Press Releases

When you post or share, It’s There For Life

* * - Thursday, March 27, 2014

• Grants of up to $30,000 available to help young people stay safe online
• Young Gippslanders urged to think twice about what they’re posting on social media
• Grant applications need to be submitted by 5pm on Friday 4 April

Gippsland community organisations with programs that educate and encourage young people to be responsible digital citizens are encouraged to take advantage of grants of up to $30,000 on offer from the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government before they close on 4 April.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the grants are about working with young people to ensure that they are careful about what they say and do online.

“The successful recipients of these grants will build on the Coalition Government’s It’s There for Life campaign, which reminds young people to think twice before uploading photos or posting online,” Mr Ryan said.

“With more and more young people reporting that online posts and images posted on Facebook and Twitter have resulted in them missing out on jobs, being bullied or falling foul of the law, the Coalition Government is taking action to help young people safeguard their privacy and protect their reputations.”

An avid user of social media to promote the Coalition Government’s messages and announcements, Mr Ryan said the web has a long memory and once something was online, it could be there for life.

“Social media is a great tool, but it also has potentially damaging impacts. As young people go forward and start a career or enter into relationships their digital reputation can stay with them for life,” Mr Ryan said.

“While I am not saying don’t post comments and images on social media, I urge you to think twice before you do.”

To apply for It’s There For Life grants visit Applications close on Friday 4 April, with successful projects to be announced in June.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870  

Relocatable units at Dhurringile Prison help ease numbers in police cells

* * - Tuesday, January 07, 2014


Acting Premier Peter Ryan and Minister for Corrections Edward O’Donohue today inspected the recently installed relocatable accommodation units at Dhurringile Prison.

They were joined by local members Jeanette Powell, Wendy Lovell, and Amanda Millar, as well as Bob Allan, CEO of Royal Wolf, the company supplying the accommodation units.

Mr Ryan said Corrections Victoria has installed 50 of the accommodation units at minimum security Dhurringile, with each unit capable of accommodating two prisoners.

“These relocatable units are providing an important immediate boost to capacity in Victoria’s corrections system,” Mr Ryan said.

“We were pleased to see 40 prisoners accommodated in these new units prior to Christmas, and another 20 just last week, with more to follow shortly.”

Mr O’Donohue said the installation of the units is just one of the measures that have contributed to a dramatic fall in the number of prisoners being held in police cells.

“From a high of 372 in mid-November, the number of prisoners in police cells is now down to well below 200,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“While we are constantly increasing prison capacity, this reduction is also a result of great co-operation between Corrections Victoria, Victoria Police and the courts.

“Weekend Magistrates Court sittings, the Melbourne Magistrates Court sitting in the County Court and increased videolink facilities have all contributed to this good result by increasing the efficiency of the flow of offenders through the system.”

Mr Ryan said that the Coalition Government is currently delivering the largest prison expansion in Victoria’s history to support the growing prisoner population.

“We are building new permanent beds and expanding existing prison facilities as quickly as possible.

“These new relocatable accommodation units add to the total of 791 beds that have been opened since the start of 2011, with around 2,500 further beds in the pipeline.”

The security and design of the new units, also known as dongas, is consistent with the standard security accommodation at Dhurringile and at other prison farms across the state.

A dedicated officers' post has been installed to monitor the new units and extra staff have been added to manage the additional prisoners.

The units will be locked at night and fitted with duress alarms and smoke detectors.

Mr O’Donohue said only the lowest security prisoners will be housed in the new units.

“Corrections Victoria worked closely with staff to finalise these security arrangements before prisoners moved in,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“We are also looking at whether similar accommodation can be used at other prisons, including Langi Kal Kal and Beechworth, and other walled prisons, where appropriate.”

Prisoners at the minimum security Dhurringile Prison are lower risk. Many of them are coming to the end of their sentence and preparing to transition back into the community. 

Construction to begin on a new 24-hour police station for Sale

* * - Thursday, May 02, 2013
The former prison site on the corner of Foster and Reeve Streets will be home to Sale’s new 24-hour police station, with the Victorian Coalition Government today announcing it will provide $15.3 million to complete the project through this year’s Budget.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced the funding for the project on behalf of Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells, saying it would allow for the construction of the new station to be completed.

“I am pleased to announce the Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to address concerns raised by the community about the old, out-dated and overcrowded police station,” Mr Ryan said.

