Press Releases

Deputy Premier announce Benalla Botanical Gardens facelift

* * - Thursday, October 23, 2014


  • Deputy Premier announces $400,000 for Benalla Botanical Gardens facelift
  • Project to create a modern community precinct
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better regional and rural Victoria

The children’s precinct at the historic Benalla Botanical Gardens will receive a major facelift including new play equipment, a new formal entry, open space play areas, better seating, new garden beds and connecting pathways.

The facelift is part of a $610,000 investment designed to breathe new life into the popular local attraction, bringing it in-line with today’s expectations.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan, Liberal candidate for Euroa Tony Schneider and Member for Benalla Bill Sykes in Benalla today to announce the facelift and provide the news that the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $400,000 of the $610,000 required to complete it.

Mr Ryan said $300,000 of the Coalition Government’s $400,000 investment would be provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, with $100,000 coming through the Community Facility Funding Program, administered by the Minister for Sport Damian Drum.

Mr Ryan said the remaining $210,000 would be provided by a number of community contributors including Benalla Rural City Council ($167,000), Tomorrow Today Foundation ($13,000), Friends of the Gardens ($10,000), and Rotary Club of Benalla ($20,000 in-kind).

Mr Ryan said the $610,000 investment would fund:

  • demolition and site preparation;
  • upgrade of plumbing in existing facilities and amenities;
  • landscaping of new garden beds and refurbishment of pathways;
  • construction of play equipment, formal entry, community open space and seating; and
  • improvements to the public car park.

“Located in the heart of Benalla, the botanical gardens is a popular spot for family picnics, and a key visitor drawcard, particularly for those travelling up and down the Hume Highway,” Mr Ryan said.

“Over the past few years the gardens, particularly the area in which we are standing here today, has begun to show its age and is in desperate need of a facelift.

“Both Bill Sykes and Steph Ryan have been lobbying hard alongside the Benalla Rural City Council to secure this investment, and I am proud to be here today with them to announce this important funding has been secured.”

Mr Ryan said the works would rejuvenate the parklands and create an attractive and functional open-air space for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy.

The improvements will complement the surrounding attractions including the Benalla Art Gallery and the Lake Benalla Boardwalk.

“When complete, this project will have created a community hub with the capacity to increase tourism and boost the local economy,” Mr Ryan said.

“It will also make this great location an even more popular place for locals to spend time, particularly on weekends and warm summer evenings, and I look forward to returning here to see these wonderful additions and improvements once complete.”

Mr Ryan said works would begin shortly and would be finished by this time next year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund delivers for Katandra West

* * - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $999,000 towards $1.3 million Katandra West Community Centre
  • Project will support Katandra Kats and a wide-range of user groups
  • Coalition Government building a better regional and rural Victoria

The Victorian Coalition Government will invest almost $1 million to build a new community centre in Katandra West, delivering a one-stop-shop for local sports clubs, community events, meetings and celebrations.

The new Katandra West Community Centre will be located at the Katandra West Recreation Reserve, replacing the century-old Katandra West Hall as a centre-point for life in the small Goulburn Valley community.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan joined The Nationals candidate for Shepparton Greg Barr in Katandra West today to announce the Coalition Government will invest $999,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund in the construction of the $1.3 million community centre.

The Katandra West Community Facilities Committee of Management will provide $150,000 towards construction of the new community centre, with the Greater Shepparton City Council providing a further $151,000.

Mr Ryan said the $1.3 million investment will deliver a 685-square metre multipurpose facility, featuring:

  • a large multi-purpose area and meeting room;
  • male, female and disabled toilets;
  • female and umpire change rooms; and
  • commercial kitchen, cool room, storage space, bar and serving area.

Mr Ryan said the new community centre will benefit a number of local user groups including the Katandra Kats Football and Netball Club, local cricket and tennis clubs, Country Women’s Association, CFA, Girl Guides, Ukiah Club and Katandra West Primary School.

Mr Ryan said the new community centre will be the ideal location to host community celebrations such as birthday parties, weddings and engagement parties, community meetings, conferences and other community events.

“Every small town needs a modern, accessible and useable community space to host local events and celebrations,” Mr Ryan said.

“While the existing community hall has served Katandra West for more than a century, it is beginning to show its age and no longer meets the needs and expectations of the community.

“The Coalition Government’s almost $1 million investment will deliver a modern and flexible community centre that will be a focal point for the Katandra West community for the next 100 years, and is sure to be the scene of many great nights for locals.

