Press Releases

Regional Growth Fund delivers Bendigo’s Events & Exhibition Complex

* * - Tuesday, July 22, 2014
  • Regional Growth Fund invests $2 million for $3.38 million Events and Exhibition Centre
  • Centre means more events and visitors and tourist dollars for Bendigo
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better regional Victoria

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan today opened the new $3.38 million Bendigo Events & Exhibition Complex at the Bendigo Showgrounds.

Speaking at the Showgrounds, Mr Ryan said the project was part of the Bendigo Showground Masterplan and had received a $2 million investment from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund. 

“This project delivered an exhibition pavilion of more than 6000 square metres, with meeting rooms and a kitchen,” Mr Ryan said.

“This new pavilion can be used for large scale animal and agricultural events, including national and international equestrian events.

“The new centre will boost local businesses by increasing the number of events and visitors bringing their tourist dollars to Bendigo.

“The $1 billion Regional Growth Fund continues to invest in community-led projects, strategically driving jobs and investment in rural and regional Victoria. 

“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered almost $420 million, generating around $1.6 billion of total investment across more than 1500 projects.” 

“In Bendigo, the Regional Growth Fund has invested $14.01 million to 27 projects, leveraging $58.1 million in total investment. This includes $2 million for the $9.12 million Bendigo Library and Community Hub; $350,000 for the $430,000 Leveraging the Benefits of the Bendigo Hospital Redevelopment, and $200,000 for the $756,362 Safe Transport Space project.” 

Media contact: Les White    0409 805 122             les.white@minstaff.vic.gov.au 

Frewstal expansion creates 98 jobs in Stawell

* * - Thursday, July 17, 2014

 

  • Frewstal abattoir expansion creates 98 new jobs in Stawell
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $500,000 in $2.1 million expansion
  • Expansion will grow exports to Asia

A $2.1 million abattoir expansion at Stawell has created 98 jobs and boosted exports to Asia.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner and Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley at Frewstal’s abattoir in Stawell today to open the $2.1 million expansion.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government had invested $500,000 to support the expansion, with Frewstal contributing more than $1.5 million and the Northern Grampians Shire Council contributing $30,000 in planning support.

Mr Ryan said the project involved the construction of a new freezer/chiller facility that has enabled Frewstal to increase the production and storage of cut and boned out meat.

Mr Ryan said the new freezer/chiller facility had a capacity of 168 tonnes which enabled product to be supplied direct to port from Stawell, supplying high value export markets.

Mr Ryan said the project also included upgrades to truck loading areas, new car parking facilities and improved access in and out of the site.

“This investment ensures Frewstal will continue to process meat locally, supporting local jobs and the local community,” Mr Ryan said

“The expansion has exceeded everyone’s expectations, with the original estimate of 50 new jobs almost doubling to 98 new jobs once the project was complete.

“A growth in demand from export markets continues to drive the business and the Coalition Government looks forward to working with the company to deliver further expansions at the site.”

Mr Turner welcomed the investment, describing Frewstal as a regional success story, which had grown from 37 staff in 1984 to today employing more than 400 staff.

“The Stawell plant can process more than 1.3 million head of mutton and lamb per year, servicing major supermarket chains, butchers and wholesalers, as well as export markets,” Mr Turner said.

“Four years ago, Frewstal became a Halal accredited site to complement its move into the export market, opening up a wider customer base both overseas and domestically.”

Ms Staley welcomed the investment and said it was another example how the Coalition Government was growing jobs and investment right across the Ripon electorate.

“Here in the Northern Grampians Shire, the Coalition Government, through the Regional Growth Fund has invested more than $3.5 million to support 34 projects, leveraging almost $6 million in total investment,” Ms Staley said.

“This project has created new jobs, boosted exports and ensures a bright future for Frewstal’s Abattoir in Stawell.”

During his visit to Stawell, Mr Ryan and Mr Turner also met with the Northern Grampians Shire Council to discuss local projects, met with businesses on Main Street and hosted a Putting Local First Forum, where local businesses and community groups had the chance to put forward their funding priorities for the region.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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

Regional Growth Fund reaches new milestone

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

 

  • Regional Growth Fund delivers a record 1,500 projects
  • RGF has delivered almost $420 million, leveraging $1.7 billion in investment
  • Coalition Government achieves in three years what Labor couldn’t in 11

The Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund reached its 1,500th project milestone today.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development Peter Crisp in Mildura today to announce the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 in Nangiloc Colignan Farms’ $1.5 million expansion, the Regional Growth Fund’s 1,500th project.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s $150,000 investment enabled Nangiloc Colignan Farms to complete a $1.5 million expansion, creating 12 permanent jobs, 42 harvest jobs, and boosting exports by $7 million a year.

