Press Releases

Coalition Government building a better Gippsland

* * - Friday, May 09, 2014

This week’s Victorian Coalition Government 2014-15 State Budget delivers in the key areas of education, roads, tourism, business, emergency services and health, Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition’s State Budget delivers improved infrastructure and services for residents and businesses throughout Gippsland to build a better, more connected Victoria.

“This Budget is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into Gippsland and other regional cities and rural communities,” Mr Ryan said.

The Liberal Nationals Coalition Government outlined significant expenditure in the 2014-15 Budget that benefits residents in the Gippsland South electorate. Highlights include:

  • $5.6 million to upgrade Korumburra Secondary College;
  • $4 million for planning and stage One works at the Sale Specialist School; 
  • $5.12 million for the Leongatha heavy vehicle alternate route;
  • $14 million for regional tourism marketing to increase visitors to regional Victoria;
  • $14 million to provide small business owners with practical financial management, marketing and human resources strategies;
  • $4.7 million to upgrade the online energy price comparison tool, My Power Planner;
  • $65 million to fund bushfire management measures;
  • $29 million for the CFA to acquire 78 additional vehicles
  • $20.5 million to replace Respiratory Protection Equipment for CFA and MFB firefighters;
  • 5.5 million for practical on-ground partnership with Landcare groups;
  • An additional $3 million a year for the Boating Safety and Facilities Program, bringing total funding to $8 million annually; and
  • $1.2 billion commitment per year to Vocational Education and Training.

Mr Ryan said these investments build upon the Coalition Government’s recently announced budget initiatives. Highlights in the Gippsland South region include: 

  • An extra $130 million pumped into road maintenance, meaning that more than $500 million will be delivered in the coming year for maintaining roads - up from $384 million under Labor;
  • $73 million for a major redevelopment of Latrobe Regional Hospital, including a new emergency department with double the capacity of the current facility, a new 30-bed ward and a cardiac catheterisation laboratory;
  • $13.5 million for the rollout of new tasers to all 24 hour police stations across regional Victoria, including Sale; 
  • $34 million to expand drug and alcohol treatment services and tackle the use of illicit drugs including ice throughout the state, including Gippsland;
  • $2 million to improve wild dog control; and
  • $3 million to provide support for regional councils to assess infrastructure demand, develop business cases and manage projects.

“By rebuilding Victoria’s finances and keeping the economy strong, the Coalition Government has been able to advance key projects, including those under the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Nationals are exceptionally proud of the Regional Growth Fund, which has contributed to more than 70 projects in the Wellington and South Gippsland shires, leveraging almost $60 million in total investment.”

Mr Ryan said the local projects announced in the 2014-15 State Budget built on the Coalition Government’s significant investment in Gippsland over past Budgets.

Mr Ryan said the Liberal Nationals Coalition Government is building a better Victoria by delivering a strong budget with a record $27 billion investment in roads, rail, health and education, ensuring growth, jobs and opportunities across the state.

“This is in stark contrast to the risk that Daniel Andrews and Labor pose to Victoria’s economy and prosperity. Victorians cannot afford a return to Labor, which is more interested in kowtowing to its union mates than addressing the needs of regional Victorians,” he said.

“Only a Liberal Nationals Coalition Government can be trusted to deliver these important projects on time and within budget.”

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Deputy Premier announces new home for Sale Specialist School

* * - Thursday, May 01, 2014

• Land purchased for new Sale Specialist School
• Victorian Budget to deliver $4 million for planning and stage one works
• Victorian Coalition Government supports students with special needs

The future of the new Sale Specialist School is assured, with Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announcing on Tuesday that land had been secured for the new school.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by Member for Gippsland East and Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs Tim Bull and Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien, said a four hectare site on the Princes Highway, in Sale’s north, had been acquired.

Mr Ryan also announced today that the Victorian Coalition Government would provide an initial $4 million in the 2014-15 Victorian Budget for planning and design, and to deliver stage one works.

The total cost of the project is anticipated to be in the order of $15 million.

“This is a great day for students, parents and teachers at the Sale Specialist School,” Mr Ryan said.

“Securing the land and providing an initial $4 million to begin stage one works confirms what we have all been hoping for, and that is a new Specialist School will be built in Sale to cater for the growing number of students.”

Mr Ryan said the site chosen was one of the largest of the 13 sites originally offered up by local landowners, enabling construction of a school that will cater for a growing demand for years to come.

Mr Ryan said planning and design works for the new school would now begin.

“It was not possible to begin designing the new school until the land had been secured, but with the land now purchased we can start the process with certainty,” Mr Ryan said.

“I strongly encourage parents and families to share their vision and ideas with the school board about how they would like the school designed and built.”

Mr Ryan said once planning and design was complete, initial works would begin at the site.

“The intention of this first $4 million is to enable stage one works to begin. The balance of funds to complete this project will follow.”

Mr Bull said today's announcement would make an enormous difference to the lives of so many children with special needs and their families.

"The families of students both present and future that access this school from towns in my electorate like Maffra, Heyfield, Stratford and surrounding districts will be delighted," Mr Bull said.

“To all those who have lobbied for this outcome, my congratulations, and like them, I am already looking forward to this new facility opening its doors.”

Minister for Education Martin Dixon passed on his support for the project and said today’s announcement marked an exciting next step in the realisation of a vision to develop a truly world class specialist school in Sale.

