Press Releases

Victorian Coalition Government step in to save LLENs

* * - Wednesday, September 03, 2014

• Funding for LLENs more than triples to $8 million in 2015
• Victorian Coalition Government steps in to save LLENS after Commonwealth pulls its funding
• Victorian Coalition Government building better education for all

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced today that Victorian Coalition Government funding for Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) would be tripled in 2015.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government’s funding for LLENs would be increased by $5.7 million in 2015, bringing its total commitment to $8 million next year.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government had stepped in to save LLENs following the Commonwealth Government’s decision to discontinue funding for the program from next year.

“Just as the Victorian Coalition Government stepped in with $5.1 million to save the Workplace Learning Coordinators program in 2013, we have again stepped in to save LLENs after the Commonwealth cut its funding” Mr Ryan said.

“Over the past few months we have been working with the LLENs to ensure they have funding certainty for next year.

“While I am disappointed that the Commonwealth has chosen to cut its funding for this program in 2015, I am proud that the Victorian Coalition Government has stepped into to ensure the continuation of LLENs.”

Mr Ryan said LLENs support students between the ages of 10 and 19 to improve school and workforce participation, engagement, attainment and transition outcomes.

“LLENs play an important role for many young people living in rural and regional communities such as Gippsland, Mr Ryan said.

“Young people, particularly those who are vulnerable and disengaged from school, will benefit from the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to the LLEN program in 2015.”

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

Victorian Coalition Government supports Hazelwood Mine Fire recommendations

* * - Wednesday, September 03, 2014

 

  • Coalition Government supports recommendations directed to it
  • Coalition Government appoints Neil Comrie AO APM to monitor the implementation of recommendations
  • A new Latrobe City CFA District will better prepare for and respond to fires

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan has welcomed the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Report, tabled in Parliament today.

Mr Ryan said the report contained 18 recommendations, 12 of which were directed to the Government, with the remaining six applicable to GDF Suez.

“The Victorian Coalition Government supports the 12 recommendations which apply to it, 11 of them in full, and recommendation 5, in principle.

“I would like to thank the Chair of the Board of Inquiry, the Honourable Bernard Teague AO and board members Professor John Catford and Ms Sonia Petering for their dedication and professionalism in conducting the Inquiry,” Mr Ryan said.

“The report praises many aspects of the response to the fire by emergency services, industry and state and local government agencies.

“The report describes the CFA’s effort to supress and extinguish the fire without interruption to Victoria’s power supply as ‘a tremendous achievement’; says the measures adopted by fire services were ‘generally appropriate’, and says the CFA ‘responded quickly and effectively’ to the Hernes Oak and Driffield fires.

“The report notes that the Coalition Government’s emergency management changes, which came into effect in July, ‘generally functioned well during the Hazelwood mine fire’.

“However, the Government acknowledges that elements of the response could have been implemented more effectively.

Mr Ryan paid tribute to the people of Morwell and the Latrobe Valley more generally.

“The region has been through a terrible time and we are now working with the community and the Latrobe City Council on recovery issues and projects which will further assist in the recovery of the local economy and ensure it is strengthened.

“Recommendation 5 is supported in principle because, although the Government supports the intent of the recommendation, it needs to consider further how it should be effectively implemented.”

The Inquiry Report criticised aspects of the State’s approach to mine regulation. Mr Ryan said that this criticism is the result of changes to regulation legislated in 2008 under the
previous Labor Government.

“The Government is working to strengthen co-operation between the relevant regulators,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Government will publish an implementation plan as soon as practicable, no later than during October.”

The Inquiry also affirmed commitments made by the Coalition Government in response to the Hazelwood Mine Fire. These affirmations summarise commitments submitted to the Board of Inquiry in the Government’s second submission.

Government agencies are already undertaking significant work to implement these commitments. Of the 40 commitments made by the Government, some 36 of them have either been implemented in full or are in progress, with the remainder planned for implementation.

“Mr Neil Comrie AO APM, who was Implementation Monitor for the Bushfire Royal Commission and head of the Victorian Floods Review, will oversee the implementation of these recommendations,” Mr Ryan said.

“Mr Comrie will begin in his role after the implementation plan is released in October.

“Furthermore, the Coalition Government will establish a new Latrobe City CFA District to lead and manage fire brigades within the City of Latrobe.

