Press Releases

Stand together and speak out about bullying

* * - Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Bullying in any circumstance is never acceptable
  • Speaking out about bullying helps to diminish bullying
  • Everyone has the right to feel as though they belong
  • Cyber bullying has become a serious problem

Whether it’s in the classroom, on social media, via text or on the bus travelling to or from school, there is no excuse for bullying in any form.

That was the message Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan offered today when he visited Yarram’s primary school and secondary college.

Mr Ryan’s visit to the schools coincided with National Day against Bullying and Violence and National Harmony Day, which will be recognised by the schools tomorrow, Friday 21 March.

Speaking to year seven and eight students at Yarram Secondary College, Mr Ryan said this year’s National Day against Bullying and Violence theme - Bullying. No Way – highlighted that bullying was never acceptable.

“There are many forms of bullying such as excluding people from joining in, physical violence, saying things that upset the person to their face or online or sharing private or unflattering images and messages,” Mr Ryan said.

“All bullying, including cyber bullying, has a negative impact on the ‘target’ that can lead to serious health and social concerns including low self-esteem, reduced academic outcomes, social disconnect, depression and suicide.

“You cannot always judge the effect of your actions online and often messages are taken in a way that you hadn’t intended and with that are consequences that go well beyond your control.”

Mr Ryan said cyberbullying affected people of all races and girls were just as likely to be cyber bullies as boys.

“Cyberbullying can sometimes be worse than other types of bullying because the bully may be anonymous or meaner than they would be in person and the bullying can come at any time, which often leaves victims feeling unsafe in their own homes,” he said.

“With so many Australian youths saying they’ve been cyber bullied, I encourage students to think about what they are saying and the effect that it may have on other people before hitting the post or send buttons on their Facebook or phone.” 

Mr Ryan urged students to stand together and get tough on bullying by speaking up if they or someone they know is being bullied online or face-to-face.

He said those who bully others often aim to impress or intimidate bystanders and the reaction of bystanders can either support or discourage bullying from happening.

“If bystanders do nothing, this can be seen as a form of silent approval whether it’s in the yard or online, however the actions of a supportive bystander have the power to stop or diminish bullying and help the bullied student to recover from the incident,” Mr Ryan said.

“Everyone at your school, sporting club, youth group or community organisation has a right to participate in the activities they enjoy without feeling threatened or intimidated and I encourage each student to ensure this can happen in Yarram.”

In promoting Harmony Day at Yarram Primary School, Mr Ryan said the event was a day to celebrate the diversity of cultures in Australia while making everyone feel as though they belong.

 “This year’s theme ‘Everyone Belongs’ identifies that we should all show cultural respect to everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of the land to those who have come from many countries around the world,” Mr Ryan said.

“There are many ways to incorporate cultural inclusion into our day to day lives and it can be as simple as saying good morning and afternoon in a different language each week.”

Mr Ryan said Yarram Primary School students would tomorrow participate in a range of culturally diverse activities specific to their year level.

“To celebrate Harmony Day, I encourage you all to take a moment to think about the people who have come from more than 200 countries that have helped make Australia the great place it is today.”

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Disability accommodation first for Yarram

* * - Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • New Mirridong facility provides state-of-the-art disability accommodation
  • Independent units now available in Yarram
  • All local tradespeople used to construct and fit out the facility

In a first for Yarram, Mirridong Services can now offer mostly self-sufficient living to its clients with the official opening of two independent living units today.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the magnificent new facility that included a supported accommodation house in addition to the units would provide a state-of-the-art home for nine Yarram residents living with a disability.

“The independent living units, containing two bedrooms each, will allow four Mirridong clients to enhance their day-to-day skills by living in a supported environment while still having access to all of the necessary services they need,” Mr Ryan said.

“This is the first time this type of accommodation has been available in Yarram. Now those wanting to live in an independent living unit no longer have to relocate to Traralgon and leave their family behind.

“This weekend will mark an exciting time for the Mirridong community when the four occupants of the new independent living units shift into their new homes.”

Mr Ryan said he was pleased that Mirridong Services had engaged local tradespeople and businesses to construct and fit out the new units and supported accommodation house.

