Press Releases

Regional Growth Fund breathes new life into Avoca Town Hall

* * - Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Deputy Premier announces funding of $210,000 to revitalise Avoca Town Hall 
  • Project to expand a much-loved community facility 
  • Town Hall will now be able to host new community events

A $280,000 redevelopment will breathe new life into the Avoca Town Hall enabling the community to host karate, cooking and gardening classes, movie nights, children’s dances as well as social events such as weddings and birthdays.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan was in Avoca today to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $210,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to support the ‘New Life for the Avoca Town Hall’ project.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner, said the redevelopment would modernise the aging facility, allowing local community groups to make better use of the hall.

“The Avoca Town Hall is popular among locals and is the only local facility with a stage, large wooden dance floor and projector room,” Mr Ryan said.

“While it has served the needs of the community for many years, its limited size means it is no longer being used to its full potential.”

Mr Turner said the Coalition Government’s investment would fund an expansion of the hall and upgrades to electrical, plumbing and sanitation services, new air conditioning, joinery and floor repairs, new fittings and fixtures, painting as well as the installation of new furnishings.

“This investment will modernise the Avoca Hall to ensure existing user groups can continue to be accommodated on site,” Mr Turner said.

“It will also ensure activities such karate, cooking and gardening classes, movie nights, children’s dances as well as social events such as weddings and birthdays can now be held at the town hall for the first time.”

Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley welcomed the Coalition Government’s $210,000 investment which provides Avoca with a functional multi-purpose town hall that will meet the needs of the community long into the future.

“The redevelopment will begin shortly and is expected to be completed by May next year,” Ms Staley said.

“It will create 11 full-time construction jobs over the next nine months, supporting local tradespeople and local construction businesses.”

Mr Turner thanked the Coalition Government for its support as well as the Pyrenees Shire Council, which contributed $70,000 to the project.

“This investment is one of almost 30 projects in the Pyrenees Shire to have benefited from the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Turner said.

“It is another example of what The Nationals can achieve for local communities when working as part of a strong Coalition Government team.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Future secure for Royal Flying Doctor Service at Sale

* * - Friday, July 04, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government has invested $360,000 in a new home for the Royal Flying Doctor Service at Sale
  • Administration services to relocate from Maffra to the Central Gippsland Health Service precinct
  • Relocation will secure 12 administration jobs in Sale

Australia’s iconic Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) will maintain a presence in Gippsland, with the planned relocation of administration services to the Central Gippsland Health Service precinct.

The Victorian Coalition Government has provided $360,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to relocate the office from Maffra to Sale.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the relocation would cement the future of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Sale.

“This relocation will secure 12 administration jobs in the local area, staving off a relocation of those roles to Melbourne,” Mr Ryan said.

“Furthermore there is now capacity for two additional administration jobs at Sale.”

Mr Ryan said the Royal Flying Doctor Service provides air and road patient transport services throughout Victoria including mobile patient services to Gippsland.

“The Mobile Patient Care Unit transports patients from home to hospital and specialist appointments, and transports patients between hospitals,” Mr Ryan said.

“This service is for patients requiring non-emergency medical treatment and complements the vital services provided by Ambulance Victoria.

“Mobile units are on call seven days a week and help meet the patient transport needs across the vast Gippsland region.”

Mr Ryan said the Royal Flying Doctor Service Relocation Project would cost $543,230, with $360,000 provided by the Coalition Government through the Regional Growth Fund to the Wellington Shire Council.

Mr Ryan said the site earmarked for the redevelopment within the health precinct is owned by the Wellington Shire, and they will contribute $183,230 to the project.

Mr Ryan said concept plans for the building fit-out have been developed and include vehicle storage facilities.

“The project aligns with the Wellington Shire’s Community Wellbeing Strategy which has been developed in consultation with the Central Gippsland Health Service and RFDS,” Mr Ryan said.

“Co-locating the RFDS with Central Gippsland Health will make better use of the space and will create opportunities for the shared use of facilities and training.”