“This will enhance CFA’s ability to work with industry and the community to build its capability and to prevent and respond to fires in the region.

“We undertook as a government to initiate an independent inquiry into events surrounding the Hazelwood Mine Fire. This report is the outcome of that process and we will now act upon it,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Federation Square East to become a new jewel in Melbourne’s crown

* * - Monday, September 01, 2014

  • Expression of Interest for the 3.3 hectare Federation Square East Site to be released on 15 September
  • A unique opportunity to create a mixed-use development that is the essence of Melbourne
  • Proposals to create a major new precinct that respects and enhances the amenity and linkages within the area, including Birrarung Marr, the Yarra River and sporting and cultural attractions

The Victorian Coalition Government is calling for Expressions of Interest to develop Melbourne’s Federation Square East, Premier Denis Napthine and Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Peter Ryan announced today.

"Today we announce a unique opportunity to develop a fantastic precinct in the heart of the world’s most liveable city," Dr Napthine said.

“Federation Square East is a once in a lifetime location.

"With the CBD, parkland and the Yarra River on its doorstep, it has the potential to be a new gateway to Melbourne’s best features – the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne Park, the Botanical Gardens, Federation Square and the Arts Centre."

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was proud to be developing a site which had been crying out for action for years.

“Federation Square East can become a new jewel in Melbourne’s crown,” Mr Ryan said.

"The possibilities for this site are limited only by the imagination.

"The Federation Square East project can connect central Melbourne with its cultural, sporting, entertainment precincts and parklands.

“The Expression of Interest will seek a mixed-use development that reflects Melbourne – it will be about great design and exciting, active spaces to become a new destination, as well as compliment the city’s other assets.

“The Expression of Interest calls for insightful concepts that embrace a mix of uses. I’m looking forward to seeing what the innovation of the market can deliver for Melbourne.

"Federation Square East is part of the Victorian Government’s policy to unlock under-utilised land along the rail corridor. Other potential projects currently being planned include E Gate and Richmond Station.

“Together, this suite of projects represents opportunities for billions of dollars of development and thousands of jobs."

Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett said although the development would be market led, the Government expected strong benefits for the public from the project.

“Federation Square East is a once in a lifetime location on the doorstep to our city,” Mr Hodgett said. “It will link the river with the CBD, complimenting Federation Square and adding another iconic Melbourne landmark for all to enjoy. “This project is part of the Coalition Government's vision to invigorate the rail corridor, linking the river and sporting precinct to the CBD, and helping keep Melbourne the world's most liveable city.

“Concepts should respect and enhance the Federation Square, Birrarung Marr and the north bank of the river and ensure they will not be adversely affected.

“The EOI for Federation Square East will be released on September 15, and we'll be calling on ideas from the best and brightest from here and around the world."

For more information visit: www.fedsquareeast.com.au

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Ball bounced for further redevelopment of Simonds Stadium

* * - Friday, August 29, 2014

  • Funding of $5 million ensures next stage of stadiums redevelopment
  • Great news for the local economy and the people of Geelong
  • Napthine Government building a better regional Victoria

The Victorian Coalition Government will provide $5 million to the Geelong Football Club to undertake the next stage of the Simonds Stadium redevelopment, including the development of a full business case and detailed design work.

Premier of Victoria Denis Napthine and Sports Minister Damian Drum were at the stadium yesterday to make the announcement.

Dr Napthine said Simonds Stadium was Australia’s leading regional stadium and provided major economic benefits for the Geelong region.

“The Victorian Coalition Government wants to get the ball rolling on the redevelopment of the stadium which will include increased capacity and enhanced community facilities,” Dr Napthine said.

“Future stages of redevelopment could include replacement of the Brownlow, Jennings and Ford stands, as well as the Ablett Terrace and Southern Terrace. There will also be consideration given to constructing new and enhanced community and sporting facilities adjacent to Simonds Stadium.

“The redevelopment will potentially allow for Geelong to host an increased number of national and international events such as T20 Big Bash games, NRL games, A-league games and international-act concerts.

“As well as the great entertainment and excitement these types of events provide, they also generate local jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefits.

“A Deloitte study has found that each additional major event at Simonds Stadium, such as additional AFL games, injected $3 million into the local economy,” Dr Napthine said.

