Press Releases

St Thomas leads the way in sustainability with Coalition Government grant

* * - Monday, October 06, 2014

 

  • Energy Efficiency Program grants $10,000 to St Thomas and Nambrok Denison primary schools and Gippsland Grammar
  • Schools to minimise waste, save energy and reduce environmental footprint
  • More than 1,200 schools taking part in ResourceSmart program

Students at St Thomas Primary School in Sale are set to become Energy Captains with a $10,000 grant to assist in an audit of the school’s energy consumption.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced St Thomas Primary School was among three local schools and more than 200 state-wide to receive funds in the latest round of the Victorian Coalition Government’s 2014 Energy Efficiency Program.

Gippsland Grammar and Nambrok Denison Primary School were also successful applicants for this round of funding, receiving $10,000 each.

“This program gives schools the opportunity to minimise waste, save energy and water and reduce their environmental footprint,” Mr Ryan said.

“Students and teachers at St Thomas have already been implementing measures to make their school environment more sustainable, including the building, planting and maintaining of a vegetable garden.

“They have also built a chicken coop and are responsible for taking care of the chickens, feeding them food scraps and collecting their eggs.”

Mr Ryan said the funding would allow students and teachers to undertake additional energy saving initiatives.

“They will start measuring energy consumption giving them a clearer picture of the school’s overall environmental footprint and strategies on how to reduce it,” Mr Ryan said.

“It is a way of teaching students about sustainability in a practical way.”

St Thomas Primary School principal Jason Slattery said the grant would build upon the sustainability measures already implemented at the school.

“The grant will allow us to purchase energy measuring devices that will allow the students to act as Energy Captains,” Mr Slattery said.

“The students will be able to predict and then see how much energy we are using at the school.

“The students will then be able to conduct an energy audit on the school and develop ways to cut back on our energy use.

“The funding will also be used to replace our old lighting with new energy efficient light bulbs.”         

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said educating children about sustainable practices helped them develop the knowledge and skills to contribute to a more sustainable Victoria.

“The Coalition Government is committed to encouraging Gippsland schools to do their bit to create a more sustainable, cleaner and safer Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said there are now more than 1,200 schools participating in the ResourceSmart program.

“Victorian schools participating in the program are cutting their costs by a total of $1.3 million each year,” Mr Smith said.

For more information about the Resource Smart Victorian Schools visit: www.resourcesmartschools.vic.gov.au

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Roll-out of natural gas to Lakes Entrance and Orbost to begin next year

* * - Friday, October 03, 2014

 

  • Deputy Premier visits Lakes Entrance and Orbost to discuss the roll-out of natural gas
  • Natural gas to be connected to both communities by the middle of 2016
  • Victorian Coalition Government delivers its election commitment to connect Lakes Entrance and Orbost to reticulated natural gas

Residents and businesses in Lakes Entrance and Orbost will be connected to reticulated natural gas by the middle of 2016.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull in Lakes Entrance on Wednesday to discuss the roll-out of natural gas with local businesses and community groups.

Mr Ryan said both Lakes Entrance and Orbost would be connected using a compressed natural gas delivery solution, an Australian first.

He said Brookfield Infrastructure Group had been selected to deliver the connection, following an $85 million Request for Tender as part of the Coalition Government’s Energy for the Regions Program.

“This announcement is great news for the communities of Lakes Entrance and Orbost,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government said we would connect Lakes Entrance and Orbost to reticulated natural gas and true to our word, we are now delivering.

“Connecting Lakes Entrance and Orbost to gas will mean locals won’t have to purchase expensive bottled LPG, with the frustration of running out of gas set to be a thing of the past.

“Having a natural gas connection will encourage more people to move to Lakes Entrance and Orbost and will help these communities attract new business and investment.”

Mr Ryan said the project would involve the installation of Daughter Stations on the outskirts of both Lakes Entrance and Orbost that would store compressed natural gas which would then be piped to homes and businesses.

Mr Ryan said gas would be trucked from a central Mother Station to the Daughter Stations, with the gas to be delivered at a price comparable to natural gas supplied through conventional pipelines.

Mr Bull welcomed the investment and said connecting Lakes Entrance and Orbost to natural gas using a compressed natural gas (CNG) delivery solution was an Australian first that could change how gas was delivered right across Australia.

“For the Coalition Government to continue the roll-out of natural gas to regional communities such as Lakes Entrance and Orbost, a new approach was needed,” Mr Bull said.