“This investment will deliver modern facilities for local sports clubs such as the mighty Katandra Kats, with the new umpire and female change rooms to be a welcome addition, particularly for the netballers.

“This project is another terrific example of why The Nationals, working in a Coalition Government, fought to secure the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“Through the Regional Growth Fund, we have been able to invest in countless projects similar to this right across regional and rural Victoria, projects that would otherwise have struggled to attract funding support from government.”

Mr Barr, a passionate Katandra West local, welcomed this investment, describing it as long overdue.

“As a local, I know how important the community hall is to our community,” Mr Barr said.

“Whether it’s hosting Girl Guides, school concerts, the football/netball club ball, 21st birthday parties, weddings and funerals, the community hall has seen it all.

“To now have a facility of this calibre at our disposal for local meetings and other community events is a real shot-in-the-arm for Katandra West.

“I am proud to be part of a strong National Party team which continues to deliver for the Goulburn Valley and its many communities including Katandra West.”

Mr Barr said construction would begin shortly with the project to be completed by the end of next year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Pactum Dairy Group expansion creates 14 new jobs

* * - Wednesday, October 22, 2014


  • Coalition Government invests $1 million in Pactum Dairy Group expansion
  • $18 million project will boost exports and create 14 new jobs in Shepparton
  • Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund is building a better Shepparton

Fourteen new full-time jobs will be created at Pactum Dairy Group, as the benefits of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund continue to flow through to the local economy.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals candidate for Shepparton Greg Barr in Shepparton today to announce the Coalition Government would invest $1 million to support an $18 million expansion at Pactum Dairy Group.

The expansion will create 14 new full-time jobs, many more in the supply chain, and boost UHT milk exports to Asia.

The $18 million investment, which includes the installation of new filling lines, processing lines and associated infrastructure, will enable the company to process an additional 50 million litres of UHT milk per year, for a total of 200 million litres of UHT per year.

The Coalition Government’s $1 million investment will be provided through the Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund, and follows an earlier $950,000 investment to support a $60 million expansion at the Shepparton site which created 52 full-time jobs.

Mr Ryan said the additional processing capacity from this latest investment would enable Pactum to meet the ever increasing demand from Asia for Australian milk products.

“Asian countries, particularly China, have an insatiable thirst for Australian dairy products,” Mr Ryan said.

“Our reputation for producing high quality, clean, green dairy products, including UHT milk, make our products a must for the growing Asian middle-class.

“Pactum Dairy Group has been able to capitalise on our great reputation, with 75 per cent of its existing sales occurring overseas.

“Since beginning production earlier this year, Pactum has received strong interest from Asian countries to ship more of its product more often, which has meant this $18 million investment had to be fast-tracked to keep up with demand.

“The Coalition Government is a proud supporter of Pactum as it continues to grow and we are pleased to invest $1 million to support this $18 million expansion.

“A strong Pactum Dairy Group benefits local farmers and creates more jobs for locals and we look forward to continuing our strong association with the company over the coming years.”

Mr Barr welcomed the investment and said the pace of growth at Pactum was astonishing.

“Pactum’s rise has been truly remarkable, growing from nothing to be in a position to employ more than 65 locals and supporting many more workers in the supply chain and on-farm,” Mr Barr said.

“This investment is proof that food processing and manufacturing has a bright future here in Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley, and I applaud the Coalition Government for not only recognising that, but investing significantly to assist it.

“To have a strong and sustainable local economy, we need companies like Pactum to continue to invest locally.

“I am confident that it will not be too long before Pactum is considered right up there alongside other major Goulburn Valley companies such as SPC and Campbells as a major regional employer.”

Mr Barr said today’s announcement was the second project to be funded through the $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund.

It follows last month’s $1.37 million investment to enable Ryan Meat Company in Nathalia to undertake a $5.5 million expansion that will create 70 new full-time jobs and boost exports of lamb from the region.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund delivers jobs for Toora

* * - Monday, October 13, 2014


  • Ryan and O’Brien announce $1.5 million investment for ViPlus dairy at Toora
  • Victorian Coalition Government’s investment supports $50.4 million expansion
  • Expansion will create 45 new full-time jobs and boost exports of powdered milk

Forty-five new jobs will be created in Toora with ViPlus dairy announcing on Friday it will embark on a $50.4 million expansion that will boost production of high quality locally produced dairy products for the export market.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien in Toora on Friday to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $1.5 million to support the expansion.

The Coalition Government’s $1.5 million investment will be provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, and is the 38th project to be supported by the Regional Growth Fund in South Gippsland.

