Press Releases

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

Cheaper bills for South Gippsland Water customers

* * - Friday, June 27, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government delivering cheaper water bills
  • Average savings of $48 per year for the next four years
  • Coalition Government driving down cost of living pressures

Homeowners and small business operators in Yarram, Foster, Toora, Leongatha and Korumburra will save $48 on their water bills each year for the next four years thanks to the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government‟s Fairer Water Bills Initiative.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan welcomed the savings which have been achieved by South Gippsland Water cutting back on office waste and unnecessary red tape.

“Gippsland households and small businesses have frustratingly come to expect that their water bills will keep rising each and every year,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has said „enough is enough‟ and asked water corporations to find savings.

“I am pleased to announce that for the next four years South Gippsland Water will provide rebates of an average of $48 a year to residential and small business customers paying water and wastewater service charges.

“This means that 90 per cent of South Gippsland Water‟s residential customers and many small business owners will receive a significant reduction to their water bills.”

Mr Ryan said the savings would be delivered through a once-off yearly rebate applied to all residential water customers‟ accounts (excluding cistern accounts) from 1 July 2014.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to driving down cost of living pressures and the Fairer Water Bills initiative was delivering real savings for household and small business budgets.

“The Coalition Government asked South Gippsland Water to identify ways it could help customers save on their water bills without compromising on service,” Mr Ryan said.


“South Gippsland Water highlighted a number of cost saving measures, which included partnering with other corporations to achieve larger savings, more efficient use of water treatments and lower vehicle management costs.”

South Gippsland Water Chairman Joan Liley said the corporation was pleased to deliver savings for customers over the next four years.

“Reductions in customers‟ water and wastewater bills will begin on Tuesday 1 July 2014, and these savings will help to ease pressures on household and small business budgets,” Ms Liley said.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Coalition delivering cheaper water bills

* * - Friday, June 27, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government delivering cheaper water bills
  • Savings of up to $36 per year for the next four years
  • Coalition Government driving down cost of living pressures

Homeowners, tenants and landlords in Sale, Rosedale, Stratford, Maffra and Heyfield will save up to $36 on their water bills each year for the next four years thanks to the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government‟s Fairer Water Bills initiative.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan welcomed the savings which have been achieved by Gippsland Water cutting back on office waste and unnecessary red tape.

“Gippsland households have frustratingly come to expect that their water bills will keep rising each and every year,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has said „enough is enough‟ and asked water corporations to find savings.

“I am pleased to announce that for the next four years Gippsland Water will provide rebates of $26 a year to all customers paying water service charges and $10 a year to customers paying water use charges.

“This means that owner-occupiers will receive a total $36 saving off their annual water bills, tenants will save $10, and landlords will save $26.”

Mr Ryan said all residential customers of South Gippsland Water were eligible to receive the savings, which would be delivered through a yearly one-off rebate applied to all residential water customers‟ accounts from 1 July 2014.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to driving down cost of living pressures and the Fairer Water Bills initiative was delivering real savings for household budgets.

“The Coalition Government asked Gippsland Water to identify ways it could help customers save on their water bills without compromising on service,” Mr Ryan said.

“Gippsland Water highlighted a number of cost saving measures, which included a reduction in the use of external consultants, better collaboration with local government and other agencies, and streamlining of internal processes.”

Gippsland Water Chairman Richard McDowell said the organisation was happy to pass on savings to its customers as it would help to ease some of the pressure on household budgets.

“We‟ve been able to identify some projects and internal processes which will have a positive impact on our bottom line through the Fairer Water Bills initiative and we will continue to examine how we do business to keep downward pressure on customer‟s bills,” Mr McDowell said.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Coalition Government building a better Gippsland

* * - Friday, May 09, 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



Victorian Coalition Government is building a better regional Victoria

* * - Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Victorian Coalition Government's 2014-15 Victorian State Budget delivers record funding to build a better Victoria by investing in the future infrastructure and services to unlock the potential and drive growth across regional and rural communities.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government was investing in new job-creating infrastructure projects that would deliver more efficient roads and rail, better hospitals and schools and safer communities.

"The Coalition Government is building a better regional and rural Victoria by delivering infrastructure and services that unlock the growth potential of the regions," Mr Ryan said.

"Responsible financial management means we have delivered a healthy $1.3 billion surplus and maintain our AAA credit rating, enabling us to invest more in rural and regional Victoria."

