2012 fishing comp gets funding
The 2012 Lakes Entrance Fishing Convention is one of 14 projects that have been successful in gaining funding under the government’s Small Grants Program which funds projects through revenue generated from the sale of recreational fishing licences.
“The Small Grants Program is open year round to fishing clubs and associations, not-for-profit organisations, schools and government agencies and incorporated bodies, for grants of up to $5000,” Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said.
“The Fishing Convention to be held in Lakes Entrance next year received $4,570 of government funding to go towards the running of this annual event which is open to all ages, both male and female. “Scheduled to be held over the weekend of February 10 and 11, the competition attracts families from all over and organisers promise lots of fun. Fishing will be allowed from both boat, or along the Gippsland Lakes shoreline, from Metung to Lake Tyers or Tambo River. “The grants are given to those groups and local government agencies who have knowledge and are involved in events which aid in improving fishing opportunities in their local regions with projects ranging from improved riverbank access, replenishing fish stocks and infrastructure maintenance,” said Mr Bull.
Acknowledging the support received from the Department of Primary Industries, Deb McTighe, Event Co-ordinator, said the funding will go towards educating the general public on the many different aspects of recreational fishing techniques.
“Next year we are proud to present ‘Seaweed Sally’ who will run a marine study clinic at St. Brendan’s Primary School Auditorium for local schools, as well as an open presentation to the public.
“We often find that just because people live near the seaside, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have an understanding of marine habitat and fishing techniques, and the Fishing Convention allows us to share this knowledge with family members from children, through to parents and grandparents,” said Ms McTighe.
Large grants are also available for projects of up to $100,000 for sustainability and habitat improvement, fishing access and facilities, education, information and training and recreational fisheries research and submissions must be received by February 29, 2012,” said Mr Bull.
For further information on grants or to lodge an application, visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/fishinggrants
New vital resource for parents of children with a disability
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the ”One Day at a Time” resource launched would be of great assistance for parents of children with a disability.
“Produced by Scope, it includes a great deal of information that will benefit parents and early childhood professionals that relate to the development of children.
“It matches activities with each child’s developmental levels and this will be of enormous benefit for parents of children with a disability or developmental delay and is on line at no cost to families.
“This is the sort of resource that can make a real difference, is easily accessible and is free.
“A lot of families of children with a disability often have financial pressures as they deal with the nature of the affliction and for them to now have a free resource like this will make a real difference,” Mr Bull said.
Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, Wendy Lovell, said “research has shown that children with disabilities learn best when their learning is incorporated into everyday activities and routines at home and in early childhood services.”
“One Day at a Time is designed to promote parental involvement in a child’s learning and reflects best practice in early childhood intervention, and I’m impressed with the effort and foresight that has gone into developing this resource.”
Scope, a not-for-profit organisation that provides disability services across Victoria, has partnered with the Victorian Coalition Government to provide early intervention services to more than 700 children aged up to 6 years across Victoria.
“The Victorian Government recognises that early childhood intervention services provide important support and information to families of children with disabilities or developmental delays,” Ms Lovell said.
“In this year’s State Budget the Government allocated $18 million over four years to expand Kindergarten Inclusion Support packages and to continue providing early intervention services and packages for children that need them.”
One Day at a Time is available at www.scopevic.org.au
60 new Landcare positions
Landcare groups across Victoria, including East Gippsland, can now apply for a fixed grant of up to $50,000 per year toward funding for one of the Victorian Coalition Government’s 60 new Landcare facilitator positions, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said today.
“Working together in conjunction with state and local government, businesses and members of the community, Landcare plays a vital role in increasing community awareness on sustainable environmental practices, which positively change the long term health of our rivers, bush, parklands and coast,” said Mr Bull.
“I am also delighted that where possible, the positions will be appointed from those living within local communities who have the knowledge and understanding of existing issues.
“Landcare was formed in 1986 when a group of farmers in St. Arnaud thought it made more sense for them to tackle commonly shared environmental issues together. Since then the Landcare network has grown into more than 700 working groups across the state.
“Landcare facilitators play a key role in coordinating and educating members of the local community to be aware of the environment around them and achieve improved environmental outcomes. This government recognises their importance,” said Mr Bull
Environment Minister, Ryan Smith said, “we recognise and acknowledge the work of these dedicated volunteers and groups devoted to making sure Victoria's natural environment is protected and restored for future generations to enjoy.”
