Items filtered by date: November 2019
Monday, 11 November 2019 16:32

Local CFA volunteers join interstate fire fight

As a result of the ongoing fire emergency in NSW and Queensland, additional resources have been deployed from East Gippsland to assist, including seven CFA tankers as well as volunteer Firefighters from the Heyfield, Stratford, Bairnsdale, Mt Taylor, Johnsonville, Sarsfield, Paynesville and Lakes Entrance brigades.  
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull has acknowledged the selfless dedication of those involved in supporting the fire ravaged communities in NSW and Queensland.
“I would particularly like to thank all the employers who have generously released our volunteer Firefighters to respond to the NSW bushfires,” said Mr Bull. 
“Some of these employers’ businesses are, ironically, engaged in the native timber industry which the Andrews Labor Government last week shamefully announced it would close down to appease inner urban elites.   
“To the volunteers, thank you and well done for stepping up during this time of interstate need.
“With potentially “catastrophic” fire weather having been forecast for parts of New South Wales and Queensland we know the presence of our Firefighters will bolster their morale and operational readiness, just as they have willingly done for us in major bushfires in the past.     
“I wish all of our Victorian crews good luck and look forward to their safe return.”
Published in Media
Thursday, 07 November 2019 12:32

Andrews’ plan will decimate local towns

Today’s announcement by Premier Daniel Andrews that the native timber industry in Victoria will be shut down by 2030 will decimate the East Gippsland economy, said Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull.
“Our communities have had an absolute gutful of arrogant Andrews putting politics first and country people second. Instead of supporting and promoting Victoria’s sustainable forest industries, Daniel Andrews has sacrificed them to keep Melbourne’s latte' sippers happy.
“His statement that we are going to transition totally to plantation timber by 2030 is flawed. We do not have enough plantation timber in the ground to do this, and furthermore, the high quality timber – appearance grade timber for furniture and floors etc. - takes at least 40 years to grow and can’t be matured viably in plantations.
“I have spoken to mill owners this morning who have confirmed the plantation timber will just not be there by 2030 to replace the native timber supply.
“This is just going to drive up imports, often from countries with far less oversight and regulation and cause massive job losses locally. No amount of money he puts into a package can replace these jobs.
“Let’s take Orbost as an example. Latest figures show that town has just over 110 people directly employed in the industry, making up 25% of all full time jobs in the town. It will decimate Orbost and that is without the flow on being considered, which is just on 50% of all the town’s employment according to the local Chamber of Commerce.
“Then you have Heyfield, where around 20% of the town is employed at the mill. Native timber supply underpins that business and the plantation is not in the ground to replace it by 2030, so what happens then?
“And that is just two towns. Building a new town hall or sports facility is not going to save those long term jobs.
“Of the 7.8 million hectares of public native forest in Victoria, more than 94 per cent of it is in reserve or inaccessible, meaning the timber industry has access to less than six per cent, harvested on an 80 year rotation. Each year, just four trees in every 10,000 are logged, less than 0.04% of the total forested area.
“I am very confident we are going to see the people and industries of the regions, not just forestry, fight the Premier for Melbourne every step of the way on this,” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured at a visit to a local timber mill with Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath and Leader of the Nationals, Peter Walsh.
Published in Media
Monday, 04 November 2019 15:56

Scenic coastal route via Lakes gets boost

Tourists travelling east through Bairnsdale will be encouraged to take the scenic coastal route through Lakes Entrance after representations from local Nationals MP, Tim Bull, to the Roads Minister has resulted in approval for new directional signage. 
“The need for new and enhanced signage arose from discussions I had with Lakes Entrance Action and Development Association (LEADA) members who reported they were receiving feedback from touring motorists who had by passed Lakes Entrance because their car GPS took them through Bruthen and Nowa Nowa,” said Mr Bull.
“The tourists said they were disappointed that they missed out on seeing Lakes Entrance and that they had not noticed any signage on their travels to encourage them to consider taking the coastal route. This of course also has an impact on the business community.
“I wrote to the Minister requesting improved signage prior to the Great Alpine Road / Princes Highway roundabout in Bairnsdale to promote the coastal route and this was approved in principle earlier this year with the details to be worked out between the various departments.”
Lakes Entrance Action and Development Association President Bruce Hurley is pleased with the response.
“When we first discussed this our members thought it was a good opportunity to also apply for a pictorial style sign featuring one of the iconic images of the Gippsland Lakes that really grabs people’s attention.
“These pictorial signs are becoming more common and while this request sat outside the current Tourist Signing Guidelines, it was pleasing that Regional Roads Victoria responded positively to the case that was developed by LEADA with the support of Destination Gippsland.”
Destination Gippsland CEO Terry Robinson said the signage upgrade was overdue.
“Lakes Entrance is a key tourist destination and we want as many people as possible to enjoy the experience of visiting Lakes,” said Mr Robinson. 
Mr Bull has congratulated Lakes Entrance Action and Development Association, Destination East Gippsland and Regional Roads Victoria for their collaboration in achieving this outstanding outcome.
“This has taken a bit longer than what was originally expected but I am confident that it has been worth the wait.” he said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured at the existing tourist directional sign in Bairnsdale, is pleased that it will soon be replaced by an upgraded pictorial sign to promote the coastal route through Lakes Entrance.
Published in Media