Press Releases

Surveying works begin for alternate route

* * - Wednesday, July 02, 2014

  • Surveying works begin on heavy vehicle alternate route
  • Drivers urged to take care where works are being conducted
  • Route will divert 600 trucks per day away from Bair Street

The Leongatha Alternate Heavy Vehicle Route is another step closer to completion with important pre-construction works set to begin this week.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said VicRoads surveyors would be on site in Leongatha from today.

“The $5.12 million Leongatha Alternate Heavy Vehicle Route, which was jointly funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments, will see more than 600 trucks per day to be diverted around the Leongatha CBD,” Mr Ryan said.

“This project will provide significant benefits to shoppers and business owners in Bair Street, including increased pedestrian safety, better traffic flows and less damage to the road caused by heavy vehicles.”

Mr Ryan said before the project could move to the design and construction phase, important surveying work needed to be completed.

“This work will ensure existing features such as power and water services can be accommodated in the project design or moved if necessary,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said once the surveying was complete the final design works and pre-construction activities such as service relocation would be carried out.

He said construction works would then follow in 2015, with the project expected to be complete by 2016.

“VicRoads will be in regular contact with the community, including landowners and key stakeholders to discuss potential designs for the Leongatha Alternate Heavy Vehicle Route,” Mr Ryan said.

“There will also be community updates, briefing sessions and updates on South Gippsland Shire’s website, with finalised designs to be presented to the community later this year.”

Mr Ryan said while the surveying work was being completed temporary traffic changes would be put in place and he urged motorists to take care while travelling through the area.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government had prioritised roads funding in and around Leongatha.

“This year alone, the Coalition Government is investing more than $500 million to undertake vital road maintenance,” Mr Ryan said.

“This funding is in stark contrast to Labor's transport plan which sets aside just $1 billion over eight years, or $125 million a year, for regional roads.

“We are also investing $9.4 million to make South Gippsland safer through the Safer Roads Infrastructure Program.

“This includes $4.5 million on the South Gippsland Highway between Stony Creek and Foster for safety barriers and rumble strips and $3.8 million for the Strzelecki Highway between Leongatha and Koorooman for safety barriers, rumble strips and tree removal.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

$1 billion Regional Growth Fund upgrades Yanakie reserve and community hall

* * - Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund improves Yanakie Recreation Reserve and Yanakie Community Hall 
  • New playground, shelter, furniture for the reserve 
  • New toilets plus heating and cooling for the hall

Visitors to South Gippsland and Wilson’s Promontory will have another great reason to stop and explore Yanakie thanks to a Regional Growth Fund upgrade of the Yanakie Recreation Reserve and Yanakie Community Hall.

The Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund has invested $300,000 to make the $400,000 upgrade become a reality.

Speaking in Yanakie, Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the Yanakie Recreation Reserve was already a centre of community activity due to its sporting facilities, which include tennis courts.

The Yanakie Community Hall is located at the reserve and is an important meeting place for the local community.

“Yanakie is often the last rest stop for tourists on their way to or from Wilson’s Prom,” Mr Ryan said.

“As well as providing much better facilities for the locals, this project will make the area a much more inviting place for tourists to stop, rest, and spend money in local shops, which are a short walk away.

“New signs will direct tourists to local tourist attractions, so they can spend even more money in our region, or can return for another visit.

“At the reserve, the playground equipment and current shelter will both be replaced with brand new facilities.

“New park furniture will be installed, the area will be landscaped and new pathways will be built.

“Improvements to the hall include new toilets which will provide all abilities access, the installation of heating and cooling, a new hot water system and new doors.”

The project will be managed by South Gippsland Shire Council and importantly, local contractors will be engaged for all works, so the money invested flows through to the local community. The project is expected to be complete by July 2015.

Along with the Regional Growth Fund’s $300,000 investment, the South Gippsland Shire Council contributed $90,000 and the Yanakie Recreation Reserve Committee of Management chipped in $10,000.

The Nationals Upper House Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said the Nationals had driven the creation of the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to invest in projects such as this.

“The Regional Growth Fund is investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered more than $400 million, generating around $1.6 billion of total investment across more than 1500 projects.

“In South Gippsland Shire, the Regional Growth Fund has invested $13.1 million into 34 projects which are worth a total of $59.3 million of investment to the local community.

“For example, the Regional Growth Fund invested $2 million into the $2.9 million Great Southern Rail Trail Extension (Foster to Welshpool); $1.5 million for the $21.9 million Burra Foods, Infant Formula Water Initiatives, and $1.5 million for the $22 million Murray Goulburn, Leongatha Site and Energy Infrastructure Project.”