The $5 million in funding will allow the following work to begin immediately:

Investigate and minimise risks posed by construction activity to events;
Appoint a Design Team, including specialist engineers and consultants, to further develop the concept plans into detailed schematic design documentation;
Prepare 3D rendered images and video animations to assist in communicating the redevelopment vision;
Prepare construction tender documentation for market; and
Develop documentation to support future funding requests to the identified funding stakeholders.

Dr Napthine said the $5 million funding follows the Coalition Government's previous investment of $26.5 million in Stage Three of the Simonds Stadium redevelopment. Stage Three included construction of the Players Stand, installation of oval lighting and a new Community Wellness and Education Centre.

Mr Drum noted the positive effect such investments in sport have on the health of the broader community.

“Not only will this be a great economic driver for Geelong, but having world-class sporting facilities and world-class sporting events in Geelong will inspire generations of local children to be involved in sport and pursue healthy and active lifestyles,” Mr Drum said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the Deakin Cats Community Centre, which was built with the last round of assistance from the Coalition Government, had already proved a great success.

“The Deakin Cats Community Centre was created to provide community and education programs.

“Since it opened a year ago, the Deakin Cats Community Centre has engaged with more than 16,000 young people from Geelong and the region. Many community

Poowong kindergarten vies for energy prize

* * - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

• More than 1100 schools taking part in the ResourceSmart School Awards 2014
• Schools saving $5.3 million in energy costs over six years
• More than $40,000 prize money up for grabs

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today congratulated Poowong Kindergarten on being named one of the finalists for this year’s ResourceSmart Schools Awards.

“This is an outstanding achievement for Poowong Kindergarten and I congratulate them for their efforts to incorporate sustainable practices within their kindergarten and community,” Mr Ryan said.

"The quality of their work means that Victoria's sustainable future is in good hands.

“It is pleasing to see that this year for the first time an early childhood category had been introduced.”

Mr Ryan said the Poowong Kindergarten had taken on some courageous and challenging initiatives, including developing a bush tucker sensory garden and participating in the ResourceSmart Early Childhood pilot project.

“The kindergarten is aiming to educate Poowong youngsters to become socially and environmentally responsible individuals and through hands-on engagement has raised the profile of sustainable practices in the local community,” he said.

Mr Ryan said that all schools that entered three or more resource modules, for example water, waste and energy will automatically be considered for Victoria’s overall ResourceSmart School of the Year award. 

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said more than 1100 Victorian schools were participating in the ResourceSmart Schools program, saving over $5.3million in energy costs over six years.

“In 2011, the Victorian Coalition Government committed $8.3 million over four years to build on the existing ResourceSmart schools framework,” Mr Smith said.

“We have added more than 400 schools to the program since then, one year ahead of schedule and more than half of Victoria’s schools are now covered by the program.

“I congratulate the finalists and wish them all good luck.”

The awards are part of Sustainability Victoria’s ResourceSmart Schools initiative, managed in partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, which helps schools embed sustainability into everyday activities.

Winners will be announced at the ResourceSmart Schools Awards Ceremony on Monday 8 September 2014 and finalists will share in more than $40,000 prize money which will support schools to grow their sustainability activities.

For a full list of finalists visit www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/schoolsawards.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Deputy Premier visits ATC ahead of IMARC

* * - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

 

  • Manufacturing and mining make significant contribution to Bendigo economy
  • Local success story ATC supplies turntables to Asia, Europe and Middle East
  • IMARC in Melbourne joins the ‘Grand Slam’ of global mining conferences

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan visited Australian Turntable Company (ATC) in Kangaroo Flat today to highlight the significant contribution the manufacturing and mining industries make to the region.

Mr Ryan also used his visit to promote the upcoming the 2014 International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) to be held in Melbourne.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by Liberal candidate for Bendigo West Michael Langdon, said ATC was a strong example of mining investment flowing through to regional communities such as Bendigo.

“From humble beginnings in 1987, ATC has grown to become one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of turntables and revolving floors,” Mr Ryan said.

“This includes commercial truck turntables for loading docks and construction sites, residential vehicle driveway turntables, revolving restaurants and showroom display turntables.

“ATC exports to the Middle East, Asia and Europe, with its most notable achievement being the manufacture and installation of the world’s largest revolving restaurant at Milad Tower in Tehran, Iran.

“More recently ATC has begun servicing the mining industry, delivering a second 100 ton capacity turntable to Rio Tinto earlier this year.

