Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Thursday, 04 July 2019 11:41
The revelation this week that the Andrews Labor Government has appointed a Sydney firm to conduct a “social network analysis of wild dog management” at a cost of $140,690 is alarming, according to Nationals Gippsland East MP Tim Bull.
“It is amazing that consultants from Sydney have been brought in to conduct a ‘social network analysis’ – whatever that is – when nearly $50 million was slashed from Agriculture in Labor’s State Budget.
“That they’re happy to spend money on Sydney consultants is disrespectful on so many levels.
“Imagine what $140,000, spent right, could do for the wild dog control program – that’s a lot of baits or a significant boost to wild dogger support.
“This is the second time in recent weeks that we have seen how little the Andrews Labor Government understands about wild dog management and now we have scarce Agriculture Victoria resources being diverted to unnecessary outside consultants.
“The Minister for Agriculture should knock this consultancy on the head and scrap this program to re-direct the funds to some real support for our landholders against the threat of wild dogs,” said Mr Bull.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said Labor wasn’t taking the right action to protect landholders against the threat of wild dogs.
“The Andrews Labor Government has its priorities all wrong when it comes to wild dog control and making a difference for farmers and regional communities,” Mr Walsh said.
“Daniel Andrews’ green policy agenda is already beefing up wild dog numbers by leaving an all-you-can-eat buffet from the aerial culling of deer in Victorian parks and now landholders discover funds will be squandered on ‘social network analysis’.
“The Andrews Labor Government would do well to remember: the only good wild dog, is a dead wild dog.”
Wednesday, 03 July 2019 11:32
Hope Restart (alcohol and drug rehabilitation) Centre is on target to be finished by the end of this year and accepting clients in the first half of 2020.
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, was on site this week to view the progress being made by local construction company Brooker Builders and paid tribute to the community effort that has delivered this project.
“There is no doubt the government originally planned to build this facility elsewhere, that was made very clear to me at Parliament, but the community effort that just kept ticking boxes, made it impossible for the Minister to not strongly consider Bairnsdale – he told me that himself,” said Mr Bull.
“To be able to advise the Minister that land had been provided, council planning approval granted, community support was strong, community funds had been raised, philanthropic support had been obtained and Federal Government funding secured, it went from being off the radar to an obvious option - and all credit for that goes to the Hope Centre Board and the community.
“In the end the State Government really only had to commit to recurrent funding (which was announced last year) as the land and capital costs had largely been secured by the Board. If the government was to build it anywhere else, it would have had to deal with the land purchase and capital costs.
“I was able to chat to Odyssey House (who will run the centre), chief executive, Stefan Gruenert, earlier this week and he confirmed that timeframes were being met, which is terrific news and this was backed up in my conversations with Ross Brooker, of Brooker Builders.
“I have visited Odyssey House’s Melbourne operation with Stefan and chatted with the clients there who are receiving rehabilitation. When you see how well they go about their operations, it leaves you in no doubt whatsoever that this will be a great asset for our entire region.”
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull, inspects progress at the Hope Restart Centre with Brooker Builders site manager Paul Vickery.
Tuesday, 02 July 2019 11:26
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has criticised the Andrew’s Labor Government’s silence on rate relief for drought impacted farmers, while announcing additional funding for councils today.
Today the Local Government Minister poured millions into council governance measures, which will see councils state-wide share in just on $20 million to ‘improve the quality, effectiveness and affordability of services to their ratepayers’, at a time when Mr Andrews refuses to listen to our local farmers’ calls for rate relief, he said.
“The Andrews Government has its priorities all wrong. Our drought-affected farmers deserve to know why the Government has been telling us rate relief is ‘on the table’ since January, but has still done nothing six months later.
“There comes a time when something that is on the table needs to be either acted on, or taken off the table - and the reality is many in our rural sector are doing it tough.
“We hear nothing week after week and then we get told out of nowhere that funding is being provided to councils to, in the government’s own words, ‘integrate information systems with a focus on electronic records and document management’.
“That is all well and good and I am sure our councils will utilise this money wisely, but I would have thought there were more pressing matters at the moment. This funding will do nothing to directly assist the farmers in need.
“The rate revenue generated from farmers in East Gippsland Shire is $4.9 million and it is $10.1million in Wellington. This package could have subsidised council rates for those in need, which at the present time would be better than ‘integrating information systems,” Mr Bull said.