July 2020
Tuesday, 28 July 2020 11:47

Orbost response magnificent - in face of Government failure

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull has praised Orbost Regional Health, local businesses and community members to their response to last week’s COVID scare, while being critical of the State Government for its appalling response.
“To have someone visit the region all weekend pending a COVID test and then be advised she was positive on Monday, put a scare through the community. She advised Department tracers on Monday afternoon where she had been, but it was not until Friday afternoon the first businesses were contacted,” said Mr Bull.
“By 8am Wednesday morning, a pop-up testing facility was operational at the Orbost Football Club to test those who were advised by the Department they were ‘close contacts’. But they dropped the ball completely, businesses were not notified for four days, let alone individuals.
“This is simply not good enough, especially when Premier Andrews constantly repeats people will be contacted within 24 hours in such situations.
“Thankfully Orbost Regional Health was on the ball and opened up the clinic for those who were symptomatic or had concerns they may have crossed paths with the person in question.
“The ORH team led by Vicki Farthing, is to be commended on its course of action, as are the local businesses which got on the front foot and had the appropriate cleaning undertaken as soon as they could.
“The Marlo Hotel, one of the impacted locations, was contacted at 7.30 on Friday night, told the person was there the previous Friday and Saturday (when it was actually Saturday and Sunday) and advised to close the doors and clean the premises.
“Talk about too little too late.
“Imagine if they had waited for the official advice. Thankfully publican Russell Bates and his team were on the front foot, had the place cleaned and staff sent for testing days before this call was received.
“I cannot speak highly enough of the way the community handled this unwelcomed situation,” said Mr Bull
Published in Media
Tuesday, 28 July 2020 09:11

Bushfire app confusing, needs fixing

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has called for uniformity on bushfire apps and information between Victoria and New South Wales.
“What we had over last summer for those living in border communities, was different apps and different symbols being used. The road closure apps are also different between the states, which is very confusing.
“I was also shown multiple examples where the information on the VicRoads app was either wrong or outdated and this was highlighted at the Omeo community meeting I attended.
“What it meant was that some people were looking at four apps to get the fire and road information they needed, and in some cases it was wrong.
“In this day and age it should be uniform and accurate,” he said.
“Another point that has also come out in the Bushfires Royal Commission is different media outlets across the border were giving different descriptions on the same fire, which is not ideal.
“In some border locations, residents cannot access the fire information from broadcasts in their own state as they only pick up the interstate stations and this should be factored into reporting.
“I have written to the respective Ministers to seek a uniform approach to remove the confusion and angst and create a simple app that all can use,” he said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured using his Vic Emergency app, calling for standardised, consistent emergency information and advice to be developed between all state-based notification apps. 
Published in Media
Monday, 20 July 2020 16:53

Flexibility needed for border communities

With the NSW State Government tightening the criteria for border crossings from midnight Tuesday, Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull has sought special exemptions for remote communities along the Black Allen line.
“All existing permits will now expire at midnight Tuesday 21 July and people now have to apply for new permits, provided they are in a new ‘border zone’,” said Mr Bull.
“Even if you are in this new zone, the reasons for travel are restricted to work, education and health treatment or supplies. Shopping is no longer a permitted reason.
“What I am seeking is flexibility on two fronts,” said Mr Bull.
1. To be eligible for a permit you have to live in a designated ‘border zone’. I have asked for flexibility and while Bendoc has been included, Bonang, Tubbut and Dellicknora have not. All of those smaller border communities should be included in the ‘border zone’.
2. Shopping has been removed as a reason to travel across the border, even if you are in a ‘border zone’. Residents in these communities have a relatively short drive into Delegate, or a three-hour round trip to Orbost. They should be permitted to shop in the local area over the border for the basic essentials.
“What I am asking is for commonsense to prevail and for these border communities to be provided with a rational and reasonable outcome.
“Time and again government approaches of one rule for all simply do not work and such regulations need to be looked at on a case by case basis to get the right result.”
Mr Bull said those in remote communities could check if they were in a ‘border zone’ by typing their address into the link below:
Published in Media
Monday, 13 July 2020 23:52

