Items filtered by date: October 2019
Monday, 28 October 2019 15:36

Fire officer for Cann River

After representations from the community and local Nationals MP, Tim Bull, to the Minister, Cann River and district residents have been successful in in obtaining funding for a locally based Fire Preparedness Project Officer.
“The community wrote to me some time ago and I attended a meeting in Cann River earlier this year where we agreed to put the proposal to the Minister,” said Mr Bull.
“It came about after the local brigade was struggling for members in a town that is smack bang in the middle of one of the most fire prone areas in the world and facing a dry summer ahead.
 
“It took the community to drive this proposal out of its concern for fire risk, so I am relieved we have been successful and Cann River and district will have a paid employee who will have the training and skills to support the locals in the way of fire preparedness, including risk mitigation, volunteer recruitment and training.
“I was pleased to be able to support this proposal to the Minister for Emergency Services after the meeting with the Cann River community representatives. 
“This vulnerable remote region deserves to be supported so that individual property owners are not being overwhelmed by the job of preparing for and responding to bush fires. 
“It makes sense to place someone equipped with resources, training and knowhow in a centralised position, who can be accessed by the whole community.
“Bushfire is a real and ongoing threat faced by this community each and every summer but this fire season is shaping up to be even more challenging following almost three years of drought and an abundance of tinder dry fuel loads surrounding Cann River.
“I’d like to congratulate the Cann River and District Community Action Group for achieving this outcome. In particular, Susie Bady, the group’s coordinator, who has been a strong advocate in the community.” 
Published in Media
Thursday, 24 October 2019 12:24

Lakes funding boost rejected

The Regional Development Minister has offered to do no more than meet existing election commitments in response to calls for an economic stimulus package for Lakes Entrance following the Gippsland Lakes commercial fishing licences buyout. 
Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull said he had written to the Minister seeking a funding boost for Lakes Entrance that matched, on an appropriate scale, the initiatives that the government put in place for displaced power industry workers in the Latrobe Valley following the Hazelwood closure.
“There is increasing concern among local businesses about the extent of the economic hit from the compulsory buy out of the ten Gippsland Lakes fishing licences which will directly impact the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative and transport companies and will have other knock-on effects in the community,” said Mr Bull.
“But all the Minister is offering for Lakes Entrance is what has already been announced, a cafe on Bullock Island, which the Liberal Nationals committed to several weeks before it was matched by Labor in the lead up to last year’s State election.
“The Andrews Labor Government has shown it has little concern for the fishing families directly affected by the buyout and has dished up a feeble re announcement of an existing commitment, thinking that this is good enough.
“Our economic resilience is suffering from years of drought so it’s no wonder people are concerned about the added impact of the fishing industry being wound down.
“If the government is genuinely concerned about helping us to overcome the added economic disruption caused by the licences buyout, it has to do more than offer a few crumbs. 
“There’s a lot of opportunities the government could invest in that would help restore local confidence, starting with the list that the East Gippsland Shire is currently promoting.”
       
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured at the former Lakes Entrance Slipway which is one of the development opportunities that could benefit from state government investment.
Published in Media
Thursday, 24 October 2019 11:30

Be prepared this fire season

This year’s pending bushfire season is extremely concerning in the eastern region.
That was the clear message we received at a pre-bushfire season briefing in Traralgon last week provided by the Country Fire Authority, DELWP and Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner.
It was outlined at this meeting that while what occurs, or does not occur, cannot be predicted, it is highly likely we will be impacted by fire over the upcoming period.
Those in attendance heard it is more than likely, given the conditions, that these impacts will involve potential or likely loss of property including homes, fences, stock and other assets and while this is hopefully avoided, the major focus is – as it should be – on having no loss of human life.
Property owners are being strongly advised to make their homes as fire safe as possible and now is the time to do it.
In line with this, Wellington Shire Council is making all green waste disposal free over November and a reminder to all that it is free to dispose of green waste in East Gippsland Shire year round at landfills and transfer stations.
Some of our regions experience poor mobile phone coverage and while this has improved in some communities of recent times, it remains unreliable in others.
This problem can be exacerbated by the fact that fire often results in power outages, removing internet and television access.
Both ABC radio and TRFM are registered emergency services broadcasters and each household should make sure they have access to a relevant information source at all times as it is not possible for emergency services to knock on individual doors in times of danger.
Therefore it is important to make sure there are new batteries in the radio. There have been times in the past in remote areas where the power has failed and battery operated radios have become the primary source of information for householders.
It is incumbent on home owners to ensure they maintain the ability to receive the latest messaging around warnings and general information.
Preparing your property, having a clear plan and making sure you are able to receive the latest news are all important, but there is much more that can be done.
The CFA website has detailed information on how to prepare for the fire season and the local CFA office in Bairnsdale also has information available and helpful staff.
Don’t leave it too late, the landscape is dry and the time is now to make sure we are all prepared.
Published in Comment Columns
Wednesday, 23 October 2019 13:35