“Sale’s existing 24-hour police station, which was built in 1976, is the oldest 24-hour police station in operation east of Dandenong, is run down and no longer meets police requirements.

“This $15.3 million allocation, which is being funded through the 2013/14 State Budget, completes the funding needed for this important project, following a $2.9 million allocation in the 2011/12 State Budget, to purchase land and begin planning.”

Mr Ryan said the new station would provide accommodation for a uniform branch, criminal investigation unit, highway patrol, police prosecutors, as well as a sexual offences and child abuse investigation team, and the Police Service Area Commander.

“The new station will initially accommodate 63 police personnel, but the design includes substantial growth capacity to allow for an expansion in police numbers,” Mr Ryan said.

“This new station is underpinned by our commitment to deliver an additional 1,700 police to Victorian streets in our first term of government.

“By June this year, 1200 additional police will be allocated to their communities as part of this commitment and Victoria Police is on track to deliver the remainder by November 2014.

“As part of this, an additional 25 police officers will be deployed to Division Six of Eastern Region by June, which includes both the Wellington and East Gippsland Police Service Areas.”

Mr Ryan said in order to support the local police officers to carry out their duties, the new building would feature:
• public consultation and interview rooms;
• mess room and other staff amenities including change rooms and a gymnasium;
• conference and training room facilities that can be adopted for emergency situation management purposes;
• short term custodial holding rooms; and,
• custodial area and administration work areas.

Mr Ryan said the remaining portion of the former prison wall would be incorporated into the design of the new building, providing a fitting reminder of the history of the site, which housed inmates for 110 years after being completed in 1887.

“It is anticipated that up to 500 jobs will be created during construction of the new station, with 55 additional full-time positions created within the industry as a result of this project,” Mr Ryan

Mr Ryan said plans for the new station would be available for public comment before construction work was due to commence.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870  

$10,000 crime prevention grants available

* * - Monday, April 15, 2013
Grants of up to $10,000 are available for projects that address crime prevention within the local community, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said the grants were available through the Victorian Coalition Government’s Community Safety Fund, part of the $35 million Community Crime Prevention Program, which has been designed to make communities safer.

“The Community Safety Fund supports practical and locally relevant crime prevention solutions which help prevent crime, assist people to feel safer, increase knowledge about local crime issues or address local crime prevention,” Mr Ryan said.

“The types of projects that receive funding include alarm systems at sports clubs, protective fences or bollards and deadlocks on doors or gates, like those installed at the Loch Sport Golf Club.

“Local communities are best placed to identify their own crime problems and to work out the best way to address those issues.

“Venus Bay Surf Life Saving Club, Loch Sport Community House, Loch Sport Golf Club, Seaspray Reserves Committee of Management and Sale Scouting Complex were some of the local groups awarded funds last year.”

Mr Ryan said many of those projects made it safer for community groups wanting to access their venues at night.

“Local crime prevention initiatives play a major role in helping reduce crime and increase community safety and community confidence in their local areas,” Mr Ryan said.

“I encourage local community groups to think innovatively about projects that will make a difference to the safety and security of their communities.”

Program information, grant application guidelines and links to the application forms can be found at

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Crime prevention grants now available

* * - Monday, August 06, 2012

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan has called on community groups from across Gippsland to apply for funding through the latest round of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Community Safety Fund Grants - Crime Prevention Program.

Mr Ryan said community groups, as well as local government, could apply for funding worth up to $10,000 for each local crime prevention initiative.

“I encourage all community and sporting groups, as well as local government, to think innovatively about projects that will make a difference to the safety and security of our local communities,” Mr Ryan said.

“The basis of the Crime Prevention Program is for local communities to come up with their own local solutions to help prevent crime in their local area.

“Last year, the Victorian Coalition Government provided $1 million to fund 155 projects across the state, including projects in Sale, Rosedale, Golden Beach, Toora and Mirboo North.

“Locally funded projects included the installation of security alarms, fences, sensor lighting and security doors.”

Mr Ryan said funding worth up to $25,000 was also available through the Graffiti Prevention and Removal grants program and would be provided to local councils working in partnership with the community.

