Shadow Minister for Emergency Services and the Environment, Brad Battin (centre), this week spent some time on the Gippsland Lakes with local MP, Tim Bull, to discuss the importance of the Gippsland Lakes Environment Fund, the projects it is delivering and the need for its continued funding. Mr Battin also took the chance to look over the new water police boat with Mr Bull and officer in charge of Gippsland Water Police, Alan Rice.
Shadow Minister for the Environment, Brad Battin today joined State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today in calling for the Labor Government to announce continuation of the Gippsland Lakes Environment Fund in the upcoming State Budget.
Mr Bull said it was pleasing to have Mr Battin visit the Gippsland Lakes to hear and see firsthand the good work that had been undertaken over the past four years, after the Coalition provided $10m in funding over its term in government and committed a further $8m pre-election.
Mr Battin said it was clear the Fund, which is overseen by the Gippsland Lakes Ministerial Advisory Committee, had supported an enormous amount of work in the areas of research, education and investigation of matters pertaining to the Gippsland Lakes.
“To hear of the Burrinan dolphin research, the enormous amount of work that has been done with education of school children explaining to them the importance of the Lakes and having them involved in hands-on projects, to the investigatory work into water quality monitoring and pest plant control, shows just how valuable this Fund has been.
“It is very clear, that these programs need to continue and there are other important projects to be undertaken and that is why this funding is so critical. That is why we committed to a further $8m pre-election,” he said.
“One of the new projects that is on the drawing board, but is dependent on funding, is the need for a study into sediments within the Gippsland Lakes, with discussions having already been commenced on this topic with relevant agencies,” Mr Battin said.
Mr Bull said if there was no announcement in the upcoming Budget, a number of the very important programs underway would have to cease, it was as simple as that.
While in the region, Mr Battin, who is also Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, took the opportunity to look over the new police boat VP09, which was launched last year in Paynesville and has proved a great asset.