Press Releases

New facilities to attract visitors at Agnes Falls

* * - Friday, October 03, 2014


  • Deputy Premier inspects new facilities at the Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve
  • New picnic area and amenities expected to attract more visitors to the waterfalls
  • Victorian Coalition Government supports tourism in regional areas

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan was in the Strzelecki Ranges yesterday to inspect the new visitor facilities at the Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government had invested $195,000 to upgrade the new facilities at Agnes Falls.

“Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve in Gippsland is home to a spectacular waterfall that cascades over a series of rocks over a 59 metre drop,” Mr Ryan said.

“Tourists and locals already know that Agnes Falls is a spectacular place for a picnic or short walk, and the upgraded facilities will help to attract more visitors to this wonderful tourist attraction.

“The new facilities include a picnic shelter with tables, toilets, new signage and plans for a new lookout over the picturesque park.

“The new facilities will greatly enhance this special part of the world, attracting more visitors to the park and delivering benefits to our regional economy.”

The Deputy Premier acknowledged the work of the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, South Gippsland Shire Council, Parks Victoria and the Friends of Agnes Falls.

Mr Ryan reserved particular praise for the Friends of Agnes Falls’ Kathy Whelan.

“Kathy is a wonderful ambassador for Agnes Falls and her passion for the place is infectious.”

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien welcomed the upgrade at Agnes Falls and acknowledged a new partnership with Corrections Victoria.

He said that Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place, a culturally appropriate community corrections centre for Koori men, would be involved in the ongoing maintenance of the local tourism site.

 “This project really shows environmental partnerships in action and demonstrates the many benefits of using local knowledge and developing relationships beyond the park boundary.”

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Regional Growth Fund delivers for Natimuk

* * - Friday, October 03, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $80,000 in multi-purpose facility at Natimuk Showgrounds
  • New facility will support large community events such as the Nati-Frinj Festival
  • Victorian Coalition Government continues to build a better regional Victoria

The Natimuk Showgrounds, home of the iconic Nati-Frinj Festival, will receive a major facelift with the the construction of a new 178 square metre multi-purpose building.

The Nationals candidate for Lowan Emma Kealy invited Deputy Premier Peter Ryan to Natimuk today to announce the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government would invest $80,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund in the $212,500 project.

Ms Kealy said it was an honour to be at Natimuk Showgrounds alongside the Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty to make this exciting funding announcement.

Ms Kealy said the project would involve the construction of a 178 square metre multi-purpose building including first aid and parents’ rooms, new toilets, equipment storage, a covered BBQ area and covered public viewing area.

Ms Kealy said the project would also incorporate paths to connect the new facility to other buildings in the showgrounds precinct

“This investment will also deliver important safety outcomes for the community because the showgrounds are a designated relief centre during local emergencies,” Ms Kealy said.

“The development of a new multi-purpose building will enable more people to be accommodated here in greater comfort during floods, fire and other disasters.

“It will also support the work of the Natimuk Agricultural and Pastoral Society, the neighbouring Natimuk Men's Shed, the Arapiles Historical Society, Natimuk Tennis Club, Natimuk Football and Netball Clubs, and the Natimuk Primary School.

“I thank the Coalition Government for this investment and acknowledge in particular Peter Ryan and Hugh Delahunty for their strong support for this region.

“As The Nationals candidate for Lowan, and working within a Coalition Government I will continue to be a strong voice for Natimuk and this region to ensure more projects such as this are supported and delivered by all levels of government.”

Mr Ryan said it was an honour to be in Natimuk alongside Emma Kealy and Hugh Delahunty, praising their strong and constant advocacy for the region.

Mr Ryan said The Nationals, working in Coalition Government, were a strong supporter of communities in the Wimmera and were proud to invest in this important local project.

“In addition to the benefits outlined by Emma Kealy, I understand this investment will support iconic community events such as the biennial Nati-Frinj Festival,” Mr Ryan said.

