Press Releases

Deputy Premier inspects Bright foreshore

* * - Thursday, August 14, 2014
 
  • Deputy Premier inspects progress of the Bright Foreshore redevelopment
  • Announces $150,000 for $200,000 planning strategy in Alpine Shire
  • Victorian Coalition Government supporting regional tourism towns

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan yesterday inspected progress of the $525,000 Bright Foreshore Redevelopment Project.

During his visit, Mr Ryan also announced Victorian Coalition Government funding for the Alpine Better Places project.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals Member for Benalla Bill Sykes and The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy, said the foreshore redevelopment was made possible by a $300,000 investment from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“This important local project is revitalising the Centenary Park precinct,” Mr Ryan said.

“I am glad to see that work is progressing and remains on track to be completed before the busy summer tourist period.

“Centenary Park is one of the most visited sites in Bright, with this project set to transform the foreshore area, further enhancing this already wonderful community asset.”

Mr Ryan said the project involved:

landscaping and additional shade; redevelopment of the splash park; installation of new lighting; and new path connections into the CBD and river trails.

Dr Sykes said he was pleased with the progress being made at the site.

“This project will create a point of difference for Bright, enhancing tourist visitations and increasing their length of stay,” Dr Sykes said.

“The new path connections into the CBD will also draw more visitors into the main shopping areas of town, providing a boost for local traders.”

Mr Ryan also announced yesterday that the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 from the Regional Growth Fund to enable the Alpine Shire Council develop a new planning and engagement strategy for Bright, Porepunkah and Myrtleford.

Mr Ryan said the $200,000 Alpine Better Places planning and engagement strategy would outline plans for the renewal of key public spaces in the three townships.

“All three communities are tourist hotspots, with natural features that include the Ovens River in Bright and Porepunkah, and Happy Valley Creek in Myrtleford,” Mr Ryan said.

“The focus of the project will be to plan for public infrastructure upgrades, enhancing each township’s ‘sense of place’ and encouraging new investment and population retention.”

Mr McCurdy, whose existing seat of Murray Valley will be renamed Ovens Valley and include Bright following the 2014 Victorian Election, welcomed the investment and said it was important the Victorian Coalition Government continued to invest in these communities.

“We all know that these areas are popular visitor destinations and wonderful places to live, however this hasn’t happened overnight,” Mr McCurdy said.

“These communities have grown their population and tourism base through hard work over many long years and this work needs to continue if they are to remain strong.

“I am proud to say that The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, are right behind the community as they continue to develop this magnificent part of Victoria.”

The Alpine Better Places planning and engagement strategy project will be complete by the end of 2015.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Regional Growth Fund invests in Wangaratta CBD master plan

* * - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

 

  • Victorian Coalition Government invest $150,000 to develop Wangaratta CBD Master Plan
  • Master Plan will drive the growth of the CBD
  • Coalition Government helping to build a better Wangaratta

A comprehensive master plan for the growth of Wangaratta’s central business district (CBD) will be developed with the support of $150,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy in Wangaratta today to announce the Coalition Government’s investment in the Wangaratta CBD master plan.

Mr Ryan said the $225,000 master plan would look at ways to grow the CBD, ensuring Wangaratta continues to be a leading economic, social and cultural hub in the North East.

“The master plan will focus on maximising existing assets and facilities, developing Wangaratta’s economic strengths, and capitalising on the town’s unique landscape and heritage in order to grow the CBD,” Mr Ryan said.

“The feasibility of a number of key projects will be looked at as part of the master plan, enabling a number of key local projects to be further refined, scoped and developed.

“These projects include developing the CBD laneway network, improving the retail and commercial precinct and enhancing linkages between the CBD and riverside precinct.

“These projects have the potential to boost jobs, attract new forms of investment and grow tourism in Wangaratta.

“The Nationals, working as part of Coalition Government, are committed to growing regional communities, and by funding projects such as this, we are saying to communities such as Wangaratta that we stand next to you and support you as you grow.”

Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy welcomed the investment and said the master plan would map out a clear path for the growth of Wangaratta’s CBD.

“Wangaratta is a wonderful place to live and work, or for those from outside the region, it is the perfect place for a weekend getaway or an extended holiday,” Mr McCurdy said.

“However, there is always things that we could be doing better and I applaud the council for seeking the assistance of the Coalition Government to map out a clear plan for the growth of the Wangaratta CBD.

“If we get this right, we have the potential to grow jobs, encourage new forms of investment and make Wangaratta an even better place to live and work, an even stronger economic hub and an even more popular tourist destination.”

Mr McCurdy thanked the Rural City of Wangaratta for its $75,000 contribution to the master plan, which is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

During his visit to Wangaratta, Mr Ryan also inspected the $3.2 million Ovens Riverside project, completed thanks to a $715,000 investment from the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said he was impressed with how the project had turned out and praised the community for its dedication in seeing the project through.

