6001 signatories supporting Heyfield
The third and final round of petitions calling on Daniel Andrews to secure hundreds of jobs of East Gippsland’s timber workers was tabled in State Parliament last week, bringing the total of signatories to 6001.
In tabling the petitions, Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, met with local mill worker and campaigner, Anthony Wilkes, who was at Parliament to present the Premier with a Google map of instructions on how to get to Heyfield.
This followed Mr Bull earlier calling on the Government to release the review it promised to have completed in April of leadbeater possum reserve areas and their impact on timber harvesting.
“To have just over 6000 signatories is an amazing response and certainly shows the support the workers have in the community,” Mr Bull said.
“I am still hopeful of a positive outcome, but the Government needs to make a firm decision as the clock is ticking and the uncertainty is distressing many.
“It is completely inexcusable that the Premier, despite on February 24 promising Anthony he would visit the mill, has not made the effort. The workers deserve better than this from a man who says he cares about their jobs but does little to show it.
“Wilkesy’s idea of presenting the map was that he has clearly formed the opinion the Premier doesn’t even know where the place is.”
Mr Bull said he hoped the overdue report would show the leadbeater possum is far more widespread than originally thought and the native timber industry can operate sustainably with appropriate protections in place.
Caption: Gippsland East MP Tim Bull (right) and Eastern Region MLC Melina Bath with Australian Sustainable Hardwoods employee Anthony Wilkes on a recent visit to the timber mill.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Join in the Mother’s Day Classic fun
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, is encouraging fellow local residents to join him in participating in this year’s Bairnsdale Mother’s Day Classic.
“As an annual participant of the Mother’s Day Classic, I know it will again be a great day out for Mum and the entire family, with running and walking events at varying lengths, so I encourage others to join me,” Mr Bull said.
“This Sunday marks the 10th year of the Classic, which has raised thousands of dollars for the National Breast Cancer Foundation,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said the event kicks off at 10am, with the six-kilometre walk and 10km run leaving the Howitt Park pavilion and taking in popular walking tracks along the Mitchell River and others in Eastwood. Those who have not yet registered online should arrive before 8.30am.
Mr Bull congratulated the Bairnsdale Apex Club for organising the event over the years.
“The club has done a fantastic job running the Mother’s Day Classic and they deserve the support of local residents, especially in its 10th year,” he said.
“There will also be food and drinks available before and after the event, along with some great raffle prizes donated by local businesses.”
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull (back), prepares for this Sunday’s Mother’s Day Classic with Christine Zagami, from Breast Care Support Fund of East Gippsland, and organising committee member, Gerry Ward, of Bairnsdale Apex Club.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Federal Budget makes up for State debacle
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has welcomed the investment in East Gippsland from the Federal Budget, including funds for the Avon River rail bridge at Stratford and several roads projects.
He said the Nationals in Coalition will deliver the largest single Federal Government investment ever in the Gippsland rail line with a $290m spend.
“It was very pleasing to hear from my Federal colleague, Darren Chester, that the investment includes $195 million for track duplications and upgrades on the Gippsland line and replacement of the 130-year-old Avon River Bridge at Stratford,” Mr Bull said.
“What is pleasing about this is that traditionally passenger rail is funded solely by the State Government. And I’m delighted the Nationals in Federal Government have been able to deliver these improvements and full credit to Darren for delivering this.”
Mr Chester said the new Avon River Bridge will remove speed restrictions on the Bairnsdale line and enable freight trains to return, and importantly future-proof Bairnsdale train services by replacing one of the oldest, most expensive structures on the line.”
“Now the federal money is on the table, I will be looking to work with my state counterparts to deliver more funding for the Gippsland line,” he said.
“The State Labor Government has identified additional projects for the Gippsland line, however they are yet to provide any state money, or detailed planning to my office. The sooner I receive that information, the sooner we can get started on delivering.
“The Coalition will also be calling on the State Labor Government to make its own contribution to the Gippsland line upgrades. It is important we work together for the good of Gippsland,” Mr Chester said.
Gippsland will also receive $2.3 million under the Black Spot Program to improve road safety, including improvements to:
• Boisdale-Newry Road between Walkers Road and Back Valencia Road, Boisdale: new t-intersection and warning signs - $434,000
• Dawson and Wallace Streets, Bairnsdale: modify roundabout and improve lighting - $180,000
• Pearson and Grant Streets, Bairnsdale: new roundabout - $467,000
• Romawi Road North at Peecks Road, Forge Creek: new guard fence, upgrade delineation and reduce speed limit - $160,000, and
• Rules Road between the Princes Highway and Lens Road, Toorloo Arm: upgrade delineation and signage, seal the shoulders and reduce speed limit - $192,000 .
