$12.5 million to complete Bairnsdale Secondary
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today officially opened the $10 million Stage one redevelopment of the Bairnsdale Secondary College and announced a re-elected Coalition Government will commit $12.5 million towards Stage two of the project. Tim is pictured with Bairnsdale Secondary College Year 11 Captains, Katherine Dobinson and Matthew Corbett and College Principal, Ian Hall at today’s announcement.
Bairnsdale Secondary College will receive a further $12.5 million to complete Stage two of its construction under a re-elected Coalition Government.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, representing Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, made the announcement at the official opening of the $10 million Stage one redevelopment.
Mr Bull said the Napthine Government has a strong record of delivering for school education.
“This $10 million redevelopment was an important investment for the school community, and our $12.5 million election commitment to complete Stage two will be a massive boost to local education,” Mr Bull said.
Funded in the 2012-13 State Budget, the $10 million redevelopment has merged two existing campuses onto a single campus and created three separate ‘learning hubs’: for Year 7, Years 8-9 and Years 10-12.
The upgrade includes the administration building, the creation of learning ‘hubs’ with a range of flexible learning spaces, seminar and presentation spaces, and two extended outside learning areas.
“Since 2011 the Victorian Coalition Government has invested $1.1 billion in school capital, including $10 million for Bairnsdale Secondary College, and $3 million for Toorloo Arm Primary School in Gippsland East,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said Bairnsdale Secondary College has built a solid reputation as an innovative leader in education in East Gippsland.
“This new facility will provide an outstanding environment for both teachers and students that will not only benefit students’ learning, but provide a community hub for families in the local area,” Mr Bull said.
College principal, Ian Hall, said the students and teachers had only just started touring and trialing the new facilities but were already won over by them.
“They all love the open plan design, the acoustics and the general feel of the buildings, and I have no doubt they will enhance the whole experience of being at school,” Mr Hall said.
The Napthine Government is building a better education system, with a record $9.2 billion for school education in 2014-15, $1 billion more than Labor’s last budget in 2010.
More kindergarten places for Bairnsdale families
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today joined local families to open the upgraded Bairnsdale Kindergarten.
Mr Bull said the upgrade has renovated the existing room which has increased kindergarten places from 50 to 60 places, upgraded the kindergarten’s office space and constructed an outdoor deck area for children to play on.
“This upgraded centre now meets the demand for high-quality early years services, which is great news for local families.
“Today’s opening is a real milestone for the Bairnsdale Kindergarten community.
“It marks the completion of a project that has improved the quality and amenity of the centre, while giving more families access to its highly regarded programs,” Mr Bull said.
The Napthine Government invested $299,000 in the project, adding to the $19,500 raised by the Bairnsdale Kindergarten.
Mr Bull said this project is testament to what can be achieved when the State Government works in partnership with local kindergartens and their communities.”
“The local fund raising efforts are a wonderful reflection of the generosity and hard work that exist in our community,” he said.
Mr Bull said it is great to see local companies involved in the project with Brooker Builders undertaking the construction work and McSweeney and Associates doing the design work.
Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, Wendy Lovell, said investing in early years infrastructure was part of the government’s plan to make Victoria a world leader in children's learning and development.
“Victoria already leads the nation in early childhood education and care, and by improving facilities and increasing access to services, we are making regional Victoria an even better place for families to raise their children,” she said.
Since December 2010, the Victorian Coalition Government has invested $120 million to build or upgrade over 300 Victorian children’s centres, creating more than 8500 new kindergarten places and generating hundreds of jobs in building, construction and related industries.
Much of this investment has flowed directly to families in regional Victoria, supporting them to give their children the very best start in life.
$650,000 for Omeo children’s centre
Members of the Omeo community were delighted with today’s announcement by Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, of $650,000 in State funds for the Omeo Children’s Centre, a new facility for the town with a total cost of $862,000.
Families in Omeo were jumping for joy today with the announcement of $650,000 in State Government funding for Omeo Children’s Centre.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, joined Omeo and Tambo Valley families to officially announce the funding which he said had come after some significant advocacy from the local community.
Mr Bull said the $650,000 grant from the State and $215,000 from the Federal Government is fantastic news for current and future generations of children in Omeo and surrounding districts.
