Press Releases

Latrobe Valley Bus Lines expansion to create jobs

* * - Friday, August 15, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $50,000 in Latrobe Valley Bus Lines expansion
  • Latrobe Valley Bus Lines to open a new $1.2 million workshop in Traralgon
  • Project will create five new jobs and secure the existing workforce

The Victorian Coalition Government is providing $50,000 from its Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund to help Latrobe Valley Bus Lines undertake a $1.2 million expansion of its operations.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan, said the project would help Latrobe Valley Bus Lines secure and grow its business.

Mr Ryan said the expansion would enable the company to better manage the servicing and repair of its fleet of buses.

“Latrobe Valley Bus Lines will open a new workshop in Traralgon and will continue to operate the Morwell facility as a depot. Both the Latrobe Valley sites are integral to the long term operation of the business,” Mr Ryan said.

“The new workshop will offer servicing and repairs to other heavy vehicles owners and operators in Gippsland – meaning the work can now be done locally rather than being sent to Melbourne.

“A locally based heavy vehicle servicing and repairs workshop means less vehicle downtime for operators, which is a major consideration in service and maintenance regimes.”

Minister for Small Business and Member for Morwell Russell Northe said that five new jobs will be created by the expansion, while securing the future of the existing workforce.

“LV Bus Lines is a significant employer and already has about 119 staff including drivers, administration, operational staff and trades people,” Mr Northe said.

Mr Northe said the $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund would invest $50,000, with the balance of the project to be provided by Latrobe Valley Bus Lines.

“This project is further proof of the success of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund,” Mr Northe said.

“We have now invested more than $10 million from the fund to support 30 job creating projects across the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland.

“We have created a further 500 new full time jobs on the back of this investment and leveraged more than $43 million in total investment.

“The Nationals are committed to supporting the Latrobe Valley because we know that when the Latrobe Valley prospers Victoria prospers.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Victorian Coalition Government invests $50,000 in Latrobe Valley Bus Lines expansion
Latrobe Valley Bus Lines to open a new $1.2 million workshop in Traralgon
Project will create five new jobs and secure the existing workforce

The Victorian Coalition Government is providing $50,000 from its Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund to help Latrobe Valley Bus Lines undertake a $1.2 million expansion of its operations.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan, said the project would help Latrobe Valley Bus Lines secure and grow its business.

Mr Ryan said the expansion would enable the company to better manage the servicing and repair of its fleet of buses.

“Latrobe Valley Bus Lines will open a new workshop in Traralgon and will continue to operate the Morwell facility as a depot. Both the Latrobe Valley sites are integral to the long term operation of the business,” Mr Ryan said.

“The new workshop will offer servicing and repairs to other heavy vehicles owners and operators in Gippsland – meaning the work can now be done locally rather than being sent to Melbourne.

“A locally based heavy vehicle servicing and repairs workshop means less vehicle downtime for operators, which is a major consideration in service and maintenance regimes.”

Minister for Small Business and Member for Morwell Russell Northe said that five new jobs will be created by the expansion, while securing the future of the existing workforce.

“LV Bus Lines is a significant employer and already has about 119 staff including drivers, administration, operational staff and trades people,” Mr Northe said.

Mr Northe said the $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund would invest $50,000, with the balance of the project to be provided by Latrobe Valley Bus Lines.

“This project is further proof of the success of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund,” Mr Northe said.

“We have now invested more than $10 million from the fund to support 30 job creating projects across the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland.

“We have created a further 500 new full time jobs on the back of this investment and leveraged more than $43 million in total investment.

“The Nationals are committed to supporting the Latrobe Valley because we know that when the Latrobe Valley prospers Victoria prospers.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Deputy Premier inspects Bright foreshore

* * - Thursday, August 14, 2014
 
  • Deputy Premier inspects progress of the Bright Foreshore redevelopment
  • Announces $150,000 for $200,000 planning strategy in Alpine Shire
  • Victorian Coalition Government supporting regional tourism towns

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan yesterday inspected progress of the $525,000 Bright Foreshore Redevelopment Project.

During his visit, Mr Ryan also announced Victorian Coalition Government funding for the Alpine Better Places project.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals Member for Benalla Bill Sykes and The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy, said the foreshore redevelopment was made possible by a $300,000 investment from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“This important local project is revitalising the Centenary Park precinct,” Mr Ryan said.

“I am glad to see that work is progressing and remains on track to be completed before the busy summer tourist period.

