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Regional Growth Fund honours Vietnam Veterans

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Deputy Premier inspects progress of Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk 
  • $1 billion Regional Growth Fund provided $243,000 for stage three of the project 
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better Victoria

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan yesterday inspected progress of the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk in Seymour.


Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund had invested $243,000 in the third and final stage of the project, which was nearing completion.

“The memorial, once completed, will be a poignant reminder of the sacrifice many Australians made in Vietnam,” Mr Ryan said.

“We also expect the walk to draw tourists into the Seymour region, creating vital jobs locally.”

Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan said the project created an important monument that would honour the more than 60,000 Australians who served in Vietnam.

“Of those 60,000 who served, 3000 were wounded, 521 lost their lives and those who did return often received a hostile reception due to the controversial nature of the Vietnam War,” Ms Ryan said.

“The Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk will be an important monument and a place for quiet reflection on the sacrifice made by Australia’s Vietnam servicemen and women.

“The stage three works include the installation of military artefacts and lighting, wall panels to honour recipients of the Victoria Cross, the construction of two car parks, extra landscaping, paving, footpaths and drainage.”

Member for Seymour Cindy McLeish said the overall project would be completed at a cost in excess of $2.5 million and with significant in-kind input from the Mitchell Shire Council and the local community.

“Stages one and two of the project have been completed at a cost of $1.7 million and include the construction of the Luscombe Bowl and Memorial Cairn (stage one) and construction of the Commemorative Wall (stage two),” Ms McLeish said.

“This project is wonderful example of the Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund working with local government and community organisations to deliver local projects nominated by the community, not dreamed up by some politician in Melbourne.

“I thank and congratulate our stage three project partners, including Mitchell Shire Council for providing $100,000, in-kind support, Mitchell Sub Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia for contributing $81,000 and the Commonwealth Government for providing $500,000.”

Mr Ryan said the Regional Growth Fund was investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria.

“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered more than $400 million, generating around $1.6 billion in total investment across more than 1,440 projects,” Mr Ryan said.

During his visit to Seymour Mr Ryan also met with local businesses, toured the Visitor Information Centre and met with the Seymour Football Netball Club.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

$16,600 gets Mirboo North netball back on court

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • New netball court surface for Mirboo North Tigers
  • Funding of $16,600 from Victorian Coalition Government is part of $25,000 project
  • Part of $957,000 investment to get Victorians more active
Mirboo North’s growing sporting community will soon have a new netball court surface on which to practice and host big games following today’s news of a $16,600 investment by the Victorian Coalition Government to ensure the resurfacing of the match netball court at Walter Tuck Reserve.

Minister for Sport and Recreation, Damian Drum today attended the home of the Mirboo North Tigers Football Netball Club to announce the funding under the Country Football Netball Program.

“The Napthine Government is committed to building a more active Victoria, that’s why investments like these are so important,” Mr Drum said.

“The new court surface will be a welcome boost for local clubs like the Tigers and their netball teams which have until now being making do with an ageing an uneven surface.”

Mr Drum said the $16,600 funding boost will enable the replacement of the current surface with a new asphalt surface that will prevent water pooling and will be capable of hosting training and competition.

“Our investment in this project is part of our plan to build more sustainable local infrastructure to cater for growth and encourage even more people to play sport,” Mr Drum said.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the project had strong community support, with the South Gippsland Shire Council and the Mirboo North community committing $4,160 and $4,240 respectively.

“The Mirboo North Tigers field teams in each of the six divisions in the Mid Gippsland Netball Association and last year won premierships in B Grade and the Under 17s, demonstrating the town’s strong passion for netball,” Mr Ryan said.

“This investment from the Coalition Government will deliver a new match court surface to ensure that local netballers of all ages can continue to enjoy their sport in a safe environment.”

Mr Ryan said this project was one of the 12 projects from across Victoria that benefitted from a share in over $957,000 from the latest round of the Coalition Government’s $10 million Country Football Netball Program.

“The program is part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to build a better Victoria by investing in quality sporting infrastructure in regional communities,” Mr Ryan said.

Wandong-Heathcote Junction takes another step towards natural gas

Friday, June 06, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund bringing natural gas to Wandong-Heathcote Junction 
  • Piped natural gas costs about one-third the price of bottled gas 
  • Victorian Coalition Government reducing cost of living for regional Victorians

Wandong-Heathcote Junction is a step closer to receiving piped natural gas following the completion of a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study to finalise the project design and costs.