Mr Ryan said this project was indicative of the types of projects the Regional Growth Fund was investing in to create new jobs and investment right across regional and rural Victoria.

“The Regional Growth Fund is designed specifically to invest in communities in regional and rural Victoria; Melbourne cannot access it,” Mr Ryan said.

“Over the past three years, the Regional Growth Fund has invested almost $420 million to support 1,500 projects, leveraging $1.7 billion in total investment.

“Compare this with the former Labor Government’s failed Regional Infrastructure Development Fund which provided a total of $600 million over 11 years and generated just $1.6 billion in total leveraged investment.

“The Coalition Government has achieved more in regional and rural Victoria in three years than the Labor Party achieved in its entire 11 years of government, and with $200 million less.

“Imagine what the Coalition Government can achieve in eight years with $1 billion.

Mr Ryan said of the Regional Growth Fund’s 1,500 investments, 86 were major infrastructure projects, receiving $180 million in direct assistance to generate more than $1.1 billion in total investment.

Mr Ryan said these 86 infrastructure projects would create more than 5,000 direct and 11,000 indirect jobs, while an extra 7,800 jobs were retained and 3,800 created during construction.

“It is not just large infrastructure projects; the Regional Growth Fund is also investing in key local priorities such as hall upgrades, new parks and gardens, rail trails, tourism projects, repairing historic buildings and new community hubs,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are helping local councils build and repair bridges, footpaths and roads, and enabling local businesses and farms to boost exports and create new jobs.

“They key to the Regional Growth Fund is that we don’t dictate to communities what sorts of projects it should fund – they tell us.

“This ensures the Regional Growth Fund is investing in projects that are championed by the community and delivering real benefits to local people.”

Mr Ryan said another exciting component of the Regional Growth Fund was the $100 million set aside to extend natural gas to regional and rural communities.

Agreements have been reached to supply Avoca, Huntly, Bannockburn, Winchelsea, Wandong-Heathcote Junction and Koo Wee Rup, while Mildura’s capacity will be increased by 50 per cent.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s roll-out would continue through the $85 million Request for Tender to deliver reticulated natural gas via CNG and LNG solutions to remaining priority towns and Murray River communities, communities Labor turned its back on.

“Jacinta Allan said the Coalition Government couldn’t sensibly connect any more regional communities to natural gas and described our Energy for the Regions Program as a hoax,” Mr Ryan said.

“I am proud to say this is not a hoax and many communities across regional and rural Victoria will soon be cooking with piped natural gas.”

Mr Ryan said a further $500 million from the Regional Growth Fund would be available over the next term of government and The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, was keen to continue its work with communities to deliver even more key local projects.

“When the regions do well, Victoria does well, and that’s why the Regional Growth Fund was established – to deliver for people in rural and regional Victoria.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund delivers its 1,500th project

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  • $1 billion Regional Growth Fund invests in a record 1,500 projects
  • RGF invests $150,000 for cool room expansion at Nangiloc Colignan Farms
  • Project to create 12 permanent jobs and 42 harvest jobs

    The Victorian Coalition Government’s $ 1 billion Regional Growth Fund reached a major milestone in Mildura today, delivering its 1,500th project.

    Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan attended a Regional Business Leaders Forum in Mildura, where he announced the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 from the Regional Growth Fund to support an expansion at Nangiloc Colignan Farms.

    Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp, said the $1.2 million Nangiloc Colignan Farms expansion would create 12 permanent jobs, 42 harvest jobs and included construction of:
  • a new cool-room packing facility;
  • an additional cool-room storage facility; and
  • an additional hardstand and internal road infrastructure for the loading of containers in a dust free environment.

    Mr Ryan said the cool-room packing facility would be used for the packing, lidding, labelling and shrink-wrapping of up to 10,000 boxes of grapes per day.