“The Deputy Premier and Regional Development Victoria have worked in consultation with industry to come up with this unique CNG delivery solution which will deliver a constant supply of gas to households.

“The Coalition Government’s CNG delivery solution has other communities and state governments right across Australia looking on with keen interest.

“The beauty of this system is the community will receive the same level of service as those connected to the broader gas pipeline grid, with this system also having the potential to be connected to the wider gas grid at a later stage.”

Mr Ryan said Brookfield would begin constructing the required infrastructure to begin the roll-out of natural gas to regional Victoria before the end of the year.

He told local businesses and community groups that works are expected to begin in both Lakes Entrance and Orbost by the middle of next year and at this stage would likely be completed by the middle of 2016.

“Following discussions with Brookfield we are confident that works to connect Lakes Entrance and Orbost will begin in little over six months from now, once detailed design work has been finalised,” Mr Ryan said.

“The community can be confident that if everything proceeds as planned Lakes Entrance and Orbost will be connected to reticulated natural gas in less than two years.

“The Nationals, working as part of a strong Coalition Government, always put the interests of our regional communities first and foremost and we will continue to be a strong voice for our local communities such as Lakes Entrance and Orbost.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Heathcote to be cooking with gas by the end of 2016

* * - Friday, October 03, 2014

 

  • Deputy Premier visits Heathcote to discuss the roll-out of natural gas
  • Natural gas to be connected by the end of 2016
  • Victorian Coalition Government delivers its election commitment to connect Heathcote to reticulated natural gas

Residents and businesses in Heathcote will be connected to reticulated natural gas by the end of 2016.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan visited Heathcote earlier this week to discuss the roll-out of natural gas with local businesses and community groups.

Mr Ryan was joined by The Nationals Member for Rodney Paul Weller, The Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan and Liberal candidate for Euroa Tony Schneider.

Mr Ryan said Heathcote would be connected using a compressed natural gas delivery solution, an Australian first.

He said Brookfield Infrastructure Group had been selected to deliver the connection, following an $85 million Request for Tender as part of the Coalition Government’s Energy for the Regions Program.

“This announcement is great news for the people of Heathcote,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government said we would connect Heathcote to reticulated natural gas and true to our word, we are now delivering.

“Connecting Heathcote to gas will mean locals won’t have to purchase expensive bottled LPG, with the frustration of running out of gas set to be a thing of the past.

“Having a natural gas connection will encourage more people to move to Heathcote and will help Heathcote attract new business and investment.”

Mr Ryan said the project would involve the installation of a Daughter Station on the outskirts of Heathcote that would store compressed natural gas which would then be piped to homes and businesses.

Mr Ryan said gas would be trucked from a central Mother Station to Heathcote’s Daughter Station, with the gas to be delivered at a price comparable to natural gas supplied through conventional pipelines.

Mr Weller welcomed the investment and said connecting Heathcote to natural gas using a compressed natural gas (CNG) delivery solution was an Australian first that could change how gas was delivered right across Australia.

“For the Coalition Government to continue the roll-out of natural gas to regional communities such as Heathcote, a new approach was needed,” Mr Weller said.

“The Deputy Premier and Regional Development Victoria have worked in consultation with industry to comeup with this unique CNG delivery solution which will deliver a constant supply of gas to households.

“The Coalition Government’s CNG delivery solution has other communities and state governments right across Australia looking on with keen interest.

“The beauty of this system is the community will receive the same level of service as those connected to the broader gas pipeline grid, with this system also having the potential to be connected to the wider gas grid at a later stage.”

Mr Ryan said Brookfield would begin constructing the required infrastructure to begin the roll-out of natural gas to regional Victoria before the end of the year.

He told local businesses and community groups that works are expected to begin in Heathcote in early 2016 and at this stage would be completed by the end of 2016.

“Following discussions with Brookfield we are confident that works will begin in little over 12 months, once detailed design work has been finalised,” Mr Ryan said.

“The local community can be confident that if everything proceeds as planned they will be connected to reticulated natural gas in around two years.

“The Nationals, working as part of a strong Coalition Government, always put the interests of our regional communities first and foremost and we will continue to be a strong voice for our local communities such as Heathcote.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Victoria will be cooking with natural gas

* * - Friday, October 03, 2014

 

  • Agreement reached to supply natural gas to the remaining priority towns
  • Four Murray River communities will also be connected
  • Victorian Coalition Government delivers on its election commitment and more

The Victorian Coalition Government has delivered another key election commitment, with agreement reached to supply piped natural gas to the remaining priority towns under the Energy for The Regions Program, as well as an additional four Murray River communities using a compressed natural gas delivery solution.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan visited Swan Hill earlier this week to announce Brookfield Infrastructure Group has been selected to connect gas to Heathcote, Invermay, Lakes Entrance, Maldon, Marong, Orbost, Terang, Swan Hill, Kerang, Robinvale and Nathalia.

