Press Releases

Deputy Premier announces John Leslie Art Prize

* * - Monday, September 22, 2014

 

  • Victorian artist wins $20,000 prestigious Gippsland art award
  • Gippsland Art Gallery hosts major landscape painting prize and exhibition
  • Victorian Coalition Government is a strong supporter of the arts in Gippsland

Melbourne-based artist Shannon Smiley has taken out the prestigious $20,000 John Leslie Art Prize, presented on Friday evening by Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan at Gippsland Art Gallery.

Mr Smiley won with his painting ‘Untitled, Burnley’, which was praised by the judges for its use of contrasting elements and for its ‘equilibrium, colour and detail’.

Mr Ryan also presented Gippsland-based artist Frank Mesaric with the $1,000 prize for Best Gippsland Work for his painting ‘Figure and Cypress Pines, Denison’.

Mr Ryan congratulated each of the 35 artists whose work was short-listed for this year’s awards from over 400 entries nationwide. He thanked management and staff at Gippsland Art Gallery, Wellington Shire Council as well as gallery patron, John Leslie.

“John’s generosity and devotion to the arts and to this region are legendary,” Mr Ryan said.

“Gippsland Art Gallery is extremely fortunate to have John as its patron, and the reach and impact of the John Leslie Art Prize is a testament to that.

“The biennial John Leslie Art Prize, first held in 2000, has grown to become one of Australia’s major prizes for landscape painting, and is open to all artists living and working in Australia.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government was a strong supporter of the arts, having announced in May this year it would contribute $5.5 million towards construction of the new $15 million Gippsland Art Gallery and Sale Public Library cultural and community hub.

He said the project – a partnership between the Coalition Government, John Leslie and Wellington Shire Council – would not only deliver a first class arts and cultural precinct for Sale, it would also boost the profile of the John Leslie Art Prize and Gippsland art more broadly.

“A great partnership will produce a great community outcome,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan encouraged locals and visitors to view the exhibition and, while there, to vote for their favourite art work in the People’s Choice Award.

The exhibition at Gippsland Art Gallery runs until Sunday, 23 November 2014. More information is available online at www.wellington.vic.gov.au/Enjoying-Wellington/Gippsland-Art-Gallery.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Celebrating the big difference small business makes in Heyfield

* * - Friday, September 19, 2014

  • Ryan and Bull encourage Gippslanders to buy local in the lead-up to Support Small Business Day
  • Thousands of gift cards for local small businesses up for grabs
  • Coalition Government supporting small business in regional Victoria

Gippslanders are being encouraged to buy local to support small businesses across the region in the lead-up to Support Small Business Day on Saturday 4 October.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today joined The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull at CAFÉ 3858 in Heyfield to promote Support Small Business Day.

“Businesses such as Café 3858 in George Street Heyfield, run by Jamie Riley and Zac Stamos, contribute a great deal to our local economies,” Mr Ryan said.

“Jamie, originally from Heyfield, and Zac moved to Heyfield almost four years ago, purchasing the business and bringing with them a slice of Melbourne Café culture.

“They have grown the business which can now seat around 70 people inside, with room for another 40 in their courtyard.

“Their cafe has won several awards including Best Cafe twice and Best Coffee in the Wellington People Choice Awards and they have received numerous positive reviews in newspapers such as the Herald Sun and the Age.

“Jamie and Zac are a great example of our dedicated local small businesses owners investing in our local communities and I encourage locals to continue to support them by purchasing a coffee, cake or and some of the other delicious food they have on offer.”

Mr Bull said it was important locals supported small businesses such as Café 3858.

“Local small businesses employ local staff, which creates local jobs, they purchase local goods and services and reinvest in our local communities,” Mr Bull said.

“Whenever $100 is spent in a local small business, $50 is retained in the local economy.

“Whether it is purchasing the day’s milk for coffee, bread for sandwiches, or dropping into Tryhorn Supermarket for supplies, businesses like Jamie and Zac’s Café 3858 are reinvesting in our local communities and making your dollar go further.

