October 2017
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:05

Fire Royal Commission vital

A Royal Commission into Victoria’s fire services, as promised by the Liberal Nationals Coalition, will result in a safer work environment for volunteer firefighters and ultimately, safer communities, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
“Today’s announcement, an election commitment for 2018, will come as pleasing news for volunteer CFA members from across the region, who have told me they feel there is no longer anyone left to stand up for them and represent their interests,” Mr Bull said.
“This became evident at recent local meetings between volunteer firefighters when I hosted State Opposition Leader, Matthew Guy, in the district,” he said.
“This pledge for a Royal Commission is all about ensuring we protect those who protect us.”
Mr Bull said serious allegations of bullying, intimidation, sexual harassment, discrimination and other forms of detrimental action had been outlined in a series of reports over recent years, without being addressed and he also said there had been allegations of a similar nature from brigades within East Gippsland. 
He said the ongoing dispute over the CFA enterprise bargaining agreement had also led to concerns about operational effectiveness.
“The implications the EBA has on community safety, and the process and conduct of these negotiations, will be a key area of investigation by the Royal Commission.
“This has also contributed to the loss of hundreds of years of emergency services experience between the CFA and MFB, including board members, staff and even a Minister of the Crown, due to the ongoing fight between the UFU, CFA and government,” he said.
“Under the draft terms of reference, the process and conduct of negotiations with respect to the replacement of EBAs will be a key area for investigation by the Royal Commission.
“A Royal Commission that is completely independent of government is now vital and urgent.
“It will be able to critically examine the issues our fire services are facing and come up with evidence-based solutions,” Mr Bull said.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Published in Media
Friday, 27 October 2017 10:11

Psych service to benefit locals

The Royal Flying Doctor Psychological Service, which will launch next Thursday, November 2, will be of great benefit to members of remote local communities, according to Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
Mr Bull said local resident, Birgit Schaedler, who has joined Royal Flying Doctor Service as a mental health clinician, would be holding appointments and engaging with small communities across East Gippsland to raise awareness about mental health.
“This service allows for patients to access appointments with a mental health professional through their local bush nursing centre,” he said.
“Bush nurses will triage patients directly into the service and patients meet with Birgit initially at the bush nursing centre. I know Birgit has worked in this field locally and have no doubt she will do a fantastic job in this role.
“Subsequent appointments are conducted via the secure Flying Doctor Telehealth Service. In addition to providing clinical services, Birgit will also engage with local communities to develop relevant strategies on how to raise awareness and build resilience,” he said.
Mr Bull said the Flying Doctor Psychological Service was something remote communities needed and that it was pleasing to see it come to fruition.
“Many people from these areas, the majority of them farmers and possibly suffering from devastation from bushfire, drought or other natural disasters, need this service,” he said.
“Previously these people wouldn’t have had such easy access to a mental health clinician. It has been a service out of reach for a number of people, as it is not at their doorstop like other areas, but now help is becoming a reality.
“Having worked out of Orbost for the past three years, Birgit will be great for the role and I am sure will be able to assist anyone in the area with arising or ongoing issues,” Mr Bull said.
The Flying Doctor Psychological Service is sponsored by Royal Flying Doctor Service and Gippsland Primary Health Network.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Published in Media
Thursday, 26 October 2017 09:53

Maffra upgrades being considered

The proposed redevelopment of Cameron Sporting Complex will be considered for State Government funding, as requested by Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
Mr Bull recently told Parliament the complex, used regularly by Maffra Amateur Basketball Association, Maffra Gymnastics Club, Maffra Cricket Club, Maffra Junior Football Club and Maffra Hockey Club, was in “dire need of an upgrade to cater for growing participation levels”.
“The Minister has responded saying the project was being considered, which will be pleasing for the local user groups,” Mr Bull said.
“This is a complex that is considered by Gymnastics Victoria and Sport and Recreation Victoria as the regional gymnastics venue for all of Gippsland,” Mr Bull said.
“The project involves extending the current gymnastics floor space, the development of a third multipurpose sports court, which would be multi-lined for basketball, netball and volleyball, and the refurbishment of the changing and meeting rooms, reception and public amenities,” he said.
Mr Bull said Maffra Gymnastic Club alone had a waiting list of more than 100 children who want to take up the sport.
“Given this, I really hope the Government can give this proposal strong consideration,” he said.
“Junior sport has numerous benefits, ranging from physical health development to developing teamwork, while it also teaches discipline, helps build character, strengthens perseverance and boosts self-esteem.
“I also have a firm belief that one of the best ways we can address some of the problems we experience in wider society is to get people, especially young people, involved in and with sport, sports clubs and good role models,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, discusses the importance of upgrading the Cameron Sporting Complex with Maffra Gymnastics Club coach, Robyn Dowse.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Published in Media
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 15:28

