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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

Regional Growth Fund honours Vietnam Veterans

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Deputy Premier inspects progress of Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk 
  • $1 billion Regional Growth Fund provided $243,000 for stage three of the project 
  • Victorian Coalition Government building a better Victoria

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan yesterday inspected progress of the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk in Seymour.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund had invested $243,000 in the third and final stage of the project, which was nearing completion.

“The memorial, once completed, will be a poignant reminder of the sacrifice many Australians made in Vietnam,” Mr Ryan said.

“We also expect the walk to draw tourists into the Seymour region, creating vital jobs locally.”

Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan said the project created an important monument that would honour the more than 60,000 Australians who served in Vietnam.

“Of those 60,000 who served, 3000 were wounded, 521 lost their lives and those who did return often received a hostile reception due to the controversial nature of the Vietnam War,” Ms Ryan said.

“The Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk will be an important monument and a place for quiet reflection on the sacrifice made by Australia’s Vietnam servicemen and women.

“The stage three works include the installation of military artefacts and lighting, wall panels to honour recipients of the Victoria Cross, the construction of two car parks, extra landscaping, paving, footpaths and drainage.”

Member for Seymour Cindy McLeish said the overall project would be completed at a cost in excess of $2.5 million and with significant in-kind input from the Mitchell Shire Council and the local community.

“Stages one and two of the project have been completed at a cost of $1.7 million and include the construction of the Luscombe Bowl and Memorial Cairn (stage one) and construction of the Commemorative Wall (stage two),” Ms McLeish said.

“This project is wonderful example of the Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund working with local government and community organisations to deliver local projects nominated by the community, not dreamed up by some politician in Melbourne.

“I thank and congratulate our stage three project partners, including Mitchell Shire Council for providing $100,000, in-kind support, Mitchell Sub Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia for contributing $81,000 and the Commonwealth Government for providing $500,000.”

Mr Ryan said the Regional Growth Fund was investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria.

“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered more than $400 million, generating around $1.6 billion in total investment across more than 1,440 projects,” Mr Ryan said.

During his visit to Seymour Mr Ryan also met with local businesses, toured the Visitor Information Centre and met with the Seymour Football Netball Club.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

$1 billion Regional Growth Fund supports Kelpie centre study

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Deputy Premier announces $15,000 for $20,000 Kelpie centre study 
  • Interpretive centre would further cement Casterton as the home of the Kelpie 
  • Victorian Coalition Government supporting local communities to develop local initiatives

Casterton’s status as the home of the Kelpie will be further cemented if the development of the Casterton Kelpie Interpretive Centre proves viable.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan visited Casterton today to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $15,000 in the $20,000 Casterton Kelpie Interpretive Centre Feasibility Study.

Mr Ryan, who was joined in Casterton by Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty and The Nationals candidate for Lowan Emma Kealy, said the study would identify the benefits of developing the Casterton Kelpie Interpretive Centre.

“Casterton is the birthplace of the Kelpie, and each year hosts the annual Kelpie Muster Festival over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June, attracting visitors from right across Australia,” Mr Ryan said.

“A statue of a Kelpie was also commissioned and placed outside the Casterton Town Hall in celebration of the Kelpie’s history, and the town is home to the Kelpie Walking Trail which takes in five unique Kelpie sculptures with interpretive signage.

“The local community is keen to further develop its links with the iconic Kelpie to help attract even more visitors to Casterton all-year-round.

“To achieve this aim, the community asked the Coalition Government to support a feasibility study to look at the benefits of developing the Casterton Kelpie Interpretive Centre, which could potentially be incorporated into a larger Glenelg Visitor Information Centre development.

“The Coalition Government is keen to help local communities capitalise on their strengths and I am proud to be here today, alongside Hugh Delahunty and Emma Kealy, to announce our government’s support for this exciting initiative.”

Mr Delahunty, who last week called on the Deputy Premier to support the initiative, said the feasibility study was an important first step towards developing the Casterton Kelpie Interpretive Centre.

“Community consultation has already indicated there is strong local support for this project,” Mr Delahunty said.