Mr Ryan said the gas connections would be delivered through the Victorian Coalition Government’s $85 million Request for Tender, which included two components: $30 million to connect Murray River communities, comprising $15 million from the Commonwealth’s $100 million Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program and $15 million from Victoria’s Regional Growth Fund; and $55 million from the Regional Growth Fund to supply the remaining priority towns as part of the third stage of the Energy for the Regions Program.

“Today I’m delighted to announce the Coalition Government has successfully negotiated with Brookfield to deliver natural gas to 11 communities,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are now delivering gas to all 14 priority towns announced as part of the Energy for The Regions Program, as well as a further four communities along the Murray River.

“Many doubted our commitment to connect regional communities to gas, led by the Labor Party and their fear mongering regional spokesperson Jacinta Allan who falsely described our plan as a ‘monstrous hoax’.

“I am pleased to announce today that this is no hoax, we have honoured our promise and more, going over and above our brief by reaching agreement to connect an additional four Murray River communities to natural gas.

“True to this government’s track record of success, we have under-promised and over-delivered.”

Deputy Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh joined Mr Ryan in Swan Hill and said connecting these 11 communities to reticulated natural gas using compressed natural gas (CNG) was an Australian first and could provide the future solution to connecting natural gas to other towns across regional Australia.

“While natural gas has historically been transmitted via pipelines from the main grid, the high cost of laying long-distance pipes has meant a different approach was needed if we were to continue rolling out gas across regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Walsh said.

“Brookfield’s proposal will involve initial supply of CNG from its Derrimut facility and the creation of further Mother Stations to compress the gas before it is trucked to Daughter Stations, to be located on the outskirts of town, in each of the 11 communities.

“From the Daughter Stations the gas will be reticulated via pipes to homes at a price comparable to gas supplied through conventional pipelines connected to the grid.

“While applying this delivery method to residential homes is a first, the CNG delivery solution is a proven technology, having been used in industrial settings where the cost of a traditional pipeline has been too high.

“Communities can rest assured, knowing our system will provide the same level of capacity, reliability, safety and convenience for households, small businesses and industry as connecting to conventional piped gas from the grid.

“Today’s announcement is terrific news for regional Victoria, and to be here in Swan Hill today alongside the Deputy Premier to announce two communities in my electorate, Swan Hill and Kerang, will be connected is a great moment.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government and Brookfield wouldn’t waste any time, with work scheduled to begin before the end of the year.

Mr Ryan said reticulated natural gas would be delivered regardless of which side of politics wins November’s election, with the contracts now set in stone.

“Delivering gas to our regional and rural communities is vital to ensure they remain strong,” Mr Ryan said.

“Having a reticulated natural gas connection will attract new forms of industry to town, particularly job creating energy intensive manufacturing enterprises.

“It will also support residents by providing a cheaper, cleaner source of energy, whether that is for heating or cooking.”

Mr Ryan said this week’s announcement followed agreements to deliver conventional piped natural gas to Huntly, Avoca, Bannockburn, Winchelsea, Koo Wee Rup, Warburton and Wandong-Heathcote Junction, as well as the augmentation of Mildura’s gas supply.

“Last month, Huntly became the first town to be connected to Victoria’s natural gas network under Energy for the Regions Program,” Mr Ryan said.

“The $4.5 million project has already connected more than 180 Huntly households to natural gas, with more expected to be connected soon.

“I recently visited Jan and Dale Johnson in Huntly to discuss their new connection and I was extremely pleased to learn that Jan has been able to heat her entire house for the first time, ensuring Huntly’s cold winters are no longer something to dread.

“More importantly the gas connection means Jan can cook her delicious scones in her gas oven without it costing her an arm and a leg.

“Thanks to this significant investment from the Victorian Coalition Government, Jan and Dale’s story will be replicated right across our regions, making all the effort and perseverance to get this project across the line worthwhile.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Global mining leaders welcomed to Melbourne

* * - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

 

Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Peter Ryan will this evening welcome delegates from more than 30 countries to the inaugural International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne.

