January 2018
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 09:28

Tassie timber industry flourishes at our expense

The recent announcement that the Hermal Group, former owners of the Heyfield mill, are to build a $190 million timber mill in Tasmania and create 220 ongoing jobs, is bitter news for this region, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
“The reality of all this is Burnie is gaining 220 timber jobs and we are losing 120 jobs,” he said.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is providing $13million in grants and a $30 m loan to support the project.
It has been widely reported the Tasmanian Government has been courting the Hermal Group after it failed to receive a commitment from the Andrews Labor Government for the timber supply it needed to continue its previous scale of operations in Heyfield.
“The announcement that a hardwood mill, the biggest in Australia, will be built in Tasmania, will not ring well with the Heyfield and district community,” Mr Bull said.
“While this new Tasmanian mill will be supplied by plantation eucalypts, there was no reason why operations could not have continued at the same level they were in Heyfield.
“The problem is that the Andrews Labor Government has allowed more and more areas to be locked up for Leadbeater possum reserve without returning commensurate areas to the industry, so something has to give when you do this – and it was Heyfield’s timber supply and the timber worker’s jobs that gave way,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Regional Victoria Peter Walsh and Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull receive a briefing at the Heyfield mill from Manager Vince Hurley.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Published in Media
Thursday, 25 January 2018 14:05

Lack of police ‘deeply concerning’

Reports the front doors to Lakes Entrance Police Station have barely opened in the past three weeks of peak holiday time are deeply concerning, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, and Shadow Police Minister, Ed O’Donohue, who were at the station today.
“I understand the station has been closed almost every day since January 2,” Mr Bull said.
“It is extremely disappointing the station has barely opened this year and it is further justification for more police for the entire holiday period, not just a day or two over the New Year’s Eve period.
“Having also completed a petition prior to the Christmas break, it is clear there is widespread support across the entire community for increased resources for all of January.”
Mr O’Donohue echoed Mr Bull’s comments, saying it was time the Andrews Labor Government provided more support for local officers.
“Police in Lakes Entrance and surrounds do a fantastic job, but we know they need more help in busy times like January,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“While it is good to have extra sworn members in town for New Year’s Eve and January 1, their presence needs to be sustained,” he said.
Mr Bull said he had raised this issue numerous times in State Parliament over the past three years, but his requests for more police have fallen on deaf ears.
“The Minister continues to say that resourcing is an issue for the Chief Commissioner, but that's not the test she applied for her own electorate, where she guaranteed the opening hours of police stations in Bellarine.
“For all problems big and small, the community expects the station to be opened more in January and I think local residents deserve better,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, meets with Shadow Police Minister Ed O’Donohue in front of the Lakes Entrance Police Station, which has barely had its doors open since January 2.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Published in Media
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 10:49

Stokes with the opportunity

Learning volleyball as a primary school-aged student, Jemma Stokes never thought it would end up with her relocating to Canberra to access the Australian Institute of Sport’s Centre of Excellence – but it’s now a reality.
The 17-year-old from Lakes Entrance will next week embark on an opportunity of a lifetime, moving to Canberra after accepting an offer to compete and train at AIS, while completing year 12 at the AIS University of Canberra Senior Secondary College.
“I’m very excited and a bit nervous, but it should be really good once I get up there,” Jemma said.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, who recently interviewed Jemma on local community radio, caught up with her this week to congratulate her on the achievement.
“Jemma, who has already made national squads for her age group, is an impressive young person – both on and off the court – and I have no doubt she has a huge future in front of her,” Mr Bull said.
As part of the AIS female volleyball squad, Jemma will be training 5-6 days per week while also competing in the Canberra Volleyball League and the Australian Volleyball league. The youngest member of the squad, she will also become the first female athlete to train at the Centre of Excellence while completing her schooling at the same time since Shannon Winzer, Head Coach of Australian Volleyroos and the Centre of Excellence, has started the new women’s program.
Having first started volleyball at Lakes Entrance Primary School, she was strongly supported by local coach Dave Smyth.
“Dave has been massive to me – he’s coached me ever since grade five. Without him I wouldn’t have made the state team or anything,” Jemma said.
“Jemma’s past achievements include serving as captain and vice-captain for Victoria’s “A” and “B” level teams in the under 17 and under 19 age groups, representing the Latrobe Valley in the Victorian state league and also playing for Australia at different levels, including in Thailand as recently as April last year,” Mr Bull said.
“Amazingly, at the end of Jemma’s junior career she will have travelled more than 72,000 kilometres and spent 120 weekends in the car and playing volleyball during trips to commitments in Melbourne alone.
“However, what is probably more important is that she maintains a level head in relation to the future and realises her studies are vital for her future which makes me very confident she has a successful future off the court as well.”
Whilst at the AIS, Jemma said she was undecided as to whether she would seek professional contracts overseas or further her studies in Australia and strive for a position in the Australian Volleyroos Team.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, congratulates Jemma Stokes, pictured alongside her father, Brett, on her selection to the Australian Institute of Sport’s Centre of Excellence.
Monday, January 24, 2018
Published in Media
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 10:25