“A consultant will now be appointed to undertake the feasibility study, which will identify community and business needs, as well as develop a project business plan.

“The community, particularly the Casterton Kelpie Association, should be applauded for the work it has done in developing Casterton’s reputation as the home of the Kelpie and I am proud that we as a government can assist the community to progress this initiative further.”

Ms Kealy welcomed the Coalition Government’s funding support, which was provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, and also thanked the Glenelg Shire Council for its $5000 contribution towards the feasibility study.

“This project is yet another example of the strong work The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, are doing in regional communities, particularly in Western Victoria,” Ms Kealy said.

“Through the Regional Growth Fund, the Coalition Government is investing in community-led projects that help our local communities be their best.

“Here in the Glenelg Shire, the Regional Growth Fund has invested almost $4 million in support of 40 projects, leveraging almost $6 million in total investment.”

The Casterton Kelpie Interpretive Centre Feasibility Study will be finalised by February 2015.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Labor and Jacinta Allan’s half a billion dollar blunder

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Labor’s Jacinta Allan wrongly claims no money is allocated for the next four years of the Regional Growth Fund
  • Another serious error from Labor’s regional spokesperson
  • $500 million gaffe again shows Labor can’t be trusted to manage the economy

Labor and Jacinta Allan have humiliated themselves yet again, with a half a billion dollar blunder in their reading of the 2014-15 state budget, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said today.

Following wannabe Treasurer Tim Pallas’ inept billion dollar blunder, Ms Allan wrongly claimed there was no money allocated in the budget for the Regional Growth Fund.

On May 8, Ms Allan spoke in parliament claiming the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund was a “hoax”.

“The budget papers do not reveal one cent of the forward allocation for this $1 billion growth fund…We keep being told how it is $1 billion and how it is locked into the budget. This budget shows what a betrayal that is, because nowhere in the budget papers is it articulated that the forward estimates show a funding allocation of the next $500 million.” (Hansard, 8 May 2014.)

The money is in fact allocated under the departmental budget; Ms Allan had simply failed to correctly identify it.

“This shows us once again that Labor cannot manage money and cannot be trusted to manage Victoria’s finances,” Mr Ryan said.

“This is the MP who recently criticised the Coalition Government’s plan for free Melbourne CBD transport to the people of Bendigo, when leader Daniel Andrews had already said Labor supported the plan – Ms Allan seeming to think the people of Bendigo wouldn’t read Melbourne papers and notice the contradiction.

“One would think Ms Allan would have bothered to make sure she had her facts right before making public statements based on pure fiction. This is another serious error from Labor’s regional spokesperson.

“In addition to displaying an economic incompetence that borders on innumeracy, these matters also raise questions about honesty and judgement. I call on Ms Allan to admit her mistake and apologise for misleading the people of Victoria in State Parliament.”

This is not Ms Allan’s first embarrassing financial blunder this year.

On February 19, Ms Allan issued a media release claiming the Victorian Coalition Government blew “a quarter of a million dollars designing a stall” to promote Regional Living at the Royal Melbourne show – but once again had the facts and figures wrong; Regional Development Victoria had actually paid $165,836 for numerous initiatives promoting rural and regional Victoria.

Taxpayers should also be reminded that the Victorian Auditor General’s report into Ms Allan’s provincial spending program when Labor was last in government found there was “little supporting evidence to substantiate” where $21.64 million went.

Regional Growth Fund makes McIndoe Park safer

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • McIndoe Park is now safer and more accessible for families and children
  • $120,000 upgrade includes new rotunda, free BBQs, perimeter fencing and improved disabled access
  • Victorian Coalition Government invested $88,000 to make the project a reality

Leongatha’s much-loved McIndoe Park is now safer and more accessible for families and children of all ages and abilities thanks to an $88,000 investment from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan was in Leongatha on Friday to officially open the $120,000 McIndoe Park Development Project.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien at Friday's event, said the project included new perimeter fencing and child proof gates, new pathways to improve disabled access, as well as a new rotunda with free barbecues, tables and chairs.

“McIndoe Park is one of the most used and loved community spaces in Leongatha, regularly hosting large community events such as concerts and Australia Day celebrations,” Mr Ryan said.

