Items filtered by date: July 2018
Wednesday, 01 August 2018 09:43

Liberal Nationals will set up weeds and pest animals taskforce

East Gippsland farmers and land managers will be supported in the fight against weeds and pest animals with a new taskforce to be set up by a Liberal Nationals Government, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has announced.
 
Weeds and pest animals are running rampant in Victoria after Daniel Andrews cut the Department’s number of property inspections and has failed to enforce laws which are in place to protect private and public land.
 
Mr Bull said a new weeds and pest animals enforcement taskforce will be established in Agriculture Victoria by a Liberal Nationals Government, to bolster control efforts and strengthen compliance.
 
“When not properly controlled weeds and pest animals, like rabbits, strangle productivity and choke back yields,” he said.
 
“It’s disheartening for our farmers when they invest time and money to stamp out weeds on their own property, only to have the weeds invade again because their neighbours don’t comply with the law.
 
“The Liberal Nationals’ $6.88 million commitment over four years will support farmers who do the right thing by bolstering their control efforts and properly enforcing Victorian laws.”
 
Weeds cost our nation’s farmers an estimated $4 billion each year through yield losses and product contamination.
 
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said supporting our farmers and land managers just wasn’t a priority for Labor.
 
“We need to urgently reverse the damage Daniel Andrews has caused by cutting inspection rates and failing to properly enforce weed and pest animal laws,” Mr Walsh said.
 
“There are lots of farmers who do the right thing, spend money and do the grunt work controlling weeds and pests on their properties but all that good work is undone if recalcitrant neighbours flout the laws.
 
“Weeds and pests like rabbits can severely impact on productivity so it is critical that we do everything we can to support farmers, because profitable farm businesses are critical for local economies and jobs throughout Regional Victoria.”
 
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, looks at African Lovegrass in Bairnsdale with East Gippsland Landcare Network Pest Plants and Animals Subcommittee chairman, Ken Stuart.
 
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Published in Media
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 10:51

VicHealth grants now open

Sporting clubs in East Gippsland can be supported to create new opportunities to get women, girls and less active people into sport, thanks to VicHealth grant funding now available.
 
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the latest round of VicHealth’s Active Club Grants opened today, providing funding of up to $3000 or up to $10,000 to local clubs to create more opportunities for females and social sport options.
 
“This is about making grassroots sports more accessible to East Gippsland residents, so everyone can get involved in the sports they love,” Mr Bull said.
 
“We want everyone to get active and embrace a healthy lifestyle, regardless of their age, gender or ability.”
 
“As a former VicHealth board member and someone who has been directly involved with the running of sporting clubs, I know how hard our local clubs are working so I encourage them to take this opportunity to apply for a grant.”
 
VicHealth chief executive officer, Jerril Rechter, said with less than a third of Victorians getting enough physical activity to benefit their health, it is critical clubs are supported to offer more opportunities to get people moving.
 
“Our research shows many Victorians are not fitting the recommended amount of physical activity into their week,” Ms Rechter said.
 
“Women’s participation in sport is still lower than men’s, and due to many factors, including a lack of time, opportunities and confidence, many women and girls find it hard to get active.”
 
For further information or to apply online, visit www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/activeclub. Applications close 4pm on Friday, August 31.
 
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Published in Media
Friday, 27 July 2018 14:06

Bully’s backing Omeo bike park

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will boost tourism and jobs in Omeo by providing $1.5 million to complete the Omeo Mountain Bike Trail.
 
On the back of the recent Federal Liberal Nationals Government’s announcement of $1.5 million to complete stage one, Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh and Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull have announced a $1.5m grant will be provided to East Gippsland Shire Council by an elected Liberal Nationals Government for stage two of the project, pending a matching local government commitment. 
 
“The Mountain Bike Trail will put Omeo on the map, bringing in people from our local region and abroad to enjoy what our community has to offer,” Mr Bull said.
 
"I have raised this project in Parliament and tabled a petition, but the city-centric Labor Government still refuses to recognise the economic and social benefits this project will deliver, so it is pleasing to be here today to announce this commitment.”
 
Mr Walsh said the region was already popular through the winter months, with the mountain bike trail to boost spending in local businesses and support the creation of new jobs outside of the ski season.
 
"Victoria’s picturesque High Country truly has something for everyone and this project will help Omeo market itself as an all-year-round tourist hotspot, while also offering a unique opportunity for mountain bikers, a sport that continues to grow in popularity,” Mr Walsh said.
 
“The Nationals believe in backing projects that local communities have identified as priorities and we agree the Omeo Mountain Bike Trail will make Omeo and the Tambo Valley an even better place to live and visit.”
As part of the plans, 174.5 kilometres of mountain bike track, across 21 trails of varying difficulty, will be constructed.
 
"It is based on the successful Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails in northern Tasmania, which have completely transformed that community," Mr Bull said.
 
“All that’s needed now is for the Shire to match this pledge so the project can be finalised."
 
East Gippsland Shire Councillor Natalie O’Connell, of Omeo, said she was excited to hear a State Liberal Nationals Government will support the project.
 
“The social and economic benefits of having fully completed project will be incredible,” Cr O’Connell said.
 
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, today announced a Liberal Nationals Government would partner with East Gippsland Shire Council to complete the Omeo MTB Park project. He is pictured alongside Councillor Natalie O’Connell, of Omeo, project steering committee member Jill Hill, and Mayor, Cr Joe Rettino.
 
Friday, July 27, 2018
Published in Media
Wednesday, 25 July 2018 10:46

Support for emergency service volunteers

Emergency service organisations in East Gippsland can apply for funding through the Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants Program, which opened recently.
 
With a number of local applicants successful in previous rounds, Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, is encouraging more groups from across East Gippsland to seek funding.
 
