Big changes coming to Lochiel Park if Nats win
The grass will be all the greener in Orbost under a Liberal and Nationals Government thanks to a commitment to improve Orbost’s winter sporting hub, Lochiel Park.
Nationals State MP, Tim Bull was thrilled to be on site to announce the commitment of $2 million dollars for upgrades in a range of areas.
“Major improvements to the sporting precinct will deliver a new playing surface on the oval, a new drainage system, sealing of the access road around the oval including kerb and channelling, replacement of the dilapidated public toilet block, a new watering system, installation of concrete paths to the social and change rooms and improvements to the BMX track.
“This will make the ground safer and provide some significant general upgrades that will benefits all who use the area.”
Mr Bull said sporting clubs played critical roles in country communities.
“We love our sport in East Gippsland, and this investment in Orbost is good for families, fitness and fun.
“I firmly believe one of the best ways we can address some of the problems we experience in wider society is to get people, especially young people, involved in and with sport and around good role model.
“A big part of that is providing modern facilities,” Mr Bull said.
President of the Orbost Snowy Rovers Royston Nettleton said without financial support, it is impossible to deliver these critical improvements.
“These upgrades will make such a difference for not only our players, but the wider community and it will ensure Lochiel Park is a safe place to stay active in Orbost,” he said.
East Gippsland Shire Mayor Cr Mark Reeves said the Lochiel Park project is significant for the Orbost and district community.
“Lochiel Park is a central point of activity and social connection for many people in the community and Council welcomes this funding commitment,” Cr Reeves said.
Monday, 31 October 2022
More support for carers and social enterprise start-ups
The Liberals and Nationals have announced $6 million for a new Carers Support Group Resources Fund and a Social Enterprise Start-up Fund to improve the lives of carers and those they care for.
State Nationals MP for Gippsland East and Shadow Minister for Disability, Tim Bull, said the Support Group Resources Fund will provide up to $5,000 to every carer support group statewide to be used for a range of purposes.
“We know the groups’ needs vary from place to place. In some cases, communities might need to purchase resources to share amongst members, others may need to fund outings, engage a guest speaker or a variety of other needs,” Mr Bull said.
“The allocation may also be used by groups in the same or neighbouring towns to pool funds for a greater need. We will look at all requests that come forward.
“In my several discussions this year with Carers Victoria, support for carer mental health and wellbeing has been at the top of the list and the Liberals and Nationals have heard this and want to offer this additional support.”
Mr Bull said the Social Enterprise Start-up Fund will provide more employment opportunities for people with a disability.
“Locally, Banksia Fine Foods and the Noweyung Banksia Café (formerly Cells) are great examples diverse workplaces where employees are supported through their workplaces, gaining important life skills and both provide meaningful employment opportunities and empowerment for locals with a disability.
“We have some brilliant social enterprises supporting disability employment and these range from coffee shops to egg farms, to nurseries and much more in between,” Mr Bull said.
“However, one of the impediments to new social enterprises are the start-up costs. It might be the coffee machine for the café, the stock to start a nursery or some type of equipment that is needed.
“We will partner with the service provider to help them get off the ground, or in the case of an established social enterprise, to branch into a new area.
“Almost one in five Victorians live with a disability, but unfortunately only 53 per cent of those with a disability participate in the workforce, and it is a figure we need to improve.
“We can do much more and this fund will assist in getting more social enterprises operating the length and breadth of the state and in turn improve disability employment levels.”
Caption: Member for Gippsland East and Shadow Minister for Disability, Tim Bull with Carers Victoria CEO, Judith Abbott and Carers Victoria Board Member, Nick Field, celebrating Carers Week at Luna Park recently.
Monday, October 31, 2022
Bully’s backing our local seafood sector
Lakes Entrance Fishermen Limited (LEFL), formerly known as the fishermen’s co-operative, will receive a $5 million rebuild and country of origin seafood labelling will be introduced if the Victorian Liberals and Nationals win the upcoming State election.
In making the commitment, Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the rebuild will be part of the Coalition’s Bringing Manufacturing Home Fund, which was created to grow manufacturing and support Victorian businesses that compete against international imports.
“As the biggest fishing port in the country, LEFL is a major employer in the town and a great contributor to not only the local economy, but also the state.
“LEFL was established in 1968, when a group of fishermen recognised the need of having an unloading facility that could be used collectively, but the reality is the 54-year-old infrastructure is well worn and needing a rebuild.
“Given this town relies on LEFL to such a large degree, I am delighted to announce with the Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Leader of the Nationals, Peter Walsh, that we will partner with LEFL to rebuilding this facility.”
LEFL chairman, Bruce Hammond, said this project will ensure the local seafood industry continues to thrive.
“In addition to providing seafood to markets, LEFL has a public viewing area where people can watch the catch being offloaded from the fishing fleet. Improving this visitor experience with an all-abilities access ramp and elevated viewing platform will be part of the upgrade.
“Works have also commenced for the on-water café, which will make the Bullock Island precinct a wonderful visitor attraction for locals and tourists,” he said.
Mr Walsh said the fishing industry is critical to our state’s prosperity and many will be surprised to know that as an island nation, we are a nett importer of seafood.
“We are home to one of the most highly regulated and high-quality seafood sectors in the world and it is an industry we need to not only support, but grow.”
This comes at the same time the Liberals and Nationals have announced that seafood lovers will now know where their fish was sourced.
Mr Bull said, “we will introduce laws for cooked seafood that already exist for uncooked seafood, where hospitality venues specify whether it was imported or caught in Australia.”
“It has been well received by the fishing sector as well as consumers and is all about supporting our local seafood industry,” he said.
