Nationals will ease family cost of living pressures
With young families continually battling increased cost of living pressures, they will benefit from a range of policies released by the Nationals.
Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, said the common feedback received from young families was the rising costs of food, utility bills and household items, and it was forcing tough decisions to be made.
“One expense some families are forced to forgo due to participation costs is children’s sporting activities, which is not a good outcome for our kids.
“I am a strong believer that participation in sport is important to our youth, putting them around good role models and giving them some good life lessons like losing graciously and winning humbly.
“Our Keeping Kids Moving Program will offer up to one million participants $200 vouchers to support children to participate in a variety of sports, dance, scouts or other active organised recreation.
“It’s a program that will make a big difference and we will work with state sporting associations to ensure they go to the families in need,” he said.
Mr Bull said other costs of living policies included:
• Half-price travel on V/Line services and $2 fares on local public transport. This means a return trip to Melbourne will be under $40 instead of $80.
• Stamp Duty relief to help young people enter the property market for first home buyers, that will help up to 7,000 families and young people to buy their first home with forecast savings of $55,000.
• Providing up to $4,400 of rebates to households made up of a $1,400 rebate for solar panels and $3,000 towards the installation of a home battery.
• The Healthy Lunches Policy will provide free healthy lunches to public school students from Prep to Year 12, alleviating the cost of buying lunches each day.
• Allocation of 32,000 dental vouchers of $500 to allow high priority public dental patients to access private dental services as soon as possible.
Monday, 21 November 2022
Vote Nationals this November
With polling having opened in Bairnsdale for the State election and the first votes having already being cast, incumbent MP, Tim Bull, says saving the timber industry in East Gippsland is only one reason to vote Nationals.
“We know the timber industry is the backbone of the local economy and this government wants to close it down with no alternate jobs plan - it is just a disgrace.
“We have a native timber industry with some of the strongest oversights in the world that produces a carbon storing building material that grows back. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change supports the use of timber as a building material and reforestation.
“Only the Nationals in Government will maintain the timber industry in this state, but that is not the only reason we need to send Daniel Andrews a clear message.
“After saying he would ‘walk with us’ every step of the fire recovery, he has not been back once,” said Mr Bull.
“On top of this, rebuilds important to our tourism industry at Cape Conran, Buchan Caves and the Thurra River bridge remain incomplete three years on with no foreseeable finish date – the Thurra Bridge has not even been started yet.
“Then, to make matters worse, they throw up a Labor candidate just a week before polling opens and he hides away in Swift’s Creek refusing to commit to anything.
“This makes it impossible to get bipartisan support for important community projects like Lochiel Park and the re-opening of the Buchan pool.
“With the polls starting to tighten, I am hopeful we can get into power, save the timber industry, fast track these dire recovery projects and deliver on the commitments we have made while Labor hides,” he said.
Friday, 18 November 2022
Assisting councils to improve its boat ramps
The Nationals have announced they will partner with local councils to maintain and rebuild regional boat ramps if elected in November.
Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, said this was a positive move that had been well received by East Gippsland and Wellington Shires.
“The $5 million Regional Councils Boat Ramp Fund will provide matched grants to regional shires for local boat ramp maintenance.
“Labor is funding all boat ramp maintenance for councils around Port Phillip Bay by paying them direct subsidies, but in a blatant display of how citycentric they are, are ignoring country local government agencies.
“For example, it is subsidising Frankston and Hobson’s Bay councils in excess of $100,000 annually for maintenance of their ramps and car parks, but East Gippsland and Wellington, which have close to 40 ramps between them, get nothing – how is that fair?
“There is hardly a period when at least one ramp does not need some form of repair, whether that be the car park, jetty rails or something else.
“This dedicated fund will assist councils in maintaining this important tourism infrastructure,” he said.
The Nationals will also ensure 100 percent of marine, boating and fishing licence fees is hypothecated to improve facilities and the health of our waterways.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, says the Nationals in Government will partner with local councils to maintain their boat ramps.
Monday, 14 November 2022
More buses more often for Paynesville, Newlands Arm
Paynesville and Newlands Arm residents will receive a raft of new bus services if the Liberals and Nationals are elected later this month.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull said the area was one of the fastest growing in the shire and public transport options needed to keep pace with this growth.
“The reality is not every train that comes to Bairnsdale station has a connecting bus to Paynesville and Newlands Arm and not every departing train has a bus connection, and this is what we will provide.
“There has been some strong advocacy locally for this over the past couple of years and I have worked on this with my colleague and Shadow Transport Minister, Danny O’Brien, to obtain this outcome.
“These buses will not only assist those wanting to catch the train or get home from the station, but also provide additional services into Bairnsdale from these two communities.
“This comes on the back of committing to half price V/Line fares, which means those travelling to Melbourne will have a $40 round trip rather than $80, and the 50% discounts also apply to concession fares,” said Mr Bull.
