Press Releases

Additional coach stops for Loch and Nyora

* * - Monday, July 28, 2014


  • Loch and Nyora now serviced by 8 daily V/Line coaches
  • Victorian Coalition Government deliver additional rural V/Line services
  • Member for Gippsland South secures additional coach services

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said that Nyora and Loch would benefit from more weekday V/Line coaches making a stop from today, Monday 28 July.

Mr Ryan said that on weekdays, eight V/Line Leongatha or Yarram coaches would now stop at both Nyora and Loch in each direction, up from five trips each way on weekdays.

"Nyora and Loch will now have 48 weekly V/Line coaches serving local residents and visitors in each direction, up from 40 in the previous timetable," Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said he was delighted that Nyora and Loch residents would have more opportunities to travel on V/Line coaches to Cranbourne, Dandenong, Southern Cross, Leongatha, Foster and Yarram.

"I strongly backed local residents in their efforts to have more V/Line coaches stop at Nyora and Loch," Mr Ryan said.

"The Victorian Coalition Government has a strong emphasis on ensuring that smaller country towns benefit from transport links. V/Line's coaches are convenient as express and stopping coaches connect at Koo Wee Rup to make it easy to get to Dandenong or alternatively travel from Southern Cross faster by express coach.

"The extra coach stops are scheduled for 8.30am, 1pm and 5pm going to Southern Cross, and on the 9.15am, 1.10pm and 7pm weekday coaches from Southern Cross back to Nyora and Loch."

Mr Ryan urged local residents using V/Line's Leongatha and Yarram coaches to check the new timetables at under 'coaches' in 'eastern Victoria.'

"From 28 July, V/LIne's weekday coaches from Korumburra, Leongatha, Foster and Yarram depart 10 minutes earlier so that the coaches can travel into and out of Loch and Nyora," Mr Ryan said.

"Coming from Southern Cross, there are some minor changes to the departure times of Metro's suburban trains that connect at Dandenong with V/Line coaches, so anyone joining a Metro train at Caulfield, Clayton, Springvale or other stations should also check these timetables.

“These additional stops in Loch and Nyora bring the total of new public transport services introduced by the Coalition Government to more than 10,000 extra each week.”

Mr Ryan said the additional services were on top of the Coalition Government’s affordable public transport initiative that from 1 January 2015 will cap travel in zone 1 + 2 at zone 1 prices and provide free tram travel in the CBD and Docklands.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

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

Regional Growth Fund progresses Mildura Motorsports precinct plan

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  • Development of Mildura Motorsports precinct is a step closer
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $103,000 to complete business case
  • Coalition Government invests record funding to support local communities

    Development of the much-anticipated Mildura Motorsports precinct is a step closer, with the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government announcing today that it would invest more than $100,000 to complete a detailed business case.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp in Mildura to announce the $103,000 investment from the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

    Mr Ryan said the $195,000 Mildura Motorsports Precinct Business Case would build on the recommendations of the 2011 North West Victorian Motorsports Feasibility Study, which looked at further developing motorsports in Mildura.

    “Motorsports are incredibly popular in and around Mildura with participation rates four times the national average, which contributes more than $21 million a year to the local economy,” Mr Ryan said.

    “The development of a motorsports precinct, including the co-location of up to nine local motorsports clubs to the one site could grow this economic benefit to well over $60 million per year.

    “The Coalition Government recognise this potential for growth and we are keen to work with the community to grow the motorsports industry locally.”

    Mr Crisp welcomed the investment to develop a business case, saying it would lay-out a detailed and staged development plan for a motorsports precinct at Block H in Koorlong, 11 kilometres south of Mildura.

    “This investment is an important next step towards securing a first- rate motorsports precinct here in Mildura,” Mr Crisp said.

    “The business case will look at the design, cost and placement of a bitumen raceway for cars and motorbikes, a skid pan, required utilities and infrastructure and the co-location of up to nine motorsports clubs at the facility.

    “It will also investigate opportunities to partner with local police to deliver rehabilitation programs for repeat traffic offenders, youth programs and the potential to host motorsports courses through SUNITAFE.

    “Developing a motorsports precinct has the potential to provide long-term benefits to the region and I will to continue to advocate strongly for the community to ensure it is progressed.”

    Mr Ryan thanked the various funding partners including the Mildura Rural City Council, which is contributing $37,500 towards the business case, CAMS, which is providing $40,000 of in-kind support, and HM Leisure Planning, which is providing $14,500 of in-kind support.

    Mr Ryan said the Mildura Motorsports Business Case would be finalised by June 2015.

    Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Victorian Coalition Government smashes job creation and investment targets

* * - Monday, July 14, 2014
  • Victorian Coalition Government’s investment agency has created 20,000 jobs since December 2010
  • These jobs were created via $8 billion of attracted and assisted investment
  • Some 6,300 new jobs in 2013-14 alone as Coalition builds a better Victoria

    The Victorian Coalition Government’s Office of State Development (OSD) has smashed its targets on job creation and investment attraction, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced recently.

    “The Coalition’s OSD has achieved the goal of creating 20,000 jobs through attracting and assisting investments four months early – the goal was created in December 2010 with hope of achieving it by the end of 2014.

    “In 2013-14, the Coalition’s OSD investment attraction and assistance created 6,300 full time or equivalent jobs across 200 major investment projects worth more than $2.5 billion – well above the target of $2 billion.

    “Thousands of these jobs have been created in new, sustainable industries including ICT, life sciences, food and beverage, health care, defence and manufacturing. I’m particularly pleased to see 840 jobs created since December 2010 in manufacturing.

    “The Coalition Government is creating employment and the economy is growing. This is the sort of excellent economic management which Coalition Governments deliver.

    “In 2013-14, the Office of State Development has created more than 1300 jobs in ICT; 840 in manufacturing , 780 in health care and social assistance, 700 in food and beverage; 600 new jobs in retail; 300 new jobs in business process operations, 300 in construction, 270 new jobs in energy; 200 in health sciences and 161 in aviation.

    “New jobs have been created all over Victoria, with more than 1500 in inner Melbourne, more than 1600 in Geelong and south west Victoria, and more than 500 in the north east.”

    Attracting Energy Australia’s new national contact centre in Geelong created 300 new full time jobs; and assisting Melbourne-based IT consulting firm e-Centric Innovations to spearhead the building of a SharePoint Factory in Bendigo created 150 jobs.

    Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

South Gippsland towns gain new sewerage scheme

* * - Monday, July 14, 2014
  • New sewerage system approved for Poowong, Loch and Nyora
  • The three towns will also pilot Right Water cash back incentives
  • Coalition Government building a better Victoria with affordable infrastructure

    The Victorian Coalition Government will deliver a new state-of-the-art pressure sewerage system for residents of Poowong, Loch and Nyora 18 months earlier than expected, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced on Friday.

    Local residents will also be offered cash incentives to install or upgrade rainwater tanks and other water saving devices.

    Joining residents in Nyora, Mr Ryan said he was delighted to deliver for local communities ahead of schedule.

    “Construction on the advanced pressure sewerage system for Poowong, Loch and Nyora will begin in the coming weeks,” Mr Ryan said.

    “South Gippsland Water, in conjunction with South East Water, have planning well underway.

    “Under the new system, wastewater generated by the three towns will be treated at South East Water’s Lang Lang water recycling plant.

    “All properties are expected to be connected by 30 June 2016 – 18 months ahead of previous estimates.

    “The new system will help improve Poowong, Loch and Nyora by minimising the risk of household sewerage polluting the environment through ageing, failing and poorly maintained septic tanks.”

    The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Danny O’Brien said residents of Poowong, Loch and Nyora would be encouraged to adopt the Right Water principles, ensuring they were using the right water for the job at home.

    “The Coalition Government’s Right Water campaign shows how easy it is to use the right water for the job around the home. For example, rainwater from the roof is a great way to keep gardens green, to wash the car and even to flush the toilets inside,” Mr O’Brien said.

    “Poowong, Loch and Nyora residents will be offered cash back incentives for upgrading or installing rainwater tanks and water-efficient products that minimise use of precious drinking water for showering, washing clothes, flushing toilets and watering gardens.

    “The Coalition has not only delivered this win for Loch, Nyora and Poowong residents, it has delivered it ahead of time.

    “Contrast our sensible and affordable water policies and projects to a multi-billion dollar, unused, over time and over budget desalination plant and the plugged north-south pipeline.”

    Residents wanting more information on the new sewerage scheme and the Right Water cash back incentives can call 1300 851 636.

    Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404 

Deputy Premier speaks at Avoca Natural Gas Forum

* * - Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Deputy Premier addresses Natural Gas Forum in Avoca 
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests almost $8.4 million to connect Avoca 
  • Gas roll-out expected to be completed by the middle of 2016

More than 700 homes and businesses in Avoca will be connected to natural gas thanks to the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan along with The Nationals Candidate for Ripon Scott Turner were in Avoca today to host a Natural Gas Forum.