“Local businesses are also the first to give back to their communities by putting up their hands to sponsor local sports clubs, charities or other local initiatives.”

Mr Bull said to further encourage locals to support local small businesses in the lead-up to Support Small Business Day, the Victorian Coalition Government and Bendigo Bank had partnered to give locals the chance to win gift cards that can be spent at participating businesses.

“There are thousands of gift cards be won as part of this initiative which runs throughout the month of September,” Mr Bull said.

“I encourage shoppers and businesses to visit the Support Small Business Day website to see some of the great competitions and initiatives which are on offer.

“Last year more than 4,000 small businesses and consumers participated in the inaugural event and it would be great if we could boost those numbers this year.”

Mr Bull said to participate, small businesses and shoppers across Gippsland could register at www.supportsmallbusinessday.vic.gov.au.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Deputy Premier launches $1.6 million project at Heyfield as part of major MID upgrade

* * - Friday, September 19, 2014

  • $1.6 million Heyfield Regulator Retrofit Program marks a milestone in the $32 million upgrade of the Macalister Irrigation District
  • 18km of channel infrastructure modernised, saving 1,200 megalitres of water
  • Coalition Government building a better Victoria through productive regions

 

The Macalister Irrigation District (MID) is well on its way to becoming more efficient, with the launch of the $1.6 million Heyfield Regulator Retrofit Program which will save water and boost productivity.

 

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan and Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs and The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull today launched the completed regulator project.

 

Mr Ryan said the retrofit program had upgraded 18 kilometres of old channel infrastructure and was a major step forward in the modernisation of the Macalister Irrigation District.

 

“The Heyfield Regulator Retrofit Program has improved the efficiency and reliability of water supply to 22 properties and has replaced ageing, open channels with an automated delivery system,” Mr Ryan said.

 

Mr Ryan said the retrofit program was expected to save 1200 ML of water, which would be returned to productive use.

 

Mr Bull said the MID is the largest irrigation district in southern Victoria, with irrigators contributing more than $500 million to the Gippsland economy each year.

 

“The Victorian Coalition Government has invested $16 million in the first phase of upgrading the Macalister Irrigation District, and this funding has been matched by Southern Rural Water.”

 

Mr Bull said the modernisation is critical to ensuring the region continues to thrive and this investment will enable farms to become more productive and more profitable.

 

“The modernisation will provide irrigators with reliable and secure water supplies to help increase production and meet the Coalition Government’s target of doubling Victoria’s food and fibre production by 2030,” Mr Bull said.

 

“This is in stark contrast to the former Labor government’s approach of taking water from farming communities and sending it to Melbourne through the north-south pipeline.

 

“This Coalition Government is building stronger Victorian farming industries.”

 

Southern Rural Water Manager Irrigation Modernisation, Mike Budahazy said the program modernised 32 water regulator devices along irrigation channels in the Heyfield area.

 

“This means that water flowing through the channels is now controlled much more accurately via computers at Southern Rural Water’s head office,” Mr Budahazy said.

 

“More accurate control means that we can deliver much better service to farmers, and that we can save water which will be returned to the district for greater production.”

 

Media contacts:

Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404 kate.lancaster@minstaff.vic.gov.au (Deputy Premier)

Jacinta Cummins  0400 571 611  jacinta.cummins@minstaff.vic.gov.au (Minister Bull)

Maffra salad maker’s expansion to create 20 jobs

* * - Friday, September 19, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $200,000 in Australian Fresh Salads expansion 
  • $1.5 million expansion creates 20 new skilled jobs in Maffra
  • Coalition Government building stronger regional communities through the 
  • $1 billion Regional Growth Fund

The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $200,000 to enable a major Australian horticultural company to expand its vegetable processing facilities in Maffra, which will increase production and productivity and create 20 new jobs.

In Maffra, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs and The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull to announce the funding.

Mr Bull said that the Coalition Government was proud to be investing in the project with funding from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“Our funding will enable Australian Fresh Salads Pty Ltd (AFS) to improve and expand its vegetable operations in Maffra by undertaking a $1.5 million expansion project,” Mr Bull  said.