“The riverside promenade and boardwalk has dramatically improved the look and feel of the riverside precinct,” Mr Ryan said.

“The entire Wangaratta community can take much pride in this development, which is the envy of many other communities across regional and rural Victoria.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Tynong to supply 30 per cent of Australia’s apples

* * - Monday, August 11, 2014

  • Deputy Premier opens Australia’s largest apple processing facility at Tynong
  • Also launches a new plan for agrifood businesses in Melbourne’s outer south east
  • Coalition Government a strong supporter of Victoria’s food and fibre sector

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan on Friday opened Australia’s largest and most sophisticated apple sorting facility, the new $17 million Nine Mile Fresh facility at Tynong.

Mr Ryan said the facility, which was a joint venture between Battunga Orchards and Bon View Orchards, would process a significant portion of Australia’s apples.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by Member for Bass Ken Smith, said the Victorian Coalition Government had proudly invested $410,000 to support the $17 million development, which created 50 new jobs in Tynong, growing to 100 new jobs within five years.

Mr Ryan said cutting-edge equipment operating at Nine Mile Fresh increased sorting capacity from 160 to 500 bins per day, and reduced sorting, grading and packing costs by up to 20 per cent.

“Fifty local apple growers will supply this state-of-the-art facility, allowing them to meet the quality and volume requirements demanded by the major supermarkets,” Mr Ryan said.

“This impressive facility will process 30 per cent of all the apples sold in Australia, a truly remarkable achievement.”

Mr Smith welcomed the investment and said that by reducing the cost of processing apples, this facility would allow local growers to better compete against imports, while giving local exports an edge in global markets.

“This facility will also significantly improve the productivity, competitiveness, and sustainability of our apple supply chain, helping to secure the future of this vital sector of our economy,” Mr Smith said.

During his visit to Nine Mile Fresh, Mr Ryan also launched Southern Melbourne Regional Development Australia’s (RDA) Agrifood Master Plan, developed in collaboration with the region’s three local councils – the City of Casey and the shires of Cardinia and Casey.

“The RDA’s Agrifood Master Plan outlines a framework for the development of agriculture across Melbourne’s outer south east,” Mr Ryan said.

“The plan outlines the region’s many agricultural advantages, its economic benefits to Victoria and recommends strategies for investment and growth in the food production industry over the next 10 years.”

Mr Ryan said with the region’s food producers continuing to experience significant urban encroachment, there was a need to focus on higher value, differentiated products such as asparagus, premium beef, quality wine, premium dairy products, berries and herbs.

Mr Ryan said the plan identified key trends that will have the greatest impact on the local agrifood sector over the coming decade, from challenges such as rising water costs and seasonal labour shortages, to opportunities such as soaring global demand for food and the rise of Asia’s middle class.

“The Victorian Coalition Government recognise the importance of local agrifood businesses adapting to these ongoing changes,” Mr Ryan said.

“That’s why we are supporting the sector through initiatives such as our Food to Asia Action Plan, which seeks to build on our position as a leading exporter of premium food and beverage products to key Asian markets.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Additional coach stops for Loch and Nyora

* * - Monday, July 28, 2014

 

  • Loch and Nyora now serviced by 8 daily V/Line coaches
  • Victorian Coalition Government deliver additional rural V/Line services
  • Member for Gippsland South secures additional coach services

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said that Nyora and Loch would benefit from more weekday V/Line coaches making a stop from today, Monday 28 July.

Mr Ryan said that on weekdays, eight V/Line Leongatha or Yarram coaches would now stop at both Nyora and Loch in each direction, up from five trips each way on weekdays.

"Nyora and Loch will now have 48 weekly V/Line coaches serving local residents and visitors in each direction, up from 40 in the previous timetable," Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said he was delighted that Nyora and Loch residents would have more opportunities to travel on V/Line coaches to Cranbourne, Dandenong, Southern Cross, Leongatha, Foster and Yarram.

"I strongly backed local residents in their efforts to have more V/Line coaches stop at Nyora and Loch," Mr Ryan said.

"The Victorian Coalition Government has a strong emphasis on ensuring that smaller country towns benefit from transport links. V/Line's coaches are convenient as express and stopping coaches connect at Koo Wee Rup to make it easy to get to Dandenong or alternatively travel from Southern Cross faster by express coach.

"The extra coach stops are scheduled for 8.30am, 1pm and 5pm going to Southern Cross, and on the 9.15am, 1.10pm and 7pm weekday coaches from Southern Cross back to Nyora and Loch."

Mr Ryan urged local residents using V/Line's Leongatha and Yarram coaches to check the new timetables at www.vline.com.au under 'coaches' in 'eastern Victoria.'

