Media Centre

PRINCES HIGHWAY BRIDGE RESTORED FOLLOWING FIRES

Essential repairs to Poddy Creek Bridge are complete following damage sustained during last summer’s devastating East Gippsland bushfires. Member for East Gippsland Jane Garrett said both lanes of the bridge are now open and speed limits have returned to normal following the $570,000 restoration project. East Gippsland-based contractor Tambo Constructions delivered a range of repairs to the bridge including a new safety barrier rail system, repairs to the bridge deck, reinforcement works and a new road surface across the bridge. Poddy Creek Bridge, located on the Princes Highway 25 kilometres west of Cann River, was one of the bridges in East Gippsland which sustained the most serious damage during the bushfires in January. A large fallen tree smashed through the bridge’s barrier and cracked its outer concrete supports, leaving it with only one low-speed lane. Significant bushfire recovery works have also been completed on other East Gippsland roads, with all 400 kilometres of bushfire-impacted arterial roads reopened, more than 1000 road signs repaired or replaced, and 12,600 guideposts replaced. The bridge repair works were funded under the Victorian Government’s $22.8 million state-wide investment from the $2.7 billion Building Works package, to help regional towns recover and rebuild following a devastating summer of bushfires. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “The East Gippsland bushfires caused unparalleled damage to critical infrastructure, resulting in one of the biggest natural disaster clean-up efforts in Gippsland’s history.” “We recognise the importance of keeping key routes open and operating at full capacity, which is why we’re investing significantly in delivering these critical bushfire recovery works in East Gippsland.” “It’s fantastic to see local contractors working on these recovery projects, because it not only fixes key infrastructure, but gives a boost to the local economy.”

PRINCES HIGHWAY BRIDGE RESTORED FOLLOWING FIRES

Essential repairs to Poddy Creek Bridge are complete following damage sustained during last summer’s devastating East Gippsland bushfires. Member for East Gippsland Jane Garrett said both lanes of the bridge are now open and speed limits have returned to normal following the $570,000 restoration project. East Gippsland-based contractor Tambo Constructions delivered a range of repairs to the bridge including a new safety barrier rail system, repairs to the bridge deck, reinforcement works and a new road surface across the bridge. Poddy Creek Bridge, located on the Princes Highway 25 kilometres west of Cann River, was one of the bridges in East Gippsland which sustained the most serious damage during the bushfires in January. A large fallen tree smashed through the bridge’s barrier and cracked its outer concrete supports, leaving it with only one low-speed lane. Significant bushfire recovery works have also been completed on other East Gippsland roads, with all 400 kilometres of bushfire-impacted arterial roads reopened, more than 1000 road signs repaired or replaced, and 12,600 guideposts replaced. The bridge repair works were funded under the Victorian Government’s $22.8 million state-wide investment from the $2.7 billion Building Works package, to help regional towns recover and rebuild following a devastating summer of bushfires. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “The East Gippsland bushfires caused unparalleled damage to critical infrastructure, resulting in one of the biggest natural disaster clean-up efforts in Gippsland’s history.” “We recognise the importance of keeping key routes open and operating at full capacity, which is why we’re investing significantly in delivering these critical bushfire recovery works in East Gippsland.” “It’s fantastic to see local contractors working on these recovery projects, because it not only fixes key infrastructure, but gives a boost to the local economy.”

