Items filtered by date: September 2018
Friday, 14 September 2018 16:12

Shadow Minister in drought discussions

Farmers from across East Gippsland have this week been able to share views on their plight and raise ideas to assist with current drought conditions with Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh.
 
Mr Walsh was in the area on invitation from Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull, meeting with farmers on-site in Orbost and Briagolong and attending the store cattle sale in Bairnsdale today, following on from discussions in Bairnsdale last night.
 
“We met with farmers from the Orbost, Bairnsdale, Buchan, Tambo Valley, Maffra, Heyfield and Briagolong areas to hear how they are managing through these difficult times, and what they thought of the measured announced earlier this week,” Mr Walsh said, following on from visits in the Sale district.
 
“Tim has been relentless in advocating for East Gippsland farmers in parliament all year. He and Danny O’Brien have kept The Nationals team well-informed as the situation has worsened in Gippsland, but it is always good to get on the ground and get a first-hand experience when it comes to issues like drought.”
 
Mr Bull said matters raised at the various forums were similar to what he had heard during previous on-farm meetings over recent weeks.
 
“While some State support was announced this week, $5 million is light-on and farmers told us they still see shortfalls.
 
“For instance, permits to control native wildlife are still not being processed while kangaroos, ducks, wombats, etc. are decimating crops. This is a resourcing issue and could have been fixed in days, but three weeks later farmers are still waiting and seeing crops disappear.
 
“It is also clear the permits finally come, they are being issued for small numbers and it is not making any significant difference. Farmers are getting permits for a fraction of what they ask for.
 
“To fix this costs nothing and is simply a decision to allocate resource and it should have been addressed by now after the Minister was told three weeks ago.
 
“Much of the discussion related to the need for further infrastructure supports and the troubles facing farmers in accessing hay and fodder.”
 
Mr Bull said he was thankful for meaningful discussions with the farmers.
 
“It was helpful to get so many different views and I thank all for being so open and honest about their personal situations and challenges, which Mr Walsh and I will take back to Parliament,” he said.
 
 
Caption: Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh and Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull with local farmers Max Treasure and Brian Fechner at today’s store cattle sale in Bairnsdale.
 
 
Friday, September 14, 2018
Published in Media
Friday, 14 September 2018 15:55

Cann playground needs funding

The need to upgrade Cann River’s Mick Baum Park playground – particularly the amenities block – has been given a push in State Parliament.
 
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the public toilets were no longer able to keep up with demand during peak holiday periods.
 
“I have been told the toilet block at Cann River is one of the busiest in the shire and that unfortunately at peak holiday times there are people lining up outside, which is unacceptable,” Mr Bull told Parliament last week.
 
“This town has had a significant downturn in its timber industry. It has reshaped itself as an important stopover point for travellers who are going through to Mallacoota, Merimbula and other areas along the Sapphire Coast.
 
“When people stop in Cann River, they also grab a bite to eat or something to drink in one of the town’s many eateries, which supports local jobs and families.
 
“With the town being so dependent on tourism for the local economy, I would encourage the State Government to contribute to this important project.
 
“While I know the remit of playgrounds usually falls with councils, I believe that special circumstances apply here and with the downturn in the timber industry, one of the best things this government could do to support this is allocate some funds to council to allow this to occur.”
 
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, supports an upgrade to Cann River’s Mick Baum Park, particularly the amenities block.
 
Friday, September 14, 2018
Published in Media
Thursday, 13 September 2018 15:21

Paynesville foreshore’s new lease on life

A Liberal Nationals Government will breathe new life into Paynesville’s boat yard precinct, kick-starting a major redevelopment plan if elected in November.
 
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Decentralisation Peter Walsh and The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull today announced an elected Liberal Nationals Government would provide a $200,000 grant to Gippsland Ports to establish the Paynesville Foreshore Redevelopment Plan.
 
“This funding will go towards a detailed redevelopment plan for the Paynesville boatyard precinct, to provide for a new integrated Gippsland Water Police, Paynesville Coast Guard and Gippsland Ports headquarters together with a charter operation facility, amenities and customer lounge,” Mr Bull said.
 
“I think most people would agree the site is currently an eyesore, particularly given its location in the heart of the iconic Gippsland Lakes and this is why we are here today making this significant announcement.
 
“Currently Ports and Water Police occupy the site, but Coast Guard is without a dedicated facility and that needs to be part of the discussion, as well as the retention of a hire boat facility.
 
“And with plans to develop a dedicated charter operation facility and amenities, it will mean more reasons visitors will be drawn to the Paynesville area, supporting our local economy.”
 
Bairnsdale’s Gippsland Ports office will also be relocated to the Paynesville site.
 
Gippsland Ports proposed the plan with the support of East Gippsland Shire Council and it will be developed with input from the Water Police and, most importantly, the community.
 
“The Nationals believe in backing projects, like the Paynesville foreshore redevelopment,” Mr Walsh said.
 