RFDS Victoria Chief Executive Scott Chapman said the flying doctors were delighted to be consolidating services in Sale.

"We applaud the Government's efforts in supporting jobs and health services in Gippsland," Mr Chapman said.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service Relocation Project is expected to be completed in March 2015.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Ryan and O’Brien in Mirboo North to hear community issues

* * - Monday, June 23, 2014

  • Peter Ryan and Danny O’Brien in Mirboo North on 11 July
  • Opportunity for face-to-face meeting to discuss State Government matters
  • Contact Sale office on 5144 1987 to register interest to meet with Peter or Danny

Members of the Mirboo North and surrounding communities are invited to meet with Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan and The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien on Friday 11 July.

Mr Ryan said the mobile electorate office would visit Mirboo North to make it easier for residents to meet with their local Parliamentarians to discuss State Government matters affecting them.

“This event gives us an additional opportunity to connect with our constituents and listen to the issues that are important to them,” Mr Ryan said.

“As part of my role as The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, I believe it is crucial that I am accessible to all of my constituents, no matter where in the electorate they live.

“The mobile electorate office is a great chance for members of the community to meet with me face-to-face to discuss State Government matters relevant to them.”

Mr O’Brien said the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government was responsible for areas including agriculture and fishing, state planning, law enforcement and public transport.

“If you have any State issues you want to discuss or need assistance with, please make contact with Peter’s office to arrange a time to meet,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr Ryan and Mr O’Brien will be at the Dalliance Chocolate Shop on Friday, 11 July and those wishing to make an appointment should call the Sale office on 5144 1987.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Take action this Men’s Health Week

* * - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • Gippsland men urged to have health concerns addressed
  • Play your part in reducing the health gap between women and men
  • Professional telephone support available from 1300 789 978

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan is encouraging men, women and children to discuss and support the health and wellbeing of the males in their lives, during Men’s Health Week, which starts on 9 June.

Mr Ryan said Men’s Health Week, which runs from 9 – 15 June, provided an opportunity for men to visit the doctor for a check-up or to have concerns about their health addressed.

“As a father of two sons, I know as well as anyone that often men aren’t that keen or don’t make time to visit the doctor to have their health assessed,” Mr Ryan said.

“If an aspect of your health has been worrying you, and you keep putting off a visit to the doctor, I urge you to contact your local doctor and make a booking during Men’s Health Week.”

Mr Ryan said a boy born in Australia in 2013 can still expect to live around four years less than a girl born at the same time.

“Right from the start, boys suffer more illness, more accidents and die earlier than their female counterparts,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said Men’s Health Week was also about celebrating the roles and the contributions that boys and men make to our society as sons, classmates, friends, fathers, grandfathers and husbands.

“In line with this year’s theme – Celebrating your AchieveMENts – Men’s Health Week highlights boys and men in their everyday successes while recognising that the key to improving men’s health requires an approach that engages boys and blokes,” Mr Ryan said.

“The positive health impacts of a good teacher, an involved father or positive male role model should never be underestimated, and this week is a great chance to say thank you for the contribution they’ve made to your life.”

Mr Ryan is encouraging Gippsland men to visit the Men’s Health website (www.healthdirect.gov.au/mens-health), like the Men’s Health Week Information and Resource Centre page or add #MensHealthWeek to their Twitter tweets.

Men wanting to speak with a men’s health practitioner can phone 1300 789 978.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

$16,600 gets Mirboo North netball back on court

* * - Thursday, May 22, 2014

  • New netball court surface for Mirboo North Tigers
  • Funding of $16,600 from Victorian Coalition Government is part of $25,000 project
  • Part of $957,000 investment to get Victorians more active
Mirboo North’s growing sporting community will soon have a new netball court surface on which to practice and host big games following today’s news of a $16,600 investment by the Victorian Coalition Government to ensure the resurfacing of the match netball court at Walter Tuck Reserve.

