Items filtered by date: October 2018
Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:41

Fair go for farmers on rates

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will act to make rates fair for local farmers.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said the Liberal Nationals would hold an independent inquiry into farm rates in Victoria, with the rate cap limit to be applied to all rating categories while the review is undertaken.
“A high farm rates burden is putting more pressure on farmers in a year when they’re already under pressure due to drought,” Mr Bull said.
“This is exactly what we heard from farmers suffering from the dry conditions when I hosted both Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy at forums across the region.
“Farmers are calling for answers and action, and we are listening.
“Our farmers and agriculture businesses and industry are the backbone of our local economy, that’s why we’ll prioritise an independent inquiry into farm rates in Victoria if we’re elected to government in November.”
The terms of reference will direct that the inquiry must deliver actionable recommendations that help to make rates fair for farmers across Victoria. The terms of reference will ensure comprehensive consultation with farmers and the VFF is undertaken.
Mr Walsh said rural communities are built around farming industries, and these industries support thousands of jobs across the state.
“Food and fibre producers are the powerhouse of Victoria’s economy, and a Liberal Nationals Government want farm businesses to keep on growing,” Mr Walsh said.
“Farming families are already under pressure from drought, rising energy and water prices, and a swag of new taxes from the Andrews Labor Government – we can’t afford for them to be rated out existence.”
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Published in Media
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 17:26

Bull backs police station build

A new police station will be built in Orbost under an elected Liberal Nationals Government.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull announced $3.5 million for the replacement of the ageing facility today.
Mr Bull said a new police station would better support local police to keep the community safe.
“The replacement of Orbost Police Station is the number one priority for local police command and having toured the station with officers only recently, there is no question as to why it is at the top of the list, so it is pleasing to be able to announce the Liberal Nationals will build a new facility,” Mr Bull said.
“Our local police do a fantastic job keeping the community safe, but their job is made harder in an extremely out-dated station that is no longer fit-for-purpose and does not allow for any future potential staff increases.
Orbost and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry Secretary Garry Squires said the announcement was good news for the town and its surrounding communities.
“With a new station we’ll be better able to attract and retain officers, while a bigger facility will help cater for the needs of our community in the future,” Mr Squires said.
Mr Bull said it was disappointing the Andrews Labor Government had not recognised the need to upgrade the existing site.
“The need to replace Orbost Police Station has been completely ignored by Labor, which despite knowing it was the highest priority for local police command, refused to commit,” Mr Bull said.
“While a new station is great for the Mallacoota community, Orbost is the most in need of development across East Gippsland.
“And with almost 300 local residents recently signing the petition I circled in support of a new station only recently, it is obvious this is a priority for this community.”
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Published in Media
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 17:02

Billion-dollar blitz for safer roads

East Gippsland will benefit from safer roads under a Liberal Nationals plan to invest $1 billion over ten years to fix country roads and save country lives.
Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull said funding for the $1b Road Fix Blitz will be made up of $400 million for the Country Roads and Bridges program, another $400 million for targeted road restoration and a $200 million boost for general road maintenance.
“Reducing the speed limit on roads or rushed patch jobs, as has happened under the city-centric Andrews Labor Government, just doesn’t cut it. We need real investment and to plan for better roads for East Gippsland,” Mr Bull said.
“At the moment we are seeing a lot of activity on roads with barriers being installed, while road surfaces remain sub-standard in many locations,” he said.
As well as boosting funding to fix country roads, an elected Liberal Nationals Government will improve response times for urgent repair works, commissioning a new smartphone app for real-time reporting of road hazards.
In 2017 there were 156 road fatalities on rural and regional roads, which made up 60.2 per cent of all Victorian road deaths that year. In the year to date, there have been 84 road fatalities in regional Victoria, which is just over 50 per cent of fatalities across the state.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh said there would be no more patch-up jobs, but proper fixes to get back in control of regional road maintenance.
“Before the last election Daniel Andrews claimed the East West Link contract wasn’t worth the paper it was written on and that lie cost taxpayers $1.3 billion.
“It’s unforgiveable that Daniel Andrews wasted $1.3 billion that could have been spent on improving the safety of regional roads.”
The Road Fix Blitz program will be in addition to existing road maintenance and restoration initiatives delivered by VicRoads.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull has announced an elected Liberal Nationals Government will undertake a $1 billion Road Fix Blitz to take back control of country road maintenance.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Published in Media
Monday, 29 October 2018 17:30

Support for businesses, patients and CFA vols

Small businesses, country patients and CFA volunteers will be better off under policies announced by the Liberal Nationals this week. The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said a Liberal Nationals Government would cut payroll tax paid by qualifying East Gippsland businesses to just 1% and, if elected in November, introduce a Presumptive Legislation Bill in the first sitting week of State Parliament in 2019. The policies follow the announcement the Liberal Nationals would boost the Victorian Transport Patient Assistance Scheme (VPTAS), which provides subsidies and reimbursements to those travelling more than 100 kilometres one-way, or 500km a week, for treatment. “These three policies will have real effect here in East Gippsland and support a lot of local people,” Mr Bull said. “Our small businesses, just like our CFA volunteers, are the backbone of our local community and a cut to payroll tax will provide further assistance to them while creating more job opportunities for people in our region,” he said. Mr Bull said a Liberal Nationals Government would cut the current payroll tax rate of 2.425% for qualifying businesses in regional Victoria to just 1%. The new rate under a Liberal Nationals Government will be less than one-quarter of the standard 4.85% rate. “Across Victoria, the tax cut is expected to save around 4000 businesses an average of $11,633 a year,” he said. The qualifications include that at least 85% of the payroll must be comprised of Victorian wages associated with regional employees and that the employer is based in regional Victoria. Mr Bull said like small businesses, volunteer firefighters were also being forgotten by the Andrews Labor Government. “The Presumptive Legislation Bill will ensure all career and volunteer firefighters have fair and timely access to cancer compensation,” he said. “The Liberal Nationals’ presumptive legislation will cover the 12 specified diseases consistent with the legislation previously introduced in Parliament.” Mr Bull said the VPTAS expansion would mean less East Gippsland residents travelling for medical treatment would be out of pocket, with the accommodation subsidy to be increased from $45 to $60 per night and the kilometre reimbursement from 21 cents to 25 cents, while there would also be a review of the 100km threshold. Monday, October 29, 2018
Published in Media
Monday, 29 October 2018 08:36

