July 2019
Tuesday, 30 July 2019 13:57

Local councils left up the creek

The Andrews Labor Government’s commitment that it will remove boat ramp parking and launching fees for councils that charged them, greatly disadvantages East Gippsland and Wellington Shire Councils and their ratepayers.
Member for Gippsland East and Shadow Minister for Fishing and Boating, Tim Bull, said councils that will be subsidised by the Government have charged these fees to cover maintenance costs. However, shires like the East Gippsland and Wellington councils, that meet these maintenance costs out of general rate revenue will get nothing, meaning they are being massively short changed.
“For example, Mornington Shire (that has six ramps) will receive over half a million dollars compensation from the state and Hobson’s Bay (two ramps) will receive $356,000 from Daniel Andrews’ coffers as this is what whey raised from fees annually to maintain the facilities.
“However, East Gippsland Shire, that has to maintain 24 ramps and car parks and Wellington Shire (19 ramps) – and do so from general rates revenue – will receive nothing.
“In effect the government is picking up the boat ramp and car park maintenance bill for predominantly metro councils, while others like East Gippsland and Wellington, that did not charge fees on locals and visitors, but rather maintained these facilities from general rate revenue, get zilch.
“This leaves these rural and regional councils, and their ratepayers, at an incredibly unfair disadvantage,” said Mr Bull.
“This city-centric Labor Government needs to have a fair system, not yet another policy that disadvantages regional Victorians.”
Caption: Member for Gippsland East and Shadow Minister for Fishing and Boating, Tim Bull says East Gippsland and Wellington Shire are being short changed by the Andrews Labor Government on boat ramp and car park funding.
Published in Media
Tuesday, 23 July 2019 16:30

Get involved to fix farm trespass laws

There’s just two weeks left for East Gippsland’s farmers, farm businesses and community members to contribute to the Inquiry into farm trespass laws, that will hopefully result in tougher actions for illegal farm invasions.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull has urged locals to make a submission to the Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculture, before public submissions close on August 2.
Mr Bull said the public’s views will provide critical evidence to inform the Committee’s final recommendations.
“Our farmers deserve to be safe at work and in their homes, but that’s not been the case while law-breaking activists feel they can break in and steal livestock, only to get a slap on the wrist,” said Mr Bull.
“Farmers and farm businesses need appropriate protections from these activists and I encourage anyone who agrees that the laws need to be stronger to put in a public submission and add their voice in support of our responsible, ethical farmers.
“The East Gippsland community must not miss this opportunity to be heard and to make a difference for our farmers and their families”.
Agriculture makes a vital contribution to our state each year. In 2017-18, it contributed $15 billion to Victoria’s economy – a quarter the national total – and supported nearly 90,000 jobs. The value of agricultural production in the Latrobe-Gippsland region was reported at $1.8 billion, equating to 12 per cent of the industry value within Victoria.
Mr Bull congratulated the Federal Liberal Nationals Government for moving to strengthen privacy laws, including penalties for anyone using technology to incite trespass on private property.
“East Gippsland’s farmers should be protected against these keyboard warriors who encourage other law-breaking activists to trespass, steal livestock and publicly bring down our hard-working farmers’ reputation,” said Mr Bull.
“The Nationals stand with our farmers and rural communities, and this Victorian Inquiry is a first step forward to deliver the change our communities are demanding.”
To make a public submission visit https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/eic-lc/article/4202 before August 2.
The Economy and Infrastructure Committee will hold hearings later in the year and provide a final report to Parliament by November 28.
Published in Media
Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:09

Steel road barriers ‘preferred’ by local community – Minister

One of the reasons flexible steel guard rail is being installed on the Princes Highway between Sale and Bairnsdale is because that’s what “was preferred by the community”, according to Roads Minister, Jaala Pulford.
In responding to a question in Parliament from Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, asking why was steel guard rail being installed when community information sessions suggested it would be wire rope barrier, the Minister’s written response states:
“Flexible steel guard fence was selected on the Princes Highway East between Sale and Bairnsdale in consideration of the following:
• during the early community engagement Regional Roads Victoria received feedback that the flexible steel guard fence was preferred by the community.”
“Having attended two of those sessions, the data all referred to the barriers being wire rope and I cannot recall any such requests being made by the community, so can only assume that if it exists, it was submitted on line,” said Mr Bull.
“I will now ask the Minister to provide me with copies of these submissions requesting steel rail.”
Mr Bull said the aggressive response from the Minister accused him of undermining the project for “cheap political gain” and that the Opposition has a “crusade against life-saving safety barriers”.
“This could not be further from the truth and is disrespectful to the people of the region who have raised these questions with me and want them answered,” said Mr Bull.
“Throughout this entire process, I have repeatedly said – and will say again – I am not opposed to safety barriers, but want them to be installed in the right locations and with proper community consultation and not a blanket roll out. That has not occurred on this occasion.
“For instance, if the original plan was right, why has the government considerably altered its plans to not install roadside barriers along 25kms that was originally planned to have them – and why are they removing barriers in some locations where they have been installed?
“On top of this, Regional Roads Victoria has admitted its community consultations ‘could have been done better’.”
Caption: Tim Bull MP inspecting the steel guard rail installed on the Princes Highway 
Published in Media
Thursday, 18 July 2019 15:37