Minister for Sport and Recreation, Damian Drum today attended the home of the Mirboo North Tigers Football Netball Club to announce the funding under the Country Football Netball Program.

“The Napthine Government is committed to building a more active Victoria, that’s why investments like these are so important,” Mr Drum said.

“The new court surface will be a welcome boost for local clubs like the Tigers and their netball teams which have until now being making do with an ageing an uneven surface.”

Mr Drum said the $16,600 funding boost will enable the replacement of the current surface with a new asphalt surface that will prevent water pooling and will be capable of hosting training and competition.

“Our investment in this project is part of our plan to build more sustainable local infrastructure to cater for growth and encourage even more people to play sport,” Mr Drum said.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the project had strong community support, with the South Gippsland Shire Council and the Mirboo North community committing $4,160 and $4,240 respectively.

“The Mirboo North Tigers field teams in each of the six divisions in the Mid Gippsland Netball Association and last year won premierships in B Grade and the Under 17s, demonstrating the town’s strong passion for netball,” Mr Ryan said.

“This investment from the Coalition Government will deliver a new match court surface to ensure that local netballers of all ages can continue to enjoy their sport in a safe environment.”

Mr Ryan said this project was one of the 12 projects from across Victoria that benefitted from a share in over $957,000 from the latest round of the Coalition Government’s $10 million Country Football Netball Program.

“The program is part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to build a better Victoria by investing in quality sporting infrastructure in regional communities,” Mr Ryan said.

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



Victorian Coalition Government is building a better regional Victoria

* * - Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Victorian Coalition Government's 2014-15 Victorian State Budget delivers record funding to build a better Victoria by investing in the future infrastructure and services to unlock the potential and drive growth across regional and rural communities.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government was investing in new job-creating infrastructure projects that would deliver more efficient roads and rail, better hospitals and schools and safer communities.

"The Coalition Government is building a better regional and rural Victoria by delivering infrastructure and services that unlock the growth potential of the regions," Mr Ryan said.

"Responsible financial management means we have delivered a healthy $1.3 billion surplus and maintain our AAA credit rating, enabling us to invest more in rural and regional Victoria."

Rail Infrastructure

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government's investment in regional and rural Victoria was spearheaded by a commitment of up to $220 million to build the Mildura to Geelong rail standardisation link as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project.

"The Coalition Government's Murray Basin Rail Project will transform the movement of freight across the state and unlock economic potential by delivering key country freight rail line upgrades and building the Mildura to Geelong rail standardisation link," Mr Ryan said.

"An additional $209.5 million is also delivered for the maintenance of new stations, bridge, other infrastructure and the delivery of new train and bus services along the $4.1 billion new Regional Rail Link, which will transform regional passenger rail services.

"Other rail investment includes $5.8 million to improve disability access at the Geelong Station and to upgrade the bus interchanges at Moorabool Street and North Shore in Geelong, $14.3 million for a new crossing loop at Rowsley to improve rail operations on the Ballarat line and $1.3 million for planning for the Avalon Airport Rail Link transport corridor," Mr Ryan said.

Road Infrastructure

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was strongly investing in building and upgrading roads across Victoria with an extra $130 million for roads maintenance and restoration, increasing our roads maintenance investment to more than $500 million for the coming year.

The State Budget delivers key regional and rural road projects in partnership with the Commonwealth including:

  • $362.2 million to duplicate the Princes Highway from Winchelsea to Colac;
  • $86 million for the Calder Highway interchange at Ravenswood;
  • $31.8 million for the Princes Highway East interchange at Sand Road;
  • $11 million for Princes Highway East overtaking lanes; and
  • $56.2 million for the Transport Solutions initiative which delivers targeted improvement projects to reduce bottlenecks and improve transport flows in key regional areas.

The Coalition Government will also invest $12.9 million to deliver the Pioneer Road duplication.

"In stark contrast, Labor's transport plan says it will set aside just $1 billion over eight years, or $125 million a year, for regional roads – slashing regional roads spending by two-thirds," Mr Ryan said.

