Mallacoota scores its own library
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today officially opened, with Mayor Mark Reeves, the new Mallacoota Community Centre, which boasts a new library thanks to $150,000 in State funds.
Mallacoota’s first permanent library is just one drawcard of the new multipurpose Mallcoota Services Centre in the heart of the town, Minister for Local Government Tim Bull said today.
Opening the new centre with East Gippsland Mayor Cr Mark Reeves, Mr Bull said a visitor information hub, community meeting space, council-owned camp park office and restaurant joined the library under the one roof, offering easy access for people of all ages and abilities.
“I would like to congratulate the East Gippsland Shire Council, which has worked closely with its community to transform a local commercial building into this fantastic Mallacoota Services Centre,” Mr Bull said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is a proud funding partner of this redevelopment, contributing $150,000 from our Living Libraries Infrastructure Program towards the brand new library.”
Mr Bull said in the past Mallacoota had limited access to library services, with the community relying on a fortnightly mobile service.
“Now in the heart of the community, the new library caters for the Mallacoota community five days a week providing access to a wide collection of books, along with computers and wireless internet and a host of programs to meet the needs of the whole community,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said 63 library projects have been funded under the four-year $17.2 million Living Libraries Infrastructure Program, building new libraries and redeveloping and refurbishing many existing libraries. Of these projects, 43 have been located across regional Victoria.
“Local libraries are at the very heart of our communities and it is important state and local governments work together to provide efficient and high quality library services,” Mr Bull said.
$50,000 to help AFCOL’s environmental footprint
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured with AFCOL Plant Manager, Mark Touzeau, at today's announcement of $50,000 in State funds for the purchase of a retort (cooker) that will greatly minimise waste, improve productivity and reduce costs for this vital local industry.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has announced $50,000 has been allocated to Mallacoota Abalone Cooperative to help it reduce costs and be more environmentally friendly - by conserving energy and reducing waste.
Mr Bull said the funding will allow the Mallacoota Abalone Cooperative to purchase a new over-pressure high efficiency retort (cooker) that will provide better control of the cooking process and significantly reduce wastage.
“In conjunction with the new equipment, the business will install an improved materials management system to monitor, manage, and optimise cooking recipes," he said
“On a tour of the plant today, Mark Touzeau – Manager of the Mallacoota Abalone Cooperative plant, said material savings of 801 kg will be achieved through reduced spoilage and reduced packaging overfill.
“Currently it is difficult to optimise the cooked weight due to the need to account for shrinkage during cooking and variable moisture content of the raw abalone. As abalone is a high value material ($140/kg) material savings are in the order of $112,000 per year,” Mr Touzeau said.
Mr Bull said this funding is part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Smarter Resources Smarter Businesses program that has provided 69 Victorian businesses a share of $1.8 million in funding.
“Businesses receiving funding are located across Victoria and come from a range of sectors including manufacturing, retail, food and beverage, agriculture, tourism and aged care and it’s great to see Mallacoota Abalone Cooperative receiving a boost from these sustainability grants.
“The Napthine Government is committed to helping businesses manage these costs through using resources more wisely,” he said.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith, said the 69 recipients will save a combined $2.3 million a year in their operating costs, and 143 projects funded across all three rounds of the Smart Resources Smarter Business program will save in total around $4.7 million a year.
“This grants program has helped businesses save $10.5 million over five years, which is a significant investment in the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of Victoria,” Mr Smith said.
“Across the three rounds of Smarter Resources Smarter Businesses grants, the Coalition Government has invested over $3.8 million to help Victorian businesses operate in a modern economy, whilst reducing environmental impacts.”
For more information on the Coalition Government’s Smarter Resources Smarter Businesses program visit www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/srsb
$176,700 for Mallacoota community facility fit-out
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, inspecting the construction of the Croajingolong Centre for Communication and Arts that will house a new gallery and community radio studios. Michael Drake and Russell Grabert were delighted to show Tim the progress of the building which has received $176,000 in State funds.
