New Petrol Tax Hits City of Casey Residents

Nov 17, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, and Luke Donnellan MP, State Member for Narre Warren North, visited a major South Eastern Service Station to raise their concerns about the increase in the fuel excise that came into force last week, which will place an additional Cost of Living burden on residents living in the City of Casey.

From Monday 10th November 2014, local residents in the South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne will pay more for petrol because of the Abbott Coalition Government’s new $2.2 billion petrol tax.

Despite promising no new or increased taxes before the last election, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is making local residents pay more petrol tax.

The Abbott Coalition Government has snuck this tax hike through, bypassing Parliament to ensure the petrol tax goes up and up and up.

The indexation of the petrol tax to CPI by the Abbott Coalition Government means Australians will pay around $19 billion more for petrol over the next decade.

Within the next five years, the average Australian will be paying at least an extra $135 for petrol per car every single year because of this new tax from Prime Minister Tony Abbott. So a three car household could pay an additional $405 per year.

‘Casey Residents are already struggling to make ends meet with the cost of living – the last thing they need is to pay more tax every time they fill up the car’, said Mr Byrne.

‘This tax hurts those who live in the outer suburbs the most. Trades people, construction workers, small business operators, manufacturing workers and families that need their cards to travel,’ said Mr Byrne.

‘This new growth tax is a direct attack on working families in the Casey region’, said Mr Byrne.

“Denis Napthine’s Liberal Government has raised the cost of driving above inflation, with registration now averaging around $750 per year”, said Mr Donnellan.

“At the same time as Tony Abbott raises the cost of petrol and Denis Napthine raises the cost of rego, less is being spent on upgrading our roads,” said Mr Donnellan.

“Only Labor will invest $1 billion in a suburban roads fund to upgrade roads which have been neglected by the Liberals,” said Mr Donnellan.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

Noble Prize in Physics goes to the inventors of blue LED

Oct 17, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, caught up with Svetlana Zatsepin and Alex Zatsepin from Coolon LED Lighting today to celebrate the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2014 being awarded to Isamu Akasaki (Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan and Nagoya University, Japan), Hiroshi Amano (Nagoya University, Japan) and Shuji Nakamura (University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA) for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.

According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Science Press Release dated 7 October 2014:

“This year’s Nobel Laureates are rewarded for having invented a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source – the blue light-emitting diode (LED). In the spirit of Alfred Nobel the Prize rewards an invention of greatest benefit to mankind; using blue LEDs, white light can be created in a new way. With the advent of LED lamps we now have more long-lasting and more efficient alternatives to older light sources.”

“Many people are familiar with Moore’s Law, which is an observation that the complexity and performance of electronics doubles roughly every 1.5 to 2 years,” said Alex Zatsepin, Technical Director at Coolon LED Lighting. “This cannot continue indefinitely, due to the physical limitations of the dimensions to which components can be shrunk. The invention of new materials, in particular gallium nitride (GaN), which made the blue LED possible, allows electronics to move beyond Moore’s Law to enable better performance and innovation. It creates new opportunities that were unimaginable a few years ago.”

Australia remains at the forefront of the LED revolution. Residing locally in Hallam, Coolon LED Lighting, a leading Australian manufacturing company that produces world class LED lighting products, was particularly delighted to commemorate the Nobel Prize committee’s appreciation of research that is fundamental to advancing Coolon’s core vision of creating efficient, long-lasting and environment-friendly LED lighting.

Formed in Oakleigh in 2001, Coolon moved and expanded its R&D and manufacturing facilities to Hallam and currently employs over 40 personnel. Coolon invested heavily into R&D in order to utilize high quality LEDs to produce highly reliably 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 improving and adapting its products to ensure it remains 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. Coolon has been involved in Australia’s largest and most prominent projects, some of which have won industry awards, and have been recognized 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 recognized for being virtually indestructible. Coolon has since become an established supplier to many international mining leaders like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore, AngloAmerican, Barrick, and Xstrata, 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 sought by mining companies which helped Coolon to sustain stable growth, while ensuring mining companies by substantially reduced their lighting maintenance costs.

