Press Releases

Full steam ahead at the Moe rail precinct

* * - Monday, September 15, 2014

 

Construction of the Moe Civic Hub is now underway, and in 18 months will provide an attractive new space for residents to socialise and study.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the works at the Moe Rail Precinct were a great example of all three levels of government working together for the community.

“The $14.3 million Moe Civic Hub will be a great space for residents, with a café, public meeting rooms, a community kitchen, and most importantly, a new home for the public library,” Mr Truss said.

Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent was in Moe today, and joined Deputy Premier of Victoria Peter Ryan and Latrobe City Council Mayor Sharon Gibson to turn the first sod and officially start construction on this exciting project.

Mr Broadbent said the train line currently divided north and south Moe, and the works at the Moe rail precinct would turn that around.

“This project has been a long time coming and I’m thrilled and delighted for all those community members who have lobbied all levels of government. This is a great day for the people of Moe and I congratulate you all on seeing this valuable project through to completion,” Mr Broadbent said.

“By building a swathe of new green spaces and public areas we are linking the town centre with its surroundings, and reconnecting the north and south.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund had invested $3 million into the $14.3 million first stage of the project.

The new hub will include a state-of-the-art public library, Council service centre, public meeting and research rooms and consulting suites. Public toilets, a café, outdoor spaces and green roof are also planned.

“Projects like this show just how effective a well-managed Regional Growth Fund can be through investing in local infrastructure," Mr Ryan said.

“The Regional Growth Fund is making a real difference in regional communities - investing in community led projects, while strategically driving jobs and investment.

“In the Latrobe region alone, the Regional Growth Fund is investing $20.5 million into 73 projects, leveraging $72.63 million in total investment.

“The Regional Growth Fund invested $1.1 million in the $1.55 million Moe Outdoor Pool Refurbishment and $1.5 million in the $2 million Growing Aerospace Manufacturing at Latrobe Regional Airport.”  

Cr Gibson said the Moe Civic Hub would turn what were the Moe Railway Station yards into an inviting space for residents.
 
“This project is all about innovation and making otherwise unused spaces into recreational spaces. Even the roof of the Civic Hub will become a green space, creating a welcoming environment for people to visit while also improving the building’s thermal efficiency.

I would like to thank the State and Federal governments for making the project a reality.”

The Moe Civic Hub is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $7.5 million, the Victorian Government $3.95 million and Latrobe City Council $2.85 million.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Bright future for the Port of Portland

* * - Thursday, September 11, 2014

 

  • Victorian Coalition Government investment helps Portland attract cruise vessels
  • Cruise trade delivers significant benefits to Portland and the south-west region
  • Port to benefit from Coalition Government’s Murray Basin Rail Project

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today visited the Port of Portland to inspect the completed $486,000 Cruise Vessel Terminal Infrastructure Project, made possible by an almost $250,000 investment from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said the project delivered infrastructure upgrades to the S.L. Patterson berth located at the Lee Breakwater, increasing accessibility for all vessels and providing adequate docking facilities for cruise ships.

Mr Ryan said the Port of Portland hosted its first cruise ship earlier this year, with the German MS Europa docking in March.

“The infrastructure upgrades have been a winner for the community of Portland, with the port now able to attract cruise ships which bring a range of benefits to the region,” Mr Ryan said.

“More than 130 passengers from the MS Europa spent the day in Portland, and with each passenger spending on average $200 it proved to be a significant economic earner for the community and resulted in one of the strongest trading days for local businesses.

“The Port of Portland now expects to attract on average 14 cruise vessels per year, providing a significant and ongoing boost for local businesses and tourism operators.

“Already seven cruise ship visits to Portland by three companies have been confirmed for the next financial year, which is fantastic news for the region.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s recently announced $220 million Murray Basin Rail Project would also provide significant benefits for the Port of Portland, ensuring a bright future for the port and the region more broadly.

“The Liberal Nationals Coalition Government’s transformational Murray Basin Rail Project will improve linkages between Portland, Mildura and north western Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Port of Portland has indicated that the Coalition Government’s visionary investment will pay dividends for the next 30 to 40 years, with the port’s underutilised rail yard ready to receive up to 1 million tonnes of grain.

“The port currently employs 80 staff, however 400-500 people can be working on the docks at any one time.