“Its accessible playground and open space make it a popular place to play for children of all ages and abilities, while its beautiful surrounds and picnic facilities mean it’s a perfect location to host gatherings with family and friends or simply for an afternoon out.”

Mr Ryan said that while the park was a popular destination for locals and visitors to Leongatha, it wasn’t always safe.

“There are two busy roads bordering the park and an accessible water drain nearby which has caused significant concern for parents of young children,” Mr Ryan said.

“Having secure fencing around the perimeter of the park will mean children are protected from the road and water drain, providing much relief for parents.”

Mr O’Brien said the installation of new pathways linking the rotundas to the playground had greatly improved accessibility at McIndoe Park, particularly for students from the South Gippsland Specialist School.

“The South Gippsland Specialist School spends a lot of time at McIndoe Park thanks to its impressive range of accessible playground equipment,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The development of these new pathways will make it easier and safer for students to access the accessible play equipment, enabling them to get the most out of this wonderful facility.”

Mr Ryan thanked the South Gippsland Shire Council, which contributed $22,000 towards the project, and the Lions Club of Leongatha, which contributed $10,000.

He said this project was another example of the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund putting locals first.

“Without a specific fund designed to support initiatives such as the McIndoe Park development, this important upgrade may have never been completed,” Mr Ryan said.

“The community asked for this development, local parents and the council drove it and the Coalition Government is proud to provide the funding to make it a reality.”

Mr Ryan said this project was one of more than 30 across South Gippsland to receive Regional Growth Fund support, delivering almost $60 million of leveraged investment to the region.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer  0437 547 731 

Victorian Coalition Government is building a better regional Victoria

Friday, June 06, 2014

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

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

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

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

Rail Infrastructure

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

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

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

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

Road Infrastructure

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hospitals and healthcare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Education and training

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

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

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

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

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

Food and fibre production

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

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

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

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

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

Public Safety

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

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

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

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

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

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Statement regarding Murray Goulburn announcement

Friday, June 06, 2014
Statement from Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan regarding Friday's Murray Goulburn announcement:

The Victorian Coalition Government welcomes Murray Goulburn’s $127 million investment in its regional manufacturing and processing facilities.

This includes a $112 million investment across two sites in Victoria, at Cobram and Koroit.

This major investment is a shot in the arm for regional manufacturing and processing, with the Co-operative set to build a world leading cheese cut and wrap facility at Cobram, with the Cobram and Koroit plants receiving a boost to their nutritionals lines.

The Victorian Coalition Government continues to support and facilitate investment in regional Victoria’s food manufacturing capacity to capitalise on the ever increasing demand for our clean green food and fibre product for a growing Asian market.

Our investments and support are creating new jobs for regional Victorians and helping farmers to achieve higher farm-gate prices.

Murray Goulburn’s investment shows the strength of the Victorian economy, particularly in regional areas where our Triple A credit rating, strong budgetary position and initiatives such as the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund are securing vital investments.

Murray Goulburn has been strong beneficiaries of initiatives such as the Regional Growth Fund, having recently secured $1.5 million to upgrade its energy infrastructure and gas supply at Leongatha.

This Coalition Government investment at Leongatha supported Murray Goulburn’s $19 million expansion, enabling it to boost UHT production at Leongatha by an additional 100 million litres a year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund helps Bertalli’s Alpine Breads to rise higher

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Bertalli’s Alpine Breads to develop an innovative new packaging line 
  • New packaging line will create six jobs and open up new markets 
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $75,000 to support the expansion

Six new jobs will be created at Bertalli’s Alpine Breads Benalla bakery, with the Victorian Coalition Government announcing today that it will invest $75,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to support a $450,000 expansion.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined Member for Benalla Bill Sykes and Nationals Candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan to announce the Coalition Government grant which will enable the company to expand its packaging line.

Mr Ryan said the expansion would allow the company to boost the supply of its new range of artisan breads, opening up new markets.

“This $450,000 investment will enable Bertalli’s Alpine Breads to develop an innovative new packaging line for its artisan breads, creating six new local jobs,” Mr Ryan said.

