March 2020
Friday, 27 March 2020 15:48

Minister will not answer barrier questions

Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) and the Roads Minister have failed to answer basic questions on the installation of the road barriers between Sale and Bairnsdale.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, raised several points in an RRV response to constituent enquiries, where the installation appeared to not be in line with its own guidelines.
“As an example, I questioned a comment in a letter from RRV in relation to the width of the emergency lane that said: ‘A width of 3.0m allows a passenger vehicle to stop clear of the traffic lanes’.
“However, the State’s standards in relation to safety barrier offsets, state: ‘every effort should be made to achieve the desired offset of 4.0 metres as it allows broken down vehicles to pull over clear of traffic lanes and provide space for maintenance vehicles’. 
“My question asked for an explanation as to:
• Why the two statements are clearly contradictory, and
• Should we not be abiding by the VicRoads standard in Victoria and making every effort to achieve the 4m, which has not occurred?
“A second example is that I queried another comment from RRV that said: ‘A width of 3m allows a truck to stop clear of the traffic lanes’
“I provided photos (attached) proving three metres does not allow a truck to stop clear of traffic lanes and asked for an explanation,” said Mr Bull.
“The response to the questions (a copy of which has been provided to this media outlet) do not even touch on these matters and simply give an overview of the program.
“This is just another case of the Minister not answering genuine concerns from the people of this region and it can only be for one of two reasons – either there is no reasonable answer, or there is an unwillingness to answer.”
Mr Bull has also asked the Minister for a review of heavy vehicle accidents after spate of recent accidents that many drivers say is due to the rough and uneven road surface.
Caption; Local MP Tim Bull is still waiting for an answer as to why a 4 metre wide safety barrier offset hasn’t been provided between Stratford and Bairnsdale.
Published in Media
Tuesday, 24 March 2020 14:56

It’s the time to help each other

A new Facebook page “Supporting East Gippsland Businesses in 2020” was launched this week.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the idea came out of a meeting he held with representatives from local business and tourism associations and chamber of commerce representatives.
“The idea is that as we are forced into this localised circular economy where non-essential travel is restricted, there is no more important time to support each other and our local business sector, said Mr Bull.
“A number of local businesses have restructured the way they are going about things. For example, restaurants and pubs are introducing take away menus and home deliveries that they have never done before.
“This is an avenue to let community members know they can still support their local businesses in a safe way without compromising the safeguards that have been put in place.
“Already we are up over 1,000 members in 24 hours and this has the potential to touch well over 50 per cent of our local population. People can see what services are on offer and spend locally.
“It is now more important than ever to shop locally. We will have job losses from this coronavirus situation and our economy will be impacted, but one way we can help to limit the pain is to support each other through this period.
“It’s not the time to shop on line, it’s the time to shop local,” he said.
Caption; Local MP Tim Bull pictured with Ben West at Aroma Coffee House & Eatery is promoting “Supporting East Gippsland Businesses in 2020” to help business owners and their employees through the coronavirus situation. 
Published in Media
Monday, 23 March 2020 10:14

Minister silent on roadside clearing

Minister for Environment, Lily D’Ambrosio has failed to answer a question in State Parliament on whether she will support the uncompleted roadside clearing on the Princes Highway East.
Nationals State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, asked the Minister the following question on February 6:
As a result of the recent bushfires in East Gippsland, the Princes Highway was closed for five weeks, crippling many businesses and causing communities to be cut off in what has been a completely unacceptable outcome. Some freight businesses have lost considerable amounts in this period.
Timber workers and government agencies have cleared much of the roadsides, but given the necessity to open the Princes Highway as quickly as possible, there remains many more areas on this route that require the same treatment. This will ensure the road is open more quickly in future and provides an appropriate fire break for coastal communities. 
Will the Minister support this yet uncompleted roadside clearing over the coming months?
By State Government requirements, the Minister has one month to respond, but after six weeks had not provided an answer.
“The situation is, we cannot afford to have our major road closed for this amount of time as it cripples us financially, isolates communities and provides a dangerous workplace for those clearing the roads,” said Mr Bull.
“Freight companies are seeking at least a tree length clearing. This has been completed in some areas as part of the clean-up work, but there remains more to be done.
“However, for Regional Roads Victoria to oversee this we will need the Environment Minister on board.”
Mr Bull has raised with the speaker the lack of response and sought his support to extract an answer from the Minister in line with Parliamentary guidelines.
Caption; Local MP Tim Bull is still waiting for an answer from the Environment Minister on the tree clearing work he has requested on the Princes Highway East, to avoid a repeat of the prolonged emergency works (pictured here near Poddy Creek) that were required after the recent bushfires.     
Published in Media
Tuesday, 17 March 2020 15:41