"From 28 July, V/LIne's weekday coaches from Korumburra, Leongatha, Foster and Yarram depart 10 minutes earlier so that the coaches can travel into and out of Loch and Nyora," Mr Ryan said.

"Coming from Southern Cross, there are some minor changes to the departure times of Metro's suburban trains that connect at Dandenong with V/Line coaches, so anyone joining a Metro train at Caulfield, Clayton, Springvale or other stations should also check these timetables.

“These additional stops in Loch and Nyora bring the total of new public transport services introduced by the Coalition Government to more than 10,000 extra each week.”

Mr Ryan said the additional services were on top of the Coalition Government’s affordable public transport initiative that from 1 January 2015 will cap travel in zone 1 + 2 at zone 1 prices and provide free tram travel in the CBD and Docklands.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870


Regional Growth Fund reaches new milestone

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

 

  • Regional Growth Fund delivers a record 1,500 projects
  • RGF has delivered almost $420 million, leveraging $1.7 billion in investment
  • Coalition Government achieves in three years what Labor couldn’t in 11

The Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund reached its 1,500th project milestone today.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development Peter Crisp in Mildura today to announce the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 in Nangiloc Colignan Farms’ $1.5 million expansion, the Regional Growth Fund’s 1,500th project.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s $150,000 investment enabled Nangiloc Colignan Farms to complete a $1.5 million expansion, creating 12 permanent jobs, 42 harvest jobs, and boosting exports by $7 million a year.

Mr Ryan said this project was indicative of the types of projects the Regional Growth Fund was investing in to create new jobs and investment right across regional and rural Victoria.

“The Regional Growth Fund is designed specifically to invest in communities in regional and rural Victoria; Melbourne cannot access it,” Mr Ryan said.

“Over the past three years, the Regional Growth Fund has invested almost $420 million to support 1,500 projects, leveraging $1.7 billion in total investment.

“Compare this with the former Labor Government’s failed Regional Infrastructure Development Fund which provided a total of $600 million over 11 years and generated just $1.6 billion in total leveraged investment.

“The Coalition Government has achieved more in regional and rural Victoria in three years than the Labor Party achieved in its entire 11 years of government, and with $200 million less.

“Imagine what the Coalition Government can achieve in eight years with $1 billion.

Mr Ryan said of the Regional Growth Fund’s 1,500 investments, 86 were major infrastructure projects, receiving $180 million in direct assistance to generate more than $1.1 billion in total investment.

Mr Ryan said these 86 infrastructure projects would create more than 5,000 direct and 11,000 indirect jobs, while an extra 7,800 jobs were retained and 3,800 created during construction.

“It is not just large infrastructure projects; the Regional Growth Fund is also investing in key local priorities such as hall upgrades, new parks and gardens, rail trails, tourism projects, repairing historic buildings and new community hubs,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are helping local councils build and repair bridges, footpaths and roads, and enabling local businesses and farms to boost exports and create new jobs.

“They key to the Regional Growth Fund is that we don’t dictate to communities what sorts of projects it should fund – they tell us.

“This ensures the Regional Growth Fund is investing in projects that are championed by the community and delivering real benefits to local people.”

Mr Ryan said another exciting component of the Regional Growth Fund was the $100 million set aside to extend natural gas to regional and rural communities.

Agreements have been reached to supply Avoca, Huntly, Bannockburn, Winchelsea, Wandong-Heathcote Junction and Koo Wee Rup, while Mildura’s capacity will be increased by 50 per cent.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s roll-out would continue through the $85 million Request for Tender to deliver reticulated natural gas via CNG and LNG solutions to remaining priority towns and Murray River communities, communities Labor turned its back on.

“Jacinta Allan said the Coalition Government couldn’t sensibly connect any more regional communities to natural gas and described our Energy for the Regions Program as a hoax,” Mr Ryan said.

“I am proud to say this is not a hoax and many communities across regional and rural Victoria will soon be cooking with piped natural gas.”

Mr Ryan said a further $500 million from the Regional Growth Fund would be available over the next term of government and The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, was keen to continue its work with communities to deliver even more key local projects.

“When the regions do well, Victoria does well, and that’s why the Regional Growth Fund was established – to deliver for people in rural and regional Victoria.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Victorian Coalition Government smashes job creation and investment targets

* * - Monday, July 14, 2014
  • Victorian Coalition Government’s investment agency has created 20,000 jobs since December 2010
  • These jobs were created via $8 billion of attracted and assisted investment
  • Some 6,300 new jobs in 2013-14 alone as Coalition builds a better Victoria

    The Victorian Coalition Government’s Office of State Development (OSD) has smashed its targets on job creation and investment attraction, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced recently.

    “The Coalition’s OSD has achieved the goal of creating 20,000 jobs through attracting and assisting investments four months early – the goal was created in December 2010 with hope of achieving it by the end of 2014.