WORKING FOR VICTORIA: MORE JOBS FOR LOCALS IN GIPPSLAND

Some 100 new positions will be advertised in Gippsland through Working for Victoria, building on almost 230 jobs already created across the region through the Victorian Government employment initiative. Of the new jobs, more than 40 positions with the East Gippsland Shire Council will become available from this week, including in parks and gardens maintenance and bushfire remediation work in council-managed reserves and trails. The workers will contribute to teams providing repair and weed management programs for more than 15 kilometres of trails and 70 hectares of council-managed reserves that were affected by last summer’s bushfires. A team of Working for Victoria participants including Thomas Clayson, who has a background in zoology and emergency medical response, are currently working with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP) on bushfire recovery projects around Heyfield. Mr Clayson’s team is completing land management works including track repairs, dangerous tree removal and repairs to damaged infrastructure in national parks and state forests. While the East Gippsland Shire jobs will be advertised from this week, other Working for Victoria jobs including roles with other councils from across the region, as well as dedicated positions for young people providing administrative support to Victoria Police and further roles with DEWLP, will become available over coming weeks. The 229 jobs already created for Gippsland workers through Working for Victoria include roles with Latrobe City Council, Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation, Bass Coast Shire Council, Wurinbeena, East Gippsland Shire Council and Wellington Shire Council. Jobs are typically for a six to 12-month duration, providing vital connections to the labour market and valuable on-the-ground work experience in roles that also deliver a real community benefit. Working for Victoria has partnered with 53 councils across Victoria that have created more than 4,800 jobs covering land and asset management, community outreach, hardship relief delivery and crisis co-ordination. Since launching in April, the initiative has created more than 10,000 jobs in total. For more information and to register for Working for Victoria, go to vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria. Quotes attributable to Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford “These new jobs will benefit the community well beyond repairs and upgrades to tracks, reserves, parks and gardens.” “Working for Victoria gives helps people get back to work – it’s impossible to overestimate the importance of that.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “We’re creating jobs in Gippsland and giving people the chance to get back on their feet while contributing to improving our beautiful region.”

WORKING FOR VICTORIA: MORE JOBS FOR LOCALS IN GIPPSLAND

Some 100 new positions will be advertised in Gippsland through Working for Victoria, building on almost 230 jobs already created across the region through the Victorian Government employment initiative. Of the new jobs, more than 40 positions with the East Gippsland Shire Council will become available from this week, including in parks and gardens maintenance and bushfire remediation work in council-managed reserves and trails. The workers will contribute to teams providing repair and weed management programs for more than 15 kilometres of trails and 70 hectares of council-managed reserves that were affected by last summer’s bushfires. A team of Working for Victoria participants including Thomas Clayson, who has a background in zoology and emergency medical response, are currently working with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP) on bushfire recovery projects around Heyfield. Mr Clayson’s team is completing land management works including track repairs, dangerous tree removal and repairs to damaged infrastructure in national parks and state forests. While the East Gippsland Shire jobs will be advertised from this week, other Working for Victoria jobs including roles with other councils from across the region, as well as dedicated positions for young people providing administrative support to Victoria Police and further roles with DEWLP, will become available over coming weeks. The 229 jobs already created for Gippsland workers through Working for Victoria include roles with Latrobe City Council, Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation, Bass Coast Shire Council, Wurinbeena, East Gippsland Shire Council and Wellington Shire Council. Jobs are typically for a six to 12-month duration, providing vital connections to the labour market and valuable on-the-ground work experience in roles that also deliver a real community benefit. Working for Victoria has partnered with 53 councils across Victoria that have created more than 4,800 jobs covering land and asset management, community outreach, hardship relief delivery and crisis co-ordination. Since launching in April, the initiative has created more than 10,000 jobs in total. For more information and to register for Working for Victoria, go to vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria. Quotes attributable to Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford “These new jobs will benefit the community well beyond repairs and upgrades to tracks, reserves, parks and gardens.” “Working for Victoria gives helps people get back to work – it’s impossible to overestimate the importance of that.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “We’re creating jobs in Gippsland and giving people the chance to get back on their feet while contributing to improving our beautiful region.”