Mr Ryan said the five-day conference was Australia’s first and only truly international mining event, bringing together the breadth of the mining industry, from industry leaders and policy makers to financiers, technical experts, innovators and educators.

“We are delighted to welcome over 2000 delegates from over 30 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas to IMARC,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are joined by ministerial delegations from Chile, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Ethiopia, and by representatives from the world’s largest mining companies, including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Vale to name but a few.

“IMARC is broad in scale and scope, and we hope this conference and exhibition will become a ‘Grand Slam’ event for the Asia Pacific region.”

The IMARC program includes more than 200 speakers representing a broad cross-section of national and global mining industry leaders and experts.

IMARC is the first conference of its type to have the support of each of Australia’s three key industry associations – The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), Austmine and the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government was proud to be supporting IMARC.

“Victoria is the birthplace of mining in Australia dating back to the gold rushes of the 1850s. Victoria’s Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector is valued at $17 billion, making it a major contributor to Australia’s economic growth and long-term prosperity.

“Melbourne is a hub for mining and mining services and is the corporate home for some of the biggest names in the industry, including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Oz Minerals, MMG, Newcrest Mining and Orica.

“Through IMARC, we look forward to showcasing Victoria’s capabilities in mining, equipment, technology and services and building partnerships with industry and government. IMARC also provides unprecedented opportunities for Victorian companies in other industries such as manufacturing to create linkages with the world’s leading mining and resources companies.”

Mr Ryan also welcomed IMARC keynote speaker, international financier and global mining industry figure, Robert Friedland.

“Mr Friedland has influenced investment decisions and spurred economic growth in markets in Asia, the Asia Pacific Region, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas,” Mr Ryan said.

“Along with being a significant investor in leading-edge resources technologies, Mr Friedland is renowned for his leadership of Ivanhoe Mines, which is currently focused on advancing and developing three major mining projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

IMARC’s program includes a Policy stream led by the MCA and Coalition Government; a Technology and Skills stream led by AusIMM and Austmine; and an Investment stream led by Mines and Money Australia.

The IMARC Expo which will run throughout the conference showcases the latest innovations, products and services from over 80 industry leaders.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

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

Deputy Premier visits ATC ahead of IMARC

* * - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

 

  • Manufacturing and mining make significant contribution to Bendigo economy
  • Local success story ATC supplies turntables to Asia, Europe and Middle East
  • IMARC in Melbourne joins the ‘Grand Slam’ of global mining conferences

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan visited Australian Turntable Company (ATC) in Kangaroo Flat today to highlight the significant contribution the manufacturing and mining industries make to the region.

Mr Ryan also used his visit to promote the upcoming the 2014 International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) to be held in Melbourne.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by Liberal candidate for Bendigo West Michael Langdon, said ATC was a strong example of mining investment flowing through to regional communities such as Bendigo.

“From humble beginnings in 1987, ATC has grown to become one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of turntables and revolving floors,” Mr Ryan said.

“This includes commercial truck turntables for loading docks and construction sites, residential vehicle driveway turntables, revolving restaurants and showroom display turntables.

“ATC exports to the Middle East, Asia and Europe, with its most notable achievement being the manufacture and installation of the world’s largest revolving restaurant at Milad Tower in Tehran, Iran.

“More recently ATC has begun servicing the mining industry, delivering a second 100 ton capacity turntable to Rio Tinto earlier this year.

“ATC will continue to develop new ways to service the mining industry through the use of turntables, ensuring the company has a bright future here in Bendigo.”

Mr Langdon said Bendigo was home to many other leading mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies.

“The manufacturing and mining industries are the largest economic contributor to Bendigo’s economy, with an annual economic output of $2.8 billion,” Mr Langdon said.

“It employs more than 1,000 people locally with many national and international companies based here including Bendigo Engineering, Deepcore Drilling, Gordon Brothers Industries, Hofmann Engineering, Keech Australia, Mancala Mine, Quarry and Mining Engineering, UME Australia, Universal Manufacturing Australia and many others.”

Mr Ryan encouraged local METS companies to register for IMARC, which he said was among the ‘Grand Slam’ of global mining conferences.

Mr Ryan said the first IMARC would be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 22-26 September and had secured almost 200 speakers and more than 1,000 delegates from across the local and global mining and resources sector.

“IMARC sits alongside the world’s other major mining conferences including PDAC in Canada, Expomin in Chile, Mining INDABA in South Africa and China Mining,” Mr Ryan said

“I strongly encourage Victorian companies that are directly involved in mining, are current suppliers to the mining industry, or those interested in becoming mining suppliers, to attend this high profile international event.