Rail Infrastructure

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government's investment in regional and rural Victoria was spearheaded by a commitment of up to $220 million to build the Mildura to Geelong rail standardisation link as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project.

"The Coalition Government's Murray Basin Rail Project will transform the movement of freight across the state and unlock economic potential by delivering key country freight rail line upgrades and building the Mildura to Geelong rail standardisation link," Mr Ryan said.

"An additional $209.5 million is also delivered for the maintenance of new stations, bridge, other infrastructure and the delivery of new train and bus services along the $4.1 billion new Regional Rail Link, which will transform regional passenger rail services.

"Other rail investment includes $5.8 million to improve disability access at the Geelong Station and to upgrade the bus interchanges at Moorabool Street and North Shore in Geelong, $14.3 million for a new crossing loop at Rowsley to improve rail operations on the Ballarat line and $1.3 million for planning for the Avalon Airport Rail Link transport corridor," Mr Ryan said.

Road Infrastructure

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was strongly investing in building and upgrading roads across Victoria with an extra $130 million for roads maintenance and restoration, increasing our roads maintenance investment to more than $500 million for the coming year.

The State Budget delivers key regional and rural road projects in partnership with the Commonwealth including:

  • $362.2 million to duplicate the Princes Highway from Winchelsea to Colac;
  • $86 million for the Calder Highway interchange at Ravenswood;
  • $31.8 million for the Princes Highway East interchange at Sand Road;
  • $11 million for Princes Highway East overtaking lanes; and
  • $56.2 million for the Transport Solutions initiative which delivers targeted improvement projects to reduce bottlenecks and improve transport flows in key regional areas.

The Coalition Government will also invest $12.9 million to deliver the Pioneer Road duplication.

"In stark contrast, Labor's transport plan says it will set aside just $1 billion over eight years, or $125 million a year, for regional roads – slashing regional roads spending by two-thirds," Mr Ryan said.

"The money Labor cuts from country roads will be used to pay for Melbourne level crossing removals, where 32 of the 40 promised level crossing removals are in Labor held seats."

Hospitals and healthcare

Mr Ryan said that country hospitals would share in an extra $287 million to hospital bottom-line funding over the next year alone, to treat more patients and assist more people in emergency departments.

"The Coalition Government is investing in building better hospitals and delivering more efficient services so that regional Victorians can access the best healthcare," Mr Ryan said.

The State Budget's key regional and rural health investments include:

  • $73 million for Stage 2a of the Latrobe Regional Hospital redevelopment;
  • $28million to build the new Barwon Health-North facility;
  • $14 million for the Boort Hospital redevelopment; and
  • $8.6 million for two new Prevention & Recovery Care (PARC) mental health services, at Mildura and Warrnambool.

"This new spending builds on what we have already delivered including the biggest regional hospital in Australia's history – the $630 million Bendigo Hospital; the $46.4 million expansion of the Ballarat Hospital, the $65.6 million Echuca Hospital redevelopment and the $10 million Castlemaine Hospital upgrade, and hospital redevelopments at Mildura, Swan Hill, Kerang, Charlton, Numurkah, Geelong and Kilmore," Mr Ryan said.

"The regions will also share in $34.1 million to expand drug and alcohol treatment services and tackle the use of illicit drugs including ice.

"This funding boost will provide support services for over 2,000 extra people a year in rural and metro areas to respond to the growth in the use of ice," Mr Ryan said.

Education and training


Mr Ryan said regional and rural schools would share in a massive $500 million school capital investment package in the 2014-15 State Budget.

"The Coalition Government is building new schools, including $10 million Horsham College for modernisation and regeneration, $8.5 million for Geelong High School as part of $20 million commitment for a modernisation, and $7.8 for the Ballarat High School modernisation," Mr Ryan said.

"Additional to general budget spending, we're also investing $5 million over four years from the Regional Growth Fund into Year 12 retention in the regions.

"The regions will also share in $272.8 million in funding for increased support for students with moderate to severe disabilities in mainstream and specialist government schools.

"For skilling Victorians, the Coalition Government is investing $1.2 billion per year in vocational education and training. The Victorian Coalition Government is also investing $30 million in training for automotive workers," Mr Ryan said.