“Grants of up to $50,000 are available to SES units, surf lifesaving clubs and other organisations identified in the Emergency Management Manual Victoria, and given we have had successful applicants in the past, I am sure we will have more in the future,” Mr Bull said.
 
“Funding can go towards training and development, community engagement, operational equipment, education and minor facility upgrades.
 
“Applications can be made by an individual volunteer, unit or club or agency.
 
“Our emergency services do a great job in keeping our communities safe so it is important they are supported.”
 
For more information or to apply for funding, visit emv.vic.gov.au/esvsgrants.
 
Applications are open until 9am on Wednesday, August 22.
 
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, is encouraging locals to apply for funding through the Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants Program. Mr Bull is with JJ Williams, of the Paynesville Coast Guard, which was successful in a previous round.
 
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Published in Media
Wednesday, 25 July 2018 09:02

A bigger focus on respect in schools

The Liberal Nationals last week announced its school anti-bullying policy, which is based on the successful Alannah & Madelaine Foundation anti-bullying program – and it’s a policy I strongly support to replace the controversial and ideological Safe Schools Program.
 
The Safe Schools Program has a strong focus on promoting sexual diversity and such things as gender fluidity. It’s come under much criticism from parents for providing resources covering things like cross dressing and advising students it is ok to use either the either the boys’ or girls’ toilets, regardless of gender.
 
Common feedback I have received is that while we certainly need to address the high rates of bullying in our LGBTI community, the current program’s resources take it too far and we should simply be promoting respect for all, regardless of gender, religion, sexuality, race, ethnicity, family circumstances and appearance.
 
Accordingly, the replacement program adds a fourth “R” – respect – to what is traditionally known as the three “R’s” of education – reading writing and arithmetic.
 
In line with the Alannah & Madelaine Foundation program, it is based on four foundations - Information, Intervention, Prevention and Communication. 
 
Under a three strike policy, it will back school principals who make the tough calls on serial bullies who put the safety and welfare of students at risk. This means bureaucrats cannot overturn a Principal’s decision, which has occurred previously.
 
It will also recognise and reward students who stand up for other children who are being bullied. It’s important to create a culture at schools where this sort of courage and integrity is recognised. 
 
The other key point is to assist and support bullies to reform their behaviours.
 
According to a 2018 PwC Australia analysis commissioned by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, almost 25% of Victorian school students are bullied at some stage during their time in school.   
 
That’s a staggering 228,000 Victorian students bullied each year. Children who are victims of school bullying often suffer from self-esteem and confidence issues, behavioural problems and their ability to concentrate and perform at school is compromised.
 
In some tragic cases, it can cause lifelong mental health issues and lead to self-harm and suicide.
 
A Liberal Nationals Government will establish within the Department of Education - using current resources within the department’s 2,900 staff - a School Safety Unit responsible for managing the rollout of the program across all government schools in partnership with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.
 
Independent schools can choose to opt-in to the program, at their discretion.
 
This program will fund eighteen professional development sessions run by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation for school leaders throughout the state. 
 
These information sessions will help empower teachers to recognise, identify, respond and prevent bullying behaviour as when it comes to victims of school bullying, teachers are often the ‘first responders’.
 
That’s why a key part of these information sessions with school leaders is to help teachers recognise when there are noticeable and unexplained changes in student behaviour or students are clearly distressed.
 
Some of those signs are where students may suddenly change their social group, lose confidence, experiencing a dramatic fall in academic results or struggling to cope with normal routines.
 
These information sessions will be based off the latest cutting-edge research by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation National Centre Against Bullying.
 
Bullying behaviour is constantly evolving and to be effective, any anti-bullying program must be kept up to date.
 
The program will continue the Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s tried, tested and true eSmart Program, which is an interactive online resource to teach children to be careful in their use of the internet and be aware of cyberbullying on social media.
 
If we are going to be serious about taking a zero tolerance approach to bullying in schools, there has to be a partnership between parents, teachers and students.
 
Each school in the program will receive two training workshops every year, one for parents and teachers, and the other for students. 
 
Today’s school bullies are tomorrow’s workplace bullies, so in school is where this must start. In conjunction with our previously announced police in schools policy, this program will have effective on the ground results.
 
Unlike the Andrews Labor Government’s Safe Schools program, we will conduct professional workshops with teachers, parents and students in order to equip teachers, parents and students with hands-on strategies to tackle bullying.
 
After being scrapped in NSW by the Liberal Nationals, even NSW Labor leader Luke Foley has now acknowledged that Safe Schools is damaging and ideological and declared it has no place in schools.
 
If our communities are to be at their best, then it starts with people respecting one another and this the very basis of this program. 
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
 
Published in Comment Columns
Tuesday, 24 July 2018 09:36

Repairs prioritised, but works date sought

Works to repair the road pavement near Blue Nose Creek Bridge, west of Cann River on the Princes Highway, have been prioritised following representations from Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
 
“Having received contact from the community about the surface ‘sinking’ on the westbound lane at the approach to the bridge, I raised the matter with VicRoads,” Mr Bull said.
 
On VicRoads’ behalf, the Roads Minister responded, advising:
 
“Works have been prioritised at this location in the future works program and maintenance crews have erected cautionary signage until temporary repairs are scheduled.”
 
“While I am pleased my representations have helped secure some action, the Minister has failed to provide a timeframe for these works,” Mr Bull said.
 
“Given the surface has been deteriorating for some time now, I am hopeful this matter can be resolved sooner rather than later.
 
“In Parliament this week, I lodged a question directly to the Minister to ask exactly when final repair works would commence and conclude.
 
“This is obviously a route used by many East Gippslanders, including local freight operators, as well as those who regularly pass through the region and often spend money in our communities.”
 
The Minister has 30 days to respond.
 
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Published in Media
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