The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $176,700 from its $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to fit-out the new community building in Mallacoota, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull announced today.
The new building will provide much needed community meeting spaces, delivering space for an art gallery, sculpture court, and facilities for musical and theatrical activities.
“The facility will be home to the studio of the community radio station, known as the Mallacoota Genoa Broadcasting Association Inc., and the Mallacoota Arts Council Inc,” Mr Bull said.
“It will also provide meeting space for a range of community based groups such as U3A, the local primary/secondary college and the Mallacoota District Business and Tourism Association.
“The facility will provide guaranteed tenure for the Mallacoota Arts Council, which is homeless, and the Mallacoota Genoa Broadcasting Association, which operates from rented accommodation.
“The community radio station operates year round and provides important community information, especially during emergencies.
“The fit-out will include plastering and painting, electrical and plumbing works, rendering the building’s exterior, building a sculpture courtyard and associated landscaping,” he said
Mr Bull said Victorian Coalition Government funding towards the $279,700 project would be provided through the Regional Growth Fund to Mallacoota Arts Council Inc. and Mallacoota Genoa Broadcasting Association Inc., which will jointly contribute $103,000 towards the project.
“The Regional Growth Fund is investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria,” he said.
Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered more than $400 million, generating well over $1.6 billion of total investment across almost 1500 projects.
In East Gippsland Shire, the Regional Growth Fund has provided $10.4 million to 59 projects, leveraging $26.2 million in total investment. Some of these projects include:
• $500,000 for the $ 1,250,000 Bairnsdale CBD Improvement project;
• $450,000 for the Davison Oval - All Abilities Playground project; and
• $346,000 for the Visitor Information Centre Upgrade.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
Gas for Lakes and Orbost
Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Danny O'Brien, East Gippsland Shire Council Acting CEO - Chris Waites, Brookfield Infrastructure Group Senior Vice President - Anthony Vaughan, Deputy Premier - Peter Ryan, Orbost Chamber of Commerce representative - Rene Sundermann, Member for Gippsland East - Tim Bull and East Gippsland Shire Mayor - Mark Reeves celebrated the announcement that Brookfield Infrastructure Group will reticulate the towns of Lakes Entrance and Orbost with Natural Gas.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, announced today that homes and businesses in Lakes Entrance and Orbost would be connected to reticulated natural gas, ensuring access to affordable natural gas for homes and local businesses.
Mr Bull said the Victorian Coalition Government had delivered a key election commitment by signing an agreement to connect gas to the remaining priority towns as part of the Energy for The Regions Program including Lakes Entrance and Orbost using a compressed natural gas (CNG) delivery solution.
He said the Coalition Government had gone further than its original commitment by also signing an agreement to connect four Murray River communities to gas as part of the roll-out.
Brookfield Infrastructure Group has been selected to connect Lakes Entrance and Orbost to gas as well as other towns including Heathcote, Invermay, Maldon, Marong, Terang, Swan Hill, Kerang, Robinvale and Nathalia.
“For years, homeowners, tenants and local businesses in Lakes Entrance and Orbost have dreamed about being connected to piped natural gas,” Mr Bull said.
“I am thrilled to be able to say the Coalition Government has delivered and we are now on our way to switching on this important connection that will reduce the cost of energy for locals and help our community attract new job creating businesses.”
Mr Bull said the connections would be delivered through the Victorian Coalition Government’s $85 million Request for Tender, which included two components:
• $30 million to connect Murray River communities, comprising $15 million from the Commonwealth’s $100 million Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program and $15 million from Victoria’s Regional Growth Fund; and
• $55 million from the Regional Growth Fund to supply the remaining priority towns including Lakes Entrance and Orbost as part of the third stage of the Energy for the Regions Program.
“Many doubted our commitment to connect Lake Entrance and Orbost to gas, led by the Labor Party and their fear mongering regional spokesperson Jacinta Allan who falsely described our plan as a ‘monstrous hoax’”, Mr Bull said.
