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At the Nationals State Conference, we announced up to $220 million to build the Mildura to Geelong Murray Basin Rail Project which will revolutionise the movement of freight across the State and unlock the economic potential of regional and rural Victoria.

Press Releases

$90,000 to plan bright future for Port Welshpool

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
  • Victorian Coalition Government delivers $90,000 for Port Welshpool Marine Precinct Master Plan
  • $120,000 project to develop plan for Port Welshpool waterfront over next 30 years, boost tourism and promote new business 
  • Funding provided through $1 billion Regional Growth Fund

The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $90,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to create a master plan for the Port Welshpool waterfront, Deputy Premier and Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan, announced today.

Mr Ryan said the Port Welshpool Marine Precinct Master Plan would include the design of wharf, marine and onshore facilities, to deliver a coordinated 30-year approach for future development.

“Port Welshpool is a scenic coastal town in South Gippsland, popular with beachgoers from across Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“The port itself is home to the historic Long Jetty, a marine passenger terminal, the Port Welshpool Coast Guard, and important infrastructure for trailer boats.

“This project will develop a whole-of-port master plan, taking into consideration the needs of community, industrial and commercial users.

“It will guide the development and safe use of the port over the next 30 years.”

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said the plan would include proposals for the redevelopment of Long Jetty, which is currently closed to public use, and the construction of a forty berth marina.

“This proposed development could provide a major economic boost to the town and have significant flow-on effects, such as encouraging new businesses to open,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien said Coalition Government funding towards the $120,000 Port Welshpool Marine Precinct Master Plan would be provided through the Regional Growth Fund to South Gippsland Shire Council, which would contribute the remaining $30,000.

“This project is one of many examples of how the Coalition Government is investing in community infrastructure in its coastal communities,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Regional Growth Fund invests in community-led projects to drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria.

Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has supported more than 1,600 projects generating over $1.8 billion of total investment.

“In South Gippsland Shire, the Regional Growth Fund has provided $13.7 million to 37 projects, leveraging $60 million in total investment.

Mr O’Brien said the Port Welshpool Marine Precinct Master Plan would be completed by December 2015.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Works underway to improve safety on the Strzelecki Highway at Crightons Hill

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
  • Important safety works underway at Crightons Hill on the Strzelecki Highway near Leongatha Deputy Premier Peter Ryan tables a petition in State Parliament highlighting the concerns of local residents
  • VicRoads urges motorists to be patient while road works are carried out
  • Large speed reduction warning signs and important safety measures are being installed on the Strzelecki Highway at Crightons Hill near Leongatha in response to resident’s concerns about the safety of the road.
Deputy Premier and Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said works along a two kilometre section of the Strzelecki Highway had been brought forward and coincided with the tabling of a petition in State Parliament bearing 1,203 signatures.

“Residents requested that the speed limit be reduced to 80 km/h and VicRoads has now ensured that all of the advisory speed limits along that section of the highway are 80km/h or under,” Mr Ryan said.

“New signage will better inform of the advisory speed limits, while large new ‘reduce speed’ warning signs will alert motorists to the potential dangers of this section of the highway,” Mr Ryan said.

“The safety works include the installation of rumble strips along the edges and middle of the road which will make a noise to alert motorist veering across the centre line. The road’s edges will be more clearly defined by additional guideposts with reflectors.”

Mr Ryan said the safety works were an important first step in addressing the concerns of residents and making this section of highway safer.

He said that with increasing traffic volumes on the road, VicRoads had undertaken to make the road a priority in future planning for more extensive works.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said these safety works were part of a $3.8 million road safety project for the Strzelecki Highway between Leongatha and Leongatha North, with the remainder of the works closer to Berry’s creek to be carried out at a later date.

“Motorists can expect temporary reduced speed limits and lane closures until the works are completed in early next week.

“The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $1 billion over 10 years for the Safer Road Infrastructure Program, which is on top of the more than $500 million we are investing this year alone for vital roads maintenance works.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Geelong to lose under Labor

Monday, October 27, 2014
Geelong will lose tens of millions of dollars in investment and countless community-chosen projects if Labor wins office, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said today.

