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
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
Monday, 14 October 2019 15:54

Road failure – “told you so”

The opinions of experienced road builders that the old road shoulder on the Princes Highway would not stand up to heavy traffic loads have been proven correct with work having started on a large section of failed road surface, only months after it was re-sealed.
Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull said earlier this year he raised concerns after experienced former road workers advised him the works would fail.
“I met with them on site about five kilometres east of the Billabong Roadhouse, exactly where the road is now failing, said Mr Bull.
“What they told me is that with the barriers being installed on the centre of the road, the east bound traffic lane was being pushed to the left and what was the old road shoulder, would now have to take regular traffic volumes.
“They said it was only built to shoulder standard and despite a seal over the top, the shoulder base would never hold up to regular traffic loads.
“However, the authorities formally advised us that geotechnical assessments had been done and indicated the road would be satisfactory. When I relayed this back to the former roads workers, they just laughed and said ‘you’ll see’.
“Now here we are with the road failing in a number of areas and an announcement that a large section will have to be replaced – and it is that very shoulder that was referred to.
“Road workers were critical of Regional Roads Victoria from the outset, describing this as a cheap band aid job, which is unfortunately symbolic of the fiasco that the Princes Highway road safety works have become.
“They were told, via my office, by respected and experienced road builders, but they just bulldozed ahead regardless.
“When every dollar of road funding is so hard to come by it is scandalous to see it wasted by having to undertake costly repairs that could have been avoided if the job had been done correctly in the first place.
“Road building standards, whether it is the width of pull over lanes or the depth of road construction pavement, are being ignored.
“The Andrews Labor Government and Roads Minister Jaala Pulford have a lot to answer for,” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, inspects one of the many failed sections of the “new” Princes Highway roadworks that Regional Roads Victoria was warned would not stand up to heavy traffic and is now being re built. 
Published in Media
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