Press Releases

Funding to protect wildlife in Gippsland South

* * - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

 

  • Local wildlife shelters to share in Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants 
  • Grants assist shelters to care for native wildlife in Gippsland South 
  • Coalition Government is building a better Victoria

Wildlife carers in Gippsland South can continue protecting the region’s native animals following the latest round of the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government’s Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today announced $8,725 in grants to help locals care for sick and injured wildlife.

“The work of the five grant recipients is important to maintaining the health of the region’s local wildlife,” Mr Ryan said.

“Animal carers and shelter operators here in Gippsland South do important work to protect and nurture our native wildlife.

“For example, Our Haven Wildlife Shelter at Golden Beach was one of the recipients of funding, receiving $2,000 to assist in their work.

“Theresa and Tony Matthews at Our Haven Wildlife Shelter perform a marvelous service to our local community in taking care of sick and injured wildlife.

“This funding will assist Theresa and Tony to build a new enclosure for kangaroos and joeys, allowing them to reclaim the living space in their home from the wildlife which currently occupy it.

“It will also assist them to purchase heat pads to assist the joeys, who have lost their mothers, to sleep, along with an incubator for very young joeys.

“These grants are another example of how the Coalition Government continues to support practical environmental projects in our local community.”

Mr Ryan said other grant recipients in Gippsland South included:

  • Individual carers in Sale to receive a grant worth $1061 to repair an enclosure and purchase nest and release boxes;
  • Individual carers in Koonwarra to receive $2000 to purchase a flight aviary for bird rehabilitation;
  • Individual carers in Welshpool to receive $2000 to purchase heat pads and hot boxes, formula to feed the animals and fuel for rescues; and
  • Individual carers in Woorarra West to receive $1664 for a new enclosure.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said in Victoria each year authorised shelter operators and foster carers rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned wildlife for release.

“The Coalition Government is committed to recognising and rewarding those in Gippsland with the experience, knowledge and commitment to protect our iconic wildlife,” Mr O’Brien said.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said the Coalition Government’s Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants Program supports an amazing network of tireless and dedicated volunteers.

“More than 100 carers and shelter operators along with three wildlife organisations across Victoria will share in grants totaling $212,700 to maintain or upgrade the facilities they need to care for native animals,” Mr Smith said.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

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

New facilities to attract visitors at Agnes Falls

* * - Friday, October 03, 2014

 

  • Deputy Premier inspects new facilities at the Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve
  • New picnic area and amenities expected to attract more visitors to the waterfalls
  • Victorian Coalition Government supports tourism in regional areas

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan was in the Strzelecki Ranges yesterday to inspect the new visitor facilities at the Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government had invested $195,000 to upgrade the new facilities at Agnes Falls.

“Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve in Gippsland is home to a spectacular waterfall that cascades over a series of rocks over a 59 metre drop,” Mr Ryan said.

“Tourists and locals already know that Agnes Falls is a spectacular place for a picnic or short walk, and the upgraded facilities will help to attract more visitors to this wonderful tourist attraction.

“The new facilities include a picnic shelter with tables, toilets, new signage and plans for a new lookout over the picturesque park.

“The new facilities will greatly enhance this special part of the world, attracting more visitors to the park and delivering benefits to our regional economy.”

The Deputy Premier acknowledged the work of the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, South Gippsland Shire Council, Parks Victoria and the Friends of Agnes Falls.

Mr Ryan reserved particular praise for the Friends of Agnes Falls’ Kathy Whelan.

“Kathy is a wonderful ambassador for Agnes Falls and her passion for the place is infectious.”

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien welcomed the upgrade at Agnes Falls and acknowledged a new partnership with Corrections Victoria.

He said that Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place, a culturally appropriate community corrections centre for Koori men, would be involved in the ongoing maintenance of the local tourism site.

 “This project really shows environmental partnerships in action and demonstrates the many benefits of using local knowledge and developing relationships beyond the park boundary.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Deputy Premier announces $1.3 million to complete important link to the Great Southern Rail Trail

* * - Friday, October 03, 2014

 

  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $1.3 million in Great Southern Rail Trail
  • Investment completes 2.6 km section of trail between Koonwarra and Meeniyan
  • Project will deliver a $1.9 million a year boost to the local economy

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan yesterday announced funding of $1.3 million for an iconic project known as the Black Spur that will complete an important section of the Great Southern Rail Trail.

In Koonwarra, Mr Ryan said the $1.85 million project would complete the 2.6 kilometre section of the rail trail between Koonwarra and Meeniyan, and create a 69 kilometre route between Leongatha and Welshpool.

Mr Ryan said the Black Spur section would be carried out in two stages, with the first stage to include the construction of new bridges. The works will include:
demolition and reconstruction of two historic bridges spanning the Black Spur Creek;
construction of a 130 metre connecting trail between the two bridges; and
construction of a picnic area and viewing location at the end of the second bridge.