The forum followed the Coalition Government’s historic agreement with SP AusNet to connect the town to natural gas, reached in April 2013.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had invested almost $8.4 million to deliver gas to Avoca, something Labor said it wouldn’t do and falsely claimed the Coalition Government couldn’t achieve.

"Connecting Avoca to the natural gas network will provide the town with new opportunities for growth and help attract new businesses," Mr Ryan said.

“Before the Coalition Government intervened, communities such as Avoca were in the unenviable position of not being able to attract new businesses because they didn’t have a natural gas connection but couldn’t get a gas connection because they didn’t have enough homes and businesses to warrant it.

“The Coalition Government, through its $100 million Energy for the Regions Program, a component of the Regional Growth Fund, is delivering this much sought after gas connection.

“This initial investment will pay long-term dividends for Avoca, and is part of our commitment to growing regional communities and supporting local jobs.”

Mr Turner said the roll-out of natural gas would provide cheaper and cleaner energy to residents and businesses in Avoca and was yet another example of what The Nationals could deliver as part of a Coalition Government.

“Supplying gas to households and businesses via reticulation is significantly cheaper than bottled natural gas or energy sourced via the electricity grid,” Mr Turner said.

“Delivering natural gas to Avoca is another example of the Coalition Government’s hard work to lower household bills and follows the government’s recent announcement that it is cutting water bills.

“I will continue to work with Peter Ryan, The Nationals and the Coalition Government to reduce the cost of living for communities throughout the region.”

Mr Ryan said subject to planning and regulatory approvals, construction of the Avoca gas connection would commence this year and the project would be completed by winter 2016.

Mr Ryan said SP AusNet would hold a further community information session on Wednesday, 16 July to answer the community’s questions, including project timing and the process for connecting to the reticulation network.

Mr Ryan encouraged homeowners and businesses to attend next week’s information session.

“SP AusNet has said there is sufficient flexibility in the network to ‘in-fill’ areas not initially covered in the roll-out, and enough capacity to satisfy future growth,” Mr Ryan said.

“Those not included within the initial project footprint can collectively submit an expression of interest to SP AusNet in order to be included in the network.

“By taking a coordinated approach, homes and businesses will increase the likelihood of a connection and minimise connection costs.”

Mr Ryan also called on the Labor Opposition’s regional spokesperson Jacinta Allan to publicly apologise to the Avoca community for her continual scaremongering on the roll-out of gas.

“Ms Allan famously said the Coalition Government couldn’t sensibly connect any more regional communities to natural gas,” Mr Ryan said.

“Ms Allan described our Energy for the Regions Program as a hoax.

“I am proud to say this is not a hoax and the Avoca community will soon be cooking with piped natural gas.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731 

Coalition Government creates double the regional jobs Labor did

* * - Wednesday, July 09, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government creates 21,200 regional jobs in 3.5 years
  • Labor created just 8,800 regional jobs in its last 3.5 years in office
  • Coalition Government building a better regional Victoria

The Victorian Coalition Government is building stronger regional and rural communities, having created 21,200 regional jobs in its first three and a half years in office.

Speaking at the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia regional development lunch today, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said Victoria’s regional employment rate was second only to mining boom state Western Australia.

“Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the Coalition Government has created 21,200 regional Victorian jobs in its first three and a half years in office,” Mr Ryan said.

“In the 12 months to May, Victorian regional employment grew by 11,300, and our regional unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent is below the all-states regional average of 6.5 per cent.

“In comparison, the Labor Party created just 8,800 jobs in its last three and a half years in office, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“We’re not surprised to have created more than twice as many jobs as the Labor Party did for regional Victoria – we’ve invested far more in regional Victoria than Labor did. Upon winning office, we immediately got to work investing in rural and regional Victoria.

“The Coalition’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund has invested around $130 million a year into rural and regional Victoria – more than $400 million into 1,440 projects with a total value of $1.6 billion in just three and a half years.

“Labor’s own glossy brochures tell us its Regional Infrastructure Development Fund spent just $61 million a year – $611 million over an entire decade, on just 393 projects, taking three times as long to leverage the same total project value of $1.6 billion,” Mr Ryan said.

“Labor’s record shows how little it cares about the country.”

Media contact:
Les White 0409 805 122 

Coaltion Government brings another national centre to Victoria

* * - Thursday, July 03, 2014

  • Inenco invests $12 million to establish national distribution facility in Victoria
  • 28 new jobs for Victorians
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better Victoria

The Victorian Coalition Government has attracted and assisted Inenco Group to invest $12 million in a national distribution centre in Truganina, creating 28 new jobs.

Deputy Premier and Minster for State Development Peter Ryan said Inenco, which imports and distributes engineered products and related services for almost all industrial and trade sectors, would now consolidate its core distribution centres under one roof in Victoria.

