Items filtered by date: November 2017
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 15:29

Minister offers to meet business owners

East Gippsland business owners will have the chance to meet with the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, over rising energy costs, if she is true to her word.

Speaking in State Parliament last week, the Minister said “I would be happy to meet anywhere with any business right across the state to discuss any energy costs challenges they are facing”

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, commended the Minister on her commitment to travel the state and said he has had a number of local business owners take up the offer of having the Minister visit to discuss the matter.

“My response has been prompted by the Minister’s previous statement that the impact of Hazelwood’s closure would be around the order of a four per cent increase to electricity costs” said Mr Bull.

“Clearly that’s not the experience in East Gippsland and it is clearly not the situation state-wide.”

“My personal view is that the Minister does not understand the impact that power prices are having on the viability of business.

“As an example, the Bairnsdale RSL has reported a 95 per cent increase in its electricity bill that is adding $80,000 to its annual running costs.

“Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing and Eastern Asphalt are experiencing electricity price increases in the order of 110 per cent and I have had a large number of other businesses reporting rises of over 50 per cent.

“Price hikes of this magnitude can’t just be absorbed or passed on. They are resulting in serious cut backs to staffing levels, reduced investment in plant and equipment and sadly, in some cases, business closures.

“A number of businesses have already taken up the offer to meet with the Minister and any others can contact my office.

“Whilst I hold grave doubts the Minister will agree to meet as she said, I am happy to extend the invitation after her generous offer.”

Wednesday 22 November, 2017

Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, with Michael Crane, of Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing and Eastern Asphalt, which are experiencing electricity price increases in the order of 110 per cent.

Published in Media
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 15:13

Life-Saving Equipment for Sporting Clubs

Life-saving defibrillator packages can be acquired by Gippsland’s not-for-profit community organisations and venues delivering sport and active recreation programs, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.

“They can be a lifesaving asset for any organisation, so I encourage local groups to apply to the Defibrillators for Sporting Clubs and Facilities Program by the 22 December closing date”, Mr Bull said.

“The package includes a Philips HeartStart FRx Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), some basic emergency resuscitation skills training and six years of essential defibrillator maintenance.

“An AED is a small portable medical device that detects heart electrical activity and delivers an electric shock based on the readings. As it’s automatic and has clear instructions, it doesn’t require a paramedic to operate it and can be used by anyone. This makes it an essential life-saving tool for sporting clubs, giving nearby spectators the opportunity to save a life.

“In 2017, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is one of the leading causes of death in Australia. With more than 33,000 Australians experiencing an out of hospital SCA every year, many falling victim at sports clubs, it’s important to seek ways to look after players and spectators and prevent unexpected deaths.

“A SCA is caused by an underlying problem that results in the heart’s electrical system malfunctioning. These heart conditions are often genetic and symptom-less or by a heart being placed under extreme stress in something like a normal Saturday afternoon sporting game.

“They’re lethal and the best way to restart the heart is by using an Automatic External Defibrillator or AED.

“In a life threatening situation every second counts and people in Gippsland deserve the best chance at surviving a sudden cardiac arrest.

“This is a great opportunity for club members to boost their first aid skills, improve planning for medical emergencies and ensure players or spectators suffering sudden cardiac arrest get help until paramedics arrive”, Mr Bull said.

To apply, go to www.sport.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs

Tuesday 21 November, 2017

Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull pictured holding an AED accompanied by Peter Fielding, Manager of Bairnsdale Bowls Club, is encouraging sports clubs and community recreation organisations to apply for a life-saving defibrillator package.

Published in Media
Friday, 17 November 2017 14:49

Volunteer Emergency Services Grants

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull has congratulated volunteer emergency services across East Gippsland that have been successful in obtaining funding under the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program Grants for 2017-18.

“Our emergency services volunteers do a wonderful job in protecting the community and these grants will help to ensure that when they are battling the elements, they have the equipment and facilities to do the job”, Mr Bull said.

“Twenty grants totalling $846,711 have been shared amongst Country Fire Authority, State Emergency Service and Coast Guard volunteer services with Wairewa and Mallacoota CFA brigades receiving $170,000 apiece for the new crew cab 4 X 4 light tanker.

“Other CFA brigades to receive grants include Briagolong, Bruthen, Dargo, Glenmaggie, Heyfield, Lakes Entrance, Lindenow South, Meerlieu, Newmerella, Omeo, Sarsfield, Swifts Creek and Valencia Creek.

“Lakes Entrance and Marlo Coastguard and the Bairnsdale, Buchan and Mallacoota Units of the State Emergency Service have also been successful.

“These grants take the pressure off volunteers having to go out on the street, rattle the tins and run sausage sizzles – it frees up a lot of volunteer time that can be spent more productively.

“Our volunteers are the very backbone of the community. We know that we have their backing when we experience natural and man-made emergencies and I know that these grants will make a positive difference in their efforts to continue to protect us all”, Mr Bull said

Friday 17 November, 2017

Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, congratulates local volunteer services on obtaining grants under the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program, with Wairewa and Mallacoota CFA to be equipped with new 4X4 tankers.

Published in Media
Monday, 13 November 2017 16:01

Centre of road wire rope barrier project to proceed

The project to install roadside and centre of the road wire rope barriers on the Princes Highway between Sale and Bairnsdale is going ahead despite local concerns being raised.

