Winter warmers welcomed
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, along with St Vincent de Paul volunteers in Bairnsdale, are calling on the generosity of locals to donate any unused blankets, sleeping bags, swags, tents and warm clothing to support those in our community doing it tough this winter.
“With cost-of-living pressures pushing household budgets to the brink this winter, more and more people will become reliant on services provided by various welfare organisations for assistance, such as St Vincent de Paul,” Mr Bull said.
“Donations that can provide shelter and warmth will make all the difference to our most vulnerable and will be welcomed with open arms by the hard-working team at the St Vincent de Paul Assistance Centre, Bairnsdale.
“Every night, thousands of people are experiencing homelessness and forced to sleep rough in Victoria and these people will feel the full brunt.
“Many households are living week-to-week or pay cheque-to-pay cheque and some East Gippsland families are forced to make the difficult decision between putting food on the table or heating their homes this winter.
“Making a difference can be as easy as donating unused (or old but good quality) winter warmers, which will be handed out by the fantastic volunteers operating from the Macleod Street site.
“Donations are asked to be dropped off at the St Vincent de Paul Assistance Centre in Macleod Street in Bairnsdale Monday to Friday between 10am - 2pm, not the retail op-shop operating in Main Street.
“I urge locals to see if they have any suitable items around the home which they can spare to donate to support those less fortunate,” he said.
Caption: Nationals State MP, Tim Bull, together with St Vincent de Paul volunteers, Kerrie, Jo and Trish, are calling on the community to donate warm items for those less fortunate this winter.
Tuesday, 30 May 2023
MP’s in Orbost Friday
An opportunity to discuss the impacts the catastrophic closure of the timber industry six years earlier than announced with local Nationals MPs Tim Bull and Darren Chester will be available in Orbost this Friday.
The two will be at the Orbost Football Netball Club between 10am and noon for anyone who wants to drop in.
Mr Bull said the great problem we have at present is the government has dropped this on us, with no information on how this will be handled.
“Those impacted are rightly wanting to know how this will play out, but there is just very little detailed information to support people and we will work hard to ensure this government is fully aware of the impacts and the urgent need to communicate.
“While we may know a little more by Friday, this is more a chance to just sit down with people who are impacted, so we can take up the cause over the coming months to ensure they are looked after as best as possible.
“It is clear the $200m exit package announced by local Labor MP, Harriet Shing will not be enough to go round, so it is going to be important to fight harder than even to make sure people are looked after.”
Mr Chester said, “this decision has been made by people who do not live in our communities and have only inner-city votes as their basis.”
“We all know the stupidity of the decision, but we now have to make sure the impacted families are looked after as best as possible,” he said.
Monday, 29 May 2023
Bull blasts One Gippsland
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has blasted One Gippsland for “welcoming” a State Budget that delivered none of the organisation’s key wish list priorities, cut roads maintenance, agriculture and regional development funding and announced the decimation of the timber industry that employs thousands in the region.
“The One Gippsland media release confirmed my suspicions that this entity is nonsense, and a long way from the ‘peak advocacy body for the Gippsland region’ that it claims to be,” said Mr Bull.
“They prepared a wish list of projects, to my eye had none funded, and in addition to being ignored, the government cut funding streams important to the regions and announced that one of our key industries is being destroyed with a paltry compensation package, with no forewarning to the impacted families, or consultation – and they welcomed it!
“It is a group that appears to come together for opportunistic benefit and have a brain dump of isolated local projects with a ‘we will support yours if you support ours mantra’ rather than develop a coherent regional strategy.
“The parlous state of our roads is among the biggest issues in our region and when it needed a massive boost to funding, the roads maintenance funding was cut 25% this year and is lower than 2014/15.
“The agriculture Budget was slashed again and is now 24% lower than it was in 2020, Regional Development funding was cut again and is now 80% down on what it was three years ago, rendering it almost non-existent.
“The decimation of Regional Development Victoria should be something our ‘peak advocacy group’ is standing up and fighting for, not turning a blind eye to and welcoming it,” said Mr Bull.
“All these negatives for our area, and there are plenty more, are ignored and instead One Gippsland plucks out examples of some state-wide policies not specific to our region in its support of the State Budget. It reads more like a Labor Government media release than that of a regional advocacy group.
“This entity is predominantly made up of the six Gippsland councils and they seem to have a policy of never offering any real criticism. If you claim to be an advocacy body you have to agitate when needed, or you are simply not an advocacy group,” said Mr Bull.
“And as for their current wish list, they have the duplication of the Mitchell River bridge as the highest priority for East Gippsland. To have this as a higher priority than the badly needed new Bairnsdale Hospital is just madness.
“One Gippsland has no representation from a number of our major industries and is silent when one is crushed.
“I’d be more than happy for my two councils – East Gippsland and Wellington - to leave this organisation as it clearly does not represent our best interests in eastern Victoria and is not what it claims to be.”
Wednesday, 24 May 2023
Disastrous Budget for roads, country Victoria
Today’s Labor State Budget has astonishingly cut a further 25.5 per cent from roads maintenance funding, ignoring their current dire state.
