Press Releases

Record attendance at Regional Victoria Living Expo

* * - Thursday, April 17, 2014
 
  • The Regional Victoria Living Expo attracted 9,638 Melburnians with a genuine interest in moving to regional and rural Victoria
  • About 2,000 people had their details electronically collected by exhibitors
  • The Expo is an ongoing Victorian Coalition Government initiative to drive population and investment into regional and rural Victoria

A new record of 9,638 Melburnians attended the 2014 Regional Victoria Living Expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre last weekend, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said the record numbers reflected growing interest amongst Melburnians to move to regional and rural Victoria, with the expo having grown steadily since beginning in 2012.

“Feedback from the 147 exhibitors at the event was that visitors this year were even more serious about relocating to country Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“Many regional councils reported that Melburnians attending had done their homework and asked very specific questions about the regions and the towns they intend to move to.

“The regional councils felt this year’s event would see the effort from the previous two years pay off as potential new country residents put the pieces in place for their move.

“Visitors asked about how to get quality jobs in their respective fields; about affordable housing, education, health and community life – questions indicating they are serious about relocating to the regions.”

Southern Grampians Shire Council Manager Economic Development and Tourism Hugh Koch said there were clear economic benefits in luring city residents to his region.

“A family moving to our region is worth around $90,000 a year to the local economy,” Mr Koch said.

“If we can get three to five families a year moving into the area, we’re more than happy with that – and the Expo is delivering that for us.

“If four families a year move for the next five years, that adds up to around an extra 1.8 million dollars into our local economy.”

Mildura Rural City Council Business Event Facilitator & Special Projects Julie Jewell said the level of interest in moving had increased in the expo visitors.

“Last year people were looking for a destination, and this year people know exactly where they want to move – we feel like it is a culmination of the three years of work we have put in, with each building on the last and becoming more targeted each time,” Ms Jewell said.

“We had 25 people keen to visit, many of whom are genuinely interested in moving.

“We really value the support from the Victorian Coalition Government and are very keen for the Expo to continue in forthcoming years.”

Ararat Rural City CEO Andrew Evans said a Smartphone App launched at the expo was already doing well.

“The App gives people access to a whole range of information about Ararat – we only made it available yesterday and we had 60 downloads by halfway through day two,” Mr Evans said.

“That’s 60 people with ongoing access to a whole lot of information about our area.”

A 2012 report found that by supporting growth in the regions we can help reduce the estimated $95 billion in cumulative congestion costs associated with expanding Melbourne’s outer-metropolitan areas over the next 20 years.

For example, the cumulative cost of providing critical infrastructure to support an additional 50,000 persons in the Regional Cities is $1 billion; this compares with inefficiency costs of $3.1 billion associated with the same number of persons being accommodated in metropolitan Melbourne.

“Basing population in the regions greatly reduces the strain on city services and infrastructure,” Mr Ryan said.

“Relocating house is a big step, and people undertaking it deserve support.”

“Exhibitors at the Expo this year provided visitors with information tailored to their needs including current job opportunities and the chance to match them up with existing or new businesses setting up in the regions.

“It also proves that the Coalition Government’s Good Move campaign, created to showcase the benefits of regional living, spurs city dwellers to genuinely consider a move to the country.

“Positive interaction between councils – promoting the best of their wares as a region – made a big difference to attracting greater interest among people genuinely interested to move.”

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

Coalition returns Mildura Hospital to public ownership

* * - Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Victorian Coalition Government has reached in principle agreement and exchanged letters with both the owners and operators of the Mildura Base Hospital to return the hospital to public ownership.

Health Minister David Davis was joined by Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Mildura MP Peter Crisp in making the announcement in Mildura today.

Health Minister David Davis said that, under the new arrangements, the state will regain control of the land and ownership of the hospital itself. Contractual arrangements with bondholders will continue until 2015.

The Coalition Government has reached agreement with Ramsay Health Care to continue as the operator under the current agreement until 2015 and, consistent with the original 1999 agreement, there will be a five year extension to 2020 with an option of a further two years by mutual agreement to ensure continuity of health services.

“The Coalition Government has committed $5 million, and the Commonwealth a further $2 million, to provide for the expansion of the emergency department, an upgrade to the maternity ward facilities, and an increase in space for mental health services,” Mr Davis said.
 
“The Coalition Government is pleased its additional $480,000 investment in cancer services is already being implemented, with construction work commencing this week.”

Planning and design for the larger capital works has been completed and a public tender process to engage a builder will be undertaken in coming weeks.