Country race clubs will be winners under Liberal Nationals

Grassroots country racing clubs will get a fairer share of industry funding under an elected Liberal Nationals Government.
More than 20 thoroughbred racing clubs in country Victoria will miss out under Labor’s fund, which made no provision for them under their allocation structure.
Unlike city-centric Labor, the Liberal Nationals will ensure country clubs get their fair share of funds, boosting prize money at local races, attracting more trainers and owners to races in Regional Victoria.
The Liberal Nationals will provide $33 million over two years for racing in Victoria which will be distributed more evenly across the state, ensuring every club benefits.
The clubs to miss out under Labor include:
• Alexandra     • Kerang     • St Arnaud
• Balnarring     • Manangatang     • Swift’s Creek
• Buchan     • Mansfield     • Towong
• Burrumbeet     • Merton    • Woolamai
• Dederang     • Mortlake     • Wycheproof
• Drouin     • Nhill     • Yea
• Gunbower     • Omeo     • St Pat’s Yea
• Healesville    • Penshurst 
Thoroughbred racing in Victoria boosts our state’s economy, contributing $3.2 billion and supporting more than 25,000 jobs.
The Andrews Labor Government has announced plans to force trainers at Caulfield to relocate to Cranbourne and Pakenham – without consulting trainers at the venue.
Unlike Labor, a Liberal Nationals Government will sit down with trainers, clubs and industry representatives to work out where they want to go and how we can best facilitate it.
Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Racing Tim Bull
When country racing is strong, Victoria’s racing industry is strong.
Grassroots racing clubs drive local economies and are where many of our industry leaders cut their teeth.
City-centric Labor seems to believe the best gauge of the health of the industry is the size of metro prize pools, when in reality we need to make sure all clubs across the state thrive.
We’re also keen to investigate a country innovation fund to better promote country racing and will sit down with industry representatives to see how this could best work.
An elected Liberal Nationals Government will invest in country racing because we know country racing supports country jobs.
Monday, October 29, 2018
Published in Media
Thursday, 25 October 2018 15:38

Secondary College is top election priority

With the upcoming State election, there is one local need within our community that stands out – the Bairnsdale Secondary College – and I want to dedicate my final column to calling on bipartisan support for it.
Come December we are going to have either a Liberal or Labor Premier and regardless of who it is, both sides need to have committed to this project pre-election to ensure it is built for the sake of our community.
No matter what other commitments are made, few would argue it is not our region’s top priority. Here is the current situation:
On coming to government in 2010 the Liberal Nationals provided the $10 million and built stage one, at the same time committing over $12m to stage two pre-election.
This was not bi-partisan, so following the election, we (myself and school council), invited the Minister – in good will – to visit the school and discuss the serious issues.
These include the constant inundation every time it rains heavily, flooding the library and classrooms. Then in the weeks after, mould sets in – making them unusable. After hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs, it then rains again and the same occurs. Repairs have already cost millions.
It causes disruptions to students, teachers and the entire school curriculum as well as being unsafe.
The Minister said on local radio in 2015 he would visit ‘when his diary permitted’. In response to another later approach he said he would visit when his ‘schedule permits' and then in May 2016, it was in the 'near future'.
We are now more than two years after that last promise – and more than three years after saying he would come when his diary permitted – and disgracefully no visit.
We have announced we will provide the $15m to complete the school. The major reason for this increased cost is that school enrolments continue to grow significantly. It is clearly the biggest school in the electorate and getting bigger.
Labor’s candidate this upcoming election, Mark Reeves, is a principal himself and while we have a number of priorities in this region, he will know this is the highest. As a principal, I would be surprised if he agreed to run without a commitment to this.
However, as we get within weeks of the election, we are still waiting for bipartisan support. As a National Party member (in Coalition with the Liberals), it was my top priority and one of the first commitments I announced.
There are a number of independents in the field as well. While I would also welcome their support, the fact is it is up to the Liberal Nationals and Labor - who can deliver commitments in government - to have bipartisan support for important projects so no matter who is Premier, they get delivered for our community’s benefit.
While I want to see the end of Daniel Andrews as Premier, nothing will make me happier than to hear the Bairnsdale Secondary College has bipartisan support for our students (their families) and teachers.
As this goes to press, there are number of local infrastructure commitments I have made on behalf the Coalition that are unmatched, including the College ($15m), $2.2m for the Bairnsdale Fire Brigade relocation, $1.5 million for Bullock Island, $13.4 million for the Macalister Irrigation District and many others that although lesser in funds are equally important to local communities.
However, it is the College that stands out and simply has to be done.
If Labor and its candidate are even half-serious, they will announce this quickly. Come on, Mark, get it over the line!
Published in Comment Columns
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