March 2024
Thursday, 28 March 2024 15:23

Wild dog program under threat

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has said wild dog controls on public land are under threat, and urged everyone in rural communities to report not only wild dog stock kills, but also when they see or hear the animals.

“At a well-attended meeting in Heyfield last week, which I attended, there was no guarantee from government staffers that control measures would continue on public land in the east of the state post October, when a decision is to be made.

“This comes on the back of a recent decision to remove control measures on public land in the state’s northwest, but we are a very different scenario to the northwest,” Mr Bull said.
“As the meeting heard, there’s a reticence to report stock kills and interactions due to the belief little will be done. This has led to some bureaucrats and MPs simply looking at the data from their offices in the city and drawing the conclusion it is not a major issue, but nothing could be further from the truth.

“This meeting alone heard of one farmer having recently lost 22 sheep in a short period, a mother saying she cannot let her children out to play due to the wild dogs regularly walking across her property, one farmer reporting having six dogs recently killed and estimating there is another eight to go.

“All this was in Heyfield alone, but we also have reports of major problems across the wider East Gippsland region.”

Mr Bull said with the future of this badly needed program to be considered in the coming months, it is important that both farmers and community members report not only kills, but sightings and howling.

“Locals know how big this problem is, but the metro-based department people will only go off the data, so we need to make sure they get the real picture,” said Mr Bull.
“The best way to do this is as follows:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and, when making a report, remember to include your name, contact phone number, number of animals you have found or spotted, date, time and location of the sighting, and any images. Or, alternatively, call the Agriculture Victoria Customer Service Centre 136 186.

Mr Bull said he would be pleased to be included in any email reports to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“Traditionally the best doggers are getting around 50 a year and more than 500 annually as a combined total. When you consider this a miniscule part of the overall population and they’re having litters of 6-7 pups with a higher survival rate due to the increased amount of deer carcasses, it is clear we have a growing problem.

“It must also be remembered that doggers can only work in 4% of the State Forest and National Park, but given they only trap on the roads and tracks within the 3km buffer zone adjacent to private land, it would be more like 1% of the bush they operate in.

“My great concern is we have a city centric government that is broke and needs to save money, but they cannot cut out wild dog controls on public land as that would spell disaster for farmers.

“I raised this in Parliament in the last sitting week and while I await a response from the Minister, I pointed out how critical it is to maintain controls on public land.

“When these killers get on to private land it is too late, and often the only opportunity doggers get to deal with these dogs is on tracks along the public land interface as it is impossible to trap on the open paddocks of private property.

“Good boundary fencing helps, but is not the solution as falling branches, wombats, sambar deer and other elements bring down these fences regularly, hence the ability to control dogs on public land needs to be retained,” Mr Bull said.

Thursday, 28 March 2024

Published in Media
Monday, 25 March 2024 11:34

Minister asked to expedite medical imaging outcome

The delay in medical imaging timelines has again been raised in State Parliament by Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.

Earlier this year, Mr Bull cited several situations where delays in processing images at country hospitals like Bairnsdale, was delaying treatment plans commencing and impacting the health outcomes of not only East Gippsland patients, but around the state.

“I raise this matter again as, since my last contribution, I-MED, which provides this service, has flagged a further reduction in what it’s going to offer, and this will result in even longer delays.

“I acknowledge the lengthy discussion I’ve had with the Minister around this issue, and the suggestion we have put forth around linking country hospital medical imaging to metro health services to improve outcomes, but it needs to be expedited.

“As the Minister would be aware, the current situation is having a detrimental impact on health outcomes, including for oncology patients.

“Regional Victorians should not have to endure these wait times and be at such a disadvantage compared to metropolitan residents.”

Mr Bull said he was aware discussions were taking place between some regional hospitals and Monash Health, and called on the Minister to ensure there is government support for a new structure, and for it to be put in place as soon as possible.

Monday, 25 March 2024

Published in Media
Monday, 18 March 2024 09:54

Minister must back wild dog program

The State Environment Minister has been asked to rule out the abolition, or reduction, of Victoria’s wild dog program measures on public land in the state’s east.

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said concerns had been heightened after:

• A Labor Government decision last week to end wild dog controls on public land in Victoria’s northeast, where it stated the dingo population was under threat of extinction.
• Labor bringing a dingo into Parliament to allow its MP’s to have a photo taken with it.
• A recently retired dogger in the Buchan area was not replaced.

Mr Bull said the move in the northwest has drawn the ire of farming and Landcare spokespersons who said dog numbers will be out of control within five years and labelled it an extremist action to accommodate the Greens with no regard for farmers’ economic viability.

“There are alarm bells going off in the local farming fraternity locally and they know what any reduction in controls would mean on the ground. It won’t have any bearing on the wet behind the ears bureaucracy in Melbourne, but will force some of our food producing farmers off the land in the worst areas.

“In addition, we also have a push for all wild dogs with any level of dingo DNA to be recognised as dingoes, and therefore afforded greater levels of protections.

“Reducing the program in any way would be a massive kick in the guts for our farmers and have a devastating impact.

“These are decisions being made by a Minister that has next to no knowledge of the impact of wild dogs, I doubt has ever spoken to an East Gippsland farmer on the receiving end of these attacks, and is taking advice from a left-wing bureaucracy that is completely out of touch with the realities of rural life,” Mr Bull said.

