Press Releases

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

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

$1 billion Regional Growth Fund supports Kelpie centre study

* * - Tuesday, June 03, 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

* * - Thursday, May 29, 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.


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