Report shows Labor’s timber decision will destroy region
The removal of the native timber industry as planned by the Andrews Labor Government will have a massive impact on local employment and the local economy.
Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, said this was the finding of a report commissioned by East Gippsland and Wellington Councils that showed over 1,100 jobs will be lost and over $300m in economic output per annum removed from the local economy.
“These are staggering figures and does not include the flow on effects that will simply destroy communities like Orbost and Heyfield and impact heavily on many others,” said Mr Bull.
“I commend the two councils for taking this action and getting this work done. I now look forward to them challenging the State to overturn its decision to end the industry, which is the policy of the Liberal Nationals.
“The release of this report comes on the back of the Labor Minister admitting there are no hardwood plantations in Victoria for the industry to ‘transition’ to.
“The term ‘transition’ is a falsity. The reality is hardwood takes around 30-60 years to mature depending on species and conditions, so if there was to be a ‘transition’, coupes would need to be at least 20 years old now. They aren’t and worse still they don’t exist.
“The demand for hardwood is increasing and in fact Planet Ark is telling us to use it as wood is a renewable environmentally friendly resource, but here we are closing it down with no replacement. It will only drive up imports from jurisdictions with less oversight.
“This is about closing down an entire sector with massive job losses in our community at a time when it needs help and support.
“The industry in Victoria cuts down four trees in every 10,000 per year,” he said.
Thursday, 29 April 2021
Royal Commission into veteran suicide a crucial step forward
A Royal Commission into veteran suicide will save lives and change lives.
The Victorian Liberal Nationals have announced support for a national Royal Commission today, backing growing calls from RSL Victoria and the veteran community to take action.
A harrowing number of our ex-servicemen and women lose their life to suicide every year. Since 2001, it’s taken at least 500 lives.
Nine veterans lost their lives to suicide in October and November of last year alone, while in the first three months of 2021, 13 veterans have tragically taken their own lives. Each life lost is one too many.
The Federal Coalition Government recently announced a National Commissioner and while we support ongoing oversight such a position would provide, it is clear the veteran community is seeking a Royal Commission as a starting point and that is something we support.
A Royal Commission is our highest form of independent inquiry and it is this process that will give the veteran community the confidence to come forward and share experiences and challenges.
We must do more to support those who have served our nation, with an approach that not only delivers the intervention people need when they reach crisis point, but also in the years before they are at their most vulnerable.
This includes services available to veterans operated by the Victorian Government.
A Royal Commission is the first step in this process. By conducting this process at the Federal level, we can ensure an approach that takes into account the stories of all veterans – regardless of where they are from – and lays the foundations for a consistent response across the nation to this critically important issue.
We can’t afford to delay. Because one life lost is one too many.
Tuesday 13 April 2021
Inquiry into COVID impact on tourism must visit EG
A State Government Inquiry examining the impact of Coronavirus on Victoria’s tourism and major events sector must conduct a hearing in East Gippsland.
That is the call from Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, who raised the matter in Parliament recently.
“Our local tourism industry suffered the dual impact of the summer fires followed by Coronavirus, and the business operators must be given the opportunity to explain their unique predicament in person,” Mr Bull told Parliament.
“Many of these businesses have not qualified for any of the government supports due to the criteria being too narrow and as a result have received no support.
“It is something that I have raised in this chamber on many, many occasions, so I call on the Minister for Tourism and Major Events to very strongly push for the committee to travel to East Gippsland for a hearing to be held in my electorate,” he said.
“Over the past year I have been contacted regularly by business people who, while trying to recover from the fires, have been hit by the state-wide shutdowns.
“Government supports are announced but they are exasperated to find they do not qualify.
“If we are going to have a serious look at the impacts of Coronavirus on our tourism sector, East Gippsland should be at the very top of the list.
“If this government is really keen to get the answers, we should be the first port of call as there is no other region that has been through what we have been through.
“I have a number of business people who would be prepared to front the inquiry and explain their experiences and hardships, I simply await news a hearing will be held locally, with Lakes Entrance a possible preferred destination.”
Mr Bull said he has also written to committee chair, Mr Enver Erdogan, a Labor MP, to suggest an East Gippsland hearing.
Monday, 12 April 2021