“Planning for a better Paynesville foreshore will bring more tourists to town, providing a boost for local accommodation providers, cafés and tourism operators.”
 
Mr Bull said today’s news followed the announcement all boating fee proceeds will be allocated to improving the facilities for the boating community, if the Liberal Nationals are elected in November, with the establishment of the Blue Infrastructure Fund.
 
As part of his visit, Mr Walsh, who is also Shadow Minister for Agriculture, had numerous discussions about the drought with farmers from right across the region with visits planned for Bairnsdale, Orbost and Briagolong.
 
 
Caption: The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull and Shadow Minister for Decentralisation Peter Walsh make the announcement with Gippsland Squadron Coast Guard commodore Wyn Bloomer, Paynesville Coast Guard’s Jeff Williams and Fred Andrews and East Gippsland Shire Council’s Chris Waites.
 
 
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Published in Media
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:11

Farmers heard as drought relief flows

Having sought additional support for drought-stricken East Gippsland farmers, Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull said today’s announcement of a $5 million State Government support package would assist famers in these trying conditions.
 
“To have the Minister come back this week, a fortnight after she toured local farms at my invitation with this package is a credit to those who took the time to inform the Minister of their plight and their challenges,” he said.
 
“The package includes drought infrastructure grants, an off-farm employment program for those who will benefit from the opportunity, technical and business support and further rural financial counselling services.
 
“This is a situation that will require ongoing monitoring and I have stressed this to Minister Pulford on several occasions.”
 
Mr Bull said he also had the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh, visiting farmers from across the district tomorrow and Friday.
 
“Over both Thursday and Friday, Mr Walsh and I will visit farmers in Orbost, and the Maffra/Heyfield/Briagolong area, as well as attending the store cattle sale in Bairnsdale Friday morning and hosting a forum on Thursday night in Bairnsdale,” Mr Bull said.
 
 
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, with Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford during her visit to the region a fortnight ago.
 
 
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Published in Media
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:21

Labor, Greens vote against increased roads funding

A move by the Greens and Labor to block millions of dollars in extra funding for country roads has been condemned by Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
 
In State Parliament last week, the Liberal Nationals proposed amendments during debate of the Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 that would see more funding put into maintaining roads in country Victoria.
 
Mr Bull said the amendment would have made sure 40 per cent of revenue collected from speeding fines and traffic camera offences went directly to regional and rural road maintenance, with a further 40 per cent to maintain roads in outer suburban interface areas.
 
“Despite spending billions on the rushed blanket rollout of the wire rope barrier project after little consultation and infrastructure projects in Melbourne, country roads are getting worse,” Mr Bull said. 
 
“But still the Greens and the Andrews Labor Government have teamed up to block our efforts to increase maintenance funding,” he said.
 
“This is the same government that cut roads funding when coming to government and also abolished the successful $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program, which provided funds directly to Wellington and East Gippsland Shires for projects they identified.
 
“Having recently announced we would reinstate this program if elected in November, I have already been made aware of a number of bridges and road projects this could be used for, given the positive feedback we received from the local councils when in government last.
 
“Regional and rural areas are missing out under the Premier for Melbourne, who was caught using country roads and bridges funding in his city electorate of Mulgrave.
 
“Labor and the Greens have shown they don’t care about regional communities or the industries that support us, like forestry and agriculture.
 
“There’s a very real risk a Labor-Greens government could be elected in November, which would be an absolute disaster for country communities like East Gippsland,” Mr Bull said.
 
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, says more funding needs to be directed towards upgrading country roads.
 
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Published in Media
Sunday, 09 September 2018 15:58

Further drought support should come this week

Both the Minister and Shadow Minister for Agriculture will be back in East Gippsland this week on drought-related visits, Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said today.
 
“Minister Jaala Pulford will be here on Wednesday as a follow-up to the on farm visits and community forum we attended together a fortnight ago and then Shadow Minister Peter Walsh will be here on Thursday and Friday,” Mr Bull said.
 
“I am anticipating the Minister will be making some announcements around the matters that were raised at our on-farm visits and forum and these included:
  • More resources in the Department for a quicker turn-around on applications to control wildlife, which is currently impacting our farmers;
  • More rural financial counsellor assistance, as the one we have is snowed under with current workload and needs support; and
    Working with State Government agencies to provide some off-farm employment opportunities for those who require it.
“I am expecting the Minister will have some good news after our strong advocacy,” Mr Bull said.
 
“On Thursday and Friday I will have Peter Walsh visiting a number of communities from Heyfield to Orbost before attending the store cattle sale in Bairnsdale on Friday morning.”
 
Mr Bull said the small amount of rain received this week was welcome, but no-where near what is required.
 
“While the Federal Government is providing direct financial assistance, what I have been advocating for in Parliament for several weeks is more State Government resources into the areas where they can directly assist our farmers on the land,” he said.
 
Sunday, September 9, 2018
Published in Media
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