Press Releases

The Nationals are fixing country roads to save country lives

* * - Friday, August 15, 2014

 

 $1.35 million for highway upgrades between Morwell and Traralgon
• Additional signage, lighting and resurfacing works to improve safety
• Victorian Coalition Government is fixing country roads to save country lives

The Princes Highway near Latrobe Regional Hospital will be safer for motorists thanks to a $1.35 million Victorian Coalition Government investment for a number of key safety initiatives.

Deputy Premier and The Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan was alongside The Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe and The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien to announce the Coalition Government’s investment.

Mr Ryan said the works would be focussed around the Princes Highway between Morwell and Traralgon, with works starting this week.

“This investment will fund new kerbing and channelling near the Village Avenue intersection, as well as the installation of safety barriers along the stretch of highway,” Mr Ryan said.

“Much-needed road resurfacing will also be undertaken, with these resurfacing works to be staged over the next 12 to 18 months.

“To grab drivers’ attention, the existing electronic warning signs will be upgraded to display ‘slow down’ messaging if drivers are going too fast.

“Additional streetlights will also be installed in the centre median to improve visibility at night time.

“This investment is another example of The Nationals, working as part of a strong Coalition Government team, delivering vital safety improvements for key Gippsland roads.”

Mr Northe welcomed the investment and said this important work would reduce the number of crashes on the highway between Traralgon and Morwell.

“Over the past five years there were 16 crashes in this area, including one fatality and six serious injuries,” Mr Northe said.

“In most cases the driver involved was either speeding through the area, not paying attention or didn’t fully notice the intersection.

“These works will help motorists to pay attention, provide better visibility and a quality road surface, ensuring the road is safer for locals or those travelling through the region.”

The Nationals Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester welcomed the Coalition Government’s investment and passed on his support for the initiatives which were announced today.

“The Nationals have a strong team of dedicated local members in Gippsland at both the state and federal level who continue to deliver for the region,” Mr Chester said.

“We have jointly funded a number of key road initiatives throughout the region, including the ongoing duplication of the Princes Highway between Sale and Traralgon, a new passing lane for the Hyland Highway between Morwell and Mirboo North, and key works on the Princes Highway in East Gippsland.

“By fixing country roads we are saving country lives and I will continue to be a strong voice for Gippsland in the Federal Parliament to secure further roads funding for our region.”

Mr O’Brien said the $1.35 million investment would be provided through the Victorian Coalition Government’s Safer Roads Infrastructure Program.

“Through the Safer Roads Infrastructure Program we are investing $1 billion over ten years for key safety upgrades on Victorian roads,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We’ve had successive, record yearly low road tolls in Victoria and we will continue working hard to ensure that we are doing everything we can to save country lives on country roads.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404  kate.lancatser@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Key roads to be repaired in Sale and Yarram

* * - Monday, July 21, 2014

 

  • Victorian Coalition Government is committed to fixing country roads
  • An initial $2.1 million to repair and rebuild roads in Wellington Shire
  • Strengthening and rebuilding to be carried out on two key roads

The South Gippsland Highway at Yarram and sections of the Princes Highway near Sale will be repaired as funding begins to flow from the Victorian Coalition Government’s record $500 million road maintenance boost.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced an initial $2.1 million would be invested from the $500 million road asset management budget.

Mr Ryan said that repairs would be carried out on two key roads:

South Gippsland Highway - $1.2M for repairs to the South Gippsland Highway at Yarram.

Princes Highway East - $905,000 for 1.15km of repairs for two sections west of Sale and at Nuntin Creek north of Sale.

Mr Ryan said VicRoads would work with Wellington Shire to repair the South Gippsland Highway at Yarram with works planned for Summer 2015-2016.

“Works to the two sections of the Princes Highway west of Sale and at Nuntin Creek north of Sale would also be carried over a similar timeframe,” he said.

Mr Ryan said The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, were committed to fixing regional and rural Victoria’s roads.

“We announced, as part of the 2014/15 Victorian Budget, an additional $130 million for road maintenance, bringing the total road maintenance investment to more than $500 million for this financial year,” Mr Ryan said.

“This initial $2.1 million investment will enable vital road repair works to be carried out and builds on a recent announcement of $3.2 million to repair four key roads in South Gippsland.

“This follows our $4.3 million investment to repair South Gippsland roads, announced in August 2013.

“I will continue to work with the Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder, to secure much-need funding for our local roads and ensure our region receives its fair share.”

Mr Ryan encouraged local motorists to report damaged roads to VicRoads.

“I’ve had strong feedback from locals who desperately want to see more money invested in our local roads,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has answered the community’s calls for more funding now it is up to VicRoads to carry-out this much needed work.

“Local roads are the lifeblood of our regional and rural communities, connecting people with work, school, family and friends, so it is vital that they are safe.

