Items filtered by date: October 2018
Thursday, 18 October 2018 10:25

Lib Nats to hand Bush Nursing Centres a lifeline

East Gippsland’s six Bush Nursing Centres will be handed a funding lifeline to continue providing quality health care services, if the Liberal Nationals are elected next month.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said the Ensay, Swifts Creek, Buchan, Gelantipy, Cann Valley and Dargo BNCs would each receive $10,000 per year for two years, while a review will be undertaken to inform the development of a flexible funding and delivery model for the services.
“The recurrent funding model of bush nursing centres from this city-centric Labor Government has not changed to keep pace with the growth in their services, with many running on the smell of an oily rag,” Mr Bull said.
“They do an exceptional job with reasonably limited resources, but are not funded in the same manner as large public hospitals and do not have the same opportunities to raise additional funds.
“We have received a number of representations from BNCs about their viability in recent months, which makes the need for additional funding paramount,” he said.
Ensay BNC committee member Barry Newcomen said: “To Ensay in particular, additional funding will mean the ongoing existence of the bush nurse.”
“A bush nurse is a vital part of our community, particularly given we are an ageing community, and having had discussions with Tim about our viability in the past, it is pleasing the Liberal Nationals have offered their support,” he said.
Shadow Minister for Country Health Emma Kealy said the Andrews Labor Government had abandoned BNCs, refusing to provide adequate recurrent funding despite its recent changes to the nurses EBA that’s pushed up costs and left centres with no choice but to reduce services or cut back nursing hours.
Mr Bull said there were 15 BNCs across Victoria operating as community-based, not-for-profit organisations governed by boards of management.
Caption: The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said the Ensay, Swifts Creek, Buchan, Gelantipy, Cann Valley and Dargo Bush Nursing Centres would receive a funding lifeline under a Liberal Nationals Government.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Published in Media
Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:45

Liberal Nationals pledge Cann River upgrade

Cann River’s Mick Baum Park will undergo a major upgrade under a Liberal Nationals Government.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has announced that an elected Liberal Nationals Government will partner with East Gippsland Shire to upgrade the facility, providing a $125,000 grant.
“Following a significant downturn in our local timber industry, Cann River has reshaped itself as an important stopover point for holidaymakers going through to Mallacoota, Merimbula and our other fantastic communities along the Sapphire Coast,” Mr Bull said.
“The park is a critical piece of infrastructure for Cann River – situated in the heart of town, travellers will often get a bite to eat and a drink from one of our local eateries, which in turn supports local jobs and families.”
Mr Bull said there was a desperate need to upgrade the public amenities, which cannot keep up with demand during busy periods.
“I have been told the toilet block at Cann River is one of the busiest in the shire and that unfortunately at peak holiday times there are people lining up outside, which is far from ideal when the town promotes itself as a stop-over point,” he said.
“This town’s economy is so dependent on tourism so it is pleasing to announce the Liberal Nationals will support this proposed upgrade.
“Tourism is a growing local industry, creating jobs and investment in our communities in East Gippsland.
“Delivering better facilities for our towns, including Cann River, are one way an elected Liberal Nationals Government will achieve our vision to decentralise our state and support growing communities in East Gippsland and across Regional Victoria.”
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has announced a $125,000 upgrade to Mick Baum Park, including the amenities facility.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Monday, 15 October 2018 08:31

Cultural tourism boost

A Liberal Nationals Government will increase indigenous tourism offerings, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
Mr Bull, who is also Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, said if elected, the Liberal Nationals would fund a grants program to support indigenous program providers to further develop growing businesses.
“One place in East Gippsland that could really benefit from this is the Lakes Entrance area, with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation recently moving into the Forestech facility in the Colquhoun Forest,” Mr Bull said.
“I was pleased to help this move to take place, and now there is the potential for the site to become a great spot to encourage cultural tourism, and welcome new visitors to our area,” he said.
GLaWAC chief executive officer, Roger Fenwick, said the organisation was “very supportive” of cultural tourism and was pleased it is a priority for the Liberal Nationals.
“GLaWAC is investing funds and working very hard to build relationships and partnerships with the Gunaikurnai and wider community regarding improved economic development outcomes for our Traditional Owners and Gippsland,” Mr Fenwick said.
Mr Bull said the fund would be for capital works grants of up to $15,000 and initial promotion costs such as signage and publication of educational material.
Victoria has hundreds of registered Aboriginal Heritage sites and while many are considered sacred, there are many more that have the capacity to be shared and admired, providing a terrific experience for visitors, Mr Bull believes.
“With a high indigenous population in East Gippsland, and already being a popular location for tourists, this can only benefit our region,” he said.
“There is a strong demand for more indigenous tourism offerings and that’s why this program is so important.”
Shadow Minister for Tourism and Major Events Heidi Victoria said indigenous tourism was one of the State’s great opportunities and would create jobs and boost the economy.
“This policy will ensure our significant cultural heritage sites are preserved and showcased properly for visitors to enjoy and learn,” she said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull, pictured with GLaWAC CEO Roger Fenwick, has announced a Liberal Nationals Government will increase indigenous tourism offerings.
Monday, October 15, 2018
Published in Media
Friday, 12 October 2018 11:16