“This is a very important project for Maffra and our state because AFS has chosen to expand its vegetable production operation in Victoria.

“AFS is a major Australian producer of fresh cut salads, specialising in the growing, harvesting and processing of salad products for the retail, food service and wholesale markets.

“After the 2011 floods in Queensland, AFS decided to begin investment in Victoria by purchasing land at Maffra in the Macalister Irrigation District.

“In 2012, the company successfully invested in land, irrigation infrastructure, a vegetable cool room, processing and storage facilities in the Maffra region, which has now resulted in further investment of $1.5 million.

“The current Victorian operation has approximately 15 employees, with this expansion to create an additional 20 new jobs in Gippsland.”

Mr Ryan said AFS’s investment would involve the construction of a new vegetable processing, washing and drying facilities and new plant and equipment to support the existing infrastructure.

“It will also include construction of a micro testing, quality control and food safety validation operational area, an increased refrigeration capacity and new truck loading facilities,” Mr Ryan said.

“AFS’s expansion in Gippsland will result in the company being able to reliably supply year-round demand for its products due to operating in both Queensland and Victoria, with counter seasonal climatic conditions.

“The project will also provide AFS with the opportunity to enter export markets in South East Asia.”

Mr Ryan said the Regional Growth Fund had invested $200,000, with the balance of the project funds being provided by AFS.

“Our $1 billion Regional Growth Fund is investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria.

“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered almost $440 million, generating $1.8 billion in total investment across 1,600 projects.”

Mr Ryan said the project would be completed in November this year.

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

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

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

Support for local sporting clubs to build inclusive facilities

* * - Thursday, September 04, 2014

 

• Up to $50,000 available for local clubs to partner with Victorian Coalition Government to build or upgrade their facilities

• Local Facilities for Local Clubs Program to support local projects

• Clubs encouraged to offer in-kind support for new facilities

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan has encouraged local clubs to apply for funding to improve their facilities through the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 million Local Facilities for Local Clubs Program.

Mr Ryan said the program rewarded innovative community clubs and organisations with dollar-for-dollar funding of up to $50,000 for sport and recreation facility projects that encouraged participation, improved safety, delivered innovative facilities and for improvements that were environmentally sustainable.

Mr Ryan said projects that were eligible for funding included:

  • outdoor sports surfaces;
  • outdoor playing field developments;
  • unisex accessible change rooms, toilets and showers for facility users;
  • outdoor sports lighting;
  • indoor sports surfaces including lighting;
  • permanent/fixed equipment such as gymnastics floors;
  • water sports facilities;
  • multi-purpose training facilities; and
  • seasonal pool upgrades to support club activities.

“This program is a game-changer for local sporting clubs, acknowledging the hard work of volunteer administrators by providing financial support for projects that make a big difference to local people,” Mr Ryan said.

“Through this program we are keen to support local sport and recreation clubs which can source materials or have qualified tradespeople such as electricians or plumbers to provide in-kind support to projects.

“We want to unlock the capacity of local clubs to deliver sporting infrastructure, in particular the capacity of local sports communities to provide in-kind labour and materials towards a project.”

Minister for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum said clubs and communities wanting to access this funding should contact their local council to discuss potential projects.

Mr Drum said local councils could apply for up to $50,000 to support two projects in their region and that each project could have a total cost of up to $150,000.

“The Coalition Government is proud to invest in a program that promotes the importance of inclusive partnerships between clubs, local and state government, whilst generating additional economic activity in local communities,” Mr Drum said.

“It’s the Coalition Government that understands community sport, and it’s only the Coalition Government that can implement programs that make a real difference to local sport.”

Mr Ryan said more information about the Local Facilities for Local Clubs Program and other community sporting facility funding programs was available online at www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/local-facilities-for-local-clubs or by contacting his office in Sale on 5144 1987.

Mr Ryan said applications for the Local Facilities for Local Clubs Program close on Monday, 15 September 2014. 

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404


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