“Centenary Park is one of the most visited sites in Bright, with this project set to transform the foreshore area, further enhancing this already wonderful community asset.”

Mr Ryan said the project involved:

landscaping and additional shade; redevelopment of the splash park; installation of new lighting; and new path connections into the CBD and river trails.

Dr Sykes said he was pleased with the progress being made at the site.

“This project will create a point of difference for Bright, enhancing tourist visitations and increasing their length of stay,” Dr Sykes said.

“The new path connections into the CBD will also draw more visitors into the main shopping areas of town, providing a boost for local traders.”

Mr Ryan also announced yesterday that the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 from the Regional Growth Fund to enable the Alpine Shire Council develop a new planning and engagement strategy for Bright, Porepunkah and Myrtleford.

Mr Ryan said the $200,000 Alpine Better Places planning and engagement strategy would outline plans for the renewal of key public spaces in the three townships.

“All three communities are tourist hotspots, with natural features that include the Ovens River in Bright and Porepunkah, and Happy Valley Creek in Myrtleford,” Mr Ryan said.

“The focus of the project will be to plan for public infrastructure upgrades, enhancing each township’s ‘sense of place’ and encouraging new investment and population retention.”

Mr McCurdy, whose existing seat of Murray Valley will be renamed Ovens Valley and include Bright following the 2014 Victorian Election, welcomed the investment and said it was important the Victorian Coalition Government continued to invest in these communities.

“We all know that these areas are popular visitor destinations and wonderful places to live, however this hasn’t happened overnight,” Mr McCurdy said.

“These communities have grown their population and tourism base through hard work over many long years and this work needs to continue if they are to remain strong.

“I am proud to say that The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, are right behind the community as they continue to develop this magnificent part of Victoria.”

The Alpine Better Places planning and engagement strategy project will be complete by the end of 2015.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Bright Court House reopened to the community

* * - Thursday, August 14, 2014

 

  • Bright Court House to be restored for public use
  • Deputy Premier announces $145,000 investment in the project
  • Victorian Coalition Government putting locals first

The Bright Court House will be refurbished with the support of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, returning this much-loved historical building to community hands.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan was in Bright yesterday to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $145,000 in the almost $200,000 refurbishment.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals Member for Benalla Bill Sykes and The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy, said the investment would bring the run-down Bright Court House back to life, enabling the local community to once again host live theatre and other forms of entertainment at the venue.

“The Bright Court House is the town’s oldest building, it is heritage listed and held dear to the local community’s heart,” Mr Ryan said.

“Built in 1861, it was used as a court of petty sessions for Buckland Goldfields where it operated right up until 1989.

“Over the next 10 years it continued to host a wide range of community activities, most notably the Alpine Actors and Foothill Theatre and Bright P-12 College’s drama and music events and activities.

“By the year 2000, the facility had run its race, with the structure of the Court House deteriorating to such a point that it was no longer deemed safe for community use and was shut down.

“The Coalition Government’s $145,000 investment will enable the Bright Court House to be reopened, returning it to community hands.”

Dr Sykes welcomed the investment, which will deliver a number of key improvements including:

  • modifications to ensure all ability access to the building;
  • establishment of a kiosk and foyer area;
  • installation of staging, tiered seating, heating and cooling, a control room, sound system and lighting;
  • replacement of floor coverings; extension of the car park;
  • landscaping; and
  • upgrade of toilets and actor facilities.

“The improvements will deliver a state-of-the-art community facility capable of hosting a wide range of events and users groups,” Dr Sykes said.

“Refurbishing the Bright Court House has long been at the top of the local community’s list of priorities and I am proud to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier to announce this funding.”

Mr McCurdy, whose existing seat of Murray Valley will be renamed Ovens Valley and will include Bright following the 2014 Victorian Election, said this project was another terrific example of how the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund was putting locals first.

“Strong support for the refurbishment has been received from the Alpine Women’s Group, Alpine Shire Youth Council, Bright Alpine Actors, Chamber of Commerce, and Lions and Rotary Clubs, and I expect these groups and others to make full use of the Court House,” Mr McCurdy said.

Mr McCurdy said the community had ‘put its money where its mouth was’, with a number of local groups and organisations chipping in towards a total project cost of $194,000.

He said this included $8,000 from the Rotary Club of Bright, $5,000 from Bright Alpine Actors, $6,000 from MADAS Productions, and $5,000 from Alpine Shire Council.

Mr McCurdy said the Bright United Men’s Shed and local businesses had also contributed a combined total of $13,000 in goods and services, as well as an in-kind contribution of $12,000 from the Court House committee of management.

