Press Releases

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

Bright Court House reopened to the community

* * - Thursday, August 14, 2014


  • Bright Court House to be restored for public use
  • Deputy Premier announces $145,000 investment in the project
  • Victorian Coalition Government putting locals first

The Bright Court House will be refurbished with the support of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, returning this much-loved historical building to community hands.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan was in Bright yesterday to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $145,000 in the almost $200,000 refurbishment.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals Member for Benalla Bill Sykes and The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy, said the investment would bring the run-down Bright Court House back to life, enabling the local community to once again host live theatre and other forms of entertainment at the venue.

“The Bright Court House is the town’s oldest building, it is heritage listed and held dear to the local community’s heart,” Mr Ryan said.

“Built in 1861, it was used as a court of petty sessions for Buckland Goldfields where it operated right up until 1989.

“Over the next 10 years it continued to host a wide range of community activities, most notably the Alpine Actors and Foothill Theatre and Bright P-12 College’s drama and music events and activities.

“By the year 2000, the facility had run its race, with the structure of the Court House deteriorating to such a point that it was no longer deemed safe for community use and was shut down.

“The Coalition Government’s $145,000 investment will enable the Bright Court House to be reopened, returning it to community hands.”

Dr Sykes welcomed the investment, which will deliver a number of key improvements including:

  • modifications to ensure all ability access to the building;
  • establishment of a kiosk and foyer area;
  • installation of staging, tiered seating, heating and cooling, a control room, sound system and lighting;
  • replacement of floor coverings; extension of the car park;
  • landscaping; and
  • upgrade of toilets and actor facilities.

“The improvements will deliver a state-of-the-art community facility capable of hosting a wide range of events and users groups,” Dr Sykes said.

“Refurbishing the Bright Court House has long been at the top of the local community’s list of priorities and I am proud to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier to announce this funding.”

Mr McCurdy, whose existing seat of Murray Valley will be renamed Ovens Valley and will include Bright following the 2014 Victorian Election, said this project was another terrific example of how the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund was putting locals first.

“Strong support for the refurbishment has been received from the Alpine Women’s Group, Alpine Shire Youth Council, Bright Alpine Actors, Chamber of Commerce, and Lions and Rotary Clubs, and I expect these groups and others to make full use of the Court House,” Mr McCurdy said.

Mr McCurdy said the community had ‘put its money where its mouth was’, with a number of local groups and organisations chipping in towards a total project cost of $194,000.

He said this included $8,000 from the Rotary Club of Bright, $5,000 from Bright Alpine Actors, $6,000 from MADAS Productions, and $5,000 from Alpine Shire Council.

Mr McCurdy said the Bright United Men’s Shed and local businesses had also contributed a combined total of $13,000 in goods and services, as well as an in-kind contribution of $12,000 from the Court House committee of management.

The Bright Court House Redevelopment project will be completed by the end of this year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Victoria Living Expo teams with First National Real Estate

* * - Wednesday, August 13, 2014


  • First National Real Estate to sponsor the 2015 Regional Victoria Living Expo
  • Deputy Premier confirms dates for 2015 event
  • Expo encourages Melburnians to make the ‘Good Move’ to regional and rural Victoria

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today that the Victorian Coalition Government had secured First National Real Estate as the major sponsor of the 2015 Regional Victoria Living Expo.

Mr Ryan, who was in Wangaratta and the North East today for multiple Regional Growth Fund announcements, also confirmed the dates of the 2015 Expo, to be held over three days from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 May at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Mr Ryan said First National Real Estate’s ongoing support was further proof of the success of the Coalition Government’s Regional Victoria Living Expo, which continues to grow from strength to strength.

“First National Real Estate were a founding sponsor of the Regional Victoria Living Expo, which was first held in 2012, and I am pleased to see they are back again in 2015,” Mr Ryan said.

“I want to congratulate First National Real Estate for its ongoing commitment to the Expo and thank them for the fantastic support they have provided at each of the past three Expos.”

Mr Ryan said the fourth Regional Victoria Living Expo would build on the success of this year’s event, which attracted almost 10,000 visitors to learn more about career, housing, health and lifestyle opportunities available in regional and rural Victoria.

“Melburnians who attended this year’s Expo were either those looking to make the ‘Good Move’ to regional Victoria, whether that be a tree change or a sea change, or those simply wanting to learn more about what’s on offer in our many and varied regions,” Mr Ryan said.

“Visitors had access to 147 exhibitions including the state’s 48 regional and rural councils, prominent regional businesses, community and sports organisations and representatives from various Victorian Government agencies.

“The success of this year’s Expo has been built upon by many of our regional and rural councils who have since hosted open days, with individuals, couples and families spending a day or a weekend learning more about these communities.

“Councils to have hosted open days include Yarriambiack, Murrindindi, East Gippsland, Pyrenees, Benalla, Southern Grampians, Benalla, Swan Hill and Corangamite, providing Melburnians with the chance to meet locals and learn about the magnificent property, businesses and lifestyle opportunities available in these communities.”