Labor candidates have openly said Labor will scrap the Regional Growth Fund, which has invested heavily in Geelong and Surf Coast Shires – and invests in projects chosen by the community itself, not by politicians.

“In City of Greater Geelong, the Regional Growth Fund has invested more than $33 million into 45 projects which, once funding from other sources are included, are worth a total of nearly $400 million to Geelong,” Mr Ryan said.

“This includes investing $15 million into the $45 million redevelopment of the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, a great community-led project expected to create both economic and cultural benefits.

“Then there’s the Regional Growth Fund’s $7 million investment in the Deakin Regional Community Health Hub, an 8000 square metre facility complete with computer laboratories, learning rooms, lecture theatre and simulation centre.

“The Regional Growth Fund invests in hundreds of projects which get less attention, but are nonetheless important. It is investing $800,000 into the $1.5 million Geelong Community Leadership Program, as well as $650,000 to help disability provider Karingal with building new facilities and employ more people with disabilities.

“In Surf Coast Shire Council, the Regional Growth Fund has invested nearly $9 million into 18 projects worth a total of almost $14 million.

“The Regional Growth Fund has invested millions to enable cheaper natural gas to be connected to Winchelsea, making that town more attractive to residents and businesses.

“It is also wholly responsible for the Surf Coast Community and Civic Precinct, investing nearly $2.4 million to construct a regional playground, cricket nets, skate park, oval fencing, pedestrian pathways, public toilets and parking.

“The Regional Growth Fund is the driving force making most of the projects a reality. Without the Regional Growth Fund, most of these community projects would never have come to fruition.

“Labor’s plan to scrap the Regional Growth Fund is a reckless disgrace. Labor should commit to keeping the Regional Growth Fund to ensure Geelong and region gets its fair share, rather than aiming to scrap a great program just because someone else thought of it.

“Labor will cut the country.”

Some examples of Regional Growth Fund projects:
  • Geelong Library and Heritage Centre - $15 million
  • Deakin Regional Community Health Hub (REACH) - $7 million
  • St Mary’s Hall Redevelopment and Associated Health Support Facilities – $3 million
  • Epworth Geelong – Infrastructure to Establish the Site and Open Access to Future
  • Opportunities - $2.85 million
  • Leaders for Geelong – Community Leadership Program – $800,000
  • Karingal Kommercial Factory Development – $650,000
  • Myers Street Medical Precinct works Stage 1 – $630,000
  • Elcho Drainage Scheme – $620,000
  • The Revitalisation of Laneways in Central Geelong – $500,000
  • Surf Coast Shire Community and Civic Precinct – Stage 2 – $2.4M
  • Spring Creek Critical Links Project - $500,000
  • Mount Moriac Reserve Master Plan Implementation Project (Stage 1) – $300,000
  • Surf Coast Shire Town Parks (4) Community Infrastructure Project - $215,000
  • Surf Coast Fire Ready Education and Engagement Project – $97,000
Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Exclusive negotiations begin for potential redevelopment of former Moolap salt works site

Monday, October 27, 2014
  • Exclusive negotiations commence under Coalition’s unsolicited proposals process
  • Up to 4,000 new dwellings proposed for 20-year redevelopment master plan
  • Victorian Coalition Government working with the private sector to develop a long-term vision for the Geelong region
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Treasurer Michael O’Brien on Saturday announced the Victorian Coalition Government has entered into exclusive negotiations with the Ridley Corporation for the potential redevelopment of a former salt works site in Geelong, under the Coalition Government’s unsolicited proposals process.

Mr Ryan said Ridley has proposed to purchase, rehabilitate and redevelop the former Moolap salt works site by combining 176-hectares of land it already owns and purchasing the 289- hectares of Crown Land adjacent which it currently leases, to create a 465-hectare site.

“The proposal to be considered is a long-term vision for Moolap and Geelong, with the potential for up to 4,000 new dwellings planned for a disused area just three kilometres from the Geelong CBD,” Mr Ryan said.

“The rehabilitation and redevelopment of the three kilometre waterfront former salt works site along Portarlington Rd into a vibrant community with residential, tourism, conservation and public amenity uses will generate future employment and significant investment for Geelong.