“Mirridong has a proud history in Yarram, which has been made possible by many members of the community, so it is fantastic to see that those who have supported the project in the past have been employed to produce this new facility,” Mr Ryan said.

Mirridong CEO Guy Webb said the organisation chose to use local people to construct the facility due to the community support it had received in the past.

“In addition, for each service we required the organisation to obtain a number of quotes and every time it was more viable to use the local tradespeople and suppliers over those who had to travel,” he said.

Mr Webb said the new supported accommodation house would provide parents with assurance that their adult child would have a secure place to live and access to the necessary services once they were no longer able to care for them in the family home.

“Mirridong has five long-term clients that will take advantage of the new supported accommodation house,” Mr Webb said.

“The facility has been built specifically for the use of people with disabilities and the supported accommodation house is fully accessible for wheelchairs with wider doorways and passages.

“The facility also features a solar hot water system, double glazing, extensive insulation, LED lighting and four 30,000 litre rainwaters tanks to reduce energy consumption.

“Mirridong Services is proud that it has been able to finance all of the new facilities from the savings it has built up from years of financial astuteness.”

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Campbell’s boosts Goulburn Valley food exports

* * - Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Campbell’s $5 million investment increases export from Lemnos
•Project will secure the future of the Lemnos facility and 250 full-time jobs 
Victorian Coalition Government supports food manufacturing in Goulburn Valley

Campbell’s will invest $5 million at its Lemnos facility to boost exports of canned food products to Asia by up to $14 million a year, a project that will secure the future of 250 full-time jobs in the Goulburn Valley. 

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined Member for Shepparton Jeanette Powell at Lemnos today to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would provide $300,000 to support the $5 million investment. 

“Established at Lemnos in 1962, Campbell’s food manufacturing facility employs around 250 full-time staff making soups, stocks, sauces and juices for domestic and export markets,” Mr Ryan said. 

“The closure of a Campbell Soups  facility in the USA has provided the Lemnos site with the opportunity to increase  production of canned soup for export to Asia, particularly Japan and Hong Kong.

“The $5 million investment will boost exports of processed food products from the facility by up to $14 million a year, while also generating additional sales of Victorian products and services, including cans, packaging, meat and fresh produce.

“This investment will support the continued development of new products and food innovation leading to new market opportunities both domestically and via export.

“This investment has secured the long-term future of Campbell’s Lemnos facility and in doing so secured the future for the 250 full-time employees.”

Mrs Powell welcomed the investment and said the $5 million project was another vote of confidence in the Goulburn Valley and Victoria’s food processing industry, following the recent $22 million investment to secure the future of SPC Ardmona in the Goulburn Valley.

“It is great to see Campbell’s USA parent supporting reinvestment in the Goulburn Valley,” Mrs Powell said.

“The Lemnos site was in direct competition to secure this project with other Campbell Soup manufacturing facilities across USA, China, Malaysia and Europe.

“Securing this project locally is further proof there is a bright future for food manufacturing in the Goulburn Valley.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had provided Campbell’s with funding from its regional investment program Industries for Today and Tomorrow.

“The Coalition Government is committed to promoting growth across the state’s manufacturing industry by supporting projects such as this, which attract new investment, boost productivity and grow exports and jobs,” Mr Ryan said.

“Through our Industries for Today and Tomorrow program we have also invested funding to support other local job creating projects including funding to support the creation 52 full-time jobs as part of a $40 million investment at Pactum Dairy Group in Shepparton, as well as the creation of a further 20 jobs as part of $21 million investment at Kagome in Echuca.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Peter Ryan in Yarram to hear community issues

* * - Monday, March 03, 2014

Peter Ryan’s mobile electorate office in Yarram on 14 March
Opportunity for face-to-face meeting to discuss State Government matters
Contact Sale office on 5144 1987 to book a time to speak with Peter

Members of the Yarram and surrounding communities are invited to meet with Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan on Friday 14 March.

Mr Ryan said his mobile electorate office would visit Yarram to make it easier for residents to meet with him to discuss State Government matters affecting them.

“This event gives me an additional opportunity to connect with my constituents and listen to the issues that are important to them,” Mr Ryan said.

“As part of my role as The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, I believe it is crucial that I am accessible to all of my constituents, no matter where in the electorate they live.