Progress of Lakes police ‘review’ queried

Police resourcing at Lakes Entrance over the Christmas holiday period has yet again been raised in State Parliament by Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, due to the Government’s complete silence on the issue he has raised on a number of occasions.
“I raised the matter again as I was advised in January this year the understaffing at this time of year would be ‘reviewed’, but here we are 10 months later and the community has heard nothing,” Mr Bull said.
Speaking in Parliament, Mr Bull said: “As the Minister is aware, the population of Lakes Entrance swells over January with 50,000-plus visitors over this four-week period on top of the regular population of 6,500. The regular police roster of 17 cannot cope.”
Mr Bull said his previous enquires on this issue resulted in a meeting in Lakes Entrance with Victoria Police Chief Commissioner, Graham Ashton, in January, where he committed to “review the situation”.
“Additional police used to be provided for the entire January holiday period, but this has not occurred the past two years, with additional police only provided around the New Year’s Eve period, but not staying on for all of January as is required.
“The past two years it has resulted in the station being closed for periods on most days over the holiday period, which is simply not good enough for one of the state’s peak holiday destinations and having so many people in the town.
“Given the Minister has in the past stated police deployment is a matter for the Chief Commissioner, I again ask that she involves herself in ensuring this issue is addressed.”
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, pictured with Senior Sergeant Phil Bogle and Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton following a meeting in Lakes Entrance, has again asked for increased police resources in the town over the upcoming holiday period.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Published in Media
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 15:21

Power increases have major impacts

Rising electricity prices continue to have a major impact on local businesses, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, who has called on the State Government to take action to combat the increasing costs.
Mr Bull said the most recent example of this was in the case of Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing and Eastern Asphalt, which have reported electricity price increases in the order of more than 110 per cent from their most recent contracts.
“This is an increase of around $50,000 over the length of the contract,” Mr Bull told Parliament.
Mr Bull said Energy Intelligence, the consultants for the two businesses, requested quotes from 13 retailers, with the issue of “volatile market conditions” being cited.
“The company went on to say that as we approach the higher-demand summer period, prices are expected to further increase.”
Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing and Eastern Asphalt spokesman, Michael Crane, said: “It’s certainly driving the cost of doing business up and it’s going to have an adverse effect on our competitiveness in the market, which is the big issue.”
A recent Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report cited green schemes as having contributed significantly to higher energy prices in Victoria.
“We have also heard ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, say the closure of Hazelwood Power Station has contributed to the rise in electricity prices,” Mr Bull said.
“This is what the Coalition has been saying all along and it is time this government announced what it is going to do to reduce the increasing costs of energy in Victoria, which are threatening businesses and jobs.”
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, with Michael Crane, of Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing and Eastern Asphalt, which are experiencing electricity price increases in the order of 110 per cent.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Published in Media
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 09:03

Briagolong bus will remain

Briagolong Primary School’s bus service, which was to be removed, will now remain, following a push from the school community and formal representations made by Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, in State Parliament.
“This is a great outcome for the Briagolong Primary School community, which was in limbo after it was advised it would lose its one and only service due to not meeting the eligibility requirements,” Mr Bull said.
In August, Mr Bull asked the Education Minister to review a proposal to terminate the bus run, saying it would have a devastating impact on the community.
“It was very pleasing to hear that the school has now been the school has been informed the service will be retained for 2018 and 2019, with a follow up review scheduled for 2019,” he said.
“This is fantastic for both students and parents of the Briagolong Primary School,” he said.
“To maintain the bus, the requirements state the school must have eight or more students who reside further than 4.8 kilometres from the school using the service.
“These hard and fast regulations simply don’t take into account local issues and country communities, with a number of bus-travelling students the children of parents who work outside of the township, or from single-parent families.
“Therefore, they rely on catching the bus to school, so I am pleased I was able to have the Minister review this decision,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, is pleased a proposal to terminate Briagolong Primary School’s sole bus service has been overturned, having spoken on the matter in State Parliament recently.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Published in Media
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