$90,000 to ‘Engage’ regional youth
East Gippsland Shire Council is to receive $90,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $12.3 million Engage! grants program, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull announced today.
“Our youth are our future and we must guarantee that we provide them with every opportunity to enhance their potential and ensure they feel connected living in our local communities,” Mr Bull said.
“The funding will assist the Shire in delivering its ‘Collaboration, Connection Commitment’ Program to help define actions which will achieve the three key principles of the East Gippsland Regional Youth Plan 2011-2013.
“The project’s aim is to engage with young people as active, collaborative citizens and ensure organisational commitment to providing pathways for improved participation in education, employment and community life.”
East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor, Cr Dick Ellis, welcomed the announcement, adding that the funding would enhance the effectiveness of Council’s recently completed youth strategy to create positive benefits for the region’s youth.
Minister for Youth Affairs, Ryan Smith said, $12.3 million over three years would enable organisations across the state to provide more opportunities for young Victorians to participate in their communities.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to supporting organisations that improve the social, civic and economic outcomes for young Victorians.
“That’s why the Coalition Government has invested in programs through Engage! that offer opportunities for young people to volunteer, participate in mentoring, receive study and career advice, gain practical skills and training and increased connections with their community,” Mr Smith said.
For further information go to: www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au/engage
Mallacoota gets another life-saving boost
Mallacoota Surf Life Saving Club has received another $5,000 under the State Government’s $9.5 million budget package for Life Saving Victoria,” Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, announced today.
This is on top of the $14,080 in funding the club received in December under the State Government’s Boating and Safety Facilities Program.
Mr Bull praised the club and the wider organisation for the important contribution and sacrifice they make for the community in keeping us safe when swimming at patrolled beaches, or when involved in rescue operations.
“The Coalition Government recognises the vital role that Life Saving Clubs and volunteers play in protecting the lives of Victorians and their important job they do in educating the general public on water safety and personal survival techniques.
“In particular, providing our most important assets - our children - with life-lasting skills on how to deal with an emergency situation and develop confidence and competence to enjoy aquatic exercise and other water based activities safely just cannot be measured.
“I commend the unceasing efforts of Surf Life Saving Clubs such as Mallacoota in promoting water safety and saving lives by preventing drowning related incidents,” Mr Bull said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services, Peter Ryan said, “Victorian Life Saving Clubs and volunteers provided an invaluable service to the community.
Volunteer life savers help to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for swimmers and beach goers,” Mr Ryan said.
Full duck season and new game body
Victorian hunters can look forward to a bumper season next year after the Victorian Coalition Government today announced a full duck and quail season.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the recent wet conditions and abundance of food had resulted in bird numbers increasing to levels not seen for almost two decades.
“The reason for the early announcement is that duck season has a positive impact on many rural and regional communities, including many townships in East Gippsland and today’s declaration of a full season gives certainty to both hunters and local businesses,” Mr Bull said. The duck season for 2012 will open on Saturday 17 March and close on Monday 11 June, 2012 while the stubble quail season for 2012 will run from Saturday 7 April to Saturday 30 June, 2012.
The duck season will open at 7:10 am in the eastern zone, 7:20 am in the central zone and 7:30 am in the western zone, with hunting to cease half an hour after sunset on opening day.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister, Peter Walsh, said duck numbers and the condition of wetlands across Victoria would be monitored in the lead-up to the season.
“Locations accessible to duck hunters and those to be excluded will be determined following the normal assessment of concentrations of breeding waterbirds and threatened species before the season opens,” Mr Walsh said.
In a separate announcement, responsibility for game management has been transferred from the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) to the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
The announcement today by Minister Walsh signals a new era for game management in Victoria with the creation of Game Victoria within the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
Mr Walsh said the creation of Game Victoria delivered on the Coalition Government’s election commitment to give Victoria’s game hunting community a stronger voice and better enable the promotion and growth of the game sector.
“Victoria has world-class game hunting opportunities and is the envy of game hunters across Australia,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government encourages people to make the most of the opportunities to hunt and fish and enjoy recreational activities that form part of our heritage. “More than 40,000 Victorians are licensed to hunt game, an increase of 30 per cent since 1996. That number is likely to keep growing as game populations and their habitats recover from years of drought.”
Game Victoria will operate in a similar way to the successful Fisheries Victoria model in supporting the development of recreational fishing.
Mr Walsh said Game Victoria would focus on working with the peak game groups to:
• promote game hunting as a popular recreational activity, an important traditional pastime and generator of jobs, • develop improved hunting opportunities, • develop new opportunities for game guides and similar businesses, support conservation projects, including habitat rehabilitation and invest in game species research, • improve education and advisory programs for hunters, and • develop a longer term strategy for sustainable game management and improved compliance.
Mr Walsh said the Victorian Coalition Government recognised the enormous support game hunting provides to local economies in regional Victoria.
“The activity generates more than $70 million each year and supports jobs in hospitality, the supply of vehicles, boats, firearms and ammunition, plus camping and hunting equipment,” Mr Walsh said.
“The hunting community also works tirelessly to restore and improve habitats and control pest animals across the state.”
Other changes announced today include the creation of a new standing council on hunting and game to provide advice to the Minister, particularly on the development of a Victorian Game Hunting and Management Strategy.
Game Victoria will call for nominations for the council in February next year.