The Bright Court House Redevelopment project will be completed by the end of this year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund upgrades Myrtleford Memorial Square

* * - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

 

  • Coalition Government invests $30,000 to upgrade Myrtleford Memorial Square
  • Works to include new paving, seating, lighting as well as landscaping works
  • Upgrade will complement a new bronze statue commissioned by the RSL

Myrtleford’s Memorial Square will receive a $40,000 makeover to complement the recently confirmed bronze statue of Victoria Cross winner Albert “Alby” Lowerson, which is to be erected in the historic square ahead of the Anzac Centenary in April 2015.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Members for Benalla and Murray Valley, Bill Sykes and Tim McCurdy, to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $30,000 from the Regional Growth Fund in the upgrade of Myrtleford Memorial Square.

Mr Ryan said the project would include installation of new paving, seating and lighting as well as landscaping works.

“Myrtleford’s Memorial Square is a key focal point for the local community and home to the township’s historic cenotaph,” Mr Ryan said.

“Being located on the popular Great Alpine Road and adjacent to the retail precinct, Memorial Square provides a focal point for the community and a place where those travelling through can stop for a rest and to pay their respects to all those who have served this great country.

“The Alpine Shire Council has been working closely with the Myrtleford RSL over the past 18 months to secure funding to install a bronze statue of Alby Lowerson at the Memorial Square.

“With the funding for the statue now secure, it is vitally important that Memorial Square is looking its best.

“I am proud to be here today alongside Bill Sykes and Tim McCurdy to announce that The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, will invest $30,000 to enable these important works to be undertaken, ensuring Alby Lowerson’s legacy is honoured in the best way possible.”

Member for Benalla Bill Sykes welcomed the investment and said the important upgrades to Memorial Square were a fitting tribute to the life of Albert Lowerson.

“Alby Lowerson, who was born at Myrtleford, enlisted in July 1915 and served in the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion,” Dr Sykes said.

“He was cited for his ‘conspicuous bravery and tactical skill’ at Mont St Quentin.  His courageous actions included bombing a German strongpoint which was holding up the attack.

“With just a small team of brave men at his side, he inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and captured 12 machine-guns and 30 prisoners.

“He refused to leave his position, despite being badly wounded, until the prisoners had been sent to the rear and the post consolidated.

“Alby Lowerson served Australia again during the Second World War before returning to live out his days in his beloved Myrtleford.

“I am proud to be part of a strong Coalition Government which is securing Alby Lowerson’s legacy through this important local investment.”

Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy, whose seat of Murray Valley will be renamed Ovens Valley and include Myrtleford after this year’s Victorian Election, said the Coalition Government’s support for this project was a ‘no-brainer’.

“It is vitally important that we honour those among us, both past and present, who bravely served King and country during the First and Second World Wars,” Mr McCurdy said.

“It is an honour to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier and Bill Sykes to announce this important funding that will ensure Alby Lowerson’s legacy is celebrated.”

Mr McCurdy said the square upgrade would be completed by December, with the bronze statue be completed in early 2015 ahead of the Anzac Centenary in April.

 Media contact: Ben Bulmer  0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund invests in Wangaratta CBD master plan

* * - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

 

  • Victorian Coalition Government invest $150,000 to develop Wangaratta CBD Master Plan
  • Master Plan will drive the growth of the CBD
  • Coalition Government helping to build a better Wangaratta

A comprehensive master plan for the growth of Wangaratta’s central business district (CBD) will be developed with the support of $150,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy in Wangaratta today to announce the Coalition Government’s investment in the Wangaratta CBD master plan.

Mr Ryan said the $225,000 master plan would look at ways to grow the CBD, ensuring Wangaratta continues to be a leading economic, social and cultural hub in the North East.

“The master plan will focus on maximising existing assets and facilities, developing Wangaratta’s economic strengths, and capitalising on the town’s unique landscape and heritage in order to grow the CBD,” Mr Ryan said.

“The feasibility of a number of key projects will be looked at as part of the master plan, enabling a number of key local projects to be further refined, scoped and developed.

“These projects include developing the CBD laneway network, improving the retail and commercial precinct and enhancing linkages between the CBD and riverside precinct.

“These projects have the potential to boost jobs, attract new forms of investment and grow tourism in Wangaratta.

“The Nationals, working as part of Coalition Government, are committed to growing regional communities, and by funding projects such as this, we are saying to communities such as Wangaratta that we stand next to you and support you as you grow.”

Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy welcomed the investment and said the master plan would map out a clear path for the growth of Wangaratta’s CBD.

“Wangaratta is a wonderful place to live and work, or for those from outside the region, it is the perfect place for a weekend getaway or an extended holiday,” Mr McCurdy said.

“However, there is always things that we could be doing better and I applaud the council for seeking the assistance of the Coalition Government to map out a clear plan for the growth of the Wangaratta CBD.

“If we get this right, we have the potential to grow jobs, encourage new forms of investment and make Wangaratta an even better place to live and work, an even stronger economic hub and an even more popular tourist destination.”

Mr McCurdy thanked the Rural City of Wangaratta for its $75,000 contribution to the master plan, which is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

During his visit to Wangaratta, Mr Ryan also inspected the $3.2 million Ovens Riverside project, completed thanks to a $715,000 investment from the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said he was impressed with how the project had turned out and praised the community for its dedication in seeing the project through.

“The riverside promenade and boardwalk has dramatically improved the look and feel of the riverside precinct,” Mr Ryan said.

“The entire Wangaratta community can take much pride in this development, which is the envy of many other communities across regional and rural Victoria.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund ensures Wangaratta remains a cycling hub

* * - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

 

  • Victorian Coalition Government invest $400,000 to create cycling hub in Wangaratta
  • CBD Hub to include shower, toilet and secure bicycle storage facilities
  • Coalition Government building a better regional Victoria

Wangaratta’s reputation as the home of cycling in Victoria’s North East will be further enhanced with the Victorian Coalition Government investing $400,000 to create a cycling hub in the town’s central business district (CBD).

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy to announce the Coalition Government’s $400,000 investment, which is being delivered through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s assistance would enable the $500,000 Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub development project to proceed.

He said the project would transform the Wangaratta Comfort Station building at Merriwa Park into a CBD cycling hub.

Mr Ryan said the project would open up the view to Merriwa Park from the CBD and create a central cycle exchange at the southern end of town.

The project includes the development of toilet and shower facilities, construction of a deck overlooking Merriwa Park, installation of secure bicycle storage, and information on local trails and tourism services in Wangaratta. The new facilities will be wheelchair friendly.

“Wangaratta is considered a Mecca for cyclists in Victoria’s North East,” Mr Ryan said.

“Many of Victoria’s great rides start and finish in Wangaratta including the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail, or journeys into the high mountains to tackle the climbs of Mount Buffalo, Mount Hotham or the challenging roads in and around Bright.

“The creation of the Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub will ensure Wangaratta remains at the head of the peloton when it comes to attracting cyclists to Victoria’s North East.”

Mr McCurdy welcomed the investment and said the CBD cycling hub would provide everything a cyclist needed when embarking on a ride, from the elite cyclists who train in the region, right through to weekend warriors.

“Cyclists can base themselves here knowing that there will be a toilet, warm showers and a place to fill up their water bottles at the start and finish of their ride,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Having a secure place to store their bikes will encourage more cyclists to venture into the CBD before or after their ride for breakfast or lunch, or to have a much needed coffee and cake.

“A facility such as this is rare in regional Victoria, and by supporting this development we are encouraging even more cyclists to the region.

“I am proud to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier to say that The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, are right behind the community in supporting this wonderful initiative.”

Mr McCurdy also thanked the Rural City of Wangaratta which is contributing the remaining $100,000 needed to complete the project.

Mr McCurdy said the Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub Development would be completed by the end of next year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Ryan welcomes $12.5 million shooting fund

* * - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

 

  • Shooting clubs in Gippsland South can share in $12.5 million fund
  • Fund will help clubs to upgrade their facilities and attract events
  • Victorian Coalition Government is supporting local sport

The Deputy Premier and Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said local shooting clubs could soon access a $12.5 million fund to expand or upgrade their facilities, purchase equipment or host events and tournaments.

The $12.5 million Shooting Sports Facilities Program will encourage more people to get active in an environment that promotes safe and responsible firearms ownership.

Mr Ryan said shooting was popular throughout Gippsland South, with a number of strong shooting clubs in Sale, Rosedale, Yarram, Mirboo North, Leongatha and Korumburra.

“This fund will improve our local facilities and encourage more regional Victorians to participate in the sport of shooting,” Mr Ryan said.

