Press Releases

New centre for sexual assault victims underway

* * - Monday, October 20, 2014

 

  • Construction begins on the new Morwell Multidisciplinary Centre (MDC)
  • MDC brings together Victoria Police, child protection and sexual assault counselling services
  • Coalition Government invests $4.8 million to develop Morwell MDC

Construction is set to begin on a new facility in Morwell that will ensure victims of sexual assault and violence receive the necessary emotional, medical and legal support at one location.

On site on Friday to turn the first sod for the Morwell Multidisciplinary Centre (MDC), Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said the facility would provide an invaluable resource to victims of sexual assault and those caring for them.

Mr Ryan said the $4.8 million centre, funded by the Victorian Coalition Government, would provide counselling, crisis support, child protection services and also house Victoria Police’s Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team for adults and children who had experienced sexual assault and abuse.

“By co-locating police, child protection and specialised counselling and nursing services together at the one site, staff can work hand-in-hand to provide integrated support to adults and children,” Mr Ryan said.

“Having all of these services at the Morwell MDC will prevent the need for victims to repeatedly recount the details of their often horrific experience as they seek help and support.”

The Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe, who joined Mr Ryan on Friday, said the centre, to be completed by April 2015, would provide valuable, much needed services to vulnerable women and children in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland.

Mr Northe said the MDC would also ensure that perpetrators of sexual assault were held accountable for their crimes.

“The Coalition Government is committed to preventing violence from happening, holding perpetrators to account and making sure there is support for women and children,” Mr Northe said.

“Having met with all of the service providers that will be located in the MDC, I am pleased that our government has committed $4.8 million to not only assist those affected by sexual assault, but also to work towards its prevention.”

Mr Northe said the centre was being delivered as part of a $20 million package through Victoria’s Action Plan to Address Violence against Women and Children 2012-15, which included building three additional MDCs across Victoria.

Mr Northe the Coalition Government had invested more than $200 million this year to address family violence through a range of measures, including the Morwell MDC.

“Once the centre is complete, it will be one of six operational MDCs across the state offering vital services to victims of sexual crimes,” Mr Northe said.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Record investment by Napthine Government to prevent family violence

* * - Monday, October 13, 2014

 

  • Victorian Coalition Government invests an additional $150 million to prevent violence against women and children
  • Wide-ranging new measures to address prevention, safety and accountability
  • Napthine Government building a safer Victoria

A comprehensive $150 million action package that will reduce the incidence of family violence across Victoria was unveiled on Saturday by the Victorian Coalition Government.

Premier Denis Napthine, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan, Attorney-General Robert Clark and Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge launched the package in Melbourne this morning.

Dr Napthine said the new investment doubled family violence funding since the Coalition came to office and would make a real difference in preventing violence and keeping women and children safe, in addition to holding perpetrators to account.

“Violence against women and children is unacceptable at any time, at any place and under any circumstances,” Dr Napthine said.

“Victorians, particularly women and children will be safer as a result of this comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy that tackles this insidious crime at all levels.

“These new initiatives address the causes of family violence, they educate the community, they provide support services for victims and they hold perpetrators to account,” Dr Napthine said.

Highlights of the $150 million package include:

  • $41 million to deliver Victoria's largest ever prevention campaign in partnership with Our Watch, including a social marketing and behaviour change campaign and local community action;
  • Expanded crisis accommodation support for women and children;
  • A new Multi-Disciplinary Centre for women and children who experience sexual assault, complete with police, sexual assault and family violence experts and child protection staff;
  • Outreach teachers to work with children fleeing family violence;
  • Atrial of GPS monitoring of high risk perpetrators;
  • Additional legal and advocacy support for women;
  • Behaviour change programs for men in prison as a result of family violence;
  • Specialist staff in courts to assist victims and perpetrators of violence through the court processes; and
  • Improved and expanded post-crisis support for women and children.

Mr Ryan said the new $150 million package builds significantly on the Coalition Government’s existing efforts in tackling family violence.

“In contrast, the Labor Party have offered $1.5 million in recycled announcements and an expensive Royal Commission that will cost millions of dollars and delay action for years,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition is getting on with the job. We have a plan, and we are investing in what we know works based on the best advice of victims of family violence, frontline family violence workers, Victoria Police and the courts. The Government is not willing to put more families at risk by procrastinating and delaying rather than implementing a real plan to make families safer.

“Preventing family violence is part of the Coalition’s vision for a better Victoria. We want to change community attitudes, we want women and children to be safe in their homes and communities, and to get the support they need, and we want to hold perpetrators to account and stop them from re-offending,” Mr Ryan said.