Capital works on site will not commence until formal legal documentation of the new site control and service delivery arrangements has been completed.

“It is the Coalition Government’s intention to complete the relevant legal steps and commence the promised expansion of the hospital in line with our election commitment as soon as possible,” Mr Davis said.

“The negotiations have been extremely complex because of the tortuous ownership structure left by the Labor Government in the early 2000s.

“The Coalition Government is proud to achieve what it set out to do from the beginning.

“The Government has negotiated in good faith with all parties and we take this opportunity to thank them for their cooperation in reaching an outcome which allows the continued delivery of high quality services for the people of Mildura and the Sunraysia district.

“Significant population growth and increased health service demand means there is a need for increased investment and physical capacity at Mildura Hospital.”

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Mr Davis today met with staff, the chief executive, senior management, and the Hospital Advisory Committee, including chair Vernon Knight, to inform them of these developments.

“I thank and praise local member Peter Crisp, who has fought so long and so hard to achieve the best possible health service for Mildura,” Mr Ryan said.

“He has been a fierce advocate for the people of his electorate.”

Mr Davis said the Government had assessed Ramsay Health Care, and found it to offer quality healthcare equal to or better than any sub-regional hospital.

“We note the recent achievement of Ramsay Health Care and their staff in Mildura in demonstrating the quality of their services and achieving hospital accreditation under the new Australian Health Service Safety and Quality Accreditation scheme,” Mr Davis said.

Regional Growth Fund delivers airport upgrade for Mildura

* * - Monday, July 15, 2013

Victoria’s Sunraysia region can look forward to a significant economic boost with the opening of Mildura’s long-awaited multi-million dollar terminal, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said today.

The Airport Redevelopment was completed thanks to a $5.2 million investment from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan joined Member for Mildura Peter Crisp for a community open day at the airport to mark the new terminal’s official opening and enjoyed a display from the RAAF’s elite formation aerobatic display team the Roulettes.

“Mildura Airport is Victoria’s busiest regional airport and its redevelopment will be a great boost for the local economy,” Mr Ryan said.

“It has been fantastic to be involved in a project as significant to this region as the Mildura Airport expansion.

“Given the airport had previously been pushed to capacity during peak periods, it was vital the Coalition Government invested to allow Mildura to grow as it should.

“About twice the size of the old terminal, the airport’s new terminal will ably support increased passenger numbers, the new direct air services to and from Sydney, Adelaide and Broken Hill, and provide much better amenities for airport users,” Mr Ryan said.

Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said the multi-million dollar project extended the terminal to a whopping 1,831 square metres and refurbished and remodeled the internal areas.

“The redevelopment has improved check-in areas, baggage systems and car parks, making it much easier to move traffic both within and outside the building.

“It also provided jobs for 20 to 30 workers, each day of the nine-month construction period.”

“The airport is vital to the growth and development of the Sunraysia region and important for the continuation of current and future air services to the region.

“Major events and festivals attract well over 500,000 visitors to Sunraysia each year and the area has lots of other popular tourist attractions like the city of Mildura itself, the Murray River and the world heritage-listed Mungo National Park to name just a few,” Mr Crisp said.

“As the local member, I’m proud to have been part of this important project, and I congratulate all involved for getting it finished on time and on budget.

“In 2011, 215,000 passengers from 3,500 regular passenger transfer services were projected to pass through Mildura airport. Passenger numbers increased with 6,200 charter and general aviation movements each year, including flight training, air ambulance, aerial agriculture, parachuting, military and VIP flights.

“Mildura airport is also used for refueling of transiting aircraft and is a convenient calling point for diverting aircraft and aircraft experiencing on-board emergencies.

“The Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund was set up to fund regional projects such as this – which would not have come to fruition without the $5.2 million provided toward the $6.4 million development. The Mildura Rural City Council is to be complimented for contributing the remaining $1.2 million.

“Mildura has again benefited from the Liberal National Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Crisp said.

Highlights for Mildura from the Regional Growth Fund include:

• $5.2 million for the Airport;
• $7 million for the Riverfront Parklands Project;
• $5 million for the Langtree Avenue Promenade connection;
• $1 million for the Resort and Conference Centre at the marina; and
• $500,000 for the establishment of an Authority for the Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment.

Mildura CBD to Riverfront Connection assured

* * - Monday, May 06, 2013

The Victorian Coalition Government has further demonstrated its commitment to the Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment with the announcement of the advancement of the Langtree Avenue city to river connection.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said $5 million would be used to fund the Langtree Avenue pedestrian access project – a vital pedestrian link for the town.

