Boosting our country regions is vital
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull has laughed off Labor’s criticism of the Liberal National Coalition’s population decentralisation plan to grow rural and regional Victoria.
The Coalition this week launched the Victorian Population Policy Taskforce with the intention of tackling Melbourne’s population growth crisis by supporting rural and regional growth.
“It is well known that with Melbourne bursting at the seams with road congestion and trains, trams and buses overcrowded, it’s vital ways of distributing this growth is incentivised.
“The Victorian population grows by one person every five minutes and almost all of this growth is in Melbourne, while in many rural areas we are seeing the number of residents decrease.
“Planned growth of our regions in a sensible and sustainable way is what we need to achieve and that is what the population growth plan announced today is all about.
“For Labor to come out and say this plan will wreck the character of regional Victoria with no plans for any additional infrastructure is completely laughable on two counts.
“The first is we have population declining in areas like western Victoria and the Latrobe Valley and that is before the Hazelwood closure. These areas need a population injection just to reverse this declining trend and to sustain local economies and jobs.
“The second is the hypocrisy of this Government in talking about infrastructure in rural areas.
“This is the government that removed the Regional Growth Fund that was delivering so much to regional Victorian communities. It also completely removed the Country Roads and Bridges Program and severely cut the Road Asset Management Budget and the Road Operation and Network Improvement Budget, which both benefited country roads.
“It also failed to commit to the continued improvements to the Gippsland rail line upgrade pre-election which the Coalition did and hence nothing is being delivered.
“There is far less being spent on our roads and community infrastructure in rural Victoria under this government and it has the hide to talk about rural infrastructure concerns.
“Their response to our announcement is only criticism, with no alternate plan to support rural economies. The sooner we get rid of this city-centric government and get funds flowing back into rural areas and boost local economies the better,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: State MP Tim Bull says rural areas need sensible population and economic growth to sustain local economies and jobs.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
East Gippsland roads projects funded
East Gippsland can look forward to some significant road upgrades following the announcement today that an agreement has been reached on the reallocation of the Federal Government’s $1.5 billion contribution to East-West Link (that is now not being built).
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, paid tribute to his Federal colleague, Darren Chester in ensuring that a large slice of this ($690m) will now be spent in country Victoria.
“All up we can anticipate more than $120 million of this being spent in Gippsland with several projects in the east of the state.
“As a result of Darren’s insistence that some of this money is reallocated to the country we have seen the Federal Government earmark road projects we have been discussing for some time, including:
• $50 million for Princes Highway East, between Sale and the NSW border;
• $10 million Great Alpine Road (Bruthen to Mt Hotham section); and,
• $10 million for Monaro Highway, Cann River to NSW border.
“The State Government now needs to reinstate the hundreds of millions in recurrent funds for country roads it cut on coming to office.
“This includes the complete removal of the $160 million country roads and bridges program and major reductions in the Road Asset Management Budget and the Road Operation and Network Improvement Budget,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Chester said the package would create jobs and make rural and regional roads safer.
“We are going to see infrastructure investment across Gippsland that is going to change lives and save lives,” Mr Chester said.
“At a time when you are four times more likely to die on a rural and regional road, we need to do more to work with our Victorian counterparts to reduce deaths and serious injuries.”
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Country Victoria misses out on new roads funds
Take a minute to remember
Residents of the Gippsland East electorate are being encouraged to pay their respects to past and present servicemen and women on Remembrance Day tomorrow.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said November 11 was an important day to pause and remember.
“On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month we observe one minute of silence,” Mr Bull said.
“We pause to remember those men and women who have died or suffered in all wars and peacekeeping operations.”
Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War (1914 – 1918). In later years this day took on even greater significance as a day to pay respect to all those who have served in wars, and particularly to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Mr Bull said a number of local towns, including Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Maffra, Heyfield, Stratford and Orbost, would hold commemoration services.
“Our communities make immense contributions to war efforts for more than a century and suffered hardships and tragedy because of those contributions.
“It is important that we mark these sacrifices,” he said.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Maffra mental health training open
Training to help friends, family and work colleagues deal with mental health issues is available in the Maffra area.
Member for Gippsland East and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Tim Bull, said Wellington Primary Care Partnership (PCP) was facilitating free mental health first aid sessions in Maffra, to help support farmers affected by the milk price crisis.
“Wellington PCP has received this funding as part of the State Government’s response to the dairy crisis and starting next Tuesday, November 15, it will hold free training sessions at the Maffra Football Netball Club function centre,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said the course, run over four sessions (November 15, 22, 29 and December 6 from 6pm to 9pm), would teach participants to:
• Identify and approach if you are concerned about someone;
• Listen and understand without judging;
• Pass on information about getting treatment;
• Give help and support to someone experiencing a mental health problem; and
• Know what to do if a crisis situation arises.
“Anyone in the community is welcome to this training. Wellington PCP hopes to get a mix of people, from farmers and their families, tanker drivers, suppliers, neighbours – anyone out there,” he said.
Mr Bull said people could register by visiting www.trybooking.com/233350 or by contacting Wellington PCP on 5143 8843.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016