Attorney-General Robert Clark said the Napthine Government would provide additional workers in Victoria’s courts to help those affected by family violence and trial GPS tracking technology to protect those at risk.

“These extra staff will provide support for victims throughout the court process and help ensure their safety, while also increasing perpetrator accountability and compliance with court orders,” Mr Clark said.

“New GPS technology has the potential to improve safety and confidence for victims of family violence while also making perpetrators realise their movements are being monitored and recorded. This new technology to protect against family violence will now be the subject of a comprehensive trial,” Mr Clark said.

Dr Napthine also announced a new Ministerial Council for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Children, led by the Premier and Deputy Premier.

“We have strong and effective Ministers leading the charge on preventing family violence. We will work with all relevant Ministers to ensure that we have an integrated and effective whole-of-government approach to tackling all aspects of family violence,” Dr Napthine said.

Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge highlighted the Coalition Government’s strong investment in preventing violence against women and children.

“This is Victoria's largest single investment in family violence prevention. There will be a statewide campaign and every area across the state will be provided with funding for local action to prevent violence against women and children,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“Through this significant investment, the Napthine Government continues its commitment to preventing violence, as well as improving responses to violence against women and children when it occurs,” Ms Wooldridge said.

Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government had already ensured more police were in place to tackle family violence.

“In addition, we have increased penalties for breaching intervention orders, we are providing expanded services and support to victims of family violence and we are investing in prevention and behaviour change programs,” Dr Napthine said.

“With this new package, the Coalition Government has increased total spending to prevent violence and support the women and children who are victims of family violence to more than $140 million next year. This represents a doubling in funding since 2010.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Victorian Coalition Government delivers PSOs to Traralgon

* * - Monday, August 25, 2014

  • PSOs set to patrol Traralgon Railway Station from tomorrow night
  • Travellers to and from Traralgon will now feel safer at night
  • Victorian Coalition Government delivering its commitment to put PSOs at key regional train stations

Travellers at Traralgon’s V/Line station will feel safer from tomorrow night, with the Victorian Coalition Government delivering on its promise to have the station patrolled by Protective Services Officers.

Speaking at the Traralgon Railway Station, Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said PSOs would patrol the rail platform, car parks and immediate surrounds from 6pm until the last train each night.

“PSOs help to prevent anti-social behaviour, property damage, violence and alcohol and transport-related crime at our train stations,” Mr Ryan said.

“We said we’d deliver PSOs to Traralgon, and we’ve done it.”

Tomorrow’s deployment to Traralgon means that there will now be PSOs at four major regional stations - Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon. Victoria will have 864 PSOs patrolling 142 stations.

“A survey by the Department of Justice in October 2013 reported that the presence of PSOs made passengers feel safer at rail stations,” Mr Ryan said.

“Travellers feel railway stations are safer places at night thanks to PSOs.”

Some 94 per cent of night time travellers agreed that PSOs were a good idea and 93 per cent stated they would seek help from a PSO if they felt unsafe.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien welcomed the announcement.

“PSOs complete a 12-week course that includes the same operational tactics and safety training undertaken by Victoria Police officers,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Newly-graduated PSOs are mentored by experienced PSOs at city railway stations for three months.

“We have increased our initial commitment to deliver 940 PSOs on our rail stations by adding a further 96 to the program.

“This $863.1 million investment in police and PSOs is the single largest law and order recruitment exercise in Victoria’s history.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

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

$25,000 grants to tackle local graffiti issues

* * - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • Regional shires encouraged to apply to tackle graffiti 
  • Part of Coalition’s $35 million Community Crime Prevention Program
  • Up to $25,000 available until 20 June

Councils can now access grants of up to $25,000 to combat graffiti in local neighbourhoods as part of the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government’s graffiti grants program.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today encouraged local councils to think about graffiti solutions that would improve the visual amenity of neighbourhoods and increase community confidence in the safety of public places.

“The Coalition Government is serious about responding to concerns about graffiti vandalism, which is why we have committed more than $10 million over 4 years to reduce graffiti through a range of strategies under our anti-graffiti plan,” Mr Ryan said.

“The grants are open to councils to partner with local organisations such as schools, community and residents groups, local police, retailers and trader associations, to come up with local solutions to tackle graffiti.

“These might include design features such as murals, education and information programs, and graffiti removal projects.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to stamping out graffiti at a local level.

“Over the past three years, the government has provided more than $918,000 to fund 57 projects across the state through the grants.

Crime Prevention Minister Edward O’Donohue said that the Labor Party had shown its lack of commitment to such programs by abolishing the crime prevention portfolio from the shadow ministry.

