Final Call for Anzac Centenary Grant Applications

May 23, 2014

Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, met with Barry Rogers, Secretary of the Dandenong-Cranbourne RSL Sub Branch, for a Final Call for Anzac Centenary Grant Applications, which close on 30 May 2014.

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 commemorate 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 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.

Abbott Government’s $7 GP Tax will increase the Cost of Living for residents of Holt

May 20, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt and Luke Donnellan MP, State Member for Narre Warren North, met with Dr Ariane D’Argent & Dr Stuart Rumble from the Hallam Medical Group and Helen Jolliffe this morning to campaign against the introduction of $7 GP Tax, which will directly increase the cost of living for residents of Holt.

Anthony Byrne MP and the Federal Labor Opposition believe that these changes are a threat to universal healthcare in Australia. This will see the old and at risk in some cases having to choose between eating or seeing the doctor. This assault on Medicare is an unacceptable attack on the Australian way of life and will reduce living standards of Australians. Every time someone in the family gets sick, getting medical treatment will cost more money.

In addition to imposing a new tax on doctor visits the Abbott Government will make the Medicare Safety Net less fair, cutting $270 million from the provision existing arrangements and transferring those costs onto Australian families.

‘The $7 tax on doctor visits hits everyone – families, pensioners, parents, low income earners, people with a disability, veterans and the unemployed. And for the first time, pensioners and concessional patients will be charged for pathology and imaging services out of hospital,’ said Mr Byrne.

This GP Tax is only the beginning. It opens the doors for the Abbott Government to smash Medicare one piece at a time.

On the one hand the government is penalising doctors, many of whom have made a decision to solely bulk bill, whilst charging some of the poorest Australians who seek basic medical care. They will also be turning our doctors in to tax collectors.

The government knows this new tax will push vulnerable Australians into emergency departments, so the Abbott Government is now trying to bully the states into introducing an emergency department tax, which could tax the most vulnerable out of the health system entirely.

“This is a Budget of broken promises, cruel cuts and unfair increases in the cost of living. Families will have to pay a new petrol tax to Tony Abbott every time they get in their car, and a new GP tax every time they take their sick child to the doctor. Australia has low government debt, and our economy has continued to grow. There is no need for the Abbott Government to make deep cuts and increase the cost of living for working families in Holt’, said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Budget 2014/15 – New Taxes & Increased Cost of Living

May 14, 2014

The Abbott Government has brought down its first budget, which attacks families, students, pensioners and the sick. This budget directly increases the cost of living for residents of Holt.

“This is a Budget of broken promises, cruel cuts and unfair increases in the cost of living. It is built on more than $80 billion in savage cuts to schools and hospitals over the next 10 years. It will increase waiting times at the Casey Hospital, Dandenong Hospital and the Monash Medical Centre. The Victorian State Government will now also be allowed to introduce Emergency Room/Hospital Taxes. It’s a new tax on getting sick. Families in Holt will now be hit by new taxes and cost of living increases’, said Mr Byrne.

‘Families will have to pay a new petrol tax to Tony Abbott every time they get in their car, and a new GP tax every time they take their sick child to the doctor’, said Mr Byrne.

Students at university will also suffer, as deregulation of university fees will lead to skyrocketing fees for university students. Cuts to the Tools for Your Trade Program and a new loan of up to $20,000 loan is available for apprentices that will increase their own levels of debt,’ said Mr Byrne.

‘Holt pensioners will feel absolutely betrayed by the Abbott Government’s attack on their modest living standards. Mr Abbott expects Australians to work until they’re 70 years old by 2035. That will be the oldest retirement age in the world,’ said Mr Byrne.

Jobseekers up to 30 will be prevented from accessing Newstart or Youth Allowance for a six month “waiting period”, then limited to six months before being removed from income support, before being permitted back on after a further six months. Many disability pensioners under 35 will be “reassessed” and those with “some work capacity” forced to seek employment.

‘Australia only one of 10 countries in the world with a AAA credit rating from all three ratings agencies. We have low government debt, and our economy has continued to grow. There is no need for the Abbott Government to make deep cuts and increase the cost of living for working families in Holt’, said Mr Byrne.

‘Last night’s Budget was not the ‘Best Day for Australia’ as the Treasurer has claimed but a day where working families will now suffer from the Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s new taxes, a petrol tax hike and cuts to schools and hospitals,’ said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Building our Suburbs: St Peter’s College benefits from Capital Grants Program

May 9, 2014

Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, met with Principal Tim Hogan from St Peter’s College today to announce that the school has received $1,895,000.00 from the Federal Government. This investment will help fund its $4,100,000.00 project to construct a Year 10 & Year 11 Learning and Specialist Area building (as well as associated site works and car park) at its new Cranbourne East Campus.

‘Cranbourne East is located in a growth corridor. I am delighted that St Peter’s College has received funding from the Federal Government under the Capital Grants Programme. The Capital Grants Programme provides funding for non-government school communities to assist non-government primary and secondary schools to improve capital infrastructure where they otherwise may not have access to sufficient capital resources. I am delighted that one of our local schools, St Peter’s College, has received funding to expand its capabilities to allow Year 10 & 11 students to study at its Cranbourne East Campus,’ said Mr Byrne.

‘St Peter’s College is very pleased to accept this funding from the Federal Government totalling $1.895 million. This funding will allow the continued expansion of the East Campus into the VCE with a full range of Arts and Technology subjects being offered in this modern spacious facility for 2015. The continued growth and expansion in Cranbourne will see the East Campus of St Peter’s College provide a comprehensive curriculum to over 600 year 7 to 12 students by 2016,’ said Principal Hogan.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Campaign to Protect Emergency Relief Funding

Apr 30, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, caught up with Leanne Petrides, Executive Officer of the Cranbourne Information & Support Service, today to launch a campaign to protect Emergency Relief funding from being cut to local community services as a result of the forthcoming Federal Budget.

Emergency Relief funding helps people deal with their immediate financial crisis situation in a way that maintains the dignity of the individual and encourages self-reliance. There are over 700 community and charitable organisations around Australia providing Emergency Relief services including the Cranbourne Information Support Service and the Casey North Information Support Service in Holt.

“In the financial year 2012-2013, CISS saw nearly 8,000 individuals, who represented many families in Casey’s South. We assisted with almost 14,000 different requests for assistance, with over 6,000 of those requests being for emergency relief. During the last financial year, we provided over $150,000 of food and petrol vouchers top those in need in our local community, as well as $12,315 in other financial assistance. This does not include the many food parcels distributed on a daily basis. Seventeen per cent of the clients assisted with emergency relief were first time visitors to our agency. We are already noticing an increase in demand for our services this year to the end of April 2014 and thus we require current funding levels to be maintained,’ said Leanne Petrides.

“Organisations like the Cranbourne Information Support Service go above and beyond to help those in the community in need and thus they should actually be given further support by Governments not be threatened with cuts to their own budgets for carrying out vital community services,’ said Mr Byrne.

If you wish to join this campaign to retain current funding levels for Emergency Relief funding then can you please call Anthony Byrne MP’s office on 9796 7533.
Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

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.


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