Speaking in Wandong-Heathcote Junction today, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said that following conclusion of the FEED study, energy company Envestra had begun obtaining planning and environmental approvals.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government reached an agreement with Envestra to supply natural gas to Wandong-Heathcote Junction by investing $4.94 million from the Energy for the Regions Program, a component of the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, to enable the connection.

“This project will see construction of 1.1 kilometres of high pressure supply pipeline from Envestra’s existing network and at least 11.8 kilometres of reticulation mains within the town, providing more than 500 households and businesses with the option to switch to natural gas,” Mr Ryan said.

Member for Seymour Cindy McLeish, who joined Mr Ryan at today’s event, said residents and businesses covered by the distribution plan could enjoy cleaner and cheaper energy, with piped natural gas costing them only about a third of what they pay for bottled gas.

“With the completion of the FEED study, Envestra is aiming to have Wandong-Heathcote Junction connected to natural gas by 2017,” Ms McLeish said.

The Nationals Candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan, who was also present at today’s event, said there were many potential economic benefits from natural gas that could flow to residents and businesses in Wandong-Heathcote Junction.

“The potential for lower energy bills will not only help local families overcome cost of living pressures, it will also boost the local economy by attracting investment, creating opportunities for new businesses and enabling existing businesses to expand,” Ms Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government, through the Energy for the Regions Program, was delivering reticulated natural gas to regional communities where the former Labor Government and current Labor opposition said it couldn’t be done.

“When in government, Labor promised to deliver piped natural gas to communities in regional and rural Victoria , like Wandong-Heathcote Junction, but failed to deliver,” Mr Ryan said.

“Over the past three and a half years, Labor’s shadow regional spokesperson Jacinta Allan, along with Labor member for Northern Victoria Candy Broad, have said again and again that reticulated natural gas could not be delivered to communities such as Wandong-Heathcote Junction.

“It is about time the Labor Party admitted their failure to the people of regional and rural Victoria and acknowledged that through hard work the Coalition Government is delivering what they couldn’t.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Coalition Government building a better Gippsland

Friday, June 06, 2014

This week’s Victorian Coalition Government 2014-15 State Budget delivers in the key areas of education, roads, tourism, business, emergency services and health, Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition’s State Budget delivers improved infrastructure and services for residents and businesses throughout Gippsland to build a better, more connected Victoria.

“This Budget is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into Gippsland and other regional cities and rural communities,” Mr Ryan said.

The Liberal Nationals Coalition Government outlined significant expenditure in the 2014-15 Budget that benefits residents in the Gippsland South electorate. Highlights include:

  • $5.6 million to upgrade Korumburra Secondary College;
  • $4 million for planning and stage One works at the Sale Specialist School; 
  • $5.12 million for the Leongatha heavy vehicle alternate route;
  • $14 million for regional tourism marketing to increase visitors to regional Victoria;
  • $14 million to provide small business owners with practical financial management, marketing and human resources strategies;
  • $4.7 million to upgrade the online energy price comparison tool, My Power Planner;
  • $65 million to fund bushfire management measures;
  • $29 million for the CFA to acquire 78 additional vehicles
  • $20.5 million to replace Respiratory Protection Equipment for CFA and MFB firefighters;
  • 5.5 million for practical on-ground partnership with Landcare groups;
  • An additional $3 million a year for the Boating Safety and Facilities Program, bringing total funding to $8 million annually; and
  • $1.2 billion commitment per year to Vocational Education and Training.

Mr Ryan said these investments build upon the Coalition Government’s recently announced budget initiatives. Highlights in the Gippsland South region include: 


  • An extra $130 million pumped into road maintenance, meaning that more than $500 million will be delivered in the coming year for maintaining roads - up from $384 million under Labor;
  • $73 million for a major redevelopment of Latrobe Regional Hospital, including a new emergency department with double the capacity of the current facility, a new 30-bed ward and a cardiac catheterisation laboratory;
  • $13.5 million for the rollout of new tasers to all 24 hour police stations across regional Victoria, including Sale; 
  • $34 million to expand drug and alcohol treatment services and tackle the use of illicit drugs including ice throughout the state, including Gippsland;
  • $2 million to improve wild dog control; and
  • $3 million to provide support for regional councils to assess infrastructure demand, develop business cases and manage projects.

“By rebuilding Victoria’s finances and keeping the economy strong, the Coalition Government has been able to advance key projects, including those under the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Nationals are exceptionally proud of the Regional Growth Fund, which has contributed to more than 70 projects in the Wellington and South Gippsland shires, leveraging almost $60 million in total investment.”