“In Mildura, Stage 1 of the Riverfront project is in the final design phase and due for commencement of works mid-year and the airport terminal works will be completed over the next couple of months,” Mr Ryan said.

“Now we deliver on the Langtree Avenue connection - complementing the $13.3 million Stage one Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment, connecting the CBD to the riverfront.

“The project provides full pedestrian access, including a railway crossing, between the city and the river.

“For the first time, people will be able to walk directly from Mildura city all the way to the river.

“This easy access is expected to go a long way towards improving employment opportunities in the CBD and increasing local tourism, thus boosting the economy of the Sunraysia region.”

Mr Ryan said the broader Mildura Rural City Council-endorsed Riverfront Masterplan, including the Langtree Avenue connection, is designed to be delivered in four stages over a 10-year period.

“Stage 1 itself is expected to boost the region’s economy by $25 million and total employment is estimated to increase by up to 85 jobs,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Riverfront Redevelopment and pedestrian connection will also provide the platform for future investment in this masterplan-designed precinct, delivering tourism, commercial and residential infrastructure.”

Mr Ryan said the Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment project has been developed over a number of years with the aim of refreshing Mildura’s reputation as a world-class tourism destination and ‘Gateway to the Outback’.

“In December 2010, we committed $14.5 million to redevelop the Mildura Riverfront and Mildura Airport – but we have gone even further.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government has: declared the Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment project a project of state significance; provided $5.2 million to refurbish and remodel the Mildura Airport passenger terminal; provided $7 million to the $13.3 million Stage 1 Riverfront Park Precinct project; and, confirmed $5 million for the Langtree Avenue project.

Mr Ryan said Coalition Government funding for these major projects is from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which was created to drive regional development across the state, providing better infrastructure, facilities and services.

“Regional cities like Mildura play a key role in driving growth and creating wealth in regional and rural Victoria," Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to investing in regional Victoria to create prosperity, more job opportunities, economic and social resilience and a better quality of life.”

Mr Ryan said the Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment project was a great partnership project between all levels of government, the Mildura Rural City Council, the private sector and the local community.

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

Mildura Airport flying into the future

* * - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stage One of the $6.4 million Mildura Airport Terminal Redevelopment project is complete, with Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan inspecting the completed works today, paving the way for Stage Two of the project to take off.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government had provided $5.2 million towards the long-awaited redevelopment, which would provide the Sunraysia region with a significant economic boost.

“It’s terrific to see first-hand the new terminal taking shape. It’s going to be big, at twice the size of the old terminal,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said completed Stage One works included:

• steel work and pre-cast concrete for terminal facade in place;
• significant earthworks on airport land adjacent to Walnut Avenue;
• landscaping works including 300 Claret Ash trees;
• construction of a 50 mega litre water storage dam; and
• car parking and traffic circulation changes.

“The airport is the gateway to popular tourist attractions like the city of Mildura, the Murray River, the Mallee Outback, the world heritage-listed Mungo National Park and major events and festivals that attract well over 500,000 visitors annually,” Mr Ryan said.

“The redevelopment will support increased passenger numbers, the new direct air services to and from Sydney, Adelaide and Broken Hill, and provide greater amenities for airport users.”

“It will also improve check-in areas, baggage systems and carparks, making it much easier to move traffic both within and outside the building,” Mr Ryan said.

Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said Stage Two redevelopment works, which would involve the fit-out of the airport, had recently commenced and created up to 30 jobs during construction.

“The $5.2 million in Coalition Government funding has been made available through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which was created to drive regional development across the state, providing better infrastructure, facilities and services,” Mr Crisp said.

“The Coalition Government has also used the Regional Growth Fund to invest in other important local projects throughout the region, including the Mildura Riverfront, committing $7 million towards the $13.3 million Stage One Parklands Project, $5.2 million towards the $6.4 million Mildura Airport Redevelopment and $10 million to supply natural gas to Mildura.

Mr Ryan said Stage Two of the project was expected to be completed before July this year.

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

Mildura’s riverfront redevelopment a step closer

* * - Friday, November 02, 2012

The redevelopment of Mildura’s riverfront is a step closer with the appointment of Places Victoria to progress the Mildura Riverfront Precinct Redevelopment Stage 2 plan, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said Stage 2 included the redevelopment of up to nine hectares of VicTrack-owned land located between the riverfront parkland and Mildura’s Central Business District (CBD).

“The main focus of the Mildura Riverfront Precinct Redevelopment is to build a stronger connection between the CBD and the riverfront,” Mr Ryan said.