"The money Labor cuts from country roads will be used to pay for Melbourne level crossing removals, where 32 of the 40 promised level crossing removals are in Labor held seats."

Hospitals and healthcare

Mr Ryan said that country hospitals would share in an extra $287 million to hospital bottom-line funding over the next year alone, to treat more patients and assist more people in emergency departments.

"The Coalition Government is investing in building better hospitals and delivering more efficient services so that regional Victorians can access the best healthcare," Mr Ryan said.

The State Budget's key regional and rural health investments include:

  • $73 million for Stage 2a of the Latrobe Regional Hospital redevelopment;
  • $28million to build the new Barwon Health-North facility;
  • $14 million for the Boort Hospital redevelopment; and
  • $8.6 million for two new Prevention & Recovery Care (PARC) mental health services, at Mildura and Warrnambool.

"This new spending builds on what we have already delivered including the biggest regional hospital in Australia's history – the $630 million Bendigo Hospital; the $46.4 million expansion of the Ballarat Hospital, the $65.6 million Echuca Hospital redevelopment and the $10 million Castlemaine Hospital upgrade, and hospital redevelopments at Mildura, Swan Hill, Kerang, Charlton, Numurkah, Geelong and Kilmore," Mr Ryan said.

"The regions will also share in $34.1 million to expand drug and alcohol treatment services and tackle the use of illicit drugs including ice.

"This funding boost will provide support services for over 2,000 extra people a year in rural and metro areas to respond to the growth in the use of ice," Mr Ryan said.

Education and training


Mr Ryan said regional and rural schools would share in a massive $500 million school capital investment package in the 2014-15 State Budget.

"The Coalition Government is building new schools, including $10 million Horsham College for modernisation and regeneration, $8.5 million for Geelong High School as part of $20 million commitment for a modernisation, and $7.8 for the Ballarat High School modernisation," Mr Ryan said.

"Additional to general budget spending, we're also investing $5 million over four years from the Regional Growth Fund into Year 12 retention in the regions.

"The regions will also share in $272.8 million in funding for increased support for students with moderate to severe disabilities in mainstream and specialist government schools.

"For skilling Victorians, the Coalition Government is investing $1.2 billion per year in vocational education and training. The Victorian Coalition Government is also investing $30 million in training for automotive workers," Mr Ryan said.

Food and fibre production

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government will continue to build a stronger food and fibre sector with $41 million of new initiatives in the 2014-15 Budget.

"This year's budget includes $35.4 million over four years, plus a further $6 million thereafter, for the Government's Food into Asia Action Plan to increase the volume and value of food exports into Asia, as we aim to double Victorian agricultural production by 2030," Mr Ryan said.

"The 2014-15 Budget will assist farmers in the war against wild dogs with an additional $1.8 million allocated for aerial baiting and ground baiting in North East Victoria and Gippsland.

"There is also $2.3 million to help establish a poppy industry in Victoria, and $1.6 million to deliver the Goulburn Valley fruit growing industry concessional loans package.

"The Coalition Government will also invest a further $40 million in water management initiatives which will help protect more communities from floods, tackle salinity and support the Murray Darling Basin Authority," Mr Ryan said.

Public Safety

Mr Ryan said the State Budget continues to invest in the CFA and the three highest CFA budgets in Victoria's history have all been delivered by the current Victorian Coalition Government.

"The 2014-15 CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than Labor provided in its last year of office. This record investment shows Labor's 'CFA budget cuts' mantra is an outright lie," Mr Ryan said.

"The CFA investment will now include a bonus $17.2 million to purchase 49 additional medium tankers for CFA brigades on top of the 29 vehicles already coming out of the CFA's usual budget, and $20.5 million to replace all existing respiratory protection equipment for Victoria's fire services.

"The State Budget delivers $13.5 million to roll out Tasers to all regional 24-hour police stations as well as $14.4 million for the new Echuca Police Station and $8.4 million to establish an emergency service precinct at Ballarat West," Mr Ryan said.

