Press Releases

Regional Growth Fund delivers Bendigo’s Events & Exhibition Complex

* * - Tuesday, July 22, 2014
  • Regional Growth Fund invests $2 million for $3.38 million Events and Exhibition Centre
  • Centre means more events and visitors and tourist dollars for Bendigo
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better regional Victoria

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan today opened the new $3.38 million Bendigo Events & Exhibition Complex at the Bendigo Showgrounds.

Speaking at the Showgrounds, Mr Ryan said the project was part of the Bendigo Showground Masterplan and had received a $2 million investment from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund. 

“This project delivered an exhibition pavilion of more than 6000 square metres, with meeting rooms and a kitchen,” Mr Ryan said.

“This new pavilion can be used for large scale animal and agricultural events, including national and international equestrian events.

“The new centre will boost local businesses by increasing the number of events and visitors bringing their tourist dollars to Bendigo.

“The $1 billion Regional Growth Fund continues to invest in community-led projects, strategically driving jobs and investment in rural and regional Victoria. 

“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered almost $420 million, generating around $1.6 billion of total investment across more than 1500 projects.” 

“In Bendigo, the Regional Growth Fund has invested $14.01 million to 27 projects, leveraging $58.1 million in total investment. This includes $2 million for the $9.12 million Bendigo Library and Community Hub; $350,000 for the $430,000 Leveraging the Benefits of the Bendigo Hospital Redevelopment, and $200,000 for the $756,362 Safe Transport Space project.” 

Media contact: Les White    0409 805 122             les.white@minstaff.vic.gov.au 

Coalition Government supports sporting shooters

* * - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • Sporting shooting clubs to share in $12.48 million fund
  • Fund will co-invest with clubs to upgrade their facilities and attract more events
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better Victoria

Sporting shooting clubs from around Victoria can upgrade their facilities thanks to a $12.48 million fund created by the Victorian Coalition Government.

Speaking in Bendigo today, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Minister for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum said the Shooting Sports Facilities Program would give shooting clubs the opportunity to apply for funding to upgrade their facilities, increasing participation and building the sport.

“Outdoor sports such as shooting are a vital part of the social fabric and these grants will encourage more people to get more active in an environment that promotes safe and responsible firearms ownership,” Mr Ryan said.

“This fund will help clubs secure tenure at sites and host high level events across the different shooting disciplines, attracting shooters from across Victoria and beyond. This will bring social and economic benefits to the relevant communities.

“Minor projects will be able to receive up to $100,000 from the fund, with the government offering $2 for every $1 put in by the club itself or another contributor, for example a local council, either by contributing direct funding or as in-kind support.

“There will be no cap on funding invested by government into a major project, but the investment will need to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the club or another contributor.”

Mr Drum said the Shooting Sports Facilities Program would assist shooting clubs and associations to increase participation and help participants from grass roots to the elite level.

“The Coalition Government continues to work with local councils, clubs and communities to create a connected, active, healthy and safe Victoria through sport,” Mr Drum said.

“Victorians have a proud history of producing Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games medallists in shooting sports, with Russell and Lauryn Mark, Adam Vella and Peter Tait all flying the flag.

“More than 20,000 Victorians participate in competitive shooting events each year, and with local champions like Geoff Grenfell set to do us proud at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, this number will only increase.

 “We’re helping sports including shooting to develop better facilities, host big events and give more people the opportunity to be participants, coaches, and volunteers,” Mr Drum said.

Field and Game Australia Chairman Bill Paterson thanked the Coalition Government for its commitment to providing a safe and secure future for Victorian shooters.

“Historically, the sport has missed out on funding and with the continuing influx of new shooters to the sport, clubs will be in a position to apply for funds to secure and upgrade their facilities,” Mr Paterson said.

“A report recently released by the Coalition Government showed expenditure by Victorian shooters and hunters has now grown to $439 million a year, much of it in regional Victoria.

“Expenditure on range improvements is vital to ensuring shooters can practise and refine their gun handling skills and new shooters can be introduced to the sport in a safe, controlled manner.”

An advisory committee, chaired by Mr David Hawker AO, will be established to assess project applications and provide specialist advice on the sport's specific and strategic needs. Details of the program will be finalised following the establishment of the advisory committee.

