Items filtered by date: September 2019
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 09:36

Gippsland Agricultural Group needs Government support

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull has asked the Agriculture Minister to provide funding to the Gippsland Agricultural Group (GAgG) and is hoping for a positive response this week.
“GAgG is comprised of Gippsland farmers from the Latrobe Valley through to East Gippsland and they have undertaken successful trials to see what grows best in lower rainfall conditions such as those we are currently experiencing,” said Mr Bull.
“It’s great work that is already being beneficial to some – and will be beneficial to many – in these dry times, so last Parliament sitting week I asked the Minister to provide funding.
“I have heard on the grapevine she will be in the region this week, so let’s hope she brings some support for this initiative and also some serious drought support, which to date has been lacking.
“The group has had considerable success and those farmers involved have seen significant benefits on their own farms from what they have learned on this trial site.
“One example is a crop called moby forage barley, which they identified from another area – that grows well in winter and in periods of lower annual rainfall.
“It performed well in the trials so local farmers have started cross sowing it with their usual pasture species. It is a way of hedging their bets as if it stays drier than normal, the moby barley grows and if we do get drought breaking rains their pasture will flourish – they will get growth no matter what the conditions.
“But they are also doing important work in a whole range of other areas including soil health and trialling species for grazing and silage.
“GAgG is also expanding and is negotiating to take over an adjoining 100ha which will allow the trials to be expanded.
“The expansion requires infrastructure of about $300,000, including fencing, stock handling facilities and water for livestock, so I want the Minister to ‘tip in’ and allow them to continue doing this great work,” he said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, with Brody Kennedy and Trevor Caithness at the Gippsland Agricultural Group’s Bengworden Road trial site
Published in Media
Tuesday, 24 September 2019 15:42

Part-time squad not enough to tackle rural crime

The Andrews Labor Government’s announcement yesterday of measures to tackle farm crime falls well short of what is needed to crack down on the theft of livestock, farm equipment and illegal hunting in East Gippsland.
The Andrews Government announced a Farm Crime Co-ordination Unit this week, but despite Labor’s claim it has created 70 new positions, in reality it has offered no additional resources, instead just rebranding the existing Agricultural Liaison Officers (AGLOs). 
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, said before the 2018 State Election, the Liberal Nationals committed to establish a specialist rural crime unit with an additional 20 officers dedicated to solving rural crimes.
“As a country MP I hear first-hand just how much devastation stock theft causes in our rural communities and I have had a number of local farmers raise concerns who have called for a dedicated rural crime unit,” said Mr Bull.
“Local police and the existing AGLOs are doing the best they can with the resources they have, but they are having to combine rural crime investigations with their other duties and it’s clear they need more support given the instances of rural crime taking place across Victoria and particularly here in East Gippsland.
“A lot of rural crime goes unreported because country folk just accept that it will be difficult to get investigators out to help them.
“That’s a direct result of there being too few frontline police dedicated to solving rural crime and to provide an active and visible police presence in the community.” 
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh, said Labor had failed to act on rural crime.
“Without a commitment from the Government for new frontline roles and a dedicated, specialist rural crime unit, this is just Labor shuffling the deck chairs.” said Mr Walsh.
Published in Media
Friday, 20 September 2019 09:50

Economic stimulus sought for Lakes

Communities surrounding the Gippsland Lakes are bracing themselves for the hit to the local economy that will inevitably accompany the removal of the ten fishing licences and the subsequent loss of income that these fishing families currently bring into the area.
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, spoke in Parliament last week on the Andrews Labor Government’s Marine and Fisheries Legislation Amendment Bill, which provides for the cancellation and subsequent compensation for all 10 Gippsland Lakes Fishery Access Licences by 1 April 2021.
“While I have raised a number of concerns about the exit package that is being offered to the licence holders, I am also concerned about the knock on effect to the local community,” said Mr Bull.
“I have asked the Minister for Regional Development about her department’s plans for investments that are being planned in Lakes Entrance to offset the economic impact of the buying out of the 10 commercial fishing licences.
“Apart from the families of the licence holders, this will also directly impact the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative and transport companies and will have other flow-on effects in that community as well.
“We have an undertaking for a cafe on Bullock Island, which the Liberal Nationals committed to several weeks before it was matched by Labor in the lead up to the State election, but more is needed.
“The Hazelwood closure attracted a very significant package of investments in the Latrobe Valley for workers displaced in the power industry.
“While we do not need anything of that magnitude, this issue is significant for Lakes Entrance and the government ought to support a proportionate level of investment in economic development for the town.” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured at the former Lakes Entrance Slipway which is one of the development opportunities that could benefit from state government investment.
Published in Media
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 16:58