New Mallacoota Police Station open

The recently completed Mallacoota Police Station will service the community well into the future, according to Gippsland East, Nationals MP, Tim Bull, who toured the new facility recently.
Mr Bull said the focus was now very much on seeking government funding for the badly needed new station in Orbost, which was a Liberal Nationals pre-election commitment.
“The new Mallacoota station features an open plan industrial designed layout on a larger footprint that will comfortably accommodate the addition of up to three extra police officers over the summer seasonal peak.
“All spaces are open plan to ensure people with all abilities can access all areas,” he said.
The new facility replaces the old station in Lees Street, which had been operational since 1980. 
“The old police station has served local police and the community well, but it’s now tired and we’ve outgrown it,” said Sergeant Stuart Johnston.
Light capturing windows and a modern outdoor garden area add to the open plan feel with functional additions such as expandable change room facilities, a wet weather and drying store closet for the occasions when uniforms get wet. 
“Functionality was a key design consideration which has been executed brilliantly and that is what happens when you engage locals,” Mr Bull said.
The use of materials cleverly keep the temperature of the building fairly constant, ensuring the need for heating and cooling are kept to a minimum.
“After meeting with the architect Tim Hall, I was pleased to hear about the considerations which had been designed with functionality a priority. 
“I even poked my head into the holding cell which I hope (I’m sure) is my one and only look inside,” said Mr Bull.
“The Class of 2016 from Mallacoota P-12 College has contributed a large vibrant painting which is displayed at the entrance.
“All contributors, police members and local community members are very pleased with the finished product.”
Pictured: Tim Bull MP, Victoria Police Properties Linda Noke, Builder Peter Ammitzbol from CM & HM Banks, LSC Angus Webb, Sergeant Stuart Johnston and Architect Tim Hall
Published in Media
Wednesday, 17 July 2019 11:07

Have your say on litter problems

If you want to do something about littering and the illegal dumping of rubbish, you are invited to contribute your views and opinions to a plan that will help to protect East Gippsland’s natural environment.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull is encouraging concerned residents to participate in an on line survey that will assist with education, awareness and enforcement initiatives as well as improved litter infrastructure, to address local litter and illegal dumping issues.
“The Regional Litter and Illegal Dumping Plan will identify and prioritise the top five litter and illegal dumping issues for our region and develop an action plan that can be used to apply for external funding as it becomes available,” said Mr Bull.
“While littering attitudes and behaviours have improved, we need continued action to reduce littering and illegal dumping in East Gippsland.
“We are lucky to live in an area that is known for its natural beauty but we need to ensure we are doing everything we can to make sure these attributes are protected.
“I am often dismayed to see the amount of litter that has accumulated on roadsides or just left in parks and on riverbanks.
“While I find it infuriating people still toss litter on to the roadsides or leave it in public areas, I congratulate those community minded folk who participate in organised clean-up day campaigns or just quietly pick up after others.
“This is a persistent problem so by having your say you can make a difference to the environmental, social, economic and health and safety outcomes of our region.”
Published in Media
Friday, 12 July 2019 11:28

Volunteer Emergency Service Grants Available

East Gippsland’s emergency service organisations are being encouraged to repeat their highly successful efforts from last year by again applying for funding through the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP).
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull said the program was now open to the Country Fire Authority, Victoria State Emergency Service, Life Saving Victoria and Australian Volunteer Coastguard.
“Last year eleven grants totalling $640,919 were shared amongst Country Fire Authority, State Emergency Service and Surf Life Saving volunteer services with Cowwarr, Omeo and Marlo CFA brigades each receiving $118,500 for new 4 X 4 ultralight tankers,” said Mr Bull.
“Other CFA brigades / groups whose applications were successful included Johnsonville, Mount Delegate and Sarsfield.
“Lakes Entrance and Mallacoota Surf Life Saving Clubs and the Maffra and Orbost Units of the State Emergency Service were also rewarded for their efforts.
“Our emergency services volunteers do a wonderful job in protecting the community and these grants will help to ensure that when they are performing their roles, they have the equipment and facilities to do the job.
“The VESEP grants can be used to fund operational equipment, including new vehicles, trucks, light and medium tankers, trailers, watercraft, vessels and engines, or funding can be put towards minor building improvements”, said Mr Bull.
VESEP funding will contribute $2 for every $1 of funding from the local volunteer group up to a maximum of $150,000.00 excluding GST.
For more information about the VESEP and to find out how to apply for a grant, visit emv.vic.gov.au/vesep
Published in Media
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