Press Releases

Truss and Ryan announce joint $2 million investment for Longerenong College

* * - Friday, September 26, 2014

 

  • Truss and Ryan announce $2 million for Longerenong College
  • $4.5 million project will upgrade student accommodation facilities
  • Project will encourage more students to live and study on-campus

Longerenong College’s ageing student accommodation will be refurbished thanks to a joint Commonwealth and State government investment, encouraging more students to live and study on-campus.

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss joined Deputy Premier Peter Ryan, Federal Member for Mallee Andrew Broad and The Nationals candidate for Lowan Emma Kealy at Longerenong today to announce the $2 million joint investment.

Today’s announcement delivers the final instalment needed to fund the redevelopment of Longerenong College’s student accommodation facilities and follows an earlier commitment of $1.1 million from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Truss said it was an honour to visit the Wimmera to announce the $2 million investment that would help one of the country’s best agricultural colleges improve its facilities.

“Longerenong College is one of Victoria’s leading agricultural education and training facilities and is the only educational facility in the region that offers agricultural training and on-site accommodation,” Mr Truss said.

“The College delivers hands-on training through its 1,070 hectares farm which is complete with cropping, sheep and beef cattle enterprises, and offers students a wide variety of courses such as shearing, truck driving, header operation and farm management among others.

“It has a wide-reaching reputation for producing highly skilled graduates, who are highly sought after to work on-farm or in associated agribusiness.

“While student numbers are at an all-time high, sadly the accommodation facilities, which are up to 70 years old, have fallen into disrepair and as such are only at 50 per cent occupancy.

“This joint investment will ensure the student accommodation facilities match the magnificent training on offer here at Longerenong College, encouraging more students to live and study on-campus.”

Mr Ryan said the project would be a ‘game-changer’ for the College’s students, and would involve:

  • Refurbishing 108 single occupancy student rooms;
  • Refurbishing six single occupancy student rooms to provide disabled access;
  • Refurbishing shared residential facilities (bathrooms, kitchenettes, kitchen, lounge rooms and laundry), pathways and stairwells;
  • Constructing a new three-storey building, adjoining the accommodation, including two new communal study areas and a separate recreational area;
  • Installing reverse-cycle air conditioning and electronic access;
  • Upgrading wireless internet infrastructure; and
  • Replacing the existing hot water service.

“Today’s announcement is great news for students, the community and the agricultural sector more broadly,” Mr Ryan said.

“Most of Longerenong College’s 300 students live more than 100 kilometres away so access to on-site residential facilities and catering is a key factor in them being able to undertake vocational training.

“This investment means the College will be able to attract students back to on-campus living, while providing valuable casual accommodation for visitors to the region during the holiday season.

“Replacing the hot water service will also ensure there are no more cold showers, which I am sure will be warmly welcomed by Longerenong College students.”

Mr Ryan said the joint Federal and State government funding would be provided through the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program - Victoria.

“This program has been designed to strengthen and diversify local economies impacted by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan,” Mr Ryan said.

“The $15 million fund includes $10 million from the Federal Government and $5 million from the Victorian Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

“Today’s investment is a terrific example of how we can use this fund to support local economies and I look forward to returning to the Longerenong College once this project is complete.”

Mr Ryan said the remaining $1.4 million needed to complete the project would be provided by Longerenong College.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Deputy Premier launches Hume Region RAJAC Plan

* * - Thursday, September 25, 2014

 

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals, Peter Ryan officially launched the Hume Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee’s (RAJACs) Plan for 2013-18

Mr Ryan was joined by The Nationals Member for Shepparton, Jeanette Powell and The Nationals Candidate for Shepparton, Greg Barr at the Shepparton Office of the Department of Justice today.

Mr Ryan said since the first Aboriginal Justice Agreement in 2000 - 2006, and the respective RAJAC Plans, we have seen innovative programs in the areas of crime prevention, family violence and justice-related issues, education and treatment services.

“The RAJACs whole-of-community approach enables it to be responsive to the needs of Aborigines who find themselves in the criminal justice system,” Mr Ryan said.