“The new packaging line will replace traditional bread loaf packaging with new sealed clear packaging, similar to that used for cheese and meats.

“This process will extend the shelf life of its bread by up to three weeks, enabling the company to supply new interstate markets including supermarkets, retail health food businesses and specialty food outlets.

“The Coalition Government is proud to support regional and rural businesses to grow their operations, access new markets and employ more local people.”

Mr Sykes welcomed the investment and said Bertalli’s Alpine Breads was a highly regarded specialty bakery, employing 20 Benalla locals.

“Bertalli’s Alpine Breads is a regional success story, growing from a humble local bakery to one that supplies specialty breads to Coles and Woolworths,” Mr Sykes said.

“More recently, the company has developed a new range of artisan breads for supply to independent supermarkets and retail outlets.

“This expansion will allow more people in more areas to purchase this wonderful Benalla product.”

Ms Ryan said this exciting project was another example of the strong work the Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, were delivering for regional communities.

“The Coalition Government is investing record funding in regional and rural Victoria through initiatives such as the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund,” Ms Ryan said.

“The Regional Growth Fund has so far invested more than $4 million for projects in Benalla, leveraging more than $12 million in investment.

“This includes $1 million for the $4.57 million Benalla Library/Civic Centre Conversion project, $900,000 for the $3.5 million Benalla Aquatic Centre Re-development, and $300,000 for the $400,000 Benalla Town Hall Restoration.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

$110,000 for Benalla Airport master plan

Friday, June 06, 2014
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $110,000 in Benalla Airport master plan 
  • Project is a local priority ahead of the 2017 World Gliding Championships 
  • The Regional Growth Fund has delivered almost $400 million to support more than 1400 projects, leveraging more than $1.6 billion in total investment

The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $110,000 from its $1 billion Regional Growth Fund in a detailed master plan for the Benalla Airport.

In Benalla today, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the project was a priority for the Benalla Rural City Council as it prepares for the pre World Gliding Championships test event in December 2015 and the World Gliding Championships in January 2017.
“We’re delighted to be able to be part of it,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Benalla airport precinct includes more than 15 active user groups including aviation businesses, club members, accommodation facilities, recreational aviation, potters, museums, tertiary education facilities and a Performing Arts Centre.

“This Regional Growth Fund investment will help Benalla Rural City Council complete a strategic review of the airport and engage with user groups about the planning for future growth and development of this facility.”

Mr Ryan said the airport master plan would provide strategic development advice to Benalla Rural City Council and give confidence to user groups and investors looking to develop and grow businesses at the airport.

“The project will develop a collective vision across all user groups and a broader plan for the airport precinct,” Mr Ryan said.

“It will help ready the airport for the World Gliding Championships.”

Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan said Benalla’s airport was renowned for good weather and safe, reliable flying conditions.

“The future of the airport is important to pilots and gliders as well as local businesses who benefit from the economic activity and tourism it brings.”

Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said the Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund was investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria.

“The Regional Growth Fund has delivered almost $400 million, generating over $1.6 billion of total investment across more than 1400 projects,” Mr Sykes said.

“In Benalla Rural City, the Regional Growth Fund has provided $4.1 million to 18 projects, leveraging about $12.4 million in total investment. This includes $1.6 million for the $4.58 million Benalla Library/Civic Centre Conversion; $104,075 for the $3.5 million Benalla Aquatic Centre Re-development and $300,000 for the $400,000 Benalla Town Hall Restoration.”

The Benalla Airport master plan will be completed in June 2014.

Media contact: Les White
0409 805 122

New court complex for Shepparton

Friday, June 06, 2014

The 2014-15 Victorian State Budget will deliver a modern new court complex and facilities for Shepparton and the Hume region.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Attorney-General Robert Clark joined Member for Shepparton Jeanette Powell in Shepparton today to make the announcement.

Mr Clark said the $73 million investment would provide a new court complex, additional court staff and an extra Magistrate in Shepparton.

“The Victorian Coalition Government is providing this funding for a new court building in Shepparton and increased staffing to meet the Hume region’s growing demand,” Mr Clark said.