Executive Director from Bus Association Victoria, Chris Lowe, said due to the population growth in Paynesville, Newland Arm and Eagle Point, the current scale of bus services between these areas and Bairnsdale is inadequate.
“The deployment of more frequent bus timetabling will expand to eight services per day on weekdays and four on weekends, meeting every train. We need to see these sorts of service improvements in regional centres state-wide,” Mr Lowe said.
Colin Cathcart from Gillicks Bus Lines has advocated for improved services to and from Paynesville for a number of years, said this announcement will be welcomed by the many travellers who are reliant on public transport in Paynesville and Newlands Arm.
“Additionally, this will have the added benefit of creating two new full time equivalent jobs,” Mr Cathcart said.
Shadow Minister for Public Transport, Danny O’Brien, said regional Victorians deserve better bus routes.
“There are too many gaps in the system under Daniel Andrews and Labor, and people in regional areas know services simply aren’t good enough,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Our plan delivers real solutions for better bus routes right across the state, and it’ll cost Victorians less to use them.”
Caption: State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, is thrilled to announce Paynesville and Newlands Arm bus services will be increased to meet every train arrival and departure from the Bairnsdale Station, under a Liberal and Nationals State Government.
L-R: Paynesville Gillicks bus driver, John, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, Jason Gillick and Colin Cathcart from Gillicks Bus Lines.
Monday, 14 November 2022
Thurra Bridge delayed again timeframe now late 2025
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has blasted the State Labor Government after it was this week revealed the Thurra River Bridge completion date has been put back yet again - now late 2025 - almost six years after the fire.
“The timeframe for completion of the Cape Conran Cabins and East Cape Boardwalk has also been removed. Far East Gippsland residents won’t believe this level of incompetence and lack of support,” Mr Bull said.
“Departmental staff have reliably informed me of this information, which is yet another example of the way this Labor government treats country regions.
“Seriously, how the hell can it take more than five years to build a bridge and not have a timeframe for important infrastructure works after three years?
“What is equally disappointing is the absolute rubbish this government feeds the community on the reasons for its uselessness, like ‘extensive pre-planning being required’ for the Thurra River Bridge.
“It’s a bridge. We built a bridge there 40 years ago and we build bridges in far more complex areas. The pre-planning should have been done in the first year and the tenders out in the marketplace before the end of 2020 – but the tenders are still not out three years later.
“Daniel Andrews has not been back since the fires, Upper House MP Harriet Shing has not been sighted in the area and they announce a candidate a week out from polling opening, who should have been here pushing for these outcomes months ago but stuck his hand up late because he wanted to avoid any heat.
“What this Labor Government does not seem to understand is the importance of this tourism infrastructure to the economies of places like Orbost, Marlo and Cann River.
“If we can get into Government later this month, one of the first things I will be doing is sitting down with these bureaucrats, getting this work moving and telling the community the truth on timeframes.”
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, at the site of the Cape Conran cabins, which now have no completion date, while the Thurra River Bridge has now been delayed until 2025.
Monday, 14 November 2022
Lakes to become a more disability friendly location
Lakes Entrance is set to become a more disability friendly tourism destination with a Changing Places toilet and bathroom facility to be constructed on the Esplanade near the footbridge, located at the central footbridge site.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, wrote to East Gippsland Shire in July this year urging it to apply for the State grant after contact from local resident, Liz Riseley, seeking this facility be built in Lakes.
“I have known Liz for a long time and thought ‘what a bloody good idea’, so wrote to council and to their credit they applied for the grant of $180,000, which was successful.
“Council is also committing $60,000 of its own funds to bring it to fruition.
“Lakes Entrance is one of our state’s prime tourist destinations and it should have a facility like this to cater for all with special needs.
“Changing Places facilities have disability friendly access, a height adjustable changing bench for adults and a tracking hoist system with enough space for two people.
“The key point here is people who are caring for loved ones with special needs seek out tourist locations with this sort of facility, which is a key factor in determining where they holiday.
“It is one of the many cases where a constituent with a good idea comes forward and we get a positive outcome,” said Mr Bull.
Mother, Liz Riseley, says Changing Places are essential to provide users and their carer a safe, hygienic and dignified place to toilet and change.
“A Changing Places bathroom will support Harry, his carers and us as a family to participate more freely within the community, taking out the need to transport Harry home each time he requires the bathroom. We are so pleased the Shire has seen the need and what an asset a Changing Places toilet will be to the area," she said.
East Gippsland Shire Mayor, Mark Reeves, said this is a great project that Council was pleased to support and seek grant funding for.
“Providing accessible facilities is part of Council’s role in providing an inclusive and caring community. We look forward to the facility making it easier for more people to visit and enjoy Lakes Entrance,” Cr Reeves said.
Caption: Caption: Member for Gippsland East and Shadow Minister for Disability, Tim Bull, is pictured with Harry and Liz Riseley and carer Rhonda, at the proposed Changing Places site in Lakes Entrance.