September 2014
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 11:44

East Gippsland coast to receive helping hand

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, inspects erosion works on the lower reaches of the Tambo River with Ken Judd from East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. Lower Tambo Landcare Group received $10,580 for its Lower Tambo River Mouth Development Project.

Coastal areas in East Gippsland are set to receive a $47,510 boost from the Victorian Coalition Government.  

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today announced the latest round of Coastcare funding from the Napthine Government will help volunteers and local community groups support projects along the coastline.

Projects to receive Coastcare funding include:
•    $10,580 - Lower Tambo Landcare Group Inc, for the Lower Tambo River Mouth Development project.
•    $5,750 - Marlo Landcare Group for the restoring Littoral Rainforest in the Marlo Foreshore Reserve project    
•    $19,910 - Gippsland Plains Conservation Management Network for the Lakes to creek project: improving a Gippsland Lakes link to Forge Creek    
•    $10,500 - East Gippsland Rainforest Conservation Management Network    Coastal Rainforest Rescue Project
•    $770 - Eagle Point Landcare/Coastcare for its public awareness project - Urban Gardens in Coastal Environments project.

“In the East Gippsland region, funding will support important local environment projects that maintain and support our native plants and animals in coastal areas,” Mr Bull said.   

“We love our coastline in East Gippsland and through this funding and the commitment of the Napthine Government we’re protecting our coastal areas for generations to come,” Mr Bull said.  

Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith, said the Coalition Government’s $1.1 million investment into the Coastcare program supports partnership working between government, community and environmental groups.

“The Coastcare program is providing local community groups with the support they need to deliver environmental benefits at a local level,” Mr Smith said.

“It is great to see more Victorians taking part in coastal volunteering programs, as we all have a part to play in caring for our coasts.

“These grants are another example of the Napthine Government’s commitment to deliver real and tangible support to local communities,” Mr Smith said.  

For more information visit

Published in Media
Friday, 26 September 2014 11:43

Local Aboriginal people inducted into Honour Roll

Bessie Yarram and her family celebrate Bessie's induction into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.

Gippsland Aboriginal leaders Bess Yarram, Robert ‘Jumbo’ Pearce, Alice Thomas and Henry ‘Harry’ Thorpe were inducted into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll at a ceremony in Melbourne on Wednesday night.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said of the 15 inductees it was a privilege to see four people from East Gippsland recognised for their service to both the Aboriginal and broader communities.

“They all served in different capacities, but all sought to better things for those around them,” Mr Bull said.

Bess Yarram was a founder of the Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation, which today provides health and other community services in Sale and Morwell.

At the age of 76, Bessie is still active as an Elder in both the Koori Court and Children’s Koori Court.

She is Chairperson of the Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee, member of the Aboriginal Justice Forum and also Deputy Chair of the Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.

Robert ‘Jumbo’ Pearce was a founder of the Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative.

His contribution to the Victorian Aboriginal community is also reflected by his membership in the Koorie Heritage Trust, the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc., the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and the Bairnsdale Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.  

‘Jumbo’, as he was known, passed away last year.

Alice Thomas was born at Lake Tyers in 1919 and made a lifelong contribution to the Victorian and Gippsland Aboriginal communities in the fields of arts and community services.

She moved to Fitzroy during the Second Wold War and raised a family in Gertrude Street with her first husband Nanson Young (from Bairnsdale).

Her home was open to all new arrivals to Melbourne and also acted as a church for Pastor Doug Nicholls before the church was built in Gore Street.

Alice eventually moved to Broadmeadows with her second husband Frank Thomas and their children after stints picking beans in Gippsland.

Alice always maintained her connection with Fitzroy with her musical performances an uplifting feature at many Aboriginal community funerals at St Mark’s church in Fitzroy.

Until her passing at the age of 95 in May 2014, Alice was the most senior Elder of the Gunai people and Victoria’s oldest Aboriginal person.

Henry ‘Harry’ Thorpe volunteered for military service at Sale on 12 February 1916 at the age of 28 years.

He joined the 7th Battalion on the French and Belgium border.

As a result of his skill and leadership in battle at Ypres, in October 1917 Harry was recommended for the Military Medal and was promoted to the rank of Corporal.