State tips in $10k for Skyfest
FireworksState Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, announced today that the State Government will make a $10,000 grant from its “Putting Locals First” fund to the Lakes Entrance New Year’s Eve Skyfest.
“Families have been coming to Lakes Entrance for over 60 years on New Year’s Eve to see the annual spectacular firework shows. It is a major event that brings together families from East Gippsland and families holidaying at Lakes Entrance.
“The Skyfest is one of those events community members just expect to happen each year, but of course there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes from the local community and those who have done this past and present deserve special kudos.
“This grant will help to ensure the success of this year’s festivities,” said Mr Bull.
The New Year’s Eve celebrations were under threat in August when Lakes Entrance Business and Tourist Association said they could no longer manage the event and concerns were expressed in relation to its ongoing viability.
In September Lakes Entrance Rotary, after strong support for the event from the Lakes Entrance community, agreed to take responsibility for Skyfest.
Chairperson of Skyfest, Louise Allen, said that this year’s Skyfest will have an increased budget because of the support of State and Local Government, the generous contributions from major sponsors and donations from many Lakes Entrance businesses and residents.
“The fireworks shows at 9.30pm and midnight promise to be bigger and brighter than ever. The festivities will commence at 4pm on the Lakes Entrance foreshore and will conclude with the midnight fireworks show.
”The entertainment will feature the well-known Rusty Nails band together with local entertainers.” Ms Allen said.
Skyfest committee member and Manager of East Gippsland Aboriginal Arts Corporation, Bianca Ratzmann, said she was particularly pleased that the ‘Putting Locals First’ grant will support the involvement of the Aboriginal community in Skyfest.
Ms Ratzmann said, “this will mean the successful Aboriginal Marshall program will continue, art and craft workshops involving local Aboriginal artists will be held and a local Aboriginal dance group will perform.”
For more information contact Bruce Hurley 0400 196 797
Lane’s traps give wild dog controllers more bite
The Victorian Coalition Government is giving doggers a greater arsenal in the fight to control wild dogs by reintroducing Lane’s leg-hold traps that were banned by the previous Government in December 2008,” State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has stated.
“It is clear some local doggers prefer the Lane’s traps and they will now have them at their disposal again. They will be available for use locally in around four weeks’ time," Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said this was the latest step in delivering a series of pre-election commitments relating to wild dog control, which included:
• Maintaining 72 hour trap checking for doggers (rather than move to 24 hour checking as was proposed by the previous government) to allow doggers more flexibility to go about their business.
• The introduction of aerial baiting, which will commence this autumn with 500 linear kilometres to be baited initially.
• The introduction of the wild dog bounty for the public, which has already produced 47 wild dog scalps, including 16 in East Gippsland.
• The restructure of the wild dog management group to give local communities more of a say in dog control.
• The establishment and growth of community baiting programs.
“Adding the re-introduction of the Lane’s traps is another positive step in battling the problem and I am pleased we are now very close to making all the changes we committed to pre-election. I am now looking forward to the introduction of the aerial baiting program,” Mr Bull said.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister, Peter Walsh, said the reintroduction of Lane’s leg-hold traps, coupled with the introduction of the wild dog bounty and an aerial baiting scheme to start next May, showed the Victorian Coalition Government was serious about controlling wild dogs.
“These measures show we are acting on landholders’ concerns about wild dogs, which went ignored for years under Labor,” Mr Walsh said.
“Some farmers have been so devastated by wild dog attacks they have left the farming industry entirely and this cannot continue. Wild dogs also change the natural environment by killing vulnerable native fauna like spotted quoll.”
Primary Industries Parliamentary Secretary Bill Sykes said Lane’s traps that are not used by DPI doggers would be modified to meet regulations and offered to landowners as part of an exchange program to remove old, rusty traps.
“The modified traps will feature pads to improve trap technology and animal welfare outcomes,” Dr Sykes said.
Funding for Mallacoota SLSC and Tamboon Inlet
Mallacoota Surf Life Saving Club has been successful in being awarded $14,080 in funding under the government’s Boating and Safety Facilities Program said Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
“It is important that our local surf lifesaving clubs have the necessary equipment that allow its members and volunteers to continue to provide this vital community service of saving lives and aiding in offshore rescues and this funding will enable them to upgrade an essential piece of equipment,” Mr Bull said.
Mallacoota Surf Lifesaving Club’s spokesperson, Darren Fellows, said “the club is honoured to receive a grant from Department of Transport & Safety and the funding will be used to upgrade the current two stroke motors on the offshore rescue boat, replacing them with two 70HP Yamaha four stroke motors.
“This equipment is a vital part of our rescue services and infrastructure, as Mallacoota currently has the only rescue boat between Eden and Lakes Entrance and we are required to cover this vast area,” Mr Fellows said.
Another applicant to receive funding in this round of grants was the Department of Sustainability who received $10,523 in grants funding for their project to install new navigation aids for Tamboon Inlet.
Minister for Ports, Dr Denis Napthine, said “we want to provide the best opportunities for Victoria’s boating enthusiasts and funding this program will enable a range of facility upgrades and safety initiatives throughout the state.”
“The program allows for local groups and communities to apply for grants which will enable initiatives to get off the ground and be realised.”
The BSFP is funded through a portion of recreational boat operator licensing fees and vessel registration fees, providing money for grants and state-wide initiatives. The aim of the program is to make recreational boating safer and more accessible for all Victorians.
For further information call 1800 337 222, or visit www.transport.vic.gov.au/grants