“I particularly commend the Koori Justice Unit for its efforts to lead and enhance interventions and support services throughout the state, and the local RAJAC for developing a plan that meets the needs of the community.”

Mrs Powell said the Victorian government continues to be a leader in addressing the over representation of Aboriginal people in our justice system.

“In developing this plan, staff from both the Department of Justice and Department of Human Services consulted with the local community in Shepparton, Mooroopna, Wangaratta, Seymour and Wodonga,” Mrs Powell said.

“Coming from this consultation it was clear that the priorities for the Hume Region would involve strengthening communities, Drug & Alcohol, Mental Health, Diversion Support, Post-Prison Support and Partnerships.”

Mr Barr said it was great to see new initiatives coming from this plan especially as the community focused approach to delivering justice services will help ensure the most appropriate support is provided to people in the judicial system.

Mr Ryan particularly thanked Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative and Mungabareena Aboriginal Cooperative who already deliver important justice services to Aboriginal communities in the Hume Region.

“Providing integrated services which are culturally appropriate and relevant is the key to helping people who find themselves in the justice system,” Mr Ryan said.

“I also thank all community members in the Hume region who contributed in many ways to deliver positive outcomes for their communities and the people within them.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Rosedale early learning centre receives $11,000 boost from Victorian Coalition Government

* * - Monday, September 15, 2014

 

• IT and minor works grants to improve early years services in Rosedale
• Total of $2.9 million allocated for early childhood learning grants across Victoria
• Victorian Coalition Government is building better early learning facilities

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today announced that Rosedale’s Neighbourhood Kids Early Learning Centre would receive $11,395 to improve its outdoor play area and purchase new IT.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $10,000 to build a new gazebo and carry out improvements to the garden at the Neighbourhood Kids Early Learning Centre.

He said the remaining $1395 would be used to purchase a new computer to assist staff in the running of the centre.

“This investment is great news for local children who attend Rosedale’s Neighbourhood Kids Early Learning Centre,” Mr Ryan said.

“These works are a welcome addition to the centre, creating a safe and stimulating environment for children to learn and play.

“The new computer will also be of great benefit to the centre’s dedicated staff, giving them the tools they need to operate this facility.

“The Nationals, working as part of a Coalition Government, are committed to giving local children the best possible start in life through improved early learning facilities.”

Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell said the     $2.9 million program was crucial to ensuring Victorian early years services continue to deliver the world class learning programs for families.

“Victoria already leads the nation in early childhood education and care, and by improving early years facilities and infrastructure, we are making Victoria an even better place for families with children,” Ms Lovell said.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Leongatha and Korumburra early years services to receive IT boost

* * - Monday, September 15, 2014

 

• Deputy Premier announces almost $4,500 to purchase new IT equipment
• Allora Kindergarten, Hassett Street Kindergarten, Leongatha Children’s Centre, and Korumburra Kindergarten to benefit
• Victorian Coalition Government is investing in early learning services

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today announced Allora Kindergarten, Hassett Street Kindergarten, Leongatha Children’s Centre, and Korumburra Kindergarten would share in almost $4,500 to purchase new IT equipment.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government would invest a total of $2916 for new desktop computers for Allora Kindergarten and Hassett Street Kindergarten, and a new printer for Leongatha Children’s Centre.

He said Korumburra Kindergarten would receive $1,500 to purchase two iPads to assist with administration.

“The new computers, iPads and printer will be of great benefit to the four childcare centres’ dedicated staff, giving them the tools they need to run their facilities,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Nationals, working as part of a Coalition Government, are committed to giving local children the best possible start in life through improved early learning facilities.

“IT equipment is expensive and forever evolving, meaning many of our local kindergartens and early learning centres need to update their systems on a regular basis.

“By supporting our local early learning centres to purchase new IT equipment we are taking one more stress away from our local centres, enabling staff to focus on what they do best and that is look after our local children.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had supported 643 Victorian kindergartens and children’s centres to upgrade their facilities and IT systems through $2.9 million in grants.

He about 200 desktop computers, 150 tablets, 80 laptops, 25 printers and 20 touch tables would be purchased through these grants program. 

Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell said the grants were crucial to ensuring Victorian early years services can continue to deliver the world class learning programs for Victorian families.

“Victoria already leads the nation in early childhood education and care, and by improving early years facilities and infrastructure, we are making Victoria an even better place for families with children,” Ms Lovell said.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Victorian Coalition Government step in to save LLENs

* * - Wednesday, September 03, 2014

• Funding for LLENs more than triples to $8 million in 2015
• Victorian Coalition Government steps in to save LLENS after Commonwealth pulls its funding
• Victorian Coalition Government building better education for all

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced today that Victorian Coalition Government funding for Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) would be tripled in 2015.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government’s funding for LLENs would be increased by $5.7 million in 2015, bringing its total commitment to $8 million next year.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government had stepped in to save LLENs following the Commonwealth Government’s decision to discontinue funding for the program from next year.

“Just as the Victorian Coalition Government stepped in with $5.1 million to save the Workplace Learning Coordinators program in 2013, we have again stepped in to save LLENs after the Commonwealth cut its funding” Mr Ryan said.

“Over the past few months we have been working with the LLENs to ensure they have funding certainty for next year.

“While I am disappointed that the Commonwealth has chosen to cut its funding for this program in 2015, I am proud that the Victorian Coalition Government has stepped into to ensure the continuation of LLENs.”

Mr Ryan said LLENs support students between the ages of 10 and 19 to improve school and workforce participation, engagement, attainment and transition outcomes.

“LLENs play an important role for many young people living in rural and regional communities such as Gippsland, Mr Ryan said.

“Young people, particularly those who are vulnerable and disengaged from school, will benefit from the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to the LLEN program in 2015.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404 kate.lancaster@minstaff.vic.gov.au 

Poowong kindergarten vies for energy prize

* * - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

• More than 1100 schools taking part in the ResourceSmart School Awards 2014
• Schools saving $5.3 million in energy costs over six years
• More than $40,000 prize money up for grabs

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today congratulated Poowong Kindergarten on being named one of the finalists for this year’s ResourceSmart Schools Awards.

“This is an outstanding achievement for Poowong Kindergarten and I congratulate them for their efforts to incorporate sustainable practices within their kindergarten and community,” Mr Ryan said.

"The quality of their work means that Victoria's sustainable future is in good hands.

“It is pleasing to see that this year for the first time an early childhood category had been introduced.”

Mr Ryan said the Poowong Kindergarten had taken on some courageous and challenging initiatives, including developing a bush tucker sensory garden and participating in the ResourceSmart Early Childhood pilot project.

“The kindergarten is aiming to educate Poowong youngsters to become socially and environmentally responsible individuals and through hands-on engagement has raised the profile of sustainable practices in the local community,” he said.

Mr Ryan said that all schools that entered three or more resource modules, for example water, waste and energy will automatically be considered for Victoria’s overall ResourceSmart School of the Year award. 

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said more than 1100 Victorian schools were participating in the ResourceSmart Schools program, saving over $5.3million in energy costs over six years.

“In 2011, the Victorian Coalition Government committed $8.3 million over four years to build on the existing ResourceSmart schools framework,” Mr Smith said.

“We have added more than 400 schools to the program since then, one year ahead of schedule and more than half of Victoria’s schools are now covered by the program.

“I congratulate the finalists and wish them all good luck.”

The awards are part of Sustainability Victoria’s ResourceSmart Schools initiative, managed in partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, which helps schools embed sustainability into everyday activities.

Winners will be announced at the ResourceSmart Schools Awards Ceremony on Monday 8 September 2014 and finalists will share in more than $40,000 prize money which will support schools to grow their sustainability activities.

For a full list of finalists visit www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/schoolsawards.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

$12 million on offer to Engage young locals

* * - Tuesday, June 24, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $12 million to help young Victorians reach their potential
  • Program initiatives include volunteering, mentoring and real life skills
  • Local organisations can apply for up to $150,000

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today announced that the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $12 million into the Engage program to help young Victorians build skills needed for life after school.

Mr Ryan said the Engage program offered grants of up to $150,000 to local community organisations and councils to help young people become more involved with their local communities.