He was critically wounded and died soon after and is buried at a military cemetery in France.

This is the fourth year for the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll, which now has 64 inductees.

Mr Bull said the many achievements of the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll inductees should be celebrated by, and shared with everyone.

“The recognition of the achievements of these exceptional Aboriginal people is an important part of closing the gap and reconciliation,” Mr Bull said.

“There are many other people, both past and present, who deserve to be formally acknowledged in the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll, so I encourage everyone to start considering nominations for next year,” Mr Bull said.

For more information on the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll go to

Published in Media
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:22

Trout stocked at Heyfield

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, on a recent visit to Heyfield, discussed the many activities available for families at the Heyfield Wetlands with members of the Heyfield Racecourse Committee of Management.   Chances of catching a fish in the lake have significantly improved thanks to the stocking of 200 rainbow trout.

More than 26,000 catchable size rainbow trout have been stocked across Victoria in time for the school holidays, including 200 Rainbow Trout at Heyfield’s Racecourse Lake.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the Victorian Coalition Government’s Family Fishing Lakes program aimed to boost freshwater fishing opportunities for families and children who planned to wet a line during the school break.

“Fishing is a great outdoor pastime and one that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill level. The Coalition Government is committed to improving recreational fishing opportunities across the state, so Victoria can remain a top fishing destination,” Mr Bull said.

“Seventy small lakes in metropolitan and regional Victoria have been stocked with rainbow trout to make it easier for kids to land a catch these school holidays.

“Most of the lakes that have been stocked feature convenient access for families with bankside tracks, fishing platforms, picnic tables and other facilities.

“Rainbow trout are a good option for children or those new to fishing because they are relatively easy to catch and take a variety of baits and lures, so this program provides the ideal opportunity for children to practice their skills or try fishing for the first time.”

Mr Bull said the stockings were funded through both fishing licence fees and the Coalition Government’s $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative.

“Recreational fishing makes an important social and economic contribution to Victoria and the Coalition Government is committed to investing in projects that improve fishing opportunities as we build a better Victoria,” Mr Bull said.

Anglers are reminded that a daily bag limit of five trout applies in Family Fishing Lakes, of which only two trout can exceed 35 centimetres.

For more information about catch limits refer to the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide, available free from most good fishing tackle shops, online at
or by downloading the free ‘Vic Fishing’ app for smartphones.

For a full list of stocked Family Fishing Lakes visit

Published in Media
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 10:50

$25,000 for Licola Wilderness Village

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, discusses Licola Wilderness Village’s sustainability measures with Operations Manager Adam Wake

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has announced that 25,000 has been allocated to Licola Wilderness Village to help them reduce costs and be more environmentally friendly by conserving energy and reducing waste.

“This funding will help Licola Wilderness Village put in place more environmentally friendly measures that help reduce operating costs, boosts productivity and reduces their environmental footprint,” Mr Bull said.

Licola Wilderness Village Operations Manager, Adam Wake, said the $25,000 grant from Sustainability Victoria has acted as a spring board for us in our commitment to put in an additional $40,000 of our own funds to further our goal of greater energy efficiency.  

“As we are not connected to the grid we presently rely on monthly diesel deliveries to fuel our three generators supplying approximately 75% of the town's power needs.

“We plan take make a number of changes including;
•    A new gas fired combination oven replacing an existing electric oven,
•    Rebuilding our 88Kva generator increasing fuel efficiency from 30% to 36% and the reprogramming of the diesel control system for further savings,
•    An electricity metering display and monitoring system,
•    Replacing a number of lights to LED sensor lights,
•    Changing the water treatment/ delivery pump to a variable speed pump.

“Just these changes alone are expected to net an annual saving of around $30,000 with further savings attributable to habit or operational changes,” Mr Wake 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 Licola Wilderness Village receiving a boost from these sustainability grants

“This is another example of how the Napthine Government is supporting small to medium sized businesses to implement measures that will ensure they remain competitive in today’s market,” Mr Bull 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

Published in Media
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 10:48

Disability access for Buchan Caves

Nessa Williames experiences the Buchan caves for the very first time thanks to Parks Victoria’s new stairclimber guided by Parks rangers, Danny Mitton and John Kenwright.

