December 2019
Friday, 20 December 2019 09:11

Making hay on the roadsides

Fifty-three farmers today received hay that has been donated through a roadside fodder project.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said “having raised this in parliament six weeks ago and requested roadsides be cut for fodder, it was pleasing to see 520 bales delivered into East Gippsland today.”
“Full credit to Heyfield Lions (which organised the distribution), Fulton Hogan, Engie and their sub-contractors for making this happen and VicRoads for their support.
“The reason for me raising this was in driving to Parliament each week you could see knee high grass on some roadsides and then the next time it would be slashed and just left there.
“There was – and still is - a lot of good feed on roadsides in parts of West and South Gippsland that can be cut and baled for hay and donated to farmers further to the east who are still in drought.
“I asked the Roads Minister if this could be done and I’m pleased that it has received her support,” said Mr Bull.
The distribution of the 520 bales was organised by Heyfield Lions and their Drought Relief Coordinator Ray Akers.
“Heyfield Lions has received wonderful support with people donating their time, their trucks and fuel and we just could not do this without their generosity,” said Mr Akers.
Mr Bull said while this was welcomed, it is clear the roadsides could provide much more fodder for drought impacted areas and said he would push for the government to provide funds for the expansion of the project.
“We have also had a horrible December to date, on the back of the years of drought we’ve experienced and first thing in the New Year I will be advocating for more drought support from the state. South Australia has just subsidised 50 per cent of rates for its farmers. This is more than we are getting and farmers in NSW are receiving much greater supports, so we need to get serious here in Victoria.”
Caption: Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured with Fulton Hogan representative Peter Curl and Heyfield Lions Drought Relief Coordinator Ray Akers who is distributing 520 bales of hay to drought affected farmers. 
Published in Media
Thursday, 19 December 2019 09:09

Labor dithers while water savings never more crucial

Gippsland Nationals MPs have again put the pressure on the State Labor Government to fund critical water savings in the Macalister Irrigation District (MID). 
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull and Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said phase two of the MID 2030 Project was never more crucial after Glenmaggie Dam failed to spill for the second time in succession, the first time this has occurred in its history.
Mr Bull said with $31 million on the table from the Federal Government there was no reason why the State Government hasn’t contributed it’s share.
“This is an important project that would modernise the remaining sections of the MID, saving about 10GL of water, improving on-farm water productivity and reducing nutrient run-off into the Gippsland Lakes,” said Mr Bull.
“This is a project that has been supported by both sides of politics for some time, but the Andrews Labor Government failed to deliver on it in this year’s budget.
“Darren Chester and the Federal Nationals have half the cost of this project on the table, and we are seeing in other areas that if Labor continues to dither, costs will blow out.”
Mr O’Brien said the MID was a critical economic asset and the on-going drought highlighted the needs for water savings.
“The MID is one of Australia’s safest irrigation areas, but the fact that the dam hasn’t spilled before December 15 for the second year in a row highlights the importance of modernising our channel and supply systems to save water and produce efficiencies for our farmers.
“It’s also an important environmental project which will help reduce wastage and nutrient run-off into local rivers and lakes. 
“Labor likes to seek headlines on climate change, but when it comes to practical on the ground assistance, it is missing in action.
“With the drought biting in our region and irrigators facing another year of reduced water availability, it’s time Labor provided some good news and funded this important project.”
Caption: Nationals committed to the next phase - now calling on the Andrews Labor Government to do likewise.
Published in Media
Monday, 16 December 2019 12:08

$3 billion city waste while farmers miss out

Desperately-needed additional drought supports are being ignored, while recent reports reveal Labor’s $11 billion Metro Rail Tunnel is $3 billion over budget says Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
“That $3 billion over spend, which the government has not refuted, and will no doubt pay, comes as it is patting itself on the back for giving our East Gippsland and Wellington farmers in drought, a little over $4 million to share,” said Mr Bull.
“When you think about it, $3 billion on a project over spend and all they can find to share amongst our farmers is $4 million, is a disgrace.
“The support provided to farmers covered only one third of council rate bills, which depending on the size of the farm, was anywhere between $3,000 to $12,000. It’s not much when I know farmers who are spending more than $10,000 per week on feed bills.
 “This money would make a huge difference to our area, but instead Daniel Andrews was directing it to yet another Melbourne blowout.
“The only other supports that have been made available specifically to farmers by this government have been based on dollar for dollar investment, when the reality is farming families do not have spare cash at hand to meet their end of the deal, so it’s basically inaccessible.
“Yet when we have a cost overrun of $3 billion because they have completely stuffed up their costings, it will just be paid.
“In stark contrast, South Australia has announced it will provide immediate financial relief with a 50 per cent rebate on council rates or pastoral lease payments in 2019-20 and 2020-21 for farmers eligible for the Farm Household Allowance.
“Country Victorians deserve more than just scraps off the table from this arrogant, wasteful Premier, even more so in this terribly dry period in the east,” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, is calling for additional drought support as East Gippsland enters its fourth year of drought.   
Published in Media
Thursday, 12 December 2019 12:10