“The funding will support organisations and councils to deliver a wide range of initiatives including volunteering and mentoring programs, and projects that boost real-life skills and connect young people to further education, training or careers,” Mr Ryan said.

“Through these projects, young people have the opportunity to become more connected to their community, become engaged in education, training and career pathways and have an opportunity to build their networks.

“The program provides local groups with the practical resources they need to listen, respond and create opportunities for young Gippslanders so that they can fulfil their potential,” Mr Ryan said.

“I urge local groups to submit an Engage grant application to enable them to conduct programs to engage younger members of their communities and help them to build skills that they can use in future community service ventures and employment.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s $12 million 2015 - 2017 Engage program was another example of this government’s commitment to providing young Victorians with more opportunities to become involved in their communities.

“Since 2012, more than 100,000 young Victorians have been involved in Engage, highlighting the success of the program,” Mr Ryan said.

Minister for Youth Affairs Ryan Smith encouraged organisations to reach out to young people in the community and work with them to develop innovative projects that could be eligible for an Engage grant.

“Through this Coalition Government program, Victoria’s young people will have access to fantastic initiatives that help develop new skills and networks,” Mr Smith said.

The Engage program is part of the Coalition Government’s Youth Statement, Engage, Involve, Create that outlines its vision for young Victorians.

Applications close on Friday 1 August 2014. For more information or to apply, visit www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Regional Growth Fund upgrades Ballarat’s Victoria Park

* * - Wednesday, June 18, 2014


  • Deputy Premier announces funding of $500,000 to upgrade Ballarat’s Victoria Park 
  • $1 million project will deliver new barbecue facilities, toilet upgrades, seating, shelters, unstructured play space, paths and car parking 
  • Victorian Coalition Government investing in community infrastructure in Ballarat

A $1 million upgrade of Ballarat’s Victoria Park will make the park more accessible for the local community, families, schools and people with a disability, including students from the nearby Ballarat Specialist School.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan was in Ballarat today to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $500,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to support the Victoria Park Infrastructure Upgrade project.

Mr Ryan was joined at today’s event by Member for Western Victoria Region Simon Ramsay, The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner, Liberal candidate for Buninyong Ben Taylor and Liberal candidate Wendouree Craig Coltman.

Mr Ryan said the improvements would be carried out at the northern end of Victoria Park, close to Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree, and would include new barbecue facilities, toilet upgrades, seating, shelters, an early childhood and all-abilities play area, new paths and car parking.

“Ballarat’s Victoria Park and the nearby Lake Wendouree are equivalent in size to New York’s Central Park, and being located where they are, so close to the centre of town, is something truly unique in a city the size of Ballarat,” Mr Ryan said.

“While Victoria Park is well-used by local sporting clubs, it has lacked the basic infrastructure needed to attract families, picnickers, walkers or those seeking a day out.

“This investment will fill the gaps in Victoria Park’s infrastructure to ensure it once again becomes a popular local visitor destination.”

Mr Ryan said that by attracting more visitors to Victoria Park, particularly on weekends, pop-up businesses such as coffee and food vans would be attracted to the park, further enhancing its appeal, while nearby retail businesses would also benefit from the influx of visitors.

“This investment will also ensure Victoria Park continues to support the growing suburbs of Alfredton, Lucas, and Delacombe, as well as nearby schools including Loreto College, St Patricks College and Urquhart Park Primary School,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said a key feature of the new park was the unstructured play area, which is being designed for people with a disability as well as young children.

“The new all abilities and unstructured play areas will provide an ideal setting for students from the nearby Ballarat Specialist School to enjoy time outside the classroom,” Mr Ryan said.

“Designs for the new play area will be further developed by council over the coming months, but are likely to include areas where children’s imaginations can run free, including sand areas, open grassland, rocks and boulders, treehouses, sculptures, as well as traditional play equipment such as swings, including wheelchair accessible swings, flying foxes and climbing walls.”

Mr Ryan thanked the City of Ballarat for driving the upgrades to Victoria Park and contributing $400,000 to the total project cost. He also thanked philanthropic group, Touched by Olivia Foundation, which contributed the remaining $100,000 to help make the project a reality.