COASTAL PROJECTS TO BENEFIT IN LOCH SPORT AND WALKERVILLE

Beachgoers in Loch Sport and Walkerville will have safer access to coastal areas thanks to the Victorian Government’s $500,000 Coastal Public Access and Risk Grants program. Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett MP said: “A total of 12 coastal Crown land managers will receive grants to develop and implement projects that reduce coastal risk and improve public access.” “This funding will be used to support works such as renewing fencing, rebuilding access tracks, repairing coastal structures, geotechnical risk assessments and coastal erosion mitigations,” Ms Garrett said. In Gippsland, the Coastal Public Access and Risk Grants program has funded two projects: • Loch Sport Foreshore Committee of Management Inc. - $47,888.00 Realignment of Eroded Foreshore Walking Track at Seagull Drive and The Boulevard • Walkerville Foreshore Committee of Management Inc. - $22,565.00 Walkerville South Coastal Access Tracks Rebuild and Repair “The Victorian Government recognises the important responsibility coastal land managers have in balancing protection of the environment with community enjoyment of these spaces,” Ms Garrett said. “These projects will help reduce risks to marine and coastal environments while improving public access, leading to mutual benefits for the community and the environment.” The Coastal Public Access and Risk Grants program is funded by the Victorian Government through the $2.7 billion Building Works package that is supporting jobs and investment across Victoria and helping local communities bounce back from the economic impacts of the Coronavirus. Through the Building Works Package, the Government is delivering more than $11 million to safeguard marine and coastal environments from the impacts of climate change, including $3 million for coastal infrastructure in Apollo Bay. For a full list of grant recipients, visit https://www.marineandcoasts.vic.gov.au/grants/coastal-public-access-and-risk-grants

COASTAL PROJECTS TO BENEFIT IN LOCH SPORT AND WALKERVILLE

Beachgoers in Loch Sport and Walkerville will have safer access to coastal areas thanks to the Victorian Government’s $500,000 Coastal Public Access and Risk Grants program. Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett MP said: “A total of 12 coastal Crown land managers will receive grants to develop and implement projects that reduce coastal risk and improve public access.” “This funding will be used to support works such as renewing fencing, rebuilding access tracks, repairing coastal structures, geotechnical risk assessments and coastal erosion mitigations,” Ms Garrett said. In Gippsland, the Coastal Public Access and Risk Grants program has funded two projects: • Loch Sport Foreshore Committee of Management Inc. - $47,888.00 Realignment of Eroded Foreshore Walking Track at Seagull Drive and The Boulevard • Walkerville Foreshore Committee of Management Inc. - $22,565.00 Walkerville South Coastal Access Tracks Rebuild and Repair “The Victorian Government recognises the important responsibility coastal land managers have in balancing protection of the environment with community enjoyment of these spaces,” Ms Garrett said. “These projects will help reduce risks to marine and coastal environments while improving public access, leading to mutual benefits for the community and the environment.” The Coastal Public Access and Risk Grants program is funded by the Victorian Government through the $2.7 billion Building Works package that is supporting jobs and investment across Victoria and helping local communities bounce back from the economic impacts of the Coronavirus. Through the Building Works Package, the Government is delivering more than $11 million to safeguard marine and coastal environments from the impacts of climate change, including $3 million for coastal infrastructure in Apollo Bay. For a full list of grant recipients, visit https://www.marineandcoasts.vic.gov.au/grants/coastal-public-access-and-risk-grants

BUSINESS AND TOURISM ASSOCIATIONS RECEIVE VITAL RECOVERY FUNDING

Sale Business and Tourism Association and Maffra Business and Tourism Association will benefit from $20,000 each awarded through the Victorian Government’s Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program. Both associations provide critical advice, connections and resources to businesses and these grants will be crucial in helping them to support members’ transition to COVID Normal. The Government’s $3 million Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program provides funds to business chambers and trader groups across Victoria to help their local business communities recover and start to grow again. Grant recipients can use funding towards business activation initiatives like facilitating members’ adaptation to COVID Normal, “buy local” campaigns and improving access to programs and services focused on resilience and recovery. The Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program is part of the $3 billion Business Resilience Package which aims to help businesses impacted by ongoing restrictions to keep going and prepare for COVID Normal operations. Additional programs in the package include the $822 million third round of the Business Support Fund, the $100 million Sole Trader Support Fund and $87.5 million to support hospitality businesses prepare for COVID Normal reopening across Victoria. For more information about the Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program, go to: business.vic.gov.au/businesschambers. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett MP “Both Sale and Maffra Business and Tourism Associations are strong advocates for their business communities and this funding will be essential in helping local business recover and prepare for the new COVID Normal.” “We appreciate the role that business chambers and trader groups can play in helping local businesses recover – that’s why it’s important to back that leadership with funding for local solutions to this global pandemic.” “This funding will assist businesses in Sale and Maffra get through to the other side of the pandemic and both these associations will be essential in the recovery effort.”