“The mobile electorate office is a great chance for members of the community to meet with me face-to-face to discuss State Government matters relevant to them.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government was responsible for areas including agriculture and fishing, state planning, law enforcement and public transport.

“If you have any State issues you want to discuss or need assistance with, please make contact with my office to arrange a time to meet,” he said.

Mr Ryan will be at the Yarram Bakery Café (222 Commercial Road) on Friday, 14 March and those wishing to make an appointment should call his Sale office on 5144 1987.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870 

Statement regarding Peter Hall

* * - Monday, February 24, 2014
 Victorian Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today congratulated Peter Hall on a remarkable 25 years of service to the communities of Gippsland and Victoria.

Mr Ryan said Peter Hall enjoyed great respect from all sides of politics as Member for Eastern Victoria in the Legislative Council.

“Peter Hall has distinguished himself in State Parliament through his roles of Leader of The Nationals in the Legislative Council and as Minister for Higher Education and Skills and Minister responsible for the Teaching Profession,” Mr Ryan said.

“Peter has been an outstanding advocate for Gippsland and achieved a great deal in supporting the needs of local communities for more than two decades.

“As a former teacher, Peter has brought enormous experience and depth of understanding to his ministerial roles and enjoyed a close working relationship with the education and training sector.

“I thank Peter for his loyal and dedicated service to The Nationals and Victoria over more than 25 years in State Parliament.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Statement regarding Hugh Delahunty

* * - Monday, February 10, 2014

Victorian Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today lauded Hugh Delahunty’s outstanding service to the state, especially the country communities of western Victoria.

“Hugh Delahunty is a very popular and hard working local member for Lowan and an outstanding Minister for Sport and Recreation and Veterans’ Affairs,” Mr Ryan said.

“Hugh has relished his ministerial role in the Coalition Government and has been a tremendous advocate for veterans’ affairs and all forms of sport in our great state.

“Hugh’s commitment to promoting participation in sport and recreation across Victoria has been a hallmark of his time as minister.

“As a hard working local member, Hugh has been a strong voice for local communities and very effective in getting things done for his constituents.

“I congratulate and thank Hugh for his tremendous contribution to The Nationals and Victoria over 14 years in State Parliament.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Statement regarding Jeanette Powell

* * - Monday, February 10, 2014


Victorian Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today paid tribute to Jeanette Powell’s exemplary contribution to the Shepparton electorate and Victoria.

“I congratulate Jeanette Powell on an exemplary 18 years of service to Victoria and The Nationals as Member of Parliament and more recently as Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs,” Mr Ryan said.

“As a Minister in the Coalition Government, Jeanette has been a dedicated and accomplished advocate for local government and aboriginal affairs in Victoria.

“Jeanette Powell has been a tenacious representative of the Shepparton region and worked hard to deliver a fairer share for local communities.

“Most recently, Jeanette has been working tirelessly within government on behalf of Goulburn Valley communities to secure the future of SPC Ardmona in the region.

“Jeanette will continue to be a strong local member for Shepparton right until the election.”

“I thank Jeanette for her dedicated service to Victoria and The Nationals,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731.

Applications open for Nationals Scholarship

* * - Thursday, February 06, 2014

Gippsland students enrolled in their first year of university are encouraged to apply for a scholarship of up to $5,000 from The Nationals to assist with study costs.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said The Nationals Scholarship for Young Leaders encouraged students to return to a regional area on completion of their tertiary studies.

“The Nationals are a proud, long-time sponsor of this bursary and each year I am pleased to see that applications are received from large number of high quality leaders from across Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“Although many years ago now, I undertook my secondary education in a country area and fully understand the barriers faced by rural students wishing to pursue a university degree.

“I admire the strength and resilience it takes for students and their families to overcome those barriers and this scholarship is one way that we can encourage country students to continue with their education.”

Mr Ryan said the total value of the scholarship was $5,000, which could be allocated as a single scholarship or shared amongst one or more successful applicants.

“Last year, the scholarship was shared by Korumburra’s Kaitlyn O’Brien and Caitlin Hand of Red Cliffs near Mildura,” Mr Ryan said.

“Again, the scholarship recipients will be chosen based on their academic achievements, local leadership qualities and involvement with their local community.

