Press Releases

New centre for sexual assault victims underway

* * - Monday, October 20, 2014


  • Construction begins on the new Morwell Multidisciplinary Centre (MDC)
  • MDC brings together Victoria Police, child protection and sexual assault counselling services
  • Coalition Government invests $4.8 million to develop Morwell MDC

Construction is set to begin on a new facility in Morwell that will ensure victims of sexual assault and violence receive the necessary emotional, medical and legal support at one location.

On site on Friday to turn the first sod for the Morwell Multidisciplinary Centre (MDC), Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said the facility would provide an invaluable resource to victims of sexual assault and those caring for them.

Mr Ryan said the $4.8 million centre, funded by the Victorian Coalition Government, would provide counselling, crisis support, child protection services and also house Victoria Police’s Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team for adults and children who had experienced sexual assault and abuse.

“By co-locating police, child protection and specialised counselling and nursing services together at the one site, staff can work hand-in-hand to provide integrated support to adults and children,” Mr Ryan said.

“Having all of these services at the Morwell MDC will prevent the need for victims to repeatedly recount the details of their often horrific experience as they seek help and support.”

The Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe, who joined Mr Ryan on Friday, said the centre, to be completed by April 2015, would provide valuable, much needed services to vulnerable women and children in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland.

Mr Northe said the MDC would also ensure that perpetrators of sexual assault were held accountable for their crimes.

“The Coalition Government is committed to preventing violence from happening, holding perpetrators to account and making sure there is support for women and children,” Mr Northe said.

“Having met with all of the service providers that will be located in the MDC, I am pleased that our government has committed $4.8 million to not only assist those affected by sexual assault, but also to work towards its prevention.”

Mr Northe said the centre was being delivered as part of a $20 million package through Victoria’s Action Plan to Address Violence against Women and Children 2012-15, which included building three additional MDCs across Victoria.

Mr Northe the Coalition Government had invested more than $200 million this year to address family violence through a range of measures, including the Morwell MDC.

“Once the centre is complete, it will be one of six operational MDCs across the state offering vital services to victims of sexual crimes,” Mr Northe said.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

New emergency services training centre opened at West Sale

* * - Monday, October 20, 2014


  • Firefighters have improved access to breathing apparatus training at a new facility at West Sale
  • $793,000 invested to upgrade the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre (VEMTC)
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better and safer Victoria

Firefighters in Gippsland have improved access to breathing apparatus training with the official opening of an upgrade at the West Sale campus of the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre (VEMTC).

In West Sale, Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the Liberal National Coalition Government had invested $793,000 in the upgrade that would benefit the region’s firefighters.

“The new building and facilities at the West Sale campus will support CFA members and is a fantastic resource for all emergency service personnel in Gippsland,” Mr Ryan said.

“The type of training offered gives our volunteers the skills and practical experience that is essential for their role in protecting the community,” he said.

“All of the VEMTC campuses are purpose built to allow volunteers to take part in training scenarios that are as close as possible to reality.

“Facilities provide for both ‘live fire’ simulations and other scenarios that reflect the variety and complexity of incidents that emergency services volunteers face.
“This investment at West Sale has promoted growth and created jobs, and importantly ensures Victoria’s emergency service workers have the best training facilities.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was proud of the vital work performed by CFA and its 55,000 members who protected 3.3 million Victorians and more than one million homes and properties across the state.

“We will continue to support CFA members by providing the facilities and equipment they need to save lives and property,” Mr Ryan said.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said since coming to office in November 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with $2.3 billion in funding.

“This financial year the CFA budget is $457 million; that is $58 million more than it was when Labor left office,” Mr O’Brien said. 

“The Coalition Government has invested in firefighter safety with $20.5 million to replace respiratory protection equipment for CFA and MFB firefighters.

“This investment, along with the opening of the new facility at West Sale demonstrates the Coalition Government’s strong commitment to supporting the CFA and its volunteers who play a critical role in Victoria’s emergency response.” 

