Items filtered by date: August 2018
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 10:56

Offshore regulator asked to reappraise seismic survey

A French company’s plans to undertake a massive seismic survey over 17,000 square kilometres of Eastern Bass Strait has concerned local MP’s Tim Bull and Darren Chester and attracted criticism from the local fishing industry.
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, has written to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) asking that it consider the potential ramifications of the survey after raising the matter in Parliament last week.
“This would make it one of the largest seismic surveys seen in this country, covering an area eight times the size of Port Phillip Bay,” Mr Bull said.
“Under this proposal, the industry is being asked to leave fishing grounds for five months and then accept the risk of reduced catch rates for a year or more following the survey as evidence continues to build that it has a detrimental impact on marine life.
“I understand that in certain cases seismic testing must occur, but the scale of this proposal over vital fishing grounds raises massive concerns.
“I am also advised that no oil or gas company is requesting this, the proponent is planning it with the intention to (hopefully) on-sell the results, so basically, no-one is seeking this to be done.
“The fishing industry in South Eastern Australia is proud of its history of working in partnership with oil and gas companies. More than ten surveys have been completed over the last ten years, but this one represents exceptional risk,” Mr Bull said.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has also raised his concerns about the prospect of seismic testing.
He said he supported the local fishing industry and had already raised the potential impacts of seismic surveys with several of his Parliamentary colleagues and with the State Government directly.
Mr Chester has made formal representations to the Federal Minister for Resources, Matt Canavan; Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston; as well as the Victorian Minister for Major Projects Jacinta Allen.
Mr Chester said he would continue to work with the Lakes Entrance Fishermens Co-op, Leftrade Limited, Seafood Industry Victoria and the South East Trawl Fishery Industry to advocate on their behalf to the key decision makers.
“I don’t want to see the livelihoods of local fishermen jeopardised by more seismic surveys and a consultative process which has been dubious at best,” Mr Chester said.
“Fishermen and their families should be treated with more respect and like them, I am not convinced by the merits of this proposal.
The Roberts Evaluation in 2014 found the direct output generated from the commercial fishing industry and related industries in East Gippsland to be around $35m a year.
“The industry is vital to our local economy and a vital employer for our region; it has my full support,” Mr Chester said.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Published in Media
Friday, 10 August 2018 11:21

Dedicated to providing faster rail services

A Liberal Nationals Government will complete a business case for a new, dedicated rail line for regional trains through Melbourne’s south-east metropolitan system to make services faster and more reliable for East Gippsland passengers.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said if elected, the Liberal Nationals would invest $8 million into a business case to look at opportunities for a dedicated line.
“Local passengers are frustrated that trains travelling to and from Melbourne get stuck behind metro trains that stop at all suburban stations,” Mr Bull said.
“Significant, long-term solutions to the current problems would be removed with dedicated line for regional trains through Melbourne’s south-east.”
Mr Bull said the business case would look at ways to separate regional and metropolitan trains out of Melbourne and resolve constraints caused by the Andrews Labor Government’s rushed, ill-conceived Sky Rail infrastructure.
“We also recently announced that we would invest $633 million to replace the existing long-haul fleet with more comfortable and more reliable trains and carriages for country passengers right across the state – and this includes those on the Bairnsdale line.”
Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh, said Victoria’s unprecedented population growth was placing more strain on the existing passenger rail network.
“The Liberal Nationals will do the work needed to deliver better rail services for the people of Gippsland, to connect these communities with each other and with Melbourne,” Mr Walsh said.
Shadow Minister for Public Transport, David Davis, said: “Only a Liberal Nationals Government will deliver better train services for regional centres like Bairnsdale.”
According to Public Transport Victoria, just 48.1 per cent of Bairnsdale services and 76.6 per cent of Gippsland services arrived on time in June this year – far short of the 92 per cent target. In the same month, 49 services were cancelled.

Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has welcomed today’s announcement that a Liberal Nationals Government will invest $8 million to complete a business case for a dedicated rail line through Melbourne’s south-east. 
Friday, August 10, 2018
Published in Media
Thursday, 09 August 2018 12:34

Minister invited to meet drought-impacted farmers

The green tinge that disguises the grinding vice like grip of drought on the landscape isn’t diminishing the hardship that many East Gippsland farmers are experiencing.
This week in Parliament Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, highlighted the plight of farmers in East Gippsland and has invited the Agriculture minister to visit and hear from farmers how the drought is affecting them.
“There has been a huge focus on farmers in New South Wales with the drought and the extraordinary hardship they are experiencing – and rightly so,” Mr Bull said.
“However, in East Gippsland we also have hardship at an increasing level with every week that goes by without rain.
“I encourage the Agriculture minister not to lose sight of the plight of our farmers in East Gippsland as those in New South Wales dominate the headlines and to make some time to visit them at their farms and hear what they are going through.
“One of the issues that they are facing is the potential for a fodder shortage over the coming months.
“As the New South Wales drought-affected farmers have accessed our fodder, it is disappearing over the border.
“It is an increasing concern to our farmers that if they get into more serious trouble, that fodder will not be there.
“I am aware that support subsidies come from the Federal government and recent assistance packages were announced that East Gippsland farmers can access, but I think it is important our State Minister remains aware.
“I’m just asking the Minister to be present to show her support and to take back some good ideas for how Agriculture Victoria can do an even better job to help farmers,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, discusses the impact of the drought with local farmers.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Published in Media
Tuesday, 07 August 2018 10:39