Mr Ryan said stage two would connect the end of the second Black Spur rail trestle bridge and picnic area to Meeniyan. The works will include:
reconstructing a 146 metre bridge that spans the Tarwin River;
constructing a 170 metre connecting trail between two bridges; and
constructing an 800 metre connecting trail between bridge three and Minns Road.

“The Black Spur project will complete the missing section of the rail trail and create a seamless 69 kilometre route between Leongatha and Welshpool,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1.3 million investment included $1 million from the Regional Growth Fund and $290,000 from the Advancing Country Towns program.

Mr Ryan said the South Gippsland Shire Council invested $562,184 towards the project.

“The Great Southern Rail Trail is a major asset to the South Gippsland region, attracting tourists, supporting local businesses and improving the health and wellbeing of local residents,” Mr Ryan said.

“When complete, the Black Spur connection will provide more than $1.9 million in annual economic benefits to the region through tourism-related business opportunities, employment and new attractions.”

Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien welcomed the investment and commended the Great Southern Rail Trail Committee for their work.

“Extending the rail trail has been a high priority for the Coalition Government, the community and the Committee of Management, and thanks to this investment we will now complete another vital link in this impressive rail trail,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This Black Spur leg will consolidate the entire length of the rail trail between Leongatha and Welshpool and represents the realisation of a long held vision for the Great Southern Rail Trail.”

Mr O’Brien said the project would be completed by December 2015.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Poowong Kindergarten wins sustainability award

* * - Thursday, September 11, 2014

 

· Poowong Kindergarten takes out ResourceSmart School Award 2014
· Poowong Kindergarten recognised for its bush tucker sensory garden
· Victorian Coalition Government is helping our schools to become more sustainable

Poowong Kindergarten has been named Victoria’s ResourceSmart kinder of the year.

Poowong Kindergarten and Dunkeld Kindergarten in western Victoria, were announced joint winners of the sustainability prize at a ceremony in Melbourne this week

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan congratulated the Poowong Kindergarten for their efforts.

Mr Ryan acknowledged the work of the staff and children in the creation of a bush tucker sensory garden.

“This project gives the children the opportunity to learn and play and develop a respect for nature, helping them to develop a lifelong appreciation for the environment,” Mr Ryan said.

“In addition to this the Poowong Kindergarten community worked to include sustainable practices into every aspect of their service, further developing socially and environmentally responsible individuals.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government’s ResourceSmart School Awards was Victoria’s largest sustainability awards program for primary and secondary schools, and for the first time this year included an early childhood category. 

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith more than 1,100 early childhood services, primary and secondary schools across Victoria participated in the program this year and saved more than $1.3 million in energy costs. 

“This is part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to invest $8.3 million to help schools adopt better sustainable practices to protect the environment,” Mr Smith said.

Minister for Education Martin Dixon said the Coalition Government’s ResourceSmart School Awards were a great time to recognise our schools who are working smarter to lessen their impact on the local environment.

“The students, staff, parents and community at Poowong Kindergarten should be really proud of their efforts in reducing their environmental footprint,” Mr Dixon said.

Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell welcomed the new category recognising the sustainability efforts of our youngest Victorians and congratulated Poowong Kindergarten. 

“Poowong Kindergarten has successfully embedded sustainable practises into every aspect of their service,” Ms Lovell said.

“Under the Coalition Government, Victorian children are now learning about nature and the environment from an even earlier age.”

Mr Ryan said Poowong Kindergarten would share in up to $40,000 cash and prizes to help grow their sustainability projects.

For a full list of winners or information about ResourceSmart Schools visit www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/schoolsawards

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

A major boost for recycling at the Kilmany tip

* * - Thursday, September 11, 2014

 

· Victorian Coalition Government invests $105,000 to improve recycling at the Kilmany tip  
· The $210,000 project will see 800 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill
· The Nationals, working as part of a Coalition Government, are building a better regional Victoria

Eight-hundred tonnes of waste otherwise destined for landfill will be recycled, with the Victorian Coalition Government investing more than $100,000 to improve waste and recycling infrastructure at the Kilmany tip.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today announced a $105,000 investment towards the $210,000 Kilmany tip recycling project, with funding provided through the Coalition Government’s Rural and Regional Transfer Station Upgrade Fund. 

Mr Ryan said Wellington Shire Council would contribute $105,000 towards the project.

“This investment will enable council to extend the Kilmany Resource and Recovery Centre and purchase additional skips for the site, giving the local community better access to recycling facilities,” Mr Ryan said.

“The project will make it easier for council to collect and recover materials, ensuring more waste otherwise destined for landfill can be recovered and reused.

“This investment will see an estimated 800 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill, providing positive environmental and social benefits for our local community.”

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said 31 transfer stations and resource recovery centres across regional Victoria would share in $2.25 million in funding through the Coalition Government’s Rural and Regional Transfer Station Upgrade Fund.