“This has the potential to transform a disused area into a real asset for Geelong, and is a great example of the Coalition’s unsolicited bids process harnessing private sector innovation for the greater good.”

Mr O’Brien said exclusive negotiations will now commence. Should an agreement be reached, Ridley will be required to undertake all necessary planning and environmental approvals processes, including the preparation of a publicly scrutinised Environment Effects Statement, before any redevelopment can begin.

“As a current long-term lessor of the Crown land site and owner of adjoining land, Ridley is in a unique position to add value to the site with its vision for a 20-year integrated master plan redevelopment which will benefit Geelong and the State,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We believe Ridley has so far demonstrated a strong proposal to deliver a significant project in Geelong and we look forward to progressing discussions for its comprehensive redevelopment plans in more detail,” Mr O’Brien.

Earlier this year, the Victorian Coalition Government announced guidelines for unsolicited proposals. Designed to harness the innovation of the private sector and hasten the delivery of infrastructure and services to Victorians at the best possible price, the guidelines provide a clear process with the highest level of probity for the private sector to directly approach Government with value-adding concepts.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

New suburb on doorstep of Melbourne’s CBD to become a reality

Monday, October 27, 2014
  • Napthine Government announces Expressions of Interest for new suburb in West Melbourne rail yard
  • 20 hectare E-Gate site is expected to generate $3 – 4 billion worth of investment, creating more than 5,000 jobs and housing 10,000 residents
  • Napthine Government investing in state shaping infrastructure and building a better Victoria 
The Napthine Government is calling for Expressions of Interest to develop the 20ha E-Gate site on the western edge of Melbourne’s CBD, the Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Peter Ryan announced today.

“E-Gate is a world class development opportunity on the doorstep of the Melbourne CBD. It will be home to around 10,000 residents as Melbourne’s newest inner city suburb,” Mr Ryan said.

“The project is a 20 year plan to deliver a new, integrated community close to jobs and transport, with new parklands and all the things that make life in Melbourne great. It will be a game-changer for the inner west linking Docklands and West Melbourne and creating new activity in both areas.

“E-Gate is one of the Napthine Government’s priority economic development projects in the Footscray to Richmond rail corridor that will transform Melbourne by unlocking underutilised land and expanding the central city.

“It is a secure long-term, pipeline project that is expected to generate $3 – 4 billion of investment in Victoria and create more than 5,000 jobs,” Mr Ryan said.

Speaking at the EOI announcement, the Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett said the development offered economic and public benefits.

“The Napthine Government wants to harness the innovation and creativity of the private sector for ideas to develop the E-Gate site with the maximum benefit for the community and Melbourne,” Mr Hodgett said.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a new suburb in the heart of our city, and we are determined to get this right.

“E-Gate residents, workers and visitors will enjoy new green open space, great public transport access and new pedestrian and bicycle paths linking north, south, east and west.

“We also expect the development of E-Gate by the private sector to provide substantial economic stimulus to the State with the value of the developed site around $3 – 4 billion.

“E-Gate is a strategically significant site for Melbourne and Victoria. The Napthine Government has a responsibility to get this right and get the best value for money outcome for Victorians.

“We firmly believe the market at home and abroad will be attracted to this once in a generation opportunity for a site of this scale and significance in inner Melbourne,” Mr Hodgett said.

For more information or to download the EOI documents please visit www.egate.melbourne

The E-Gate EOI closes on 19 February 2015.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

A new police station for Sale progressing on time and on budget

Friday, October 24, 2014
  • Deputy Premier inspects works at site of new Sale police station
  • New station on track to be complete by March 2015
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $18.2 million for project
The site of the old prison in Sale is being transformed into a new modern 24-hour police station that will assist Victoria Police protect and serve the community of Sale and district.

The Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today inspected the construction of the new Sale police station and said works were expected to be completed by March next year.

“Development at the site has moved ahead over the past months, with significant progress having now been achieved,” Mr Ryan said.

“The result is a very impressive building, with its architectural superiority to be surpassed only by its functionality.”