A new stairclimber and motorised all-terrain wheelchair at Buchan Caves Reserve will help people with a disability to enjoy the spectacular caves and its surrounds, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said yesterday.

Mr Bull joined Parks Victoria staff and other guests to launch the innovative equipment at Buchan Caves Reserve and see it being used.

“This stairclimber will allow children and small adults with a disability to experience the spectacular beauty of the Fairy Cave for the first time ever. It’s wonderful that these popular experiences will now be available to more people,” he said.

In the past, the steep and narrow steps leading to the caves made it impossible for those using a wheelchair or walking stick to access the caves. However, the specially designed stairclimber that will be operated by Parks Victoria cave guides can take children and small adults with limited mobility into the Fairy Cave.

Also launched today was Australia’s first motorised all-terrain wheelchair that will be available to help people with limited mobility explore Buchan Caves Reserve and Cape Conran Coastal Park.

“All-terrain wheelchairs are suited for sandy and semi-rough tracks and this new motorised version was designed to make it easier for people to explore the hilly trails in these areas,” said Mr Bull.
The all-terrain wheelchair is suitable for children and adults, is easy to disassemble and fits in the back of a station wagon. There is no charge for visitors to use the chairs.

“Victoria is the first state in Australia to have these all-terrain wheelchairs and other states are now showing interest in the program and utilising our expertise and experience with them. It’s exciting that we have the first ever motorised version here in East Gippsland at Buchan Caves Reserve,” he said.

Two new picnic tables that can be accessed by people in wheelchairs are also soon to be installed at Buchan Caves Reserve. The Victorian Government has invested a total of $28,825 for the new accessibility equipment at the reserve.

The equipment is part of a broader program instigated by Parks Victoria to improve park access for all. The program has resulted in 15 wheelchairs being provided in seven parks across Victoria in the past three years.

Special accommodation equipment has also been installed in selected parks, and park programs for people with disabilities and carers have been established. In addition, Parks Victoria’s website has new park access information, photos and descriptions for over 35 of Victoria’s most visited parks to make people’s park adventures more enjoyable.

For further information visit Parks Victoria at or call 13 1963.

Published in Media
Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:43

Early years funding boost

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, caught up with Lucy Bradley, Helen Scott (Acting Manager) and Alyssa Ellis at Early Learning Bairnsdale to congratulate staff and students on the recent $11,500 in State funding grants the centre received.

East Gippsland early learning facilities will share in $25,686 in State Government grants, State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, announced today.

“This is great news for East Gippsland families as their children will be able to directly benefit from these upgraded early years services,” Mr Bull said.

Mr Bull said Goodstart Early Learning Bairnsdale had received both a minor capital works grant for $10,000.00 which would be used to build a dividing wall and hand basin and reorganise the kindergarten room and an IT grant of $1,500 which would be used to purchase a touch table for administration purposes.

Other East Gippsland early learning facilities to receive funding were:

  • Lakes Entrance Preschool - $1,500 IT Grant to purchase a Desktop computer
  • Paynesville Kindergarten - $1,500 IT Grant to purchase    4 iPads
  • Save the Children Kindergarten - Nowa Nowa - $10,000.00 Minor Facilities Grant to refurbish a demountable to be used for health service providers and teachers to meet with parents and conduct activities with children in private.
  • Swan Reach & District Kindergarten - $1,186.00    to purchase desktop computers

The Minor grants worth up to $10,000 each will enhance kindergarten programs by improving disability access, building better playgrounds, installing sensory gardens, building bigger playrooms and maximising storage space for centres.

The Information Technology grants worth up to $1,500 each, will supply kindergartens across Victoria with around 200 desktop computers, 150 tablets, 80 laptops, 25 printers and 20 touch tables to better support early years teachers and staff.  

Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, Wendy Lovell, said the grants were crucial to ensuring Victorian early years services can continue to deliver the world class learning programs for Victorian families.

“Victoria already leads the nation in early childhood education and care, and by improving early years facilities and infrastructure, we are making Victoria an even better place for families to raise their children,” Ms Lovell said.

Since December 2010, a record $120 million has been invested in building and upgrading facilities across the state, generating hundreds of jobs in building, construction and related industries.

Published in Media
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