“The only hoax is the one Labor tried to pull on regional communities in a shallow attempt to scare off business and investment in our local community.
“Only a Coalition Government can be trusted to deliver on its promises and true to this government’s track record, we have under-promised and over-delivered.”
Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said connecting Lakes Entrance and Orbost to piped natural gas using compressed natural gas (CNG) was an Australian first and would revolutionise how gas was delivered across the country.
“While natural gas has historically been transmitted via pipelines from the main grid, the high cost of laying long-distance pipes has meant a different approach was needed if we were to continue rolling out gas across regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said Brookfield’s proposal would involve the creation of Mother Stations to compress the gas before it is trucked to Daughter Stations, to be located on the outskirts of town, in each of the 11 communities.
“From the Daughter Stations the gas will be piped to homes at a price comparable to gas supplied through conventional pipelines,” Mr Ryan said.
“While applying this delivery method to residential homes is a first, the CNG delivery solution is a proven technology, having been used in industrial settings where the cost of a traditional pipeline has been too high.
“Communities can rest assured knowing that our system will provide the same level of capacity, reliability, safety and convenience for households, small businesses and industry as connecting to conventional piped gas from the grid.”
Mr Bull said the Coalition Government and Brookfield wouldn’t waste any time with work scheduled to begin before the end of the year.
He said piped natural gas would be delivered regardless of which side of politics wins November’s election, with the contracts now set in stone.
“While Daniel Andrews and Labor threatened to tear up hard-fought contracts if they are elected to government, we have structured this agreement in such a way to ensure there is no turning back,” Mr Bull said.
“Delivering gas to our regional and rural communities will ensure they remain strong and competitive.
“It will also support residents by providing a cheaper, cleaner source of energy, whether that is for heating or cooking.”
Mr Bull said today’s announcement follows agreements to deliver conventional piped gas to Huntly, Avoca, Bannockburn, Winchelsea, Koo Wee Rup, Warburton and Wandong-Heathcote Junction, as well as expanding Mildura’s supply capacity.
New easier dog bait laws
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has spoken in Parliament in support of the Coalition Government’s latest measures to win the fight against wild dogs and called on the Opposition to commit to support maintaining the many changes made.
Mr Bull called on the Opposition to openly state its support for the variety of new measures this government has introduced, including 72-hour trap checking, the re-introduction of Lanes traps, establishment of the wild dog bounty and introduction of aerial baiting when speaking on a Bill relating to being able to manufacture baits closer to areas of use.
“This is the latest step this government has taken in supporting the control of wild dogs and the impact they have on our rural sector.”
Mr Bull said that with an election pending that was shaping to be very close, it was important Labor supported these changes and would not remove them, something they have failed to do.
Mr Bull told Parliament “I do not think there are too many in the House who can understand the hardship, trauma, stress, pressure and depression that occurs,” he said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government introduced the wild dog bounty which has resulted in more than 1400 wild dogs being killed and handed in. We have also reintroduced the bigger Lane’s traps, which were abolished under Labor and brought back aerial baiting, banned under Labor.
“The Coalition also kept 72 hour trap checking, instead of switching to 24 hour trap checking as proposed under Labor. This gives dog trappers more flexibility to get around and check traps set across large areas.
Mr Bull commended Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh for recently committing to get rid of the three kilometre wild dog protection zone bordering private and Crown Land and the recent setting up of local area groups to have a say in local control methods.
“This government has added a number of tools to the toolbox of those who are trying to combat wild dogs,” he said.
“Labor needs to come out and state it will maintain these measures. We know they are opposed to aerial baiting in Victoria, we know they previously banned Lanes traps and were going to implement 24 hour trap checking.
“Labor needs to state it will maintain the changes made as well as the dog bounty. The battle with the dogs is a long way from being won, but we cannot afford any risk of a step backwards in control measures,” Mr Bull said.