Mr Ryan said the new police station would accommodate a uniform branch, CIU, highway patrol, police prosecutors, sexual offences and child abuse investigation team, and the Police Service Area Commander.

“The building will include interview rooms, holding cells and conference and training facilities that will be used an as incident control centre during emergency situations. Staff will have access to mess rooms, change rooms and a gym.

“An absolute feature of the building is the old red brick prison wall which has been retained and incorporated in the modern design of the new station,” Mr Ryan said.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said the existing police station at Sale, built in 1976, no longer met the needs of the local police.

“This is the oldest 24-hour police station east of Dandenong and is long overdue of an upgrade,” Mr O’Brien said.

“When it opens the new station will have room for 63 police personnel and has significant room for growth inline with police numbers in future years.

“The Coalition Government recently announced the success of its $602 million commitment deliver 1,700 additional frontline police.

“This was the single largest law enforcement recruitment exercise in Victoria’s history.

“The Coalition Government is investing record levels of funding in Victoria Police, enabling them to keep communities safer.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Coalition Government investment pays dividends for Sale’s Greenwattle Racecourse

Friday, October 24, 2014
  • Punters won’t miss a moment of the action with a new wide screen TV for Sale Turf Club 
  • New horse stalls, fencing and gates improve safety at Greenwattle Racecourse ahead of the Sale Cup 
  • Victorian Coalition Government continues to support country racing
As the marquees go up at Sale’s Greenwattle Racecourse ahead of this Sunday’s Sale Cup, Deputy Premier and Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan has announced a new big screen TV for the Sale Turf Club.

At Greenwattle Racecourse, Mr Ryan also inspected new tie-up stalls and perimeter fencing which has greatly improved safety at the track following an investment of $58,733 from the Liberal National Coalition Government.

Mr Ryan said more than $109,000 had been invested in the new 47 square metre big screen TV to be installed on the infield at the racecourse and to give a significantly better view of the races for everyone at the track.

“Joint funding from the Coalition Government and the racing industry of almost $218,250 will see a magnificent new big screen TV installed at Sale’s Greenwattle Racecourse,” Mr Ryan said.

“This is great investment that will also provide the Sale Turf Club with significant savings as it currently hires mobile screens for its major race meetings such as the Sale Cup this Sunday.

“Currently at non-feature racedays there is no big screen available to patrons.

“As well as saving on the hire costs of a mobile screen, the Sale Turf Club now has the chance to generate revenue by hiring out the big screen for local events such as movies, expos and other community events,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said today’s announcement was in addition to investment at the racecourse that included the construction of new horse stalls and fencing improvements.

“The new tie-up stalls are a boost for racing and training at Sale and will improve safety conditions, particularly for the horses, their trainers and strappers,” Mr Ryan said.

“The project, jointly funded by the Coalition Government and the racing industry, resulted in the demolition of 15 dilapidated stalls and replaced with 18 new modern stalls.

“The Coalition Government has provided $58,733 towards this new project through its Victorian Racing Industry Fund, with the Sale Turf Club and Racing Victoria each contributing $29,366 towards the total project cost of $117,465.”

Mr Ryan said these upgrades built on other recent improvements at Sale racecourse funded by the Coalition Government including an enhanced irrigation and drainage system and a new set of practice starting stalls.

Sale Turf Club chairman David Wilson said with 20 race meetings annually, the provision of a big screen would ensure more than 20,000 patrons that frequented the course would not miss a minute of the action.

“The new and larger tie-up stalls ensure horses, trainers and strappers are provided with a safe environment leading into their race.

“The additional new stalls complete the replacement program which provides the club with 123 tie up stalls to be used on race day and during early morning track work conducted on a daily basis,” Mr Wilson said.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said the Coalition Government was a strong supporter of country racing and was committed to growing the economic and social benefits that arise from the racing industry.