“The Nationals are committed to fixing country roads to save country lives.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Key roads to be repaired in South Gippsland

* * - Monday, July 21, 2014

 

  • Victorian Coalition Government is committed to fixing country roads
  • An initial $3.2 million to repair and rebuild roads in South Gippsland
  • Strengthening and rebuilding to be carried out on four key roads

A number of key roads in South Gippsland will be repaired or resealed as funding begins to flow from the Victorian Coalition Government’s record $500 million road maintenance boost.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced an initial $3.2 million would be invested from the $500 million road asset management budget.

Mr Ryan said that repairs would be carried out on four key roads:

  • South Gippsland Highway - $1,732,000 for 1.36 km of repairs in Yarram and four sections east of Welshpool
  • Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road - $583,000 for 1.17km of repairs around Clancys Road, south of Korumburra
  • Wilsons Promontory Road - $513,000 for 1.01km of repairs south of Foster
  • Meeniyan-Promontory Road - $380,000 for 0.79km of repairs past Pattersons Road near Yanakie.

Mr Ryan said the roads would be strengthened through stabilisation works and resealing, with works to begin later in the year during the warmer months.

Mr Ryan said The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, were committed to fixing regional and rural Victoria’s roads.

“We announced, as part of the 2014/15 Victorian Budget, an additional $130 million for road maintenance, bringing the total road maintenance investment to more than $500 million for this financial year,” Mr Ryan said.

“This initial $3.2 million investment will enable vital road repair works to be carried out, and follows our $4.3 million investment to repair South Gippsland roads, announced in August 2013.

“I will continue to work with the Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder, to secure much-need funding for our local roads and ensure South Gippsland receives its fair share.”

Mr Ryan encourage local motorists to report damaged roads in South Gippsland to VicRoads.

“I’ve had strong feedback from locals who desperately want to see more money invested in our local roads,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has answered the community’s calls for more funding now it is up to VicRoads to carry-out this much needed work.

“Local roads are the lifeblood of our regional and rural communities, connecting people with work, school, family and friends, so it is vital that they are safe.

“The Nationals are committed to fixing country roads to save country lives.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404 Kate.lancaster@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Coalition delivers another Strzelecki Highway passing lane

* * - Monday, July 14, 2014
  • $4.27 million to build overtaking lane on the Strzelecki Highway
  • Overtaking lanes add to a suite of safety improvements on the highway
  • Drivers will be able to overtake slower vehicles more safely

    Motorists travelling between Mirboo North and the Latrobe Valley will have a safer and faster journey thanks to a $4.27 million investment for a new passing lane on the Strzelecki Highway.

    Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan on Friday announced funding for a 1.7 kilometre passing lane to be built near Smiths Road at Driffield.

    Making the announcement on site, Mr Ryan was joined by The Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien and The Nationals Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

    “This is an extremely busy road with more than 4,000 vehicles a day and many of those are fully laden trucks that drive slowly through the steep and winding hills,” Mr Ryan said.

    “Being stuck behind a slow truck or tractor can be frustrating and without adequate opportunities for overtaking, some drivers will take risks.

    “This passing lane will improve the flow of traffic and provide safer passing options for local motorists.”

    Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government was committed to improving roads in South Gippsland, with the Strzelecki Highway overtaking lane between Mirboo North and Leongatha, a key election commitment, nearing completion.

    “We have also invested an additional $3.8 million to install safety barriers to reduce run-off-roads crashes at key locations on Strzelecki Highway as part of the Safer Road Infrastructure Program, which delivers $1 billion over 10 years for road safety improvements,” Mr Ryan said.

    Member for Morwell Russell Northe welcomed the investment, which was delivered in the Coalition Government’s 2014-15 State Budget.

    “The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to fixing country roads to save country lives,” Mr Northe said.

    “The recent Victorian Budget also included a $130 million road maintenance boost, bringing our total maintenance spend for 2014-15 to more than $500 million.

    “This funding is in stark contrast to Labor's Project 10,000 plan which sets aside $1 billion over eight years for roads maintenance, a paltry $125 million a year.”

    Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said road safety was a major focus of the Federal Government.

    “We are proud to support this important local project that will make Gippslanders’ journey to and from work safer,” Mr Chester said.

    Work will begin in March next year with the project to be complete by mid-2016. 

Surveying works begin for alternate route

* * - Wednesday, July 02, 2014

  • Surveying works begin on heavy vehicle alternate route
  • Drivers urged to take care where works are being conducted
  • Route will divert 600 trucks per day away from Bair Street

The Leongatha Alternate Heavy Vehicle Route is another step closer to completion with important pre-construction works set to begin this week.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said VicRoads surveyors would be on site in Leongatha from today.