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Record investment by Napthine Government to prevent family violence

* * - Monday, October 13, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government invests an additional $150 million to prevent violence against women and children
  • Wide-ranging new measures to address prevention, safety and accountability
  • Napthine Government building a safer Victoria

A comprehensive $150 million action package that will reduce the incidence of family violence across Victoria was unveiled on Saturday by the Victorian Coalition Government.

Premier Denis Napthine, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan, Attorney-General Robert Clark and Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge launched the package in Melbourne this morning.

Dr Napthine said the new investment doubled family violence funding since the Coalition came to office and would make a real difference in preventing violence and keeping women and children safe, in addition to holding perpetrators to account.

“Violence against women and children is unacceptable at any time, at any place and under any circumstances,” Dr Napthine said.

“Victorians, particularly women and children will be safer as a result of this comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy that tackles this insidious crime at all levels.

“These new initiatives address the causes of family violence, they educate the community, they provide support services for victims and they hold perpetrators to account,” Dr Napthine said.

Highlights of the $150 million package include:

  • $41 million to deliver Victoria's largest ever prevention campaign in partnership with Our Watch, including a social marketing and behaviour change campaign and local community action;
  • Expanded crisis accommodation support for women and children;
  • A new Multi-Disciplinary Centre for women and children who experience sexual assault, complete with police, sexual assault and family violence experts and child protection staff;
  • Outreach teachers to work with children fleeing family violence;
  • Atrial of GPS monitoring of high risk perpetrators;
  • Additional legal and advocacy support for women;
  • Behaviour change programs for men in prison as a result of family violence;
  • Specialist staff in courts to assist victims and perpetrators of violence through the court processes; and
  • Improved and expanded post-crisis support for women and children.

Mr Ryan said the new $150 million package builds significantly on the Coalition Government’s existing efforts in tackling family violence.

“In contrast, the Labor Party have offered $1.5 million in recycled announcements and an expensive Royal Commission that will cost millions of dollars and delay action for years,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition is getting on with the job. We have a plan, and we are investing in what we know works based on the best advice of victims of family violence, frontline family violence workers, Victoria Police and the courts. The Government is not willing to put more families at risk by procrastinating and delaying rather than implementing a real plan to make families safer.

“Preventing family violence is part of the Coalition’s vision for a better Victoria. We want to change community attitudes, we want women and children to be safe in their homes and communities, and to get the support they need, and we want to hold perpetrators to account and stop them from re-offending,” Mr Ryan said.

Attorney-General Robert Clark said the Napthine Government would provide additional workers in Victoria’s courts to help those affected by family violence and trial GPS tracking technology to protect those at risk.

“These extra staff will provide support for victims throughout the court process and help ensure their safety, while also increasing perpetrator accountability and compliance with court orders,” Mr Clark said.

“New GPS technology has the potential to improve safety and confidence for victims of family violence while also making perpetrators realise their movements are being monitored and recorded. This new technology to protect against family violence will now be the subject of a comprehensive trial,” Mr Clark said.

Dr Napthine also announced a new Ministerial Council for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Children, led by the Premier and Deputy Premier.

“We have strong and effective Ministers leading the charge on preventing family violence. We will work with all relevant Ministers to ensure that we have an integrated and effective whole-of-government approach to tackling all aspects of family violence,” Dr Napthine said.

Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge highlighted the Coalition Government’s strong investment in preventing violence against women and children.

“This is Victoria's largest single investment in family violence prevention. There will be a statewide campaign and every area across the state will be provided with funding for local action to prevent violence against women and children,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“Through this significant investment, the Napthine Government continues its commitment to preventing violence, as well as improving responses to violence against women and children when it occurs,” Ms Wooldridge said.

Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government had already ensured more police were in place to tackle family violence.

“In addition, we have increased penalties for breaching intervention orders, we are providing expanded services and support to victims of family violence and we are investing in prevention and behaviour change programs,” Dr Napthine said.

“With this new package, the Coalition Government has increased total spending to prevent violence and support the women and children who are victims of family violence to more than $140 million next year. This represents a doubling in funding since 2010.”

