TAFE cuts and Victoria's new mineral emblem were the hot topics at the regional parliament sitting in Bendigo this morning.
Victoria's Legislative Council met at the Bendigo Town Hall, greeted by a Chinese dragon and welcomed with the sweet tones of the Bendigo Youth Choir.
More than 100 parliamentary and government officials will be directly involved with the Bendigo Regional Sitting, which began at 9.30am.
Adopting gold as Victoria's mineral emblem was the first motion to be debated in the house.
Both the government and opposition supported the move, but several opposition members criticised the motion as trivial and unneeded.
Criticisms turned to TAFE cuts during question time and Minister for Training Peter Hall faced a barrage of accusations from opposition members on his vocational training reform.
The debate foreshadowed a protest down the road at Bendigo Regional TAFE, which met members on their walk to lunch.
Protesters also came out calling for protection of the Wellsford Forrest and changes to abortion laws.
More to come.