Further information on the Community Safety Fund Grants - Crime Prevention Program can be found online, at

Application for the latest funding round close at 5pm on Friday 31 August 2012.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 108 870

Local communities encouraged to apply for crime prevention grants

* * - Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Acting Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan today encouraged Mildura Rural City Council to take advantage of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $39 million Community Crime Prevention Program.

Mr Ryan and Member for Mildura Peter Crisp met with local traders and Acting Mayor of Mildura Rural City Council, Councillor Susan Nichols, in Red Cliffs to hear about public safety concerns in the town.

“It is clear that residents of Red Cliffs are concerned about incidences of vandalism, graffiti and anti-social behaviour in the community,” Mr Ryan said.

“To help address some of these concerns, I encourage Mildura Rural City Council to apply for funding under the Coalition Government’s Public Safety Infrastructure Fund which is part of the Community Crime Prevention Program.

“Under the fund councils around Victoria can apply for grants of up to $250,000 to meet the cost of safety measures such as closed circuit television systems (CCTV) for public places, lighting upgrades, perimeter fencing, security-grade door and window treatments for community facilities and streetscape improvements.”

Mr Ryan said crime prevention initiatives supported under the program would work alongside law enforcement measures to reduce crime and increase public safety.

“The Coalition Government is delivering on a range of other law and order initiatives across the state, including the provision of an additional 1,700 frontline police during our first term,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Crisp said Victoria Police this week announced four additional police officers would be allocated to the Mildura region before the end of December, which was on top of an extra 14 police officers allocated to Mildura earlier this year.

“The Coalition Government is also introducing tougher sentencing and investing more than $30 million in new and upgraded police stations to make Victoria safer,” Mr Crisp said.

Information about community crime prevention grants is available at: Applications must be submitted by 28 October 2011.

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            0429 507 541      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

New powers for PSOs to protect travelling public

* * - Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday 28 June 2011

New laws introduced into Parliament this week will make travelling on public transport at night safer under the Victorian Coalition Government’s promise to deploy 940 Protective Services Officers (PSOs) on all metropolitan and major regional train stations from 6pm until the last train, every day of the year.

Deputy Premier and Police Minister Peter Ryan said the Justice Legislation Amendment (Protective Services Officers) Bill 2011 would give PSOs the powers they needed to reduce crime, violence and anti-social behaviour in and around train stations.

“The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to stop crime in its tracks with the introduction of a comprehensive bill to enhance safety on the rail network,” Mr Ryan said.
“As part of these critical reforms, Victoria Police is proposing to extend the training for PSOs deployed to the rail network from the existing nine week program to 12 weeks.
“The extended 12 week training program will include ‘on the job’ training at inner city rail stations to strengthen the skills of PSOs.”
Mr Ryan said PSOs would continue to undertake the same Operational Tactics and Safety (OTS) Training as police, which included the same firearms training and defensive skills training, and that refresher OTS Training would be required every six months.
“PSOs won’t have all the powers police have but this bill will ensure they are able to curb crime, violence and anti-social behaviour by having the power to apprehend, detain, arrest, remove or impede any offenders or threatening individuals,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said the deployment of PSOs would be determined by Police Command in consultation with the Department of Justice, the Department of Transport and the Coalition Government.

“Victoria Police will be able to take into consideration operational requirements and, in consultation with relevant authorities, deploy two PSOs to each railway station across the metropolitan area and at major regional centres,” Mr Ryan said.

The Coalition Government is providing $212 million to recruit and train 940 PSOs by November 2014.

A recruitment drive to attract people to fill the new positions will begin following passage of the bill through Parliament.

Media contact: Sonia Heath 0413 485 526

Police Academy boost to make Victoria safer

* * - Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $17.8 million in the Victoria Police Academy to ensure Victoria Police can recruit and train 1,700 extra frontline police and 940 Protective Service Officers (PSOs) by November 2014.

During a tour of the facility at Glen Waverly today, Minister for Police Peter Ryan said the Academy would undergo major upgrades to meet the Coalition Government’s election commitment.

“The Coalition Government is committed to ensuring Victoria Police has the resources it needs to recruit and train the right people to join the fight against crime, violence and anti-social behaviour,” Mr Ryan said.


The $17.8 million budget boost includes $14.9 million for upgrades to the academy,
$2.4 million to meet increased operating costs and $500,000 to fund the master plan.