Community Safety Grants Open

The Victorian Community Safety Fund is offering community groups the opportunity to apply for grants to help improve community safety.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull is encouraging community groups to consider applying for a grant of up to $25,000 to help improve community safety.
“Community safety grants can be used for projects by not-for-profit groups and can help deliver a wide range of positive outcomes,” said Mr Bull.
“Projects can include security equipment such as lighting, security screens, alarms, fencing and gates or be used to deliver small scale public space upgrades for improved community safety.
“Organisations in East Gippsland that have been successful in recent grant rounds include the East Gippsland Rail Trail Committee, Gippsland Lakes Community Health, Bairnsdale and District Agricultural Society and Lakes Entrance Football Netball Club.
“Programs like this are really important for our regional towns and I encourage local not-for-profit groups who have a project in mind to apply,” said Mr Bull.
The grants are available under two streams. The first stream offers up to $10,000 for projects that aim to prevent crime relating to community facilities and public spaces
The second stream offers up to $25,000 for projects that improve education and awareness on home safety, theft from business, personal property theft in public places and theft of or from motor vehicles.
For more information or to lodge an application visit www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/safetygrants.
Applications close Friday 18 October 2019
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured at Cockatoo Rise Veterans’ Retreat which was able to undertake a security upgrade of its museum with a Community Safety Grant.
Published in Media
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 10:54

Great Barrier Grief - safety barrier woes continue

Motorists terrified about being hemmed in by the safety barriers on the Princes Highway east of Stratford and unable to change a tyre or attend to breakdown repairs at a safe distance from the passing high speed traffic, continue to vent their frustration.
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, has a photo file showing the hideously dangerous situations that drivers are finding themselves in because of breakdowns in the section of the road where there is a space (offset) of only 3 metres from the traffic lane. Last week he received another.
“The reason I have been given for the narrow offset is that it would have been too costly to make it any wider and because of the associated native vegetation offsets that would have to be provided as well,” said Mr Bull.
“So we have been left with a dangerous compromise that road builders and emergency services personnel warned right from the get go would not work and the mounting evidence is that they were right.
“Road users who travel this section of the Princes Highway frequently now describe it as a ‘death trap’.
“The VicRoads Road Design Note specifies that ‘every effort should be made to achieve a desirable offset of 4.0 to 6.0 metres as it allows space for broken down vehicles to pull over clear of traffic lanes and provides space for maintenance vehicles.’
“It is astounding to me that VicRoads can turn a blind eye to its own safety standard to reduce costs and in the process is putting everyone who uses this road at serious risk.
“I have written to the Roads Minister requesting that the roadside barriers be removed and only replaced when a minimum 4 metre offset can be provided.
“I don’t care what it costs, its time this was fixed.” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has called time on the excuses being made for the dangerous road barriers on the Princes Highway, following last week’s addition to his photo file.
Published in Media
Friday, 13 September 2019 10:49

Remy’s wheelie great statement

Grade six student at Heyfield Primary School Remy Grogan, was celebrated in a whole of school assembly after being awarded Third Prize in a State Parliament initiative, which doubles as a proposal for Wellington Shire’s consideration.
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, presented Remy with her Parliamentary Award. Students were asked to deliver a 90 second Members Statement on a topic they wished to raise.
With applications open to students Victoria wide, there were 589 individual entrants from 113 schools, a terrific response.
“The best news of all, was Heyfield Primary School basically out performed all others, with three of their student’s submissions making their way into the final round of judging,” said Mr Bull.
“While Remy was awarded overall third prize, high praise was extended to Lachlan Powney and Lily Reynolds for their entries which narrowly missed the podium.
“Remy chose to discuss the need for a safe bike path to negotiate the 100km/h narrow Licola Road from Heyfield to Lake Glenmaggie, a road which fellow students travel each day on their way to school.
The submission was presented in video format which was directed and edited by Remy herself.
“Her personality really shone through, all the while delivering her message in a fun and creative way and full credit to her mum who acted as camerawoman,” Mr Bull said.
“After watching all three submissions from Heyfield Primary School, I was particularly impressed that all students chose to discuss local issues, and all were of a very high standard. 
“Remy has raised a genuine concern which is experienced every day for some students at Heyfield Primary School, who ride to school.
“She presented a localised issue in a mature and well-reasoned statement that was a convincing approach pitching a bike path as the solution that will improve both safety aspects along with added benefits of getting the community enjoying the outdoors. 
“The best part of the day was seeing the smile on her face when I handed over a cheque which accompanied the award. It was a priceless expression, an unexpected benefit for outstanding effort,” Mr Bull said.
“Empowering young people to identify issues that concern them and raise them in a public forum, is a great learning opportunity. 
“I applaud the teachers at Heyfield Primary School for the wonderful work they continue to do in encouraging our country kids to think big,” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull congratulates Remy Grogan and is seeking Wellington Shire consideration for her award winning safe bike path proposal
Published in Media
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