“The racing industry provides an economic benefit of $110 million to Gippsland, including 1,100 full-time jobs and the direct participation of more than 5,600 people,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Coalition Government’s $80 million Victorian Racing Industry Fund, derived from unclaimed dividends and on-course wagering taxes, is critical to growing these economic benefits,” he said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to backing these important projects because it is vital to foster growth in the racing industry, which is worth $940 million annually to the state’s rural and regional economy.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Alcohol and drug support for Central Gippsland Health Service’s Emergency Department

Friday, October 24, 2014
  • $500,000 boost to the Central Gippsland Health Service emergency department to better manage drug-affected patients
  • Coalition Government invests $165 million to address the harms of alcohol and drugs in the community
  • Builds on Coalition’s tough new sentencing laws for assaulting hospital staff
Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan has announced $500,000 to enable the Central Gippsland Health Service’s emergency department better respond to patients affected by alcohol and drugs, such as ice.

Mr Ryan said the Central Gippsland Health Service (CGHS) in Sale was one of six hospitals to receive the funding, which is part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s record $165 million in funding for alcohol and drug programs in the 2014-15 Budget.

“The local emergency department will now decide what new resources will best suit the needs of the community, which could include hiring a new alcohol and drug specialist or additional training for existing staff,” Mr Ryan said.

“The staff in the emergency department at CGHS are on the front line every day helping patients who are drug and alcohol affected, along with those who are suffering other medical emergencies.

“The Coalition Government is allocating additional resources to assist these frontline staff and ultimately benefit the patients.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said the recent Parliamentary inquiry into the supply and use of methamphetamines, particularly the drug ice, had travelled around Victoria hearing about the impacts of the drug.

“Alcohol and methamphetamines, particularly ice, can destroy health, relationships and have a massive impact on our local communities,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This is important funding to assist our first response medical staff in the emergency department to better provide support their drug and alcohol affected patients through their times of crisis.”

Central Gippsland Health Service chief executive Dr Frank Evans said the Coalition’s funding acknowledged the considerable health care challenges associated with drug and alcohol misuse.

“Alcohol and drug abuse is a significant and increasing problem in the community,” Dr Evans said.

“Our challenge is to meet our absolute commitment to provide a safe environment for our staff while at the same time acknowledging the many causes of drug and alcohol misuse.

“This includes the links to mental health problems, poverty and disadvantage.”

Dr Evans said CGHS would use the funds to protect staff and help make difference to people struggling to cope with mental health issues and drug and alcohol problems, in line with the hospital’s social justice policy.

Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge said the funding for the Sale ED was part of the Coalition Government’s $165 million investment to reduce the impact of drugs and alcohol in the community.

“$34 million has been allocated specifically to address the harms of ice and other drugs in the community and provide treatment for an additional 2,000 Victorians.”

Ms Wooldridge said a range of other initiatives has been announced by the Coalition Government to improve safety in Victoria’s hospitals, including:

More than $40 million for safety and security initiatives in hospitals across the State, including training, improvements to buildings and upgrading duress and security systems;
New laws introduced to Parliament in June increasing the sentence for seriously assaulting an emergency department doctor or nurse to a minimum of six months;
Further reforms introduced into Parliament recently creating a minimum six month sentence for serious assaults against all hospital staff.
“The Coalition Government knows it is critical that we invest now so Victorians across the state can access appropriate treatment and support for alcohol and drug problems, as well as make the emergency department a safer place and patients and staff,” Ms Wooldridge said.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404 kate.lancaster@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Coalition Government gives voice to rural councils

Thursday, October 23, 2014
  • Deputy Premier commits $3 million to continue Networked Rural Councils
  • Coalition Government’s investment supports Victoria’s 38 rural councils
  • Coalition Government building a better regional and rural Victoria
Networked Rural Councils, which provides a collective voice for Victoria’s 38 rural councils, will be funded for a further four years under a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government.

Speaking to Mayors and CEOs of Victoria’s 38 rural councils in Melbourne yesterday, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced that a re-elected Coalition Government would continue to support Rural Councils Victoria to deliver the Networked Rural Councils program with $3 million over four years.

The $3 million investment if the Coalition Government is re-elected will be provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government recognised the importance of helping Rural Councils Victoria provide a collective voice for the state’s 38 rural councils.

