Orbost’s promised new aged care beds not being delivered
Orbost is not receiving 38 new aged care beds as stated in the Budget papers and promised by the Minister, Anthony Carbines.
Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, had the chance to question the Minister through members of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) at a recent hearing.
He was asked “Orbost already has 38 aged care beds, so is this 38 new beds in addition to the existing 38, or are you refurbishing the existing 38 beds?”
Minister Anthony Carbines clearly replied: “the investment in Orbost is new beds”.
PAEC member, Bev McArthur then confirmed: “So we are confirming we are now going to have 76 aged care beds in Orbost” to which the answer was a clear “yes, the investment is for 38 new beds in Orbost”.
Further committing to this, Minister Carbines added: “I would add the investment in Orbost for these new 38 beds is a significant investment in the Orbost community and has been welcomed by the Orbost community”.
The only problem with this chest beating is the Minister was wrong. Not only had the additional 38 beds not been welcomed, they do not exist!
Embarrassingly, it has subsequently been confirmed by Orbost Regional Health that there is not 38 new aged care beds coming to Orbost. The funding is for a renovation to the facility and does not deliver one new bed beyond the existing 38.
Mr Bull said this is typical of Labor misleading local communities by using confusing language that leads to community expectations being lifted and then deflated.
“However, it seems the spin doctors confused their own Minister as well, as even he did not know, being happy to trumpet the benefits of the 38 ‘new’ beds that do not exist.
“Hopefully this now clears things up for the local community,” Mr Bull said.
Monday, May 30, 2022
Nationals will spend more in the regions
As country Victorians, we have been denied our fair share of State Government funding under Daniel Andrews. On the weekend the Nationals committed to rectifying this, with a commitment to spend 25 per cent of all State capital investment in regional areas.
Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, said over the past two years the capital spend in the country had been 13% and 11% respectively, despite the regions having 25% of the population.
“Under anyone’s assessment, this is not fair, and our regional hospitals, schools, roads and rail infrastructure have been short-changed.
“This Regional Infrastructure Guarantee will ensure we receive our fair share, as regional Victorians across the state have missed out for too long under this city-centric Labor government.
“The infuriating this is that while we have been short-changed in the country, we also have to tolerate cost blow outs on Labor’s mismanaged city projects of $28.1 billion – that is billion, not million,” Mr Bull said.
“At the peak of concerns of this inequality is the lack of investment in our roads.
“I don’t need to tell people in my electorate how bad the roads are but city-based Labor MP’s describe our concerns as ‘imagined fantasy’. It’s similar around the state, not just here.
“Therefore, we’re expecting a major investment in country roads in the Budget a fortnight ago, but we got another $24m reduction for Road Asset Maintenance – it wasn’t even funded to the same level, it went down again.
“That it was not at least maintained is staggering and shows the contempt we are treated with.
“There just seems to be no understanding at all from this Government and that is why the week-end’s announcement to even things up was so important,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: The weekend’s announcement by the Nationals means a fair share of capital funds will be spent in the regions under a Coalition Government.
Monday, May 30, 2022
Primary schools encouraged to apply for a Lone Pine seedling
State Member for Gippsland East and Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs, Tim Bull, is encouraging primary schools across East Gippsland to apply for the chance to receive one of the 100 seedlings available from the famous Lone Pine tree from Gallipoli.
The Lone Pine battlefield was named for the solitary Turkish pine that stood there at the start of the ANZAC assault in August 2015.
“This is a fantastic project that is endorsed through RSL Victoria, specifically the Friends of Gallipoli,” Mr Bull said.
“It aims to solidify the connection between younger generations and Australia’s history, whilst teaching students the importance of paying our respects and honouring those who have served and died for our country.
“I have written to all public primary schools in my electorate inviting them to join in, and pleasingly, several have taken up offer already.
“Eagle Point, Bruthen, Buchan, Lakes Entrance and Clifton Creek have signed up to participate and they are to be congratulated for committing to this significant initiative.
“Clifton Creek tragically lost their Lone Pine when the bushfire raised the school in the 2019 Black Summer Bushfire.
“It will be a special moment when this seedling is replanted, and the students will play a role in tending to the pine as it matures.”
Successful applicants will receive the seedlings in time to celebrate the Centenary of the Republic of Turkey.
“The seedlings will be allocated on a first come, first served basis,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: State MP and Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs, Tim Bull, is encouraging local State Primary Schools to apply for a seedling from the famous Loan Pine tree from Gallipoli. He is pictured at Metung RSL’s Lone Pine.
Monday, 23th May 2022
Men’s Sheds grant open
Men’s Sheds grants that support to establish, expand or refurbish existing sheds across the state are now open.
Nationals State MP, Tim Bull, is encouraging East Gippsland Men’s Sheds to consider applying for up to $80,000 of funding to carry out works to improve, build or extend facilities in East Gippsland.
“Men’s Sheds play an important role in our community building on mateship and connectivity to improve social and mental health outcomes for the male participants,” Mr Bull said.
“They offer a safe and productive place where men can get together, work on common and shared projects and form friendships while giving back to their community.
“This program assists men’s sheds cover building restoration to ensure the facility is fit for purpose.”
