Blogs

ROAD SAFETY

ROAD SAFETY FUNDING CRITICAL IN REGIONS

October 31, 2011

The latest Transport Accident Commission (TAC) figures have confirmed that East Gippsland has one of the worst road accident and fatality records in Victoria.

Over the past three years, 23 people have died on East Gippsland’s roads which places our region second behind Greater Geelong which suffered 26 deaths in the same period.

Of course, the numbers never tell the complete story of the heartbreak and tragedy which haunts the families and friends of the victims of road accidents. The social and economic costs of road trauma demand more action from all levels of government and the wider community.

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TOURISM

TOURISM COULD BENEFIT FROM PRIVATE INVESTMENT

August 22, 2011

The Baillieu-Ryan Government is currently considering a report from the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission which promotes the opportunity for private development of new facilities in national parks.

It will be a contentious subject but one which needs to be openly debated in a constructive and thoughtful manner.

For many years, I’ve argued that the infrastructure on public land in East Gippsland is insufficient to help the tourism industry to grow and create jobs. As cuts have been made to some of our traditional industries like the timber sector, there have been a lot of wishy-washy promises about new investments in tourism.

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AUSTRALIAN FLAG

AUSTRALIAN FLAG RECOGNISES OUR HERITAGE AND TRADITIONS

February 1, 2010

On Australia Day I had the opportunity to join in celebrations at Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Traralgon and Morwell and it was interesting to note the resurgence in national pride and the display of Australian flags.

From children with handheld wavers, to flags displayed on cars and the traditional flag poles, there was a sea of red, white and blue at every function I attended.

One of the common topics of conversation at Australia Day events was whether we needed a new flag design but from the people I spoke to, there is no appetite for change.

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BEEF INDUSTRY

MINISTER CAN’T LOWER BAR FOR FOREIGN BEEF PRODUCERS

March 1, 2010

Australian farmers produce some of the best quality beef in the world and Australian consumers are protected by the safest food standards in the world… we need to do everything in our power to keep it that way.

That’s why the debate over the Rudd Labor Government’s decision to allow beef imports from countries where Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (commonly known as ‘mad cow disease’) has been previously detected, is the subject of community concern.

It should be stressed that there has never been a case of mad cow disease detected in Australia.

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BER PROGRAM

BUILDING THE EDUCATION REVOLUTION PROGRAM

April 12, 2010

There has been a great deal of debate about the Federal Government’s investment in local primary schools under the so called Building the Education Revolution.

When the $16.2 billion program was first announced more than 12 months ago, I raised concerns about the importance of allowing local builders to contract for work and making sure that each school was in the position to secure value for money for their community.  I went as far as issuing a warning in Federal Parliament that the program would lead to a waste of taxpayers’ money if the Rudd Government acted in too much of a hurry.

In its rush to shovel the money out the door we have seen schools forced to accept building designs which didn’t meet their needs and local building firms overlooked in favour of Melbourne based project managers.  Now reports are starting to flood in throughout Australia of schools receiving building projects at vastly inflated prices and taxpayers are footing the bill.

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COMMUNITY ACTION DAY

COMMUNITY ACTION NEEDED TO HELP THE LAKES

October 11, 2010

The environmental health of the Gippsland Lakes and its catchment is critical to the social, economic and cultural life of our region but governments at State and Federal levels are failing our community.

That’s why I’m helping to organise a Community Action Day on Sunday, November 7 to draw attention to the health of the lakes and the need for concerted action.

Over 12 months ago I met with Tim Bull who put forward a plan for a Gippsland Lakes clean-up day to encourage local residents to pick up rubbish and demonstrate their passion for the lakes and its catchment.

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ELECTION IMPORTANCE

ELECTIONS – THEY DO MATTER

November 8, 2010

East Gippslanders have every right to feel a little ‘election fatigue’ after a Federal campaign that lasted 17 days longer before the independents supported Labor again.

But I would caution against switching off completely as the seat of Gippsland East will be one of the most hotly contested in the state.

The Nationals, Liberals and the independent all have a chance of holding the seat and many of the issues confronting voters have Federal and State implications.

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ETS

3000 JOBS TIPPED TO GO IN GIPPSLAND UNDER ETS

February 15, 2010

Last week in Federal Parliament the debate about the Rudd Labor Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) carried extra significance for the future job prospects of Gippslanders.

In my contribution, I referred to an independent report prepared for Wellington Shire Council which indicated that the broader Gippsland region had several industries which would be directly affected by the proposed scheme. The report included a forecast about the difference in employment in the municipalities of Wellington, Latrobe Valley and East Gippsland by 2025 compared to what would occur in the absence of Labor’s CPRS.

“In the case of the no-international-trade scenario, employment across the three areas will be down by almost 3000 jobs in 2025 compared with a base case of no CPRS and output would be $325 million lower,” the report states.

Read more: ETS

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