“To cope with growing student numbers, Sale Specialist School currently operates at its main Raymond Street campus as well as on part of Sale College’s Guthridge Campus,” Mr Dixon said.

“By creating a one-campus school on a larger site, students and teachers will have the space to learn and grow in a modern learning environment.

“The Coalition Government has committed more than $79 million towards building and upgrading special schools in the past three budgets.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Disability self-help grants encourage independence and community participation

* * - Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Grants of up to $10,000 are available to assist disability self-help groups to increase the independence and community participation of people with disabilities.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government was assisting disability groups by simplifying the application and doubling the funding period for the latest round of Disability Self Help Grants program.

“Grant funding is provided for a variety of practical purposes including general expenses, running costs, and minor works or equipment,” Mr Ryan said.

“These grants provide self-help groups with a great opportunity to access funding to support their members’ activities.

“Self-help groups that focus on supporting their members to participate in their own community and make informed decisions about their lives will be given priority for grants.”

Mr Ryan said Disability Self-Help Grants provided up to $10,000 to assist self-help groups to:

 Strengthen the capacity of people with a disability to live independently in their own community and actively participate in community activities;
 Support members to make informed decisions about their own lives;
 Encourage a network of community peer support and information exchange for people with a disability and their families/carers; and
 Increase opportunities for self-help groups to provide information and education on the experiences of people with a disability.

“The grants will now be provided on a two-year basis rather than annually, which means groups don’t have to go through the application process every year,” Mr Ryan said.

“Also, groups that have previously been successful in obtaining grants of less than $2000 will no longer have to itemise their proposed expenditure in their applications.”

Applications close on Friday, 13 December and further information and application forms are available online at or by phoning Mr Ryan’s Sale office on 5144 1987.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Ryan welcomes NDIS decision

* * - Monday, May 06, 2013

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan welcomed the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to support people with a disability by entering into an agreement on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

On Saturday, Premier Denis Napthine and Minister for Disability Services Mary Wooldridge announced the signing of an agreement between the Victorian Coalition Government and the Commonwealth for a full roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme – now known as DisabilityCare Australia in Victoria from 2019-20.

“Many individuals and families throughout Gippsland will benefit greatly from this decision,” Mr Ryan said.

“Once it comes into effect the scheme will provide certainty of care for those in Gippsland living with a disability and the many dedicated carers who support them.”

Mr Ryan said tomorrow’s 2013-2014 Victorian Budget would also include a significant funding increase of $224 million for disability services, taking the total annual disability funding provided by the Coalition Government to $1.6 billion.

“This Budget announcement will provide more immediate support, with a significant boost in the number of Individual Support Packages (ISPs) and funding for people with complex needs in supported accommodation,” Mr Ryan said.

“The disability package in the upcoming budget will support the continuing reform that is helping build better lives for people with disability in the lead-up to full implementation of the NDIS across Victoria from July 2019.”

The Budget package for disability:

• delivers $107 million for 720 new ISPs for people with high support needs, and continues the specialised vocational supports for young people with disability pursuing employment goals;
• provides over $62 million to help meet the increasingly complex needs of people with disability living in Government-run supported accommodation;
• commits $7.9 million for capital investment in new accommodation to enable the closure of Sandhurst Residential Services, giving residents the opportunity to live within the community;
• provides $4 million for the aids and equipment program for people with disability;
• allocates over $26 million for a wage rise in 2013-14 for about 13,000 disability workers as a result of a Fair Work Australia decision known as the SACS case; and

• contributes $17 million in additional funding to support the Victorian launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the Barwon region on 1 July 2013 taking the Victorian Coalition Government’s total 3-year investment in the launch site to over $300 million.

"These two announcements over the weekend have been widely supported and I am delighted the Coalition Government is significantly increasing resources into the disability sector," Mr Ryan said.

“This package offers people with disability, their family and carers more control and choice over the support they receive to ensure it best meets their specific needs.”

Mr Ryan said funding had also been secured to purchase land and begin planning for the new Sale Specialist School as part of the 2013-14 Victorian Budget.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Nominations for 2012 Victorian Disability Sector Awards close 7 March

* * - Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The 2012 Victorian Disability Sector Awards are currently open and Gippsland residents are being encouraged to nominate a member of the community or organisations who demonstrate excellence in service and a commitment to the development of people with a disability.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the awards celebrate and acknowledge those who demonstrate excellence, passion, vision and commitment to assisting people with a disability achieve their life goals.

 “It is important that we recognise the essential work of those who are supporting people with a disability,” Mr Ryan said.

“These awards recognise the efforts of those individuals, teams, organisations and businesses for the significant contribution they are making to improve the lives of those with a disability,” Mr Ryan said.

Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge said the continued efforts of disability support workers, volunteers and businesses are important in helping ensure people with a disability can achieve their goals and participate within the community.

“These awards provide a unique opportunity for this commitment and valuable community contribution to be acknowledged and honoured,” Ms Wooldridge said.

Members of the public can make a nomination in eight different award categories including: Support Worker (Individual); Support Worker (Team); Client Services Worker; Leadership; Emerging Leader; Volunteer; Business Supporting Disability and Lifetime Achievement Award categories.

Nominations close Wednesday 7 March 2012 and winners will be announced at the disability Sector Awards ceremony on Thursday 26 April.

For guidelines and nomination forms visit

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 108 870

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