“The $5.12 million Leongatha Alternate Heavy Vehicle Route, which was jointly funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments, will see more than 600 trucks per day to be diverted around the Leongatha CBD,” Mr Ryan said.

“This project will provide significant benefits to shoppers and business owners in Bair Street, including increased pedestrian safety, better traffic flows and less damage to the road caused by heavy vehicles.”

Mr Ryan said before the project could move to the design and construction phase, important surveying work needed to be completed.

“This work will ensure existing features such as power and water services can be accommodated in the project design or moved if necessary,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said once the surveying was complete the final design works and pre-construction activities such as service relocation would be carried out.

He said construction works would then follow in 2015, with the project expected to be complete by 2016.

“VicRoads will be in regular contact with the community, including landowners and key stakeholders to discuss potential designs for the Leongatha Alternate Heavy Vehicle Route,” Mr Ryan said.

“There will also be community updates, briefing sessions and updates on South Gippsland Shire’s website, with finalised designs to be presented to the community later this year.”

Mr Ryan said while the surveying work was being completed temporary traffic changes would be put in place and he urged motorists to take care while travelling through the area.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government had prioritised roads funding in and around Leongatha.

“This year alone, the Coalition Government is investing more than $500 million to undertake vital road maintenance,” Mr Ryan said.

“This funding is in stark contrast to Labor's transport plan which sets aside just $1 billion over eight years, or $125 million a year, for regional roads.

“We are also investing $9.4 million to make South Gippsland safer through the Safer Roads Infrastructure Program.

“This includes $4.5 million on the South Gippsland Highway between Stony Creek and Foster for safety barriers and rumble strips and $3.8 million for the Strzelecki Highway between Leongatha and Koorooman for safety barriers, rumble strips and tree removal.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Victorian Coalition Government investing to make Gippsland roads safer

* * - Tuesday, June 10, 2014


More than $9 million for road safety measures in South Gippsland
Road death toll at record low; Coalition aims to keep it there
Coalition Government continues to invest in regional road network


The Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government is investing a further $9 million to save lives on South Gippsland roads.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien on Friday welcomed the news that five local projects, totalling $9.43 million, were part of the latest round of the Coalition Government’s $17.7 million state-wide Safer Road Infrastructure Program (SRIP).

“SRIP reduces the risk and severity of crashes, by fixing crash hotspots and implementing safety improvements,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien said the five local projects included:

  • $4.5 million for the South Gippsland Highway between Stony Creek and Foster for safety barriers and rumble strips;
  • $3.8 million for the Strzelecki Highway between Leongatha and Koorooman for safety barriers, rumble strips and tree removal;
  • $416,000 for the Inverloch-Venus Bay/Tarwin Lower Road intersection for resurfacing, safety barriers, improve signage, line marking and vegetation removal; 
  • $360,000 for the Strzelecki Highway at Leongatha to create a protected right turn lane, resurfacing, line marking, drainage and signage; and
  • $360,000 for the Princes Highway/Rosedale-Heyfield Road intersection for new lighting, extend the splitter island, warning signs and tree removal.

“People have lost their lives or been seriously injured at these locations, which is why we are investing in these important safety upgrades,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The number of deaths on Victorian roads is at a 90 year low and we aim to keep it that way.”

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government was investing $1 billion over 10 years for the Safer Road Infrastructure Program, which was on top of the more than $500 million it was investing this year for vital roads maintenance works.

“An evaluation by Monash University has identified that the Coalition Government’s SRIP program has already reduced serious crashes by 30 per cent,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are reducing the number of serious crashes because crash statistics determine what kind of projects SRIP will fund.

“SRIP projects might include installing wire barriers to prevent cars running off roads where that occurs regularly, or removing trees where there have been a high number of motorists crashing into trees.

“A good local example is the South Gippsland Highway between Stony Creek and Foster where crash statistics show that since 2009 most of the 13 casualty crashes occurred when vehicles ran off the road. To remedy this we are investing $4.5 million for safety barriers and rumble strips on that section of road.”

Mr Ryan said the latest round of SRIP funding was on top of the $5.4 million the Coalition Government had already invested for safety improvement on the South Gippsland Highway between Lang Lang and Loch, and the $300,000 invested for left turn lane, kerbs, line marking, signs and vegetation removal on the South Gippsland Highway at Foster.

SRIP is a key initiative of Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan and is funded through the Transport Action Commission and delivered by VicRoads.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Coalition delivers more opportunities for safer overtaking on Hyland and Strzelecki Highways

* * - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • Coalition delivers two new overtaking lanes totalling $8.76 million
  • Additional safer passing opportunities for Gippsland motorists
  • Drivers travelling on the Hyland and Strzelecki Highways to benefit

The Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government last Friday delivered on its election commitment to provide more opportunities for safer overtaking when the 1.3 kilometre passing lane on the Hyland Highway was officially opened.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien was in Carrajung South to open the $4.66 million project, which is one of two passing lanes funded and delivered as election commitments by the Coalition Government.