Mr Ryan said the ViPlus factory at Toora manufactured milk products, including infant formula and milk powders, and was one of only four Australian companies accredited to export infant formula to China.

The $50.4 million expansion will enable ViPlus Dairy to manufacture new product lines locally, including UHT milk and ice cream, and produce infant formula from raw milk.

Mr Ryan said the expansion would include the installation of a spray dryer and pre-treatment infrastructure, a milk powder canning facility and UHT plant.

“Thanks to this investment , ViPlus Dairy will boost production at the plant from 10,000 tonnes of milk products produced per annum to 30,000 tonnes of milk products produced per annum,” Mr Ryan said.

“This will create 45 new full-time jobs here in Toora, which for a town of this size will deliver major economic benefits to the community.

“A further 70 jobs will be created during the project’s construction phase, another win for Toora and South Gippsland more broadly.

“It will also provide strong support to local dairy farmers who supply the factory, and create even more new jobs on-farm and in supply chain businesses across the region.”

Mr Ryan said he was thrilled to see the scale of investment here at Toora.

“It was little over a decade ago that we were dealing with the closure of this factory and the subsequent jobs losses, and for many that was the end of dairy processing here in Toora.

“To think then that we would be standing here today just 12 or so years later announcing a more than $50 million expansion is truly quite remarkable.

“This investment reinforces why we as The Nationals, in Coalition Government, fought so hard to secure the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“We are leveraging the money set-aside in the Regional Growth Fund to secure investments such as this here at Toora. Through the Regional Growth Fund, we are working with companies like ViPlus Dairy to encourage them to invest and create new jobs in regional and rural Victoria.

“I am so very proud to be here today in my own electorate alongside Danny O’Brien, the South Gippsland Shire Council and ViPlus Dairy to announce this exciting project.”

Mr O’Brien echoed Mr Ryan’s comments and said another exciting part of the investment was the significant water saving initiatives to be implemented, including the construction of a wastewater recycling plant.

“The wastewater treatment will allow up to 70 per cent of the water used here to be recycled for use within the plant, and for 100 per cent of the site’s wastewater to be treated so that it is suitable for irrigation,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The plant will also be powered by a gas fuelled co-generation system that will produce 1 megawatt of electricity and thermal energy, reducing the boiler steam load and pressure on the grid.”

Mr O’Brien said the investment continued the Victorian Coalition Government’s ongoing support for local dairy processors through the Regional Growth Fund, which included a $1.5 million investment to support a $22 million expansion at Burra Foods in Korumburra, and a $1.5 million investment to support a $22 million expansion at Murray Goulburn in Leongatha.

The $50.4 million expansion will be completed by 2016.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0429 921 404

Deputy Premier announces major expansion for Mortlock Hydroponics

* * - Thursday, October 09, 2014


  • Mortlock Hydroponics at Carisbrook set to expand again
  • $2.2 million investment to double glasshouse size and create a further 25 jobs
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $175,000 to support the expansion

Mortlock Hydroponics will complete a $2.2 million expansion of its hydroponic cherry tomato facility at Carisbrook with the support of the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government.

The expansion will double Mortlock’s glasshouse capacity and create 25 new local jobs, injecting around $1 million of additional wages and salaries into the local economy.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner at Carisbrook today to announce the Coalition Government’s $175,000 investment to support the expansion.

Mr Ryan said the project would increase the current greenhouse’s size from 15,000 square metres to 30,000 square metres, and would include the installation of heating, irrigation, shade screens and fogging systems, as well as a new tomato packaging and storage area.

“This investment is great show of strength for Mortlock Hydroponics which has been growing hydroponic tomatoes in the region since 1999,” Mr Ryan said.

“Doubling the size of the greenhouse will double production of high quality local tomatoes, ensuring more of this great Carisbrook product is on kitchen tables right across Australia and eventually the world.

“Mortlock Hydroponics Director Shane Mortlock and his team should be proud of the work they have done so far, and I am proud to be here today alongside Shane and the team to announce this exciting expansion.

“Companies like Mortlock are the drivers of growth in our regional communities, with the work to be undertaken coming as a real shot-in-the-arm for this region.”

Mr Turner welcomed the investment and said the expansion of the packing shed would enable Mortlock to grow its export potential and produce new varieties of tomatoes for Australia’s shops and supermarkets.

“One of the new varieties which could be grown is similar to the Tasty Tom, which is individually packed and marketed as a healthy snack for school lunches in the Netherlands,” Mr Turner said.