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Regional Growth Fund turns trash into treasure

* * - Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $150,000 to support Gibsons Groundspreads’ $4.8 million compost project
  • Gibsons to create new product using waste destined for landfill 
  • Investment will create 12 new full-time jobs at Dutson

Gibsons Groundspreads will turn waste which was previously destined for landfill into commercial grade compost, providing a cheaper alternative to traditional imported fertilisers for local farmers.

The initiative is part of a $4.8 million investment from Gibsons Groundspreads to develop a compost processing and distribution facility at Dutson to produce a new fertiliser called Revive Compost, creating 12 new highly-skilled full-time jobs.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan joined Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien at Dutson today to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $150,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to support Gibsons’ investment.

Mr Ryan said Revive Compost would be produced using waste diverted from landfill, from Gippsland Water’s Soil & Organic Recycling Facility at Dutson.

Mr Ryan said the $4.8 million project included building upgrades, compost processing and handling equipment, heavy vehicle facilities and the creation of storage bunkers and wash bays.

“Gibsons, which has been operating in Gippsland since 1953, currently spreads fertiliser and other products over 200,000 hectares of land, servicing around 4,000 clients,” Mr Ryan said.

“The company employs 35 people in Gippsland, which will grow to 47 with a further 12 highly-skilled full-time jobs to be created at Dutson as result of this development.

“This investment will create a much sought-after compost product using waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfill and ensures Gibsons maintains its place as one of the key fertiliser businesses in Gippsland.”

Mr O’Brien said Gibsons would produce 100,000 tonnes a year of Revive Compost, generating a further $4.5 million worth of sales.

“Revive Compost has a range of advantages including a reduction in landfill by turning waste into a highly sought-after agricultural product which provides a lower cost alternative to imported traditional compound fertilisers for local farmers,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It also has significant environmental benefits, producing less nutrient run-off into local waterways, including the Gippsland Lakes, compared with traditional fertilisers.”

Mr Ryan said this investment was another strong example of the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund investing in local businesses to grow jobs, generate new products and new investment.

“Earlier today, I joined Tim Bull and Danny O’Brien in Heyfield to celebrate the completion of Australian Sustainable Hardwoods $2.7 million expansion, which benefited from a $650,000 Regional Growth Fund investment and led to the creation of 27 new full-time jobs,” Mr Ryan said.

“Gibsons job creating investment is further proof of the success of the Regional Growth Fund which is investing record levels of funding to support new employment and investment opportunities in regional and rural communities.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Return of cattle to High Country approved

* * - Friday, March 07, 2014

• Liberal National Coalition pleased to see grazing trial reinstated
• Cattle to return to High Country within weeks
• Trial provides a common sense approach to dealing with Alpine bushfire risk

Planning that will see the return of cattle in the Alpine National Park to evaluate the benefits of grazing to bushfire management is now underway after the Commonwealth Government approved a strategic trial this week.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the grazing trial, that must follow strict conditions set by the federal government, would begin as soon as possible.

“The community only has to look at this bushfire season to be reminded why the Victorian Liberal National Coalition continued to push for a grazing trial that will thoroughly evaluate this practice and its suitability as a bushfire management tool,” Mr Ryan said.

“It is necessary that this trial take place to determine whether grazing reduces the risk of bushfires by removing fuel loads.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was pleased to see the federal government take a common sense approach to tackling fire risk in Alpine areas.

“A high proportion of regional Victorians support cattle grazing in National Parks to reduce the fuel load, so it’s fantastic to see that cattle will now return to the High Country,” Mr Ryan said.

“The first phase of the trial will see 60 cattle released into the Wonnangatta Valley with up to 300 released in the two subsequent grazing seasons,” Mr Ryan said.

“The trial will take place on 262 hectares of land within the boundaries of the former Wonnangatta Station, which was grazed for more than 100 years, before it was acquired as part of the Alpine National Park.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government last year exceeded the planned burning target of 250,000 hectares and was proud of the bushfire mitigation efforts it had so far undertaken.

“That figure is five times greater than when Labor was in government, which got down as low as 50,000 hectares more than once,” Mr Ryan said.

For further information, visit

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Statement regarding SPC Ardmona

* * - Thursday, January 30, 2014


The Commonwealth’s decision to reject a structural adjustment payment for SPC Ardmona is a significant setback for Goulburn Valley communities and Victoria.

The Victorian Coalition Government firmly believes that food production and food processing has a very strong future in the Goulburn Valley and that SPC Ardmona should be a part of this future.

We are very concerned about the potential impact on local growers and SPC Ardmona workers and urge Coca Cola Amatil to continue to work with growers, employees and government to secure the company's future in the Goulburn Valley.

The Goulburn Valley is the food bowl of Australia and food production and manufacturing in the region has a very positive outlook with potential to grow exports and create new jobs.

