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Our successful 98th State Nationals Conference in Benalla highlighted the important role rural and regional Victoria plays in the State’s future.

Press Releases

$25,000 grants to tackle local graffiti issues

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Regional shires encouraged to apply to tackle graffiti 
  • Part of Coalition’s $35 million Community Crime Prevention Program
  • Up to $25,000 available until 20 June

Councils can now access grants of up to $25,000 to combat graffiti in local neighbourhoods as part of the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government’s graffiti grants program.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today encouraged local councils to think about graffiti solutions that would improve the visual amenity of neighbourhoods and increase community confidence in the safety of public places.

“The Coalition Government is serious about responding to concerns about graffiti vandalism, which is why we have committed more than $10 million over 4 years to reduce graffiti through a range of strategies under our anti-graffiti plan,” Mr Ryan said.

“The grants are open to councils to partner with local organisations such as schools, community and residents groups, local police, retailers and trader associations, to come up with local solutions to tackle graffiti.

“These might include design features such as murals, education and information programs, and graffiti removal projects.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to stamping out graffiti at a local level.

“Over the past three years, the government has provided more than $918,000 to fund 57 projects across the state through the grants.

Crime Prevention Minister Edward O’Donohue said that the Labor Party had shown its lack of commitment to such programs by abolishing the crime prevention portfolio from the shadow ministry.

“When Daniel Andrews reshuffled his front bench in December, the crime prevention portfolio disappeared,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“The Coalition Government is delivering programs to help communities find local solutions to local problems, while Labor is offering nothing.”

“These grants make a real difference and I strongly encourage councils across the state to apply for grants of up to $25,000.”

The Graffiti Prevention and Removal Grants are part of the Coalition Government’s $35 million Community Crime Prevention Program, which helps promote community safety and prevent crime in communities across Victoria.

Applications close on Friday 20 June and to apply or for further information, visit

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

$10,000 grants for crime prevention initiatives

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Grants of up to $10,000 now open to local groups, schools and councils
  • Funding can be used for security lighting, fences and alarms
  • More than $200,000 in grants funding already delivered

Community groups, schools and councils in Gippsland are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for crime prevention initiatives as part of the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government’s Community Safety Fund.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said groups with innovative and practical community safety projects should apply.

“In the two previous rounds of these grants, groups in Wellington and South Gippsland shared in more than $200,000 to deliver projects in and around their clubrooms that improve safety and security,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government recognises that locals are best placed to identify and prioritise safety and security issues in their communities, and we will support them to do so.”

Mr Ryan said councils, community and sporting groups, and local schools are able to access these grants that can be used to install a range of security measures.

“This includes installing security lighting, padlocks, security screens, fencing, or undertaking awareness activities to deter crime and increase community safety,” he said.

Mr Ryan said previous local grant recipients included Nyora Recreation Reserve Committee, which received $10,000 to install security lighting, and Sale Scout Group, which was granted more than $9,000 to install security lighting and fencing.

Crime Prevention Minister Edward O’Donohue said the grants support local community groups to help provide safer and more secure facilities for local people.

“Over the past three years, the Coalition Government has provided more than $2.8 million to fund 422 projects across the state through the grants,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“The grants are part of the Coalition Government’s $35 million Community Crime Prevention Program, which helps promote community safety and prevent crime in communities across Victoria.”

Applications close on Monday 12 May and to apply, visit:

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870 

New court complex for Shepparton

Friday, June 06, 2014

The 2014-15 Victorian State Budget will deliver a modern new court complex and facilities for Shepparton and the Hume region.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Attorney-General Robert Clark joined Member for Shepparton Jeanette Powell in Shepparton today to make the announcement.

Mr Clark said the $73 million investment would provide a new court complex, additional court staff and an extra Magistrate in Shepparton.

“The Victorian Coalition Government is providing this funding for a new court building in Shepparton and increased staffing to meet the Hume region’s growing demand,” Mr Clark said.