“ATC will continue to develop new ways to service the mining industry through the use of turntables, ensuring the company has a bright future here in Bendigo.”

Mr Langdon said Bendigo was home to many other leading mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies.

“The manufacturing and mining industries are the largest economic contributor to Bendigo’s economy, with an annual economic output of $2.8 billion,” Mr Langdon said.

“It employs more than 1,000 people locally with many national and international companies based here including Bendigo Engineering, Deepcore Drilling, Gordon Brothers Industries, Hofmann Engineering, Keech Australia, Mancala Mine, Quarry and Mining Engineering, UME Australia, Universal Manufacturing Australia and many others.”

Mr Ryan encouraged local METS companies to register for IMARC, which he said was among the ‘Grand Slam’ of global mining conferences.

Mr Ryan said the first IMARC would be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 22-26 September and had secured almost 200 speakers and more than 1,000 delegates from across the local and global mining and resources sector.

“IMARC sits alongside the world’s other major mining conferences including PDAC in Canada, Expomin in Chile, Mining INDABA in South Africa and China Mining,” Mr Ryan said

“I strongly encourage Victorian companies that are directly involved in mining, are current suppliers to the mining industry, or those interested in becoming mining suppliers, to attend this high profile international event.

“IMARC will provide an ideal platform for Victorian businesses to gain new market exposure and develop new relationships in the mining sector.

“For local companies like Australian Turntable Company, it will help them raise their profile and attract new investment.”

Mr Ryan announced today that the Victorian Coalition Government was offering Victorian companies a special deal to attend IMARC, with free entry to the exhibition hall and a discounted rate of $495 for a full day conference pass to the Technical Stream.

Mr Ryan said local companies could find out more by visiting www.imarcmelbourne.com.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund promotes tourism in Bendigo

* * - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

 

  • Deputy Premier announces $95,000 for Bendigo tourism plan
  • $145,000 plan will boost profile of local tourism to grow local economy
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better regional Victoria

Tourism in Bendigo and the Loddon, Mt Alexander and Central Goldfields shires will receive a boost thanks to a $95,000 investment from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined the Liberal candidate for Bendigo West Michael Langdon in Bendigo to announce the Coalition Government’s $95,000 investment in the $145,000 Bendigo Tourism – Destination Management Plan.

Mr Ryan said the plan would look at ways to boost tourism in Bendigo and the Goldfields region.

“Bendigo and the Goldfields region has a number of key visitor attractions including the Central Deborah Goldmine, historic buildings, the Talking Tram, nearby goldfields, museums and art galleries, magnificent parks and gardens and world-class wineries,” Mr Ryan said.

“While it is a popular visitor destination for many Victorians, there are always things that can be done better and new ways to attract even more visitors to the region. This plan will identify ways we can grow tourism locally.

“It will also look at visitation trends and forecasts, potential product and infrastructure opportunities and barriers to investment in the region.

“By looking at the whole picture we can find new strategies to grow tourism in Bendigo and the Goldfields region, encouraging more visitors, new investment and ultimately more local jobs.”

Mr Ryan thanked the City of Greater Bendigo which contributed $50,000 towards the plan and will manage it in conjunction with a working group from Bendigo Regional Tourism.

“The working group will also work with Loddon, Mt Alexander and Central Goldfields shire councils to ensure the plan is a detailed and targeted strategy that encourages visitors to the region to experience all of its tourist offerings,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the Bendigo Tourism – Destination Management Plan would be completed before the end of the year.

Mr Langdon said this investment was another terrific example of the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund helping Bendigo become stronger.

“In the City of Greater Bendigo, the Regional Growth Fund has now invested almost $15 million to support 29 projects, leveraging more than $62 million in total investment,” Mr Langdon said.

“Among these 29 local projects the Coalition Government has invested $2 million to enable the $3.25 million Victorian Regional Exhibition Complex development at Bendigo Showgrounds and $2 million to support the $9.5 million Bendigo Library/Community Hub.

“As the Coalition’s candidate for Bendigo West I will continue to advocate strongly for Bendigo to ensure we continue to receive our share of the Regional Growth Fund.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Huntly turns on the natural gas

* * - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

 

  • Deputy Premier celebrates completion of works to connect Huntly to natural gas
  •  580 Huntly households and businesses can now access piped natural gas
  • Victorian Coalition Government delivering its promise to connect more regional communities to natural gas

Huntly today became the first town to be connected to Victoria’s natural gas network under the Victorian Coalition Government’s $100 million Energy for the Regions Program.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan, who was joined by the Liberal candidate for Bendigo East Greg Bickley, visited Jan and Dale Johnson’s home in Huntly to celebrate the historic connection.