“It is wonderful to visit Coolon LED Lighting and celebrate the news that the 2014 Noble Prize in Physics was awarded to the inventors of blue LED. Coolon LED Lighting is an innovative local manufacturing company that produces high quality and world leading LED Lighting products. It is imperative that we support local manufacturers like Coolon into the future”, said Mr Byrne.

“When Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura produced bright blue light beams from their semi-conductors in the early 1990s, they triggered a fundamental transformation of lighting technology. Red and green diodes had been around for a long time but without blue light, white lamps could not be created. Despite considerable efforts, both in the scientific community and in industry, the blue LED had remained a challenge for three decades.

They succeeded where everyone else had failed. Akasaki worked together with Amano at the University of Nagoya, while Nakamura was employed at Nichia Chemicals, a small company in Tokushima. Their inventions were revolutionary. Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century; the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps.

White LED lamps emit a bright white light, are long-lasting and energy-efficient. They are constantly improved, getting more efficient with higher luminous flux (measured in lumen) per unit electrical input power (measured in watt). The most recent record is just over 300 lm/W, which can be compared to 16 for regular light bulbs and close to 70 for fluorescent lamps. As about one fourth of world electricity consumption is used for lighting purposes, the LEDs contribute to saving the Earth’s resources. Materials consumption is also diminished as LEDs last up to 100,000 hours, compared to 1,000 for incandescent bulbs and 10,000 hours for fluorescent lights.

The LED lamp holds great promise for increasing the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids: due to low power requirements it can be powered by cheap local solar power.

The invention of the blue LED is just twenty years old, but it has already contributed to create white light in an entirely new manner to the benefit of us all.”

“The invention of blue LEDs is a tremendous achievement in its own right, but the impact of this technology will reach much further,” said Mr Zatsepin.

For more information please visit

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

2014 Mental Health Week

Oct 10, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, caught up with Jessica White & Fawn Brady from Kane’s Crusade today on World Mental Health Day to promote Mental Health Week, which is the week of 5-11 October 2014.

With almost half of Australians experiencing mental illness at some point in their lives it is wonderful to have so many local groups such as Kane’s Crusade, Beehive, Angel Light Link, Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide & Windermere providing much needed support for people either suffering from a mental illness or going through difficult times. Locals groups that complement the work of national organisations like Lifeline and Headspace are important in providing much needed mental health support, especially for our young people.

“On behalf of the local community I want to thank all our local community groups and volunteers involved in mental health groups such as Kane’s Crusade, Beehive, Angel Light Link, Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide & Windermere who provide a vital service for our community during times of need,’ said Mr Byrne.


Kane’s Crusade plans to help change the stigma that is attached to depression/mental illness in our community and around the world for those suffering this debilitating illness. They want people to openly say they are not ok and try to seek help.

Kane’s Crusade plan to raise/seek funds so programs can be put in place around Australia in Schools, community groups, workplace environments and social settings to address the signs, symptoms and treatment of Depression. They hope to provide past survivor’s stories of overcoming depression. They aim to conduct motivational talks with students and workplaces to acknowledge the stigma and try to shift the negative perception of depression in the community. They aim to do this by providing workplaces with appropriate training in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills training (ASIST) and Motivational Depression awareness talks to management and the Work forces, community/sporting group, School etc. so that they can recognise the signs of depression before it the illness becomes too progressive.

Kane’s Crusade also has a plan to build an ALIVE CENTRE – a centre for recovery and rehabilitation for depression suffers.

To find out more about Kane’s Crusade please visit: or email [email protected]


Beehive is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at implementing structured programs to help our youth in the ages of 13-21 by developing coping strategies, and help develop self-esteem and confidence through life skills that focus on work ethic, motivation, and goal setting.

Beehive’s primary focus will be on Australia’s 3000+ junior sporting organisations – with over 1 million teenagers playing sport. Supported by just under 1 million parent helpers.

What does Beehive do?

– The Hive: The Hive is an off-field leadership program that encourages players to become more involved in the running of their club.
– The Buzz: The Buzz is a program aimed to help parents in junior sport to be good role models, and build a culture that encourages fair play, inclusiveness and a safe environment for children to enjoy their sport and develop self-esteem and confidence.
– The Edge: The Edge is our cornerstone program – run in various formats (over a full day, 2 half days or 8 one hour sessions. The Edge is about teaching our youth basic life skills and coping strategies that can be applied in sport, school and life.

