East Gippsland, charge your engines
Several holiday towns within East Gippsland will soon have improved access to Electric Vehicle Charge Stations, after a push in the Victorian Parliament from local Nationals State MP, Tim Bull.
Paynesville, Bruthen, Orbost, Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale, Buchan, Cann River and Lakes Entrance have been identified as locations needing additional charging services, making the region a more attractive destination for owners of plug-in reliant vehicles.
“These charge stations will support the existing private investment in the region that will help eliminate range anxiety for visitors by dotting charge stations throughout East Gippsland’s popular tourist destinations and connecting townships,” Mr Bull said.
“After raising the issues of the having a shortfall of EV charge stations in East Gippsland, Mr Bull says local Business and Tourism Associations (BTA) suggest the expansion can’t come soon enough.
“In having this matter responded to, I will also continue to make the case for a major investment in the quality of roads in rural and regional Victoria
While we are seeking more detail on the changing stations, I believe they will be operational by July 2023.
“Not only do these short charging stops provide travellers an opportunity to take a break from the road, but drivers also often support the local townships they charge in, by shopping in the retail stores or by grabbing a coffee at the local cafe.
“I am pleased to see East Gippsland included in the expanding access to public electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Victoria, but we now need a focus on repairing the roads also,” Mr Bull said.
Monday, March 28, 2022
COVID enforcement insensitive and brutal
Infringements issued by the Department of Justice and Community Safety for alleged COVID breaches have raised the ire of small business owners who have endured the burden of changing compliance complexities for two years.
Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said small businesses should have been helped, not hounded, as what they had to do kept changing.
“These same businesses suffered multiple lockdowns that have had a crippling financial impact but went along with the rules all the same, from the reasonable to the outrageous, Mr Bull said.“To then have COVID inspectors sweep into our country towns and villages from the city to issue fines for minor or non-existing breaches is just callous and vindictive.“It has been reported to me there was also a disturbing lack of cultural sensitivity being shown towards business owners from non-English speaking backgrounds.“In one instance reported to my office, a business owner received an infringement for $13,631 after a cursory two-minute visit in which no finding of fault was raised with the owner. The fine came eight days later in the mail, which they are challenging, an action I support.“It doesn’t rest there, COVID compliance officers working remotely have sent e-mails to some business owners requesting detailed evidence of the vaccination status of staff, ABN details and other sensitive information without identifying themselves, so it looked for all the world like a scam operation.“The targeting of small business in country towns is a disgrace and the Department of Justice and Community Safety should apologise for its inept and heavy-handed approach.Caption: Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, pictured in the CBD of Bairnsdale, is appalled after learning several local businesses received questionable infringement notices, issued by the State Government’s COVID compliance officers.
Monday, March 21, 2022
Scammers deceiving locals out of money
“If it’s too good to be true it probably is”, is a well-known phrase and Gippsland East Nationals MP, is asking locals to take heed.
It comes on the back of a number of East Gippslanders being scammed out of considerable amounts of money.
“These mongrels’ prey on the vulnerable and are almost impossible to trace and it is heartbreaking to see the trail of disaster they leave in their wake,” he said.
“One local has been scammed out of $20,000 ironically after trying to update their virus protection software. When payment didn’t go through, a pop up directed them to call a number up and that is where the coercion began.
“Another fell victim to a Facebook messenger referral after she thought it reasonable given it came from the friend, but it was a fake account that had lifted her friend’s profile picture and details.
“The person was conned into sending through identification, address, photo and phone number before the scammer said she would qualify for a grant and all she then needed to do was pay a fee into the nominated bank account.
Mr Bull said the unfortunate reality is that while many seniors were more than accomplished on social media, it was that age group that was being targeted.
“For those who are a little unsure on social media, I urge them to check settings on their accounts with family or friends and also be very wary of any requests for money online.
“Don’t rush into any money transfer requests until you have checked with someone.
“Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
Sunday, 13 March 2022
Outreach services must be part of new mental health centres
Nationals State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, is seeking more information on two mental health and wellbeing centres to be established in Bairnsdale and Orbost.
“Having spoken of the increasing need for mental health supports in our region in Parliament, particularly on the back or drought, fires and Covid, this is overdue – but we need to know more,” he said.
“While the announcement has been made, unfortunately there is little detail that has been provided either to my office or local agencies, which is something I will pursue in the coming weeks.
“For instance, one element I am keen to establish is whether these centres will offer outreach services as we have many residents in remote communities that need supports taken to them.
“Our services in rural areas need to be structured differently to those in the suburbs. There needs to be an understanding of what will work in the regions and what will best serve those individuals who are dealing with tough times.
“People will welcome a cup of tea in their own home but are reticent to come to an office in town. That is feedback we hear time and again, so that is something these centres should be offering.
“Local mental health practitioners have managed the demands locally with great professionalism, care and to the best of their abilities, but it is clear they need more help due to the levels of demand,” he said.
“We know it is difficult retaining qualified specialists in rural areas, so recruiting must be targeted to ensure we have the mental health practitioners to deliver these essential services at these centres.
“Mental Health services are desperately needed in East Gippsland and these facilities can’t come soon enough, but we need the Government to explain to our communities how they will be staffed, how they will function and to consult with us about the services we require.”
Monday, March 7, 2022