Food and fibre production

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government will continue to build a stronger food and fibre sector with $41 million of new initiatives in the 2014-15 Budget.

"This year's budget includes $35.4 million over four years, plus a further $6 million thereafter, for the Government's Food into Asia Action Plan to increase the volume and value of food exports into Asia, as we aim to double Victorian agricultural production by 2030," Mr Ryan said.

"The 2014-15 Budget will assist farmers in the war against wild dogs with an additional $1.8 million allocated for aerial baiting and ground baiting in North East Victoria and Gippsland.

"There is also $2.3 million to help establish a poppy industry in Victoria, and $1.6 million to deliver the Goulburn Valley fruit growing industry concessional loans package.

"The Coalition Government will also invest a further $40 million in water management initiatives which will help protect more communities from floods, tackle salinity and support the Murray Darling Basin Authority," Mr Ryan said.

Public Safety

Mr Ryan said the State Budget continues to invest in the CFA and the three highest CFA budgets in Victoria's history have all been delivered by the current Victorian Coalition Government.

"The 2014-15 CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than Labor provided in its last year of office. This record investment shows Labor's 'CFA budget cuts' mantra is an outright lie," Mr Ryan said.

"The CFA investment will now include a bonus $17.2 million to purchase 49 additional medium tankers for CFA brigades on top of the 29 vehicles already coming out of the CFA's usual budget, and $20.5 million to replace all existing respiratory protection equipment for Victoria's fire services.

"The State Budget delivers $13.5 million to roll out Tasers to all regional 24-hour police stations as well as $14.4 million for the new Echuca Police Station and $8.4 million to establish an emergency service precinct at Ballarat West," Mr Ryan said.

Funding announced in the 2014-15 State Budget was in addition to the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which has so far invested almost $400 million in more than 1,400 projects, generating more than $1.6 billion of total investment and expected to create thousands of jobs.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

$5 million for first phase of Benalla Education Regeneration

* * - Friday, May 02, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government commits to delivering Benalla Education Regeneration 
  • 2014/15 State Budget invests $5 million in the first phase of work 
  • Coalition Government is building a better regional Victoria

The Victorian Coalition Government will deliver the visionary Benalla Education Regeneration project with a first phase investment of $5 million allocated in the 2014/15 Victorian Budget, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan joined Member for Benalla Bill Sykes at Benalla P-12 to announce that the Coalition Government would continue building a better Victoria by investing $5 million to begin the community driven education development.

Mr Ryan said Benalla P-12 was created when four Benalla schools merged at the beginning of 2013, and currently operates across four campuses.

“The uncertainty around this project was how do we bring these four facilities into one,” Mr Ryan said.

“Today I am here to announce that the Coalition Government will invest $5 million to deliver certainty to this project.”

Mr Ryan said the $5 million would ensure the school’s master plan could be completed, and initial building works could be started.

“This announcement will enable us begin important building works over the course of this year,” Mr Ryan said.

“The funding will continue to flow for this project over the coming years under a Coalition Government.”

Mr Ryan paid tribute to Mr Sykes , the school council and the broader school community for their joint vision and making this project a reality.


“It’s a very courageous thing for a community to decide to establish one school out of four. It’s also a far sighted decision because this is the best way forward for future generations of Benalla students,” Mr Ryan said.

“Securing this funding is a wonderful vote of confidence for Benalla and we as a government are proud to support it.”

Mr Sykes said securing this important initial funding marked a great day for the Benalla community and the school’s more than 1000 students.

“Securing funding to begin works at Benalla P-12 was my highest priority heading into this Budget and I am thrilled to be here today to make this announcement,” Mr Sykes said.

“This announcement will be well received by the community and it will have a significant and positive impact on Benalla P-12 students.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was delivering better schools right across regional and rural Victoria as part of its strategy to boost education in Victoria.

“The Coalition Government has boosted funding for school maintenance and is providing a record $8.8 billion in funding for primary and secondary school education in the 2014 calendar year,” Mr Ryan said.

“Delivering modern school infrastructure is vital if we are to create a truly world-class school system here in Victoria.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Deputy Premier announces $4.75 million Wangaratta High School redevelopment

* * - Thursday, May 01, 2014


  • Deputy Premier announces $4.75 million for Wangaratta High School 
  • Block A to be demolished, replaced by a modern teaching and learning space 
  • Victorian Coalition Government is delivering record education funding

The Victorian Coalition Government will fund much-needed upgrades to Wangaratta High School as part of the 2014-15 Victorian Budget, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan joined Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy in Wangaratta to announce that the Coalition Government would invest $4.75 million to deliver modern teaching and learning spaces, as part of stage three of the Wangaratta High School masterplan.