BUSINESS AND TOURISM ASSOCIATIONS RECEIVE VITAL RECOVERY FUNDING

Sale Business and Tourism Association and Maffra Business and Tourism Association will benefit from $20,000 each awarded through the Victorian Government’s Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program. Both associations provide critical advice, connections and resources to businesses and these grants will be crucial in helping them to support members’ transition to COVID Normal. The Government’s $3 million Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program provides funds to business chambers and trader groups across Victoria to help their local business communities recover and start to grow again. Grant recipients can use funding towards business activation initiatives like facilitating members’ adaptation to COVID Normal, “buy local” campaigns and improving access to programs and services focused on resilience and recovery. The Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program is part of the $3 billion Business Resilience Package which aims to help businesses impacted by ongoing restrictions to keep going and prepare for COVID Normal operations. Additional programs in the package include the $822 million third round of the Business Support Fund, the $100 million Sole Trader Support Fund and $87.5 million to support hospitality businesses prepare for COVID Normal reopening across Victoria. For more information about the Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program, go to: business.vic.gov.au/businesschambers. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett MP “Both Sale and Maffra Business and Tourism Associations are strong advocates for their business communities and this funding will be essential in helping local business recover and prepare for the new COVID Normal.” “We appreciate the role that business chambers and trader groups can play in helping local businesses recover – that’s why it’s important to back that leadership with funding for local solutions to this global pandemic.” “This funding will assist businesses in Sale and Maffra get through to the other side of the pandemic and both these associations will be essential in the recovery effort.”

 

YOUTH URGED TO HELP REBUILD BUSHFIRE-HIT COMMUNITIES

Young Victorians affected by bushfires can take part in a series of workshops and consultations as part of a Bushfire Trauma Recovery & Resilience program to rebuild their local communities. Minister for Education James Merlino today invited young people in Outer Gippsland and Ovens Murray areas affected by last summer’s bushfires to sign up for online youth advocacy workshops on 15, 20 and 22 October to help lead local bushfire recovery. The workshops will support young people to lead and engage with recovery in their community and are run in partnership with Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic). Young people are also invited to take part in a workshop on 6 November to advise on the establishment and operation of a youth-led disaster recovery network. Young people are urged to bring their fresh ideas and forward-thinking to the interactive workshops to help inform bushfire recovery projects and initiatives over the next two years, including the establishment of a youth-led disaster recovery network. The information will also be published in a final report due for release in 2021. There will be further consultations in October to December with youth, in partnership with YACVic and Bushfire Recovery Victoria, as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to fund support for communities impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires. As part of this funding, the Department of Education and Training has established a Trauma Recovery Team to provide expert advice and psychosocial support to schools to support children and young people to recover and rebuild from the impacts of the bushfires. To register, visit yacvic.org.au/get-involved/events/youth-advocacy-workshops/#TOC-3. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Bushfire recovery efforts should be community-led, responsive and flexible and build upon existing community resilience, strengths and knowledge. Quote attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville “Engaging young people in recovery activities and decisions will bring fresh ideas and ensure that our actions meet the needs of our young people so that they are supported and able to lead within their communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “East Gippsland was badly affected by bushfire and it’s important young people have a role to play in informing how best to rebuild their communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Young Victorians will have important insights about recovery to bring to the table – it’s vital they have a way to have these ideas and concerns heard.”