Mr Ryan said the local projects announced in the 2014-15 State Budget built on the Coalition Government’s significant investment in Gippsland over past Budgets.

Mr Ryan said the Liberal Nationals Coalition Government is building a better Victoria by delivering a strong budget with a record $27 billion investment in roads, rail, health and education, ensuring growth, jobs and opportunities across the state.

“This is in stark contrast to the risk that Daniel Andrews and Labor pose to Victoria’s economy and prosperity. Victorians cannot afford a return to Labor, which is more interested in kowtowing to its union mates than addressing the needs of regional Victorians,” he said.

“Only a Liberal Nationals Coalition Government can be trusted to deliver these important projects on time and within budget.”

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870
stephanie.nicholls@parliament.vic.gov.au



Coalition to build transformational Mildura to Geelong rail standardisation link

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Deputy Premier unveils transformational Mildura to Geelong rail link 
  • Up to $220 million project will revolutionise freight movement across the state 
  • Victorian Coalition Government is investing in vital infrastructure across the state, creating new jobs and investment

The Victorian Coalition Government will invest up to $220 million to deliver key country freight rail line upgrades and build the transformational Mildura to Geelong rail standardisation link.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today unveiled the Coalition Government‟s Murray Basin Rail Project that will revolutionise the movement of freight across the state and unlock the economic potential of regional and rural Victoria.

In the keynote address to The Nationals State Conference in Benalla, Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government‟s State Budget would deliver funding for the Mildura to Geelong standardised rail link with construction expected to be completed by 2018.

“This landmark project is more than a century in the waiting and the Victorian Liberal and Nationals Coalition has delivered funding to build it in our first term of government,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Murray Basin is one of the nation‟s leading food production regions, exporting in excess of $3 billion worth of food products and mineral resources per year.

“By converting the existing broad gauge tracks to standard gauge, the Murray Basin Rail Project will deliver modern rail infrastructure and transform Victoria‟s freight network to meet the increasing demand for freight services.

“The project involves building and upgrading freight lines to 21 tonne axle loading, providing an immediate 15% productivity improvement that will increase train loads by 300 to 400 tonnes.

“It will improve transport efficiency and enhance access to the ports of Portland, Geelong and Melbourne for Victorian exports.

“A modern and efficient rail freight network is critical to Victoria‟s economic productivity and this Project marks the first phase in the Coalition Government‟s vision to standardise regional and rural Victoria‟s freight-only lines to drive future growth and prosperity.”

Mr Ryan said the first stage of the Murray Basin Rail Project would deliver urgent upgrades on the Mildura to Maryborough and Hopetoun to Murtoa rail lines, while the business case for the full Mildura to Geelong standardisation was finalised.

“The first stage of the Project will include an initial $41 million to upgrade the Hopetoun and Mildura rail lines to ensure quick benefits from more efficient freight movement,” Mr Ryan said.

“The final cost and alignment of the full Mildura to Geelong rail standardisation will be guided by the final business case to be delivered by the end of the year.

“The standardisation is also a crucial first step in the return of passenger rail to Mildura.”

Mr Ryan said the Project would assist in moving freight off road and onto rail and pave the way for the potential future creation of a new „transcontinental link‟ near Broken Hill, connecting to the Sydney- Perth rail line.

“The project will enable further logistical flexibility and ease of use of the Victorian rail network. It will result in a mode shift to rail and thereby improve road safety, reduce road congestion and lower road maintenance costs,” Mr Ryan said.

“Ultimately, the project will enable a Transcontinental Rail Link between Mildura and Menindee, near Broken Hill, NSW, connecting to the Perth interstate rail line.”

Mr Ryan said this historic investment formed a central part of the Coalition Government‟s plan to build a better Victoria by delivering new job-creating infrastructure projects that unlock economic potential and drive growth across the state.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Stand together and speak out about bullying

Friday, June 06, 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 stephanie.nicholls@parliament.vic.gov.au

Disability accommodation first for Yarram

Friday, June 06, 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 stephanie.nicholls@parliament.vic.gov.au

Campbell’s boosts Goulburn Valley food exports

Friday, June 06, 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 ben.bulmer@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Peter Ryan in Yarram to hear community issues

Friday, June 06, 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 stephanie.nicholls@parliament.vic.gov.au 



Statement regarding Peter Hall

Friday, June 06, 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 ben.bulmer@minstaff.vic.gov.au