Orbost wins Rural Health Service of the Year
Orbost Regional Health Service (ORHS) was this week named the Rural Health Service of the Year at the 2011 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the award reinforced the organisation’s high standing in the community and ORH was a deserving recipient.
“It is clear that residents of Orbost and Far East Gippsland in general are proud of their local health service and all involved with ORH should rightfully be thrilled with this announcement.
“A good health service makes decisions based on the best interests of the local community, acts in the best interests of the local community and has strong community confidence,” said Mr Bull, who toured the facility earlier this year.
At a ceremony attended by leaders from across Victoria’s health system, Premier, Ted Baillieu; Minister for Health, David Davis; and Minister for Mental Health, Mary Wooldridge presented awards to outstanding contributors to Victorian public health services across 20 categories.
“The passion, talent and dedication of the Victorian health workforce is highlighted by the individuals and organisations that have been selected for these awards,” Mr Baillieu said.
“Tonight we are paying tribute to Victoria’s outstanding healthcare leaders and acknowledging their leadership in ensuring Victoria’s public health services continue to provide the highest quality of care to Victorian families and communities.
Health Minister, David Davis, said the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards – now in their seventh year – profile innovative, informed and effective healthcare leadership across the Victorian public health system.
“As our population grows and ages – and as our health needs change and become increasingly complex – we also need to change our health services to ensure a focus on individual need and contemporary evidence-based practice,” he said.
Among the other organisations recognised on the night were Bairnsdale Regional Health Service and the Latrobe Regional Hospital, which both received a “highly commended” in the Regional Health Service of the Year award.
Fire services levy consultation
Interested community members are invited to participate in a public consultation meeting taking place at 10.30am this Wednesday, 2 November at St. Mary’s Parish Centre, Bairnsdale to discuss the Coalition government’s fire services property levy options paper.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said “the Coalition Government is committed to implementing the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission’s recommendation to replace the fire services levy with a fairer and more equitable property-based levy.
“The proposed property based fire service funding model is an important reform and the community forums will enable interested members of the community and stakeholders to provide their feedback directly to the government, rather than by written submission.
“I encourage people to read the consultation paper and come along to the forum to have a say on the final design and implementation of the new levy and have their questions answered.
"The new levy will ensure all Victorian property owners pay a fair contribution for fire services, and that fire services continue to operate with sufficient resources," said Mr Bull.
Further information on the Fire Services Levy and options paper can be found by visiting
Improving skills for Lakes adult learners
Lakes Entrance Neighbourhood House is one of 80 Learn Local organisations across Victoria to receive grants totalling $3.78 million provided through round two of the State Government’s Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board Capacity and Innovation fund.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said “the grant will help Lakes Entrance Neighbourhood House better serve the needs of learners across the region”.
President of the Lakes Entrance Neighbourhood House Committee of Management, Cassy Cunningham, said the $15,500 in funding would be used to assist community members to gain employability and E-learning skills.
“The Lakes Entrance Neighbourhood House ACFE Innovation Project aims to provide members of our community with the opportunity to improve their employability and E-learning skills developed through a variety of current communication tools,” she said.
“Participants will develop an E-portfolio which will help them identify their current and previously gained skills. This will strengthen their employment opportunities and also provide them with evidence towards the recognition of prior learning (RPL) process.
“The grant has also allowed us to purchase laptops which can be used to provide flexible delivery,” she said.
Mr Bull said, “the ACFE Capacity and Innovation grants have been designed to help Learn Local organisations to develop new programs to boost participation and learning and it’s fantastic to see Lakes Entrance Neighbourhood House embrace this idea”.
“As a knowledge driven economy, Victoria will increasingly need a workforce with higher levels of qualifications and skills. Through these funds, the Learn Local organisations in our community are further enhanced to help supply this education and training.
“I applaud the work organisations like Lakes Entrance Neighbourhood House do supporting adult learners and congratulate all involved on their successful application. I hope Lakes Entrance residents will take advantage of programs on offer to improve their skills and future employment outcomes.”
$2.7m road safety boost for Bairnsdale
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has welcomed a $2.7m in road safety works for the stretch of the Princes Highway from Forge Creek Road to Paynesville Road.
“This comes on the back of the Premier recently announcing in Bairnsdale there will be in excess of $7.6m to upgrade two stretches of the Princes Highway between Orbost and Cann River and Bairnsdale and Stratford,” said Mr Bull.
“These safety improvements are part of a wider $36 million program to reduce the crash rate along the Princes Highway from Longwarry through to the New South Wales border. This is funded by the TAC under the Safer Roads Infrastructure Program.