    Mr Ryan said the cool-room storage facility would hold packed and processed fruit ready for export to countries including, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong and Russia.

    “We are proud to invest in this expansion project which ensures Nangiloc Colignan Farms can continue producing high quality grapes as well as packed and processed fruit,” Mr Ryan said.

    “It means the company can continue to meet the standard its export customers have come to know and expect of fruit supplied by Nangiloc Colignan Farms.

    “It also enables Nangiloc Colignan Farms to increase its international customer base, with exports expected to grow by more than $7 million per year as a direct result of this expansion.”

    Mr Crisp thanked the Deputy Premier for the Coalition Government’s continued support of the region, particularly through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

    “Securing 12 new permanent jobs and 42 harvest jobs as a direct result of this investment is a win for the region, as is the more than $1.6 million a year which will be injected into the local economy in new wages,” Mr Crisp said.

    “The investment secures the future of this processing facility here in Colignan and provides another shot in the arm for the fruit processing industry here in the Sunraysia region.”

    Mr Crisp said the cool room expansion project would be completed by May 2015 and he looked forward to working with the company and other local fruit processors to identify further areas for growth.

    Mr Ryan paid tribute to Mr Crisp’s unwavering determination to promote his region and secure funding for Sunraysia communities.

    “Peter Crisp is always the first in line to advocate for key local projects that can be supported through the Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Ryan said.

    “Peter Crisp has managed to secure more than $35 million in investment for his community through the Regional Growth Fund, delivering more than 30 local projects which have generated $222 million in total leveraged investment.

    “His wins have included $12 million for the $18.3 million Mildura Riverfront Parklands Project, $5.2 million for the $6.4 million Mildura Airport Terminal Redevelopment, and $500,000 for the $1.8 million Merbein Community Hub.”

 

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund progresses Mildura Motorsports precinct plan

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  • Development of Mildura Motorsports precinct is a step closer
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $103,000 to complete business case
  • Coalition Government invests record funding to support local communities

    Development of the much-anticipated Mildura Motorsports precinct is a step closer, with the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government announcing today that it would invest more than $100,000 to complete a detailed business case.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp in Mildura to announce the $103,000 investment from the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

    Mr Ryan said the $195,000 Mildura Motorsports Precinct Business Case would build on the recommendations of the 2011 North West Victorian Motorsports Feasibility Study, which looked at further developing motorsports in Mildura.

    “Motorsports are incredibly popular in and around Mildura with participation rates four times the national average, which contributes more than $21 million a year to the local economy,” Mr Ryan said.

    “The development of a motorsports precinct, including the co-location of up to nine local motorsports clubs to the one site could grow this economic benefit to well over $60 million per year.

    “The Coalition Government recognise this potential for growth and we are keen to work with the community to grow the motorsports industry locally.”

    Mr Crisp welcomed the investment to develop a business case, saying it would lay-out a detailed and staged development plan for a motorsports precinct at Block H in Koorlong, 11 kilometres south of Mildura.

    “This investment is an important next step towards securing a first- rate motorsports precinct here in Mildura,” Mr Crisp said.

    “The business case will look at the design, cost and placement of a bitumen raceway for cars and motorbikes, a skid pan, required utilities and infrastructure and the co-location of up to nine motorsports clubs at the facility.

    “It will also investigate opportunities to partner with local police to deliver rehabilitation programs for repeat traffic offenders, youth programs and the potential to host motorsports courses through SUNITAFE.

    “Developing a motorsports precinct has the potential to provide long-term benefits to the region and I will to continue to advocate strongly for the community to ensure it is progressed.”

    Mr Ryan thanked the various funding partners including the Mildura Rural City Council, which is contributing $37,500 towards the business case, CAMS, which is providing $40,000 of in-kind support, and HM Leisure Planning, which is providing $14,500 of in-kind support.

    Mr Ryan said the Mildura Motorsports Business Case would be finalised by June 2015.

    Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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

Regional Growth Fund delivers for Nagambie

* * - Wednesday, July 09, 2014

  • $500,000 investment to position Nagambie as a tourist destination 
  • New roundabout, road upgrade, landscaping and outdoor dining 
  • Victorian Coalition Government investing in regional communities

The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will invest $500,000 in stage one of the $837,000 redevelopment of the Nagambie town centre, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan announced yesterday.


