Items filtered by date: May 2012
Monday, 21 May 2012 15:59

Innovative respite funding announced

UnitingCare Gippsland is to receive $87,631 to deliver innovative school holiday respite support for people with a disability in East Gippsland as part of an overall grant of $115,025 received from the Victorian State Government.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said "leading up to the election, increased access to support people with a disability, their families and carers was a key priority of this government and it is pleasing to see that we are delivering on that commitment."

"A strong respite service and variety in accommodation options are critical for all communities and particularly in rural areas.  

“This money will provide additional social and recreational  alternatives for those carers and parents with school aged children, and provide them with an opportunity to recharge their batteries, especially during school holiday periods.

“This support will allow UnitingCare Gippsland to provide weekend and school holiday respite care utilising a range of flexible accommodation options, including tourist holiday accommodation,” said Mr Bull.

“Recipients of the funding were required to demonstrate flexibility and a strong emphasis on respite activities that incorporate inclusion in local activities, recreational pursuits and community events and I congratulate UnitingCare Gippsland on its successful submission.”

Chief Executive of UnitingCare Gippsland, John Lawrence, said “this is another exciting initiative to provide support to parents and carers of young people with a disability, and is aimed to give the young people interaction and recreational opportunities with others who may not have a disability.”

Mr Lawrence also said staff were excited that the government was funding a bus with wheelchair access, which would improve the number of people attending programs, and the variety and diversity of programs that could be offered.

“The Government has listened to Victorians with a disability, their families and carers and are funding respite at the times that they want it most,” said Mr Bull.

Published in Media
Friday, 18 May 2012 16:00

Stratford bridge safety upgrade

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today announced funding of $60,000 in pedestrian and cycling pathway upgrades of the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail at Avon River Bridge in Stratford, including the installation of safety railing.

Mr Bull said the investment from Government was great news for the region and the start of what promises to be a great collaboration.

"I had representation on this over the course of the election campaign.  Locals wanted Stratford to become a popular Rail Trail location, but were concerned the highway bridge had no railing, which was not suitable as cyclists over balancing could have ended up in the path of a car.

"I understand it has been a concern for some time, but with the Rail Trail undergoing upgrades and sure to become more popular, this is great news for businesses in Stratford as more people will travel if they know it is safer.

"Outdoor life and tourism is an important part of our community and local economy. This project adds real value to the region by enhancing local amenity, liveability and improving connectivity which results in real social and economic benefits.

“It is also very important for children on the Sale side of the bridge who attend school in Stratford,” Mr Bull said.

The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail (GPRT) committee of management (CoM) thanked Tim Bull for his help in finding funds to make this bridge crossing safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

“We have been concerned that trail users have been avoiding the Stratford end of the rail trail because of hazardous conditions over the bridge,” said Christine Richards, rail trail committee member.

“Pedestrians and cyclists currently have to cross the Avon Bridge within a metre of Princes highway traffic.  The constant stream of cars and heavy vehicles is noisy, scary and dangerous, particularly for children and family groups.  

“The safety railing on the Avon Bridge is one of many projects the GPRT wants to soon complete in order to provide a 72 kilometre continuous trail between Traralgon and Stratford.”

The project is part of the Department of Transport’s Transport Investing in Regions.

Minister for Transport, Terry Mulder, said “the Government is committed to investing in regional transport and investing in pathways in our regional towns not only improves liveability but also provides a sense of connection.

“The Victorian Government is proud to support this initiative. Tracks and trails are a way of life for many regional communities, and improving and maintaining these pathways supports the local economy and tourism,” Mr Mulder said.

This project complements the State Government’s investment of around $14.5 million in bicycle improvement works across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

“This project is great example of how the State Government is working with regional councils to further develop and strengthen transport outcomes in regional Victoria,” Mr Mulder said.

“Whether cycling, walking, or mountain biking on one of the magnificent tracks and trails we have throughout regional Victoria, the State Government supports walking and cycling as a valuable form of exercise and recreation, and as a safe and convenient means of transport.”

The Gippsland Plains Rail pedestrian and cycling works will commence this year.

Published in Media
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 16:01

$50,000 for Lindenow recreation reserve

A project to irrigate the Lindenow Recreation Reserve is being supported with $50,000 in Victorian Government funding, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said today.

“The project, expected to be completed in July, would see the installation of about 1300 metres of irrigation infrastructure to enable the use of bore water and an automated sprinkler system on the reserve,” said Mr Bull.

“Over recent years the main oval has been extremely hard and unsafe and this project will help ensure the playing surfaces of the reserve’s three sport fields remain in an appropriate, safe and usable condition, particularly during the warmer and drier summer months.

“Sports such as football are vital to regional communities because they provide very important recreational and social opportunities,” said Mr Bull.

The irrigation infrastructure will supply up to three facilities at the Community Complex including the Recreation Reserve, adjoining oval and areas of the Lindenow Primary School grounds.  