Tuesday, 25 October 2022
It’s still not business as usual in Buchan
The Buchan Caves Reserve is still not operating even close to its pre-fires level and Nationals State MP, Tim Bull, says the community can’t afford to wait any longer to replace the fire damaged park infrastructure for the tourist dependent town.
Mr Bull said the caves generate a significant amount of revenue for the local community, however major infrastructure replacement post-bushfire remains unprioritised.
“When the fires hit Buchan, critical tourism infrastructure was impacted, and frustratingly like Cape Conran, nearly three years on, we are still waiting for repairs to enable business as usual,” he said.
“Cave tour bookings must be done on line 24 hours in advance and tickets are not available for purchase on the day which must significantly impact tour numbers, particularly for the spontaneous traveller. This really hurts the economy and the visitor experience.”
The fire also took out the roofed accommodation and wilderness retreats which, like Cape Conran, are still not replaced. Without having a place to stay in the park, locals report that tourists leave town early, often spending their visitor dollar outside of Buchan.
“While the Buchan Cave tours are open, infrastructure replacement such as the fire damaged entrance to the Fairy Cave remains unrepaired,” Mr Bull said.
“Similarly, trail rehabilitation is still preventing visitors full access to the Spring Creek Walking Track, I’m told the tour guide hut has not been replaced and temporary bridges still provide the only access to the caves reserve.
“It has been over three years since anyone took a breathtaking dip in the Buchan Cave Reserve pool, which was an experience that is not easily forgotten.
“It has taken far too long to reopen this visitor attraction, which is advertised by Parks Victoria that it will finally open in late November 2022, but we’ve heard these promises before.
“Almost three years after the fires, the Buchan tourism sector are still yet to get back to business and it is not good enough.
“If we are elected in November, I look forward to fast tracking some of this work and better communication with the community to let them know what is going on.”
Caption: Temporary bridges are still providing access to the Buchan Caves Reserve, almost three years after the fires.
Monday, 24 October 2022
Fixing our local roads and putting downward pressure on rates
East Gippsland and Wellington Shire Councils will both receive $1.5 million per year for road and bridge works with the Liberals and Nationals today announcing they will revive the successful Country Roads and Bridges Program if elected in November.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the program, which was scrapped by Labor, will provide grants of $1.5 million per annum to each of Victoria’s 48 rural shires and regional councils to fund the restoration and renewal of deteriorating transport infrastructure.
“This announcement comes on top of our $10 billion commitment over 10 years to properly fund Victoria’s State road maintenance, whereas this program will benefit the local government road network,” said Mr Bull.
“Labor has ignored our roads, including scrapping this program and independents and smaller parties cannot deliver as they will never be in government.
“Maintaining local roads is one of the largest cost burdens on local government, especially small councils with large road networks.
“I know both Wellington and East Gippsland Shires thought highly of this program as it was one where the council knew what was coming and could budget, rather than having to await a grant outcome.
“They were disappointed when it was scrapped and now, we are going to bring it back.”
“It also helps alleviate the escalating capital costs being faced by our local councils, placing downward pressure on rates.”
Mr Bull said reinstating the Country Roads and Bridges Program was a real solution to bring regional Victorian roads back from ruin.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, says East Gippsland and Wellington Shire Councils will benefit from the Country Roads and Bridges Program under an elected Liberal and Nationals State Government.
Friday, 21 October 2022
Funding announced to boost Heyfield and Maffra hospitals
The Victorian Liberals and Nationals will commit to a badly needed recurrent funding boost to ensure the future of Heyfield Hospital and fund important infrastructure upgrades at Maffra Hospital.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said these announcements come on the back of a $230 million commitment to build a new Bairnsdale Hospital.
“We are able to do this because we are reallocating money from the Box Hill to Cheltenham Rail project to fix the health crisis and much of this is occurring in regional Victoria,” Mr Bull said.
“Heyfield Hospital is one of the five remaining Victorian Community (formally Bush Nursing) Hospitals, which needs critical funding in order to keep the doors open and the lights on.
“There used to be 40 of these facilities in the state and now there are only five left at Heyfield, Euroa, Nagambie, Neerim and Cobden and each are important to their local communities but will wither without support.
“The community hospitals have put their case to the government for some time now to no avail. We will answer their call and meet the recurrent funding shortfalls of each.
“The Heyfield Hospital plays a critical role in the region, providing medical services seven days a week, not only for Heyfield residents, but for Glenmaggie, Coongulla, Nambrok, Cowwarr and surrounds as well.
It has acute and sub-acute beds and is staffed by highly experienced nurses and is an asset to the region.
Mr Bull said that in addition to this, he was pleased to announce major upgrades to the Maffra hospital.
“A detailed cost summary amounting to $6.1 million was provided to me earlier this year by the Central Gippsland Health Service (CGHS), and I am pleased to make this commitment to ensure the health care facility keeps pace with a growing population.
“Having been in discussions with CGHS throughout this year in relation to this project, they have provided me with an accurate understanding of what is required at Maffra Hospital.”
“That is why I recently queried Labor’s announcement of ‘up to’ $70m, an announcement that was made without prior contact with CGHS and the first they knew of it was when I called them several hours after it was announced in Wantirna, more than 200 kilometres away. That in itself is staggeringly reckless.
“Unlike Labor, we communicate openly with our health services, ask what is needed, receive the costings and make announcements accordingly. Labor never set foot in the town or spoke with locals to understand the need and just plucked a figure from the sky.
“We will provide the funding that has been asked for by our health services to upgrade the infrastructure at Bairnsdale and Maffra and ensure the required recurrent funding is provided to Heyfield,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured at Heyfield Hospital. The Liberals and Nationals have committed to increase recurrent funding if elected this November.