Mr Ryan said the project would involve demolishing Block A’s dilapidated classrooms and administration facilities, replacing it with modern classrooms and open spaces.

“Block A was described as substandard, worn and of poor quality in the Coalition Government’s recent maintenance audit of every school in Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government is proud to deliver this much-needed funding to support the replacement of Block A.

“I thank local teachers, parents, students and the broader Wangaratta community who have championed this project, and I applaud their dedication to see it through to completion.

“I also pay tribute to the Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy who has strongly advocated for this project in the Parliament; he can take great pride in the fact this funding has now been delivered.”

Mr Ryan said the project would complement works already undertaken as part of the school’s masterplan.

“Stage one of the masterplan saw the development of new senior school facilities, with stage two delivering a new science block and administration facilities,” Mr Ryan said

“The Coalition Government’s investment will finalise the work outlined in the masterplan, providing a school that will meet the educational needs of the region’s students long into the future.”

Mr McCurdy said securing this funding marked a great day for the Wangaratta community and the school’s 950 students.

He said the school community would be provided with the opportunity to have its say in how the funds should be directed to ensure the best return for students.

“This project will have a significant and positive impact on Wangaratta High School students,” Mr McCurdy said.

“I am proud to be part of a Coalition Government that is investing in local schools and building a brighter future for students in Wangaratta and the North East.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was delivering better schools right across regional and rural Victoria as part of its strategy to boost education in Victoria.

“The Coalition Government has boosted funding for school maintenance and is providing a record $8.8 billion in funding for primary and secondary school education in the 2014 calendar year,” Mr Ryan said.

“Delivering modern school infrastructure is vital if we are to create a truly world-class school system here in Victoria.”

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

Deputy Premier announces $7.6 million boost for Yarrawonga P-12

* * - Thursday, May 01, 2014

  • Yarrawonga College P-12 to receive $7.6 million in 2014-15 Victorian Budget 
  • Primary and secondary school facilities to be consolidated onto a single site 
  • Victorian Coalition Government is delivering record education funding

The Victorian Coalition Government will invest more than $7 million to enable Yarrawonga College P-12 to consolidate its primary and secondary school campuses at one location, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan joined Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy in Yarrawonga today to announce that the Coalition Government had allocated $7.6 million in the 2014-15 Victorian Budget to enable the school to co-locate its campuses.

“Today is a great day for students, parents, teachers and all those associated with the Yarrawonga P-12 school,” Mr Ryan said.

“The $7.6 million investment will enable Yarrawonga College P-12 to begin consolidating its campuses and delivering improved school facilities.”

Mr Ryan said the site of the new school would be adjacent to the recently completed BER building on the east side of Gilmore Street.

He said the BER building would now form a Prep-Year One precinct.

Mr Ryan said Yarrawonga College P-12 had been identified as a priority for capital works funding in the Coalition Government’s recent maintenance audit of every school in Victoria.

“The Coalition Government invested an initial $260,000 at Yarrawonga College P-12 in 2013 to address the critical maintenance needs identified in the audit,” Mr Ryan said.

“The $7.6 million we are providing in this Budget will include an allocation of $625,000 to further address those critical maintenance needs identified in the audit.”

Mr McCurdy said securing the Coalition Government funding marked a great day for students and the wider Yarrawonga community.

He strongly encouraged the school community to have their say on how the funds should be spent to ensure the best return for students.

“This project will have a significant and positive impact on Yarrawonga P-12 students, ensuring they are able to start and finish their school years at the one location,” Mr McCurdy said.

“I am proud to be part of a Coalition Government that is investing in local schools and building a brighter future for students in Yarrawonga and the North East.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was delivering better schools right across regional and rural Victoria as part of its strategy to boost education in Victoria.

“The Coalition Government has boosted funding for school maintenance and is providing a record $8.8 billion in funding for primary and secondary school education in the 2014 calendar year,” Mr Ryan said.

“Delivering modern school infrastructure is vital if we are to create a truly world-class school system here in Victoria.”