“IMARC will provide an ideal platform for Victorian businesses to gain new market exposure and develop new relationships in the mining sector.

“For local companies like Australian Turntable Company, it will help them raise their profile and attract new investment.”

Mr Ryan announced today that the Victorian Coalition Government was offering Victorian companies a special deal to attend IMARC, with free entry to the exhibition hall and a discounted rate of $495 for a full day conference pass to the Technical Stream.

Mr Ryan said local companies could find out more by visiting www.imarcmelbourne.com.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Huntly turns on the natural gas

* * - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

 

  • Deputy Premier celebrates completion of works to connect Huntly to natural gas
  •  580 Huntly households and businesses can now access piped natural gas
  • Victorian Coalition Government delivering its promise to connect more regional communities to natural gas

Huntly today became the first town to be connected to Victoria’s natural gas network under the Victorian Coalition Government’s $100 million Energy for the Regions Program.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan, who was joined by the Liberal candidate for Bendigo East Greg Bickley, visited Jan and Dale Johnson’s home in Huntly to celebrate the historic connection.

 Mr Ryan said Jan and Dale’s home was one of more than 180 to have been connected to natural gas as part of a $4.5 million joint investment by the Coalition Government and AusNet Services, with more than 100 additional homes expected to be connected soon.

"I am proud that the Coalition Government’s decision to connect Huntly to natural gas is already making a difference to the lives of locals such as Jan and Dale," Mr Ryan said.

"Jan and Dale and many other Huntly residents now have access to a dependable energy source that is cheaper for them and better for the environment.

"This investment means Huntly is no longer the poor cousin to Bendigo when it comes to natural gas, enabling the community to compete for new residents, new industry and new investment."

Mr Bickley welcomed the $4.5 million investment, which included $2.58 million from the Coalition Government, and said it would provide 580 homes and businesses in Huntly with the opportunity to connect to natural gas.

Mr Bickley said the roll-out involved the installation of 3.5kms of supply pipeline and more than 13kms of reticulation pipeline, which was delivered on time and on budget with minimal disruption to the local community.

Mr Bickley said the investment opened the door for gas to be connected to the new 'Viewpoint Huntly' estate on Sawmill Road, with a separate agreement having been reached to supply and connect 350 additional homes to natural gas, over and above the 580 connections in Huntly.

“This additional extension, which would not have occurred without the Coalition Government’s initial investment, is a great outcome for the community and for those looking to invest at the new 'Viewpoint Huntly' estate,” Mr Bickley said.

Mr Ryan said Labor’s regional spokesperson Jacinta Allan would be eating her words today after describing the Energy for The Regions Program as a ‘monstrous hoax’.

“I am here today in Huntly to say that the only monstrous hoax is Jacinta Allan’s pitiful and misinformed scare campaign,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has done in three years what Labor couldn’t do in its 11 years in office and that is deliver piped natural gas to the people of Huntly.”

Mr Ryan said while Ms Allan had been spreading uncertainty in an attempt to scare off business and investment in regional Victoria, the Coalition Government had reached agreements to supply gas to Huntly, Avoca, Bannockburn, Winchelsea, Wandong-Heathcote Junction, Koo Wee Rup, Mildura and Warburton.

“We are finalising negotiations for an $85 million tender to supply the remaining priority towns and communities along the Murray River with compressed or liquefied natural gas,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are delivering on our commitment to roll out natural gas, which is a cheaper and cleaner source of energy that will lower household costs.

“It is about time Jacinta Allan and Labor admitted they were wrong and apologised to regional Victorians for their baseless scaremongering.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

 

Deputy Premier speaks at Avoca Natural Gas Forum

* * - Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Deputy Premier addresses Natural Gas Forum in Avoca 
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests almost $8.4 million to connect Avoca 
  • Gas roll-out expected to be completed by the middle of 2016

More than 700 homes and businesses in Avoca will be connected to natural gas thanks to the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan along with The Nationals Candidate for Ripon Scott Turner were in Avoca today to host a Natural Gas Forum.

The forum followed the Coalition Government’s historic agreement with SP AusNet to connect the town to natural gas, reached in April 2013.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had invested almost $8.4 million to deliver gas to Avoca, something Labor said it wouldn’t do and falsely claimed the Coalition Government couldn’t achieve.

"Connecting Avoca to the natural gas network will provide the town with new opportunities for growth and help attract new businesses," Mr Ryan said.

