Press Releases

Deputy Premier announces jobs boost for Nathalia

* * - Thursday, September 25, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $1.37 million to deliver 70 new jobs
  • $5.5 million project will boost exports from Ryan Meat Company
  • Benefits of GVIIF begin flowing through to the Goulburn Valley

Seventy new jobs will be created in Nathalia and local lamb exports will be boosted as the benefits of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund begin to flow through to the region.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today joined The Nationals candidate for Shepparton Greg Barr in Nathalia to announce that the Coalition Government would invest $1.37 million to support a $5.5 million expansion of Ryan Meat Company (RMC).

Mr Ryan said this project was the first to be funded through the Coalition Government’s $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund, developed to support the region’s economy through a period of transition, diversification and growth.

Mr Ryan said the investment would enable RMC to double production, from 7,500 head of lamb and mutton per week to 15,000, and more than double its workforce, from 66 full time employees to 136. It would also create a further 77 full-time jobs in the supply chain.

Mr Ryan said the expansion project would deliver a full export-oriented meat processing plant to cut, bone and pack chilled and frozen product, and included:

  • An expansion to the processing floor and installation of a new processing line and equipment;
  • Construction of new carcass chillers;
  • Construction of a new boning/cutting room;
  • Upgrades to the computerised processing system;
  • Expansion of the stockyards;
  • An increase of the company’s water and gas capacity; and
  • Construction of new staff amenities.

“This investment will see RMC double production, double its workforce and double its exports from the region, which is a win for Nathalia, a win for local suppliers and a win for the Goulburn Valley,” Mr Ryan said.

“This project is a terrific example of why we as The Nationals, working as part of a Coalition Government, fought so hard to secure an initial $5 million for the Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund.

“There are many great companies and businesses operating right across the Goulburn Valley, and through this fund we are co-investing to secure their future, create new local jobs and deliver a strong, resilient and diverse local economy.”

Mr Barr welcomed the Coalition Government’s $1.37 million investment, describing it as vital to ensuring RMC continued to meet international demand for locally produced and processed lamb and mutton.

“In March 2013, RMC commenced exporting lamb to the Middle East. This was so successful that production doubled and 20 new jobs were created, however, this growth has meant the current factory is now at maximum capacity,” Mr Barr said.

“By helping RMC to expand, it is no longer limited by size and can resume growing local exports of quality Australian produced lamb and mutton.

“By growing our exports we are creating new local jobs, new local investment and a stronger region.”

Mr Barr said today’s announcement continues the Coalition Government’s strong support for RMC, which included $200,000 to enable the company to build a new offal processing facility following the devastating 2012 floods.

“The Coalition Government rolled up its sleeves to help RMC during the difficult times and that investment is now paying off in spades, with its future not only secure, but flourishing,” Mr Barr said.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Federation Square East Expressions of Interest now open

* * - Monday, September 15, 2014


  • Expressions of Interest now open for Federation Square East site
  • 3.3 hectare project site in central Melbourne to be city’s ‘jewel in the crown’
  • Napthine Government building a better Victoria

Expressions of Interest are now open for Melbourne’s premier Federation Square East development, the Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett announced at an event attended by key industry stakeholders today.

“Today we are releasing a unique opportunity for an outstanding precinct in the heart of our great city,” Mr Ryan said.

“Federation Square East will be a new jewel in Melbourne’s crown and the Victorian Coalition Government is proud to be taking action and releasing this incredible opportunity to the market.

“We are offering a 3.3 hectare site with exceptional building layout and design flexibility to accommodate a mixed use development. We are looking for a great design and exciting, active spaces to create a new destination that is the very essence of Melbourne.

“This will be a major new precinct that takes advantage of the site’s proximity to transport and the very best of Melbourne but also respects and enhances the amenity of the area around it.

“Federation Square East is part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s policy to unlock under-utilised land along the rail corridor such as at E Gate, Flinders Street Station and Richmond Station.

“Together, this suite of projects represents opportunities for billions of dollars in development, the creation of thousands of jobs, and a project pipeline stretching out for decades,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Hodgett said that the Federation Square East project was entering an exciting new phase.

“Last year we conducted a Request for Industry Submissions which confirmed that there is appetite for the delivery of a viable mixed use precinct and that industry is best placed to come up with innovative, value for money solutions for the site,” Mr Hodgett said.

“The Coalition Government’s expectation of strong benefits for the public is reflected in the project objectives which talk about creating a distinctive destination, an exceptional design, enhancing and connecting the area and balancing financial returns with public outcomes.

“The successful proponent will secure the best development opportunity currently available in Melbourne in terms of location, flexibility, amenity, infrastructure and marketability.

“We have an excellent site in the heart of a prosperous city with a strong property market and I am looking forward to seeing what the innovation and creativity of industry can deliver for Melbourne,” Mr Hodgett said.

