November 2014
Monday, 24 November 2014 14:41

Coalition will provide additional ambo service

A re-elected Napthine Coalition Government will boost resources at the Bairnsdale ambulance station by adding a new night shift in 2015/16, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said today.

Following several meetings with the regional manager and local paramedics, Mr Bull said it had been made clear to him an additional night shift in Bairnsdale was the highest priority for ambulance services locally.

"I am advised this will reduce the need to recall off-duty paramedics to cover night shift rosters and will provide better coverage in Lakes Entrance and Paynesville by lessening the demand on their services to cover the Bairnsdale area in times of high need,” Mr Bull said.

“I have also had discussions around the challenges of being able to cater for the additional staff for this service on the current site, which has its limitations. Talks have commenced and I will continue to liaise with the local Auxiliary and Ambulance Victoria in relation to this.

“The Auxiliary did an incredible amount of fundraising for the current site and has continued this work to be well placed to address future need, so I look forward to continuing discussion with both them and AV on this matter.

“It is unfortunate the EBA negotiations have not been resolved pre-election, but I am pleased we have been able to continue discussions locally in relation to improving service provision and I thank those involved.”

Mr Bull said he has been advised that an additional night shift roster will require up to six more paramedic staff to operate and called on the Labor Party to match the commitment.

“It is high time our candidate, who is Drouin based, visited the electorate and discussed a number of local matters, including this one, with local people,” he said.

Minister for Health, David Davis, said that over the last four years, the Coalition Government has expanded ambulance resources considerably across the Gippsland region.

Mr Davis said that since coming to government the Coalition has invested the following in the Gippsland region, including:
•    more than 100 paramedics,
•    the provision of new MICA single responder units at Bairnsdale, Sale and Wonthaggi,
•    upgrading the Maffra, Grantville and Cowes branches to 24-hour services,
•    introducing non-emergency patient transport crews to Morwell and Wonthaggi, and
•    establishing a multi-officer branch at Korumburra.

Earlier this year, a new regional cardiac initiative was launched in Bairnsdale enabling MICA paramedics to administer blood clot-dissolving drugs to heart attack and stroke patients.

This thrombolysis program has been progressively rolled out across the state, has already saved many lives and will continue to help Victoria deliver what is already a world-leading cardiac incident survival rate.

In its first term, the Coalition Government has increased the number of paramedics on the road by 679 across the state – a 21% increase with 28,602 additional shifts.

The ambulance budget has also been increased by 23 per cent since the Coalition came to office, to $696.5 million in 2014-15.

Published in Media
Friday, 21 November 2014 14:40

$46,100 for Boggy Creek Crossing

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, is pictured with members of the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Committee - Chris and Tony Richards, Helen Hoppner, Dianne Hasey, Doug Laity, Alan Lewis and John Cahill at the picturesque Boggy Creek crossing.

Gippsland Plains Rail Trail is set for an upgrade thanks to $46,100 in State funding to upgrade the old rail bridge at Boggy Creek, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has announced.

Mr Bull said this is a fantastic project for the local community with the rail trail committee members actively involved in the restoration of the old rail bridge.

“This dedicated band of volunteers has made significant improvements to the rail trail over the years and this new crossing at Boggy Creek will be a highlight of the trail.
“To see the scale of works the group is undertaking and the ability to recycle from old rail bridges is truly amazing and I can’t wait to see the crossing finished,” he said.

Mr Bull said that the Napthine Government’s Public Safety on Public Land Initiative funds priority risk mitigation works on public land.

“Almost $122,000 is being invested in East Gippsland to ensure the ongoing safety of people visiting and working on public land in our local community,” Mr Bull said.

“Safety assessments, hazard removal, structural works and safety upgrades will ensure public land is managed effectively and for the benefit of the community now and into the future.”

Other successful recipients in Gippsland East are:

•    $20,857 for Rail trail repair works at Newmerella, Drivers Break and Seaton Track
•    $35,000 for Bark Sheds Recreation Site facility upgrades
•    $15,000 for Swifts Creek facility upgrades
•    $3,000 for engineering assessment regarding the safety of the boat ramp at Furnell Landing
•    $2,000 to install infrastructure and signage to close access to the Delusion Hut and Dugout historic site

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said $580,552 has been provided to 29 projects through the Public Safety on Public Land initiative, incorporating 15 major and 14 recreational management projects.

