Blogs

BUSHFIRES

DON’T SCARE VISITORS AWAY THIS SUMMER

October 12, 2009

With all the publicity that has been given to the impending fire season, there is a very real risk that some tourists will be scared away from visiting Gippsland’s natural attractions this summer.

This week I met with Gippsland’s Country Fire Authority management team and received a briefing on the extent of the fire risk.

For those of us who have lived in Gippsland for decades – there were no surprises in the message that the CFA was presenting.

Read more: BUSHFIRES

ENVIRONMENTAL FUNDING

GOVERNMENT FAILS TO BACK PRACTICAL WORK

August 17, 2009

The Labor Party makes a lot of claims about its ‘green’ credentials but when it comes to practical environmental works in regional areas, the action doesn’t match the rhetoric.

In Gippsland, we have seen dramatic cuts in support for improvements to the Gippsland Lakes catchment and the funding for Landcare facilitators has been slashed by the Federal Government.

Farmers, other landholders and local volunteers have been the practical environmentalists of recent decades through investment in better technology and land management techniques.

Read more: ENVIRONMENTAL FUNDING

GACC CLOSURE

GIPPSLAND AREA CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE TO CLOSE

June 22, 2009

It is with great disappointment that I note the forthcoming closure of the Gippsland Area Consultative Committee (GACC) after the Rudd Labor Government’s decision to end funding.

The GACC has provided an outstanding service to the Gippsland community, assisting with major projects such as Rotary Centenary House, construction of the PS Curlip and redevelopment of the Port of Sale. 

On behalf of the Gippsland community, I extend my sincere thanks to Executive Officer Maree McPherson and the board of the GACC, led by Chair David Power, for their commitment to improving facilities and opportunities for Gippslanders.

Read more: GACC CLOSURE

LANDCARE

FUTURE CONCERNS FOR LANDCARE

October 26, 2009

Earlier this year, Australia commemorated ‘National Landcare Week’ – recognising 20 years of outstanding practical environmental service across our nation.

Landcare was formed by the Hawke Government with bipartisan support and there are more than 4500 community Landcare groups in operation today.

To mark Landcare Week, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry distributed a media release to recognise the fact that more than 100,000 volunteers roll up their sleeves in communities each year to replant vegetation, repair erosion and improve agricultural production.

Read more: LANDCARE

MP SALARIES

SUPPORT FOR SALARY FREEZE

May 4, 2009

Media reports over the past week which indicated that Members of Parliament were set to receive a $4700 increase in their electorate allowance triggered the usual series of derisory comments from talkback radio callers.

But behind the banter were some more serious issues.

The question of remuneration for MPs is thorny one and I fully support the role of the Independent Remuneration Tribunal to set the salaries and allowances of MPs.

Read more: MP SALARIES

ROAD SAFETY

FIX COUNTRY ROADS, SAVE COUNTRY LIVES

April 6, 2009

Two weeks ago, a head-on collision on the Princes Highway west of Lakes Entrance claimed the lives of two young local people.

Every fatality on our roads is a tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those who have been directly affected by road trauma already this year. Nothing we can say will give them back their loved ones.

But we can do more to help reduce the number of accidents in the future and it begins with improving the safety of the road environment.

Read more: ROAD SAFETY

YOUTH ALLOWANCE

NOTHING SILLY ABOUT STANDING UP FOR COUNTRY KIDS

June 1, 2009

Last week in Federal Parliamentary Question Time, I asked the Minister for Education Julia Gillard to guarantee that no students currently on their ‘gap’ year would be financially penalised under the government’s changes to the eligibility criteria for the independent youth allowance.

The Minister replied that it was “a very silly question”.

I don’t believe there is anything silly about standing up for regional students and their families who are going to be discriminated against by the Rudd Government’s proposed changes.

Read more: YOUTH ALLOWANCE

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