 Mr Ryan said Jan and Dale’s home was one of more than 180 to have been connected to natural gas as part of a $4.5 million joint investment by the Coalition Government and AusNet Services, with more than 100 additional homes expected to be connected soon.

"I am proud that the Coalition Government’s decision to connect Huntly to natural gas is already making a difference to the lives of locals such as Jan and Dale," Mr Ryan said.

"Jan and Dale and many other Huntly residents now have access to a dependable energy source that is cheaper for them and better for the environment.

"This investment means Huntly is no longer the poor cousin to Bendigo when it comes to natural gas, enabling the community to compete for new residents, new industry and new investment."

Mr Bickley welcomed the $4.5 million investment, which included $2.58 million from the Coalition Government, and said it would provide 580 homes and businesses in Huntly with the opportunity to connect to natural gas.

Mr Bickley said the roll-out involved the installation of 3.5kms of supply pipeline and more than 13kms of reticulation pipeline, which was delivered on time and on budget with minimal disruption to the local community.

Mr Bickley said the investment opened the door for gas to be connected to the new 'Viewpoint Huntly' estate on Sawmill Road, with a separate agreement having been reached to supply and connect 350 additional homes to natural gas, over and above the 580 connections in Huntly.

“This additional extension, which would not have occurred without the Coalition Government’s initial investment, is a great outcome for the community and for those looking to invest at the new 'Viewpoint Huntly' estate,” Mr Bickley said.

Mr Ryan said Labor’s regional spokesperson Jacinta Allan would be eating her words today after describing the Energy for The Regions Program as a ‘monstrous hoax’.

“I am here today in Huntly to say that the only monstrous hoax is Jacinta Allan’s pitiful and misinformed scare campaign,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has done in three years what Labor couldn’t do in its 11 years in office and that is deliver piped natural gas to the people of Huntly.”

Mr Ryan said while Ms Allan had been spreading uncertainty in an attempt to scare off business and investment in regional Victoria, the Coalition Government had reached agreements to supply gas to Huntly, Avoca, Bannockburn, Winchelsea, Wandong-Heathcote Junction, Koo Wee Rup, Mildura and Warburton.

“We are finalising negotiations for an $85 million tender to supply the remaining priority towns and communities along the Murray River with compressed or liquefied natural gas,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are delivering on our commitment to roll out natural gas, which is a cheaper and cleaner source of energy that will lower household costs.

“It is about time Jacinta Allan and Labor admitted they were wrong and apologised to regional Victorians for their baseless scaremongering.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

 

Melbourne promotes packed program of events over 80 days

* * - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Victoria to host more than 15 international major events during an 80-day period, between 9 January and 29 March 2015
  • Major events contribute $1.8 billion to the Victorian economy and attract 300,000 interstate and international visitors
  • Melbourne recently declared the world’s most liveable city for the 4th year running

Victoria will host an unprecedented number of international sporting, arts, cultural and trade events between 9 January and 29 March 2015 as part of the 80 Days of Melbourne initiative launched today by Premier Denis Napthine.

“The Victorian Coalition Government has developed a coordinated business hosting initiative, designed to maximise the trade and investment benefits of these events to the state,” Dr Napthine said.

The initiative, led by Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and the Hon Ted Baillieu MP, plans to attract high profile, senior international business leaders to Melbourne to secure international investment and jobs for the state.

The Coalition Government will team up with the Victorian business community to invite up to 50 global business leaders to attend events of their choice over the 80 days.

Whilst in Victoria, the global business leaders will network with Victorian business, discussing opportunities for trade, cooperation, or to set up offices in Melbourne.

“80 Days of Melbourne provides a great opportunity to drive growth, investment and jobs by taking advantage of this unrivalled calendar of events,” Dr Napthine said.

“The Opening Ceremony of the Asian Football Cup in January and the final of the cricket World Cup in March bookend an incredible 80 Day calendar of sport, arts and culture for Melbourne and Victoria.

“Victoria will also host the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Jean Gaultier Art Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.”