“Once the upgrades are implemented, these 31 transfer stations will recover an additional 4,600 tonnes of materials each year, bringing recovery levels up to more than 18,000 tonnes a year,” Mr Smith said.

“That is the equivalent of 460 trucks loads of rubbish that would have been sent to landfill being recycled.”

Mr Ryan said more information on the Coalition Government’s Rural and Regional Transfer Station Upgrade Fund was available online at www.sustainability.vic.gov.au

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

A boost for recycling at the Koonwarra tip

* * - Thursday, September 11, 2014

 

· Victorian Coalition Government invests $18,200 to improve recycling at the Koonwarra tip  
· The $36,400 project will see 50 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill
· The Nationals, working as part of a Coalition Government, are building a better regional Victoria

Fifty tonnes of waste otherwise destined for landfill will be recycled or resold, with the Victorian Coalition Government investing more than $18,000 to improve waste and recycling infrastructure at the Koonwarra tip.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today announced an $18,200 investment towards the $36,400 recycling project at the Koonwarra tip, with funding provided through the Coalition Government’s Rural and Regional Transfer Station Upgrade Fund. 

Mr Ryan said South Gippsland Shire Council would contribute $18,200 towards the project.

“This investment will enable council to build an enclosed shed and resale shop, improving recycling facilities at the Koonwarra tip,” Mr Ryan said.

“The project will make it easier for council to collect and recover materials, ensuring more waste otherwise destined for landfill can be recovered and reused or resold.

“This investment will see an estimated 50 tonnes of waste material diverted from landfill, providing positive environmental and social benefits for our local community.”

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said 31 transfer stations and resource recovery centres across regional Victoria would share in $2.25 million in funding through the Coalition Government’s Rural and Regional Transfer Station Upgrade Fund.

“Once the upgrades are implemented, these 31 transfer stations will recover an additional 4,600 tonnes of materials each year, bringing recovery levels up to more than 18,000 tonnes a year,” Mr Smith said.

“That is the equivalent of 460 trucks loads of rubbish that would have been sent to landfill being recycled.”

Mr Ryan said more information on the Coalition Government’s Rural and Regional Transfer Station Upgrade Fund was available online at www.sustainability.vic.gov.au

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

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



$80,000 in prizes on offer for best school gardens

* * - Wednesday, April 09, 2014

 

·        Victorian Schools Garden Awards promote biodiversity and sustainability
·        $80,000 in prizes for the best and most innovative primary and secondary school gardens
·        Coalition Government is building better education beyond the  traditional classroom

The search for Victoria’s best and most innovative school garden is on with entries for the 2014 Schools Garden Awards now being accepted.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the awards were a great way for students to learn about recycling, reducing waste and limiting their waste consumption away from a typical classroom environment.

“Over many years, these awards, run by Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria, have encouraged generations of children to get out of the classroom and into the garden to increase their understanding of biodiversity and sustainability,” Mr Ryan said.

“The awards provide schools with a way to get students out of the classroom and learn how to design, grow maintain and harvest their own gardens.”

Mr Ryan said he would be thrilled to see a school from Gippsland announced as a winner of one of the categories.

“There are four categories that encompass schools ranging from less than 100 pupils through to those who have more than 280 pupils as well as a category for secondary and P-12 (primary to year 12) colleges,” he said.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government has contributed $55,000 to the $80,000 prize pool, which includes nursery vouchers and four separate turf and installation packages.

“A new seedling grants scheme is also on offer this year to get applicant schools started with their gardens,” Mr Ryan said.

The Victorian Schools Garden Awards program is now open to all Victorian schools, public and non-government and closes on 1 August. Winners will be announced later in the year at a ceremony in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.

For more information on how to enter, visit: www.schoolsgardenawards.org.au.  

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

 

 

 

Coalition funds 16 recycling bins in Korumburra

* * - Thursday, April 03, 2014

  • 16 new bins will reduce landfill in Korumburra by 30 tonnes
  • $30,000 provided by Coalition to South Gippsland Shire Council
  • Educating the community about recycling

About 30 tonnes of recyclable items each year can now be diverted away from landfill in Korumburra thanks to the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government’s Regional Public Place Recycling Grants.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government will provide $30,000 for South Gippsland Shire Council to install 16 recycling stations in Korumburra’s Main Street.

“A total of $815,000 has been allocated to 22 regional Victoria projects through this program, which aims to make it easier for people to dispose of their rubbish and recyclable materials correctly,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has set a target to improve the littering behaviour of Regional Victorians by 25 per cent by the end of this year compared with figures recorded in 2003.”

Mr Ryan said accessible recycling bins with education signage outlining what items are recyclable will make it easier for people to do the right thing.

“These bins will also educate the community about the types of items that are able to be recycled to reduce landfill in Gippsland,” Mr Ryan said.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said the installation of the bins in Korumburra would help reduce unsightly litter while creating a safer and healthier environment for regional Victorians.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

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