The Victorian Coalition is actively working with growers, processors and the local community to position the region to capitalise on new export opportunities, emerging industry sectors and product innovation.

We are eager to continue discussions with SPC Ardmona on the next steps to work on a sustainable plan to secure the company’s operations in the region.

The Victorian Coalition will continue to provide practical financial support to the Goulburn Valley.

We have already established the Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund with an initial investment of $5 million to implement the recommendations of the Goulburn Valley Taskforce’s long term Industry and Employment Plan and will consider additional funding to achieve identified outcomes to secure the future of Goulburn Valley families and businesses.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731  

Marysville continues Black Saturday recovery with new golf and bowls clubhouse

* * - Friday, November 29, 2013


Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined Seymour MP Cindy McLeish in turning the first sod on a $2 million redevelopment of the Marysville Community Golf & Bowls Club as the town continues the recovery process after Black Saturday.

In Marysville, Mr Ryan said the redevelopment would give tourists another reason to return to the region, as well as bringing 50 construction jobs and their flow-on benefits to the area.

“The clubhouse was one of the few buildings in the town to survive Black Saturday. However, the clubhouse building needed to be refreshed and reinvigorated, so the Victorian Coalition Government will invest $1.45 million into this community rebuilding project,” Mr Ryan said.

“The project involves the demolition of the western end of the clubhouse and construction of a new function room that will accommodate more than 200 people standing and 100 people seated.

“New clubhouse areas will include a members’ lounge, meeting room, bar, kitchen, pro shop and outdoor timber deck allowing the club to serve more meals and attract more patrons.

“New, bigger bathroom facilities and well-designed landscaping will also add to the venue’s appeal, helping the club attract more visitors and cementing its financially viability.

Mrs McLeish said the project would create at least 50 jobs during construction and an estimated five full-time employees when the new facilities re-open.

“The new facilities were designed by Spowers Architects, will be built by Becon Constructions, and are expected to be completed by Easter 2014. This project complements the $28 million Vibe Hotel & Conference Centre, which will include a 100-room, minimum four-star hotel, and conference facilities for 300 people,” Mrs McLeish said.

The Marysville and Triangle Community Bushfire Relief Fund will contribute $523,213 with the Marysville Community Golf and Bowls Club providing the remaining funds required.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

New Marysville centre set to open next Spring

* * - Friday, November 29, 2013


Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan today inspected construction of Marysville’s new $28 million Vibe Hotel and Conference Centre.

Mr Ryan joined with Seymour MP Cindy McLeish and project partners, Allan Vidor, the Managing Director of the Toga Group, and Andrew Norbury, Chief Executive of Metier3, to tour the site.

“The 100-room, four-star hotel, is well on track to be open for business next spring, and will likely bring visitors into the local economy late next year,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Victorian Coalition Government’s invested more than $19 million in this hotel and conference centre, a vital step in bringing more tourists back to the town.

“Complemented by the redevelopment of the Marysville Community Golf and Bowls Club, this project will be a great boost to the economy of Marysville as the town continues to rebuild following the Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009.”

Mrs McLeish said the Marysville community would have hotel and conference facilities for at least 300 people, two new dining venues, a new day spa and recreational facilities for guests.

“It will play a great part in attracting visitors back to Marysville to see other drawcards like the magnificent Steavenson Falls, Gallipoli Park and to engage in the summer and winter-time activities that are associated with Lake Mountain,” Mrs McLeish said.

“The project will increase tourism, boost local employment and stimulate the local economy.

“The project will create up to 85 new full-time jobs during construction and more than 60 full-time jobs in the community once the hotel is running. New jobs and more tourists to Marysville over the next 18 months are expected to bring $23 million a year to the region.

“This will boost the local economy by up to $9.5 million a year, which will help local business and the economic recovery of this resilient community.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Coalition delivers Neighbourhood Safer Place for Sandy Point

* * - Friday, November 22, 2013


Sandy Point, which is recognised as a high fire-risk area, now has a place of last resort in event of a bushfire, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan was in Sandy Point to officially open the new Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP) at the Sandy Point Community Hall, a collaboration between the Victorian Coalition Government, emergency services agencies, South Gippsland Shire Council and the community.

"Sandy Point is recognised as a high fire-risk area and we have worked tirelessly to ensure the community now has a place which will provide some protection in the event of a bushfire,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the area around Sandy Point Community Hall was determined the most appropriate place for an NSP by the CFA.

“Sandy Point’s population, which is currently around 200, can increase tenfold during the busy summer season with the influx of tourists keen to enjoy the magnificence of the region,” Mr Ryan said.

