Have a merry Christmas and safe New Year
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all residents of East Gippsland a merry Christmas and happy New Year.
The festive season an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends and create many great memories. It is also a great time to recharge the batteries and what better place to do it in than East Gippsland.
However you choose to spend your holiday season, whether it be boating on the Gippsland Lakes, fishing off Lakes Entrance, Marlo or Mallacoota, camping in our National Parks or heading to one of our many beautiful mountain regions like Omeo or the Snowy River region, please remain vigilant and safe, especially when you are on the roads or waterways.
It is also worth remembering, this time of year can bring sadness to some through loneliness, loss of a loved one during the year or another reason. If you have someone close who may be going through this, try and spare them some time.
As Christmas brings with it an array of shopping needs, I also encourage everyone to shop locally to support our local traders and economy.
This region is full of those who are proud and passionate about where they live and the issues that are important to them. I look forward to working with the entire East Gippsland community in 2017.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Drainage program a Coalition project
The official opening this morning of the East Bairnsdale Wetlands project, which has opened up additional land for development through addressing drainage and surface water issues, was another important local project funded by the former State Coalition Government coming to fruition, State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said.
“The venture attracted funding of $1.7 million from the former Coalition Government, $1m from the Federal Government and $350,000 from East Gippsland Shire Council,” Mr Bull said.
“It is yet another project the current State Government would like locals to think it had something to do with, when in fact it was the former Coalition State Government that was the contributor to this project, which has been overseen by East Gippsland Shire,” he said.
“In fact the state contribution came out of the Regional Growth Fund, which supported many projects in this town, including the new library, mall upgrade, All Abilities Playground and this development to name a few – a fund this Labor Government scrapped on coming to power.
“We all know the benefits Patties Foods brings to the region with its employment this project will allow expansion of that business and address the impediments to others that were being created by stormwater,” Mr Bull said.
Minister for Regional Development, Fiona Nash, said the Federal Coalition Government invested $1 million towards the drainage upgrade and was pleased to partner with all levels of government and local businesses to complete this project.
“This new land will help create local jobs. The two new wetlands and drainage system is a great outcome for residents and businesses who were having troubles with stormwater management,” Minister Nash said.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, joined the community for the official opening of the project today.
“This is about unlocking new opportunities for the East Gippsland region.
“Patties Foods is now able to expand, creating more jobs for the community. New industrial and residential land will also be unlocked for future development and water quality in the Gippsland Lakes will improve,” he said.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Neighbourhood Watch groups will receive Coalition support
Neighbourhood Watch networks in the Gippsland East electorate will be better resourced to continue providing their vital services under a future Coalition Government.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the Coalition would provide $2 million over four years to fund locally-based crime prevention initiatives and central head-office coordination.
“This comes after the current State Government has failed to renew the $600,000 in funding over four years the previous Coalition Government provided,” Mr Bull said.
“Aside from the funding cut, the chief executive officer resigned, leaving the organisation with limited resources to run and co-ordinate programs and community safety initiatives.
“This has all come at the same time where we have had an increase in crime and stations either heavily understaffed or closed to the public.
“There are two Neighbourhood Watch networks (Wellington and East Gippsland) servicing constituents in my electorate. These hardworking volunteers have served the community for decades and deserve our support."
Mr Bull said the Government had also scrapped its Crime Prevention portfolio.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, says the a future Coalition Government will provide Neighbourhood Watch with $2 million over four years to allow them to continue providing their services to help prevent crime across Victoria.
Minister questioned on Gelantipy Road
The need to repair Gelantipy Road, particularly in the vicinity of the 115-kilometre marker, has been raised in State Parliament by Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
Mr Bull asked the Roads Minister whether he believes it was acceptable for VicRoads to reduce the speed limit along Gelantipy Road to 80km/h (from 100km/h) as a result of its poor condition.
“My office has been contacted about this section of road by a number of constituents who are concerned about both its condition and the reduction of the speed limit to 80km/h,” Mr Bull told Parliament.
Mr Bull said his office had previously raised the matter with VicRoads, which confirmed the speed reduction was due to the condition of the road and that it “does not form part of the current roads program”.
“This is after Labor has come to office and slashed $307 million in two years with cuts to the Road Asset Management Budget and the Road Operations and Networks Budget, while also scrapping the Country Roads and Bridges Program, which provided $160m to regional councils for works that fall under its jurisdiction.
“We are seeing speed limits being reduced in all parts of the State while our road surfaces continue to deteriorate.
“Local residents have told me that speed limits are being reduced due to the condition of the roads rather than fixing them.
“As a result they have asked me to seek the Minister’s views on whether this is an acceptable situation and whether the Minister intends to reinstate the cuts to road funding to address such matters,” he said.
The Minister has 30 days to respond.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Funding for sporting clubs
A new grant stream has opened to allow sporting clubs update their equipment, train their volunteers and improve their operational effectiveness.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has encouraged all local clubs and organisations to apply for round two of the Sporting Club Grants program, which is open until February 15, 2017.
“Grant streams like this offer a great opportunity for clubs and associations to purchased new equipment and help improve their overall capabilities,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said the grants program had three categories:
• Uniforms or Equipment – up to $1000 to purchase new uniforms or equipment vital for participation in the sport (category one).
• Skill Development – up to $2000 to improve the skills of club members by providing training for coaches, officials, administration staff and management committees (category two).
• Club Operational Capacity – up to $5000 to improve the operational effectiveness and efficiency of clubs through strategic planning, or to increase community participation through accessible sport and active recreation opportunities (category three).
“Clubs and organisations can submit one application in category one and one in either category two or three in each funding round.”
Mr Bull said 14 organisations from across the Gippsland East electorate were successful in round one of the Sporting Club Grants program.
“Lindenow Football Netball Club, for example, received $5000 for a strategic plan to help prepare for the future, while many others including the Maffra and Stratford bowling clubs received funding for new uniforms and equipment.”
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, with Lindenow Football Netball Club representatives Chris Blandford (president), Joanne Hurley, Luke Dyer and Alyshia Kennedy, who received a $5000 Sporting Club Grant earlier this year.
Friday, December 9, 2016
CFA volunteers let down again
Volunteer firefighters have been let down again by the State Government after it yesterday voted against a bill put forward by the Liberal-Nationals Coalition.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the Coalition’s Country Fire Authority Amendment (Protecting CFA Volunteers) Bill sought to enshrine the rights of Victorian firefighters’ in legislation, following the ongoing EBA dispute.
“This Bill would have ensured that the CFA didn’t enter into any agreement that could have an adverse effect on the interests of volunteer firefighters under the Volunteer Charter,” Mr Bull said.
“It is therefore disappointing that the people who are elected to run our State vote against such a decision and back their union mates as pay back for helping them get elected in marginal seats at the 2014 election.”
Mr Bull said the United Firefighters Union had tried to bully the CFA into signing a common law deed that would force through key clauses in the proposed enterprise bargaining agreement.
Despite questioning from the Coalition in Parliament yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews would not rule out doing a side deal with the United Firefighters Union, which could give it veto powers over CFA management decisions.
Mr Bull said the Government’s attack on volunteers had left the CFA heading into a dangerous summer fire season with the dispute still unresolved.
“When this government sacked the board 176 days ago, it said the dispute had ended. This is definitely not the case,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, is concerned for CFA volunteers like those at Valencia Creek Fire Brigade, after the State Government’s decision not to support the Country Fire Authority Amendment (Protecting CFA Volunteers) Bill.
Thursday, December 8, 2016