“If an additional 1 million tonnes of grain can be sent through the Port or Portland many new local jobs will be created as a result.

“Only the Coalition Government is committed to delivering the Murray Basin Rail Project, with the Daniel Andrews-led Labor Party remaining silent, preferring instead to direct resources into the removal of level crossings in safe Labor-held city seats if returned to government.”

Following his visit to the Port of Portland, Mr Ryan met with the Professional Divers Group in Portland.

Mr Ryan said the company, which has operated for the past 30 years and employs around 60 staff, continues to grow in strength and diversity, with an emphasis on safety and high-end services, including underwater construction and demolition, maintenance, survey, salvage and training.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

$2.2 million Portland Airport redevelopment complete

* * - Thursday, September 11, 2014

 

  • Portland Airport’s $2.2 million upgrade complete
  • Regional gateway for domestic business and leisure travel
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better regional Victoria

Portland Airport, which is one of just three regional airports to support a regular public transit service, has undergone a $2.2 million redevelopment, delivering a safe, modern and reliable airport for the community and local aviation industry.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan visited Portland today to open the $2.2 million redevelopment, made possible with a $1.43 million investment from the Victorian Coalition Government, including $80,000 from the Coalition’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said the $2.2 million project involved:

  • Construction of taxiways, aircraft parking and doubling the size of the main hangar;
  • Construction of an administration office in the main hangar;
  • A conference/meeting room extension to the Airport Terminal;
  • A new administration and crew area office extension to the Airport Terminal; and New
  • AvGas storage and distribution facilities at the airport.

“Thanks to this significant Victorian Government investment, Portland now has a modern airport that offers a high level of service to its many user groups,” Mr Ryan said.

“Portland Airport is vitally important to the local community and economy, servicing the local forestry sector, the growing mineral and resource sector as well as other major industries such as Portland’s aluminium smelter.

“It is also a key gateway for tourism into not only Portland but the south west region more broadly.

“This investment will support these key sectors of the local economy, while enabling the airport to attract new services, including the potential for pilot training in partnership with education providers and other airports within the Greater Green Triangle area.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to delivering important upgrades at the Portland Airport, with Premier Denis Napthine recently announcing almost $700,000 from the Regional Aviation Fund for a major lighting and security upgrade project.

Mr Ryan also paid tribute to Dr Napthine who had been a strong advocate for the redevelopment of Portland Airport and in securing the lighting and security upgrade.

Mr Ryan also thanked the Glenelg Shire Council which remained strongly committed to the project despite challenging economic conditions.

“Glenelg Shire Council invested more than $800,000 to support this important local project, stepping in to complete the relocation of the AvGas facilities when other investors walked away,” Mr Ryan said.

“Both the council and the Victorian Coalition Government can see the airport playing a leading role in the economic development of the south west region and we are both extremely proud of the work which has been undertaken here.”

Mr Ryan said supporting initiatives such as the redevelopment of the Portland Airport was a key reason why The Nationals, working as part of a Coalition Government, fought to secure the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered more than $440 million in investment across regional and rural Victoria, generating over $1.8 billion of total leveraged investment across 1,600 projects.

“Here in the Glenelg Shire, the Regional Growth Fund has invested more than $4 million to support 43 local projects, leveraging well over $6 million in leveraged investment.

“This includes $243,00 for the $486,000 Portland Cruise Vessel Terminal, $300,000 for the Bentick and Julia Streets Roundabout and $241,000 for the $250,000 Bridgewater Foreshore Development.

“Without the support of the Regional Growth Fund completing many of these key local projects would not have been possible,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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 kate.lancaster@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Latrobe Valley Bus Lines expansion to create jobs

* * - Friday, August 15, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $50,000 in Latrobe Valley Bus Lines expansion
  • Latrobe Valley Bus Lines to open a new $1.2 million workshop in Traralgon
  • Project will create five new jobs and secure the existing workforce

The Victorian Coalition Government is providing $50,000 from its Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund to help Latrobe Valley Bus Lines undertake a $1.2 million expansion of its operations.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan, said the project would help Latrobe Valley Bus Lines secure and grow its business.

Mr Ryan said the expansion would enable the company to better manage the servicing and repair of its fleet of buses.

“Latrobe Valley Bus Lines will open a new workshop in Traralgon and will continue to operate the Morwell facility as a depot. Both the Latrobe Valley sites are integral to the long term operation of the business,” Mr Ryan said.