“Gippsland has produced many successful professional shooters over the years, most recently we saw Longford local Keith Ferguson competing in the men’s skeet at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“Local sporting shooters have also nurtured the talent of 18-year-old Indi Gladman from Sale who took out the Tasmanian Clay Target Championships earlier this year.”

The funding can be used to purchase land for the expansion of existing facilities or to secure tenure over existing facilities in order to improve the long term viability of the sport locally.

Mr Ryan said it could also be used for capital improvements at existing facilities, or to purchase major equipment to enable a local facility to host major events and increase participation.

“Minor projects will be able to receive up to $100,000 from the fund, with the Coalition Government offering $2 for every $1 put in by the club or another contributor, for example a local council,” Mr Ryan said.

“There is no cap on funding invested by Coalition Government into a major project, but the investment will need to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the club or another contributor.

“More than 20,000 Victorians participate in competitive shooting events each year, and we have a proud history of producing Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games medallists, with Russell and Lauryn Mark, Adam Vella and Peter Tait all flying the flag.

“The Coalition Government is helping shooting clubs develop better facilities, host big events and give more people the opportunity to be participants, coaches, and volunteers,” Mr Ryan said.

An advisory committee, chaired by Mr David Hawker AO, will be established to assess project applications and provide specialist advice on the sport's specific and strategic needs.

Details of the program will be finalised following the establishment of the advisory committee.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Regional Growth Fund delivers Bendigo’s Events & Exhibition Complex

* * - Tuesday, July 22, 2014
  • Regional Growth Fund invests $2 million for $3.38 million Events and Exhibition Centre
  • Centre means more events and visitors and tourist dollars for Bendigo
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better regional Victoria

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan today opened the new $3.38 million Bendigo Events & Exhibition Complex at the Bendigo Showgrounds.

Speaking at the Showgrounds, Mr Ryan said the project was part of the Bendigo Showground Masterplan and had received a $2 million investment from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund. 

“This project delivered an exhibition pavilion of more than 6000 square metres, with meeting rooms and a kitchen,” Mr Ryan said.

“This new pavilion can be used for large scale animal and agricultural events, including national and international equestrian events.

“The new centre will boost local businesses by increasing the number of events and visitors bringing their tourist dollars to Bendigo.

“The $1 billion Regional Growth Fund continues to invest in community-led projects, strategically driving jobs and investment in rural and regional Victoria. 

“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered almost $420 million, generating around $1.6 billion of total investment across more than 1500 projects.” 

“In Bendigo, the Regional Growth Fund has invested $14.01 million to 27 projects, leveraging $58.1 million in total investment. This includes $2 million for the $9.12 million Bendigo Library and Community Hub; $350,000 for the $430,000 Leveraging the Benefits of the Bendigo Hospital Redevelopment, and $200,000 for the $756,362 Safe Transport Space project.” 

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

Regional Growth Fund reaches new milestone

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

 

  • Regional Growth Fund delivers a record 1,500 projects
  • RGF has delivered almost $420 million, leveraging $1.7 billion in investment
  • Coalition Government achieves in three years what Labor couldn’t in 11

The Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund reached its 1,500th project milestone today.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development Peter Crisp in Mildura today to announce the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 in Nangiloc Colignan Farms’ $1.5 million expansion, the Regional Growth Fund’s 1,500th project.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s $150,000 investment enabled Nangiloc Colignan Farms to complete a $1.5 million expansion, creating 12 permanent jobs, 42 harvest jobs, and boosting exports by $7 million a year.

Mr Ryan said this project was indicative of the types of projects the Regional Growth Fund was investing in to create new jobs and investment right across regional and rural Victoria.

“The Regional Growth Fund is designed specifically to invest in communities in regional and rural Victoria; Melbourne cannot access it,” Mr Ryan said.

“Over the past three years, the Regional Growth Fund has invested almost $420 million to support 1,500 projects, leveraging $1.7 billion in total investment.

“Compare this with the former Labor Government’s failed Regional Infrastructure Development Fund which provided a total of $600 million over 11 years and generated just $1.6 billion in total leveraged investment.

“The Coalition Government has achieved more in regional and rural Victoria in three years than the Labor Party achieved in its entire 11 years of government, and with $200 million less.

“Imagine what the Coalition Government can achieve in eight years with $1 billion.

Mr Ryan said of the Regional Growth Fund’s 1,500 investments, 86 were major infrastructure projects, receiving $180 million in direct assistance to generate more than $1.1 billion in total investment.

Mr Ryan said these 86 infrastructure projects would create more than 5,000 direct and 11,000 indirect jobs, while an extra 7,800 jobs were retained and 3,800 created during construction.

