Seafarers Festival bigger and better than ever!
It was a case of anchors aweigh for the organisers of this year’s Seafarers Multi-cultural Festival with the announcement by Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull that they have been successful in receiving $20,000 via the Coalition Government’s Unity Through Partnerships program.
"It was a pleasure, along with mayor Dick Ellis, to catch up with event organiser Rosemary Kavadis to congratulate her and members of the organising committee on their successful application and discuss plans they have for this year's program.
"I know that the funding will go a long way to supporting this important regional event and both the Mayor and I recognise the great efforts of the local organising group," said Mr Bull.
“Events such as the Seafarers Multi-cultural Festival are essential in encouraging the whole community to celebrate and value cultural diversity and help foster cross-cultural exchanges and collaboration.
“Each year the Festival grows from strength to strength and once again the Committee has secured another high profile celebrity to help promote the event, with Paul Mercurio being announced this year’s Event Ambassador.
"The Festival is a celebration of our regional and indigenous culture and a platform to showcase the fantastic food and wine on offer in East Gippsland. It is now considered one of the key dates on the annual events calendar.”
Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Nicholas Kotsiras, acknowledged the Organising Committee for its efforts in encouraging Victoria’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities to retain and express their social identity and cultural heritage.
“The Government believes that unity can be achieved by sharing our differences and learning about other cultural traditions through community celebrations and festivals such as this”.
Princes Highway safety upgrades commence
Works have commenced this week on the $3.3 million road safety upgrade of the Princes Highway between Orbost and Cann River, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull announced today.
Mr Bull said the safety upgrade is part of a larger $36 million program to reduce the crash rate on the highway from Longwarry through to the New South Wales border.
“The 74-kilometre section of the Princes Highway between Orbost and Cann River can be dangerous for road users due to mountainous terrain and heavily vegetated roadside.
“The crash history shows a distinct pattern of vehicles leaving the road on curves.
“Figures show there have been 46 crashes on this particular section of the highway in the last five years. Forty of these were run-off-road crashes and five resulted in fatalities.
“The aim of this project is to make the Princes Highway safer, by reducing the likelihood and severity of run-off-road crashes,” he said.
Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, said the beginning of works was an important step forward in improving safety conditions on the road but he would continue to seek the inclusion of the highway in the Federal Government’s national network.
“Despite the highway having one of the highest accident and fatality rates in Victoria, it is currently ineligible to receive Commonwealth funding,” Mr Chester said.
“Research clearly indicates that investing money on roads is critical to reducing the road toll.
“In addition to supporting these upgrades I am working with Tim to form a working group which will investigate other safety issues on the road and work in a whole of government approach to address them.
“Having raised the importance of including the highway on the national network on a number of occasions in Parliament, I also recently accepted an offer from the Federal Transport Minister to discuss the long-term future of the road.”
Mr Bull said, the upgrade includes a number of road safety treatments, including installation of safety barriers, removal of trees, upgrade of guideposts, extra curve warning signs and more reflective pavement markers.
“The additional signage, guideposts and pavement markers will assist drivers in negotiating the road, especially in wet and dark conditions.”
“Approximately nine kilometres of wire rope safety barrier and three kilometres of guard fence will be installed to protect motorists from roadside hazards such as trees or steep drop-offs.”
"In the recent storm event in this area, we saw first-hand the danger presented by falling trees across the road and to see work being done in this area is welcomed.
“The Princes Highway east of Orbost has been neglected for some time and it is important standards are improved to match the increasing use of this road.
“I urge all motorists to be aware there will be some delays and changed traffic conditions at times while works are underway and to be patient and allow slightly longer for travelling times in this area," said Mr Bull.
“I would like to thank motorists in advance for their patience while these works are carried out. They are vital improvements that will ultimately make the road safer for everyone.”
The works are expected to take around six months to complete.
Funding benefits five regional Bush Nursing Centres
Buchan, Cann Valley, Dargo, Gelantipy and Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Centres have all received a share of funding as part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Rural and Regional Health Plan to upgrade facilities, medical and nursing equipment.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said he was delighted with the announcements of support to the region's bush nursing centres.