“The new workshop will offer servicing and repairs to other heavy vehicles owners and operators in Gippsland – meaning the work can now be done locally rather than being sent to Melbourne.

“A locally based heavy vehicle servicing and repairs workshop means less vehicle downtime for operators, which is a major consideration in service and maintenance regimes.”

Minister for Small Business and Member for Morwell Russell Northe said that five new jobs will be created by the expansion, while securing the future of the existing workforce.

“LV Bus Lines is a significant employer and already has about 119 staff including drivers, administration, operational staff and trades people,” Mr Northe said.

Mr Northe said the $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund would invest $50,000, with the balance of the project to be provided by Latrobe Valley Bus Lines.

“This project is further proof of the success of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund,” Mr Northe said.

“We have now invested more than $10 million from the fund to support 30 job creating projects across the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland.

“We have created a further 500 new full time jobs on the back of this investment and leveraged more than $43 million in total investment.

“The Nationals are committed to supporting the Latrobe Valley because we know that when the Latrobe Valley prospers Victoria prospers.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Victorian Coalition Government invests $50,000 in Latrobe Valley Bus Lines expansion
Latrobe Valley Bus Lines to open a new $1.2 million workshop in Traralgon
Project will create five new jobs and secure the existing workforce

The Victorian Coalition Government is providing $50,000 from its Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund to help Latrobe Valley Bus Lines undertake a $1.2 million expansion of its operations.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan, said the project would help Latrobe Valley Bus Lines secure and grow its business.

Mr Ryan said the expansion would enable the company to better manage the servicing and repair of its fleet of buses.

“Latrobe Valley Bus Lines will open a new workshop in Traralgon and will continue to operate the Morwell facility as a depot. Both the Latrobe Valley sites are integral to the long term operation of the business,” Mr Ryan said.

“The new workshop will offer servicing and repairs to other heavy vehicles owners and operators in Gippsland – meaning the work can now be done locally rather than being sent to Melbourne.

“A locally based heavy vehicle servicing and repairs workshop means less vehicle downtime for operators, which is a major consideration in service and maintenance regimes.”

Minister for Small Business and Member for Morwell Russell Northe said that five new jobs will be created by the expansion, while securing the future of the existing workforce.

“LV Bus Lines is a significant employer and already has about 119 staff including drivers, administration, operational staff and trades people,” Mr Northe said.

Mr Northe said the $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund would invest $50,000, with the balance of the project to be provided by Latrobe Valley Bus Lines.

“This project is further proof of the success of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund,” Mr Northe said.

“We have now invested more than $10 million from the fund to support 30 job creating projects across the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland.

“We have created a further 500 new full time jobs on the back of this investment and leveraged more than $43 million in total investment.

“The Nationals are committed to supporting the Latrobe Valley because we know that when the Latrobe Valley prospers Victoria prospers.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Latrobe Regional Airport redevelopment takes flight

* * - Friday, August 15, 2014

 

  • $2 million redevelopment of Latrobe Regional Airport opens
  • Project will secure major tenant GippsAero’s future at the airport
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $1.5 million from the Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund

A $2 million redevelopment of Latrobe Regional Airport that has created 70 jobs and cemented its growing reputation as an aerospace industry centre was officially opened today by Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan.

Joined today by the Member for Morwell Russell Northe, Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government was proud to invest $1.5 million in the Growing Aerospace Manufacturing at Latrobe Airport project through the Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund.

Mr Ryan said the project included building a new development hangar for GippsAero, building and upgrading aprons, taxiways and run-up bays, re-sheeting the gravel runway and refurbishing gravel taxiways, a new concrete helipad, security fencing and car parking.

“The project has also secured major tenant GippsAero’s future at the airport, which is one of the region’s key economic and community facilities and home to a range of businesses that employ a total of 230 people,” Mr Ryan said.

“GippsAero is the only company in Australia with the capability to design and manufacture commercial aircraft from first principles and the project has enabled it to treble its production capability from 11 aircraft 18 months ago to a planned 33 this financial year and to boost its workforce to 180 staff.”

Mr Northe said the project would provide greater capacity to handle the anticipated growth in aircraft traffic from increased production at GippsAero and other industries attracted to the airport.

