May 2012
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 15:26

$30,000 for Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-op plan

Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative Society Limited (LEFCOL) has received $30,000 to assist in developing a marketing, production and processing strategy that will aid in making informed decisions on how best to invest in its future.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said “the Lakes Entrance fishing industry is worth an estimated $200 million annually to the Victorian economy and is a vital contributor to our local economy in East Gippsland.”

“The funding will encourage the development of processed value-added seafood products for the Australian and overseas markets and allow for imported product to be replaced with Australian harvested and processed products,” Mr Bull said.

“The strategy will also investigate and identify the application of industrial automation techniques to fish filleting and further processing a wide range of fish, enabling LEFCOL to process school whiting in Australia which has historically been exported for processing.

“These outcomes will underwrite the long-term profitability of the Lakes Entrance fishing industry, and stimulate the up skilling of local employees to contribute to the development and sustainability of the region’s food processing sector.

“Commercialising and developing new markets will contribute to high-technology industries being established in East Gippsland, significantly building the capacity of regional industries and creating employment opportunities in cutting-edge technologies,” Mr Bull said.

Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, said Victorian Government funding for the $50,000 project was supported by contributions of $10,000 from the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative Society Limited and East Gippsland Shire Council.

He said the government’s funding would be provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund’s Putting Locals First Program.

“Putting Locals First is a $100 million initiative that enables regional communities to devise and deliver service and infrastructure responses that reflect local priorities,” Mr Ryan said.

“It is supporting stronger and more sustainable regional communities by building their capacity to drive development in their region.”

The strategy is expected to be completed by August 2012.

Published in Media
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 15:17

Funding bonus for Maffra kindergarten

Glassford Kindergarten at Maffra will be better placed to deliver concurrent sessions and achieve universal access for all four-year-olds from 2013 following the announcement of $299,700 in State Government funding for a kindergarten extension project.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today announced three local early childhood services in East Gippsland have been successful in receiving funding.

“This is great news for children in Maffra as well as other regions of East Gippsland, who will benefit from this investment into their education well into the future.

“I am especially proud that local services have received much needed funding to help increase their capacity,” said Mr Bull.

Other successful centres in East Gippsland to receive funding were Orbost Preschool with a grant of $166,400, for a $416,000 project, and Swifts Creek Kindergarten with a grant of $83,071 for a $102,380 project.

Representative for UnitingCare Gippsland, Mrs Sue Grogan-Williams, said “this funding will provide a multi-purpose facility that will fulfil the requirements for the kindergarten to provide 15 universal hours access, as well as enable us to continue working in partnership with other local children’s programs such as playgroups, occasional child care and offering kindergarten to three year olds.”

The funding, which can be used to upgrade facilities or develop integrated children’s services hubs, is a combination of state and National Partnership funding, incorporating the 2011-12 $26 million grants round, money brought forward from the recently announced $50 million grants round and $4.4 million in internal departmental funds.

Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, Wendy Lovell, said the Victorian Coalition Government was committed to recognising early childhood as an important tier of education.

“The early childhood years are vital,” Ms Lovell said.

“We know that 95 per cent of a child’s brain development happens by the age of five, and a good quality early childhood education will give them a great foundation for their primary, secondary and tertiary education, and for their future work life.

“Because of this, every application that met funding criteria has been funded, by bringing forward money from the recently announced $50 million grants round.

“This will ensure that funding is on the ground and construction starts as soon as possible,” said Ms Lovell.

“We’ve allocated $80.4 million to Children’s Capital Grants in just 18 months, and we’re looking forward to seeing the next round of applications.”

Published in Media
Monday, 28 May 2012 15:27

Two reasons to celebrate at Coongulla CFA

Coongulla CFA celebrated two great achievements on Saturday – 40 years of providing emergency services to the community and the arrival of a new ultra-light tanker to support fire-fighting operations in the region.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the new $142,000 four-wheel tanker would be a welcome addition to the local brigade.

“The Coongulla Brigade was the first brigade in the state to receive this ultra-light tanker model, which features a crew protection spray system, air conditioning, fog lights, LED hazard lights, bull bar,”

“It is great to be able to celebrate today’s milestone with a new replacement tanker that will help the Coongulla CFA respond to emergencies more efficiently and effectively,” Mr Bull said.

“This brand new 1000-litre truck will be particularly useful in allowing the brigade members to more easily access difficult terrain, especially in places that are not accessible to the 3000 litre Hino.”

Mr Bull said the tanker was funded in partnership between the Victorian Coalition Government, the CFA and the Coongulla community.

“Coongulla CFA and its members have served the community well for many years,” Mr Bull said.

“This new addition is a good example of the government and community working together and will further enhance the efficiency of the brigade within its boundary area, while also being a huge asset to its neighbouring brigades.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Peter Ryan, said volunteer fire-fighters gave their all to serve the community and deserved to have the best equipment available.

“Local volunteer agencies such as Coongulla CFA are the backbone of Victoria’s emergency service response and the Coalition Government is committed to providing improved resources and support for CFA members across Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“The 2012-13 Budget included $57 million to boost the state’s emergency services infrastructure, including more than $22 million to build or upgrade rural fire stations, which is part of the Coalition’s commitment to build or upgrade 250 CFA stations during its first term of government.”

Published in Media
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 15:52

Extra support for students with disabilities

State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has welcomed three recent announcements that will benefit children with disabilities.