“Before the Coalition Government intervened, communities such as Avoca were in the unenviable position of not being able to attract new businesses because they didn’t have a natural gas connection but couldn’t get a gas connection because they didn’t have enough homes and businesses to warrant it.

“The Coalition Government, through its $100 million Energy for the Regions Program, a component of the Regional Growth Fund, is delivering this much sought after gas connection.

“This initial investment will pay long-term dividends for Avoca, and is part of our commitment to growing regional communities and supporting local jobs.”

Mr Turner said the roll-out of natural gas would provide cheaper and cleaner energy to residents and businesses in Avoca and was yet another example of what The Nationals could deliver as part of a Coalition Government.

“Supplying gas to households and businesses via reticulation is significantly cheaper than bottled natural gas or energy sourced via the electricity grid,” Mr Turner said.

“Delivering natural gas to Avoca is another example of the Coalition Government’s hard work to lower household bills and follows the government’s recent announcement that it is cutting water bills.

“I will continue to work with Peter Ryan, The Nationals and the Coalition Government to reduce the cost of living for communities throughout the region.”

Mr Ryan said subject to planning and regulatory approvals, construction of the Avoca gas connection would commence this year and the project would be completed by winter 2016.

Mr Ryan said SP AusNet would hold a further community information session on Wednesday, 16 July to answer the community’s questions, including project timing and the process for connecting to the reticulation network.

Mr Ryan encouraged homeowners and businesses to attend next week’s information session.

“SP AusNet has said there is sufficient flexibility in the network to ‘in-fill’ areas not initially covered in the roll-out, and enough capacity to satisfy future growth,” Mr Ryan said.

“Those not included within the initial project footprint can collectively submit an expression of interest to SP AusNet in order to be included in the network.

“By taking a coordinated approach, homes and businesses will increase the likelihood of a connection and minimise connection costs.”

Mr Ryan also called on the Labor Opposition’s regional spokesperson Jacinta Allan to publicly apologise to the Avoca community for her continual scaremongering on the roll-out of gas.

“Ms Allan famously said the Coalition Government couldn’t sensibly connect any more regional communities to natural gas,” Mr Ryan said.

“Ms Allan described our Energy for the Regions Program as a hoax.

“I am proud to say this is not a hoax and the Avoca community will soon be cooking with piped natural gas.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731 

Major conference to attract mining heavyweights

* * - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Deputy Premier visits Ballarat mining success story Gekko Systems 
  • 120 speakers confirmed for International Mining and Resources Conference 
  • Victorian Coalition Government supporting local industries to compete on the world stage

Ballarat-based company Gekko Systems (Gekko) is a strong example of Victoria’s mining services sector creating and supporting jobs right across the state.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Peter Ryan today visited Gekko to announce that the upcoming International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), to be held in Melbourne during September, had secured 120 guest speakers.

Mr Ryan said the speakers represented a cross section of national and global mining industry leaders and experts, including Nev Power from Fortescue Metals Group, Ian Smith from Orica, Terry Burgess from Oz Minerals, Carlos Santa Cruz from Newmont Mining, Andrew Michelmore from MMG, and Tony Cudmore from BHP Billiton.

“This major conference will focus the world’s attention on Melbourne and Victoria as a leading hub for mining and mining services and will also highlight Victoria’s world class resource deposits such as brown coal, gas and mineral sands,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said Gekko was a great example of a regionally-based business which had grown to become a global leader.

“Gekko was started by husband and wife team Sandy Gray and Elizabeth Lewis-Gray in Avoca in 1996, initially producing InLine Pressure Jigs for gravity separation,” Mr Ryan said.

“Over the past 18 years, Gekko has grown to become a global company, with headquarters in Ballarat and sales offices in Perth, Canada, South Africa and Chile.

“Gekko Systems is now recognised as a world leader in gravity separation and recovery of gold and other high-value minerals such as silver, coal and gemstones.

“The mining industry relies on Gekko products to improve productivity and save on energy costs at mining sites.”

Mr Ryan said assisting businesses such as Gekko to become industry leaders by gaining access to global supply chains was a key reason behind the Victorian Coalition Government’s efforts to promote the mining and mining services industries in Victoria.

“By hosting events such as IMARC, which attracts hundreds of the industry’s biggest decision makers, we are saying to the world that Victoria, and our local mining and mining services industries, is open for business and the best in the world at what we do,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government wants to see more companies like Gekko competing on the world stage and showcasing Victorian excellence in mining equipment, technology and services.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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