To find out more please contact Mark Haughton 0452 205 929.


Angel Light Link focuses on the care and support of young women who are at-risk or who are struggling with issues such as poor body image, eating disorders, sexual abuse, depression, peer pressure and low self-esteem. As an organisation inspired by values of integrity, compassion and excellence, our purpose is to help prevent harmful or abusive behaviours and to provide information, counselling and support to young women in need.

What does Angel Light Link?

– The All About You 8 week program, ideal for students in Year Seven & Eight, covers one 45 minute session a week for eight weeks and can be used in school during class or lunch time.
– Angel Light Link runs workshops which are an extension of the All About You Program. These workshops are run during class time and provide schools with an opportunity to allow a large number of girls to participate in the program by running multiple sessions of one or more workshops. The workshops are designed to run for 90 – 120 minutes.

To find out more please contact Sally McCracken on 9796 5054.


Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide is Facebook Page of around 20,000 members that provides a supportive community, which is primarily about peer-to-peer support, with adult moderators (list at the end of this post) who provide additional support and protect the safety of members on the page.

To find out more about Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide please visit:


Suicide Prevention Program workshops:

General Awareness Session

This is a community awareness session and is ideal for schools, parents and others in the broader community. This one-hour presentation by a qualified facilitator is your ‘first step’ into the topic of suicide, aimed at encouraging you to consider your attitudes and gaining an understanding of the facts. You will get to explore the evidence, myths, attitudes and risk factors, and have a chance to ask questions both during the session and after.

LivingWorks Safe TALK

This workshop is for both young people and adults. Over half a day (four hours) two qualified facilitators will share a series of DVD clips with you, followed by discussion, questions and role play. You will also receive a pocket card to take away with you outlining some basic steps to saving lives, and the contact details of people who can help if you come across someone who is suicidal. You will learn how to:

– recognise a person’s distress and the ways they ask for help without actually asking
– respond to the warning signs (and why it’s ok to get it wrong)
– apply some basic Safe TALK skills including telling them that you have noticed, ask if they have considered suicide, listen to what they say and, if you are a young person, involve a trusted adult to help keep them safe, and link them to professional help.

LivingWorks Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

This workshop is suitable for everyone in the community, as long as you are at least 15 years of age. Over two days you will learn how to become ‘suicide alert’ and what to do to help prevent someone from acting on suicidal thoughts. You will:

– have a chance to reflect on attitudes and how this affects our ability to intervene
– explore the behaviours, expressions and feelings of someone at risk of suicide
– learn specific strategies, what to say and what not to say, and what you need to do (suicide first aid)
share ‘helper self-care tips’ with other participants.

To find out more about Windermere please call 9705 3200.


Mental Health Week is an opportunity to raise awareness and take action on the issue that affects 1 in 4 young Australians. Below are five ways that people could get involved with headspace activities during Mental Health Week:

1. headspace Stories video series
We’ve launched a new video series with young people sharing their stories of going through a tough time and seekign help. Watch the first two video storieswith Rania from Canberra and Nick from Melbourne.

2. ABC Mental As Campaign
headspace is a proud partner of ABC’s Mental As campaign for Mental Health Week. During the week ABC will host a series of shows and events focusing on mental health.

3. headspace centre events
During the week our 70 headspace centres across the country will be holding local events. Find your nearest centre to see what they’re up to.

4. Zip It on Mental Health Day
On World Mental Health Day October 10 we are encouraging people to pledge their voice and stay silent for up to 24 hours. The aim of Zip It is to raise awareness and funds for mental health organisations including headspace. Find out more and register for Zip It 2014 here

5. Yarn Safe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander campaign
headspace recently launched a youth-led campaign aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Young people. Take time during Mental Health Week to check out the campaign and how it was put together by 12 deadly young people from across Australia.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

Responding to the Endeavour Hills Incident – Wed 24 Sept 2014

Sep 24, 2014

“Bringing our community together” – Interview with Leigh Sales on the 7:30 Report.

Statement by Anthony Byrne MP regarding the incident at the Endeavour Hills Police Station last night.