“The Napthine Government is committed to managing public land for the benefit of the community and this initiative is a practical example of the government delivering better services and safer assets for communities across Victoria,” Mr Smith said.

Published in Media
Thursday, 20 November 2014 14:39

$75,000 for Maffra Hospital Master Plan

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured with CEO - Central Gippsland Health Services, Frank Evans, Member for Gippsland South and Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan, and Member for Eastern Victoria, Danny O’Brien, at today’s commitment by the Coalition government to fund a $75,000 master plan for the Maffra hospital if re-elected on November 29.

A re-elected Coalition government will commit $75,000 to a Maffra Hospital master plan, State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, announced today with Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan.

This funding will allow for planning and business case development of Maffra campus to ensure facilities are functional and fit for purpose for the community of Maffra and surrounds.

Mr Bull said the facility plays an important role in ensuring people can access the health care they need closer to home.

Central Gippsland Health Service Chief Executive Officer, Frank Evans, has welcomed the Coalition's commitment.

"The hospital serves a catchment population of around 8,800 people and is 63 years old," Dr Evans said. "Some areas of the building are still in their original condition."

According to Dr Evans, a minor upgrade of McDonald Wing was done in 2010 to improve residents’ comfort at a cost of $580,000.

"We welcome this commitment of funds to determine a much needed long term plan for our health services in Maffra," he added.

Mr Bull said the need for the development of a master plan had been stressed by Dr Evans on behalf of the Board and he was delighted it would take place under a re-elected Coalition Government.

Minister for Health, David Davis, said the Maffra campus is approaching the end of its useful life and a master plan is required to ensure this asset is renewed and preserved for the local community.

The Central Gippsland Health Service - Maffra Campus provides residential aged care facilities, independent living facilities and community health.

The condition of the building is generally poor with only minor refurbishments carried out over the past 35 years.

Published in Media
Monday, 17 November 2014 14:37

Major adventure festival would put East Gippsland on the world stage

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today announced a re-elected Coalition State Government will contribute $350,000 over 4 years to the running of the ‘Australian Adventure Festival’ in East Gippsland.  Tim is pictured with EGM Board Member, Richard Rijs, EGM Marketing Manager, Karly McCaskill and EGM Adventure Festival sub-committee member, John Morton.

State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today announced that if the Coalition is successful on November 29 it will contribute $350,000 over four years to the running of the “Australian Adventure Festival” in East Gippsland.

Mr Bull said it was intended to run the inaugural event - the proposal for which came from East Gippsland Marketing (EGM) - from October 16-18, 2015 and it was expected to attract in excess of 2,000 competitors in year one (plus spectators and partners) and grow significantly in the ensuing years.

The proposal was developed by EGM, which received State and Local Government funds to develop a signature event for the region. Mr Bull paid tribute to EGM for the terrific work it had done on the project and acknowledged the East Gippsland Shire, which will provide matching funding.

Mr Bull said there would be several events as part of the Festival, including:
•    A three day Adventure Race pitched at Elite Athletes that incorporates trail running, kayaking, mountain biking and an adventure caving activity.
•    A one day Adventure Challenge pitched at non-elite athletes or ‘weekend warriors’ looking to challenge their fitness and endurance.
•    Sporting races specifically targeting the Individual disciplines so that those athletes skilled in mountain biking, trail running or kayaking can compete in the ultimate race for their discipline.

“In addition, it is planned to have family friendly activities across the weekend providing sporting challenges for kids that mirror the adventure series; and shopping and food experiences including a nightly market.

“Lakes Entrance will be the focal point and base destination of the event, however the sporting challenges will take place throughout the East Gippsland region.

“The Australian Adventure Festival would bring together the world of adventure sports to compete in ultimate adventure challenges, all held in one of the most picturesque and diverse nature based destinations in Victoria.

“Based on estimated participation from the report that has been done, the event is expected to return an economic benefit of $2.4million in year one, growing exponentially as the competitor pool increases, but funds are required to get it off the ground.”

“The area would reap enormous benefits from an event such as this and as a region we need to get behind a proposal such as this and not only test the water, but make it work.”