Funding announced in the 2014-15 State Budget was in addition to the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which has so far invested almost $400 million in more than 1,400 projects, generating more than $1.6 billion of total investment and expected to create thousands of jobs.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

$73 million expansion for Latrobe Regional Hospital

* * - Thursday, May 01, 2014

  • New emergency department more than double existing capacity 
  • Cardiac catheterisation lab in Gippsland for the first time 
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a healthier Victoria 

The Victorian Coalition Government is building a healthier Victoria by investing $73 million in a major redevelopment of Latrobe Regional Hospital, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced on Tuesday.


“The Coalition Government is investing record funding to build world-class hospitals in regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“Part of the Coalition Government’s commitment in the 2014-15 Budget will include $73 million for a major redevelopment of Latrobe Regional Hospital.

“The Coalition Government’s investment will future-proof the Latrobe Regional Hospital, ensuring its staff continue to provide the best available health care for the Latrobe Valley and broader Gippsland communities.

“This investment ensures those who are seeking to access basic hospital services, or more specialised treatments such as cardiac care, aged care, cancer care, elective surgery, maternity, rehabilitation or mental health services, will receive world-class care in their local community.

“The $73 million redevelopment of the Latrobe Regional Hospital is yet another example of the Coalition Government’s strong record of investment in the Latrobe Valley and across Gippsland.”

Minister for Health David Davis said the Stage 2a redevelopment of the Latrobe Regional Hospital would increase capacity, including a new emergency department more than double the capacity of the existing facility and a new 30-bed ward.

“It will also incorporate a 12-bed short-stay unit, two day rooms for endoscopy procedures, a new entrance and admissions area and a new public car park,” Mr Davis said.

“The addition of a cardiac catheterisation laboratory will be a major boon for heart patients in Gippsland.

“This will be a most welcome enhancement to the services available at Latrobe Regional Hospital, enabling it to deliver better health outcomes.

“The Coalition Government’s commitment to the Latrobe Regional Hospital redevelopment stands in stark contrast to 11 years of Labor neglect.”

The Coalition Government’s new investment builds on more than $4.5 billion of works underway in health infrastructure across Victoria.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said the first stage of the Latrobe redevelopment, incorporates the new Gippsland Cancer Centre, scheduled to be completed later this year.

“In addition to the Cancer Centre, works are also currently underway on expanding subacute, rehabilitation and mental health facilities.

“Importantly, Latrobe Regional Hospital has an important teaching and training role, and facilities for medical students are being expanded.

“An expanded Latrobe Regional Hospital reduces the need for travelling to Melbourne, with world-class health care being delivered closer to home,” Mr Northe said.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731 ben.bulmer@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Deputy Premier announces Terms of Reference for Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry

* * - Friday, March 21, 2014


  • Deputy Premier announces full board to undertake the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry and outlines Terms of Reference
  • Victorian Coalition Government is focused on ensuring community safety for all Victorians

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan today announced the full board to undertake the Hazelwood Mine Fire inquiry and outlined the inquiry’s Terms of Reference.


The Hon Bernard Teague AO, who headed the Black Saturday bushfires Royal Commission, will head the inquiry. He will be joined by Professor John Catford and Ms Sonia Petering.

“Justice Teague will be ably supported by Professor Catford and Ms Petering, who bring appropriate expertise in health and emergency services to the inquiry,” Mr Ryan said.

“Professor Catford is a senior health professional and is Executive Director of Medical Services at Epworth HealthCare.

“Ms Petering is an experienced corporate lawyer. She is Chair of the Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria and a Director of the Transport Accident Commission.”

The inquiry will be given broad terms of reference to examine the circumstances of the Hazelwood mine fire; the emergency response to the fire; and the response and support provided to Morwell and other affected communities.

“The inquiry’s Secretariat will be based in Morwell and the Board will be given all necessary resources to fully support its inquiry,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Inquiry will have broad powers of investigation, similar to a Royal Commission. This includes power to conduct examinations, summon documents and examine witnesses under oath.”