Minister asked for action on Buchan Pool

Local MP, Tim Bull, has written to the Minister and also Parks Victoria urging them to find a solution to keep the Buchan swimming pool open this summer.
This follows a recent decision by Parks Victoria to close the pool at the Buchan Caves Reserve, which has been met with dismay by local residents and regular visitors who appreciate the unique experience it offers.
Mr Bull reminded the Minister the area was in drought, which also impacts on local businesses that are looking to the upcoming holiday period to provide them with respite and some income.
‘The swimming pool is one of the local tourist attractions and therefore important in relation to visitation to the town,’ the correspondence stated.
The community has been advised it will be closed for summer due to lack of flow from the spring and therefore it will not meet health standards.
Mr Bull said his office has had suggestions ranging from filling and chlorinating the pool and diverting the spring for summer, to using pumps or other engineering solutions to make it usable.
“The pool has to maintain an inflow / outflow (refresh) rate of 50 kilolitres per hour but I am told it is now down to 11 kilolitres per hour, said Mr Bull.
“While I understand this, I am not convinced enough effort has been put in to looking at ways to keep it open given the seasonal conditions and its importance to the town.
“I get the impression it has just been a case of ‘well if it doesn’t meet health regulations, we will close it’.
“I would like to see the Government try a bit harder to keep it open, work on some solutions and even if it costs a few thousand dollars, it pales into insignificance with this government’s $3 billion over run on the metro tunnel revealed last week.
“It’s about time they started looking after us,” said Mr Bull.
Published in Media
Thursday, 12 December 2019 12:04

Fix the roads, don’t lower the speed limits

Roads Minister Jaala Pulford has confirmed the Andrews Labor Government will pursue its policy to slash speed limits on country roads, instead of listening to community calls to fix them.
The Government this week had the chance to rule out cutting speed limits on rural roads, but refused to, despite regional Victorians making it clear the priority should be proper maintenance to fix dangerous roads.
Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said lower speed limits wouldn’t fix potholes and road hazards on country roads.
“It looks like another blanket ‘one rule for all’ policy on the horizon from this city centric government,” said Mr Bull.
“Country people want their roads fixed – in preference to being slowed down.
“Not only does lowering speed limits increase the amount of time people are away from home it also has implications for the productivity of our regional businesses.
“Road transport fulfils the overwhelming majority of our transport needs in East Gippsland, delivering the goods we take for granted in our homes and workplaces, and the services upon which the business community relies.
The Minister’s confirmation comes as rural councils struggle to keep up with the high cost of roads maintenance as a result of Labor’s decision to axe the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program.
Despite this, Daniel Andrews has found billions to put into cost blowouts on level crossings in Melbourne.
“Slowing down country motorists not only hurts local economies, it also affects the state’s economy, including the productivity of our horticulture sector which relies on timely delivery of perishable goods to fresh markets in Melbourne and Sydney,” Mr Bull said.
“Once again, Daniel Andrews is showing he just doesn’t care about country Victorians.”
Caption: Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, inspects a section of failed road pavement which is an example of a road that should be fixed and made safe rather than have reduced speed limits imposed.    
Published in Media
Thursday, 12 December 2019 08:45

Learner driver program reaches milestone

The L2P program recently celebrated its 10th. anniversary in East Gippsland during which time it has helped 189 learner drivers to obtain their probationary licence through the support of 179 volunteer Learner Driver Mentors.
Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, recognised this important milestone in state parliament recently where he congratulated Mission Australia’s L2P Co-ordinator Cheryl Siely for her great work.
“The L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program assists learners between 16 and 21 years of age, who do not have access to a supervising driver or vehicle, to gain the driving experience required to apply for a probationary licence, said Mr Bull.
“For most country kids, obtaining a driver’s licence is a key stepping stone in developing their independence, for them to be able to obtain and sustain a job, attend post-secondary education and training and to participate in sporting and social activities.
“The program has been nurtured by Cheryl Siely from Mission Australia with the support of the East Gippsland and Wellington Shires, TAC and Vic Roads.
“I would like to acknowledge Cheryl and Mission Australia for achieving outstanding results in delivering the L2P program.” said Mr Bull
Cheryl says that the program’s success hinges on her volunteer mentors.
“Our Learner Driver Mentors are just wonderful people, and I’d like to thank all who have participated in the program with me over the last decade for giving our learner drivers the benefit of your driving skills, experience and encouragement.” she said.
Prospective Learner Driver Mentors can contact Cheryl on 0341040984.
Caption: Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, congratulates Mission Australia’s Cheryl Siely on the occasion of the 10th. anniversary of the L2P program in East Gippsland. 
Published in Media
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