“The recruitment and training of quality police officers and PSOs is integral to the Coalition Government’s commitment to make Victoria safer and I’m pleased to announce additional funding for Victoria Police to make that happen,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said today’s announcement was on top of $10 million for works which were already underway at the academy and expected to be completed next month.

Current works include:

  • provision of ten modular classrooms for training;
  • additional office accommodation to cater for extra training;
  • installation of an additional ten bay firing range for training purposes;
  • conversion of space for tactical and combat training equipment;
  • an additional car park to accommodate 300 vehicles; and
  • procurement of upgraded training equipment.

Mr Ryan said Labor’s soft-on-crime approach during the past 11 years had seen violent crime in Victoria increase by 45 per cent and assaults escalate by 75 per cent.

“Victoria has had the fewest frontline police per person and spent less on police resourcing per person than any other state in Australia and it is the Coalition Government’s objective to reduce those figures in the shortest timeframe possible,” Mr Ryan said.


Stephanie Ryan - Sunday, October 24, 2010
John Brumby’s Police Minister James Merlino must come out of hiding and face up to a public debate on Victoria’s increasing violent crime rates and chronic shortage in frontline police. 

Shadow Minister for Police and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan has issued a challenge to James Merlino to a public debate on law and order following the Minister’s ‘no show’ on an ABC Stateline law and order debate last Friday. 

“Victorians deserve a frank and open debate ahead of the state election on what each side of politics will do to tackle the chronic police shortages and the increase in violent crime and assaults on our streets over the past decade,” Mr Ryan said. 

“James Merlino can’t keep hiding – if the Minister is up to the job he should front up to a public debate. I am happy to have a debate on law and order at any time and at any place. 

“Labor’s track record on public safety and police resourcing over 11 years in power is such a disgrace it’s little wonder that James Merlino is too frightened to publicly debate. 

“The facts are that Victoria has the lowest number of frontline police per capita and spends the least on police resources per capita than any other state in Australia. 

“At the same time violent crime rates have risen 45 per cent and assault has increased by 75 per cent over the past decade. 

“We are now witnessing criminal bikie gangs on the march to make Victoria their home because of John Brumby’s soft laws on these gangs. 

“Victorians do not feel safe on the streets, on public transport at night and even in their homes.” 

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition had a strong plan to protect Victorians on our streets, on public transport and in their homes with a more visible police force and stronger laws. 

“The Coalition will invest in 1,700 new frontline police officers and more than 900 Victoria Police Protective Services Officers to protect our streets and our train, tram and bus networks,” Mr Ryan said. 

“We will strengthen our laws so that criminals pay for their crimes, introduce tough new knife laws and crack down on criminal bikie gangs.” 


Stephanie Ryan - Friday, October 08, 2010
John Brumby and newly-appointed Police Minister James Merlino must be held accountable for the shocking level of crime and violence that exists in Victoria today after 11 years of Labor inaction, Shadow Minister for Police and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said today.

“After more than a decade of a Labor Government, violent crime in Victoria has increased by
45 per cent and assaults have increased by 75 per cent,” Mr Ryan said.

“James Merlino cannot expect to duck and weave accountability for the collapse of law and order in Victoria under John Brumby.

“Frontline operational police work tremendously hard but they are struggling due to chronic statewide police shortages because of the Brumby Government’s refusal to provide more funding and resources.

“The Brumby Government spends less per person than any other state in Australia on policing and Victoria has the fewest police per person of all states.

“John Brumby’s inaction has had serious consequences. In the last year alone under this government crimes against the person have increased by 2.9 per cent, from 44,124 offences to 45,385.

“During the same period, assaults have increased by 3.8 per cent from 33,691 to 34,981.

“Crime on public transport is also a major concern but John Brumby has refused to match the Coalition’s plan to put 940 Victoria Police Protective Services Officers on every metropolitan railway station every day after dark.

“After years of inaction, the Brumby Government is unwilling to accept that today’s law and order crisis in Victoria is its own doing.

“Labor’s dismal legacy was evident yet again just this week when the Victorian Ombudsman revealed that only 9 of the 19 recommendations accepted by Victoria Police from his March 2009 report on crime statistics and police numbers have been implemented, even though there was sufficient time to progress the recommendations.

“James Merlino has a battle on his hands to convince Victorians this government shouldn’t be punished at the polls after neglecting law and order in Victoria for years,” Mr Ryan said.

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