“Every avenue to get rid of dogs that kill stock needs to be maintained, not increase protections and only allow action when they have entered private land – it is too late by then.

“Often, the only possible place to get these dogs is on the public land tracks adjacent to private property – both doggers and farmers will tell you that. Wild dog fencing helps, but with falling trees, sambar deer, wombats and kangaroos continually causing damage, it cannot be relied upon, hence all control measures need to be kept in place.”

Mr Bull said it was time to put farmers first and calls on the government to not adopt idealistic approaches that will impact on the livelihoods of farming families.

“That is why I have asked the Minister to confirm there will be no major changes, or reductions, to the wild dog program in East Gippsland, as that would have significant detrimental outcomes for us as a food producing region,” he said.

Caption: Nationals State MP, Tim Bull, is calling on the Minister for Environment to rule out any changes to the current wild dog program in East Gippsland.

Monday, 18 March 2024

Published in Media
Friday, 15 March 2024 10:01

Labor silences voices on renewable energy

The Victorian Labor Government will not allow local community input into renewable energy projects.
New laws announced last week deem these proposals as “significant economic development” that will be fast-tracked for approval.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said this had removed the opportunity for local community members to voice any concerns they have with individual projects.
“The changes remove the planning panel process, as well as third-party appeals at VCAT and, while I understand they do not want projects being delayed unnecessarily, you cannot remove the right of people to have a say on what goes on in their backyard.
“There needs to be a balance applied to this, not remove the rights of local communities. There are ways to expedite a decision but still have a process to listen to local concerns,” he said.
“People have legitimate concerns with solar farms and wind farms in proximity to where they live.
“Some of these will be ‘not in my back yard’ (NIMBY) opposition where the people say they support renewables, just not near me – but this process rules out those with legitimate concerns.
“Here we have a Premier who trumpets transparency, but her actions do not support her rhetoric. She is boasting about these changes, which give communities less say.
“There was a better way of doing this and the Premier has chosen not to go down that path, but rather shut out local voices in what is another example of the regions being ignored,” Mr Bull said.

Friday, 15 March 2024

Published in Media
Tuesday, 12 March 2024 11:22

Clean up our roads

The lack of repairs on our damaged roads infrastructure, and general maintenance of our roadways, has been raised in State Parliament by Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.

He gave an example of how things have been let go, by highlighting the number of trees growing in the centre of the road barriers between Stratford and Bairnsdale.

“In October, 2020 Labor Upper House Member, Harriet Shing, promised a native plant nursery for Nowa Nowa - for the loss of the timber mill in that town.

“Of course, it never eventuated, however, what we didn’t now know was this Government would oversee somewhat of a native tree nursery in its centre of the road barriers between Stratford and Bairnsdale,” he told Parliament.

“Eucalypts well over a metre in height, and a host of other native plants – around 150 at last count – as well as grass growing across the road, is a sign things are not being maintained.

“These are just one example of our roads not being maintained, with infrastructure that has been damaged for several months, remaining unrepaired.

“If they are there for safety and have been destroyed, should they not be repaired quickly?” he queried.

Mr Bull said it was a symptom of a state that was broke, suffering from cost overruns and not being able to manage money.

“As a result of mismanagement, they cut budgets, like the road maintenance budget that has been reduced by 40% over the past three years, and this is what we see on the ground as the result.”

Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, pictured next to a eucalyptus sapling over six foot tall, growing in between the centre barriers along the Princes Highway between Stratford and Bairnsdale.

Tuesday, 12 March 2024

Published in Media
Tuesday, 12 March 2024 11:19

Labor couldn’t run a bath

Labor has refused a request by Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, to have an inquiry into what is causing the inexcusable delays to repairing important tourism infrastructure damaged in the East Gippsland bushfires over four years ago.

Mr Bull moved a motion by leave in Parliament for the Inquiry to be established, but it was not supported by Labor.

“I suggest the reason they refused to allow this to proceed, is it would have been quite embarrassing for the Government, showing a combination of bureaucratic failures and general lack of desire to get on with the job,” he said.

“Parks Victoria advised last year that delays related to cultural heritage approvals, so we need to get to the bottom of it, as more than four years before rebuilds are commenced is not acceptable to anyone. None of these are new projects, they are all rebuilds.

“Protection of cultural heritage is important, and if that is the reason, we need to have timely outcomes for the appropriate measures and actions to be put in place. If there are other delays, we need to get to the bottom of it.

“Clearly Parks management does not operate with the level of proactiveness that is required to expedite outcomes in areas of hold up.

“Take the East Cape Board Walk at Cape Conran for example. I have been given four completion dates, including a clear commitment it would be completed pre-Christmas.

“In November that changed to early in the New Year. We are now in March, and it is still not open.

“Labor could not run a bath. They cannot management money or projects and then refuse an inquiry that would provide the community with some answers,” said Mr Bull.

Caption: State Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, was denied for the establishment of an Inquiry into the inexcusable bushfire infrastructure rebuild delays in our region such as the (pictured) Cape Coran Cabins in the far east.

Tuesday, 12 March 2024

Published in Media
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