“Once completed, there will be three Magistrates’ courtrooms and two further courtrooms for the Supreme and County Courts, with capacity for expansion to six courts in the future.

“The new facility will be built on existing land and an adjoining site, with court sittings able to continue during construction.

“The funding will enable the existing building to be replaced with a new, purpose-built multi-jurisdictional court complex, together with an additional Magistrate and court staff.”

Mr Ryan said the investment was essential to meet future the needs of the Hume region.

“This will be a fantastic, modern development for the city of Shepparton, creating more than 158 jobs during construction and 14 ongoing jobs when the new centre is built,” Mr Ryan said.

“The construction will aim to preference local contractors to ensure the economic benefit of the project delivers maximum returns for the Hume region.

“This is a fantastic design, which will be built for and built by the Shepparton and Hume communities, serving the public for decades to come.

“The Coalition Government is delivering for the Shepparton region. This new court complex follows the $22 million investment in SPC, the $16 million concessional loans package and business planning program, the $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund and our $2 million Fruit Industry Employment Program.”

Mrs Powell said she was proud to deliver the new court complex for her region.

“Labor failed to deliver this court complex for 11 years and we’ve been able to announce it within our first term of government,” Mrs Powell said.

“The much-needed Shepparton redevelopment, scheduled for completion in 2018, will provide secure and modern facilities for court users and staff.” 

Mr Clark said the design of the planned building followed an extensive design process led by the Department of Justice and consultants GHD.

$42 million Pactum Dairy Group UHT milk line opens

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • $950,000 from Victorian Coalition Government brings new UHT milk line to Pactum Dairy in Shepparton 
  • New line will process up to 100 million litres of UHT milk within three years 
  • Regional Growth Fund has leveraged more than $1.6 billion of investment across regional and rural Victoria

A new UHT milk processing facility at Pactum Dairy in Shepparton was opened today, following an investment of $950,000 by the Victorian Coalition Government.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss to open the new $42 million facility.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government invested $700,000 from the Industries for Today and Tomorrow program to support the development of the Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk processing facility, enabling it to process up to 100 million litres of milk within the next three years, bringing economic benefit to the region and Victoria.

He said a further $250,000 from the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund aided the extension and connection of natural gas to the Shepparton site.

“The Victorian Coalition Government’s $950,000 investment has helped attract a business to Shepparton which could otherwise have gone elsewhere,” Mr Ryan said.

“The new facility builds on one of the natural advantages of the region – dairy – to export our product to the world, creating new local jobs.

“With overall sales at around $100 million, Pactum Dairy also has the potential to export up to $37 million worth of produce to the Chinese market.

“This investment is a win for the Shepparton and we’re proud to be part of it.”

Mr Ryan said the project had already generated 35 full-time jobs, growing to 52 full-time jobs over the next three years.

“The Coalition Government is proud to support regional jobs and regional industries, particularly in the Goulburn Valley where investment such as those at SPC Ardmona and Rubicon have created new jobs and secured existing workforces,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Truss said it was crucial for businesses in regional areas to tap into global supply chains.

“Pactum Dairy Group is capitalising on new opportunities presented by new and emerging markets, creating fresh prospects for the regional and national economies,” Mr Truss said.

“This facility is a great example of strategic, well-planned and well-executed infrastructure that will improve the competitiveness of the region’s dairy sector and underpin new jobs and economic opportunities for the Shepparton region.”

Mr Ryan said the overall $42 million investment in the new UHT milk processing facility, and gas extension was an example of projects that strengthened the economic base of regional Victoria, as intended through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered almost $400 million, generating over $1.6 billion of total investment across more than 1400 projects.”

Mr Ryan said in the City of Greater Shepparton, the Regional Growth Fund had provided almost $10 million to 25 projects, leveraging around $95 million in total investment. 

Those projects included:

  • $2 million for the $6.57 million Mooroopna West Growth Corridor project; 
  • $700,000 for the $2.37 million Vaughan Street Precinct Urban Renewal and Redevelopment Project; and 
  • $600,000 for the $900,000 Fairley Leadership Program for the Goulburn Valley.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122