More information can be found at www.sport.vic.gov.au.

Media contacts:                          

Les White           0409 805 122         les.white@minstaff.vic.gov.au   (Minister Ryan)

Shannon Gill 0417 039 326              shannon.gill@minstaff.vic.gov.au     (Minister Drum)

Key roads to be repaired in Sale and Yarram

* * - Monday, July 21, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government is committed to fixing country roads
  • An initial $2.1 million to repair and rebuild roads in Wellington Shire
  • Strengthening and rebuilding to be carried out on two key roads

The South Gippsland Highway at Yarram and sections of the Princes Highway near Sale will be repaired as funding begins to flow from the Victorian Coalition Government’s record $500 million road maintenance boost.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced an initial $2.1 million would be invested from the $500 million road asset management budget.

Mr Ryan said that repairs would be carried out on two key roads:

South Gippsland Highway - $1.2M for repairs to the South Gippsland Highway at Yarram.

Princes Highway East - $905,000 for 1.15km of repairs for two sections west of Sale and at Nuntin Creek north of Sale.

Mr Ryan said VicRoads would work with Wellington Shire to repair the South Gippsland Highway at Yarram with works planned for Summer 2015-2016.

“Works to the two sections of the Princes Highway west of Sale and at Nuntin Creek north of Sale would also be carried over a similar timeframe,” he said.

Mr Ryan said The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, were committed to fixing regional and rural Victoria’s roads.

“We announced, as part of the 2014/15 Victorian Budget, an additional $130 million for road maintenance, bringing the total road maintenance investment to more than $500 million for this financial year,” Mr Ryan said.

“This initial $2.1 million investment will enable vital road repair works to be carried out and builds on a recent announcement of $3.2 million to repair four key roads in South Gippsland.

“This follows our $4.3 million investment to repair South Gippsland roads, announced in August 2013.

“I will continue to work with the Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder, to secure much-need funding for our local roads and ensure our region receives its fair share.”

Mr Ryan encouraged local motorists to report damaged roads to VicRoads.

“I’ve had strong feedback from locals who desperately want to see more money invested in our local roads,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has answered the community’s calls for more funding now it is up to VicRoads to carry-out this much needed work.

“Local roads are the lifeblood of our regional and rural communities, connecting people with work, school, family and friends, so it is vital that they are safe.

“The Nationals are committing for fixing country roads to save country lives.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Key roads to be repaired in South Gippsland

* * - Monday, July 21, 2014

 

  • Victorian Coalition Government is committed to fixing country roads
  • An initial $3.2 million to repair and rebuild roads in South Gippsland
  • Strengthening and rebuilding to be carried out on four key roads

A number of key roads in South Gippsland will be repaired or resealed as funding begins to flow from the Victorian Coalition Government’s record $500 million road maintenance boost.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced an initial $3.2 million would be invested from the $500 million road asset management budget.

Mr Ryan said that repairs would be carried out on four key roads:

  • South Gippsland Highway - $1,732,000 for 1.36 km of repairs in Yarram and four sections east of Welshpool
  • Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road - $583,000 for 1.17km of repairs around Clancys Road, south of Korumburra
  • Wilsons Promontory Road - $513,000 for 1.01km of repairs south of Foster
  • Meeniyan-Promontory Road - $380,000 for 0.79km of repairs past Pattersons Road near Yanakie.

Mr Ryan said the roads would be strengthened through stabilisation works and resealing, with works to begin later in the year during the warmer months.

Mr Ryan said The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, were committed to fixing regional and rural Victoria’s roads.

“We announced, as part of the 2014/15 Victorian Budget, an additional $130 million for road maintenance, bringing the total road maintenance investment to more than $500 million for this financial year,” Mr Ryan said.

“This initial $3.2 million investment will enable vital road repair works to be carried out, and follows our $4.3 million investment to repair South Gippsland roads, announced in August 2013.

“I will continue to work with the Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder, to secure much-need funding for our local roads and ensure South Gippsland receives its fair share.”

Mr Ryan encourage local motorists to report damaged roads in South Gippsland to VicRoads.

“I’ve had strong feedback from locals who desperately want to see more money invested in our local roads,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has answered the community’s calls for more funding now it is up to VicRoads to carry-out this much needed work.

