Press Releases

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

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

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

Planning complete to make Leongatha town centre truck-free

* * - Friday, August 30, 2013
Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said a future heavy vehicle bypass of Leongatha’s busy Bair Street was a step closer with the completion of a detailed planning study.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government provided VicRoads with $270,000 in December 2011 to complete a detailed planning study for an alternate heavy vehicle route, following requests from the South Gippsland Shire Council and community groups.

“VicRoads has now completed this study and earmarked a selected route, which runs along Anderson Street (South Gippsland Highway), Roughead Street (Strzelecki Highway), Long Street, and back on to the South Gippsland Highway,” Mr Ryan said.

“With the alternate heavy vehicle route for Leongatha now selected, future development and growth in Leongatha can now proceed with greater certainty.

“It will enable the South Gippsland Shire Council to plan for changes to parking and landscaping along Bair Street, providing improved amenity and shopping conditions for both the local community and tourists.”

Mr Ryan said VicRoads had considered a number of options and alignments during this planning project, and had taken into consideration safety, environmental constraints, heritage, land acquisition, traffic engineering requirements and social impacts.

“The chosen alignment uses existing roads and provides the best solution in terms of cost, time and safety,” Mr Ryan said.

“It also means there will be minimal impact on adjoining properties, and by using the existing road network, it would not require a Planning Scheme Amendment to proceed.”

Mr Ryan said developing plans for an alternate heavy vehicle route for Leongatha was an important and much needed project, with up to 1,000 heavy vehicles passing through the Leongatha shopping strip along the South Gippsland Highway each day.

“Leongatha is one of the region’s most vibrant communities and the provision of a heavy vehicle alternative route is a priority for the future development of the town,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Wellington Shire heritage gets a planning boost

* * - Friday, August 02, 2013
Wellington Shire Council will receive a $21,000 planning boost from the Victorian Coalition Government to better protect local heritage significant areas, structures and plans.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government funding would go towards local advisory services and a new ‘heritage toolkit’ that would assist councils develop Municipal Heritage Strategies.

Mr Ryan said looking after local heritage was important to current and future generations of Victorians whether they lived in the city, a suburb, a town or the country.

“Heritage advisers assist councils to develop strategies and guide the management of heritage assets, as well as promoting heritage conservation and providing free advice to owners of heritage places,” Mr Ryan said.

“The heritage advisers also help residents make appropriate decisions on restoration and development plans for heritage buildings and other places.

“The benefits of these services are now evident in many towns with restored heritage buildings, appropriate signage and upgraded streetscapes.

“The ‘heritage toolkit’, which was released this week by Planning Minister Matthew Guy, will provide guidance on the development of each council’s Municipal Heritage Strategy.”

Mr Ryan said each strategy would help to highlight the importance of significant buildings, their role in our lives, how they enhance streetscapes and enrich our understanding of our past.

Wellington Shire is one of Victoria’s regional councils to share in $440,000 of Coalition Government funding made available to enrich and protect local heritage.

“This funding builds on last year’s $586,000 grant to back councils’ roles in the identification, protection and management of much valued heritage places,” Mr Ryan said.

Copies of the Heritage Strategy Toolkit are available online at or can be requested by contacting Mr Ryan’s electorate office in Sale on 5144 1987.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870  

Information boost for local businesses

* * - Monday, April 29, 2013
Small businesses in South Gippsland can access relevant and affordable information on how to better organise their business at two upcoming seminars in Leongatha and Korumburra, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

The first seminar, Get Your Business Organised, will be held at Korumburra’s Milpara Community House on Wednesday, 15 May at 7pm and will focus on working smarter, not harder.

“The Get Your Business Organised seminar will provide tools on ways to prevent poor time management,” Mr Ryan said.

“Attendees will learn how to identify and remove distractions, prioritise effectively, useful strategies to improve productivity and tips to create more time in their day.”

The second seminar, Budgeting and Forecasting, will be held at Leongatha’s Community College Gippsland on Thursday, 16 May at 7:30am and will focus on planning for successful financial performance.

“Budgeting and cashflow forecasting are essential tools to ensure that business ideas are profitable and generate adequate cashflow,” Mr Ryan said.

“This seminar will be perfect for the business owners who make a profit but struggle to pay the bills. Attendees will learn how to manage future profitability and cashflows and gain tips on making instant improvements to the finances of their business.”

Mr Ryan said last year more than 3,000 businesses participated in Small Business Victoria’s workshops and seminars.

“All workshops and seminars are delivered by private sector business specialists who are well-qualified and experienced in small business,” Mr Ryan said.
Innovation, Services and Small Business Minister Louise Asher said the Victorian Coalition Government recognised the vital role Victoria’s 533,000 small businesses played in the economy of the state.

“We are committed to encouraging small business and individual initiative, and to creating an environment that rewards those who work hard, save, invest and create employment,” Ms Asher said.

For more information about other workshops and seminars that are available please go to:

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870  

Loch Sport moves closer to reticulated sewerage system

* * - Monday, April 15, 2013

Work has begun on the $40.3 million project to connect Victoria’s largest unsewered town, Loch Sport, to a reticulated sewerage system.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan visited Loch Sport on Friday to inspect the first construction works on the Loch Sport Sewer Project.

Mr Ryan said more than 1500 residences would receive reticulated sewerage when the project is completed in 2015.

The Victorian Coalition Government contributed $9.2 million towards the planning phase of the project, with the remainder provided by Gippsland Water.

“The project will provide significant benefits for Loch Sport residents, as well as the Gippsland Lakes and its users,” Mr Ryan said.

“This can only be a good thing for everyone who enjoys fishing, swimming and boating in the iconic Gippsland Lakes.