Record attendance at the 2014 Doveton Show

Sep 23, 2014


On Sunday 21st September 2014, Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, along with Cr Geoff Abblett, Mayor of the City of Casey, officially opened the 10th Annual Doveton Show at Myuna Farm.

Held on a Sunday each year at the same time as the Royal Melbourne Show, the Doveton Show has been an exceptionally successful community-driven initiative, attracting a record 20,000 attendees this year. The Doveton Show showcases the very best of the Doveton Eumemmerring community and provides a low-cost alternative to the Melbourne Show, as the entry fee is still only two dollars.

The Doveton Show is a full day event that is well supported by local community members and features a variety of activities including:

• music and dance performances;
• an animal nursery;
• amusements and rides;
• face painting;
• sporting activities;
• historical engine displays;
• show bags;
• market stalls;
• art and craft
• displays and workshops;
• food stalls;
• train rides

Anthony Byrne MP said: “This year’s Doveton Show at Myuna Farm was brilliant as Doveton Pride came to the fore. Huge crowds, great entertainment and fantastic activities made it a wonderful day for everyone. One of the highlights from the show was seeing one of the icons of Myuna Farm, Joey the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.”

“I wish to congratulate the Doveton Show events committee including Myuna Farm Manager Mr Steve Hill on holding such a marvellous show this year. And I wish to thank all the dedicated group of volunteers for their work in making the show run so smoothly on such a beautiful day,” said Mr Byrne.

According to the Doveton Show committee, “the Doveton Show was held for the first time on September 25th 2005. Event organizers were confident of attracting at least 1,000 and were hopeful that they might get as many as 2,000 people through the doors. Hopes were exceeded with over 5,000 people flocking to Myuna Farm, from as far as Nyora and Keilor.”

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Anthony Byrne MP accepts Ice Bucket Challenge to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease (MND)

Sep 1, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, last Saturday was nominated by local resident Julie Paull to complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Julie’s husband Rex Paull recently passed away from Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
According to Julie Paull, ‘MND is the most horrible of diseases a person can get it robs you of the ability to Move Speak Eat And eventually Breathe. Our lives were forever changed with the three little letters MND. There is no cure and no treatment.’

‘I wish to thank Anthony Byrne MP and also the Casey Community who have been very supportive for example the Cranbourne 1st Scout division did the challenge last Friday in honour or my husband as have several local and non-local people,’ said Ms Paull.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a neurological disease that affects over 350,000 of the world’s population, and kills over 100,000 every year. MNDAV produces a range of information and resources to assist and inform people living with MND, carers, families, friends and health professionals.

The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS/MND is a social media campaign that was initiated by Pete Frates, a former Boston College captain who is living with motor neurone disease (MND) in the US. Since Peter Frates posted his challenge online, the Ice Bucket Challenge quickly went viral and is now spreading across Australia’s MND, sporting and entertainment communities.

“I only accepted this challenge after I received Julie’s message nominating me and hearing the tragic story of Julie’s husband who she lost due to MND. I accepted the challenge to assist Julie in raising awareness of MND and to let Julie and her family know how much I appreciate their courage and their efforts to combat MND,’ said Mr Byrne.

After undertaking the challenge Anthony Byrne MP nominated Kevin Rudd, Charlie Rimmer – Manager of Westfield Fountain Gate & Kirk Edwards – CEO of Village Cinemas – Exhibition.

To donate to Julie’s MND team directly visit

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.


Australians for Mental Health

Aug 26, 2014

Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, joined with Prof Patrick McGorry, Australian of the Year 2010 & Executive Director of Orygen Youth Health, to launch “Australians for Mental Health” at the National Youth Mental Health Campaign Launch & Forum, which took place today at Village Cinemas at Fountain Gate.

Australians for Mental Health will be a Mental Health Advocacy Campaign similar to “Get Up”. To join this mental health advocacy campaign please visit:

Australians for Mental Health – The problem:

• The neglect of mental ill-health is a form of national self- harm that must be stopped;

• Despite increased coverage and awareness of mental health, there still exists a political inertia about mental ill- health.