“Local roads are the lifeblood of our regional and rural communities, connecting people with work, school, family and friends, so it is vital that they are safe.

“The Nationals are committing for fixing country roads to save country lives.”

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

Frewstal expansion creates 98 jobs in Stawell

* * - Thursday, July 17, 2014

 

  • Frewstal abattoir expansion creates 98 new jobs in Stawell
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $500,000 in $2.1 million expansion
  • Expansion will grow exports to Asia

A $2.1 million abattoir expansion at Stawell has created 98 jobs and boosted exports to Asia.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner and Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley at Frewstal’s abattoir in Stawell today to open the $2.1 million expansion.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government had invested $500,000 to support the expansion, with Frewstal contributing more than $1.5 million and the Northern Grampians Shire Council contributing $30,000 in planning support.

Mr Ryan said the project involved the construction of a new freezer/chiller facility that has enabled Frewstal to increase the production and storage of cut and boned out meat.

Mr Ryan said the new freezer/chiller facility had a capacity of 168 tonnes which enabled product to be supplied direct to port from Stawell, supplying high value export markets.

Mr Ryan said the project also included upgrades to truck loading areas, new car parking facilities and improved access in and out of the site.

“This investment ensures Frewstal will continue to process meat locally, supporting local jobs and the local community,” Mr Ryan said

“The expansion has exceeded everyone’s expectations, with the original estimate of 50 new jobs almost doubling to 98 new jobs once the project was complete.

“A growth in demand from export markets continues to drive the business and the Coalition Government looks forward to working with the company to deliver further expansions at the site.”

Mr Turner welcomed the investment, describing Frewstal as a regional success story, which had grown from 37 staff in 1984 to today employing more than 400 staff.

“The Stawell plant can process more than 1.3 million head of mutton and lamb per year, servicing major supermarket chains, butchers and wholesalers, as well as export markets,” Mr Turner said.

“Four years ago, Frewstal became a Halal accredited site to complement its move into the export market, opening up a wider customer base both overseas and domestically.”

Ms Staley welcomed the investment and said it was another example how the Coalition Government was growing jobs and investment right across the Ripon electorate.

“Here in the Northern Grampians Shire, the Coalition Government, through the Regional Growth Fund has invested more than $3.5 million to support 34 projects, leveraging almost $6 million in total investment,” Ms Staley said.

“This project has created new jobs, boosted exports and ensures a bright future for Frewstal’s Abattoir in Stawell.”

During his visit to Stawell, Mr Ryan and Mr Turner also met with the Northern Grampians Shire Council to discuss local projects, met with businesses on Main Street and hosted a Putting Local First Forum, where local businesses and community groups had the chance to put forward their funding priorities for the region.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

2009 Bushfire-Affected Communities - Five Year Report released

* * - Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government accepts all recommendations in whole or part
  • Fire Recovery Unit extended until 31 December 2015 as single point of contact
    for bushfire-affected communities
  • Ongoing funding from Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund for psychological
    services

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan today released the 2009 Bushfire-Affected Communities - Five Year Consultation Report along with the Victorian Coalition Government’s response.

The Coalition Government commissioned former Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority CEO Ben Hubbard to write the independent report. The report examines the progress in rebuilding and recovery made by Victorian communities affected by the February 2009 bushfires.

“The report notes the ‘story is positive for most’ and that Black Saturday survivors have had ‘significant support’,” Mr Ryan said.

“While many people have been able to plan for their future, others are still deeply affected by their experiences. Some have recovered remarkably well, while for others, recovery is ongoing.

“The report also found that Men’s Sheds ‘had made a real difference to local men, assisting with their recovery’.

“It was especially pleasing that the report found there was a ‘quiet, restrained optimism about the future’ in Marysville. The Marysville community, along with the Coalition Government, have put blood, sweat and tears into recovery.

“I am honored to have made the announcement of a $19 million Regional Growth Fund investment into the $28 million Vibe Hotel and Convention Centre, which will act as a magnet to draw conventions and visitors back to the town. I note the report recommends a list of businesses pledging to use the conference centre be compiled.

“I am also honored to have opened and many times visited the amazing Men’s Shed in Marysville, surely one of the best in the state.