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

Victorian Coalition Government delivers PSOs to Traralgon

* * - Monday, August 25, 2014

  • PSOs set to patrol Traralgon Railway Station from tomorrow night
  • Travellers to and from Traralgon will now feel safer at night
  • Victorian Coalition Government delivering its commitment to put PSOs at key regional train stations

Travellers at Traralgon’s V/Line station will feel safer from tomorrow night, with the Victorian Coalition Government delivering on its promise to have the station patrolled by Protective Services Officers.

Speaking at the Traralgon Railway Station, Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said PSOs would patrol the rail platform, car parks and immediate surrounds from 6pm until the last train each night.

“PSOs help to prevent anti-social behaviour, property damage, violence and alcohol and transport-related crime at our train stations,” Mr Ryan said.

“We said we’d deliver PSOs to Traralgon, and we’ve done it.”

Tomorrow’s deployment to Traralgon means that there will now be PSOs at four major regional stations - Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon. Victoria will have 864 PSOs patrolling 142 stations.

“A survey by the Department of Justice in October 2013 reported that the presence of PSOs made passengers feel safer at rail stations,” Mr Ryan said.

“Travellers feel railway stations are safer places at night thanks to PSOs.”

Some 94 per cent of night time travellers agreed that PSOs were a good idea and 93 per cent stated they would seek help from a PSO if they felt unsafe.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien welcomed the announcement.

“PSOs complete a 12-week course that includes the same operational tactics and safety training undertaken by Victoria Police officers,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Newly-graduated PSOs are mentored by experienced PSOs at city railway stations for three months.

“We have increased our initial commitment to deliver 940 PSOs on our rail stations by adding a further 96 to the program.

“This $863.1 million investment in police and PSOs is the single largest law and order recruitment exercise in Victoria’s history.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Upgraded Bairnsdale Aerodrome provides vital transport link for East Gippsland

* * - Friday, August 22, 2014


  • Bairnsdale Aerodrome officially reopens after a $1.8 million upgrade
  • Project improves important transport link for East Gippsland
  • Regional Growth Fund delivers $1.6 million for the project

A $1.8 million upgrade to the Bairnsdale Aerodrome that has improved access and safety for businesses and emergency services has been opened by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan.

Mr Ryan was joined by the Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull to officially open the upgraded facility which received funding of $1.6 million from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“Bairnsdale Aerodrome’s facilities support a number of commercial aviation enterprises including corporate charter and aircraft fleet maintenance,” Mr Ryan said.

“The aerodrome is an important asset to local companies such as Patties Foods, which flies staff to and from Melbourne when required.

“The facility is used daily for the transportation of bank documents and is also used for the transfer of paperwork to the courts.

“The aerodrome is a key transport link to the remotest corner of the region and as such is particularly important for emergency services.

“It is used by the fixed wing air-ambulance services and by volunteer patient transport service Angel Flight.

“The Bairnsdale Regional Health Service regularly flies allied health staff from the aerodrome to remote far East Gippsland to provide outreach services for patients.

“The Department of Primary Industries uses this facility to transport fire-fighting staff to and from their nearby airstrip,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Bull said that the Bairnsdale Aerodrome Upgrade project was overseen by the East Gippsland Shire.

“I am advised by the council that the project involved the development of the commercial and private hangar precinct, that rehabilitation works were carried out on the north and east taxiway, and that lighting has been upgraded,” Mr Bull said.

“A new 10,000 litre fuelling facility made up of 5,000 litres of AVGAS and 5000 litres of jet fuel has been installed during the upgrade.”

Mr Bull said upgrading the aerodrome has helped address the current and future needs of stakeholders and will attract more commercial and private companies to the site.

Mr Bull said funding for the Bairnsdale Aerodrome upgrade had been managed under the Regional Growth Fund since 2011.

“This project is an example of the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to invest in community-led initiatives, while strategically driving jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria,” Mr Bull said.