“There is great potential for this style of tomato to be grown here locally and sold right across the country.

“With the right promotion there is even the chance that these varieties may find their way into our kids’ school lunch boxes as a healthy and tasty alternative to prepackaged snack foods.

“I congratulate Shane and the team for their great work here at Carisbrook – they are truly a great local success story.”

Ms Staley passed on her support and said it was the second such investment from the Coalition Government to support the growth of this great local food producer.

“In 2013, the Coalition Government invested $250,000 to enable Mortlock Hydroponics to build the $4.1 million, 15,000 square metre facility, which created 20 new jobs,” Ms Staley said.

“The company has done well to expand on this initial investment and continue its rapid and strong growth.

“Investment such as that which is being undertaken by Mortlock delivers greater economies of scale and improved productivity which means cheaper and more accessible fresh food products for consumers.”

The Mortlock Hydroponics expansion will be completed by the middle of next year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Deputy Premier visits True Foods

* * - Thursday, October 09, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government invested $500,000 in True Foods’ $5.5 million relocation project
  • New facility has created 250 jobs in Maryborough
  • Project is helping drive local investment and boost the regional economy

True Foods‟ relocation from Melbourne to Maryborough has created 250 new local jobs, with the company quickly becoming one of the region‟s largest employers.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan visited True Foods today to meet with the company and its workers to discuss the move ahead of the final payment from the Victorian Coalition Government‟s $500,000 investment which supported the relocation.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner, said the Coalition Government was a proud supporter of the relocation, which is bringing more people to regional Victoria.

“True Foods‟ relocation from Braeside to Maryborough can only be described as a win-win for the region and Victoria-at-large,” Mr Ryan said.

“It has helped this great company grow, boosted sales and delivered 250 new jobs for Maryborough.

“It has also meant 34 families have packed their bags and left Melbourne for a better life in regional Victoria, growing Maryborough‟s population while at the same time relieving pressure on a growing Melbourne.

“The Coalition Government is committed to working with companies such as True Foods to ensure that if they are looking to relocate, they relocate to regional Victoria.

“That is why we have implemented initiatives such as our $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which is investing in our regions to grow business and jobs, and our successful Regional Victoria Living Expo and „Good Move‟ campaign, which is encouraging Melburnians to choose a life in regional Victoria.

“It is why we are rolling-out natural gas to 18 new regional communities, communities Labor said they would never connect.

“These investments are making regional Victoria a more attractive place to do business, which is benefiting all of us who live outside of Melbourne.”

Mr Turner said he was proud to be part of a Coalition Government team which was delivering wins for this region.

“We need jobs and investment in our region and projects such as this are strongly welcomed,” Mr Turner said.

“I also applaud both True Foods and the Central Goldfields Shire Council who provided considerable help in relocating these 34 families by finding jobs for partners, locating accommodation and accessing education.

“The economic and community benefits from such a large injection of new residents is significant for our region.”

Ms Staley passed on her support and said the company had demonstrated its commitment to becoming part of the local community.

“True Foods is supporting local schools through breakfast programs, fruit bowl programs and literacy programs,” Ms Staley said.

“True Foods also supports the local arts scene and the schools-based RACV Energy Breakthrough Challenge, and provides free products to the Salvation Army and Avoca Food Bank for distribution to local people in need.

“The great work being done by True Foods here in Maryborough is a wonderful return on the Coalition Government‟s investment.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Coalition Government preserves Talbot’s history

* * - Thursday, October 09, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government invest $90,000 to restore historic Talbot Arts and Historical Museum
  • Investment to restore 144-year old building to its former glory
  • Victorian Coalition Government a strong supporter of the Central Goldfields

Talbot’s historic Methodist Church building, home of the Talbot Arts and Historical Museum, will be restored thanks to a $90,000 investment from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner in Talbot today to announce the $90,000 investment to restore the 144-year-old building to its former glory.

Mr Ryan said the Talbot Arts and Historical Museum first opened in 1984 in the town’s Methodist Church, built in 1870.

The Museum houses more than 600 photographs, a large collection of historical records from local institutions, and artefacts from the district’s pioneers and early settlers.

Mr Ryan said the building was beginning to show its age, with the Coalition Government’s $90,000 investment to fund important restoration work, including repairs to the mortar and stonework, and improvements to the drainage and plumbing.

Mr Ryan said this latest investment followed an earlier $40,000 contribution from the Regional Growth Fund to repair the foundations of the building in preparation for this restoration.