"The NSP provides a place of last resort for residents who are unable to leave the area early in the event of a fire, as well as tourists who may be unfamiliar with the area and unaware of local fire-risk conditions.”

Mr Ryan said even with the NSP in place, it was important for the community to remember that successful bushfire survival planning involved consideration of several different options.

"Flexibility is the key to good bushfire survival planning and NSPs are just one of many options available,” Mr Ryan said.

"The safest option is always to leave a high-risk bushfire area well before a bushfire or a fire front approaches.

“It is also vitally important to stay informed and use more than one source of information for fire warnings.

“Those living in or visiting high fire-risk areas should familiarise themselves with the CFA website, download the FireReady App, regularly check CFA's Facebook page and Twitter, listen to local radio or ring the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667 to obtain all the latest information.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had provided $550,000 towards establishing the Sandy Point NSP.

“This is part of a $13 million commitment to assist local governments to establish shelter options, including NSPs, in some of the more difficult sites,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has so far established more than 260 Neighbourhood Safer Places across Victoria.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Coalition delivers new fire station for Kongwak CFA

* * - Monday, November 11, 2013


A new $462,000 fire station at Kongwak will support a dedicated local CFA brigade with a long history of providing protection to Kongwak community.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan was in Kongwak today to officially open the new Kongwak Fire Station and present service medals to 11 of the brigade’s 41 members.

Mr Ryan said the new Kongwak Fire Station featured modern facilities including a meeting room, kitchen, office, two engine bays and safer parking for members’ vehicles.

"The Coalition Government has invested $462,000 in building this new station, which includes improved meeting and training facilities to help the brigade build stronger links with the community and attract new volunteers.

“The new station replaces the outdated shed with a facility that better suits the needs of the brigade.

“It also provides brigade members with a more comfortable and modern base that will allow them to respond to any incidents in the South Gippsland area more effectively.”

While in Kongwak, Mr Ryan also presented service medals to Robert Grabham (60 years), Reginald Grabham (55 years), Arthur Grabham (35 years), Ray Holloway (30 years), Anthony Reade and Deidre Grabham (25 years), Nigel Braithwaite, Ross Olden, Ross Crawford and Burke Brandon (15 years), and Nicholas Stevens (10 years).

“The Kongwak Fire Brigade was formed in 1945 and its dedicated members have fought many of the state’s major fires including Black Saturday, Ash Wednesday, Coopers Creek and Wilsons Promontory fires,” Mr Ryan said.

“It is an honour to present medals to these dedicated members and a special mention must be given to Robert and Reginald Grabham who have served the CFA as volunteers for the past 60 and 55 years respectively.”

Mr Ryan said funding the new Kongwak Fire Station was part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to upgrading firefighting facilities and infrastructure across the state, including a $61 million committed in the 2013-14 Victorian Budget to replace dilapidated and ageing rural fire stations.

“The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to upgrade 250 CFA stations over our first term in government and we will continue to strengthen Victoria’s emergency services,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are proud of the vital work performed by CFA, one of the world’s largest volunteer organisations with more than 60,000 members – 98 per cent of them volunteers.

"CFA draws its strength from the dedication, professionalism and bravery of its volunteers.”

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870  

Investment in welding company no fabrication

* * - Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Eight new jobs will be created and a local company will be better placed to service the oil and gas industry thanks to a $160,000 grant from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan visited Wurruk-based welding company Rotafab today to announce the $160,000 grant, which the company will use to modernise its facilities.

Mr Ryan said Rotafab would match the Coalition Government’s contribution, providing a further $160,000 towards the $320,000 project.

“This investment will enable Rotafab to take advantage of opportunities associated with Exxon Mobil’s new gas conditioning project at Longford as well as compete for other oil and gas tenders around Australia,” Mr Ryan said.

“By modernising its operation, Rotafab is positioning itself to meet the needs of the oil, gas and mining industries and attract a broader range of customers, which will have significant benefits for the local economy.”

Mr Ryan said the funds would be used to replace four outdated welding hand-pieces with robotic equipment capable of high-quality and continuous long welds.

“An overhead gantry crane will also be upgraded to support complex projects, including offshore helicopter platforms and high volumes of pipe spooling,” Mr Ryan said.

“The new equipment will significantly increase the company’s capacity to take on new work, while increasing productivity and safety.”

Mr Ryan said the improvements would enable Rotafab to retain 10 full-time jobs while creating a further eight new full-time jobs, with potential for this number to grow in the future.

Mr Ryan said the project was funded through the Coalition Government’s Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund, a component of the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, funding which has been set-aside solely for projects in regional and rural Victoria.

“The Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund was created to help local companies create and retain jobs, which is essential in ensuring the area prospers well into the future,” Mr Ryan said.

For more information on the Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund visit:

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