“When Daniel Andrews reshuffled his front bench in December, the crime prevention portfolio disappeared,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“The Coalition Government is delivering programs to help communities find local solutions to local problems, while Labor is offering nothing.”

“These grants make a real difference and I strongly encourage councils across the state to apply for grants of up to $25,000.”

The Graffiti Prevention and Removal Grants are part of the Coalition Government’s $35 million Community Crime Prevention Program, which helps promote community safety and prevent crime in communities across Victoria.

Applications close on Friday 20 June and to apply or for further information, visit www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/graffitigrants

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870
 



Play your part in creating a safer Easter

* * - Thursday, April 17, 2014

·        Take ownership of your driving and help reduce the road toll
·        Share your Easter driving tips on social media by using #roadtozero
·        Make Easter an enjoyable time by making sensible decisions

Gippslanders planning a break or visit to family and friends this Easter are asked to take ownership and help drive down the state’s road toll.

“Victoria’s road toll is the lowest we’ve seen for close to 90 years and I’m asking all Gippslanders to make a conscious effort to ensure this downward trend continues,” Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said.

“The Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government recently launched ‘The Road to Zero – it starts with you’ campaign that encourages motorists to share their road safety ideas and tips through videos, photos or messages.

“By using the ‘#roadtozero’ hashtag, Gippslanders can show their support by posting their ideas and sharing stories through the campaign’s Facebook and Twitter pages.”

Mr Ryan said the campaign would run in conjunction with a statewide road enforcement operation including the consecutive Easter and ANZAC Day long weekends, as well as the Queen’s Birthday holiday.

“If you’re doing the wrong thing on the road, then expect to be stopped by police,” he said.

“It is thanks to the work of police, government and other agencies joining together to enforce the law and educate the community, as well as advances in medical treatment that has allowed the downward trend in the road toll to occur.”

For the road roll to continue to drop, it will require all motorists to take individual responsibility for improving safety by making safe travel choices, he said.

“Being distracted by text and phone calls, speeding while rushing to your next destination, or simply not respecting other road users, can lead to a situation from which you can never turn back,” Mr Ryan said.

“Whether you’re bushwalking at The Prom, sailing the magnificent Gippsland Lakes or spending time on the 90 Mile Beach, take ownership of our actions behind the wheel because the road to zero starts with you.”

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

Tackling teenage risk-taking on the road

* * - Monday, March 31, 2014

• Empowering teenagers to get out of potentially dangerous situations
• Revamped Fit2Drive workshop targetting 60,000 year 11 students
• Victorian Coalition Government committed to improving road safety

Gippsland students are among more than 60,000 year 11s that are the focus of a new campaign to save young lives on the roads.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the revamped road safety workshops were being rolled out in schools to encourage teenage passengers to positively influence their friends, who are considering drink driving, speeding or other dangerous behaviour.

“I am sending a letter to all local secondary schools informing them of this important program, and I strongly encourage local principals and teachers to make a booking for the road safety workshop to visit their school,” Mr Ryan said.

“Young people continue to be over-represented in road trauma and the dangers of irresponsible behaviour on the roads can be dire.

“Teenagers need skills and practical strategies to get themselves out of potentially dangerous situations.

“Participants will develop personal and school road safety plans that will empower them to challenge dangerous behaviours and understand the risks involved.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government had partnered with the F2D Foundation (Fit2Drive) to deliver the program, which has Victoria at the forefront of road safety behavioural change at a secondary school level.

“The workshop will be delivered by trained university students and will include group discussions and various scenarios to explore strategies to keep our young people safe on the roads,” Mr Ryan said.

“The revamped F2D workshop, with involvement from police and MFB is increasing its reach to approximately 500 secondary schools.”

The Coalition Government together with road safety agencies has been successful in reducing the young driver casualty crashes by 20 percent in recent years through measures such as the Graduated Licensing System (GLS), a ban on mobile phone use for all probationary drivers and a range of support programs like F2D.

For more information or to book a workshop at your school, visit www.F2D.com.au.

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

Relocatable units at Dhurringile Prison help ease numbers in police cells

* * - Tuesday, January 07, 2014

 

Acting Premier Peter Ryan and Minister for Corrections Edward O’Donohue today inspected the recently installed relocatable accommodation units at Dhurringile Prison.

They were joined by local members Jeanette Powell, Wendy Lovell, and Amanda Millar, as well as Bob Allan, CEO of Royal Wolf, the company supplying the accommodation units.

Mr Ryan said Corrections Victoria has installed 50 of the accommodation units at minimum security Dhurringile, with each unit capable of accommodating two prisoners.

“These relocatable units are providing an important immediate boost to capacity in Victoria’s corrections system,” Mr Ryan said.