Work is also getting underway on upgrading the Princes Highway east of Sale ($50 million), the Great Alpine Road ($10 million), and the Monaro Highway ($10 million). The Victorian Government is funding half of the cost.
The Federal Government’s investment in Gippsland’s infrastructure includes:
• $25 million for the Princes Highway, Sale to NSW border
• $20 million for the Macalister Irrigation District pipeline upgrade
• $10 million for the Latrobe Performing Arts Centre, Traralgon
• $9.2 million to three Gippsland councils under Roads to Recovery Program (official estimate for 2017-18)
• $5 million for the Great Alpine Road • $5 million for the Monaro Highway, including $2 million for Cann River
• $1.2 million for the Glenaladale bridge replacement (underway), and
• $250,000 for the Mallacoota Recreation Reserve
Mr Bull said this investment was in contrast to the State Government’s investment in East Gippsland, which like almost all rural areas, received little.
“In fact their map of East Gippsland in the State Budget papers was covered by an index, but this Federal Budget more than makes up for it,” he said.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Sale-Maffra Road shoulder seal request
Victoria’s Roads Minister has been asked by Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, to seal the shoulders of Sale-Maffra Road.
“The road is used frequently by many of my constituents from Maffra, Bundalaguah and surrounding areas as well as a number of visitors to the area,” Mr Bull told Parliament this week.
“My office has been contacted a number of times by constituents who are concerned about the road state of the shoulders on this section of road.
“It is the main route between Sale and Maffra and being a farming district, it is also used by heavy vehicles for the transport of livestock.
“My constituents believe the current surface and the condition of the shoulders is at an unacceptable standard and that sealing would greatly increase their level of safety.
“Despite cuts to both the road assets and operations budgets in the past two years, I would hope this project can be completed,” Mr Bull said.
The Minister has 30 days to respond to this question.
Monday, May 8, 2017
Neglect from Labor as college overlooked again
Local upper house Labor MP, Harriet Shing, has again put her foot in her mouth after comments on local radio last week that schools in Gippsland had been “neglected”.
“Given Labor has been in government for 14 of the past 18 years, and we delivered three new schools locally in our four years, her comment highlights the deficiencies of her own government in East Gippsland,” said Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
Mr Bull said while in government, the former Liberal-National Coalition funded stage one of the Bairnsdale Secondary College and committed to stage two, built a new Toorloo Arm Primary School and also funded stage one of the new Sale Specialist School.
On radio, Ms Shing said:
“This is a region that has been neglected as far as school builds, upgrades and infrastructure are concerned”.
“Ms Shing is admitting that there are projects to be funded in the region – and the completion of the Bairnsdale Secondary College is one – but her government then decided to cut $87 million from schools funding to rural and regional Victoria in last Tuesday’s State Budget,” Mr Bull said.
Ms Shing also said on air that since being elected in 2014, she had been working with Wonthaggi Secondary College to ensure the Education Minister is aware of the upgrades that are needed at that school.
“Given she has said this, I really do hope these discussions are occurring at all schools in Gippsland that missed out on capital funding, and she is also talking to the Minister about Bairnsdale Secondary College,” he said.
Monday, May 8, 2017
Bull receives confirmation on V/Line air con upgrade
Having raised the issue in State Parliament on a number of occasions, Gippsland East MP Tim Bull has received confirmation the air conditioning system will be upgraded across the entire “classic” V/Line train fleet.
“With the Public Transport Minister not releasing any details on the review into the system at the end of last year, the news that an upgrade will occur is pleasing for those who have advocated for this for a long time,” Mr Bull said.
The response came after Mr Bull’s most recent question on the matter in Parliament.
“My office and I are regularly contacted by constituents concerned about their experiences on the V/Line service, and these concerns regularly relate to the air conditioning problem that has been occurring,” he said.
“The issue country rail travellers have is that when the temperature exceeds 36 degrees, the air conditioning on these long-haul carriages fails.
“This has caused great discomfort when passengers – a lot of them elderly – need the relief most.
“I just hope now that this upgrade adequately addresses the issue.”
Monday, May 8, 2017