Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) offices in rural areas should now be open.
“Here we are entering holiday season, people wanting to book campsites, check if roads are open, renew fishing and hunting licences, discuss pest control and obtain general information, but the doors remain shut.
“Other departmental offices are open, retail is open, cafes are open, but DELWP offices are not – it is a disgrace,” he told Parliament last week.
“I am not having a go at the staff, I direct this to the Government. These people are public servants – they are meant to serve the public, but the word is there is no intention to open them before Christmas.
“The DELWP office in Bairnsdale would be bustling at this time of year as it is home to Forest Fire Management, the Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria and Department of Agriculture.
“Country people - and most visitors for that matter - also like to speak to a person face to face, who can help them with their enquiry.
“As we enter peak holiday season, these offices should be open. We haven’t had a COVID case for months, so there is no reason for them not to be open.
“The Minister needs to lift her game and make sure these offices are open. The government was quick to say they would help us recover from fires and COVID and something as simple as being accessible to the public in a tourist area is a no brainer,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, standing in an empty DELWP Bairnsdale carpark, which ordinarily would be filled with cars this time of year.
Monday, November 16, 2020