“We were pleased to see 40 prisoners accommodated in these new units prior to Christmas, and another 20 just last week, with more to follow shortly.”

Mr O’Donohue said the installation of the units is just one of the measures that have contributed to a dramatic fall in the number of prisoners being held in police cells.

“From a high of 372 in mid-November, the number of prisoners in police cells is now down to well below 200,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“While we are constantly increasing prison capacity, this reduction is also a result of great co-operation between Corrections Victoria, Victoria Police and the courts.

“Weekend Magistrates Court sittings, the Melbourne Magistrates Court sitting in the County Court and increased videolink facilities have all contributed to this good result by increasing the efficiency of the flow of offenders through the system.”

Mr Ryan said that the Coalition Government is currently delivering the largest prison expansion in Victoria’s history to support the growing prisoner population.

“We are building new permanent beds and expanding existing prison facilities as quickly as possible.

“These new relocatable accommodation units add to the total of 791 beds that have been opened since the start of 2011, with around 2,500 further beds in the pipeline.”

The security and design of the new units, also known as dongas, is consistent with the standard security accommodation at Dhurringile and at other prison farms across the state.

A dedicated officers' post has been installed to monitor the new units and extra staff have been added to manage the additional prisoners.

The units will be locked at night and fitted with duress alarms and smoke detectors.

Mr O’Donohue said only the lowest security prisoners will be housed in the new units.

“Corrections Victoria worked closely with staff to finalise these security arrangements before prisoners moved in,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“We are also looking at whether similar accommodation can be used at other prisons, including Langi Kal Kal and Beechworth, and other walled prisons, where appropriate.”

Prisoners at the minimum security Dhurringile Prison are lower risk. Many of them are coming to the end of their sentence and preparing to transition back into the community. 

Victoria records lowest road toll in 90 years

* * - Monday, January 06, 2014

 

Acting Premier Peter Ryan, along with Minister for Roads Terry Mulder and Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips, today welcomed news of a record low Victorian road toll of 242, some 40 less than last year.

“Victoria has just recorded its lowest road toll in almost 90 years,” Mr Ryan said.

“We haven’t seen a road toll this low since 1924, when 224 people were killed on our roads.

“We are proud of the work done so far and proud that the community and all road users have joined with police and all arms of government in a real team effort to reduce tragedies on our roads.

“However, there is still a long way to go. Most road deaths are not ‘accidents’ as such, but the result of poor choices, including choices to speed, or drive under the influence of alcohol.

“Everyone in the community needs to deeply consider the choices they make.

“There are towns in my electorate of South Gippsland with populations of fewer than 242 and to think of this many people dying on our roads every year is tragic.

“We have come a long way in saving lives, but we will not rest until the road toll is zero.”

Mr Ryan said the state’s road safety strategies, including the introduction of the Graduated Licensing System and the Safer Road Infrastructure Program, had helped save lives.

“The Victorian Coalition Government Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan, unveiled in March, included some bold new initiatives to build on these gains,” Mr Ryan said.

“We asked Victorians to tell us what they thought would help save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.

“Victorians called for more enforcement, a stronger approach to those doing the wrong thing and more education, and we’ve listened.”

Mr Ryan said 2013 saw the Coalition Government announce increased measures to stop drink driving; compulsory increased penalties for using a mobile phone while driving, the release the Road Mode mobile phone app and the start of education programs for reckless drivers to supplement tough hoon penalties.

Mr Mulder said the road safety partners, including Victoria Police, the TAC, VicRoads and the Department of Justice, have created new road safety campaigns and public education programs targeting road safety issues.

“This year we saw Victoria’s first ever distractions campaign and we worked with motorcyclists on a campaign to help them achieve the perfect ride,” Mr Mulder said.

“While it has been great to see the reductions in fatalities this year we know that we are only ever one bad week or one bad month away from losing those gains.

“We need to continue to work together to come up with new initiatives and strategies to help us achieve our vision of zero deaths and serious injuries.”

Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said while it is encouraging to see the reduction in road fatalities there is still work to be done to reduce serious injuries on our roads.

“The last 12 months have seen a reduction in fatalities but we have not seen the same reduction in serious injury collisions,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“We have a number of initiatives underway in 2014 to reduce serious injuries including the Enhanced Crash Investigation Study with the Monash University Accident Research Centre which will be unveiled in February.

“The TAC has also committed $1 billion under the Safer Road Infrastructure Program over the next decade to make Victoria’s most dangerous roads safer for all road users, a vital element of the Safe System approach.

“The release of the Parliamentary Road Safety Committee inquiry into serious injury later this year will give us a better understanding of what we can do to reduce life changing injuries.”

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

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.


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