Fees put to good use
Local anglers will be pleased to hear recreational fishing licence fees are being put to good use in East Gippsland with two projects successful in obtaining funding through the Victorian Government’s Small Grants Program.
The program is funded from the sale of recreational fishing licences.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said Funding of $1,635 has been approved for Nicholson Angling Club to run a junior angler workshop on the Nicholson River in October.
“The program will see students from Nicholson, Nungurner, Tambo Upper and Meerlieu Primary Schools learning about water safety, fish identification, bag limits and fish handling.”
“Fishing is a great pastime and the more youngsters we can introduce to angling, while at the same time educating them about regulations and importance of looking after our local fishery, the better,” said Mr Bull.
Margaret Bradley, from Nicholson Angling Club, said the funding will be well utilised by the club.
“We run an event like this one each year and have been lucky enough to access grant funding for the past few years to help make sure the day can continue. Run on volunteer power, the funding will help cover the cost of bait, equipment and catering on the day,” she said.
“With up to 95 people in attendance including teachers, students and their families, it’s a great opportunity for local people to learn more about fish care and promote angling as a family based activity,” said Mr Bull.
“East Gippsland Fishcare also received funding of $600 to run a junior angler workshop on July 17 at the Nicholson Jetty. This event will coincide with, but be separate to the Twin Rivers Bream Classic, run at Johnsonville.”
“The event will be run by Fishcare volunteers with input from Fisheries Victoria and will provide the ideal setting for families to spend time together and learn the basics of recreational fishing from experienced anglers.
“Both of these projects will promote recreational fishing to children through active participation,” Mr Bull said.
The Small Grants Program is open year round to Victorian fishing clubs and associations, not-for profit organisations, schools and government agencies and incorporated bodies, for grants up to $5000.For more information about how angling licence fees are being spent to improve fishing opportunities visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/fishing/feesatwork or phone the DPI Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Regional achievement recognition
Now is the perfect time for individuals, businesses and community groups that are making a significant difference in the region to nominate for the 2011 Regional Achievement and Community Awards. Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said “these are prestigious awards that pay tribute to regional Victorians who help make our communities better places to live”.“Our high achievers and community contributors deserve acknowledgment and recognition and these awards provide us with the opportunity to give a well-deserved pat on the back. “There can never be enough encouragement and support for those working in rural and regional areas and awards such as these create an opportunity to say thank you to those who work tirelessly in developing their chosen fields,” Mr Bull said. Nominations are open in the following 10 categories:
Regional Development Victoria Business Achievement Award
* Regional Development Victoria Trade and Career Achievement Award
* Parks Victoria Regional Achiever Award
* Parks Victoria Environment and Sustainability Award
* Fonterra Dairy Leadership Award
Medibank Healthy Participation Award
* BlueScope Distribution Leadership and Innovation Award
* Department of Sustainability and Environment Water Efficiency Improvements Award
* Beaurepaires Road Safety Award
* Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award
Nominations close on 13 July with nomination forms available from Tim Bull’s office, the Commonwealth Bank or online at www.awardsaustralia.com/RACA
East Gippsland businesses are being encouraged to enter the prestigious 2011 Governor of Victoria Export Awards, with entries closing on July 14.
“This is an opportunity for businesses to gain a higher profile both at home and overseas, increase credibility and get greater access to new and emerging markets as well as experience enhanced business relationships,” said Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
Award winners will also have the honour of representing Victoria at the Australian Export Awards.
“The awards recognise local companies that are at the top of their exporting field across 12 categories. To further underpin the vital exporting sector, the Victorian Government is working to revive Victoria’s export performance, secure jobs for local people and help many more world-class businesses make their mark on the global economy,” he said.
Award categories include: agribusiness, arts and entertainment, education and training, emerging exporter award, information and communication technology, large advanced manufacturer, large services, minerals and energy, regional exporter as well as small business and small to medium business awards.
To obtain an application and further information, interested businesses can visit www.exportawards.gov.au/apply
Maffra Recreation Reserve improvement
Playing conditions at the Maffra Recreation Reserve are set to improve dramatically with the committee of management receiving over $27,000 to install an automated underground irrigation system as part of the State Government’s Country Football and Netball Program.
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull and Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, recently met with Committee of Management Chairman, Gregg Cook, to discuss the improvements.