Mr Ryan said that the 80 Days of Melbourne sees government and business working as a team, leveraging our strength in major events to build our strength in business.

“It's through innovative teamwork like this that the Victorian Coalition Government is building a better Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“80 days of Melbourne will give our first class businesspeople the chance to network with global business leaders and show them that Victoria, with its AAA rated economy, is the best place in the world to do business.

“Investments and partnerships with businesses overseas mean more and better jobs for Victorians.

“80 Days of Melbourne complements our investment attraction and assistance programs which we run out of the Office of State Development, which have created 20,000 jobs since 2010.

“It also complements the 76 trade missions the Coalition Government has run since 2011, which have involved 3,100 Victorian businesses and achieved $4.6 billion in export sales,” Mr Ryan said.

The Asian Football Cup, Cricket World Cup, Australian Tennis Open, and Australian Formula One Grand Prix alone attract a combined TV audience of around 2 billion viewers.

80 Days of Melbourne includes :

  • AFC Asian Cup 2015 (seven matches) 9 – 22 January
  • Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier @ NGV 9 January – 8 February
  • Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam 19 January – 1 February
  • Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 31 January & 1 February
  • ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 (five matches) 14 February – 29 March
  • Chinese New Year Celebrations 19 – 22 February
  • White Night 21 February
  • Melbourne Festival of Racing 21 February, 7 & 14 March
  • Superbike World Championship 20 – 22 February
  • Avalon International Airshow 24 February – 1 March
  • Melbourne International Food and Wine Festival 27 February – 15 March
  • Australian F1 Grand Prix 12 – 15 March
  • Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival 14 – 22 March
  • Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 25 – 29 March
  • Melbourne International Comedy Festival 25 – 29 March

Last week, Melbourne was voted the World’s Most Liveable City for the fourth year running by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability survey of 140 cities.

“Our unrivalled major events calendar, great health system, excellent education system and road and rail network all played a part in our great city taking out this award for the fourth year,” Dr Napthine said.

“Our events drive tourism in the state. Tourism is Victoria’s most important industry, directly contributing more than $19.6 billion to the State’s economy each year and more than 200,000 jobs.”

A report by Ernst and Young shows that Victoria’s major events contributed $1.8 billion to the economy this year, and attracted almost 300,000 interstate and international visitors.

The re-signing of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix contract for another five years, the new Margaret Court Arena construction, and the $298 million investment in Stage 2 of the Melbourne Park Redevelopment further strengthen Melbourne’s position as the sporting capital of Australia and one of the world’s ultimate sporting cities.

Media contacts: Les White 0409 805 122

Victorian Coalition Government delivers PSOs to Traralgon

* * - Monday, August 25, 2014

  • PSOs set to patrol Traralgon Railway Station from tomorrow night
  • Travellers to and from Traralgon will now feel safer at night
  • Victorian Coalition Government delivering its commitment to put PSOs at key regional train stations

Travellers at Traralgon’s V/Line station will feel safer from tomorrow night, with the Victorian Coalition Government delivering on its promise to have the station patrolled by Protective Services Officers.

Speaking at the Traralgon Railway Station, Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said PSOs would patrol the rail platform, car parks and immediate surrounds from 6pm until the last train each night.

“PSOs help to prevent anti-social behaviour, property damage, violence and alcohol and transport-related crime at our train stations,” Mr Ryan said.

“We said we’d deliver PSOs to Traralgon, and we’ve done it.”

Tomorrow’s deployment to Traralgon means that there will now be PSOs at four major regional stations - Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon. Victoria will have 864 PSOs patrolling 142 stations.

“A survey by the Department of Justice in October 2013 reported that the presence of PSOs made passengers feel safer at rail stations,” Mr Ryan said.

“Travellers feel railway stations are safer places at night thanks to PSOs.”

Some 94 per cent of night time travellers agreed that PSOs were a good idea and 93 per cent stated they would seek help from a PSO if they felt unsafe.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien welcomed the announcement.

“PSOs complete a 12-week course that includes the same operational tactics and safety training undertaken by Victoria Police officers,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Newly-graduated PSOs are mentored by experienced PSOs at city railway stations for three months.

“We have increased our initial commitment to deliver 940 PSOs on our rail stations by adding a further 96 to the program.

“This $863.1 million investment in police and PSOs is the single largest law and order recruitment exercise in Victoria’s history.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122


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