“The Coalition Government invested $250,000 into the recently launched Explore Marysville smartphone app, which allows visitors to discover all the local attractions.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government would implement, in whole or in part, all of the report’s 23 recommendations.

“We promised we would never forget these people, and we have not,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Bushfire recovery unit had been due to finish earlier this year, but we have extended the unit to continue acting as a single point of contact for Black Saturday communities and individuals until 31 December 2015.

“This will make sure bushfire-affected communities can easily access government advice, support and services.

“Financial support for psychological counselling will continue to be offered through the VBAF.

“We recently made sweeping reforms to planning regulations. These changes may enable residents to build on land with a higher Bushfire Attack Level. The changes include allowing private bushfire bunkers as an alternative safety measure and allowing vegetation clearance to achieve defendable space.

“A $700,000 Bushfire Planning Assistance Fund will directly help affected landholders to make planning permit applications; assist the Rural Planning Flying Squad to deal with any backlog of relevant permit applications at rural and regional councils; help councils to streamline permit requirements and help set up of a special Victorian Building Authority committee to advise on building system regulatory reforms related to bushfire safety.”

More than 250 people participated in the consultation process for the report.

Mr Ryan thanked bushfire-affected individuals and communities for their valuable contributions.

The report and the Coalition Government’s response is available at http://www.rdv.vic.gov.au/fire-recovery-unit

The Fire Recovery Unit can be contacted on 1800 055 714 or email fire.recovery@rdv.vic.gov.au for assistance on 2009 bushfire recovery matters.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

A new place to cool off in Mildura

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

 

  • Next stage of the Mildura Riverfront project gets underway
  • Project delivers pop-up jets, streams, BBQ, boardwalks and terraced skate park
  • Precinct will attract visitors and confirms Mildura’s status as the ‘Gateway to the Outback’

Children, families and visitors will have a new place to cool off in Mildura during hot summer days with water jets, splash pools and interactive water play equipment to be developed as part of the $18.3 million Mildura Riverfront project.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp at Mildura today to turn the first sod for the new $2.1 million Mildura Riverfront Waterplay and Ornamental Lakes Precinct.

Mr Ryan said development of the Waterplay and Ornamental Lakes Precinct was the latest stage of the $18.3 million Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment Project, and would include:

  • Extensions to the lake to include water play equipment, pop-up jets and shallows;
  • A shallow stream running throughout the precinct, incorporating water play equipment;
  • Shaded areas, timber boardwalks, sand pits, decking, seats, lighting and barbeques;
  • Indigenous plants, landscaping and cultural heritage information; and
  • A new terraced skate area extending from the existing skate park.

“This is a fantastic development that will benefit the entire Mildura community,” Mr Ryan said.

“The water play equipment will be something truly unique to Mildura, providing another drawcard for visitors and holiday makers looking to spend time in this part of our great state.

“The community can relax and cool off over the pop-up jets and in the shallows or simply relax in the shaded areas.

“It will become a great place to walk the pet dog and a perfect location to spend time with family and friends enjoying a barbecue.

“Skaters have not been left out, with the large terraced skate space set to add to what is already a terrific and well used skate park.”

Mr Crisp welcomed the Deputy Premier to Mildura and said The Nationals, as part of a strong Coalition Government team, were continuing to deliver for Mildura.

Mr Crisp said the Mildura-based King Construction Group had been awarded the contract for this component of the development. In addition, the project included the redevelopment of the East/West promenade, the Rowing Club and Langtree Avenue pedestrian connection.

“I am proud to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan to mark the beginning of another important step in delivering the transformative Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment,” Mr Crisp said.

“This $18.3 million project, $12 million of which is funded through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, is stimulating the local economy, is set to boost tourism and confirms Mildura’s status as the ‘Gateway to the Outback’.

“I will continue to advocate strongly for Mildura to ensure we continue receiving strong Coalition Government support and investment.”

Mr Crisp said construction on the Waterplay and Ornamental Lakes precinct would begin shortly, with the Waterplay area to be completed by April 2015 and the remaining works completed by the second half of 2015.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund reaches new milestone

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

 

  • Regional Growth Fund delivers a record 1,500 projects
  • RGF has delivered almost $420 million, leveraging $1.7 billion in investment
  • Coalition Government achieves in three years what Labor couldn’t in 11

The Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund reached its 1,500th project milestone today.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development Peter Crisp in Mildura today to announce the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 in Nangiloc Colignan Farms’ $1.5 million expansion, the Regional Growth Fund’s 1,500th project.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s $150,000 investment enabled Nangiloc Colignan Farms to complete a $1.5 million expansion, creating 12 permanent jobs, 42 harvest jobs, and boosting exports by $7 million a year.