Stratford RSL needs revamp

Stratford RSL Sub-Branch’s need for a significant upgrade was highlighted in State Parliament today.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, told the Legislative Assembly: “Having recently met with members on-site, it was clear this important facility urgently needs a cash injection to bring it up to modern standards”.
“Members have identified a number of required upgrades, which include toilets with disability access and I would encourage the Veterans Minister to take an interest in this situation,” he said.
“The sub-branch also needs to upgrade its flooring, relocate the front entrance and construct an outdoor area to make it more accessible,” he said.
Mr Bull said the proposed upgrades would likely cost between $250,000 and $300,000 to complete.
“I know the sub-branch has lodged grant applications, so I hope members will be given the backing they need to make further improvements to this important community centre.” 
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, discusses proposed upgrades to Stratford RSL Sub-Branch with president, Dennis Carstairs, and treasurer, Ralph Faber.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Published in Media
Thursday, 02 August 2018 14:55

Agriculture will grow under Liberal Nationals

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will deliver a better deal for agriculture with a new plan to drive growth and support jobs in Victoria’s agriculture industries to the benefit of all Victorians.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said a Liberal Nationals Government would establish Grow Victoria: Food and Fibre Exports Program with a $40 million investment to help farmers and food manufacturers in East Gippsland and across the state get more of their products into the rapidly expanding Asian markets.
The announcement comes as the Liberal Nationals also promise to invest $5.3 million to roll out the Growth, Adoption, Production and Profitability (GAPP) program, helping growers get in touch with the latest innovations in agriculture to boost their productivity and profitability
“There’s a huge opportunity for our clean, green, premium quality local produce to fill growing demand for food and fibre in the Asian markets,” Mr Bull said.
“While Daniel Andrews has cut funding, a Nationals Government will boost investment and ensure Victoria’s food and fibre export strategy addresses key drivers including market access, research and development, reducing red tape and infrastructure investment.
“Only The Nationals will invest to make sure these vital sectors continue to grow and support jobs and business opportunities in East Gippsland.”
Victoria is the nation’s largest exporter of agricultural goods but while other states have increased their share of exports in the past three years, Victoria has declined, dropping from 28 per cent of Australian exports in 2013-14 to 25 per cent in 2016-17.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said when regional Victoria’s economy is strong, all Victorians benefit.
“A city-centric Labor Government has been short-sighted in the last four years but a Liberal Nationals government will restore funding and get this important work back on track,” Mr Walsh said.
“Regional development and decentralising our population will only succeed if we create good, secure and well-paying jobs and business opportunities in regional Victoria.”
The Liberal Nationals have also pledged to establish a Livestock and Rural Crime Squad and the Pest Animals and Plants Taskforce.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, flanked by Andrew Bulmer, of Bulmer Farms, and Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy, says agriculture will grow under an elected Liberal Nationals Government with the establishment of the $40 million Grow Victoria: Food and Fibre Exports Program.
Thursday, August 2, 2018
Published in Media
Wednesday, 01 August 2018 14:22

Help needed to manage kangaroos

Out of control kangaroo numbers are being blamed by the Australian Landscape Trust for the economic and animal welfare catastrophe presently emerging on the iconic Strathfieldsaye Estate property at Perry Bridge that the Trust manages as a demonstration farm practising low-input, sustainable grazing management.
At the request of the Trust, Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, has asked the Environment Minister to assist with an effective plan to help manage the kangaroo population on the Strathfieldsaye Estate.
“Having visited Strathfieldsaye yesterday, I can say I have not seen anything like these numbers; there are massive mobs of many hundreds of kangaroos. The situation is they are contained by kangaroo fencing that has been erected over recent years, are multiplying rapidly and there is no food source,” Mr Bull said.
“The 5,000 acre property has been de-stocked of cattle and without any action it is simply going to get out of control. The property had no income last financial year and there is little likelihood that this year will be any better.
“According to the Australian Landscape Trust there are now between 2,000 to 3,000 kangaroos on Strathfieldsaye Estate.
“This excessive and unsustainable kangaroo population has made it impossible for the property to achieve its conservation, research and agricultural production objectives.
“Strathfieldsaye Estate also has 800 ha in conservation covenants with Trust for Nature to protect species at risk, but most of these have been lost entirely.
“The Strathfieldsaye Estate’s kangaroo management plan shows that the property can sustain a healthy population of 570 animals, not 3,000.
“I have asked the Minister to review her Department’s currently inadequate kangaroo management measures, because without a more realistic approach to controlling their numbers, Strathfieldsaye Estate’s agricultural research and conservation programmes will have to be abandoned,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, and Australian Landscape Trust Ecologist Madeline Watts at the Strathfieldsaye Estate property where kangaroo numbers are threatening the survival of the Estate’s agricultural research and conservation programs.
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Published in Media
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