YOUTH URGED TO HELP REBUILD BUSHFIRE-HIT COMMUNITIES

Young Victorians affected by bushfires can take part in a series of workshops and consultations as part of a Bushfire Trauma Recovery & Resilience program to rebuild their local communities. Minister for Education James Merlino today invited young people in Outer Gippsland and Ovens Murray areas affected by last summer’s bushfires to sign up for online youth advocacy workshops on 15, 20 and 22 October to help lead local bushfire recovery. The workshops will support young people to lead and engage with recovery in their community and are run in partnership with Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic). Young people are also invited to take part in a workshop on 6 November to advise on the establishment and operation of a youth-led disaster recovery network. Young people are urged to bring their fresh ideas and forward-thinking to the interactive workshops to help inform bushfire recovery projects and initiatives over the next two years, including the establishment of a youth-led disaster recovery network. The information will also be published in a final report due for release in 2021. There will be further consultations in October to December with youth, in partnership with YACVic and Bushfire Recovery Victoria, as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to fund support for communities impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires. As part of this funding, the Department of Education and Training has established a Trauma Recovery Team to provide expert advice and psychosocial support to schools to support children and young people to recover and rebuild from the impacts of the bushfires. To register, visit yacvic.org.au/get-involved/events/youth-advocacy-workshops/#TOC-3. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Bushfire recovery efforts should be community-led, responsive and flexible and build upon existing community resilience, strengths and knowledge. Quote attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville “Engaging young people in recovery activities and decisions will bring fresh ideas and ensure that our actions meet the needs of our young people so that they are supported and able to lead within their communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “East Gippsland was badly affected by bushfire and it’s important young people have a role to play in informing how best to rebuild their communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Young Victorians will have important insights about recovery to bring to the table – it’s vital they have a way to have these ideas and concerns heard.”

INVESTING IN BAIRNSDALE SECONDARY COLLEGE’S MASTERPLAN

Bairnsdale families are closer to scoring a major redevelopment to their local school with $804,000 to plan the next stage of the masterplan at Bairnsdale Secondary College, thanks to the Victorian Government. Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett today announced the investment for the school to complete the full design and documentation for the second stage in their masterplan which includes a new science building. This funding allows the school to develop detailed designs to make this project shovel ready, will create future jobs and help fast-track the state’s long-term economic recovery hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The school will be able to design modern fit-for-purposes learning spaces that meet the needs of the community. The school is one of 40 across Victoria to share in $45.7 million to start planning for upgrades and new builds under the Infrastructure Planning and Acceleration Fund. This investment is on top of the $1.4 million allocated to the first stage of Bairnsdale Secondary College’s masterplan to begin a major modernisation of the school. Infrastructure Planning and Acceleration Fund is a new $180 million initiative part of the Victorian Government’s ongoing response to support long-term economic recovery in Victoria. The Victorian Government is investing an unprecedented $7.2 billion in Victorian school infrastructure, which is delivering more than 1,460 school upgrades and 100 new schools by 2026 – ensuring every child can access a great local school where they can achieve their best. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “The Victorian Government is providing students and teachers across the state 21st Century learning facilities to enable them to reach their full potential – that’s why Victoria is the Education State.” “We are fulfilling our election promises while planning for future student numbers and providing an economic boost to the state.” “This investment in Bairnsdale Secondary College will help students achieve their best results while allowing the school to plan for the future growth of their community.”