Seismic survey approval refused

The proposal for a massive seismic survey in Bass Strait, which was causing significant concern to the Lakes Entrance offshore fishing fleet, has been refused by the Federal approval agency.
Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull welcomed the news, having spoken on this issue in State Parliament and made representations to the Commonwealth regulator, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).
“In line with the concerns I raised, NOPSEMA ruled it was ‘not reasonably satisfied’ with the proposal,” Mr Bull said.
South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association chief executive officer, Simon Boag, said the industry was pleased NOPSEMA had made this decision “because we were concerned about the size, duration and intensity of the proposed survey”.
“This area is the fishing grounds for the main supply of fish for the Melbourne and Sydney fish markets and we thank Tim for taking a leading role in this,” Mr Boag said.
In its decision notification, NOPSEMA stated: “On completion of assessment, NOPSEMA has decided that it is not reasonably satisfied that the environment plan meets the criteria below as set out in regulation 10A of the Environment Regulations:
(a) is appropriate for the nature and scale of the activity
(b) demonstrates that the environmental impacts and risks of the activity will be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable
(g) demonstrates that:
(i) the titleholder has carried out the consultations required by Division 2.2A
(ii) the measures (if any) that the titleholder has adopted, or proposes to adopt, because of the consultations are appropriate.”
Mr Bull said CGG may resubmit a new proposal, but hoped it had got the message it needed to consult better.
“The initial proposal was the equivalent to eight times the size of Port Phillip Bay, at around 17,000 square kilometres - the largest to be undertaken in Australia,” he said.
“Under this proposal, the industry was being asked to leave fishing grounds for five months and then accept lowered catch rates for a year or more following the survey.
“Some fisheries such as the Danish seine fishery would have had all their grounds affected.”
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull is pleased a proposal for a seismic survey in Bass Strait has been refused.
Monday, October 15, 2018
Published in Media
Wednesday, 10 October 2018 08:26

Local bridges to benefit from reinstated program

Harmans Road Bridge at Johnsonville and Boyds Road Bridge at Mount Taylor will be replaced through the Country Roads and Bridges Program, if the Liberal Nationals are elected to government next month.
“This $160 million program was axed by Labor on coming to government and replaced with a cheaper $100 million imitation only last month (four years later) and even then, the replacement program is not confined to country councils,” said Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull.
“Having been speaking to East Gippsland Shire Council about projects to be funded through the program, others identified include works on Soldiers Road / Settlement Road at Lindenow, Moroney and McMillan Streets in Bairnsdale and an improvement to the Lake Victoria Road and Birrells Road intersection near Newlands Arm.”
Mr Bull said the Liberal Nationals’ $160m Country Roads and Bridges Program would guarantee $1m of funding for Victoria’s 40 rural councils – which includes East Gippsland – over four years, giving them the certainty to plan for the long-term, to do the work on the roads that need it most.
“And unlike the Country Roads and Bridges Program, Labor’s program requires councils to apply for funding from the Government, and doesn’t limit it to the 40 rural councils which needs these funds the most,” he said.
Caption: The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull and Shadow Minister for Roads David Hodgett inspect Harmans Road Bridge at Johnsonville, which will be upgraded through the Country Roads and Bridges Program under an elected Liberal Nationals Government.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Published in Media
Monday, 08 October 2018 09:06

Accessible tourism focus under Coalition

 A State Coalition government will engage develop and promote an accessible tourism campaign and action plan for Victoria with a focus on highlighting disability friendly accommodation options.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, who is also the Shadow Minister for Disability, said tourist towns could benefit by giving more focus to the disability sector.
“Accessible tourism is the ongoing endeavour to ensure tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people, regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities or age,” he said.
“It benefits everyone. More people enjoy the opportunity to travel and the Australian tourism industry gets more visitors, longer seasons and potential new incomes.
“It’s not just physical disability, those on the autism spectrum are largely ignored by some in the tourism sector, not because they choose to, but because they are unaware of how to accommodate this demographic.
“However, the industry is starting to develop and promote their businesses to those families with Autistic members and we as a government can help facilitate awareness,” he said.
An estimated 20% of Australian adults have a disability or long time health condition. In addition, with an ageing population, accessible tourism is set to grow.
Shadow Tourism Minister, Heidi Victoria said accessible tourism is currently worth $10.8 million annually, this is in comparison to $10.2 million from the Chinese tourism market.
“The experts in the industry tell us, we need to have a shift in thinking in this space. We need to approach accessible tourism as a business opportunity with a clear business plan for Victoria and it needs to be mainstream.
“Tourism Australia is starting to make the move in this space, and others like Visit England have already demonstrated this approach works - and works well,” she said.
Research shows that travellers feel less stressed when they have more support in planning their experiences and they tend to return to destinations that have helped manage the stresses and uncertainties of travel and appear to have higher incidences of repeat visitation and were loyal customers.
By providing tourism operators with the knowledge and information required to sell their offering to this market, they will see a great economic return and happy returning guests.
Parts of the plan include regional workshops for businesses, mentoring in the field and accessible tourism awards.

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