January 2014
Monday, 13 January 2014 12:45

New wild dog aerial baiting bid clears first hurdle

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has welcomed news the Victorian Coalition Government’s new application for aerial baiting to combat the destructive wild dog populations in East Gippsland will now proceed for public consultation.

Attending the annual gathering of Victoria’s Mountain Cattlemen’s Association, Mr Bull was on hand to hear the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Peter Walsh, announce the revised application was submitted to the Commonwealth Government in December, as promised to farmers and land managers.

“It is now ready to proceed to the 20-day public consultation period required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act,” said Mr Bull.

“This is a positive step forward for Victoria’s application, beyond where we reached last time.

“If the application secures final approval from the Commonwealth, Victoria will be ready to deploy an aerial baiting program across six sites in North East Victoria and East Gippsland this autumn,” Mr Bull said.

Mr Walsh said Victoria has been greatly encouraged in dealing with a new Commonwealth Government that has more pragmatic views on aerial baiting for wild dog control.

“The revised application also included new information that the Victorian Government believes clearly demonstrates aerial baiting will not adversely impact spotted-tail quoll populations.

“This extra information includes the equivalent of 5,000 days of monitoring of animal movements taken by 113 remote cameras that were operating between December 2012 and March 2013. Quolls were not detected in the areas monitored,” Mr Walsh said.

“The previous Labor federal government rejected Victoria’s original application on ridiculous grounds, treating Victoria differently to New South Wales where aerial baiting has been permitted.

“However the Victorian Coalition has always believed that aerial baiting would provide valuable support to on-ground control measures like shooting, trapping and baiting, and the change of government in Canberra brought an opportunity to pursue the issue again.”

The revised aerial baiting application is the Victorian Coalition Government’s latest step in ongoing improvements to wild dog control.

“The Victorian Coalition Government has demonstrated strong and ongoing commitment to helping communities in the North East and East Gippsland combat these destructive and costly pests,” Mr Walsh said.

“In December I launched the Victorian Wild Dog Action Plan which, for the first time, will see local communities involved in the setting of operational targets and local area work plans for public and private land in each of the 15 wild dog management zones.

“The Victorian Coalition Government has achieved more advances in wild dog control in three years than the previous Labor government achieved over a decade.”

Victorian Coalition Government wild dog control initiatives since 2011 include: •    Starting regulatory work that will permit mobile fresh bait manufacture; •    Simplifying native vegetation clearance exemptions to help farmers who use boundary electric fences for wild dog control; •    Introducing the wild dog bounty and doubling it to $100. More than 1,000 pelts have since been handed in; •    Expanding community baiting programs, including working with private landowners to bait on public land; •    Restructured the Wild Dog Control Advisory Committee to provide government with strategic advice; •    Maintaining the 72 hour check rule for traps after Labor tried to reduce it; •    Cutting red tape to allow wild dog controllers to more easily work outside the 3km buffer; •    Increasing the strength of 1,080 baits; •    Baiting deeper than ever before into remote Crown Land; •    Reintroducing lanes traps; •    Moving to a flexible resource model, using contract and casual staff, with full support of the Wild Dog Control Advisory Committee

Published in Media
Friday, 10 January 2014 12:44

Key projects to assist local Indigenous families.

Three local Indigenous organisations are set to receive funding for programs aimed at tackling family violence Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, announced today.

Mr Bull said family violence was a significant issue for both indigenous and non-indigenous communities, and programs such as these aimed to promote awareness and education of family violence within the local community.

The three local projects include:

$21,000 - Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Service  - Sista’s day out.  This project will run workshops including the provision of practical and accessible information around family violence, laws, support and referral networks.

$15,000 - Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust - Family Violence Awareness Project.  Aims to promote awareness of family violence derived from ‘Take back the night’ and ‘White Ribbon’ principles where local men will take the oath not to commit violence against women and children.