"They play a key role in our rural communities and the value of these facilities and their staff cannot be underestimated.
"I have no doubt the new medical equipment and facility upgrades will assist these facilities in being able to continue the fantastic service they have provided to the region for many years."
“Remote area nurses also work closely with the community providing valuable advice on healthy living and preventing chronic disease.”
Details of the individual funding include:
Gelantipy Bush Nursing Centre to receive $184,900 to refurbish the centre in combination with a new CFA facility on the site.
Cann Valley Bush Nursing Centre received $41,400 for new medical equipment including a sterilisation unit, medical trolley and defibrillator carry case.
Dargo Bush Nursing Centre has received $27,600 for a new generator that will provide automatic back-up.
Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Centre will benefit from $20,600 for new medical equipment including diagnostic tools and a dermoscopy atlas to assist in the early detection of skin cancer and updated video conferencing equipment.
Buchan Bush Nursing Centre will receive $5940 to upgrade medical and nursing equipment.
Mr Bull said, the Government is delivering on its election commitment to invest $2.2 million over four years to support of our highly valued bush nursing centres that provide quality health services in smaller communities.
Lindenow South rail crossing upgraded
Pedestrians in Lindenow South can now look forward to improved safety and mobility when negotiating the rail track, owing to the recent installation of a new pedestrian crossing.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the Lindenow and District Progress Association (L&DPA) had been petitioning the previous government for a number of years to have the crossing upgraded, as the existing crossing was unsafe for pedestrians, especially children and the elderly.
“The installation of the crossing, which includes new safety fencing, markers and asphalt across the track, has significantly improved safety for locals, and final works will include the placement of tactile tiles that will assist the vision impaired.
"It was particularly unsafe for children walking to school who were forced to walk on the road at the crossing.
“This initiative reinforces the government's commitment to improving level crossing safety and finding transport solutions for people living in regional Victoria and I thank V/Line for being responsive and getting the job done.
“However, it is still imperative that care is taken by drivers and pedestrians at all level crossings across East Gippsland, irrespective of whether there are give-way, stop signs or flashing lights present,” Mr Bull said.
Jeff Watts, President of the Lindenow and District Progress Association said, “our members have campaigned for a number of years to have the crossing upgraded and we wish to thank the Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, who vigorously lobbied on our behalf to get the pedestrian crossing installed.”
“The Association would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Tim Pianta of V/Line, who working together with our members and Mr Bull ensured there were no further internal delays with the final approval process and construction being completed by local V/Line staff.”
Manufacturing encouraged to share in $24.8 million
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today announced that the Victorian Coalition is encouraging manufacturers in the East Gippsland area to invest in new technology that will increase productivity and competitiveness, under a new $24.8 million program.
Mr Bull said, the Investing in Manufacturing Technology (IMT) program would provide grants of up $250,000 to support Victorian manufacturers in adopting new technologies.
“The IMT program is a key part of the Victorian Government’s $58 million manufacturing industry assistance package, announced in the 2012-13 Budget,” Mr Bull said.
“The Victorian Coalition recognises that there are challenges in manufacturing including the high Australian dollar and the higher energy costs under the proposed carbon tax, but is committed to ensuring any financial assistance to manufacturers is based on an increase in productivity, diversification of products or new lines or investments, that will enable companies to compete in new international markets.
“There is great resilience in the Victorian manufacturing sector in the East Gippsland region, and I was pleased to see manufacturing jobs rose for the second consecutive quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data released 14 June.
“There are great examples in the East Gippsland area in manufacturing across a number of sectors, and I have seen first-hand how businesses continually meet challenges and I encourage all local manufacturing businesses, small and large to apply for these grants,” Mr Bull said.
Applications for IMT Round One are open from 18 June 2012 to 20 July 2012, with total funding of up to $3 million available in this round. Grants will be allocated on a competitive basis and will require a minimum co-contribution from the business of $3 for every $1 granted.
An outline of the program, key dates, application process, eligibility criteria, assessment process and reporting requirements can be found at www.business.vic.gov.au/imt or call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.