Premier Denis Napthine announced the Inquiry into the Hazelwood Mine Fire on Tuesday 11 March, and said the inquiry would give Victorians confidence that the government is focused on ensuring community safety.

“The inquiry will allow us to review the mine operations and emergency response to the Hazelwood fire,” Dr Napthine said.

The Board will be asked to submit its final report and any recommendations to the Victorian Government by the end of August 2014.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Stand together and speak out about bullying

* * - Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Bullying in any circumstance is never acceptable
  • Speaking out about bullying helps to diminish bullying
  • Everyone has the right to feel as though they belong
  • Cyber bullying has become a serious problem

Whether it’s in the classroom, on social media, via text or on the bus travelling to or from school, there is no excuse for bullying in any form.

That was the message Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan offered today when he visited Yarram’s primary school and secondary college.

Mr Ryan’s visit to the schools coincided with National Day against Bullying and Violence and National Harmony Day, which will be recognised by the schools tomorrow, Friday 21 March.

Speaking to year seven and eight students at Yarram Secondary College, Mr Ryan said this year’s National Day against Bullying and Violence theme - Bullying. No Way – highlighted that bullying was never acceptable.

“There are many forms of bullying such as excluding people from joining in, physical violence, saying things that upset the person to their face or online or sharing private or unflattering images and messages,” Mr Ryan said.

“All bullying, including cyber bullying, has a negative impact on the ‘target’ that can lead to serious health and social concerns including low self-esteem, reduced academic outcomes, social disconnect, depression and suicide.

“You cannot always judge the effect of your actions online and often messages are taken in a way that you hadn’t intended and with that are consequences that go well beyond your control.”

Mr Ryan said cyberbullying affected people of all races and girls were just as likely to be cyber bullies as boys.

“Cyberbullying can sometimes be worse than other types of bullying because the bully may be anonymous or meaner than they would be in person and the bullying can come at any time, which often leaves victims feeling unsafe in their own homes,” he said.

“With so many Australian youths saying they’ve been cyber bullied, I encourage students to think about what they are saying and the effect that it may have on other people before hitting the post or send buttons on their Facebook or phone.” 

Mr Ryan urged students to stand together and get tough on bullying by speaking up if they or someone they know is being bullied online or face-to-face.

He said those who bully others often aim to impress or intimidate bystanders and the reaction of bystanders can either support or discourage bullying from happening.

“If bystanders do nothing, this can be seen as a form of silent approval whether it’s in the yard or online, however the actions of a supportive bystander have the power to stop or diminish bullying and help the bullied student to recover from the incident,” Mr Ryan said.

“Everyone at your school, sporting club, youth group or community organisation has a right to participate in the activities they enjoy without feeling threatened or intimidated and I encourage each student to ensure this can happen in Yarram.”

In promoting Harmony Day at Yarram Primary School, Mr Ryan said the event was a day to celebrate the diversity of cultures in Australia while making everyone feel as though they belong.

 “This year’s theme ‘Everyone Belongs’ identifies that we should all show cultural respect to everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of the land to those who have come from many countries around the world,” Mr Ryan said.

“There are many ways to incorporate cultural inclusion into our day to day lives and it can be as simple as saying good morning and afternoon in a different language each week.”

Mr Ryan said Yarram Primary School students would tomorrow participate in a range of culturally diverse activities specific to their year level.

“To celebrate Harmony Day, I encourage you all to take a moment to think about the people who have come from more than 200 countries that have helped make Australia the great place it is today.”

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


© 2013, Peter Ryan MLA. Terms & Conditions. Privacy Policy. Sitemap.

Contact: Electorate Office: 54B Cunninghame Street SALE 3850. P.O. Box 145, SALE 3850. Phone: (03) 5144 1987 Fax: (03) 5144 7086

Website Designed by Design Experts, 41 Mundy Street Bendigo 3550

peter ryan for regional victoria

Authorised by Peter Ryan MP, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne 3000.