“Rural councils have local on-the-ground knowledge to deliver initiatives that benefit our rural communities, and by sharing this knowledge and information we can make a real difference across the state,” Mr Ryan said.

“Each of our rural councils have individual and unique needs, however, there are many situations where they can benefit from networking and a shared voice.

“Whether it is the Wellington Shire, East Gippsland, Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Benalla, Mitchell or Campaspe, our rural shires need a forum to be able to come together and speak as one – Networked Rural Councils provides this forum.

“Lobbying as one enables our rural shires to secure additional state and federal funding for local services and infrastructure, it ensures innovative service delivery solutions can be shared, and helps our rural councils attract new business, jobs and investment – particularly at a regional level.

“Today’s announcement that a re-elected Coalition Government will continue the successful $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program for another four years is a perfect example of the benefits of a single voice.

“Thanks to strong lobbying from Bill MacArthur and others here today, our rural councils will each receive $4 million over four years to build and repair shire managed roads and bridges.

“Without our 38 councils lobbying for this initiative as one, and a Coalition Government which recognises the importance of our rural areas, this funding would simply not have been made available.

“And it certainly would not be delivered under a Daniel Andrews-led Labor government which refuses to commit to funding the Country Roads and Bridges Program, nor further funding Networked Rural Councils.

“Labor’s focus is squarely on union-led, city-based projects, that do nothing for communities outside of Melbourne.”

Minister for Local Government Tim Bull joined Mr Ryan in Melbourne yesterday to meet with the 38 Mayors and CEOs and said he strongly welcomed the four-year, $3 million commitment if re-elected, to continue the Networked Rural Councils program.

“This great program is empowering our rural councils to meet current and future challenges,” Mr Bull said.

“It is enabling them to collaborate on projects that stimulate growth and economic development.

“By working collaboratively, local councils are identifying and addressing issues they have in common and they are participating in decision making that impacts on their broader region – which makes this program so valuable.

“Only a Liberal Nationals Coalition Government is committed to supporting our rural councils.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Living still a Good Move under Coalition

Thursday, October 23, 2014
  • Regional Living Expo and Good Move campaign to continue under a re-elected Coalition Government
  • Coalition Government delivers integrated campaign to drive regional growth
  • Strong, diverse and prosperous regions vital in building a better Victoria
The successful Regional Victoria Living Expo and associated Good Move campaign will continue under a re-elected Coalition Government, Premier and Minister for Regional Cities Denis Napthine announced today.

Speaking at a Regional Cities Victoria Forum, Dr Napthine said a re-elected Coalition Government would continue the highly successful expo and the marketing campaign over the next four years, both of which are designed to drive population growth in regional and rural Victoria.

“The Regional Victoria Living Expo, which was first run in 2011, is a free annual event which brings together all the key information about moving to regional and rural Victoria under one roof,” Dr Napthine said.

“In 2014, the Expo, at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, attracted a record crowd of more than 9,600 visitors – city-dwellers looking to move to our regional and rural communities and make the most of what a regional lifestyle has to offer.

“Every family that moves to a regional community helps to make our regional communities the wonderful places they are, while also contributing to and developing the local economy,” Dr Napthine said.

“Councils have provided us with strong feedback about the success of the Expo, and it has become a key event in their marketing calendars.

“We have seen many examples of Victorian families making the move to our regional communities after exposure to the Regional Victoria Living Expo,” Dr Napthine said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said a re-elected Coalition Government would also continue its successful Good Move campaign, which capitalises on the Expo through a marketing campaign aimed at addressing the perceived barriers to moving.

“This is part of our integrated approach to accelerating growth in regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Good Move campaign works hand-in-hand with the Regional Living Expo to showcase real-life examples of Victorian families who have discovered how making the move to regional Victoria has improved their quality of life,” Mr Ryan said.

“The campaign has been informed by research which shows that nine per cent of Melburnians would consider a move to regional Victoria in the next three years.

“The Coalition Government understands that the key to achieving balanced population growth is to encourage more people to live and work in regional Victoria.

“With our $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, the Regional Living Expo and the Good Move Campaign, the Coalition Government is the only party with a plan to grow and develop regional areas and build a better Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122