“In the five year period from January 2006 to December 2010 there were 31 reported casualty crashes on the highway from Forge Creek Road to Paynesville Road, of which 16 resulted in serious injuries and two in fatalities. Nine of these crashes involved pedestrians.”
Transport Minister, Terry Mulder said the stretch of highway through the Bairnsdale town centre has a unique mix of local and highway traffic, combined with high pedestrian activity through the busy shopping precinct.
“Treatments include a range of road safety initiatives which aim to create an environment through the town centre that suits the current 50km/h speed limit, while also improving pedestrian safety.”
This project includes what are called gateway treatments on the highway approaches to the Bairnsdale town centre.
Highly visible electronic speed limit signs and coloured pavement surfacing at both entrances to the town will give motorists further visual cues that they are entering a busy urban environment, and need to slow down.
In addition to the gateway treatments, a painted buffer zone will be created between the parking bays and traffic lanes. This will narrow the traffic lane widths to create an environment where drivers feel they can’t speed through.
Improvements at the pedestrian operated signals and at a number of intersections along the highway through Bairnsdale will also be made, to reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians.
“By installing concrete islands that extend the footpath out towards the traffic lanes, pedestrians will be easier to see and the crossing distance will also be reduced, making it safer to cross the highway,” Mr Mulder said.
“Improvements will also be made to the electronic coordination of traffic lights and pedestrian crossing signals to improve traffic flow through the town and reduce the risk of rear-end crashes.“
All traffic lights will have their regular globes replaced with brighter LEDs and street lighting upgrades will take place as part of the project.
It is anticipated that this project will start early 2012 and weather permitting, will be competed by the end of the year.
VicRoads has worked closely with East Gippsland Shire Council to develop these improvements and is currently undertaking a traffic study to assess the closure of the narrow mid block median openings between Pyke Street and Wood Street.
Funding for problem gamblers
The Coalition Government has provided $10,000 in extended funding to Bairnsdale Regional Health Service’s problem gambling primary care partnership in East Gippsland.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the funding was part of more than $800,000 provided by the government to support 28 initiatives across Victoria, and this funding will continue these successful partnerships in 2011-12.
“The Coalition has set aside $150 million to establish a new Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to deliver its responsible gambling program and this commitment represents a 41 per cent increase over the former government’s program.
“Local Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs) are working together to support gambler’s help services and by connecting with a broader range of agencies enables them to extend the reach of their work across the region and better concentrate their service co-ordination,” said Mr Bull.
Prue Stone, of East Gippsland Primary Care Partnership, said, “each of the PCPs throughout Gippsland received $10,000 from the Department of Justice to support the Problem Gambling program.”
“The four PCPs in Gippsland have partnered to provide a regional approach with a focus on improving access to support programs for citizens with issues relating to gambling.”
Minister for Gaming, Michael O’Brien said “tackling problem gambling is high on the Government’s agenda, which is why we are making the largest financial commitment in Victoria's history to reducing problem gambling.”
"Problem gambling is a significant and complex social problem. Reducing levels of problem gambling and treating those who need support requires a coherent and integrated approach.
“Approximately 8,000 clients attend Gambler’s Help services each year for problem gambling counselling and problem gambling financial counselling services. In 2009-10, the Gambler’s Help Line received 13,237 calls,” said Mr O’Brien.
Sixteen agencies provide Gambler’s Help services from approximately 70 locations across Victoria. For more information please visit or call 1800 858 858.
War exhibition coming to Lakes
A regional exhibition which brings together stories of Indigenous men and women who served their country during times of conflict is now touring throughout Victoria and will visit Lakes Entrance.
The ‘Indigenous Australians at War from the Boer War to the Present’ was first shown at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne in 2010 and commences a two-year tour of regional Victoria, with stories and memorabilia of local soldiers being added to the exhibition as it travels across the State.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said “whilst we are yet to receive specific dates and venue, the fact it has been announced that Lakes Entrance is one of the locations the exhibition will visit, is very pleasing.”
“Indigenous Australians have served Australia in all major conflicts from the Boer War to the present and the exhibition allows both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities around the state to reflect on this shared history and honour those
Indigenous people who defended our country.
“The purpose of the exhibition is to celebrate the courage, tenacity and resourcefulness of Indigenous Australians in the armed forces and to uncover the individual and family stories of service and sacrifice of the First Australians.
“The Victorian Government, through Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and the Victorian Veterans’ Council, is pleased to have contributed more than $72,000 towards the tour,” said Mr Bull.
For further information go to: , or contact Jean McAuslan at the Shrine of Remembrance on (03) 9661 8100.