“The project will assist emergency services operations at the airport, which is home to the Helimed 1 air ambulance and rescue helicopter, DEPI aerial fire-fighting aircraft and branches of the CFA and SES,” Mr Northe said.

Mr Northe said the $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund had invested $1.5 million in the $2 million project, with Latrobe City Council providing the balance.

“The Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund is helping Latrobe Valley companies reposition themselves for sustainable long-term growth,” Mr Northe said.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404 kate.lancaster@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Deputy Premier inspects Bright foreshore

* * - Thursday, August 14, 2014
 
  • Deputy Premier inspects progress of the Bright Foreshore redevelopment
  • Announces $150,000 for $200,000 planning strategy in Alpine Shire
  • Victorian Coalition Government supporting regional tourism towns

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan yesterday inspected progress of the $525,000 Bright Foreshore Redevelopment Project.

During his visit, Mr Ryan also announced Victorian Coalition Government funding for the Alpine Better Places project.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals Member for Benalla Bill Sykes and The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy, said the foreshore redevelopment was made possible by a $300,000 investment from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“This important local project is revitalising the Centenary Park precinct,” Mr Ryan said.

“I am glad to see that work is progressing and remains on track to be completed before the busy summer tourist period.

“Centenary Park is one of the most visited sites in Bright, with this project set to transform the foreshore area, further enhancing this already wonderful community asset.”

Mr Ryan said the project involved:

landscaping and additional shade; redevelopment of the splash park; installation of new lighting; and new path connections into the CBD and river trails.

Dr Sykes said he was pleased with the progress being made at the site.

“This project will create a point of difference for Bright, enhancing tourist visitations and increasing their length of stay,” Dr Sykes said.

“The new path connections into the CBD will also draw more visitors into the main shopping areas of town, providing a boost for local traders.”

Mr Ryan also announced yesterday that the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 from the Regional Growth Fund to enable the Alpine Shire Council develop a new planning and engagement strategy for Bright, Porepunkah and Myrtleford.

Mr Ryan said the $200,000 Alpine Better Places planning and engagement strategy would outline plans for the renewal of key public spaces in the three townships.

“All three communities are tourist hotspots, with natural features that include the Ovens River in Bright and Porepunkah, and Happy Valley Creek in Myrtleford,” Mr Ryan said.

“The focus of the project will be to plan for public infrastructure upgrades, enhancing each township’s ‘sense of place’ and encouraging new investment and population retention.”

Mr McCurdy, whose existing seat of Murray Valley will be renamed Ovens Valley and include Bright following the 2014 Victorian Election, welcomed the investment and said it was important the Victorian Coalition Government continued to invest in these communities.

“We all know that these areas are popular visitor destinations and wonderful places to live, however this hasn’t happened overnight,” Mr McCurdy said.

“These communities have grown their population and tourism base through hard work over many long years and this work needs to continue if they are to remain strong.

“I am proud to say that The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, are right behind the community as they continue to develop this magnificent part of Victoria.”

The Alpine Better Places planning and engagement strategy project will be complete by the end of 2015.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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 Growth Fund upgrades Myrtleford Memorial Square

* * - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

 

  • Coalition Government invests $30,000 to upgrade Myrtleford Memorial Square
  • Works to include new paving, seating, lighting as well as landscaping works
  • Upgrade will complement a new bronze statue commissioned by the RSL

Myrtleford’s Memorial Square will receive a $40,000 makeover to complement the recently confirmed bronze statue of Victoria Cross winner Albert “Alby” Lowerson, which is to be erected in the historic square ahead of the Anzac Centenary in April 2015.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Members for Benalla and Murray Valley, Bill Sykes and Tim McCurdy, to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $30,000 from the Regional Growth Fund in the upgrade of Myrtleford Memorial Square.

Mr Ryan said the project would include installation of new paving, seating and lighting as well as landscaping works.

“Myrtleford’s Memorial Square is a key focal point for the local community and home to the township’s historic cenotaph,” Mr Ryan said.

“Being located on the popular Great Alpine Road and adjacent to the retail precinct, Memorial Square provides a focal point for the community and a place where those travelling through can stop for a rest and to pay their respects to all those who have served this great country.

“The Alpine Shire Council has been working closely with the Myrtleford RSL over the past 18 months to secure funding to install a bronze statue of Alby Lowerson at the Memorial Square.