Boost for Orbost Neighbourhood House

The Government has agreed to meet with the Committee of Management of the Orbost Rainforest Centre on the long term future of the Orbost Neighbourhood House, after it was requested in Parliament by Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull.
“I sought from the Minister a more secure tenancy arrangement that would enable the Neighbourhood House to upgrade and invest in the facility for the longer term and this is a positive first step, said Mr Bull.
“The Orbost Neighbourhood House provides a range of services to the local community in the areas of disability and aged and has plans to expand these, but it needs some certainty about its future that the current annual licence fee does not provide.
“The Orbost Rainforest Centre reserve which hosts the Neighbourhood House is an important community facility and is a credit to the Snowy Wilderness Discovery Centre Committee of Management.
“I appreciate the great work that has been achieved by the Committee of Management in developing the Rainforest Centre reserve.
“The Neighbourhood House has found this to be a great location for its operations.”    
President of the Orbost Neighbourhood House, Gavan McDonald, said he was pleased there would be an opportunity to discuss their plans and to hopefully secure a future at the Rainforest Centre reserve.
“One of our early priorities will be to upgrade the food preparation facilities so that we can increase our meals programme from fortnightly to weekly,” said Mr McDonald.
“The only constraint we face is not having suitable facilities and with a longer term tenure we will be able to make the investment that is needed.”
       
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, at the Orbost Neighbourhood House which is hoping to secure a sustainable long term future at the Rainforest Centre reserve. 
Published in Media
Wednesday, 23 October 2019 12:49

Long time since trains were on time

Back in the year that the Bairnsdale train last met its punctuality target, Matt Priddis of the West Coast Eagles won the Brownlow and Protectionist, ridden by Ryan Moore, won the Melbourne Cup.  
In Parliament last week Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull said that it was shameful that the Bairnsdale train hasn’t met punctuality benchmarks since at least August 2014.
“I often have the pleasure of visiting Kindergartens and Early Learning Centres where I get to meet bright eyed, inquisitive children learning about the world around them,” Mr Bull said.
“But it’s staggering when looking into the faces of these five year old’s to realise that the Bairnsdale rail line hasn’t met its punctuality target since most of them were born.
“City centric transport bureaucrats might dismiss this as just a minor inconvenience, but I can assure them it is not.
“Unreliable and late train services make it harder for the people of East Gippsland get to medical appointments, to connect with other transport links and see family and friends.
“The people of East Gippsland deserve reliable, timely and comfortable services which connect them to the city but many have had to adopt the expensive contingency of travelling the day before and incurring overnight accommodation costs.  
“The Andrews Labor Government has invested just four per cent of the capital funding for public transport in this year’s State Budget into regional Victoria and has slashed $149 million from V/Line’s recurrent spending.”
       
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, at the Bairnsdale Station where the trains have not met punctuality benchmarks since at least August 2014. 
Published in Media
Friday, 18 October 2019 16:56

Breakthrough on breakwater

Repairs to the failed training wall at the entrance to the Gippsland Lakes, which Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, has been seeking for some time, are set to be undertaken with funding announced today.
“Earlier last year I had the Shadow Minster down to inspect the wall and it was to be prioritised if we were elected. That did not happen, so having raised the sea walls again in parliament, it is pleasing the funding has been provided,” said Mr Bull.
“I was concerned that while the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning had submitted a business case with a proposal for remediation, repair and replacement of these assets, funding was not included in that year's budget.
“At the time I asked the Environment Minister to meet with the East Gippsland Shire Council to discuss the Lakes Entrance Critical Asset Protection (seawall replacement) Program of which the repair of the training walls was a significant component.
“The Shire had submitted a funding application to the Australian Government’s Regional Growth Fund for a suite of investment projects in Lakes Entrance, however they were reliant on certainty regarding the upgrade of seawall infrastructure.
“This announcement is a small but important first step in progressing the Lakes Entrance Critical Asset Protection Program and I would like to congratulate the East Gippsland Shire and Gippsland Ports for their great work in achieving this outcome.”   
        
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, showing then Shadow Minister Nick Wakeling the damaged section of the eastern training wall at Lakes Entrance. 
Published in Media
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