“A stronger connection will allow improved access to the riverfront, attract investment in the local economy and create new riverfront opportunities for people to use and enjoy.”

Mr Ryan said the Riverfront Precinct Redevelopment would be delivered in two stages.

“Mildura Rural City Council is responsible for the $13.3 million Stage 1 development which has received funding from the Victorian and Federal Governments and includes the riverfront park area between the Powerhouse and Nowingi Place,” Mr Ryan said.

“Stage 2 will be led by Regional Development Victoria (RDV) and will include the VicTrack rail land between the riverfront parkland and the CBD.”

Mr Ryan said Places Victoria had been appointed to review and progress the Riverfront Development Stage 2 plan.

“A full business case outlining the project costs for Stage 2 is being finalised and will be submitted to the Coalition Government for future consideration.”

“As our appointed project manager Places Victoria has identified a number of improvements to the original Stage 2 plan that we believe strengthen the vision and viability of this important project.”

Improvements to the Stage 2 plan include:

  · a new pedestrian promenade at the intersection of Langtree Avenue and Seventh Street connecting the CBD to the river;

  · the realignment of Hugh King Drive to create a new riverfront park adjacent to the Rowing Club;

  · new civic infrastructure such as a tourist information hub, and minor upgrades to the existing rowing club and powerhouse buildings; and

  · opportunities for mixed-use development within the VicTrack rail land, including diverse housing opportunities, to be staged over the next 10 years and beyond.

RDV and Places Victoria are currently consulting with key stakeholders and the local community about the recommended improvements to the plan.

Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said the Mildura Riverfront Development was one of the most exciting projects in the region that would have significant economic benefits.

“The Mildura riverfront and marina project will boost the local economy and promote tourism growth across the Sunraysia region,” Mr Crisp said.

“A detailed consultation process will be undertaken that will help inform the preparation of the final master plan and business case for the project to be submitted to Government.”

The community will have the opportunity to participate in the engagement process by attending a public drop-in session on Friday 9 November 2012 between 3pm - 7:30pm and Saturday between 9am and 1pm on 10 November 2012 at the Mildura Rowing Club.

The drop-in session is an informal opportunity for interested members of the local community to learn about the redevelopment from project staff, ask questions and contribute towards shaping the final plan.

For more information about drop-in session please visit www.rdv.vic.gov.au or www.mildura.vic.gov.au.

 

$467,528 to support Olam Orchards infrastructure

* * - Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Olam Orchards’ $60 million almond processing plant at Carwarp received another major boost today with the announcement $467,528 from the Victorian Coalition Government for essential infrastructure works at the site.

Speaking in Mildura, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the $1.5 million package of works at the site would see the establishment of electricity and water infrastructure, as well as major improvements to road access.

Mr Ryan said Olam Orchards Australia – which was part of Olam International, a leading global supplier of agricultural products – was a major employer in the region.

“The Olam Orchards site in Carwarp is a Greenfield site that currently has no water or power infrastructure, and roadwork is needed at the site for both practical and safety needs,” Mr Ryan said.

“Under the improvements, the site will see electricity and water infrastructure established and a right and left turning lane on the Calder Highway constructed to enable effective and safe operations at the new facility.”

Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said the project would have significant flow on benefits for the local economy and the community.

“The water upgrades will provide the Carwarp Water Syndicate with improved security and reliability, and the construction of turning lanes will enhance safety for the general public and other businesses using the intersection,” Mr Crisp said.

“Furthermore, the broader almond processing facility will create 41 full-time equivalent jobs and there is an overall investment value of $60 million into the region.”

Mr Ryan said the $1.5 million project included $467,528 from the Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), with the balance of funding provided by Olam Orchards Australia Pty Ltd.

“The $1 billion RGF is the Coalition Government’s flagship regional initiative which is driving jobs, growth and development across regional and rural areas,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government is investing in regional Victoria to create prosperity, support, economic and social resilience and a better quality of life for regional and rural Victorians.”

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

Works begin on $6.4M Mildura Airport upgrade

* * - Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan was in Mildura today to mark the official start of the $6.4 million Mildura Airport Terminal Redevelopment Project.

Mr Ryan joined Member for Mildura Peter Crisp, local councillors and representatives of the Mildura Airport Corporation to celebrate the occasion and recognise the importance of this much-anticipated project for the region.

“The multi-million dollar redevelopment of Mildura’s airport terminal building will deliver significant social and economic benefits to the city and the entire Sunraysia region,” Mr Ryan said.

“The completely remodeled interior will provide for a significantly increased floorspace, an enhanced check-in area and a redesigned baggage system, which will all work to improve the circulation of traffic through the terminal and better support increased passenger numbers.

