Bounty goes and baiting program cut
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has lashed out at the Labor Government for not understanding or attempting to show any interest in the wild dog problem with program cuts to kick in from tomorrow.
“Tomorrow (June 30) the Andrews Government will axe the wild dog bounty, which has been extremely successful with well over 1500 pelts being handed-in and last week it also confirmed it failed to conduct aerial baiting in autumn this year and does not intend to again in the future.
“Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford told Parliament that the government would only aerial bait for wild dogs once a year, in spring, after the former Coalition Government aerial baited in both spring and autumn and committed another $4 million to ramp up baiting efforts even further.
“Labor’s decision is a slap in the face to producers and country communities in East Gippsland who suffer the devastating impacts of wild dogs.
“This is a problem that has to be tackled on several fronts, but I know the one thing we don’t need is a reduction in effort and funding.
“These vicious animals not only maul and kill livestock, particularly young lambs and calves, they also decimate native fauna.
“My genuine concern with this is that it’s Labor pandering to the inner city Greens who threaten to win their seats and Labor may go even further.
“The Greens have a very clear policy of banning wild dog trapping and baiting altogether and control feral animals by non-lethal methods where there is ‘freedom from discomfort’ (like fencing). If only it was that simple.
“This policy just goes to show how out of touch with reality they are, but unfortunately Labor already has had to adopt ridiculous Green policy on several fronts to avoid further loss of their inner city seats.
“Some time ago I spoke in parliament on a local petition to increase resources in the area of wild dog control. The Coalition did increase efforts and made a number of changes.
“I would urge those in the community who are impacted to write to their Labor Upper House member, Harriet Shing, on the matter and raise their concerns as she has remained silent on these changes and needs to be made aware of the impacts,” said Mr Bull.
New mobile towers for East Gippsland
Locals in Benambra, Bonang, Buchan South, Butchers Ridge, Glen Valley, Sarsfield, Nicholson, Tongio and surrounding areas will soon have better phone coverage with the construction of six new phone towers as part of 109 towers to be upgraded across the state.
“The Victorian Coalition invested up to $40 million last year to make this happen and I am proud to see our hard work come to fruition through the Federal Government mobile blackspot program,” said State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
“Being stuck with no phone coverage or constant drop-outs was not only frustrating, but terribly isolating.
“Today’s announcement of 109 new towers across the state is going to make a huge difference for these communities and I am pleased we have received several of these given our isolated communities,” Mr Bull said.
“The Federal Government has announced it will include these towns as part of its mobile blackspot program, which is being rolled out across regional Australia over the coming years.
“It is pleasing to see the Coalition’s hard work pay off to fix the mobile phone coverage issues that have plagued these communities for years.”
Mr Bull said not only would better phone coverage make it easier to keep in touch with family and friends and to do business, it would provide locals with better access to emergency services.
“This is a fantastic outcome for our local communities and it is important to note that while there will remain areas that need better coverage this is a great start and I look forward to round two delivering more improved outcomes for our region,” Mr Bull said.
Nominations for the 2015 Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll are now open
Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said that each year the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll acknowledges and celebrates the achievements of Aboriginal Victorians past and present.
“I ask people to consider East Gippsland residents who are deserving of being nominated for the Honour Roll,” Mr Bull said.
“In the first four years of the Honour Roll 64 Aboriginal people have been inducted in recognition of their outstanding achievements in community leadership, economic, social and community development, education, health, sport, the arts and military service.
“Their life stories are presented in the Honour Roll book which is on permanent display in the Victorian Parliament and tours regional Victoria each year.
“We already have a number of Indigenous Gippslanders recognised in the Honour Roll and as the former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs it was a great pleasure to be involved in this prestigious evening.”
Mr Bull said new inductees for this year will receive their award at a ceremony to be held later this year. Joint nominations, (such as members of a family) may also be considered for induction.
Applications close on 30 June.