Viney to retire from politics

Upper house member for Eastern Victoria Matthew Viney will not recontest the next state election, informing parliamentary colleagues last week he was placing priority on his health.

Last month Mr Viney suffered from a mild stroke, announcing he would be absent from parliament until December.

However on Friday opposition leader Daniel Andrews said he had spoken to Mr Viney, who had informed him he would not be recontesting.

“Matt’s recovery continues, but he has advised me that he wants to put his health first,” Mr Andrews said.

“On behalf of the Victorian Labor Party I wish him all the best in his recovery.”

Carbon tax repeal

The introduction of legislation to repeal the carbon tax in Federal Parliament last week has been welcomed by Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, who said the move would help restore business confidence in the region.

Mr Chester joined the Coalition chorus in urging the Labor Party to support the removal, however opposition leader Bill Shorten has said Labor would only agree if the carbon levy was replaced by an emissions trading scheme.

“The carbon tax does nothing in terms of improving our local environment. Emissions continue to rise while households and businesses are slugged with increasing costs,” Mr Chester said.

Without Labor’s support, the Coalition will not be able to abolish the tax until the newly-elected Federal senate begins its term in July next year.

Latrobe Valley power generators have made submissions during the legislation’s development process to influence its design.