Mr Bull said “at present the only available water in the area is the potable town water supply and is expensive and not an appropriate or sustainable use of water."

“Accessing bore water for irrigating the playing surfaces is far more cost-effective and sustainable. The automated system will also ensure consistent and controlled watering of the playing surfaces leading to significant savings,” he said.

Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, said Victorian Government funding for the $95,000 Lindenow Recreation Reserve – Irrigation Infrastructure Installation project would be provided to East Gippsland Shire Council 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.”

Published in Media
Monday, 14 May 2012 16:04

Increased firewood collection areas

There has been a massive increase in firewood collection areas in East Gippsland.

State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said over recent weeks there had been a number of constituents expressing concern over the limited amount of firewood collection areas made available to the public compared to recent years.

"It was clear people were having trouble not just accessing firewood, but some of the tracks in the areas marked were difficult to access in two wheel drive cars given the wet conditions.

"Working directly with Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith and DSE regional manager, Mike Timpano and local DSE staff, I feel we have been able to achieve a much more acceptable result as far as public collection areas are concerned.

"The increase in area of around 80 per cent opens up a range of options.

"Maps showing the new vastly expanded areas have now been printed are available this week at DSE offices, shire business centres and my office, so I encourage firewood collectors to pick up one of the new maps which show the massive increases in area available."

Mr Bull said the maps also now had roads and tracks clearly marked to assist collectors.

Published in Media
Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:06

Wild dog ground baiting blitz

State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull has welcomed the announcement today that there will be a significant increase in wild dog baiting across East Gippsland. The Government is implementing a recommendation from the Wild Dog Control Advisory Committee to use funding allocated to aerial baiting for additional targeted ground baiting, rather than spending it on more survey work to satisfy the Federal Government.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Peter Walsh, said the Commonwealth rejected Victoria’s application for aerial baiting, which was planned to begin this month, but now will not be conducted this season, despite New South Wales having a near-identical aerial baiting program already in place.

“Aggressive baiting campaigns are needed to reduce wild dogs, which predate native fauna and lambs.”

Mr Bull said it came down to a case of expending the funds allocated for the aerial baiting on survey work to satisfy the Federal Government with no guarantees of approval, or utilise the funds on actions directed at the problem. “I think the recommendation from the Wild Dog Advisory Committee, which contains local land holders from the problem areas, is a smart one and I am fully supportive.”

Mr Walsh said autumn was an ideal time to target wild dogs with bait, as they were more mobile during the mating season.

“Wild dogs are often visible at this time of the year as they are actively moving around looking and competing for mates,” Mr Walsh said.

“Our extra ground baiting programs during this period are designed to have maximum impact on wild dogs and provide additional protection for livestock.

“While it is frustrating that our application for aerial baiting has been denied, it is important we respond quickly and put funding to effective use.”

Mr Walsh said autumn was also a good time for landholders to increase their own efforts in protecting their properties from the impacts of wild dog activity, by conducting community baiting programs with their neighbours.

Mr Walsh said landholders could also take advantage of the Victorian Government’s fox and wild dog bounty, with the behaviour of wild dogs during the mating season making them more vulnerable to hunters.

Published in Media
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 16:02

Bulmer’s to grow supply chains

A project to help Lindenow company Bulmer Farm Fresh Vegetables create new distribution channels and supply directly into major supermarket chains is being supported with $40,000 in Victorian Government funding, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull announced today on a visit to the company.

Mr Bull said this project will implement best-practice fresh vegetable production and on-farm processing in response to emerging market trends for the domestic and export markets, with the potential to create 10 new jobs and more as demand for production increases.

“Bulmer Farm Fresh Vegetables has found that a natural extension to its supply of salad vegetables to processors is the on-farm processing of its products and this project will implement best-practice fresh vegetable production and on-farm processing in response to emerging market trends for the domestic and exports markets.

"This is a local company expanding and creating employment opportunities and it is to be congratulated on its foresight and efforts,” Mr Bull said.

Two new temperature-controlled production areas will be constructed to cater for the increased production of processed vegetables, one to be built within the existing footprint and one to be added as an extension to the main operational area.

Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan said it was important for Gippsland’s economy to diversify and grow in export capability to protect itself from the impacts of climate change and carbon price legislation.

“The need for value-adding in the agricultural sector includes capitalizing on opportunities within food processing and manufacturing and developing more innovation and collaboration in the supply chain,” Mr Ryan said.

“As well as at least 10 new jobs, this project will create value-added processing for fresh vegetable products for the wholesale and export markets, delivering anticipated revenue from export sales of more than $400,000 per year within the first two years.”

Mr Ryan said Victorian Government funding for the Bulmer Farms Value Adding Process Plant project would be provided to Bulmer Farm Fresh Vegetables 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.”

Published in Media
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