Following the completion of the Nagambie bypass in 2013, the local community has been keen for the town to reposition itself from a highway rest stop destination to a genuine visitor destination.

Responding to this call, Mr Ryan was joined by The Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan and Member for Benalla Bill Sykes in Nagambie to announce the Coalition Government’s $500,000 investment through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said the redevelopment of the town centre would include a new roundabout at the southern entrance to Nagambie, road upgrades, landscaping works, and the creation of new outdoor dining areas to encourage buses and recreation vehicles to stop in the town.

“Now that the Nagambie bypass has been completed, the community is keen to transition the town from a drive-through destination to a visitor destination,” Mr Ryan said.

“Nagambie has many great attractions including the magnificent Nagambie Lakes, its proximity to the Strathbogie Ranges, world class food and wine, and a life size bronze statue of the world famous mare Black Caviar.

“As a government, we are enabling the community to capitalise on its many great attractions, ensuring Nagambie becomes a central hub for visitors to the region.

“By encouraging more visitors into town, we are putting locals first and supporting local businesses and local jobs.”

Ms Ryan welcomed the $500,000 investment and said it was another example of what The Nationals could achieve by working as part of a strong Coalition Government team.

“This project is the first stage of an exciting redevelopment that will help transform Nagambie into a vibrant visitor destination,” Ms Ryan said.

“The Strathbogie Shire Council has developed concept plans for the redevelopment of the entire length of High Street over six stages.

“I look forward to working with Peter Ryan and the Coalition Government to help secure further funding to complete additional stages of this important local project.”

Dr Sykes said the redevelopment was one of 25 projects the Regional Growth Fund had supported in the Strathbogie Shire over the past three years.

“Since the middle of 2011 the Regional Growth Fund has delivered more than $400 million across regional and rural Victoria, generating well over $1.6 billion in total investment across almost 1,500 projects,” Dr Sykes said.

“Through the Regional Growth Fund we have been able to secure funding for many important local projects including vital funding to carry out landscaping works at the Black Caviar statue site.”

Dr Sykes said stage one of Nagambie town centre redevelopment would be completed by the middle of next year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Future secure for Royal Flying Doctor Service at Sale

* * - Friday, July 04, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government has invested $360,000 in a new home for the Royal Flying Doctor Service at Sale
  • Administration services to relocate from Maffra to the Central Gippsland Health Service precinct
  • Relocation will secure 12 administration jobs in Sale

Australia’s iconic Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) will maintain a presence in Gippsland, with the planned relocation of administration services to the Central Gippsland Health Service precinct.

The Victorian Coalition Government has provided $360,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to relocate the office from Maffra to Sale.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the relocation would cement the future of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Sale.

“This relocation will secure 12 administration jobs in the local area, staving off a relocation of those roles to Melbourne,” Mr Ryan said.

“Furthermore there is now capacity for two additional administration jobs at Sale.”

Mr Ryan said the Royal Flying Doctor Service provides air and road patient transport services throughout Victoria including mobile patient services to Gippsland.

“The Mobile Patient Care Unit transports patients from home to hospital and specialist appointments, and transports patients between hospitals,” Mr Ryan said.

“This service is for patients requiring non-emergency medical treatment and complements the vital services provided by Ambulance Victoria.

“Mobile units are on call seven days a week and help meet the patient transport needs across the vast Gippsland region.”

Mr Ryan said the Royal Flying Doctor Service Relocation Project would cost $543,230, with $360,000 provided by the Coalition Government through the Regional Growth Fund to the Wellington Shire Council.

Mr Ryan said the site earmarked for the redevelopment within the health precinct is owned by the Wellington Shire, and they will contribute $183,230 to the project.

Mr Ryan said concept plans for the building fit-out have been developed and include vehicle storage facilities.

“The project aligns with the Wellington Shire’s Community Wellbeing Strategy which has been developed in consultation with the Central Gippsland Health Service and RFDS,” Mr Ryan said.

“Co-locating the RFDS with Central Gippsland Health will make better use of the space and will create opportunities for the shared use of facilities and training.”

RFDS Victoria Chief Executive Scott Chapman said the flying doctors were delighted to be consolidating services in Sale.

"We applaud the Government's efforts in supporting jobs and health services in Gippsland," Mr Chapman said.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service Relocation Project is expected to be completed in March 2015.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

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