“It is not just large infrastructure projects; the Regional Growth Fund is also investing in key local priorities such as hall upgrades, new parks and gardens, rail trails, tourism projects, repairing historic buildings and new community hubs,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are helping local councils build and repair bridges, footpaths and roads, and enabling local businesses and farms to boost exports and create new jobs.

“They key to the Regional Growth Fund is that we don’t dictate to communities what sorts of projects it should fund – they tell us.

“This ensures the Regional Growth Fund is investing in projects that are championed by the community and delivering real benefits to local people.”

Mr Ryan said another exciting component of the Regional Growth Fund was the $100 million set aside to extend natural gas to regional and rural communities.

Agreements have been reached to supply Avoca, Huntly, Bannockburn, Winchelsea, Wandong-Heathcote Junction and Koo Wee Rup, while Mildura’s capacity will be increased by 50 per cent.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s roll-out would continue through the $85 million Request for Tender to deliver reticulated natural gas via CNG and LNG solutions to remaining priority towns and Murray River communities, communities Labor turned its back on.

“Jacinta Allan said the Coalition Government couldn’t sensibly connect any more regional communities to natural gas and described our Energy for the Regions Program as a hoax,” Mr Ryan said.

“I am proud to say this is not a hoax and many communities across regional and rural Victoria will soon be cooking with piped natural gas.”

Mr Ryan said a further $500 million from the Regional Growth Fund would be available over the next term of government and The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, was keen to continue its work with communities to deliver even more key local projects.

“When the regions do well, Victoria does well, and that’s why the Regional Growth Fund was established – to deliver for people in rural and regional Victoria.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund delivers its 1,500th project

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  • $1 billion Regional Growth Fund invests in a record 1,500 projects
  • RGF invests $150,000 for cool room expansion at Nangiloc Colignan Farms
  • Project to create 12 permanent jobs and 42 harvest jobs

    The Victorian Coalition Government’s $ 1 billion Regional Growth Fund reached a major milestone in Mildura today, delivering its 1,500th project.

    Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan attended a Regional Business Leaders Forum in Mildura, where he announced the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 from the Regional Growth Fund to support an expansion at Nangiloc Colignan Farms.

    Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp, said the $1.2 million Nangiloc Colignan Farms expansion would create 12 permanent jobs, 42 harvest jobs and included construction of:
  • a new cool-room packing facility;
  • an additional cool-room storage facility; and
  • an additional hardstand and internal road infrastructure for the loading of containers in a dust free environment.

    Mr Ryan said the cool-room packing facility would be used for the packing, lidding, labelling and shrink-wrapping of up to 10,000 boxes of grapes per day.

    Mr Ryan said the cool-room storage facility would hold packed and processed fruit ready for export to countries including, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong and Russia.

    “We are proud to invest in this expansion project which ensures Nangiloc Colignan Farms can continue producing high quality grapes as well as packed and processed fruit,” Mr Ryan said.

    “It means the company can continue to meet the standard its export customers have come to know and expect of fruit supplied by Nangiloc Colignan Farms.

    “It also enables Nangiloc Colignan Farms to increase its international customer base, with exports expected to grow by more than $7 million per year as a direct result of this expansion.”

    Mr Crisp thanked the Deputy Premier for the Coalition Government’s continued support of the region, particularly through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

    “Securing 12 new permanent jobs and 42 harvest jobs as a direct result of this investment is a win for the region, as is the more than $1.6 million a year which will be injected into the local economy in new wages,” Mr Crisp said.

    “The investment secures the future of this processing facility here in Colignan and provides another shot in the arm for the fruit processing industry here in the Sunraysia region.”

    Mr Crisp said the cool room expansion project would be completed by May 2015 and he looked forward to working with the company and other local fruit processors to identify further areas for growth.

    Mr Ryan paid tribute to Mr Crisp’s unwavering determination to promote his region and secure funding for Sunraysia communities.

    “Peter Crisp is always the first in line to advocate for key local projects that can be supported through the Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Ryan said.

    “Peter Crisp has managed to secure more than $35 million in investment for his community through the Regional Growth Fund, delivering more than 30 local projects which have generated $222 million in total leveraged investment.

    “His wins have included $12 million for the $18.3 million Mildura Riverfront Parklands Project, $5.2 million for the $6.4 million Mildura Airport Terminal Redevelopment, and $500,000 for the $1.8 million Merbein Community Hub.”

 

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731


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