“The Regional Growth Fund has delivered almost $430 million, generating over $1.7 billion in total investment across 1,500 projects.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Deputy Premier flies the flag for Seaspray Surf Life Saving

* * - Friday, August 01, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government pledges $500,000 to the $2.6 million Seaspray Surf Life Saving Clubhouse
  • Victorian Government invests a total of $1.5 million for the project
  • Community appeal launched to raise the remaining funds

A new $2.6 million clubhouse for the Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club (SSLSC) will be built behind the sand dunes to replace the current storm damaged facility.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan on Wednesday announced that the Victorian Coalition Government would invest a further $500,000 towards the construction of the new clubhouse.

Mr Ryan said the $500,000 investment, provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, was on top of the $1 million the Victorian Government had already committed towards the development, bringing its total investment to $1.5 million.

Speaking at Sporting Legends in Sale, Mr Ryan also launched a community appeal on behalf of the SSLSC to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the project.

“The community has already done a tremendous job raising $250,000 towards the project with support from the Rotary Club of Sale Central, the Maffra Lions Club and Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club members,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club is looking for further support from the communities of Sale, Maffra and Heyfield, particularly those who rely on the Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club’s volunteers to keep them safe at the beach, to help reach its target.”

Mr Ryan said the club was also seeking corporate sponsors and support from local businesses, including financial contributions or in-kind donations of goods and services.

Mr Ryan said the plans for the new clubhouse have it positioned at the rear of the dunes for protection from the elements.

“An observation tower will be built on the beach which will have radio contact with the main clubhouse,” Mr Ryan said.

“This new facility will enable the Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club to deliver its core emergency services, as well as offering additional opportunities for community groups.

“The dining and conference facilities will overlook the iconic 90 mile beach and will be available for hire.

“Importantly, the project will also create new jobs during construction and on completion of the re-development which is good news for the Seaspray community.”

Mr Ryan said the Seaspray beach was rated as one of the seven most dangerous in the state by Life Saving Victoria, meaning it was vitally important that the town had a strong Surf Life Saving Club with a modern and well-equipped clubhouse.

Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien welcomed the investment and commended local volunteers for their vital work in protecting our beaches.

“The Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club has 312 dedicated members who volunteer their time to protect those on the beach during the summer months,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The club runs a popular Nippers program as well as other youth development training programs, providing vital training to our up and coming life savers.

“I encourage the Gippsland community, particularly regular visitors to Seaspray to support the Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club in raising the remaining funding needed to complete this vitally important project.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

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 investing to make Gippsland roads safer

* * - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

More than $9 million for road safety measures in South Gippsland
Road death toll at record low; Coalition aims to keep it there
Coalition Government continues to invest in regional road network

The Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government is investing a further $9 million to save lives on South Gippsland roads.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien on Friday welcomed the news that five local projects, totalling $9.43 million, were part of the latest round of the Coalition Government’s $17.7 million state-wide Safer Road Infrastructure Program (SRIP).

“SRIP reduces the risk and severity of crashes, by fixing crash hotspots and implementing safety improvements,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien said the five local projects included:

  • $4.5 million for the South Gippsland Highway between Stony Creek and Foster for safety barriers and rumble strips;
  • $3.8 million for the Strzelecki Highway between Leongatha and Koorooman for safety barriers, rumble strips and tree removal;
  • $416,000 for the Inverloch-Venus Bay/Tarwin Lower Road intersection for resurfacing, safety barriers, improve signage, line marking and vegetation removal; 
  • $360,000 for the Strzelecki Highway at Leongatha to create a protected right turn lane, resurfacing, line marking, drainage and signage; and
  • $360,000 for the Princes Highway/Rosedale-Heyfield Road intersection for new lighting, extend the splitter island, warning signs and tree removal.

“People have lost their lives or been seriously injured at these locations, which is why we are investing in these important safety upgrades,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The number of deaths on Victorian roads is at a 90 year low and we aim to keep it that way.”

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government was investing $1 billion over 10 years for the Safer Road Infrastructure Program, which was on top of the more than $500 million it was investing this year for vital roads maintenance works.