Expressions of Interest for Federation Square East close on 11 December 2014. For more information or to register, please visit

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Deputy Premier announces $5 million to build a new CFA station in Morwell

* * - Friday, September 12, 2014


  • New CFA station will support the work of Morwell’s 17 career firefighters and around 80 volunteers
  • This financial year CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than it was when Labor left office
  • Victorian Coalition Government supporting those who protect their fellow Victorians

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today announced the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $5 million to build a new CFA station in Morwell.

“The Coalition Government is building a better and safer Victoria and enhancing emergency response capabilities for the people of Morwell and surrounding areas,” Mr Ryan said.

“The $5 million investment will fund land acquisition and the construction of a new station, ensuring our firefighters are equipped with the tools and resources they need to do their job.”

Mr Ryan was joined by Minister for Energy and Resources and Small Business, and Member for Morwell, Russell Northe who said the local community would welcome the announcement.

“This is fantastic news for Morwell, as it will significantly enhance emergency services in our area and ensure the Morwell CFA is equipped for current and future needs,” Mr Northe said.

“The Morwell CFA is an integrated station with 17 career firefighters and around 80 volunteer firefighters who work shoulder to shoulder responding to emergencies and protecting life and property in our area.

“Responding to around 750 turnouts each year and providing vital services to Victoria’s critical power and economic infrastructure and other business in the Latrobe Valley, the Morwell CFA will be able to offer even greater protection to the people of Morwell as a result of this $5 million investment.”

Mr Ryan said The Nationals, as part of a strong Coalition Government team, were working hard to ensure Morwell was better protected from the threat of fire and other emergencies.

“To support the recommendations from the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, we are establishing a new Latrobe City CFA District which will enhance the CFA’s ability to work with industry and the community to prevent and respond to fires in the region,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government is also establishing a taskforce, led by the Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, to work with mine operators on planning and preparedness for the coming fire season and beyond.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government has a proven and strong commitment to supporting the CFA and its firefighters who play a critical role in Victoria’s emergency response.

“The Coalition Government remains on track to deliver 250 CFA station upgrades by November this year as part of a $125 million investment, with 230 upgrades now complete,” Mr Ryan said.

“Since coming to office we have also invested more than $108 million to purchase 275 CFA trucks.

“In addition to this, more than 180 additional career firefighters have been recruited to support the ongoing work of more than 55,000 CFA volunteers, with a further 50 extra recruits expected to graduate by the end of the year.

“The Coalition Government’s significant investments in Victoria’s fire services and the broad suite of emergency management reforms that have been introduced over the past four years have helped to ensure Victoria is now better protected.”

Mr Ryan said since coming to office in November 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $2.29 billion in funding.

“This financial year the CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than it was when Labor left office,” Mr Ryan said.

“This record investment highlights the Coalition Government's strong commitment to Victoria’s regional communities and the work our firefighters do keeping Victorians safe.”

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Redeveloped Marysville Golf Club swings into action

* * - Monday, September 08, 2014


  • $2 million refurbished Golf and Bowls Club set to boost Marysville economy
  • Victorian Coalition Government invested $1.45 million towards project
  • Victorian Coalition Government continues to support fire affected communities

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today officially opened the redeveloped Marysville Community Golf and Bowls Club, completed with a $1.45 million investment from the Victorian Coalition Government.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by Member for Seymour Cindy McLeish, said the completion of the $2 million redevelopment was a positive milestone for the Marysville community following the devastating 2009 bushfires.

“The Marysville Community Golf and Bowls Club was one of the few buildings that survived the tragic events of Black Saturday, and as a result became a key community meeting point in the months following the fires,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government was keen to support the redevelopment of this important local facility as part of our commitment to supporting the town during its recovery.

“The redevelopment has created a truly wonderful facility that the whole community can be proud of.

“These new facilities will encourage more people to visit Marysville, particularly those keen to play a round of golf on this magnificent course.”

Mr Ryan said the $2 million restoration included construction of a new a function room that accommodated up to 300 people, a new members’ lounge, meeting room, bar, lobby, kitchen, restrooms, outdoor timber deck, landscaping and a remodelled pro shop.

Mr Ryan said more than 50 construction jobs were created during the redevelopment, and a further five new full-time jobs had been created at the club on an ongoing basis.

Ms McLeish paid tribute to the Marysville and Triangle Community Bushfire Relief Fund for its $523,213 contribution to the project, as well as the Marysville Community Golf and Bowls Club which contributed the balance of the funding.

“The overall construction has created a new-look club that, along with other projects such as the $28 million Vibe Hotel & Conference Centre, will stimulate revenue and bring a much-needed economic boost to the Marysville area,” Ms McLeish said.

“Encouraging economic activity in Marysville and other bushfire affected communities has been a key focus of the Coalition Government as part of the ongoing recovery efforts.”

Following the official opening of the Marysville Community Golf and Bowls Club, Mr Ryan joined Club President Ken Whittingham, along with other members and guests, for a round of golf.

“The course certainly played a lot better than I did,” Mr Ryan said after his round.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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

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