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At the Nationals State Conference, we announced up to $220 million to build the Mildura to Geelong Murray Basin Rail Project which will revolutionise the movement of freight across the State and unlock the economic potential of regional and rural Victoria.

Press Releases

Grants to help young people get involved

Friday, June 06, 2014

Young leaders residing in the Wellington Shire will have more opportunities to get involved in local decision making, thanks to the current round of funding on offer to local councils from the Victorian Coalition Government.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said regional councils could apply for up to $30,000 in funding through the Local Government Youth Inclusion Grants program, with five grants available in this round.

Mr Ryan said youth projects that had been funded in the past included the establishment of a working group to create an online presence for a shire and a reference group that implemented a youth charter.

“Councils can use the grants to assist establishing and expanding youth advisory services by way of youth summits, councils or consultations,” Mr Ryan said.

“These grants are a fantastic way for communities to connect with young people and to genuinely involve them in the local decision making.

“By involving young people, it allows them to play an active role in developing and shaping their communities.”

Mr Ryan said the program aimed to increase the involvement of young people in local government and local community decision making through:

•    The establishment of local youth advisory committees;
•    The development of youth engagement resources and support processes;
•    Building capacity across local governments to utilise youth engagement resources and implement youth advisory support processes across all aspects of local government business; and
•    Sharing good practice – regional and statewide networking between youth advisory groups.

Mr Ryan said the Local Government Youth Inclusion Grants program was part of the Coalition Government’s Shape It! strategy, which aimed to strengthen the sense of connection and belonging that young people had with their communities in rural and regional areas.

Mr Ryan said South Gippsland was one of 18 councils to have already received funding from the Shape It! program.

Minister for Youth Affairs Ryan Smith said the Coalition Government was committed to providing opportunities for young people to get involved in their local community.

“Young people contribute significantly to the vibrancy of our state and their ideas and innovations build and develop our industries and local communities now and into the future,” Mr Smith said.

“We know that when young people have a say in matters that affect them their connection with their local community is likely to be strengthened.”

For more information on the grants or to apply, before Friday 22 November, visit: www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au 

New site for Maffra ambulance station

Friday, June 06, 2014

The new Maffra ambulance station will not be built on VicTrack land adjacent to the Gippsland Vehicle Collection Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said after meeting with Gippsland Vehicle Collection members, Ambulance Victoria would not progress the VicTrack land as the location of the new Maffra ambulance station.

“Ambulance Victoria has resumed its site search and is reviewing a Wellington Shire-owned site at the rear of the existing Maffra ambulance station that was initially excluded due to site pollution issues,” Mr Ryan said.

“Wellington Shire Council will remediate the site and planning and design works for the new station will begin next month.”

Mr Ryan said the Maffra community could look forward to a new ambulance station by June 2014.

“Consultation between the two parties has resulted in the best outcome for members of the Gippsland Vehicle Collection and local paramedics,” Mr Ryan said.

Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said he was also pleased negotiations between Ambulance Victoria and Gippsland Vehicle Collection had resulted in a positive outcome for the community.

"The Gippsland Vehicle Collection is a wonderful community asset which benefits from a strong visual presence,” Mr Bull said.

"I thank Ambulance Victoria management for listening to community concerns and agreeing not to proceed with building in front of Gippsland Vehicle Collection museum.

“I look forward to the new Maffra ambulance facility proceeding at the alternate location.”

REVISED LIQUOR LICENSING LAWS NOT GOOD ENOUGH: RYAN

Friday, June 06, 2014
The Brumby Government’s revised liquor licensing laws do not go far enough to acknowledge the unfair burden a new fee hike would place on country pubs and clubs, Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said today.

“The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition agrees with the need to tackle alcohol-related violence in ‘riskier’ licensed venues but it completely disagrees with Labor’s one-size-fits-all approach to liquor licensing,” Mr Ryan said.

“Labor today made some concessions but the revised fee structure has been poorly thought through.

“There are still a number of country pubs that will be unfairly penalised under the new fee structure.

“Many quiet country pubs with no infringements but with a capacity above 200 will still be slugged under the new system, whilst restricted club licences, such as those used by bowls clubs and some RSLs, will face a fee hike of more than 1,000 per cent.

“The Opposition has demanded a Brumby Government re-think on these proposed liquor laws, but its panicked response falls short of what is needed to tackle violence in risky venues.”

Mr Ryan said Country Victoria had voiced its opposition to the outrageous fee hike loud and clear and he encouraged country communities to continue to take the fight to Parliament.

Internet users are invited to sign an e-petition to make the Brumby Government change to a fairer fee structure that doesn’t penalise country pubs and clubs for violence in Melbourne.

“The Opposition will present the e-petitions to John Brumby to show him that his government’s liquor licensing fee system is unfair and inequitable,” Mr Ryan said. 

Register your protest by signing the Coalition's e-petition.

JACINTA ALLAN FAILS TO REPRESENT REGIONAL PUBS AND CLUBS

Friday, June 06, 2014
Labor’s Minister for Regional and Rural Development Jacinta Allan has failed to secure regional Victorians an invite to John Brumby’s roundtable discussions on Labor’s unfair liquor licensing fee increases, Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said today.

“Our pubs and clubs are a big part of the small business sector in country Victoria but the Minister is oblivious to their plight,” Mr Ryan said.

“Many pubs and clubs in regional Victoria are hurting because of John Brumby’s unfair liquor licensing fees.

“Now John Brumby has invited stakeholders representing inner-city venues to a meeting with Labor ministers this Wednesday, but regional publicans appear to have been overlooked.

“Jacinta Allan and her city-centric Brumby Labor Government clearly don’t care about the disastrous effect of its liquor licensing fee hike in regional Victoria.

“It is inexcusable that regional publicans are not part of upcoming liquor licensing discussions with the Brumby Government.”

Mr Ryan said there was growing resentment in Victoria about Labor’s massive fee hike and that angry and frustrated publicans and local communities had rejected outright Labor’s tax grab, which was more focused on raising revenue than dealing with alcohol-related violence.

“Regional publicans, general stores and businesses are bearing the brunt of Labor’s incompetence in liquor licensing which in some cases has seen fees rise by more than 1,000 per cent,” Mr Ryan said.

“Since Labor first signalled its unjustifiable fee hike, Jacinta Allan and John Brumby have ignored pleas by country pubs and clubs to rethink its new laws.

Mr Ryan said Labor was letting down regional Victorians time and time again.

“Just last week, it was revealed Labor has still not delivered its Blueprint for Regional Growth, despite it being promised for 2009,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Minister for Regional and Rural Development should start standing up for regional Victorians to ensure their needs are a priority.”