“An evaluation by Monash University has identified that the Coalition Government’s SRIP program has already reduced serious crashes by 30 per cent,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are reducing the number of serious crashes because crash statistics determine what kind of projects SRIP will fund.

“SRIP projects might include installing wire barriers to prevent cars running off roads where that occurs regularly, or removing trees where there have been a high number of motorists crashing into trees.

“A good local example is the South Gippsland Highway between Stony Creek and Foster where crash statistics show that since 2009 most of the 13 casualty crashes occurred when vehicles ran off the road. To remedy this we are investing $4.5 million for safety barriers and rumble strips on that section of road.”

Mr Ryan said the latest round of SRIP funding was on top of the $5.4 million the Coalition Government had already invested for safety improvement on the South Gippsland Highway between Lang Lang and Loch, and the $300,000 invested for left turn lane, kerbs, line marking, signs and vegetation removal on the South Gippsland Highway at Foster.

SRIP is a key initiative of Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan and is funded through the Transport Action Commission and delivered by VicRoads.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Coalition Government reduces fire levy rates

* * - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government cutting fire levy rates from 1 July 2014
  • More funding for CFA and MFB in the 2014-15 State Budget
  • Fire services better resourced under the Coalition Government than Labor
The Victorian Coalition Government will reduce the Fire Services Property Levy rates in 2014-15 for all property owners, Treasurer Michael O’Brien and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced today.

"The Coalition Government’s successful implementation of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission property-based levy has proven to be a fairer way to fund our fire services,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We are reducing the levy rates from 1 July 2014 while also increasing funding to our fire services. The Coalition Government is delivering better funding for our fire services with lower average costs for households and businesses.”

The variable levy rate will be lower across all property categories than the 2013-14 rates. A fixed charge of $102 for residential properties and $205 for all other properties will apply.

From 1 July, the average household’s contribution to fire services funding in a CFA area is expected to remain at $142, with average MFB area household contributions remaining at an average of $143. This represents a reduction in real terms for the average household.

A $50 concession for eligible pensioners and veterans will continue to apply, benefitting over 400,000 households across the state, easing cost of living pressures.

The fire services property levy funds services provided by the CFA and the MFB twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week including personnel, training, infrastructure and equipment.

“This tax reform provides greater funding for our fire services while also reducing the rates on households, businesses and farmers right across Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

The new rates also reflect the recategorisation from 1 July 2014 of residential-investment flats from the commercial to the residential rate, delivering further savings for tenants and property owners across Victoria.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said that the Coalition Government had promised to overhaul the fire services levy and had delivered.

“Last year we brought in the lowest levy rates for regional areas we could afford. This year, we’ve lowered them again,” Mr Ryan said.

“The average business in the CFA area will now pay $823 instead of $923 a year.

“The average business in a CFA area on an industrial block will see its bill drop from $1,689 to $1,389, saving $300.

“Farmers are big winners, with their average Fire Services Property Levy dropping from $449 to $402. This is a massive drop from the average of $725 each farmer was paying back in 2011-12.”

Mr O’Brien said that for more than a decade Labor refused to reform the insurance-based fire services levy. This refusal continued despite recommendations from the Bushfires Royal Commission that it should be abolished.

“It costs over $780 million a year to fund our vital fire services. Record funding of $326 million for the MFB in this year’s budget will include the replacement of all respiratory protection equipment,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The 2014-15 Budget also provides an investment of $29 million for the CFA to support an accelerated fleet replacement program.”

The Coalition Government continues to directly fund 12.5 per cent of MFB and 22.5 per cent of CFA operating budgets.

“Since coming to office in 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $2.29 billion and the MFB more than $1.45 billion,” Mr O’Brien said.

The 2014-15 Budget for the CFA is $457 million, $58 million more than under the last Labor Budget. The 2014-15 Budget for MFB is $326 million, $39 million more than under the last Labor Budget.

For more information about the property-based levy visit

Media Contact: Les White 0409 805 122 

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