New laws to tackle potentially dangerous substances
The State Coalition Government is bringing in new laws that will enable swift action to ban emerging drugs of concern said Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
“The emergence of synthetic substances, which produce similar effects to illegal drugs such as cannabis, are a threat to public health and safety. The new laws will enable prompt action to ensure they are banned”.
The Coalition Government recognises the need to act quickly in order to respond to new dangerous synthetic drugs that are likely to keep being developed.
“These substances are manufactured by people who are searching for drugs that mimic the effects of existing illicit drugs, but that are not captured by current regulatory frameworks and are therefore not illegal,” said Mr Bull.
“Some new synthetic substances are similar in chemical structure or function to illegal drugs such as cannabis and cocaine and the Coalition Government believes that the sale and use of these new drugs should also be illegal.
The Commonwealth Government has had the option to outlaw individual drugs as they emerge into the market. However, this approach has proven slow in responding to the widespread use of synthetic substances such as ‘Kronic’ and ‘Spice’.
The legislation introduced into the Victorian Parliament will create a regulation-making power to allow quick action by Victoria to ban emerging dangerous drugs.
The regulation-making power will act as an interim power, effective for 12 months until the substances can be proscribed into legislation and Commonwealth regulations.
“We will continue to work with the Commonwealth and the states and territories to achieve uniform laws regarding drugs, poisons and drugs of dependence, including placing continued pressure on the Federal Government to ban synthetic substances,” Mr Bull said.
“These emerging drugs are potentially very powerful and dangerous and the Coalition Government will make sure that they are made illegal at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Nominations open to recognise senior citizens
Nominations for the 2011 Victorian Senior of the Year Awards have opened and Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, is strongly encouraging community groups and organisations to consider nominating those senior citizens who make outstanding contributions within the local community.
“The 2011 Victorian Senior of the Year Awards provide us with the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the unwavering dedication and service many of our senior citizens provide to our local communities,” Mr Bull said.
Nominees must be over 60 years of age, an Australian citizen, and a resident of Victoria and have made an exceptional contribution to their local community and Victoria.
There are a number of awards for which seniors can be recognised:
- * The Premier’s Award for Victorian Senior of the Year – presented to the individual who has made an outstanding contribution to their local community and Victoria.
- * The Council on the Ageing Victoria Senior Achiever Awards – celebrating those seniors whose talents, achievements and contributions have significantly benefited their communities.
- * The Healthy and Active Living Award – presented to a senior who is helping to build an active and healthy community.
- * The Veteran Community Award – presented to a senior who has made an exceptional contribution to veterans; and a new award this year:
- * The Promotion of Multiculturalism Award – to be presented to a senior who has made a significant contribution to promoting the benefits of cultural diversity in their local community or to the broader community of Victoria.
The Victorian Senior of the Year Awards will be presented at a special reception at Government House on September 30, 2011, leading into the United Nations International Day of Older Persons on October 1, 2011 and the Victorian Seniors Festival, running from October 2 to 9, 2011.
Nominations close on 22 July, 2011 and further information and nomination forms are available by contacting Seniors Information Victoria on 1300 135 090 or visit www.seniors.vic.gov.au
$810,000 for socially disadvantaged
Lakes Entrance will receive $810,000 over the next four years to identify and implement solutions to social problems facing the local community, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said today.
Lakes Entrance is one of nine small towns to share the Victorian Coalition Government’s $9.4 million ‘Advancing Country Towns’ investment which provides funding to pilot innovative grassroots programs that will tackle social disadvantage,” Mr Bull said.
The Coalition Government’s Advancing Country Towns program addresses a range of challenges facing country towns including changing population patterns, ageing populations, migration of young people to larger regional centres and cities and climate change.
All nine communities have identified specific local issues inhibiting their community such as early childhood development, education and economic participation, including business development and industry support.
“Identified issues which impact the Lakes Entrance community were below average Year 12 completion rates and the need to minimise the number of disconnected young people through mentoring and buddy programs, with Year 9 students a particular target,” Mr Bull said.
“The program will also address the disproportionate level of disadvantaged amongst the local indigenous population and support initiatives such as better cultural inclusion in schools and services and to work with local businesses to identify skills gaps and link indigenous people with training and employment opportunities.
“Many small country towns across Victoria were experiencing changes to their population and economy and adaptation issues faced by industries vulnerable to environment and economic change,” Mr Bull said.
Victoria’s ‘Advancing Country Towns’ program will sit alongside the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to deliver quality of life, new opportunities and increased prosperity across regional Victoria.