“This project will also end many years of community concern regarding the public health and environmental risk of more than 1500 septic tanks situated on small sandy blocks beside Lake Wellington.”

Mr Ryan said the project had been a long time coming through its conception, investigation and planning stages.

“Loch Sport is the third community in the Wellington Shire connected to sewerage by Gippsland Water through the Victorian Government’s Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program, alongside Seaspray and Coongulla /Glenmaggie,” Mr Ryan said.

“These projects are significant to the future development of the Wellington Shire.”

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870


Mansfield makeover to connect community

* * - Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A project to better connect Mansfield and improve its liveability will soon
be completed with the help of $100,000 in Coalition Government funding,
announced today by Member for Benalla, Bill Sykes on behalf of the Deputy
Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan. 
Dr Sykes said Mansfield Shire was one of Victoria’s fastest growing rural
municipalities, attracting more than 1.2 million visitors annually and
boasting population growth of 18 per cent over 10 years. 

“The Mansfield Landscaping and Pathways to Connect Community project will
consolidate Mansfield’s place as a prime tourism and rural/residential
lifestyle destination, supporting social and economic growth in the
community,” Dr Sykes said. 

“The project will improve key areas of public open space in the township,
building on its physical features and liveability. 

“Works will include improvements to the Botanical Gardens and the town
amenities used most by residents and tourists alike. 

“The project is consistent with Mansfield Shire’s strategic plans and
policies in relation to the preservation and enhancement of the key
characteristics of the town, which make it a prime tourism and lifestyle

Mansfield Shire Council’s Mayor, Cr Russell Bate said, “This particular
funding allows council to undertake works at Mansfield Botanic Park that
will make the Park more enjoyable for locals and visitors. In particular it
will allow the development of a series of connecting pathways that will
inter-connect community centres of activities around the greater Mansfield
township area.” 

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government funding towards the $152,000 project
would be provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund’s Putting
Locals First Program
to Mansfield Shire Council, who will contribute the
remaining funding. 

Putting Locals First is a $100 million initiative designed to enable
regional communities to plan and deliver the services and infrastructure to
meet local priorities,” Mr Ryan said. 

“It is supporting stronger and more sustainable regional communities by
building their capacity to drive development in their region.” 

The Mansfield Landscaping and Pathways to Connect Community project is
expected to be completed in October 2014. 

For more information about the Putting Locals First program, please visit 

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870


Continuing support for rebuilding after bushfire

* * - Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Victorian Coalition Government will continue to support Victorians rebuilding after bushfire, by extending the role of full-time officers at the Rebuilding Advisory Service (RAS) within the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD).


Deputy Premier and Minister for Bushfire Response Peter Ryan said the formation of the RAS was a significant step in the rebuilding that commenced after the 2009 bushfire tragedy that swept Victoria.


“The Rebuilding Advisory Service has two full-time officers, located at the Kinglake Library, who provide valuable advice to families across Victoria who lost their homes in the Black Saturday fires, as well as those with homes damaged in more recent floods.


“I’m very pleased that this service will continue to support the re-housing and rebuilding process for individuals and households that lost their principle place of residence in the 2009 bushfires.


“Key findings from the DPCD Fire Recovery Unit  Housing Survey show there are at least 268 households in temporary accommodation in the bushfire-affected community, which represents 19.4 per cent of those who lost their homes.”


Mr Ryan said the funding to the RAS was provided through DPCD’s Planning Statutory Services, and would continue until 30 June 2013.


“The RAS will continue to support the re-housing of those affected by the bushfires up until the end of this program, which includes advising on the responsible distribution of funding by the Victorian Bushfire Appeals Fund,” Mr Ryan said.


“The welfare of those whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by the 2009 bushfires has been a primary focus in the bushfire recovery efforts of the Victorian Government.”


Mr Ryan said the extension of the RAS would be reviewed prior to 30 June 2013.


Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

$50,000 for Leongatha industrial zone investigation

* * - Monday, April 30, 2012
South Gippsland Shire Council will do an economic assessment of the supply and demand for industrial land in Leongatha with the help of $50,000 in Victorian Government funding, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said Leongatha was the major town and industrial centre for South Gippsland and a key service provider to the smaller towns and communities in the region.

“Leongatha is experiencing significant growth and the South Gippsland Shire Council is progressing with a number of residential rezoning projects that have the potential to add approximately 700 to 900 new residences in the area over the next 25 years,” Mr Ryan said.

“With the expansion of major industrial and port activity in South Gippsland Shire, it is critical Leongatha is well placed to service future works.”

Mr Ryan said the Leongatha Industrial Zone Investigation project would assess further sites for potential industrial rezoning.

“The study will be benchmarked against similar reviews undertaken in Gippsland and Melbourne, particularly the recent Wellington Shire Council Industrial Land Review covering, Yarram, Maffra and Stratford,” Mr Ryan said.

“The study is intended to identify and cost infrastructure upgrades for transport routes, gas, water, electricity and sewage, and telecommunications.”

Mr Ryan said the South Gippsland Shire believed a supply of affordable and readily available land could create up to 200 jobs in the industrial sector within 18 months.

“The project will enable South Gippsland Shire Council to plan for the future infrastructure requirements identified in the study,” Mr Ryan said.

“The study will ensure the Council has suitable industrial land available to support the growth of the current businesses in Leongatha and any potential new businesses wanting to locate to Leongatha.

“Identifying and providing suitable areas will reduce economic ‘leakage’ outside the town and district, helping to revitalize the area.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Government funding for the $125,000 Leongatha Industrial Zone Investigation project would be provided to South Gippsland Shire Council.

He said the project was expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 108 870

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