Mr Ryan said this project was indicative of the types of projects the Regional Growth Fund was investing in to create new jobs and investment right across regional and rural Victoria.

“The Regional Growth Fund is designed specifically to invest in communities in regional and rural Victoria; Melbourne cannot access it,” Mr Ryan said.

“Over the past three years, the Regional Growth Fund has invested almost $420 million to support 1,500 projects, leveraging $1.7 billion in total investment.

“Compare this with the former Labor Government’s failed Regional Infrastructure Development Fund which provided a total of $600 million over 11 years and generated just $1.6 billion in total leveraged investment.

“The Coalition Government has achieved more in regional and rural Victoria in three years than the Labor Party achieved in its entire 11 years of government, and with $200 million less.

“Imagine what the Coalition Government can achieve in eight years with $1 billion.

Mr Ryan said of the Regional Growth Fund’s 1,500 investments, 86 were major infrastructure projects, receiving $180 million in direct assistance to generate more than $1.1 billion in total investment.

Mr Ryan said these 86 infrastructure projects would create more than 5,000 direct and 11,000 indirect jobs, while an extra 7,800 jobs were retained and 3,800 created during construction.

“It is not just large infrastructure projects; the Regional Growth Fund is also investing in key local priorities such as hall upgrades, new parks and gardens, rail trails, tourism projects, repairing historic buildings and new community hubs,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are helping local councils build and repair bridges, footpaths and roads, and enabling local businesses and farms to boost exports and create new jobs.

“They key to the Regional Growth Fund is that we don’t dictate to communities what sorts of projects it should fund – they tell us.

“This ensures the Regional Growth Fund is investing in projects that are championed by the community and delivering real benefits to local people.”

Mr Ryan said another exciting component of the Regional Growth Fund was the $100 million set aside to extend natural gas to regional and rural communities.

Agreements have been reached to supply Avoca, Huntly, Bannockburn, Winchelsea, Wandong-Heathcote Junction and Koo Wee Rup, while Mildura’s capacity will be increased by 50 per cent.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s roll-out would continue through the $85 million Request for Tender to deliver reticulated natural gas via CNG and LNG solutions to remaining priority towns and Murray River communities, communities Labor turned its back on.

“Jacinta Allan said the Coalition Government couldn’t sensibly connect any more regional communities to natural gas and described our Energy for the Regions Program as a hoax,” Mr Ryan said.

“I am proud to say this is not a hoax and many communities across regional and rural Victoria will soon be cooking with piped natural gas.”

Mr Ryan said a further $500 million from the Regional Growth Fund would be available over the next term of government and The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, was keen to continue its work with communities to deliver even more key local projects.

“When the regions do well, Victoria does well, and that’s why the Regional Growth Fund was established – to deliver for people in rural and regional Victoria.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund delivers its 1,500th project

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  • $1 billion Regional Growth Fund invests in a record 1,500 projects
  • RGF invests $150,000 for cool room expansion at Nangiloc Colignan Farms
  • Project to create 12 permanent jobs and 42 harvest jobs

    The Victorian Coalition Government’s $ 1 billion Regional Growth Fund reached a major milestone in Mildura today, delivering its 1,500th project.

    Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan attended a Regional Business Leaders Forum in Mildura, where he announced the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 from the Regional Growth Fund to support an expansion at Nangiloc Colignan Farms.

    Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp, said the $1.2 million Nangiloc Colignan Farms expansion would create 12 permanent jobs, 42 harvest jobs and included construction of:
  • a new cool-room packing facility;
  • an additional cool-room storage facility; and
  • an additional hardstand and internal road infrastructure for the loading of containers in a dust free environment.

    Mr Ryan said the cool-room packing facility would be used for the packing, lidding, labelling and shrink-wrapping of up to 10,000 boxes of grapes per day.