“Omeo children will soon have access to the very best integrated education and care services in their vital years before school.
"The local community has worked hard on this proposal and all credit to them. They have been comprehensive in their approach and have kept me informed and worked with me on this over a lengthy period of time. I pay full credit to the professional approach they have applied to this,” he said.
High Country Early Years Action Group spokesperson, Robert Boucher, said today’s announcement of funding for an integrated early years learning facility in Omeo is most exciting.
“For our community to have a purpose built facility that meets our children’s needs is fantastic.
“The High Country Early Years Action Group has worked together extremely well, with wide community consultation over an extended period, to enable this dream to become a reality. Today we are one step closer to this reality.
“As an educator I am acutely aware of the importance of the early years in a child’s development, and with today’s announcement we can look forward to our children and families in the high country having a bright and fulfilling future.
“It is brilliant that a community group can have its hard work acknowledged and be supported financially to lead to a project which will have a positive impact on so many families,” he said.
Mr Bull said the new centre, which will be co-located at Omeo Primary School, will provide 34 kindergarten places alongside playgroup, day care and visiting health services including allied health and maternal and child health.
“Building the early learning facility on the same site as the School is not only more convenient, it supports children to transition smoothly and more confidently into school,” Mr Bull said.
Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, Wendy Lovell, said investing in early years infrastructure was part of the Napthine Government’s plan to make Victoria a world leader in children’s learning and development.
Funding to protect native wildlife in East Gippsland
Wildlife carers in East Gippsland can continue protecting and nurturing the region’s native wildlife following the latest round of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $212,700 Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the Napthine Government had provided $10,987 to help seven shelter operators and volunteers care for sick and injured wildlife.
“The work of the seven grant recipients is crucial to maintaining the health and prosperity of the region’s local wildlife,” Mr Bull said.
“The funding will go towards essential purchases for shelters across the electorate including:
• Paynesville (New wombat enclosure - $1,895)
• Mallacoota (Purchase heat pads/hot boxes and cages - $611)
• Cobbannah (Aviary and supplementary feed and wombats - $800)
• Goongerah (Feed for wildlife under care, fuel for rescue pick-ups - $500)
• Nicholson (Heat pads/hot boxes, formula and feed for animals - $500)
• Cassilis (Lockable storage area, pouches, bedding, medical supplies - $1,299)
• Goongerah (Enclosure for wombat grazing - $1,998)
• Mallacoota (Heat pads & hot boxes, movable pool for seabirds - $1,500)
• Raymond Island (Enclosures for koala joeys, vet bills - $1,884)
Mr Bull said animal carers and shelter operators in East Gippsland do essential work to protect and nurture native wildlife, and thanked them for their commitment.
“These grants are another example of how the Napthine Government continues to support practical action in our local community.”
Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith, said the Coalition Government’s Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants Program supports an amazing network of tireless and dedicated volunteers.
“More than 100 carers and shelter operators along with three wildlife organisations across Victoria will share in grants totalling $212,700 to maintain or upgrade the facilities they need to care for native animals,” Mr Smith said.
“Each year in Victoria authorized shelter operators and foster carers rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned wildlife for release.
“The Napthine Government is committed to recognizing and rewarding those Victorians with the experience, knowledge and commitment to protect our iconic wildlife,” Mr Smith said.
Extra alcohol and drug support for BRHS
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, met with BRHS CEO, Therese Tierney to discuss an additional $500,000 in State funds to boost the hospitals response to those presenting to the emergency department with drug and alcohol issues.
Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) will receive a $500,000 boost to help its emergency department better respond to patients affected by alcohol and drugs, such as ice, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, announced today.
BRHS is one of six hospitals to receive the funding, which is part of the Coalition’s record $165 million in funding for alcohol and drug programs in the 2014-15 Budget.
The initiative builds on the successful $12 million in funding announced in the 2012-13 Budget, which provided 21 health services, including six regional health services, with additional resources to respond to alcohol and drug-affected patients.
Mr Bull said that the local emergency department would now decide which new resources will best suit the needs of the local East Gippsland community, which could include hiring a new specialised alcohol and drug specialist or additional training for existing staff.
“BRHS is one of the local health service providers that is first point of contact for those affected by substance abuse, so it is important we have trained staff to deal with affected patients,” he said.
