Madness of scrapping wild dog bounty highlighted in Department's own figures
The wild dog bounty, cut by this State Government and costing less than one full-time wage per annum, was resulting in more dogs being caught than department trappers are catching – despite “around 24” staff being allocated to wild dog control.
This point was raised in State Parliament this week by Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, who said the Andrews Government’s stubbornness not to reintroduce the wild dog bounty made absolutely no sense at all.
“In a recent media comment, a departmental spokesperson was quoted as saying there were around 24 staff members working on wild dog control,” Mr Bull said.
“In 2015/16 the Department’s figures show 432 dogs were caught by staff in Gippsland and the north-east. This is up from 397 in 2014/15 and is the first time in several years there has been a reported increase,” he said.
“When you compare the cost of trapping these 432 dogs against the bounty, which paid out under $60,000 per year and was producing 526 dogs on average per year, you have to ask why the bounty was scrapped.
“More importantly, you have to ask why the Minister will not reinstate the bounty when presented with these facts. I am certainly not advocating for a reduction in the number of staff working in wild dog control, but we should have the bounty running alongside this effort.
“It was producing a result that more than doubled the effort of the 24 working in the wild dog control area at the cost of less than one full-time staff member.
“The Victorian Farmers’ Federation has also likened the bounty to the doubling of staff for the cost of less than one staff member.
“I understand the Minister ordered a review of wild dog management some time ago, but nothing has happened despite that report being due in August.
“This is just a no brainer and the Minister should act immediately to support our farmers,” Mr Bull said.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Grants open to emergency service volunteers
A new grants stream to provide new equipment, updated facilities and further education and training has is open to Victoria’s emergency services personnel.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants Program was open to brigades, units, clubs and volunteers from the Country Fire Authority, State Emergency Service and Life Saving Victoria, along with marine search and rescue providers and other organisations identified in the Emergency Management Manual Victoria.
“Emergency service groups offer a great deal to the East Gippsland community and I would encourage these organisations to apply for funding through this program,” Mr Bull said.
“Emergency Management Victoria is offering a grant pool of $15 million to these organisations, which is great.”
Mr Bull said grants were available for:
• Operational equipment;
• Facility improvements and maintenance;
• Community engagement and education;
• Training and development (which includes program fees, travel and facility hire; and
• Other requirements that volunteers believe will develop their brigade, unit or club’s services to the community and enhance their sustainability.
Mr Bull said local groups would need to visit the Emergency Management Victoria website for more information and to apply for a grant.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Stratford-Maffra Road stretch set for reseal
Having repeatedly raised the poor condition of Stratford-Maffra Road in State Parliament this year, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has received confirmation works will soon be undertaken. “After questioning the Minister again recently, he has advised VicRoads’ resealing program has been ‘reprioritised’, with a 1.45-kilometre stretch of the Stratford-Maffra Road to be resealed due to ‘further deterioration of the surface’,” Mr Bull said.
“Today the Minister has written to me confirming VicRoads has reprioritised its works in Gippsland and that this work had been added to the agenda,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said it was great news for the residents of Stratford, Maffra, Heyfield and other surrounding towns, who use the road every day.
“Having travelled the road regularly over recent months, I have seen first-hand its continual deterioration,” he said.
“I have noted that there were more than 120 patches on the six-kilometre stretch, along with other areas where the surface is broken and the shoulders crumbling.”
The Minister has confirmed the works will occur “in the warmer months”.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, inspects one area on the Stratford-Maffra Road that will be fixed as part of a VicRoads’ “reprioritised” resealing program.
Thursday, September 29, 2016