    “In 2013-14, the Coalition’s OSD investment attraction and assistance created 6,300 full time or equivalent jobs across 200 major investment projects worth more than $2.5 billion – well above the target of $2 billion.

    “Thousands of these jobs have been created in new, sustainable industries including ICT, life sciences, food and beverage, health care, defence and manufacturing. I’m particularly pleased to see 840 jobs created since December 2010 in manufacturing.

    “The Coalition Government is creating employment and the economy is growing. This is the sort of excellent economic management which Coalition Governments deliver.

    “In 2013-14, the Office of State Development has created more than 1300 jobs in ICT; 840 in manufacturing , 780 in health care and social assistance, 700 in food and beverage; 600 new jobs in retail; 300 new jobs in business process operations, 300 in construction, 270 new jobs in energy; 200 in health sciences and 161 in aviation.

    “New jobs have been created all over Victoria, with more than 1500 in inner Melbourne, more than 1600 in Geelong and south west Victoria, and more than 500 in the north east.”

    Attracting Energy Australia’s new national contact centre in Geelong created 300 new full time jobs; and assisting Melbourne-based IT consulting firm e-Centric Innovations to spearhead the building of a SharePoint Factory in Bendigo created 150 jobs.

    Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Kids encouraged to wet a line these holidays

* * - Monday, July 07, 2014

  • 750 rainbow trout released into Lake Guthridge for school holiday fishing
  • Victorian Coalition Government improving fish stocks 
  • Fishing license revenue used to implement children fishing initiative

Children trying their hand at fishing these school holidays have a greater chance of landing their first catch, thanks to a Victorian Coalition Government initiative.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said 750 catchable size rainbow trout have been released into Sale’s Lake Guthridge.

“The fish released into Lake Guthridge are just some of the 30,000 rainbow trout to be released into Victorian inland waters these school holidays,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has undertaken this program to increase the chances of children catching a fish these school holidays.

“Rainbow trout are a good option for those new to fishing because they are relatively easy to catch and take a variety of baits and lures.”

Mr Ryan said the stocking of rainbow trout was made possible with proceeds from fishing licence fees and the Victorian Coalition Government’s $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative.

“This program is improving fishing opportunities for Victorians and includes better access and facilities, the installation of fish cleaning tables, upgrades to boating facilities and research and education,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government recognises the social and economic contribution recreational fishing makes to our State and we want to encourage more families and children to get involved in this healthy outdoor pastime.

“Recreational fishing makes a significant contribution to local communities and their economies by supporting hotels, petrol stations, supermarkets, and bait and tackle stores.”

Mr Ryan reminded anglers that a daily bag limit of five trout applies when fishing in lakes and only two trout can exceed 35 centimetres.

“At this time of year trout cannot be taken from rivers,” he said.

For more information about catch limits refer to the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide, available free from most tackle shops, online or by downloading the free ‘Vic Fishing’ smartphone app.

For a full list of waters stocked with rainbow trout these school holidays, visit www.depi.vic.gov.au/holidaytrout

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

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

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

Rural Finance Corporation Leongatha moves premises to expand operations

* * - Friday, June 20, 2014


  • Relocation allows Rural Finance Corporation to expand operations in Leongatha
  • Larger range of service now available from Smith Street premise
  • Move follows Victorian Coalition Government’s successful sale of RFC to Bendigo Bank

South Gippsland residents will have access to the concessional loans, flood and drought relief finance and agri-loans through Rural Finance Corporation’s new shopfront at 1/18 Smith Street, Leongatha from today.

Speaking at the new office, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said RFC Leongatha had moved from 2/9 Peart Street into new premises at 1/18 Smith Street as it has expanded its operations to cater for South Gippsland’s growing agribusinesses sector.

Mr Ryan said the move followed the Victorian Coalition Government’s successful sale of RFC to Bendigo Bank.

“RFC has been an outstanding government-owned agribusiness lender, and it will continue to offer all the same products and more now that it is owned by Bendigo Bank,” Mr Ryan said.

“As part of the sale agreement, a separate RFC branch will remain in Leongatha.

“RFC customers will keep their existing products and services and also be able to access the broader banking service of one of the country’s most respected, community-based banks – Bendigo Bank.

“The Young Farmers Finance Scheme, Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement programs will all be maintained.”

Mr Ryan said that while Leongatha, with its strong history in agriculture and dairy farming, already has its own RFC outlet, this is one of just 11 RFC outlets around the state. The sale of RFC to Bendigo Bank expands RFC’s reach into 276 Bendigo Bank outlets.

“The change of ownership will not impact the three RFC employees,” Mr Ryan said.

“Our sale agreement stated RFC employees would be offered their jobs on equal or better conditions. Looking after local people, be they RFC employees or farmers with loans, was always a non-negotiable part of this sale for us.

“The people of Leongatha and the wider region can access all the same RFC services at 1/18 Smith Street.”

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

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