INVESTING IN BAIRNSDALE SECONDARY COLLEGE’S MASTERPLAN

Bairnsdale families are closer to scoring a major redevelopment to their local school with $804,000 to plan the next stage of the masterplan at Bairnsdale Secondary College, thanks to the Victorian Government. Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett today announced the investment for the school to complete the full design and documentation for the second stage in their masterplan which includes a new science building. This funding allows the school to develop detailed designs to make this project shovel ready, will create future jobs and help fast-track the state’s long-term economic recovery hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The school will be able to design modern fit-for-purposes learning spaces that meet the needs of the community. The school is one of 40 across Victoria to share in $45.7 million to start planning for upgrades and new builds under the Infrastructure Planning and Acceleration Fund. This investment is on top of the $1.4 million allocated to the first stage of Bairnsdale Secondary College’s masterplan to begin a major modernisation of the school. Infrastructure Planning and Acceleration Fund is a new $180 million initiative part of the Victorian Government’s ongoing response to support long-term economic recovery in Victoria. The Victorian Government is investing an unprecedented $7.2 billion in Victorian school infrastructure, which is delivering more than 1,460 school upgrades and 100 new schools by 2026 – ensuring every child can access a great local school where they can achieve their best. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “The Victorian Government is providing students and teachers across the state 21st Century learning facilities to enable them to reach their full potential – that’s why Victoria is the Education State.” “We are fulfilling our election promises while planning for future student numbers and providing an economic boost to the state.” “This investment in Bairnsdale Secondary College will help students achieve their best results while allowing the school to plan for the future growth of their community.”

NEW NURSERY TO GROW MORE TIMBER AND GIPPSLAND JOBS

Victoria’s forestry transition will be supported with the creation of a new state-owned nursery in East Gippsland, which will also help local forests and economies recover from the devastating 2019-20 Victorian bushfires. Establishment of the $10 million Victorian Forest Nursery will increase the eucalypt seedling supply chain and create up to 30 new jobs, most of which will be ongoing. The Victorian Government’s Gippsland Plantations Investment Program will provide a $2 million grant to VicForests to establish and manage the nursery, on the former P.R. Adams sawmill site at Nowa Nowa in East Gippsland, with planning requirements being worked on ahead of project commencement in the coming months. The Program is part of the Government’s $110 million investment in plantation timber. It supports the Victorian Forestry Plan and the timeline it sets to transition from harvesting native forests to a plantation-based sector. Currently five-out-of-six trees harvested in Victoria are from plantations and the state has the largest area dedicated to timber plantations in Australia. The nursery is expected to have a production capacity of up to 5 million seedlings each year, which could support plantings and reforestation of around 5,000 hectares annually. Production of eucalypt seedlings will support bushfire recovery replanting, forestry coupe regeneration, timber plantations and farm forestry programs in Gippsland as state forest harvesting decreases over the next decade. The East Gippsland community will benefit from new learning opportunities developed in consultation with the Forestec campus of TAFE Gippsland, along with options to reskill and employ existing timber industry workers. The nursery will also present opportunities for involvement and collaboration with local Aboriginal organisations. The VicForests Forest Nursery complements the Government’s Gippsland Centre of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation, announced in July. Consistent with the Victorian Timber Innovation Fund, assistance will be provided to develop new products using plantation timber as the sector transitions and evolves. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “We’re supporting the future of our timber industry by securing jobs the whole Gippsland community can benefit from.” “The seedlings grown at this exciting new nursery will support the future of our timber industry by securing new jobs and new plantations, and support the regeneration of our forests.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “We’re excited to create a nursery to bring new jobs to East Gippsland to support the transition to a plantation-based timber industry.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “This initiative will also help to ensure that local community members are able to benefit from the employment opportunities of plantation tree harvesting, consistent with the Victorian Forestry Plan.”