Mr Ryan also encouraged regional and rural businesses and community groups to get involved in the 2015 Regional Victoria Living Expo.

“Regional businesses and community groups have plenty to gain by participating in the Expo which has become a valuable marketing tool to attract new residents to regional and rural communities,” Mr Ryan said.

“Councils, businesses and community groups can also use the Expo to attract specific professions, occupations, or businesses to their area, or to promote tourism in their region.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to growing regional and rural Victoria, and the Regional Victoria Living Expo was an example of that commitment.

“The Nationals, as part of a strong Coalition Government team, understand that when the regions prosper the whole state prospers,” Mr Ryan said.

“We will continue to support regional and rural Victoria through initiatives such as the Regional Victoria Living Expo, our $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, or through our other job creating, community building initiatives.”

Mr Ryan said more information on the 2015 Regional Victoria Living Expo was available online at

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund ensures Wangaratta remains a cycling hub

* * - Wednesday, August 13, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government invest $400,000 to create cycling hub in Wangaratta
  • CBD Hub to include shower, toilet and secure bicycle storage facilities
  • Coalition Government building a better regional Victoria

Wangaratta’s reputation as the home of cycling in Victoria’s North East will be further enhanced with the Victorian Coalition Government investing $400,000 to create a cycling hub in the town’s central business district (CBD).

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy to announce the Coalition Government’s $400,000 investment, which is being delivered through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s assistance would enable the $500,000 Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub development project to proceed.

He said the project would transform the Wangaratta Comfort Station building at Merriwa Park into a CBD cycling hub.

Mr Ryan said the project would open up the view to Merriwa Park from the CBD and create a central cycle exchange at the southern end of town.

The project includes the development of toilet and shower facilities, construction of a deck overlooking Merriwa Park, installation of secure bicycle storage, and information on local trails and tourism services in Wangaratta. The new facilities will be wheelchair friendly.

“Wangaratta is considered a Mecca for cyclists in Victoria’s North East,” Mr Ryan said.

“Many of Victoria’s great rides start and finish in Wangaratta including the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail, or journeys into the high mountains to tackle the climbs of Mount Buffalo, Mount Hotham or the challenging roads in and around Bright.

“The creation of the Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub will ensure Wangaratta remains at the head of the peloton when it comes to attracting cyclists to Victoria’s North East.”

Mr McCurdy welcomed the investment and said the CBD cycling hub would provide everything a cyclist needed when embarking on a ride, from the elite cyclists who train in the region, right through to weekend warriors.

“Cyclists can base themselves here knowing that there will be a toilet, warm showers and a place to fill up their water bottles at the start and finish of their ride,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Having a secure place to store their bikes will encourage more cyclists to venture into the CBD before or after their ride for breakfast or lunch, or to have a much needed coffee and cake.

“A facility such as this is rare in regional Victoria, and by supporting this development we are encouraging even more cyclists to the region.

“I am proud to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier to say that The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, are right behind the community in supporting this wonderful initiative.”

Mr McCurdy also thanked the Rural City of Wangaratta which is contributing the remaining $100,000 needed to complete the project.

Mr McCurdy said the Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub Development would be completed by the end of next year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Ryan welcomes $12.5 million shooting fund

* * - Tuesday, August 12, 2014


  • Shooting clubs in Gippsland South can share in $12.5 million fund
  • Fund will help clubs to upgrade their facilities and attract events
  • Victorian Coalition Government is supporting local sport

The Deputy Premier and Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said local shooting clubs could soon access a $12.5 million fund to expand or upgrade their facilities, purchase equipment or host events and tournaments.

The $12.5 million Shooting Sports Facilities Program will encourage more people to get active in an environment that promotes safe and responsible firearms ownership.

Mr Ryan said shooting was popular throughout Gippsland South, with a number of strong shooting clubs in Sale, Rosedale, Yarram, Mirboo North, Leongatha and Korumburra.

“This fund will improve our local facilities and encourage more regional Victorians to participate in the sport of shooting,” Mr Ryan said.

“Gippsland has produced many successful professional shooters over the years, most recently we saw Longford local Keith Ferguson competing in the men’s skeet at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“Local sporting shooters have also nurtured the talent of 18-year-old Indi Gladman from Sale who took out the Tasmanian Clay Target Championships earlier this year.”

The funding can be used to purchase land for the expansion of existing facilities or to secure tenure over existing facilities in order to improve the long term viability of the sport locally.

Mr Ryan said it could also be used for capital improvements at existing facilities, or to purchase major equipment to enable a local facility to host major events and increase participation.

“Minor projects will be able to receive up to $100,000 from the fund, with the Coalition Government offering $2 for every $1 put in by the club or another contributor, for example a local council,” Mr Ryan said.

“There is no cap on funding invested by Coalition Government into a major project, but the investment will need to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the club or another contributor.

“More than 20,000 Victorians participate in competitive shooting events each year, and we have a proud history of producing Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games medallists, with Russell and Lauryn Mark, Adam Vella and Peter Tait all flying the flag.

