer place to live. These people do not get the same acolades as other famous people but in their own quiet Australian way they do tremendous work in giving their precious time to make other people’s lives better’, said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

Holt v 171

Award Recipients

• Alfred Goldburg
• Fr. Elias Matta
• Neville Worthington
• Helen Appleman
• Sean Balfour
• Thomas Barnes
• Keith Barrot
• Calvin Bell
• Roland Blaschak
• Colin Booth
• Rebekah Booth
• Johnathan Clarke
• Simon Dewar
• Savio Gonsalvez
• Steve Chapman
• Marianne Dawes
• Luke DeLutiis
• Mehmet Salih Dogan
• Keith Edwards
• Bryce Eishold
• Joan Graham
• Joan Green
• Mary Haigh
• Rosemary Hutchins
• Julie Johnstone
• Mary Jonker
• Mark Jouvelet
• Sriyani La’Brooy
• Peter O’Hagan
• Christine Gladwell
• Eileen Hillis
• Louise MacDonald
• Shaun Petrie
• Keith Pimblett
• Brian Regan
• Sadiq Sarwari
• Carolyn Scott
• Colin Smith
• Lima Stanikzai
• Oliver Thomson
• Sharon Thomson
• Slobadan Todic
• Shelly Peluso
• Eda Vistac
• Noorullah Noori (Posthumous Award)
• Carols by Twilight – Casey City Church
• Painting with Parkinsons


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