“The Office of State Development has attracted yet another national centre to Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“These extra 28 jobs mean Inenco will employ more than 300 Victorians when its new national distribution centre is completed in 2015. These jobs will be a boost to western Melbourne.

“In State Development, we’re proud to be luring major companies and more jobs to our state and we’re proud to be exceeding our jobs creation targets.”

Inenco Chairman Kevin Clarke said the company had chosen Victoria for its national distribution centre based on Melbourne’s transport and logistics advantages.

“Inenco is rapidly expanding into Asia and the Pacific region, so the logical place for the company to connect with our markets is near to Australia’s largest container port and the largest 24-hour international freight airport, both in Melbourne,” Mr Clarke said.

Mr Ryan said investment attraction and assistance were key priorities for the Coalition Government as it builds on Victoria’s surplus budget and attracts new investment.

“The Coalition Government offers advice and help with development approvals, statutory approvals, site location services and infrastructure and utility requirements,” Mr Ryan said.

Inenco is a private Australian company established in the 1950s and employing about 1,500 people (280 in Victoria) across more than 20 businesses, with more than 160 branches.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Murray Goulburn opens new plant in Laverton, creating 50 jobs

* * - Thursday, July 03, 2014

  • Premier opens Murray Goulburn’s new fresh milk plant in Laverton, creating 50 jobs 
  • New plant will enable the company to remain competitive 
  • The Victorian Coalition Government investing in a stronger farming sector

A new, state-of-the-art fresh milk factory in Laverton will create 50 new jobs and help Murray Goulburn remain competitive in the agricultural sector, Premier Denis Napthine said today.

Dr Napthine officially opened the new plant today with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and said the fresh milk factory would help launch Devondale brand fresh milk.

“Devondale brand fresh milk will give consumers more choice in supermarkets and an option to buy 100 per cent Australian-owned milk, supporting Australian farmers,” Dr Napthine said.

“Importantly, the opening of this plant will see 50 highly skilled jobs created in this sector.”

Murray Goulburn is a major competitor in the domestic and international dairy market, producing milk, cheese, butter, spreads and other dairy products.

“Laverton is Murray Goulburn’s seventh processing plant in Victoria and is capable of supplying up to 150 million packaged litres of milk annually, allowing the company to meet its 10-year contract with Coles to supply fresh milk,” Dr Napthine said.

“The new factory incorporates the world’s latest processing technology to deliver the highest possible quality standards, helping to position Murray Goulburn as the nation’s most efficient producer of milk.”

It also incorporates environmentally-sustainable design features including built-in heat exchanges, oil-less refrigeration compressor technology and specially designed stormwater and trade waste systems.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said the environmentally sustainable plant would result in significant energy savings and, importantly, would help to protect Victoria’s natural water system.

In 2013, Murray Goulburn processed almost three billion litres of milk, with the majority processed in plants across regional Victoria.

“There are about 2,500 Australian farmer shareholders who supply milk to Murray Goulburn and the majority of these shareholders are Victorian,” Mr Ryan said.

“With nearly 5,500 dairy farms operating in Victoria, the dairy industry is the state’s largest agricultural employer and a vital part of the Victorian economy.”

Dr Napthine said Victorian dairy exports were valued at $1.85 billion in 2012-13, which equates to 86 per cent of the value of Australia’s dairy exports.

“Dairy is a significant economic driver in Victoria, including the growth area of south-west Victoria, so this new plant is great news for Melbourne’s west,” Dr Napthine said.

“We are supporting growth across Victoria through initiatives such as the East West Link. Once complete, the western section of the East West Link will ease congestion for motorists, including heavy vehicles, travelling from Laverton to the other side of Melbourne.

“By improving freight and logistics capabilities through projects such as the East West Link, we are increasing productivity in Victoria’s key industries, including the dairy industry.”

The Victorian Coalition Government is continuing to build a stronger food and fibre sector with $41.2 million in new initiatives in the 2014-15 Victorian State Budget, including $35 million to boost exports of premium food and beverage products to Asian markets as part of the Food to Asia Action Plan.

In May, Murray Goulburn announced a $19 million investment at its Koroit facility to increase its capacity to produce nutritional products destined for Asian consumers. Annually, the Koroit site currently produces approximately $600 million worth of premium, mainly export destined, dairy products including powders for infant nutrition and bulk ingredients; retail butter, bulk butter, and retail milk powder.

Member for Western Region Bernie Finn also attended the opening.

"This is another win for Melbourne's west and will create jobs and boost the local economy," Mr Finn said.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

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