“Once completed, there will be three Magistrates’ courtrooms and two further courtrooms for the Supreme and County Courts, with capacity for expansion to six courts in the future.

“The new facility will be built on existing land and an adjoining site, with court sittings able to continue during construction.

“The funding will enable the existing building to be replaced with a new, purpose-built multi-jurisdictional court complex, together with an additional Magistrate and court staff.”

Mr Ryan said the investment was essential to meet future the needs of the Hume region.

“This will be a fantastic, modern development for the city of Shepparton, creating more than 158 jobs during construction and 14 ongoing jobs when the new centre is built,” Mr Ryan said.

“The construction will aim to preference local contractors to ensure the economic benefit of the project delivers maximum returns for the Hume region.

“This is a fantastic design, which will be built for and built by the Shepparton and Hume communities, serving the public for decades to come.

“The Coalition Government is delivering for the Shepparton region. This new court complex follows the $22 million investment in SPC, the $16 million concessional loans package and business planning program, the $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund and our $2 million Fruit Industry Employment Program.”

Mrs Powell said she was proud to deliver the new court complex for her region.

“Labor failed to deliver this court complex for 11 years and we’ve been able to announce it within our first term of government,” Mrs Powell said.

“The much-needed Shepparton redevelopment, scheduled for completion in 2018, will provide secure and modern facilities for court users and staff.” 

Mr Clark said the design of the planned building followed an extensive design process led by the Department of Justice and consultants GHD.

Sale Police Station construction on-track

Friday, June 06, 2014
  • Deputy Premier inspects works at site of new Sale Police Station
  • New station on track to be complete by March next year
  • Coalition Government to roll-out Tasers to six Gippsland police stations

Construction of the new Sale Police Station is on-track to be completed by March next year, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan joined Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien today to inspect the site of the new Sale Police Station, which is being built thanks to an  $18.2 million Victorian Coalition Government investment.

“Development at the site has moved ahead over the past month, with significant works having now been completed,” Mr Ryan said.

“The concrete slab has been poured, prefabricated steel police cells have been installed and cranes are currently on-site to position the structural steel.

“Works have so far proceeded without delay or incident, meaning we are on-track to deliver this project by March next year.”

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

During today’s inspection, Mr Ryan also welcomed the announcement that six Gippsland police stations, including Sale, would be included as part of the Coalition Government’s $13.5 million roll-out of Tasers to all 24 hour police stations across regional Victoria.

“The Coalition Government is providing funding to roll-out 580 new Tasers to 29 regional areas including police stations at Sale, Moe, Morwell, Traralgon, Bairnsdale and Warragul,” Mr Ryan said.

 “Tasers will be provided to officers on two-person general duties, highway patrol, special operations groups and critical incident response teams.

“The roll-out follows successful trials which have been carried-out in six major regional centres, including Bendigo, Morwell, Traralgon, Moe, Geelong and Ballarat.”

Mr O’Brien also welcomed the Coalition Government’s Taser announcement and said the roll-out was a major investment in community safety right across Gippsland.

“Gippsland police are required to respond to violent and dangerous situations involving people who are affected by drugs or alcohol, or who are at risk of causing harm to police, the local community or themselves,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This $13.5 million investment will provide Gippsland police officers with an alternative to firearms, helping them to manage complex situations and minimise the risk of serious injury or death.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells said the Coalition Government was investing record levels of funding in Victoria Police, enabling them to keep communities safer.

“The Coalition Government is on track to fulfilling its commitment to deliver 1700 additional frontline police by November this year at a cost of $602 million, the single largest law enforcement recruitment exercise in Victoria’s history," Mr Wells said.

Mr Wells said the use of Tasers was subject to stringent Victoria Police controls, which include the review of all incidents where a Taser has been used. Police officers will be required to undertake training to ensure weapons are used correctly.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870


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

Friday, June 06, 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

Friday, June 06, 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

Friday, June 06, 2014
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

Friday, June 06, 2014
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

Friday, June 06, 2014

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

Friday, June 06, 2014
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