“I am pleased to be in Talbot to make this important funding announcement that will deliver a number of key improvements to this magnificent old building,” Mr Ryan said.

“While none of us here today were around when it was first built, I, along with Scott Turner, look forward to returning when the works are complete to see the building as it was 144-years-ago.

“Talbot’s growing reputation as a key local tourist town has been aided by the development of the Talbot Heritage Trail, and by delivering this important restoration here at the Museum we are further cementing its reputation as a great place to visit.”

Mr Ryan said the restoration would be a shot-in-the-arm for the volunteer-run museum and its dedicated members, ensuring they can continue to showcase the region’s rich history from a wonderful heritage building.

Mr Ryan said the $90,000 Talbot Arts and Historical Museum Restoration project would be completed by the middle of next year.

The Central Goldfields Shire Council will manage delivery of the project.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Lamattina's expansion gets juices flowing in Thurla

* * - Wednesday, October 08, 2014


  • Lamattina Beverages’ $5.53 million juicing plant opens in Thurla
  • Plant creates eight jobs and cements region as premier juice producer
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $150,000 in the project

Lamattina Beverages’ new $5.53 million purpose-built factory at Thurla has increased carrot juice production by 50 per cent, created eight new full-time jobs and cemented the Sunraysia region as one of Australia’s premier juice producing areas.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today opened the new carrot juice concentrating plant alongside Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp.

The Victorian Coalition Government invested $150,000 in the project, which enabled Lamattina Beverages to relocate from Merbein to Thurla, and expand production of carrot juice concentrate from 14,000 tonnes per year to 21,000 tonnes.

Mr Ryan said the project had improved product quality, delivered significant operational cost savings to the business through access to natural gas and recycled water, and improved the company’s transport and logistics facilities.

“Today’s opening marks an exciting day for Lamattina Beverages, the Victorian Coalition Government and the Sunraysia region more broadly,” Mr Ryan said.

“This $5.53 million investment has cemented the Sunraysia region as one of Australia’s premier juice producing regions, something locals can be extremely proud of.

“It has delivered eight new full-time jobs, with more to follow, and the benefits of this additional employment are set to flow right through the local economy.

“I applaud Rocky and Angelo Lamattina, the Lamattina family, the workers at Thurla and those who grow the carrots on-farm.

“Investments such as these are proof there is a great future in Sunraysia’s manufacturing industry, particularly in value-adding food production.”

Mr Crisp, who was a strong driver of the project, said the investment was another example of

The Nationals’ commitment to supporting local businesses in the Sunraysia region, and praised Lamattina Beverages for its ongoing investment in the region.

“Without great local companies like Lamattina Beverages willing to invest in our region, we would struggle to maintain our position as one of the best juice producing regions in Victoria and Australia,” Mr Crisp said.

“Major expansions such as this are not easy, it takes a team effort and requires everyone to be pulling in the right direction to achieve the great outcomes we can see in front of us.”

Mr Crisp said the most exciting part of this $5.53 million investment was the fact it would lead to the development of a number or new exciting products that would further enhance the region’s reputation as a juice-producing powerhouse.

“Lamattina Beverages is already a market leader in supplying carrot juice concentrate and this will only be further enhanced with this new plant enabling it to develop exciting new products for both the local and export markets,” Mr Crisp said.

“The company is currently finalising the development of a new fresh carrot juice product, which I have been told is due to hit the stores soon, and I, along with the Deputy Premier, can’t wait to try it.”

Mr Crisp said the decision to relocate to Thurla was aided by the Coalition Government’s $100 million Energy for the Regions Program, which is investing more than $9 million to expand Mildura’s pipeline capacity for the supply of natural gas.

“This investment will increase the capacity of the Mildura pipeline by 50 per cent, and is expected to be operational early next year, ahead of the winter peak,” Mr Crisp said.

“The new factory here in Thurla will benefit from this increased supply, ensuring future growth at Lamattina Beverages can be accommodated.”

Mr Crisp said the investment is further proof that the Coalition Government’s decision to invest in gas infrastructure across Victoria would deliver significant gains for business, and followed last week’s visit to Robinvale, where he announced the town would be connected to reticulated natural gas using an innovative CNG delivery solution.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Victorian Coalition Government delivers for Kilmore

* * - Tuesday, October 07, 2014


  • Deputy Premier announces $140,000 for $190,000 Kilmore Town Centre Revitalisation Study
  • Study to deliver a strategic plan to revitalise commercial precinct
  • Visit coincides with the start of the $450,000 Mill Street Focal Space Project

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan visited Kilmore today to mark the start of the $450,000 redevelopment of Kilmore’s Mill Street, which will deliver a new pedestrian plaza and other key improvements.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan, said the Mill Street Focal Space Project would create a modern retail and community hub in the heart of Kilmore, linking Sydney Street with Kilmore Creek.