“It is intended that the scholarship be awarded to students who are intending to return to or remain in the country after their course and demonstrate a career commitment that will ultimately benefit regional Victoria.”

The Nationals State Director Jenny Hammett said the party had great faith in the potential of young regional Victorians and encouraged students in Gippsland to apply for this year’s scholarship.

Ms Hammett said applications would be accepted until Friday 28 February 2014 and application forms could be downloaded from The Nationals website: 

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Regional Achievement and Community award winners announced

* * - Monday, November 11, 2013


Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Development Damian Drum joined the best and brightest representatives from communities and businesses from across regional and rural Victoria in Bendigo for the 2013 Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

Mr Drum, who represented Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan at the award ceremony, presented two awards sponsored by the Victorian Coalition Government

“It was with great pleasure I presented the Regional Victoria Living Expo Business Achievement Award to Beechworth Honey Experience and the Regional Victoria Living Expo Leadership and Innovation Award to Rebekah Vass of Mount Pleasant,” Mr Drum said.

“Beechworth Honey Experience is a wonderful business which tells a story about nature’s perfect food in an interactive and fun way, leaving a lasting connection with visitors.

“The award is well deserved and is testament to Beechworth Honey Experience’s innovative way of doing business.

“The Leadership and Innovation Award is a new category this year that acknowledges role models paving the way for others to follow in successful careers or community ventures.

“Rebekah Vass is a worthy winner of this award and has been recognised for volunteering her time to conduct workshops that encourage students to finish their Year 12 studies and undertake further studies.”

Mr Drum congratulated the night’s other award winners, including: Dr Christine Lee – GippsTAFE and University of Ballarat Regional Achiever Award; Cassandra Anderson – Fantastic Furniture Indigenous Award; Delacombe Primary School – Medibank Healthy Participation Award; Kaniva College – Ricoh Australia Environment and Sustainability Award; and Firefoxes Australia – Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award.

Mr Ryan also congratulated the award winners and said a key objective of the 2013 Regional Achievement and Community Awards was to promote regional Victoria as a great place to establish a home, and take up employment, business and education opportunities.

“When regional Victoria is growing, the whole state prospers,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to showcasing the benefits of regional and rural living through such initiatives as the Good Move campaign and the Regional Victoria Living Expo.

“With this year’s expo attracting 9,500 people looking to make their dream of country living a reality, the Regional Achievement and Community Awards provide another opportunity to promote the benefits of regional and rural Victoria.”

Mr Ryan said the 2014 Regional Victoria Living Expo would be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 11-13 April.

“Up to 130 exhibitors will be on hand to assist the anticipated 10,000 visitors on their relocation journey with information on regional jobs, housing, education, health and lifestyle opportunities,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund to revitalise Cobram CBD

* * - Wednesday, November 06, 2013


An exciting revitalisation project that will enhance the Cobram streetscape, improve pedestrian linkages and revitalise the Cobram CBD will be carried out with more than $800,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy in Cobram today to announce the Coalition Government would provide $500,000 towards the Cobram Streetscape Upgrade project, following an earlier allocation of $310,000.

“The new design for Cobram CBD will see improved street furniture and a flexible community space that can be utilised for existing and proposed arts and cultural festivals,” Mr Ryan said.

“There will be an improved flow of traffic through the CBD with a new traffic circle that will encourage people to park their car and walk around the precinct.

“Tree planting, garden beds and the lawn will also be incorporated into the overall look and feel of Cobram’s streetscape.”

Mr McCurdy welcomed the funding support and said there had been significant community consultation regarding the project.

“The Cobram Building Initiative Committee were involved in design discussions, and identified the key issues of social inclusion, community pride and cohesiveness, and the need to improve opportunities for local businesses – all of which are included in the design framework,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Cobram is a river community that has a large influx of visitors over holiday periods and the ability to maximise this opportunity by attracting them to a vibrant CBD is critical to the success and growth of businesses within the town.”

Mr McCurdy thanked funding partner Moira Shire Council for its $135,000 contribution towards the project, which was in addition to the Coalition Government’s $810,000 Regional Growth Fund contribution.

“This project is another strong example of the Coalition Government, through the Regional Growth Fund, delivering important local infrastructure projects for communities in the Moira Shire,” Mr McCurdy said.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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