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Member's Statement: Caulfield South Primary School

Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield) — Recently I had the pleasure of hosting year 6 students from Caulfield South Primary School. Each year I speak to them about politics and give them a challenge to write to me about an issue they face. Justin Cole, their teacher, takes this very seriously. He too has indicated his interest in politics. Students May, Nick, Luca, William, Hayley and Zakhar wrote to me on the issue of graffiti. They spoke about its impacts on their community, where it is a huge problem. The coalition government invested $10 million to reduce graffiti under its anti graffiti plan. This led to the removal of 2 million square metres of graffiti across Victoria, which is equivalent to almost 100 MCGs.

I also received a letter from Gabrielle Gruskin, who wrote to me about homelessness in Victoria. I share Gabrielle’s concerns and believe there is a lot of work to be done to help those people without roofs over their heads. This issue has been brought to light by the St Vincent de Paul Society’s annual CEO Sleepout to be held on 18 June. This year its goal is to raise $10 million across Australia. I have put my hand up to take part in order to raise some funds and to highlight this huge problem. Thank you again to all those Caulfield South Primary students for their letters. I look forward to receiving more from that school in the future.

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