“The Coalition Government is helping shooting clubs develop better facilities, host big events and give more people the opportunity to be participants, coaches, and volunteers,” Mr Ryan said.

An advisory committee, chaired by Mr David Hawker AO, will be established to assess project applications and provide specialist advice on the sport's specific and strategic needs.

Details of the program will be finalised following the establishment of the advisory committee.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

A new place to cool off in Mildura

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014


  • Next stage of the Mildura Riverfront project gets underway
  • Project delivers pop-up jets, streams, BBQ, boardwalks and terraced skate park
  • Precinct will attract visitors and confirms Mildura’s status as the ‘Gateway to the Outback’

Children, families and visitors will have a new place to cool off in Mildura during hot summer days with water jets, splash pools and interactive water play equipment to be developed as part of the $18.3 million Mildura Riverfront project.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp at Mildura today to turn the first sod for the new $2.1 million Mildura Riverfront Waterplay and Ornamental Lakes Precinct.

Mr Ryan said development of the Waterplay and Ornamental Lakes Precinct was the latest stage of the $18.3 million Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment Project, and would include:

  • Extensions to the lake to include water play equipment, pop-up jets and shallows;
  • A shallow stream running throughout the precinct, incorporating water play equipment;
  • Shaded areas, timber boardwalks, sand pits, decking, seats, lighting and barbeques;
  • Indigenous plants, landscaping and cultural heritage information; and
  • A new terraced skate area extending from the existing skate park.

“This is a fantastic development that will benefit the entire Mildura community,” Mr Ryan said.

“The water play equipment will be something truly unique to Mildura, providing another drawcard for visitors and holiday makers looking to spend time in this part of our great state.

“The community can relax and cool off over the pop-up jets and in the shallows or simply relax in the shaded areas.

“It will become a great place to walk the pet dog and a perfect location to spend time with family and friends enjoying a barbecue.

“Skaters have not been left out, with the large terraced skate space set to add to what is already a terrific and well used skate park.”

Mr Crisp welcomed the Deputy Premier to Mildura and said The Nationals, as part of a strong Coalition Government team, were continuing to deliver for Mildura.

Mr Crisp said the Mildura-based King Construction Group had been awarded the contract for this component of the development. In addition, the project included the redevelopment of the East/West promenade, the Rowing Club and Langtree Avenue pedestrian connection.

“I am proud to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan to mark the beginning of another important step in delivering the transformative Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment,” Mr Crisp said.

“This $18.3 million project, $12 million of which is funded through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, is stimulating the local economy, is set to boost tourism and confirms Mildura’s status as the ‘Gateway to the Outback’.

“I will continue to advocate strongly for Mildura to ensure we continue receiving strong Coalition Government support and investment.”

Mr Crisp said construction on the Waterplay and Ornamental Lakes precinct would begin shortly, with the Waterplay area to be completed by April 2015 and the remaining works completed by the second half of 2015.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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 

Regional Growth Fund breathes new life into Avoca Town Hall

* * - Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Deputy Premier announces funding of $210,000 to revitalise Avoca Town Hall 
  • Project to expand a much-loved community facility 
  • Town Hall will now be able to host new community events

A $280,000 redevelopment will breathe new life into the Avoca Town Hall enabling the community to host karate, cooking and gardening classes, movie nights, children’s dances as well as social events such as weddings and birthdays.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan was in Avoca today to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $210,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to support the ‘New Life for the Avoca Town Hall’ project.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner, said the redevelopment would modernise the aging facility, allowing local community groups to make better use of the hall.

“The Avoca Town Hall is popular among locals and is the only local facility with a stage, large wooden dance floor and projector room,” Mr Ryan said.

“While it has served the needs of the community for many years, its limited size means it is no longer being used to its full potential.”

Mr Turner said the Coalition Government’s investment would fund an expansion of the hall and upgrades to electrical, plumbing and sanitation services, new air conditioning, joinery and floor repairs, new fittings and fixtures, painting as well as the installation of new furnishings.

“This investment will modernise the Avoca Hall to ensure existing user groups can continue to be accommodated on site,” Mr Turner said.

“It will also ensure activities such karate, cooking and gardening classes, movie nights, children’s dances as well as social events such as weddings and birthdays can now be held at the town hall for the first time.”

Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley welcomed the Coalition Government’s $210,000 investment which provides Avoca with a functional multi-purpose town hall that will meet the needs of the community long into the future.

“The redevelopment will begin shortly and is expected to be completed by May next year,” Ms Staley said.

“It will create 11 full-time construction jobs over the next nine months, supporting local tradespeople and local construction businesses.”

Mr Turner thanked the Coalition Government for its support as well as the Pyrenees Shire Council, which contributed $70,000 to the project.

“This investment is one of almost 30 projects in the Pyrenees Shire to have benefited from the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Turner said.

“It is another example of what The Nationals can achieve for local communities when working as part of a strong Coalition Government team.”

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 

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