Items filtered by date: April 2019
Thursday, 18 April 2019 16:39

Foskey re writes history (again)

Once again we have Greens Federal candidate, Deb Foskey, making misleading claims and trying to re-write history, says Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
Ms Foskey labelled last week’s announcement of $10 million by Darren Chester to improve Lindenow Valley water security as ‘policy on the run’ Bairnsdale Advertiser, Thursday 18, April 2019, page 1.
“This is simply not true”, Mr Bull said.
“When the State Nationals provided $1m to investigate water security for the Lindenow Valley in 2010, a committee that included local grower representatives was established to undertake a study of three options - an off-river storage, on farm storage and aquifer recharge.
“The Federal Government, through Darren’s advocacy, then contributed an additional $500,000 to complete this work.
“Following the November state election I had discussions with the current State Labor water minister, who indicated that for various reasons, the off river storage option was not likely to proceed.
“Several meetings with growers then took place. They agreed that on farm storage was the preferred option with a government allocation matched by the growers’ own investment.
“I had several discussions with the Minister and she then made representations to the Federal Government also,” said Mr Bull.
“So after many meetings we had local growers seeking this outcome, both sides of politics at the state level seeking this outcome and to his great credit, Darren Chester delivered the funding Federally.
“That Ms Foskey calls this ‘policy on the run’ without knowing the detail or seeking to find out the detail is disappointing.”
Mr Bull said Ms Foskey’s comment that the Nationals never supported farmers to keep fracking off their land, was also trying to re-write history.
“It was the Nationals who introduced the initial fracking moratorium on coming to government in 2010, after Labor had granted over 20 fracking licences and over 70 fracking exploration licences.
“Not one fracking licence or fracking exploration licence has ever been approved in this state by the Liberal Nationals, but of course it does not suit Ms Foskey to acknowledge that.
”Rather than play the serial critic with misleading information, it would be more productive if the Greens candidate could start talking about the investment she will deliver for our region if elected,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has called out Federal Greens candidate Deb Foskey for her misleading claims.
Published in Media
Monday, 15 April 2019 11:48

Pasture grant sidesteps rates issue

The Labor Government’s Pasture Recovery Grants that will provide $5,000 on a dollar for dollar matching basis for drought affected farmers is ignorant of the current reality that, after three years of drought, few now have a spare $5,000 to benefit from it.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said many farmers are struggling to survive financially and drought relief measures that continue to ignore this state of affairs are a cruel deception. 
“I have been saying for many months that the most effective from of drought relief is to subsidise farm rates which will in turn free up money for the specific needs of individual farmers,” said Mr Bull.
“Farmers continue to be made tantalising grant offers that even if they are a priority, are often financially impossible to access.
“In the on-farm forums I convened late last year there was strong agreement that the one subsidy that would assist all farmers and could be equitably provided, was council rate relief (where the State Government pays the rates of farmers to the shires).
“In February this year Minister Symes contributed to expectations of full rate relief by saying in local media it was ‘on the table’.
“A farmer I spoke to last week is spending $2,000 per day on her feed bill.
“The priority is to keep her livestock alive and while pasture renovation is important for the future, it’s not the most pressing need.
“The current cost of full farm rates relief in the East Gippsland Shire is $4.9 million and in Wellington Shire it is $10.1 million.
“The Minister needs to take decisive action to get rates relief back on the agenda and funded in the forthcoming State budget,” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, pictured with Gary and Kaye Davidson and Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien at the Davidson’s shearing shed at Walpa during his visit to Gippsland last week to assess drought conditions.
Published in Media
Tuesday, 09 April 2019 08:52

O’Brien sees drought first hand

New State Opposition leader, Michael O’Brien, was in East Gippsland today with local Nationals MP, Tim Bull, visiting drought impacted farmers.
“Prior to parliament resuming in February with Michael as the new leader, he promised to get up here as soon as possible and I am pleased he has kept that commitment,” Mr Bull said.
“It’s taken him just on two months, in stark contrast to the Premier for Melbourne who has not been here once in five years.
Mr Bull said he and Mr O’Brien attended a local sheep grazier’s property before meeting with Lindenow Valley growers and then a tour of Vegco.
“Whilst we were present for the $10m Lindenow Valley water security announcement, which was great news, this was about getting Michael out to have a chat to a few families without the media or a big entourage,” said Mr Bull.
Mr O’Brien said the discussions were very worthwhile and thanked those farmers who opened up about the plight they are facing.
“To hear the level some have de-stocked and the mounting feed bills, it really is time this government took some decisive action.
“While it’s been great to be back in East Gippsland as Opposition Leader it’s disappointing that Labor’s Premier hasn’t been down here in years. If he visited he might better understand the challenges local farmers are experiencing,” Mr O’Brien said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, pictured with Gary and Kaye Davidson and Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien at the Davidson’s shearing shed at Walpa during his visit to Gippsland to assess drought conditions.
Published in Media
Tuesday, 09 April 2019 08:39

$10m for Lindenow Valley water security

Lindenow’s $120 million horticulture industry received a shot in the arm today with the announcement that the Federal Government will provide $10million for water security projects in the Lindenow Valley.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said that after three years of drought, culminating in the recent total ban for irrigators on the Mitchell River, decisive action was needed to secure the future of the vegetable industry.
“It was therefore a pleasure to join my Federal colleague Darren Chester, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and State Opposition Leader, Michael O’Brien in Lindenow today to make the announcement,” said Mr Bull.
Lindenow, grower, Bill Bulmer, said this project would support those prepared to invest in their businesses to gain improved water security, which was the backbone of the local sector.
“This will allow us to partner with government to get the outcomes we need,” he said.
Mr Bull said the project has been the point of discussion for some time at all three levels of government and it was terrific the commitment was made today and this will be delivered.
“It’s not a pre-election commitment, this money is there and this will happen. This fund will provide local growers with the support they need to develop on farm storages to get them through the drier summer months, particularly drought periods,” Mr Bull said.
“While some may seek to increase entitlements if the water becomes available, in the first instance this is about allowing the farmers to use closer to their full allocation by being able to store winter flows in the event summer restrictions come in, like we have seen this year.
“Full credit to Darren for getting this over the line in such a short time frame, we have pursued this vigorously and it is a great outcome.
State Opposition Leader, Michael O’Brien said “water security means job security, and I strongly support the Federal Liberal Nationals’ investment in water storage upgrades in Gippsland.”  
Mr Bull also paid credit to the growers, some of whom provided important information that became part of the state submission.
9, April, 2019
Caption: pictured at today’s announcement at Lindenow (from left to right) Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack; Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester; Mayor of the East Gippsland Shire, Natalie O’Connell; Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien; Bill Bulmer - Bulmer Farms and Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
Published in Media