Gippsland East National MP, Tim Bull, said it was a horror budget for country Victoria as it also announced the end of the native timber industry would be brought forward six years to December 31.
“It’s a decision that will impact thousands of workers and families as well as remove our frontline fire-fighting response.”
Mr Bull said it was the same old story of country regions being punished for this Labor Government’s incompetency and metro cost over runs.
“At a time when our roads are falling apart and in great need of major investment, we have the roads maintenance allocation now at a lower level than 2014/15 and down 45 per cent on what it was in 2020.
“If this trend continues, we will soon be driving on gravel roads again.
“This announcement comes on the back of a letter I received this week from a 25-year RACV serviceman who said he has not seen the roads worse in a quarter of a century, falling well behind NSW and raising genuine concern their condition will claim lives.
“Agriculture funding is down 24 per cent since 2020 and Regional Development basically no longer exists - down a whopping 80 per cent on 2020.
“All this while we watch the cost over runs on metro projects tick past $30 billion and our interest repayments rise to a gobsmacking $10 million a day – what a mess they have created, far worse than any other state.
“Disappointingly, there is no mention of the Bairnsdale Hospital, Metung or Lakes Entrance fire stations, Orbost and Maffra police stations or the Lakes indoor sports stadium, although I hope some will come from overarching grant streams.
“The only projects that have been announced were for a Gippsland Lakes oyster trial and Maffra aged care, both announced over 12 months ago.
“All up, it is not only a disappointing Budget, it’s one that doesn’t just ignore us, it hurts us and puts us at risk,” Mr Bull said.
Tuesday, 23 May 2023
Dan destroys timber industry
Regional Victorians are used to receiving little in Labor Budgets, but this one hurt us like few before, with the government using it to kill off the native timber industry, said Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
“To announce a full closure in six months (December 31) with a paltry $200m compensation package will cause pain for workers and communities and will be felt across regional Victoria,” said Mr Bull.
“This figure won’t go anywhere near meeting the payouts required to individuals, let alone the communities that will have to rebuild.
“It is a decision that is simply wrong on so many levels, but the most galling is Labor’s attempt to sell this as looking after timber workers and their families.
“This Government and the Greens, who are in unity on this, have never been able to explain where our hardwood timber – that is increasing in consumer demand - is going to come from.
“The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognises timber as the only carbon storing building material in existence, stating: ‘In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit’.
“If market demand is increasing, the IPCC is telling us to build with wood and we do not have the plantations – where is our hardwood going to come from?
“One suggestion is countries with far less oversight than our highly regulated timber industry here in Victoria. It’s a bad day to be an Orangutan,” he said.
Mr Bull said this decision also decimates our frontline fire-fighting response.
“In the devastating 2019/20 fires, timber workers and their equipment were at the forefront of the immediate response.
“There are no specifics on what industries will be supported to grow and replace jobs and economic investment in our timber towns.
“The government has form in this area. When it closed Hazelwood it said an electric car manufacturing plant would be established with much fanfare, but it was scrapped soon after.
“It also promised a native plant nursery for Nowa Nowa to replace the mill closure, but has since announced it will not be located in that town.
“The biggest deceit in all this was the government originally said it would transition to plantation timber by 2030, but the reality is there was never hardwood plantations to transition to.
“It finally conceded this in Parliament last year when asked for the specific locations of the hardwood plantations, which should be 20-30 years old now if we were to transition to it by 2030.
“There was never an intent to transition, only close it down, and today proves that.
“This situation has arisen as a result of the Andrews Labor Government bowing to inner-city green pressure. Something had to give, and it is the rural communities again,” he said.
Tuesday, 23 May 2023
Andrews’ duplicity on timber
For the second time in a matter of weeks, the Andrews Labor Government has promoted its use of hardwood timber in State Government building projects, while at the same time closing down our local industry.
Gippsland East MP Tim Bull, said this was again, ultimate hypocrisy.
“A few weeks ago, the Government boasted using Darwin Stringybark in the construction of the new St Kilda Pier.
“It is a great product and I have no problems with its use, but to espouse the benefits of native hardwood timber that is not plantation grown when you are shutting our local sector, meaning we will rely on imports, is hard to stomach.
“Now, just a couple of weeks later, Labor has again issued a media release praising itself for using hardwood timber in decking on a separate project in Altona.
“I wish the Government would make up its mind. Is this a good product that should be supported (a view I agree with), or is it a sector that should be closed – you can’t have it both ways.
“It seems they want to close the industry to appease the inner-city lefties, but then use the product because they know deep down it is the only carbon storing building material we have,” said Mr Bull.
“The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states: ‘In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit’.”
Mr Bull said the native timber industry in East Gippsland was a significant employer and important to the economy of not only several towns, but the region more generally.
“These workers have not been treated with any respect after the government promised to keep the industry afloat until at least 2030, but it is all lies.
“The biggest lie is they have said they will transition to plantation timber by 2030, but to do that the hardwood plantations would have to be 20-30 years old now and the reality is they are not there, they have not been planted.”
Monday, 22 May 2023