Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Items filtered by date: May 2019
Wednesday, 08 May 2019 09:12
Funds to establish a respite centre for families caring for those with special needs in East Gippsland was requested in State Parliament this week.
Gippsland East Nationals MP and Shadow Minister for Disability, Tim Bull, has requested government support to partner with local service provider, Noweyung, to establish what he called a “high priority” for the region.
Speaking in Parliament last Thursday, Mr Bull said the nearest respite facilities for special needs children were in Sale and Traralgon, away from local family and support networks.
“If you are planning on heading east to take a break as many do, families from Bairnsdale have to head in the wrong direction (west) to Sale or Traralgon before they leave and if you live further east in Lakes Entrance or Orbost it is worse.
“Noweyung has been very proactive in planning for a respite centre and that is coming to the pointy end, so I ask the Minister to join with Noweyung to provide funding support,” Mr Bull told Parliament.
“Our special school enrolment has grown to over 120 and those families need support outside school hours, as do those caring for adults with additional needs.”
Mr Bull said Noweyung had funds to contribute to the project, but needed government support to bring its plans to fruition.
The Minister has one month to respond to Mr Bull’s request.
Caption: Local Nationals MP and Shadow Minister for Disability Tim Bull, meets with Noweyung Life Members John and Liz Hansen, Noweyung CEO Mike Amor and parents Shane and Linda Pendergast to discuss plans for a new disability respite centre.
Friday, 03 May 2019 14:49
The rates review announced by the Labor State Government this week has missed the boat in relation to specifically reviewing farm rates, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
“The terms of reference indicate the review will consider current rates and charges, current rating exemptions and concessions and the autonomy of councils to provide rates.
“The Nationals promised pre-election a review that specifically looked into farm rates and in particular the unfair significant increases in that sector.
“Labor’s Local Government Minister, Adem Somyurek, was asked in Parliament this week to explain why a review into rates fails to address the number one issue facing farmers.
“The Minister made the bizarre claim that the rates cap “stops rates increasing”, but what we have seen in some councils is 30% increases in the farm rate category, while the overall council rate increase fits within the 2.5% rate cap rise as other rating sectors have limited, or no, increases – this is unfair.
“We had a chance with this rate review to specifically address this in the terms of reference, but it has not occurred.
“Two weeks ago VFF President David Jochinke, who I spoke with on the issue this week, confirmed the peak farmer’s representative body ‘was not consulted during the development of the terms of reference for this review’.
Mr Bull said he would push to have strong farmer representation in the review’s public hearings and hope the recommendations would address the situation, despite the non-specific terms of reference.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the Minister’s response showed Labor was out of touch with country Victoria.
“The Andrews Labor Government has completely missed the point of this rates review if it thinks its failed rates cap has been a success.
“Farmers who saw their rates rise by 30 per cent last year will completely disagree with the Minister’s bizarre claim,” Mr Walsh said.
On the East Gippsland Shire’s draft budget which projects a 12% overall farm rate increase, Mr Bull said he’d been in productive discussions with the CEO and Mayor and was hopeful of an adjustment between the draft budget and final budget.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull, is critical that the Labor Government’s rates review does not address unfair farm rates increases.
Thursday, 02 May 2019 16:17
Better protecting East Gippsland’s farmers against the destructive actions of law-breaking activists will be at the centre of a parliamentary inquiry to fix farm trespass laws.
The Nationals proposed a motion to State Parliament this week to establish the inquiry, following serious concerns more needed to be done to protect farmers from law-breaking activists.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the inquiry would help identify the best way to strengthen laws and would report back in November this year.
“These people are a blight on society as far as I am concerned, invading farms illegally and getting a slap on the wrist for it.
“I am hopeful this inquiry will result in an outcome that provides some minimum fines/penalties, so these people really face serious repercussions for their actions.
“Having visited the Gippy Goat Café the week before it closed due to the activist’s invasion, it is infuriating these actions had that impact.
“This parliamentary inquiry is a win for farmers, their families and regional communities,” Mr Bull said.
“I’ve heard from many farmers who are furious that people are getting away with breaking into farms and stealing livestock with just a slap on the wrist.
“I would like to thank the 2,000 people who responded to my on line petition in support of this action in Parliament. This effort certainly helped get this over the line.
“The Nationals stand with our farmers and rural communities on this issue, and this inquiry is a first step forward to deliver the change our communities are demanding.”
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the strong community-driven campaign had forced the Andrews Government into action.
“This inquiry is an opportunity for Parliament to work together to deliver the laws and penalties that our communities expect and demand,” Mr Walsh said.
Mr Walsh added that it was disappointing that not all parties had supported the inquiry.
“While Labor finally saw the light and realised they can’t keep ignoring farmers, unsurprisingly The Greens again failed to back the industry,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Greens pretend to support farmers when they are hunting for votes but, as proved again today, it’s just hollow rhetoric.”
The Inquiry will be carried out by Parliament’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee and local people will have a chance to have their say when public submissions open.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull, visited the Gippy Goat café the week before it closed as a result of an illegal invasion by animal activists.
Wednesday, 01 May 2019 17:32
Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull has taken up local concerns with poorly-managed State Government deer control programs, which appear to be feeding destructive wild dogs, foxes and pigs, to the floor of Parliament.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said he has been told Parks Victoria contractors have been culling deer in the Alpine National Park, without a requirement to remove carcasses.
“Feral deer have become a serious problem, however without carcass disposal, it is reducing the numbers of one invasive species to the benefit of others that are more damaging,” Mr Bull said.
“My office has received an enquiry from a constituent who said when discussing the operation with the shooters, they advised the carcasses are left in the bush.
“The State Government spends taxpayer dollars carrying out control of wild dogs, foxes and feral pigs in these same areas, so I have asked the Minister to explain why these carcasses have been left to rot, feeding up populations of wild dogs and foxes.
“This area is on the fringe of farms that have an ongoing battle to maintain viable businesses in the face of these destructive feral pests.
“I am advised that already 300-400 deer have been culled, possibly more,” Mr Bull told Parliament.
“Many farmers are reluctant to give hunters permission to shoot deer on their properties unless the carcass is removed, for precisely this reason.”
Mr Bull said he has been further advised an aerial shooting trial has commenced with similar concerns.
“It appears there is no plan to remove these carcasses either, some of which are reportedly lying in waterways, which is not acceptable.
“It is my strong belief this is occurring and if so the Minister needs to do something about it.”
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull, discusses the control of feral pests with Ken Stuart, Chairman of the Pest Plants and Animals subcommittee of the East Gippsland Landcare Network.