“This investment is another example of the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund enabling local government and community groups to develop much-needed local infrastructure projects,” Mr Ryan said.

“This project is one of almost 1,500 projects across regional and rural Victoria to benefit from the Regional Growth Fund, which has now invested more than $400 million directly into local communities, leveraging well over $1.6 billion in total investment.”

Mr Ryan said the Victoria Park Infrastructure Upgrade project would be completed by March next year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

New Sale Specialist School now one step closer

* * - Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government committed to building a new Sale Specialist School
  • $4m provided in State Budget for planning and Stage 1 construction
  • Member for Gippsland South announces settlement of land for new school

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today visited Sale Specialist School to announce that the land purchased for the new school had now settled.

Mr Ryan said the land settlement of the four-hectare Princes Highway site in Sale’s north was an exciting day for the school community with the realisation of the new school now one step closer.

“Today’s announcement progresses the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government’s commitment to providing a new school for students and teachers of Sale Specialist School,” Mr Ryan said.

“In last month’s Victorian Budget, the Coalition Government provided an initial $4 million for planning and design, and to deliver stage one works.

“The total cost of the project is anticipated to be in the order of $15 million.”

Mr Ryan said the finalised land purchase and $4 million commitment from the Coalition Government meant that planning for a new school would begin shortly.

“Due to rising enrolments, the Sale Specialist School has had to expand beyond its Raymond Street campus to include a senior campus within the grounds of Sale College,” Mr Ryan said.

“Having two campuses is a less than ideal situation, however these Coalition Government commitments mean that the Sale Specialist School community can look forward to a new school in the very near future.”

While at the school, Mr Ryan presented awards to students of the leadership team, including the school and campus captains and members of the student representative council.

“It’s great to be here today to present these leadership awards and recognise the magnificent effort made by these student leaders to assist fellow students,” Mr Ryan said.

“Students who demonstrate leadership qualities while at school often go on to be strong leaders within the community, so I’m pleased that these students are being rewarded by their peers and school community.”

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Sale leader awarded a women’s scholarship

* * - Friday, June 06, 2014


  • Local Christina Rush awarded leadership scholarship
  • Scholarship finds leadership course worth more than $7000
  • More than 179 applicants applied to Coalition Government

Gippsland Women’s Health Service board member Christina Rush has been awarded one of 34 Women’s Governance Scholarships from the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government was proud to provide opportunities for local women to enhance their leadership skills by participating in the scholarship.

Mr Ryan said since 2012, the Victorian Coalition Government had been making scholarships available to women currently serving on boards of not-for-profit organisations that receive State Government funding.

“These scholarships are intended to professionally develop women serving on community boards in order to facilitate their expansion into more senior community leadership roles,” Mr Ryan said.

“The program provides a full-fee payment for the successful applicants to undertake the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Company Directors Course, as well as a 12 month membership of the Institute.”

Mr Ryan said the total cost for an individual to undertake the course would be more than $7,000, which can make it unaffordable for a great number of women.

“Ms Rush, of Maffra, is an active leader in the Gippsland community and is currently serving on the board of Gippsland Women’s Health Service, a position she has held since 2011,” Mr Ryan said.

“Ms Rush has a long association within the nursing and health care field and won the State Nursing Excellence and Commitment Award in 2004.”

Minister for Women’s Affairs Heidi Victoria said she was impressed by the quality of the applicants for this year’s scholarship program.

“This year the Coalition Government particularly encouraged applications from women living in rural and remote areas, from non-English-speaking backgrounds and from disability and Indigenous communities,” Ms Victoria said.

“The result was overwhelming with more than 179 applications for the scholarship program received from impressive women across Victoria from all walks of life.

“I’m delighted to see so many women from so many backgrounds taking such an interest in the Government’s Women’s Governance Scholarship Program.”

Mr Ryan said scholarship applicants were judged on their experience as a board member and the extent to which the scholarship would assist the person in attaining future leadership and board positions.

“Since the scholarship program began in 2012, almost 70 Victorian women, like Ms Rush, have taken the opportunity to undertake the important professional development course at the prestigious Australian Institute of Company Directors,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870


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