One such project is the Twin Rivers Men’s Shed, which was previously operating out of a shed on private property.
“We are delighted the members of this established Men’s Shed will finally have a purpose-built facility located centrally near the Johnsonville Hall, after several years of planning and advocacy.
“This project has been a long time coming and is testament to the hardworking committee at Twin Rivers Men’s Shed and I look forward to this exciting new project coming to fruition.”
While many Men’s Shed focus on woodworking projects due to popularity of the pastime, not all Men’s Sheds decide to focus on these types of programs.
The far east Men’s Shed in Bemm River offers a unique program that meets the interests of its members.
“The Bemm River Shedders enjoy making sausages to sell locally and share with their families,” Mr Bull said.
“They have paved their own path and this shed is a prime example of an alternate program that meets the needs and interests of locals, and their sausages taste great!
“At the end of the day, it is important for men have a place to go where they can feel free to have a cuppa and shoot the breeze with like-minded men.
“This grant fund helps these important projects become a reality,” Mr Bull said.
For information about the 2022-23 Men’s Shed Funding Program and how to apply visit providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/mens-shed-program.
Monday, May 9, 2022
Country roads miss out again, while regional development budget decimated
Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said he is staggered there are no funds for a country roads blitz and the cuts of two years ago have not been restored.
“With all the noise being made by rural communities around the poor condition of our country roads, we expected to attract big investment, but funding remains at a lower level for maintenance than it was two years ago,” Mr Bull said.
“It is simply not good enough that roads are in the condition they are in, and we have another Budget handed down without a significant contribution being made to fix the problem.
“The reality is, that unless the money is allocated as a starting point, it is impossible for things to improve and they will only continue to deteriorate,” said Mr Bull.
“A further $24 million has been lopped from the road asset management program, after $191 million – or 23 per cent - was slashed in last year’s State Budget.”
The Road Asset Management spend now sits at $592.7million (2022-23 State Budget, Budget Paper 3, p348), down from $807.4m two years ago (2020-21 State Budget, Budget Paper 3, p 356).
“Another highly disappointing element is the massive cuts to the Agriculture and Regional Development budgets.
“There was hope we would get capital funds for the Orbost or Maffra police stations, or the required new fire stations at Metung and Lakes Entrance, but none of these attracted any attention.
“Not only did they miss out, there is no funding for our local health infrastructure. In Education, there is an allocation for improvements at the East Gippsland Specialist School, which as a past school council member, I am pleased to see.
“There are funds to upgrade carriage stabling at Bairnsdale train station, but unfortunately no new services, and two jetties that have fallen into disrepair at Lakes Entrance and Raymond Island will be rebuilt.
“From a longer-term perspective, there are funds earmarked to develop the Croajingolong Coastal Walk in years ahead. This is long overdue after the Coalition funded and built the bookends of this when in Government eight years ago.
“I strongly support this project and will push to bring this to fruition as soon as possible by initially seeking some timeframes from the Government. Hopefully, the work will be done quicker than what we have seen with the bushfire recovery works.
“The Budget papers also contain mention of refurbishments at three public aged care facilities for Orbost, Camperdown and Mansfield at some stage in the future, but there is no detail, which should become available in the coming weeks.
“Two intersection upgrades for Bairnsdale, announced two years ago in the local media, have also been listed,” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull at Parliament on Tuesday, is disappointed to see major cuts to the Roads, Regional Development and Agriculture budgets.
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Helping clubs get back in the game
Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull has congratulated nine local community and sporting groups who have been successful in receiving funding under the Sporting Club Grants Program.
The local clubs will share in the $900,000 of funding to help community sporting clubs purchase new uniforms and equipment or train coaches and volunteers to support clubs that will increase sporting participation and strengthen their operations.
Mr Bull said the awarding of funding was a welcome boost for local sport in Gippsland East, giving our hardworking clubs the skills and resources they need to grow.
Clubs that wish to apply in future, should monitor the following link for the next round to open: sport.vic.gov.au/grants-and-funding
Successful community sporting clubs are:
• East Gippsland Badminton Association
• Lakes Entrance Cricket Club
• Metung Bowls Club Inc
• Newry Golf Club
• Orbost Little Athletics Centre
• Bairnsdale Rowing Club
• Camp Icthus Inc Bushwalking; Camping; Walking
• Boisdale-Briagolong Football Netball Club
• Heyfield Bowls Club
Mr Bull is hoping 2022 will be a better and uninterrupted year for sport, after a challenging two years that has had impacted player participation.
“This funding allows clubs to provide uniforms and sporting equipment for participants, making community sport more accessible and inclusive for all,” Mr Bull said.
“Grants can also help sporting clubs offset the costs to upskill or gain necessary accreditation needed so that coaches, umpires or officials can stay in the game.
“I wish to congratulate the successful applicants and thank our wonderful volunteer organisations for taking proactive steps towards providing greater opportunities in our community.”
Caption: Nationals State MP, Tim Bull, congratulated members of Metung Bowls Club and Bairnsdale Rowing Club recently after both clubs were announced as successful recipients in the latest round of the Sporting Club Grants Program.