“The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitment to invest $12 million over the next four years to support Landcare coordinators and help local community volunteers protect and restore Victoria’s environment,” said Mr Smith.
Applications for the ‘Victorian Local Landcare Facilitators Initiative’ close on 23 October 2011.
2012 Rural Women’s awards open
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, is calling on inspiring rural women who want to make a lasting contribution to primary industries and rural communities to put their hand up and nominate for the 2012 Rural Women’s Award.
Mr Bull said, the award was designed to recognise and encourage the vital contribution women make to rural Victoria and Australia.”
“In addition to a $10,000 bursary awarded to the Victorian winner, both the winner and the runner-up will attend a course at the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Canberra.
"The winner will also be given the opportunity to sit on the Ministerial Women in Primary Industries Advisory Panel, which provides advice on emerging issues in primary industries and how they affect women," Mr Bull said.
Past Victorian award finalists put forward projects on a range of topics including young farmer networks, farm financial management, succession planning, aquaculture, dairy co-operatives, agriculture education and exports.
Entries close on 15 October and application forms can be downloaded from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation's website at www.rirdc.gov.au, or by calling (03) 9658 4493.
Local history grants open
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, is once again encouraging community groups who work to preserve the history of our region to apply for a share of $350,000 in funding.
“Grants of up to $12,000 are available for projects that allow the public to access our region’s rich and diverse history as part of the Victorian Coalition Government's Local History Grants Program,” said Mr Bull.
“The program supports projects that assist communities in understanding their past and to connect with their history via innovative and engaging methods such as written histories, the preservation of precious collections and sharing knowledge through exhibitions and multimedia.
“There are many important stories to tell which illustrate our local history, and these grants support the network of volunteers and community organisations that are working to preserve and share our heritage, and making it available to future generations.”
The program is open to not-for-profit community groups across the state and is run by Victoria’s Public Record Office.
Applications close Friday 11 November 2011. For further information and application details visit www.prov.vic.gov.au/community-programs/grants-awards
Government to stop sale of bongs
Speaking in Parliament last week, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, strongly supported a new Bill which will ban the sale of bongs (for smoking cannabis) in retail outlets.
“It has been simply ridiculous that cannabis has been a banned substance, yet one of the most widely used items for using cannabis has been freely on sale.
“This Bill is about sending a message to the community that the displaying and selling of bongs and bong kits by retailers is not acceptable,” said Mr Bull.
“Apart from the increased strain drug use places on our medical services, it has also become the root of a massive social problem with half of Victorian drug related arrests being put down to cannabis use.
“In addition to the personal risks, including the area of mental health, research shows increasingly stronger links between cannabis use and mental illness, particularly schizophrenia and psychosis disorders.
“Earlier this year in Bairnsdale I attended a support group meeting for those who suffer a mental illness and as we went around the table it was startling to hear how many put their loved one’s disorders down to cannabis use, with the occurrence of schizophrenia being the most common result.
“On top of this there is also a greater chance of developing depression and anxiety as well as other disorders.
“Also, cannabis users have poorer educational outcomes, increased uptake of alcohol use, tobacco and other illicit drugs – and yet we have turned a blind eye to retail outlets who sell drug paraphernalia.
“In the past adolescents who have seen bongs for sale at retail outlets have surely received a mixed message that it is either legal to smoke cannabis, or that the government is not serious about its non-use.
“Banning the bong reinforces what should be a clear message and that is, it’s illegal to smoke cannabis, and while the sale of bongs continues that is not the message we are sending out!
“This government has already passed many common sense laws – but surely this is the most common sense law to date and hopefully it will reduce the uptake of cannabis use.
“The facts are we need to crack down on cannabis use, one of the scourges of our society and this is a step in the right direction.
“Nine per cent of Victorians reported using cannabis in the past 12 months (almost one in 10 people) which is unacceptably high and generally young people in the 18-29 age group are the highest users, doing untold damage to themselves and at higher risk of developing a mental illness.
“These are damming statistics when you consider that one in three cannabis users develop a dependency on drugs.
“In 2009/10 cannabis related hospital admissions increased by a whopping 21%. Australia wide cannabis use decreased between 1998-2007, but it has again disturbingly risen since.
“We must take notice and take steps to reverse this trend and this is one major step in doing that.
“I support this bill unequivocally and is another promise the coalition has delivered on,” Mr Bull said.