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull recently wrote to the Roads Minister requesting the project be put on hold after emergency services personnel and road users raised concerns.

“I wrote to the Minister and asked that given the concerns and lack of consultation, that he put the works on hold until some of these concerns have been addressed.

“In his response, the Minister advised that extensive consultation has taken place, but that is clearly not the case.

“The letter confirms the only consultation that took place prior to May this year, when the actual proposal was released, was done by social media in October 2016 when general feedback was sought. A Facebook post does not cut it I’m afraid.

“From my understanding, our community was never specifically asked about centre of the road wire rope barriers between Sale and Bairnsdale until it was formally announced earlier this year that they were going to be installed.

“This has continued a trend of the government deciding what it is going to do, then spending a lot of money on public sessions to tell the community what it has already decided it is doing and saying it has conducted an extensive public consultation.

“Public consultation is not getting feedback on what has already been decided, it is about asking what the community wants in the first place,” said Mr Bull, who added the only changes to come out of the so-called consultation were relatively minor alterations.

“It is clear the public consultation has been seriously flawed when you have members of the CFA, paramedics and police all saying the first they heard of it was the announcement it was going to happen. I also understand the shire has been approached with concerns by emergency services workers as well.

“I attended two of these consultations myself and raised these exact concerns and was told the project is going ahead and these sessions were only about seeing if any minor changes could be made to address any small concerns.”

Mr Bull said the project, which will see roadside and centre of the road wire rope barriers installed almost all the way along the highway between Sale and Bairnsdale, has been described by an experienced local emergency services member as being like a ‘tunnel without a roof’.

“An emergency services workshop was held as recently as the October 23 to work through the operational impacts of the safety works, but this should have been scheduled into the project plan right at the start, not as an afterthought one year on.

“I’m still waiting on an answer from the Minister in relation to what design changes have been made to accommodate the concerns of our emergency service workers, let alone what happens when we have a large harvester or the like having to travel on the road at a slow speed and taking up almost all the room between the side and centre wire ropes.

“I have also lodged a question about improvements to Bengworden Road which will become the detour of choice for road users seeking to avoid traffic congestion on the Princes Highway for the long period of installation”

Mr Bull said he is fully supportive of well thought out road safety improvements that will save lives and always welcomes investment in the region, but this investment should be preceded by gauging community views and asking us what we want rather than telling us.”

Monday, November 13, 2017

Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull says the Roads Minister Luke Donnellan is not listening to the locals about road safety.

Published in Media
Thursday, 09 November 2017 08:21

Grant yourself some shade

Community groups across East Gippsland should take advantage of the final round of the Community Shade Grants Program, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
 
Mr Bull said grants of up to $50,000 were available to sporting clubs and other not-for-profit organisations to build new shade structures, replace or repair existing structures or create natural shade.
 
“This is a really popular grant stream with many organisations often choosing to construct shade structures,” Mr Bull said.
 
“Some are also able to create natural shade by planting trees or purchasing portable items, while others choose a combination of methods to create shade.
 
“In addition to these grants, applicants can also apply for up to $700 for sunscreen and hats.”
 
Mr Bull said it was important that local groups provided suitable respite from the sun, given Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.
 
“Two in three Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they turn 70, and we need to change this statistic,” he said.
 
“Around 40,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Victoria every year.”
 
Mr Bull said the application process involved two stages, with expressions of interest due by Thursday, November 30, with shortlisted applicants to submit a full application afterwards.
 
“I am positive that all eligible community organisations in East Gippsland could put additional shade structures or natural shade to good use, and I encourage all eligible groups to look into this program as a way of achieving that.”
 
More information is available at www2.health.vic.gov.au/community-shade-grants or by phoning 1300 547 596.
 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Published in Media
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 16:09

What is the police plan?

Following recent community concern over police staffing levels at the Omeo and Swifts Creek one-man stations, Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has taken the matter to State Parliament, asking the Police Minister what plans are in place to cover absences when they occur.
 
“I have been advised by several local residents that there have been a number of times recently, including this week, when both officers have been absent or off duty and policing coverage is provided from Bairnsdale,” Mr Bull said.
 
“This of course is problematic as Omeo is over 90 minutes away and other locations covered by this station are over two hours away from Bairnsdale.
 
“Particularly as we are now in the fire season, and we have had fires in recent weeks in this area, we must surely have one person on duty locally as a minimum.
 
“Given the distance from Bairnsdale, I ask the Minister what is the plan to cover these absences when they occur as coverage provided from Bairnsdale is not deemed as adequate.
 
“There are always short-term absences that are hard to cover, but when the absences are known days or weeks in advance, arrangements should be put in place, especially at this time of the year.
 
“Local police do a fantastic job in responding to incidents across the region, however the community needs an assurance there will always be a presence provided at one of these stations as a minimum.”
 
The Minister has 30 days to respond to Mr Bull’s question.
 
“I look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say, and I am hoping the Omeo and Tambo Valley communities are assured of adequate resourcing in the case of possible absences,” he said.
 
 
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has asked the Police Minister what plans are in place during staff absences at Omeo and Swifts Creek police stations.
 
 
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Published in Media
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