$12,000 - Lakes Entrance Local Indigenous Network – Mr and Mrs NAIDOC 2014.  This year’s event will focus on family violence prevention and awareness, with contestants asked for their opinion, as role models in their community, as to how family violence can be addressed.

Minister for Community Services, Mary Wooldridge, said a range of projects that tackle family violence in Aboriginal communities will be implemented across Victoria.

“The projects are funded through the Indigenous Family Violence Community Initiative Fund and support the Indigenous Family Violence Strategy – a community-led initiative that aims to prevent, reduce and respond to family violence in Aboriginal communities,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Groups, which have been established across Victoria, have been very active in developing local responses and are to be congratulated for their commitment.

“It is encouraging to see Aboriginal communities involved in such varied work to address family violence.”

Thirty-nine projects have been funded through the Community Initiative Fund in 2013-14.

For information on the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018 visit: http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/aboriginal-affairs/aboriginal-affairs-policy/victorian-aboriginal-affairs-framework

Published in Media
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 12:43

East Gippsland benefits from Regional Growth Fund

The Victorian Government’s Regional Growth Fund investment in East Gippsland Shire has reached the $15 million mark on projects with a total value of $23 million.

State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said a number of exciting projects had been delivered and he looked forward to more in 2014.

“This fund really has stimulated an enormous amount of projects, not only in East Gippsland, but all around regional Victoria,” said Mr Bull.

In East Gippsland Shire, the Regional Growth Fund has invested $15.1 million to 56 projects with a total investment value of $23 million, including:

•    $346,000 for the upgrade of Visitor Information Centres in East Gippsland •    $950,000 for the Bairnsdale All Abilities playground •    $300,000 for the $775,000 Paynesville Town Centre improvements project •    $500,000 for the $3.7 million Bairnsdale Library Precinct project •    $500,000 for the $1.2 million Bairnsdale CBD improvement project •    $500,000 for the $886,000 Lakes Entrance on-water refuelling project at Bullock Island •    $300,000 for the $500,000 Patterson Park Metung project •    $80,000 for the Orbost Sensory Gardens path development •    $20,000 for the $80,000 Orbost and District Revitalisation plan •    $300,000 for the $750,000 Paynesville Esplanade enhancement project •    $150,000 for the $3.78 million One Harvest Beetroot project

Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, said the Regional Growth Fund leverages co-investment from business and all levels of government into community-led regional projects to produce jobs and benefits for country communities.

“Other components of the Regional Growth Fund have created many more regional jobs.

 “When the regions do well, Victoria does well. That’s why the Regional Growth Fund was established – to deliver for country Victorians,” Mr Ryan said.

For more information, visit www.rdv.vic.gov.au/regional-growth-fund

Published in Media
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 12:27

Road safety improvements for motorcyclists

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today said that works have started on more than $2 million of safety improvements for motorcyclists on Bonang Road and Monaro Highway.

“These roads are popular scenic tourist routes and are used regularly by many local riders,” Mr Bull said.

“The safety improvements taking place are important because they potentially stop an accident occurring or will lessen the severity of the injury if they do.

The road safety upgrades along these roads include: •    extra signs and guideposts to highlight the shape of curves so riders can adjust their speed to better negotiate the road; •    new guardfence safety barriers; •    motorcycle barrier protection, fitted to existing guardfence to lessen the impact and severity if a rider does crash; •    roadside vegetation trimmed or removed to improve visibility and reduce roadside hazards; and •    sealing of key intersecting roads and driveways to stop gravel spilling onto the road.

There have been five recorded motorcycle crashes along the section of the Monaro Highway near Noorinbee North (5.5kms long section will be upgraded) and 17 along the entire length of Bonang Road, where someone was injured.

 “This and other projects underway in the region target key sections of roads where motorcycle crashes are occurring and will provide road safety benefits for all road users,” Mr Bull said.

The projects are funded under the TAC Motorcycle Safety Levy Program and are expected to be completed by the end of June 2014.

Published in Media