“The new-look terminal will also be critical to supporting new air services, such as the range of new passenger services connecting Mildura with Adelaide, Sydney and Broken Hill that were recently announced.”

Mr Crisp said the Victorian Coalition Government understood the importance of Mildura’s airport to the overall growth and development of the city and the surrounding region.

“This major investment in Mildura is a strong reflection of the Coalition Government’s optimistic view about the future of our city,” Mr Crisp said.

“In addition to improvements at the airport, the Coalition Government is investing $7 million towards the development of Mildura’s river-front, which is another exciting project that will deliver great benefits for the community.”

Mr Ryan said funding for the Mildura Airport Terminal Redevelopment Project included $5.2 million from the Victorian Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and an additional $1.2 million from the Mildura Rural City Council.

“Regional cities like Mildura play a key role in driving growth and creating wealth in regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to investing in regional Victoria to create prosperity, more job opportunities, economic and social resilience and a better quality of life.”

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

$50,000 for Mildura Housing & Settlement Strategy

* * - Thursday, February 23, 2012
Mildura Rural City Council will prepare a strategy to guide the community’s future housing and settlement needs beyond 2030 with the help of a $50,000 grant announced by the Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan today.

Mr Ryan said the funding would help the Mildura Rural City Council develop a new housing and settlement strategy that would support the strategic planning of the city, which is growing at an annual rate of 1.2 per cent.

“The strategy will contribute significantly to the future prosperity and wellbeing of Mildura by promoting sustainable residential development and protecting the agricultural base of the local economy,” Mr Ryan said.

Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said the Mildura Housing and Settlement Strategy would help long-term planning for Mildura and the surrounding settlements.

“The strategy will help identify new opportunities and develop a strategy for future long-term residential and rural living development in Mildura and its surrounding areas,” Mr Crisp said.

“The strategy will identify future long-term consequences of drought and climate change scenarios on Mildura’s Older Irrigation Area (MOIA).

“The strategy will plan for appropriate rural and urban land use in the Mildura region having regard to agricultural adjustment and the long-term security of the MOIA.

“It will also investigate the socio-economic impacts and opportunities of current and projected climate conditions, particularly in relation to retired horticultural land.”

Mr Ryan said funding for the $170,000 Mildura Housing and Settlement Strategy was from the Coalition’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“The Regional Growth Fund is the Coalition’s flagship program supporting growth, development and greater quality of life for people living in regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“This important project will help Mildura Rural City Council in strategic, long-term economic, infrastructure and land-use planning that will meet the needs of this vibrant and growing regional centre,” Mr Ryan said.

The Mildura Housing and Settlement Strategy is expected to be completed in mid-2013.

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

Mildura's riverfront developments receives $2m boost

* * - Thursday, February 23, 2012
Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan today announced a further $2 million in funding for the Mildura Riverfront Parklands Project.

Speaking in Mildura, Mr Ryan said the funding was in addition to $5 million already committed to the riverfront development by the Victorian Coalition Government in 2011.

“The extra $2 million will fund further improvements to the riverfront precinct including to the pedestrian bridge at Deakin Avenue, the rowing club and upgrading arts studios and Jaycee Park,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government and the Mildura Rural City Council have jointly committed $8.5 million towards the Riverfront Parklands Project and will continue to seek input from the Commonwealth Government to meet the overall project costs of $13.3 million.”

Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said the $13.3 million project would transform Mildura’s iconic waterfront into three key areas: the Wharf Precinct, the Ornamental Lakes and Nowingi Place.

“The project includes constructing a two kilometre riverfront boardwalk, expanding and extending the existing wharf and boat moorings by 350 linear metres to facilitate greater access and use by houseboat and licensed tourism operators and upgrading river edges,” Mr Crisp said.

“Other elements include a new tourism kiosk incorporating ticketing, public toilets and a café, landscaping, irrigation and beautification works, redeveloping the skate park and ornamental lakes and upgrading the public performance venue 'Nowingi Place'.”

Mr Ryan said additional funding for the Riverfront Parklands Project riverfront development was from the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“The Regional Growth Fund is the Coalition’s flagship program supporting growth, prosperity and better quality of life for people living in regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Mildura Riverfront Parklands Project is part of the $222 million Mildura Riverfront Precinct Development, a project of state significance that will bring great social and economic benefits to the region.

“The development is a catalyst project designed to unlock investment in Mildura’s riverfront area and attract more tourists and private investment in the Loddon Mallee region.”

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

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