No additional police guaranteed
The State Police Minister has refused to confirm if additional police from outside East Gippsland will be provided to peak holiday locations like Lakes Entrance and Mallacoota this holiday season.
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, asked the Minister in Parliament if there would be more resource support, given local concerns about the massive recent crime rate increases and significant population increases again expected over the upcoming holiday period.
“The specific reason I asked about police being provided from ‘outside the region’ is because there’s been talk that additional police will be supplied to these locations from Bairnsdale.
“However, Bairnsdale police also have large holiday crowds to deal with at locations like Paynesville and Eagle Point. There is a strong argument they also ought to have additional resources.
“When you have Lakes Entrance growing from 6,500 people to 60,000 and Mallacoota from 1,000 to 5,000, regular police rosters can’t cope. Help must come from outside East Gippsland.
“Unfortunately the Minister’s response said ‘how and where resources are deployed is a matter for the Chief Commissioner’.
“She went on to say Victoria Police considers the population in tourist areas when planning police staffing and that current planning for the 2016/17 holiday season is currently underway.
“However, it’s not good enough that here we are in early December resourcing is still being planned. This should have been sorted out months ago given the well-publicised issues of the Lakes Entrance station being closed daily over the Christmas holiday period last year.
“One of the reasons this occurred is because last year there were no additional police from outside the region. In times past additional officers were redeployed from other areas of the state and it should happen again.
“Last year was simply not good enough; our local officers need more support.
“What gives me little confidence is that after it took the Premier two years to visit East Gippsland, his fly-in fly-out visit to Mallacoota provided the perfect chance to announce additional holiday resourcing, but he said nothing,” Mr Bull said.
Monday, December 5, 2016
Toy run a great community event
All is in readiness for the ninth annual Bairnsdale Toy Run, to be held this Sunday, December 11, according to Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
“The Toy Run is a great community event with The Salvation Army teaming up with a great group of locals to distribute presents to those who otherwise might not receive one at Christmas,” Mr Bull said.
“It’s fantastic to be able to help promote the Toy Run which is now in its ninth year. I expect this year to be really big and then the 10th anniversary of the ride next year to be even bigger,” he said.
Mr Bull said the Toy Run would assemble at Bunnings Warehouse in Bairnsdale about 10am and leave at 11am, travelling to Bruthen (11.25am), Nowa Nowa (12.05pm) and Lakes Entrance (12.45pm at Apex Park) before returning to Bairnsdale about 1.30pm, while picking up more riders and collecting toys along the journey.
“The gifts will then be presented to The Salvation Army at 1.45pm back at Bunnings.”
Mr Bull said gifts could be dropped off to Bunnings Warehouse, the Bruthen Bakery and Bruthen General Store, Mingling Waters in Nowa Nowa, and Cheap As and the Griffith’s Sea Shell Museum in Lakes Entrance.
There will also be a colouring competition for the young ones, with a draw at the at a Bunnings family night on Thursday, December 8, according to Mr Bull.
Caption: Bairnsdale Toy Run organisers David Tomkins and Rod and Wendy Thirlwell, The Salvation Army’s Eileen McKelvey and Claire and Dave Jones, and Bunnings Warehouse’s Tony Nasrallah promote the upcoming event with Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull (centre).
Monday, December 5, 2016
Labor's new wild dog committee - media statement
The announcement of Labor’s new Wild Dog Management Advisory Committee is a classic case of “say one thing, but do another”.
In announcing the new committee structure, Minister Pulford has said “we're putting farmers and community input at the centre of wild dog management across Victoria" and Labor Upper House member, Harriet Shing, has followed up with the statement that “community input, knowledge and engagement is crucial in tackling wild dog populations”.
If this is the case and landholders are critical, my simple question to the Andrews Government is why has it cut farmer/landholder representation on the new committee in half?
The Wild Dog Advisory Committee Labor sacked earlier this year had six landholders on the board and the replacement group will have only three, so how is cutting farmer representation in half “putting farmer input at the centre of wild dog management”.
It has also clear there will be only one representative from East Gippsland when on the last committee there were three.
This reduction in farmer knowledge, those at the coal face, is according to the terms of reference, being replaced by members with experience in “knowledge of dingo conservation and ecology” and “knowledge of catchment management”.
This is hypocrisy at its best.
Friday, December 2, 2016