Foreshore Park a goer, now for Bullock Island

Stage One of the Lakes Entrance Foreshore Park ($375,000), adjacent to the footbridge, will be completed by 2021 and Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, is looking for more tourism funding for the town.
“The park, which will be a great family attraction, adds another element to Lakes Entrance’s attraction as a holiday destination,” he said.
“We all know Lakes has amazing beaches and there is no better place to be in summer, but the key is providing facilities to make it a year-round destination and this foreshore park fits that bill perfectly.
“On the days when the weather is not conducive to the beach, it will give families a terrific experience. Lakes Entrance Action and Development Association (LEADA) has pushed this project strongly and they have achieved an appropriate outcome - full credit to them,” said Mr Bull.
“Families will be able to get their meals and refreshments from the shops across the road and sit on the grass or benches to watch their children play and it will also encourage tourists driving through the town to stop.
“Stage one of this project will see the construction of both nature-play and younger children play elements, which will be well received by families with children of all ages.”
Mr Bull said Stage One is being jointly funded by the East Gippsland Shire Council and State Government.
“I look forward to the State considering several more projects within our region, including delivering the funding for the completion of the Bullock Island redevelopment, in line with the Master Plan, which would become a major attraction in the town.
“Bullock Island has the potential to be a tourism game changer and I look forward to a response to my advocacy to have this delivered as part of our region’s recovery from the bushfires,” he said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull is seeking more funding for Lakes Entrance tourism facilities, including the Bullock Island upgrade.
Lakes Entrance footbridge image courtesy of Visit Victoria Content Hub
Published in Media
Monday, 13 July 2020 17:09

Cartwheels for local gymnasts

East Gippsland’s gymnasts will be the beneficiaries of a $1.8 million new facility to be built at the Lucknow Recreation Reserve.
Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, who visited the centre last year and supported the application for state funds, congratulated the club and shire on the work done to bring this proposal to fruition.
“On a tour of the currently facility last year with local club champions Marie Miles and Ray Hawkey, it was clear to see the need for an upgrade, but it was pleasing to hear of the growth within the club and see some of the young talent in action.
“In my time working with the Australian Sports Commission, I was able to see first-hand the participation and discipline benefits gymnastics provides. It really is a great environment for children to be exposed to.
“This club has had to deal with long wait lists for a period of time, meaning children have been denied the chance to participate, but when this facility is built that will be a thing of the past,” he said.
Mr Bull said the Lucknow Recreation Reserve was becoming a terrific local sporting precinct with the squash and table tennis centre, football and cricket facilities and recently upgraded netball amenities.
“Over recent years we have been able to improve a lot of sporting facilities within the region and while there is more to do, the reality of first class facilities improve participation and the more kids we get involved in sport the better social outcomes.
“Sport gets our youth around good role models and gives them a good crash course in life, coping with both successes and challenges, which stands them in good stead for what lays ahead in life.”
Caption: State MP for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, by his own admission does not have a body well suited to gymnastics, but is delighted East Gippslanders will have state of the art facilities.
Published in Media
Monday, 13 July 2020 15:07

Have your say on restoring Victoria’s iconic CFA

Nationals MP Tim Bull, is calling on the people of East Gippsland to share their ideas for the future of the Country Fire Authority (CFA) that will help to rebuild and restore it as an independent, volunteer-based, autonomous fire service.
The CFA was split on July 1 after a dispute that will now see CFA operational staff seconded from Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV).
Mr Bull said the website www.yoursayonthecfa.com.au gave a voice to volunteers, brigades and country people to put forth their ideas.
“My concerns with the recent changes is, it removes the CFA’s autonomy and the reduction in volunteers (5,000 fewer under this government) will impact on the organisation's surge capacity in times of need.
“Surge capacity is when metro-based volunteers make up strike teams that travel to the country in times of need. We had a shortage of strike teams last summer and this will only increase as metro volunteer numbers continue to dwindle.
“We have already seen a major reduction in metro CFA volunteer numbers and this trend looks like increasing after these current changes from the correspondence I’ve received,” said Mr Bull.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh added that further reform of the CFA Act would see all CFA Board members required to sign up to, and be bound by, the Volunteer Charter.
“CFA volunteers selflessly serve our country communities when we need it most, but they’ve been silenced during its destructive campaign to destroy the CFA,” Mr Walsh said.
“If The Nationals are elected to government in 2022, we’ll work with Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) and CFA brigades across the state to restore and rebuild the CFA to fix the damage done by Daniel Andrews.
“Within the first 100 days of government, we’ll introduce legislation to restore the independence of the CFA by giving it the power to select, recruit and manage its own staff who wear the CFA uniform – not the uniform of FRV.
“The CFA is an iconic and trusted part of regional communities.”
An independent Commissioner for Emergency Services Volunteers will also be appointed with the power to investigate issues raised by volunteers and to arbitrate outcomes.
Community members can share ideas to rebuild and restore our CFA at www.yoursayonthecfa.com.au 
Published in Media
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