“This will allow for improved playing conditions in both football and cricket season and will go a long way towards improving conditions for our local sportsmen and women who utilise the ground,” Mr Cook said. Mr Bull said the new irrigation system will also reduce the amount of water usage required to maintain the oval, providing cost savings as well as being environmentally friendly.
Mr Chester supported the funding application put forward on behalf of the Maffra Recreation Reserve. “There are countless volunteers who put time and effort into not only maintaining current facilities, but also securing funding for upgrades. It’s important that we continue to support their efforts which in turn support local sporting and community groups,” he said.
Public housing boost
Public housing in Gippsland is about to receive a major boost with the State Government announcing approximately 70 new public and social housing properties will be built in Bairnsdale, Sale, Morwell and Moe, by June 2012.Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said as part of the Government’s commitment to improving social and public housing, approximately 100 existing units in Gippsland would also receive major upgrades. “Importantly it is part of a program that will see 1600 new public and social housing properties state-wide and a further 1800 refurbishments. This should have a significant impact on waiting lists,” Mr Bull said. “Public housing shortages and the associated waiting lists are issues that are regularly raised through my office and I am sure the addition of 70 new houses in Gippsland and 1600 state-wide will be welcomed,” he said. has around 65,000 public housing properties with more than 127,000 residents. Approximately $528 million is being provided for capital improvement, construction and acquisition of public and social housing in 2011/12.br /> The longer term construction program will see at least 6,500 new homes being provided across Victoria over the term of this government.
“The Coalition Government inherited a waiting list for public housing of 41,212. Over the past six months, this waiting list has been reduced to 37,430 as at the end of March 2011,” said Minister for Housing, Wendy Lovell.
“Better management of waiting lists is yielding results in an environment where there is a growing demand for public housing.
“The challenges facing the housing portfolio are significant and the government is committed to the development of a new housing strategy to make sure Victoria grows a contemporary social housing sector, which recognises changes in both demographics and population,” Ms Lovell said.
The introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme is progressing with the Victorian Coalition Government releasing its submission in response to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Disability Care and Support.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the government welcomed the draft report and reconfirmed the Victorian Government’s commitment to the development of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
“I agree strongly with the commission’s view that the provision of disability services in Australia is ‘under-funded, unfair, fragmented and inefficient’.
“I am pleased the Victorian Coalition Government is committed to being a driving force for the reform process and believes we can do better as a nation by delivering major reform to the disability service sector through the establishment of a NDIS.”
Minister for Community Services, Mary Wooldridge, said “our commitment to support the introduction of a NDIS was made in response to calls from people with a disability for respect, to be acknowledged as experts in their own lives and to have the same opportunities as everyone else in our community to make choices and pursue opportunities to reach their potential.”
“The Victorian Government regards the establishment of a NDIS as a rare opportunity to deliver genuine, national reform for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, their families and carers.
“This will be a commitment to improving outcomes for people with a disability through ongoing reform of the Victorian disability sector.”
Ms Wooldridge said “Victoria was well placed to host the first stage of implementation of a NDIS and is keen to do so”.
“As our submission describes, Victoria has 15 years’ experience in implementing a self- directed approach to disability services and in developing a market-based approach to their delivery and has an excellent reputation for successfully managing lifetime care and support schemes through the Transport Accident Commission and WorkSafe Victoria,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“Victoria is already playing a key role in leading national work which will be important in establishing a NDIS.
“This includes the development of a common assessment tool, together with Queensland, and the development of a National Quality Framework and Standards, to apply to service providers,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“The Victorian Government’s submission has benefited from the breadth of expertise and experience represented on the Victorian NDIS Implementation Taskforce, which was established in February to provide advice to the Victorian Government.
“Our submission also draws on the expertise of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council, and the experience of people with a disability, their families and carers and service providers consulted at a roundtable in April 2011,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“With the benefit of this community expertise and experience, the Victorian Government’s submission seeks to make a constructive contribution to the Productivity Commission’s final report.
“The Premier and I would like to thank all members of the taskforce for their dedicated hard work in the preparation of our response to the draft report.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Taskforce through the next stages of planning for, and implementing a NDIS,” Ms Wooldridge said.
The Victorian Coalition Government’s submission to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Disability Care and Support can be found by visiting www.dpc.vic.gov.au