Australians for Mental Health – What we want”

• The voices of Australians affected by mental ill-health to be heard and responded to;

• Equal access to, and quality of mental health care, as physical health care by 2020 through transformational reform and investment;

• A reduction in the suicide toll to 75% of its current rate – 2,361 deaths per annum – by 2016 and to 50% of its current rate by 2020;

• An increase in annual funding for mental health to 10% of the total health budget by 2016 and to 13% by 2020; as it currently stands at 7%.

• Improved access to mental health care from a level of 40% in 2008 to 60% by 2016 and 80% by 2020

“Mental illness poses by far the greatest threat among all the non-communicable diseases to health, happiness, and economic productivity”, said Prof Patrick McGorry.

“We want to encourage the community to make its voice heard on the need for mental health across the whole lifespan. Our political leaders on both sides of the spectrum need to be further empowered to act and invest in 21st century mental health care for all Australians”, said Prof McGorry.

“The ages between 12 and 25 years are a crucial time in the development of our young men and women and Mental Illness accounts for 50 per cent of the total disease burden among young people in Australia. The forum will continue our ongoing campaign to empower our youth in national and local efforts to reduce the risk of youth depression and other mental health issues in our community”, said Mr Byrne.

“We are really proud to partner again with Prof Patrick McGorry from Orygen Youth Health at the launch of the National Mental Health Campaign called ‘Australians for Mental Health’ at the forum. It’s time to reenergise our campaign for greater national attention and awareness on youth mental health issues and ensure that the voice of Casey’s youth is heard again nationally,’ said Mr Byrne.



Casey Regional Veterans Welfare Centre Receives Funding Boost

Aug 20, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, caught up with John Hopkins & Peter Godfrey from the Casey Regional Veterans Welfare Centre, as the organisation received $3,191.60 under the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) program from the Australian Government.

The BEST program, administered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), provides support and resources to ex-service practitioners for pension and welfare work to assist veterans, war widows and widowers. Further information can be accessed on DVA’s website at

BEST grants are an important part of the Government’s commitment to support ex-service organisation pensions officers, welfare officers and advocates and it is vital to the provision of support to veterans seeking compensation, and their families.

“Local organisations like the Casey Regional Veterans Welfare Centre carry out wonderful work in the local community and it is fantastic to reward the organisation with extra funds to support their vital programs for local Veterans, said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

National Youth Mental Health Campaign Launch & Forum

Aug 13, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, joined with Emily Smith, Vanessa Jayasinghe, Alycia Kiehne, Stefan Koomen, Tom Morrall, Dani Rothwell and Jake Downward last week to invite Casey’s youth to attend the “National Youth Mental Health Campaign Launch & Forum”, which will take place at Village Cinemas at Fountain Gate (VMAX Cinema 11) on Saturday 23rd August 2014 between 10am and 12pm.

Prof Patrick McGorry, Australian of the Year 2010 & Executive Director of Orygen Youth Health will be the keynote speaker at the forum. The forum will also provide an update to Casey’s youth on the rollout of the Headspace for Fountain Gate and the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPPIC) at the Westfield Fountain Gate Shopping Centre precinct.

“The ages between 12 and 25 years are a crucial time in the development of our young men and women and Mental Illness accounts for 50 per cent of the total disease burden among young people in Australia. The forum will continue our ongoing campaign to empower Casey’s youth in national and local efforts to reduce the risk of youth depression and other mental health issues in our community”, said Mr Byrne.

“We are really proud to partner again with Prof Patrick McGorry from Orygen Youth Health who will be launching a new National Mental Health Campaign at our forum. We encourage Casey’s youth to come along and be part of this exciting event. This continues our campaign for greater national attention and awareness on youth mental health issues and ensures that the voice of Casey’s youth is heard again nationally,’ said Mr Byrne.

National Youth Mental Health Campaign Launch & Forum

EVENT: National Youth Mental Health Campaign Launch & Forum
DATE: Saturday 23rd August 2014
ADDRESS: Village Cinemas at Fountain Gate VMAX Cinema 11
TIME: 10am-12pm
RSVP Office of Anthony Byrne MP 9796 7533 or email [email protected]
COST: Free to attend but registration is required.

To register for the summit please call Anthony Byrne’s office on 9796 7533 and to find out the latest about the forum please visit

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.


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