Neighbourhood Houses recognised

Throughout the last three years of drought and now more recently in the aftermath of the bushfires, East Gippsland’s Neighbourhood Houses have been assisting their local communities with vital material aid and personal support.
The government’s announcement this week of a $10,000 grant to Neighbourhood Houses in East Gippsland to assist them in this work is belated recognition that they have had to do all this on a shoe string budget and from overstretched facilities, said Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
“I recently wrote to the Government seeking financial support for the Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House and I am pleased this has been responded to,” said Mr Bull.
"The facility has been providing meals to drought affected farmers for some time and in the aftermath of the bushfires, is supplying frozen meal packs to families who have lost homes, farms and businesses. 
“Many other Neighbourhood Houses across East Gippsland were also at the front line of the bushfire emergency and their staff and volunteers have made a huge contribution to the welfare of their communities.”
Neighbourhood Houses that will benefit from the bushfire grant include Bairnsdale, Bemm River, Benambra, Bendoc, Briagolong, Bruthen, Buchan, Cann River, Lakes Entrance, Mallacoota, Orbost, Swifts Creek and Tubbut.
“This payment has recognised that our Community Houses have come under a lot of financial stress with the bushfires, but I would hope their need for facilities upgrades is also being considered,” said Mr Bull. 
Caption; Local MP Tim Bull pictured at Cann River Neighbourhood House says the State government has given belated recognition to Neighbourhood Houses in fire affected communities.
Published in Media
Friday, 13 March 2020 16:43

No end to Bairnsdale line’s poor performance

The crisis in VLine has hit rock bottom with the Bairnsdale line recording another month of failing to run on time.
VLine released February performance data that showed Bairnsdale trains again failed to meet the 92 per cent punctuality target, with just 86.2 per cent running on time.
The Gippsland line was the worst performing short distance service recording only 73.6 per cent punctuality.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said Bairnsdale trains haven’t met the 92 per cent punctuality target once in the more than five years since Daniel Andrews was elected.
“Unreliable and late train services make it harder for the people of East Gippsland to get to medical appointments, to connect with other transport links and see family and friends.
“The people of East Gippsland deserve reliable, timely and comfortable services which connect them to the city but many have had to adopt the expensive contingency of travelling the day before and incurring overnight accommodation costs,” Mr Bull said.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, said better public transport was a priority for people in Sale and Rosedale. 
“Locals have been putting up with slow and unreliable trains for years and Labor has been slow and unreliable in its efforts to address the problem,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Even the Gippsland Regional Rail Revival project, which is predominately funded by the Federal Government, has taken the Andrews Labor Government three years to get started.
“Gippslanders deserve better.”
Mr O’Brien said a dedicated rail line for Gippsland trains through the south-eastern suburbs was a priority project to provide Gippsland with faster and more reliable trains into the future.
The VLine performance data revealed every short distance service across the state– Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour and Gippsland lines – failed to meet reliability and punctuality targets. 
Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport Steph Ryan said four of VLine’s six long distance services also failed to meet punctuality targets.
“The Andrews Labor Government is failing to fix the worsening problems in VLine,” Ms Ryan said.
“Ripping $149 million from VLine’s budget at a time when most regional lines are constantly failing to meet punctuality targets will only make the problems worse.”
VLine’s reliability target is for at least 96 per cent of scheduled services to run. Meanwhile, 92 per cent of services must arrive on time (within six minutes for short distance services and within 11 minutes for long distance services) to meet punctuality targets.
Published in Media
Thursday, 12 March 2020 17:46

Jetty common sense prevails

Properties where boats are the only access point, can now have private jetties constructed, after a change to the State Marine and Coastal Policy.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, campaigned hard on this issue pre-Christmas when it became apparent the Draft document prevented private jetties being built on Boole Poole Peninsula and Mosquito Point at Metung.
“The situation was that we had landowners who planned to build, the only access was by boat and they were being told they could not have a jetty,” said Mr Bull.
“Not only was it denying access but impacting land prices and compromising safety if ever a family had to leave quickly.”
Mr Bull also said the draft guideline that did not allow memorial plaques on foreshores had also been removed.
“This was an area of concern where many locals signed a petition I presented to Government. An example was the memorial stone at Metung would have to be removed.
“While the direct reference to memorial plaques has been removed, there is reference to only allowing appropriate structures, so I will be looking to ensure it is not caught under this wider umbrella.”
Mr Bull said a third change was the removal of the intention to ‘minimise the need for capital and maintenance dredging’.
“The reality is if maintenance dredging needs to take place at a boat ramp or in a channel, it needs to take place and there was no need for the inclusion of this comment.
“While I will need to read the report in more detail, it seems some of the ridiculous suggestions of the bureaucracy have been overturned between the draft and final sign off.”
Caption; Local MP Tim Bull pictured at Shaving Point Metung says his campaign to overturn unreasonable elements of the draft State Marine and Coastal Policy has been successful.
Published in Media
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