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

Coalition Government delivers $316 million surplus for 2012-13

* * - Monday, October 14, 2013

 

The Victorian Coalition Government has delivered a healthy budget surplus of $316 million for the 2012-13 financial year.

Releasing the 2012-13 Annual Financial Report for the State of Victoria today, Premier Denis Napthine and Treasurer Michael O’Brien said the final outcome demonstrated the Coalition Government’s fiscal strategy to build stronger state finances and a stronger economy was on track.

“The Coalition Government’s strong surplus of $316 million is considerably higher than the $177 million estimate at the time of the 2013-14 budget,” Dr Napthine said.

“Our surplus, combined with substantial investment in infrastructure, confirms the Coalition Government has the right strategies in place to manage the Victorian economy.”

Dr Napthine said constraining expenses growth for 2012-13 to 2.1 per cent was central to delivering a surplus higher than the revised budget estimate.

“Expenditure growth of 2.1 per cent is significantly lower than the average growth rate of 8 per cent over the decade to 2009-10 under the former State Labor Government,” Dr Napthine said.

“The Coalition Government has been able to achieve this responsible economic outcome at the same time as delivering successive record infrastructure programs, a record health budget, increased funding for schools and better services for people with disabilities.”

Mr O’Brien said the result confirmed that only a Coalition Government has the discipline to make the responsible decisions required to manage the Budget and deliver the infrastructure and services all Victorians need.

“This is the lowest expenditure growth since 1998-1999 and underlines the Coalition Government’s commitment to careful financial management while enhancing frontline services and running a record infrastructure program,” Mr O’Brien said.

“A productivity focus and ensuring value for money in enterprise bargaining is critical to ensuring that our state’s finances can withstand continuing revenue pressures from a soft national economy.”

Net debt in the general government sector as a proportion of gross state product was in line with the revised Budget forecast at 5.8 per cent.

The Annual Financial Report confirms that Victoria’s finances are the strongest of any state in Australia and will provide a solid foundation for future investment in critical infrastructure and service delivery.

“Sound financial management has maintained Victoria as the only state in Australia to hold a AAA stable credit rating from both major rating agencies,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Over $5.2 billion was invested in infrastructure over the 2012-13 financial year to support Victorian communities and population growth.”

Major projects that commenced in 2012-13 include the Monash Children's Hospital, the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital upgrade, the Geelong Hospital upgrade, increased prison capacity and removal of level crossings.

“The Coalition Government is continuing to build more capacity in Victoria’s finances to fund future infrastructure and prioritise investment in frontline services to improve safety, health services, education and community services,” Mr O’Brien said.

Improving business sustainability in Leongatha

* * - Thursday, August 08, 2013
Business owners wanting to reduce electricity costs and discover ways to operate a more sustainable enterprise can attend the Sustainability: It's Just Good Business seminar in Leongatha this month.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan encouraged owners and managers to attend the seminar that will assist them to implement energy efficiency and sustainability opportunities to gain measurable benefits.

Mr Ryan said the seminar, which is being supported by the Victorian Coalition Government, will be held at Community College Gippsland’s Leongatha Campus (38 – 40 Horn Street) from 7.30am on Wednesday, 21 August.

“Participants will have access to relevant, reliable and affordable information on how to make their business more sustainable thanks to this forthcoming seminar,” Mr Ryan said.

“Research indicates 70 per cent of consumers are more likely to buy their products or services from sustainable local businesses.”

Mr Ryan said more than 3,000 businesses throughout the state participated in Small Business Victoria’s workshops and seminars last year.

“I encourage local businesses to take advantage of this high-quality course. Undertaking local learning rather than having staff travel to Melbourne for training saves businesses time and money,” Mr Ryan said.

“All of Small Business Victoria’s workshops and seminars are delivered by private sector business specialists who are well-qualified and experienced in small business.”

Innovation, Services and Small Business Minister Louise Asher said the Coalition Government recognised the vital role Victoria’s 533,000 small businesses played in the economy of the state.

Ms Asher said the Coalition Government was committed to encouraging small business and individual initiative.

“An environment that rewards those who work hard, save, invest and create employment is essential to the future of small businesses across the state,” Ms Asher said.

For more information about other workshops and seminars that are available, please go to: www.business.vic.gov.au/workshops or contact Mr Ryan’s office in Sale on 5144 1987.

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


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