“With the funding for the statue now secure, it is vitally important that Memorial Square is looking its best.

“I am proud to be here today alongside Bill Sykes and Tim McCurdy to announce that The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, will invest $30,000 to enable these important works to be undertaken, ensuring Alby Lowerson’s legacy is honoured in the best way possible.”

Member for Benalla Bill Sykes welcomed the investment and said the important upgrades to Memorial Square were a fitting tribute to the life of Albert Lowerson.

“Alby Lowerson, who was born at Myrtleford, enlisted in July 1915 and served in the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion,” Dr Sykes said.

“He was cited for his ‘conspicuous bravery and tactical skill’ at Mont St Quentin.  His courageous actions included bombing a German strongpoint which was holding up the attack.

“With just a small team of brave men at his side, he inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and captured 12 machine-guns and 30 prisoners.

“He refused to leave his position, despite being badly wounded, until the prisoners had been sent to the rear and the post consolidated.

“Alby Lowerson served Australia again during the Second World War before returning to live out his days in his beloved Myrtleford.

“I am proud to be part of a strong Coalition Government which is securing Alby Lowerson’s legacy through this important local investment.”

Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy, whose seat of Murray Valley will be renamed Ovens Valley and include Myrtleford after this year’s Victorian Election, said the Coalition Government’s support for this project was a ‘no-brainer’.

“It is vitally important that we honour those among us, both past and present, who bravely served King and country during the First and Second World Wars,” Mr McCurdy said.

“It is an honour to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier and Bill Sykes to announce this important funding that will ensure Alby Lowerson’s legacy is celebrated.”

Mr McCurdy said the square upgrade would be completed by December, with the bronze statue be completed in early 2015 ahead of the Anzac Centenary in April.

 Media contact: Ben Bulmer  0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund invests in Wangaratta CBD master plan

* * - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

 

  • Victorian Coalition Government invest $150,000 to develop Wangaratta CBD Master Plan
  • Master Plan will drive the growth of the CBD
  • Coalition Government helping to build a better Wangaratta

A comprehensive master plan for the growth of Wangaratta’s central business district (CBD) will be developed with the support of $150,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy in Wangaratta today to announce the Coalition Government’s investment in the Wangaratta CBD master plan.

Mr Ryan said the $225,000 master plan would look at ways to grow the CBD, ensuring Wangaratta continues to be a leading economic, social and cultural hub in the North East.

“The master plan will focus on maximising existing assets and facilities, developing Wangaratta’s economic strengths, and capitalising on the town’s unique landscape and heritage in order to grow the CBD,” Mr Ryan said.

“The feasibility of a number of key projects will be looked at as part of the master plan, enabling a number of key local projects to be further refined, scoped and developed.

“These projects include developing the CBD laneway network, improving the retail and commercial precinct and enhancing linkages between the CBD and riverside precinct.

“These projects have the potential to boost jobs, attract new forms of investment and grow tourism in Wangaratta.

“The Nationals, working as part of Coalition Government, are committed to growing regional communities, and by funding projects such as this, we are saying to communities such as Wangaratta that we stand next to you and support you as you grow.”

Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy welcomed the investment and said the master plan would map out a clear path for the growth of Wangaratta’s CBD.

“Wangaratta is a wonderful place to live and work, or for those from outside the region, it is the perfect place for a weekend getaway or an extended holiday,” Mr McCurdy said.

“However, there is always things that we could be doing better and I applaud the council for seeking the assistance of the Coalition Government to map out a clear plan for the growth of the Wangaratta CBD.

“If we get this right, we have the potential to grow jobs, encourage new forms of investment and make Wangaratta an even better place to live and work, an even stronger economic hub and an even more popular tourist destination.”

Mr McCurdy thanked the Rural City of Wangaratta for its $75,000 contribution to the master plan, which is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

During his visit to Wangaratta, Mr Ryan also inspected the $3.2 million Ovens Riverside project, completed thanks to a $715,000 investment from the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said he was impressed with how the project had turned out and praised the community for its dedication in seeing the project through.

“The riverside promenade and boardwalk has dramatically improved the look and feel of the riverside precinct,” Mr Ryan said.

“The entire Wangaratta community can take much pride in this development, which is the envy of many other communities across regional and rural Victoria.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731


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