“The first of those is the announcement that 15 schools across the state will receive funds to employ specialist Autism Inclusion Support Co-ordinators under a new trial program,” said Mr Bull, who added he was optimistic one of those would be in East Gippsland and would provide a valuable service to all schools in the region.

“Of equal importance is the announcement that all Victorian Government schools will receive a share in $37.2m of additional funding under the More Support for Students with Disabilities program to provide extra support for students with special needs.

“On top of this was the announcement that Mansfield Autism Statewide Service's (MASS) Travelling Teacher Service - which supports many East Gippsland families impacted by autism - will receive $500,000 over the next two years

Mr Bull said this government had already made a significant investment into supporting students with a disability and this would build on that initial commitment of more than $170 million of additional funding into the program for students with a disability.

“The benefit of the $37.2m is the flexibility around it, as schools can use the funding in ways that best suits the needs of the students.”

Education Minister, Martin Dixon, said “this additional $37.2 million will be invested in programs we have designed to increase the capacity of mainstream schools to ensure families have real choice in education for students with a disability.

Mr Dixon said schools may choose to use the funding to:

  purchase additional specialist technology and software, including real time captioning for students who are deaf or vision-impaired;   provide extra teacher training on supporting students with disabilities;   enhance support for students with disabilities starting primary or secondary school; or   increase curriculum support for teachers.

The trial project to provide Autism Inclusion Support Co-ordinators in 15 schools across the state will include a suite of online learning modules for teachers.

Schools will also be able to access direct support for students and teachers from disability agencies including Downs Syndrome Victoria and Autism Victoria.

Published in Media
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 15:39

Improved transport for Orbost, Marlo and Lake Tyers

State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has announced significant public transport service improvements for residents of Orbost, Marlo and Lake Tyers.

“The additional services will commence on Monday, June 4 and the terrific news for Orbost and Marlo residents is that there will be 42 new services per week from Orbost and Marlo through Lakes Entrance to Bairnsdale with stops along the way,” said Mr Bull.

“Areas and towns such as Newmerella, Waygara, Wairewa and Nowa Nowa will all benefit from these services, a number which will connect with the train from Bairnsdale.

“It is welcome news for these areas and will make them more attractive to investors, businesses and retirees. A strong public transport service is now an important consideration for retirees and those making a move to country areas,” said Mr Bull.

“There will now also be 24 additional services to and from Lake Tyers Beach per week to service this fast growing community,” he said.

“Timetables outlining all of the services will be distributed in the coming week and will also be available on the Public Transport Victoria website.

“This is great news for all the communities involved and the fact people from Orbost and Marlo can get to Melbourne and back in one day with this service is sure to be a strong attraction for those considering a sea/tree change.”

Richard Dyson, from Dyson’s Buses, which will be providing the new services, said his company was looking forward to improved public transport options for residents of the locations involved.

“It will now be possible for people in Orbost and Marlo for instance to get to Melbourne and back in one day on public transport.”

East Gippsland Shire Mayor, Cr Dick Ellis, recognised the extensive work the Shire had previously undertaken with East Gippsland communities through the Transport Connections program.

“Effective public transport is critical to the health and well-being of residents and for the future growth of the municipality,” Cr Ellis said.

“Council welcomes the latest improvements introduced by Public Transport Victoria and looks forward to continuing to work with the State Government to ensure that the access needs of residents are met now and into the future.”

Published in Media
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 15:53

Local picnic racecourses gain funding

Buchan, Omeo and Tambo Valley racecourses will each benefit from $1,200 in improved safety and infrastructure as part of a joint Baillieu Coalition Government and racing industry investment of $42,000.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said picnic racing played an important role in local racing, providing a more relaxed experience, being able to unpack the esky, kick back and enjoy racing in a bush setting.

“Importantly this also brings economic benefits to the local community particularly the local hospitality sector,” Mr Bull said.

“Picnic racing is the back bone of many country towns and provides enormous social and economic benefits for those communities who rely on these meetings to raise funds for local services.

“I congratulate all three clubs and the many dedicated volunteers on their ongoing efforts in promoting picnic racing in East Gippsland and providing a fantastic day out that the whole community can enjoy.

“While picnic racing experiences enormous popularity, there is a need to make sure racecourse infrastructure is kept up to standard and also meets safety requirements.”

Of the total investment around the state, the Coalition Government will provide $21,000, Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria will jointly contribute $12,500 and picnic racing clubs will provide $8,500.

Country Racing Victoria CEO Scott Whiteman said CRV and picnic racing clubs were grateful to the Victorian Government once again for its support of picnic racing.

“We are delighted that the Victorian Government understands the important role that picnic racing plays in its local communities with many groups benefiting from people attending the races and visiting the local area,” Mr Whiteman said.

“These occupational health and safety projects will seek to ensure that Victorian picnic racing continues to set the standard for all picnic racing in Australia with massive crowds and community involvement outstanding in recent years,” he said.

Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government is committed to picnic racing and the tourism and other economic benefits it brings to many local communities.

“Already picnic racing clubs have benefited from more than $50,000 granted by the Baillieu Coalition Government for projects to improve racetracks and public facilities,” Dr Napthine said.

“The Coalition Government is pleased to be partnering with the racing industry and local racing clubs to provide this funding and help build on the social and economic benefits of picnic racing to local communities,” he said.

Published in Media
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