    Mr Ryan said the cool-room storage facility would hold packed and processed fruit ready for export to countries including, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong and Russia.

    “We are proud to invest in this expansion project which ensures Nangiloc Colignan Farms can continue producing high quality grapes as well as packed and processed fruit,” Mr Ryan said.

    “It means the company can continue to meet the standard its export customers have come to know and expect of fruit supplied by Nangiloc Colignan Farms.

    “It also enables Nangiloc Colignan Farms to increase its international customer base, with exports expected to grow by more than $7 million per year as a direct result of this expansion.”

    Mr Crisp thanked the Deputy Premier for the Coalition Government’s continued support of the region, particularly through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

    “Securing 12 new permanent jobs and 42 harvest jobs as a direct result of this investment is a win for the region, as is the more than $1.6 million a year which will be injected into the local economy in new wages,” Mr Crisp said.

    “The investment secures the future of this processing facility here in Colignan and provides another shot in the arm for the fruit processing industry here in the Sunraysia region.”

    Mr Crisp said the cool room expansion project would be completed by May 2015 and he looked forward to working with the company and other local fruit processors to identify further areas for growth.

    Mr Ryan paid tribute to Mr Crisp’s unwavering determination to promote his region and secure funding for Sunraysia communities.

    “Peter Crisp is always the first in line to advocate for key local projects that can be supported through the Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Ryan said.

    “Peter Crisp has managed to secure more than $35 million in investment for his community through the Regional Growth Fund, delivering more than 30 local projects which have generated $222 million in total leveraged investment.

    “His wins have included $12 million for the $18.3 million Mildura Riverfront Parklands Project, $5.2 million for the $6.4 million Mildura Airport Terminal Redevelopment, and $500,000 for the $1.8 million Merbein Community Hub.”

 

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Coalition begins consultation for Murray Basin Rail Project

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  • Stakeholders invited to have their say on transformational freight project
  • Up to $220 million committed in 2014-15 Budget
  • Victorian Coalition Government building an even better regional Victoria

    Industry stakeholders are being asked for their views on network options for the transformational Murray Basin Rail Project, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced today.

    The project will standardise rail from Mildura to Geelong, transforming the way freight is transported in the western half of Victoria; saving farmers and businesses on transport costs and taking thousands of trucks off the road.

    Following the release of the Murray Basin Future Freight Demand and Infrastructure Requirements Study, the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure is seeking stakeholder views on the project options and alignments detailed in the report.

    Speaking in Mildura today with The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp, Mr Ryan said consultation would begin immediately.

    “This project has been more than a century in the making and I’m glad to mark the first real step in getting this historic project underway,” Mr Ryan said.

    “The Victorian Coalition Government committed up to $220 million from this year’s budget to get this project done – the money is in the budget and we’re raring to go.

    “The views of stakeholders will be fed into the Murray Basin Rail Project’s business case, which is due at the end of the year.”

    Mr Crisp welcomed the news.

    “The project will build and upgrade freight lines on the network to 21 tonne per axle loading, which means trains will be able to haul an extra 300-400 tonnes or 15 per cent more weight,” Mr Crisp said.

    “This means about 10 trucks will be taken off the road for each train trip.

    “Victorian produce will get to Portland, Geelong and Melbourne faster and more cheaply. Keeping transport costs down is essential for Mildura farmers and businesses aiming to export produce onto the world market.

    “Ultimately, this project will enable a Transcontinental Rail Link between Mildura and Broken Hill, NSW, connecting to the Perth interstate rail line.

    “The first stage of the Project will include an initial $40 million to upgrade the Hopetoun and Mildura rail lines to ensure quick benefits from better freight movement.”

    The final alignment of the Murray Basin Rail Project will be guided by the business case.

    The Murray Basin Future Freight Demand and Infrastructure Requirements Study is available at www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/freight 

    Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

© 2013, Peter Ryan MLA. Terms & Conditions. Privacy Policy. Sitemap.

Contact: Electorate Office: 54B Cunninghame Street SALE 3850. P.O. Box 145, SALE 3850. Phone: (03) 5144 1987 Fax: (03) 5144 7086

Website Designed by Design Experts, 41 Mundy Street Bendigo 3550

peter ryan for regional victoria

Authorised by Peter Ryan MP, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne 3000.