NEW NURSERY TO GROW MORE TIMBER AND GIPPSLAND JOBS

Victoria’s forestry transition will be supported with the creation of a new state-owned nursery in East Gippsland, which will also help local forests and economies recover from the devastating 2019-20 Victorian bushfires. Establishment of the $10 million Victorian Forest Nursery will increase the eucalypt seedling supply chain and create up to 30 new jobs, most of which will be ongoing. The Victorian Government’s Gippsland Plantations Investment Program will provide a $2 million grant to VicForests to establish and manage the nursery, on the former P.R. Adams sawmill site at Nowa Nowa in East Gippsland, with planning requirements being worked on ahead of project commencement in the coming months. The Program is part of the Government’s $110 million investment in plantation timber. It supports the Victorian Forestry Plan and the timeline it sets to transition from harvesting native forests to a plantation-based sector. Currently five-out-of-six trees harvested in Victoria are from plantations and the state has the largest area dedicated to timber plantations in Australia. The nursery is expected to have a production capacity of up to 5 million seedlings each year, which could support plantings and reforestation of around 5,000 hectares annually. Production of eucalypt seedlings will support bushfire recovery replanting, forestry coupe regeneration, timber plantations and farm forestry programs in Gippsland as state forest harvesting decreases over the next decade. The East Gippsland community will benefit from new learning opportunities developed in consultation with the Forestec campus of TAFE Gippsland, along with options to reskill and employ existing timber industry workers. The nursery will also present opportunities for involvement and collaboration with local Aboriginal organisations. The VicForests Forest Nursery complements the Government’s Gippsland Centre of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation, announced in July. Consistent with the Victorian Timber Innovation Fund, assistance will be provided to develop new products using plantation timber as the sector transitions and evolves. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “We’re supporting the future of our timber industry by securing jobs the whole Gippsland community can benefit from.” “The seedlings grown at this exciting new nursery will support the future of our timber industry by securing new jobs and new plantations, and support the regeneration of our forests.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “We’re excited to create a nursery to bring new jobs to East Gippsland to support the transition to a plantation-based timber industry.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “This initiative will also help to ensure that local community members are able to benefit from the employment opportunities of plantation tree harvesting, consistent with the Victorian Forestry Plan.”

TOWN ENTRY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT FOR TINAMBA

Gippsland’s Tinamba community will soon have easier and safer access to public transport and local businesses thanks to a funding boost from the Victorian Government’s Flexible Local Transport Solutions program. Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett today announced that the Government will invest $40,000 to deliver improvements on Traralgon-Maffra Road through the town, alongside support from Wellington Shire Council. The Tinamba Town Entry Improvement Project will include improved pedestrian and vehicle access to local businesses, a new bus stop on the western side of the road, upgrades to the existing bus stop on the eastern side of the road and improved kerbs and drainage. Road safety will also be improved through the town with the introduction of sealed kerbs and line marking, providing clearer delineation to drivers. The Government’s Flexible Local Transport Solutions program provides funding for local transport initiatives, services and infrastructure in regional Victoria. The program works with local transport forums, regional partnerships, local councils and community organisations to identify and deliver local transport opportunities. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett MP “This project will improve access to V/Line coach service to Traralgon and Sale, which provide vital links to employment and education opportunities for locals, and connections to train services on the Gippsland line.” “We’re working with Wellington Shire Council to deliver this important project that will provide better and safer access for pedestrians and vehicles in Tinamba.”

TOWN ENTRY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT FOR TINAMBA

Gippsland’s Tinamba community will soon have easier and safer access to public transport and local businesses thanks to a funding boost from the Victorian Government’s Flexible Local Transport Solutions program. Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett today announced that the Government will invest $40,000 to deliver improvements on Traralgon-Maffra Road through the town, alongside support from Wellington Shire Council. The Tinamba Town Entry Improvement Project will include improved pedestrian and vehicle access to local businesses, a new bus stop on the western side of the road, upgrades to the existing bus stop on the eastern side of the road and improved kerbs and drainage. Road safety will also be improved through the town with the introduction of sealed kerbs and line marking, providing clearer delineation to drivers. The Government’s Flexible Local Transport Solutions program provides funding for local transport initiatives, services and infrastructure in regional Victoria. The program works with local transport forums, regional partnerships, local councils and community organisations to identify and deliver local transport opportunities. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett MP “This project will improve access to V/Line coach service to Traralgon and Sale, which provide vital links to employment and education opportunities for locals, and connections to train services on the Gippsland line.” “We’re working with Wellington Shire Council to deliver this important project that will provide better and safer access for pedestrians and vehicles in Tinamba.”