Mr Ryan said Mill Street would be transformed into a vibrant pedestrian plaza, incorporating a viewing platform, seating, shade structures, landscaping and paving.

“This project is one of the key investments to be undertaken here in the CBD prior to the Kilmore Bypass,” Mr Ryan said.

“Kilmore residents and businesses have been calling for this important work to be completed for years and the Coalition Government is proud to have answered by investing $300,000 from our $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to support this $450,000 project.

“Creating a modern and accessible CBD supports local businesses and encourages locals and visitors to spend more time and money in Kilmore.

“The Nationals, working in a Coalition Government, will continue to invest in our local communities to deliver improved local infrastructure such as the works which are being undertaken here in the heart of Kilmore.”

During his visit, Mr Ryan also announced that the Coalition Government would invest $140,000 from the Regional Growth Fund to support a $190,000 planning study to further revitalise Kilmore’s town centre ahead of the Kilmore Bypass.

Mr Ryan said the Kilmore Town Centre Revitalisation Study would outline plans to enhance the town’s commercial precinct, and supported the works being undertaken in Mill Street.

“Kilmore has been experiencing steady population growth due its proximity to Melbourne and excellent transport links to the city,” Mr Ryan said.

“It is important that we continue to support and invest in Kilmore as its population grows.

“The Nationals, working in a Coalition Government, look forward to working alongside the Mitchell Shire Council to deliver these important planning and infrastructure projects here in Kilmore.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Labor will cut the country

* * - Monday, October 06, 2014


  • Labor’s pamphlet reveals it will cut funding to country Victoria by $1.936 billion
  • Labor copycats policies which are already in action
  • Labor puts up token spending to cover massive cuts

Labor’s pamphlet, released today, reveals Labor will cut funding for country Victoria by at least $1.936 billion, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said today.

“Labor’s claims it will spend $200 million on regional jobs, $1 billion on regional roads over eight years, and reinstate its token Regional Infrastructure Development Fund are token offerings to disguise huge cuts in the country,” Mr Ryan said.

“Labor steals your wallet then offers you one of your own stolen banknotes as a distraction.

“In the next term of government, Labor, if elected, would cut the Regional Growth Fund ($500 million); cut the Murray Basin Rail Project (up to $220 million); cut up to three quarters of the roads maintenance budget ($1.5 billion); and cut the Country Roads and Bridges program ($160 million).

“It would return a token $200 million for a regional jobs fund, far less than the $500 million the Coalition has already set aside in the Regional Growth Fund – which Labor has said it will axe. The Regional Growth Fund has already invested more than $440 million in 1,600 projects, generating $1.8 billion of investment and 5,000 jobs in regional and rural Victoria.

“Labor’s pledge to spend $1 billion on regional roads over eight years equates to $125 million a year – up to a 75 per cent cut. This year, the Coalition invested $500 million in roads maintenance.

“Labor has said it would reinstate its token Regional Infrastructure Development Fund, which its glossy brochures tell us invested just $61 million a year – $611 million over a decade – so that’s $244 million over the next term of government.

“That’s a $2.38 billion cut from the country and $444 million offered as a replacement – Labor cuts the country by $1.936 billion,” Mr Ryan said.

“Furthermore, Labor’s copycat regional jobs ‘policies’ released today are already reality under the Regional Growth Fund, which Labor aims to axe.

“Labor says it will set up Regional Business Centres and Regional Cities Clusters to ‘provide expert advice and assistance to businesses looking to expand or relocate to regional Victoria’.

This is already done under the Regional Growth Fund.”

Regional Development Victoria already manages 18 regional offices which ‘facilitate investment, jobs and exports, creating a local contact point for businesses, council and community groups’.

RDV also has a Business Engagement Team which ‘engages with Victorian regional businesses to promote the development of sustainable industries that are growth orientated and export focussed’.

“Labor has refused to commit to the Murray Basin Rail Project, worth up to $220 million, which will transform the way goods are transported in western and northern Victoria, creating countless jobs and huge opportunities for business and exports,” Mr Ryan said.

“Labor has also refused to commit to the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges program.

“Labor will cut the country by $1.936 billion, print a glossy brochure and try to fool regional Victorians into believing it invests in the regions.

“Labor will cut the country.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

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