Celebrate Australia Day

Australia Day is a day to spend time with family and friends, to recognise the volunteers in our community and to reflect on our unique a way of life and national character, according to Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
Mr Bull said local Australia Day events were being held in towns across East Gippsland providing an opportunity to welcome new citizens and to celebrate everything that is great about Australia.
“Australia Day is for all Australians, no matter where our personal stories began, to reflect on being Australian, celebrate our way of life and acknowledge our history,” Mr Bull said.
“It is about acknowledging and celebrating the contribution that every Australian makes to our nation. From the Gunaikurnai people - who have been here for many thousands of years - to those whose families go back generations - to those who have come more recently from all corners of the globe to call our country home.
“These events are also a chance to recognise the people who make our region special; and to welcome new Australians who are going to make our community even stronger.
“Citizens of the Year will be recognised across many towns in East Gippsland on Australia Day. These people have worked tirelessly to make our region a better place to live.
“Enjoy your Australia Day whether that means putting a sausage on the barbie, attending a public event or simply getting together with family and friends.
“I thank all the community groups and councils who are hosting the community celebrations, and making this public recognition possible.” said Mr Bull.
Mr Bull will be attending the Paynesville Australia Day Awards at the free community breakfast on the foreshore near the Community Craft Centre and BBQ followed by a Citizenship Ceremony at the Shire Offices in Palmers Road Lakes Entrance.
For a full list of local Australia Day events, check local newspapers or contact the local council.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Published in Media
Monday, 22 January 2018 10:28

Liberal Nationals commit to tackling cross-border problems

Communities along Victoria’s state borders, including East Gippsland, will benefit from the services of a dedicated Cross Border Commissioner under an elected Liberal Nationals government.
Local Nationals MP Tim Bull said people living and working in East Gippsland’s border communities near New South Wales faced unique problems, including with access to services, licencing and coordination of emergency services.
He said for business owners and residents, changes across the New South Wales border were an added complication to everyday life.
“It means our tradespeople have to get two separate licences to operate their business, while farmers and transport operators require two separate permits to move agricultural equipment,” Mr Bull said.
“A common cross-border issue people speak to me about is the need for two fishing licences.
“It also makes it harder for our police officers and emergency services to share the information they need to do their job.”
“Divided jurisdiction on cross border school bus routes and inconsistencies with cross border areas served by telcos are further examples.”
Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh was is in Mildura last Friday to make the announcement.
Areas the Cross Border Commissioner would focus on include regulation and licensing, legal systems, emergency services and service delivery.
“An elected Liberal Nationals government would ensure our communities have a dedicated Cross Border Commissioner based in regional Victoria to identify and solve these problems,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Liberal Nationals want to make it easier for border communities to go about their business.
“New South Wales already has a Cross Border Commissioner and has signed agreements with both Queensland and the ACT.
“It’s time for Victoria to take action to resolve our cross border issues with South Australia and New South Wales.”
Monday, January 22, 2018
Published in Media
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 14:17

Wire rope barriers spin

None! Zip! Zilch! Zero!
That’s pretty much the answer Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull has received from a question he asked late last year of the Roads Minister in Parliament about the public consultation that took place in East Gippsland before the project to install roadside and centre of the road wire rope barriers on the Princes Highway between Sale and Bairnsdale was announced in May 2016.
Apart from a little known online survey in October 2016, there was no opportunity for road users in East Gippsland to have input to the project until August 2017 when the decisions had already been made. He said the same also applied to the Paynesville Road and Sale - Maffra Road projects.
“The Andrews Government’s communications and stakeholder relations officers have been busily talking up the roadside and centre of the road barriers projects, but when they belatedly gave the community a chance to have a real say they have just brushed off their concerns, because its going ahead no matter what road users and emergency services are saying,” Mr Bull said.
“As recently as this week, senior CFA staff were expressing major concerns about their ability to get to fires and assist at road accidents because of the traffic congestion caused by the barriers.
“VicRoads has been heavily promoting the road safety benefits in its messaging and communications strategy for this project and I do not argue that it won’t reduce road trauma, but there are other considerations in this as well that have simply not been considered through lack of consultation.
“Road users and emergency services have not been listened to and their concerns acted upon.
“While the Minister has refused my suggestion to halt the ongoing works while these discussions are held, he has advised me that VicRoads held a workshop with the East Gippsland Shire in October 2017 and plans to hold a similar workshop with Wellington Shire next month.
“He also advises that VicRoads is currently seeking advice in relation to the requirements for landing a helicopter air ambulance. I will continue to liaise with his office in the hope that these concerns can be resolved.
“This project is a mess. It is still being figured out on the run. There was no opportunity for local input into its initial design and there is a continuing unwillingness to pause the project for long enough for its shortcomings to be fixed” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, says the Roads Minister is stubbornly pushing ahead with the safety barriers projects despite mounting public alarm.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Published in Media
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