Mr O’Brien said works on the second 1.3 kilometre overtaking lane, located on the Strzelecki Highway near Mirboo North, would be completed within coming weeks.

“The completion of these two Coalition Government election commitments, totalling more than $8 million, will improve road safety and traffic flow for motorists travelling on these roads,” Mr O’Brien said.

“There are about 4,500 vehicles travelling on the Strzelecki and 1,200 on the Hyland Highway each day with a high proportion of those being trucks.

“Regular users of these roads will know just how hard it is to find a safe opportunity to overtake the large, slower moving vehicles.

“Hilly, winding road conditions and a mix of heavy vehicles and slower cars towing boats and trailers on their way to and from the region’s holiday hotspots, meant that drivers often chose to take unnecessary risks.”

Mr O'Brien said the delivery of these two projects highlighted the Coalition Government’s commitment to boosting safety and efficiency for all road users by providing them with additional overtaking opportunities.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said, as the local Member of Parliament, he was pleased to deliver this significant election commitment.

“In my role as the Member for Gippsland South, I travel these roads often and know that finding a safe opportunity to pass trucks and agricultural machinery on these roads can be difficult,” Mr Ryan said.

“Regular drivers will now know that there are a number of designated options along the routes that they can wait on to pass in a safe manner and signs are in place to alert motorists of upcoming passing opportunities.”

Mr Ryan said the location of the passing lanes were chosen based on feedback from the community and local industry, including the dairy and logging sector, that use the roads regularly and saw first-hand the unsafe behaviour of some drivers.

"I know how important these two passing lanes are to the local community and I thank Gippslanders for their patience travelling through the roadwork sites while these projects were being built and finalised,” Mr Ryan said.

“I think locals and visitors to the area will agree that the short-term pain was in their long-term gain, and I am very happy to see the completion of these important safety projects.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was delivering better, safer and less congested roads right across Victoria.

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
stephanie.nicholls@parliament.vic.gov.au



Victorian Coalition Government is building a better regional Victoria

* * - Tuesday, May 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

Road safety boost for South Gippsland and Bass Highways

* * - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • $6.1 million contract for road safety improvement works in South Gippsland 
  • Reducing the risk and severity of ‘run-off-road’ crashes 
  • Coalition Government building better roads to improve safety for Victorians

Safety improvement works along sections of both the South Gippsland and Bass Highways are scheduled to commence next month following the awarding of a $6.1 million contract to QR Construction Pty Ltd, Minister for Roads Terry Mulder announced today.

Mr Mulder said significant safety improvement works will be undertaken along the 14 kilometre section of the South Gippsland Highway between Lang Lang and Bass River and the 9.5 kilometre section of Bass Highway between Lang Lang and The Gurdies.

Over the past five years there have been 31 accidents on these sections of highway in which people have been injured and of those 21 involved vehicles running off the road.

“The works that have been commissioned by the Coalition Government along these sections of highway, aim to reduce the risk and severity of incidents involving ‘run-off-road’ crashes,” Mr Mulder said.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said more than 40 kilometres of wire rope safety barriers would be installed along these sections of highway to ensure run-off-road vehicles are protected from potential roadside hazards.

“This installation of wire rope safety barriers is part of the ‘safe system’ approach which ensures run-off-road vehicles are better protected from potential roadside hazards,” Mr Ryan said.

“Works will also include the removal of other roadside hazards, such as trees, as well as widening and sealing sections of road shoulder where safety barriers are being installed.

“Upgrades to rumble strips and centrelines will also help alert drivers if they stray from their lanes, and reflective pavement markers and warning signs will also be upgraded to assist drivers negotiate bends in the road.

“This important safety project is being carried out in addition to rehabilitation and resealing works which are currently underway across South Gippsland, which are being funded though the Victorian Coalition Government’s separate $170 million boost for road maintenance.”

Mr Mulder said the road safety upgrades are being funded through the Safer Road Infrastructure Program (SRIP), which is aimed specifically at risk reduction for road users through vital safety improvements, such as installation of wire-rope barriers, shoulder sealing, improved road signage and the removal of roadside hazards.

“The funding for this project is the centrepiece of Victoria’s new Road Safety Strategy 2013-22 and Action Plan 2013-16, which includes a new and stronger focus on measuring and reducing serious injuries,” Mr Mulder said.

“The Victorian Coalition Government has significantly boosted the Safer Road Infrastructure Program (SRIP) funding to $1 billion over 10 years. This represents an increase of more than 30 per cent a year.

“We’ve had successive, record low road tolls in Victoria and we need to keep working hard to ensure that we stay a world leader in road safety.”

For further information on Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy visit www.roadsafety.vic.gov.au 


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