EGM manager, Karly McCaskill, said there is currently no other comprehensive adventure festival that provides the best and most challenging events for the three categories of competitors including mountain biking, trail running and kayaking.

“The event is clearly aligned with the Gippsland and Victorian brand attributes including links to nature based tourism,” she said.

“We are thrilled to have this commitment for this important event in East Gippsland.”

Mr Bull said Victoria is the sporting capital of Australia, and this commitment not only builds on that reputation, it gives regional Victoria the opportunity to benefit directly from the economic returns that sporting events attract.

Both Ms McCaskill and Mr Bull called on Labor to commit to bipartisan support for the event.

Published in Media
Sunday, 16 November 2014 14:35

New fire station at Raymond Island

new satellite fire station has been officially opened at Raymond Island as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to upgrade or build 250 new fire stations.

Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull today opened the Raymond Island satellite fire station on behalf of the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Bushfire Response Kim Wells.
Mr Bull said the station cost almost $208,000 and formed part of the Napthine Government’s investment of $125 million over the past three years to upgrade or build 250 CFA stations across the state.

“With work on all 250 of these stations complete, this program has been completed on time and more than $5 million under budget,” Mr Bull said

“The Raymond Island satellite fire station is a modern facility which has been designed to support the brigade and the island’s future needs.”

The new station provides the brigade’s Raymond Island members with a communications centre and a new kitchen and amenities.

Mr Bull said the station will help the Paynesville Fire Brigade increase community protection on Raymond Island.

“The government is proud of the vital work performed by almost 60,000 CFA volunteers who help protect 3.3 million Victorians, and more than one-million homes and properties across the state.

Mr Bull said the Napthine Coalition Government had worked hard to deliver significant investments for the region’s emergency services.

“CFA brigades are the heart of regional communities and I am proud to make this announcement to deliver this significant new station that will ensure Raymond Island is fire ready,” Mr Bull said.   

“Since 2010, $2.29 billion in funding has been provided to Victoria’s fire agencies, more than any previous government.”

Mr Bull said this financial year the CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than when Labor left office in 2010.

“Community safety is paramount, and the Coalition Government is delivering on our commitment to strengthen Victoria’s emergency services and ensure all Victorians and their families are better protected,” Mr Bull said.

Published in Media
Saturday, 15 November 2014 14:39

New fire station for Bemm River CFA

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured with Bemm River community members at the opening of the new $560,000 CFA Station.

Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull today officially opened the new $560,000 CFA station at Bemm River and handed over the keys to a new 4WD, enhancing emergency response capabilities for the brigade and local community.

Mr Bull said the investment highlights the Napthine Coalition Government’s unwavering commitment to increasing community protection across regional and rural Victoria.

“The new station is the first purpose built station for the brigade, which has been serving the local community since the 1970s, and it will ensure volunteers have access to the latest specialist equipment and resources to increase protection for our region and boost their own personal safety.

“Responding to fires and other emergencies including search and road rescue, this new facility will provide an important infrastructure asset that will protect life and property for many years to come.”

The 3-bay station features new amenities and improved meeting facilities that can be used by the local community, and also features a permanent back-up generator.

Mr Bull said that the Coalition Government has also provided a new slip-on unit for Bemm River, which has been partially funded through a grant from the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) program.

“This new $67,000 slip-on unit is vital to the Bemm River fleet as it is more manoeuvrable than the larger trucks and can respond rapidly as a first response vehicle,” Mr Bull said.

Mr Bull said the Coalition Government supported CFA brigades and other volunteer emergency services organisations through programs such as the VESEP.

”In 2014-15, the Government is matching last year’s record investment of $12.23 million in VESEP, for the acquisition of additional emergency services vehicles, operational equipment and upgraded amenities, like Bemm River’s new 4WD.

“Of this, CFA have received grants and initiatives worth close to $9 million.”

Mr Bull said the Coalition Government was proud to support the almost 60,000 CFA volunteers who work across more than 1,200 brigades protecting their fellow Victorians.

“This financial year the CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than when Labor left office in 2010,” Mr Bull said.

“Community safety is paramount, and the Coalition Government is delivering on our commitment to strengthen Victoria’s emergency services and ensure all Victorians and their families are better protected.”

Published in Media
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