BRHS CEO, Therese Tierney, said we are thrilled to receive this grant as it will help us improve our response to people who present to our emergency department (ED) under the influence of drugs such as "ice" or alcohol.
“Like many regional ED’s we face some very challenging behaviours but our main concern is that the people presenting receive care that improves the quality of their lives.
“We will be working with drug and alcohol workers from Gippsland Lakes Community Health and Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-operative, the Police and Ambulance Victoria to develop a plan that will improve the coordination of care between the agencies. We hope that this will reduce the incidents of people needing emergency care but if they do need this care we have better skills and resources to manage them while they are in crisis and beyond,” she said.
Minister for Mental Health, Mary Wooldridge, said that the new funding was part of a $34 million package in the 2014-15 Budget, which will address the harms of ice and other drugs in the community and provide treatment for an additional 2,000 Victorians.
The funding will also complement a range of other initiatives announced by the Coalition Government to improve safety in Victoria’s hospitals, including:
• More than $40 million for safety and security initiatives in hospitals across the State, including training, capital improvements and upgrading duress and security systems;
• New laws introduced to Parliament in June increasing the sentence for seriously assaulting an emergency department doctor or nurse to a minimum of six months;
• Further reforms introduced into Parliament recently creating a minimum six month sentence for serious assaults against all hospital staff.
“The Napthine Government knows it is critical that we invest now so Victorians across the state can access appropriate treatment and support for alcohol and drug problems, as well as make the emergency department a safer place for patients and staff,” Ms Wooldridge said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, met with BRHS CEO, Therese Tierney to discuss an additional $500,000 in State funds to boost the hospitals response to those presenting to the emergency department with drug and alcohol issues.
Local roads and bridges will be better under Coalition
A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will continue to invest $1 million a year, every year, to fix local roads and bridges in the East Gippsland and Wellington Shires, State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said today.
Mr Bull welcomed the Coalition Government’s announcement that it had re-committed to the successful $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program for a further four years, providing much needed financial assistance to local councils.
Mr Bull said it was very concerning the Labor Party had confirmed it would scrap this important investment.
“I know this program is very well received by local councils and I have had calls from both Wellington and East Gippsland Shires to have this funding continued. In fact Wellington Shire Mayor Scott Rossetti raised it with me just this week, so it is a pleasure the announcement has been made today.
“Under the program, both councils will receive $1 million a year over the next four years to fund vital road and bridge repairs and replacements on local shire roads.
“This program not only helps fix local roads, but puts downward pressure on rates.
“Maintaining local roads is one of the largest cost burdens on local government, so to have this program invest an additional $1 million a year is providing a major boost to rural councils.
“This additional $1 million a year goes directly into local roads and bridges, funding reseals, pothole repairs, bridge improvements or replacements and other important repair and maintenance work.
“This investment means Councils have an additional $1 million a year in their budgets, meaning they can spend more on other local roads or invest in other projects.
“It also means locals councils don’t have to continuously go back to ratepayers to pay for vital local road improvements, which is helping to keep rates lower for property owners, farmers and businesses.”
Over the past four years, the Country Roads and Bridges Program has funded important roads projects including Boisdale-Newry Road improvements, Basin Creek Bridge north of Buchan and Shady Creek Bridge to name just a couple.
Municipal Association of Victoria President, Cr Bill McArthur, welcomed the continued funding support.
“The Country Roads and Bridges Program is invaluable, delivering maintenance and restoration projects,” Cr McArthur said.
“With councils responsible for 85 per cent of the state’s road network, road funding is the single largest expense for rural shires, so the $40 million of funding is vital.
Mr Bull said this funding would be at risk under a Daniel Andrews-led Labor Government who plan to scrap the Country Roads and Bridges Program to fund union-led city centric projects such as level crossing removals in Labor-held seats.
“Labor’s plan will see country roads go backwards and will force councils to raise rates or cut vital local services.
“This cutback is on top of Labor’s plan to slash the roads maintenance budget for VicRoads roads from more than $500 million a year, to a paltry $125 million a year, consigning country roads to nothing more than goat tracks.
“It is further proof that Daniel Andrews and his Labor comrades simply don’t get it, they don’t understand country communities and will send us spiralling backwards.
“Regional and rural Victoria can’t afford four years of Labor.”