“I have been told by many locals that Natimuk is famous for two things, rock climbing and Nati-Frinj, with the festival having a strong reputation as a major cultural event for the region that not only brings this community together but attracts more than 1,500 visitors to town.

“Rock climbers, artists, musicians, those coming from the city for a great time, those wanting to socialise or meet new friends, and many others are attracted to this magnificent festival, and I am proud that we as a government can support it and other local user groups.”

Mr Ryan said The Nationals fought hard to secure investments such as the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which he said could only be spent in the regions outside of Melbourne, to support initiatives such as the development of this new multi-purpose facility here in Natimuk.

“If given the chance to again govern Victoria in Coalition with the Liberals, The Nationals and our candidates such as Emma Kealy will continue to be a strong voice for this regions to ensure they continue to receive their share of funding.

“This government understands, we as The Nationals understand, that when the regions do well the whole state prospers.”

Mr Ryan said the new multipurpose building would be completed and functional by October next year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Deputy Premier announces $1.3 million to complete important link to the Great Southern Rail Trail

* * - Friday, October 03, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $1.3 million in Great Southern Rail Trail
  • Investment completes 2.6 km section of trail between Koonwarra and Meeniyan
  • Project will deliver a $1.9 million a year boost to the local economy

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan yesterday announced funding of $1.3 million for an iconic project known as the Black Spur that will complete an important section of the Great Southern Rail Trail.

In Koonwarra, Mr Ryan said the $1.85 million project would complete the 2.6 kilometre section of the rail trail between Koonwarra and Meeniyan, and create a 69 kilometre route between Leongatha and Welshpool.

Mr Ryan said the Black Spur section would be carried out in two stages, with the first stage to include the construction of new bridges. The works will include:
demolition and reconstruction of two historic bridges spanning the Black Spur Creek;
construction of a 130 metre connecting trail between the two bridges; and
construction of a picnic area and viewing location at the end of the second bridge.

Mr Ryan said stage two would connect the end of the second Black Spur rail trestle bridge and picnic area to Meeniyan. The works will include:
reconstructing a 146 metre bridge that spans the Tarwin River;
constructing a 170 metre connecting trail between two bridges; and
constructing an 800 metre connecting trail between bridge three and Minns Road.

“The Black Spur project will complete the missing section of the rail trail and create a seamless 69 kilometre route between Leongatha and Welshpool,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1.3 million investment included $1 million from the Regional Growth Fund and $290,000 from the Advancing Country Towns program.

Mr Ryan said the South Gippsland Shire Council invested $562,184 towards the project.

“The Great Southern Rail Trail is a major asset to the South Gippsland region, attracting tourists, supporting local businesses and improving the health and wellbeing of local residents,” Mr Ryan said.

“When complete, the Black Spur connection will provide more than $1.9 million in annual economic benefits to the region through tourism-related business opportunities, employment and new attractions.”

Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien welcomed the investment and commended the Great Southern Rail Trail Committee for their work.

“Extending the rail trail has been a high priority for the Coalition Government, the community and the Committee of Management, and thanks to this investment we will now complete another vital link in this impressive rail trail,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This Black Spur leg will consolidate the entire length of the rail trail between Leongatha and Welshpool and represents the realisation of a long held vision for the Great Southern Rail Trail.”

Mr O’Brien said the project would be completed by December 2015.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Shepparton is a KidsTown

* * - Thursday, September 25, 2014


  • Deputy Premier announces $69,000 for KidsTown playground redevelopment
  • Also announces $320,000 to upgrade the Mooroopna Recreation Reserve
  • Victorian Coalition Government is building a better regional and rural Victoria

The fruit bins playground at KidsTown in Shepparton is set for a major overhaul with the Victorian Coalition Government investing $69,000 to redevelop the much-loved local park.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals candidate for Shepparton Greg Barr at KidsTown today to announce the Coalition Government’s investment towards the $70,000 KidsTown Fruit Bin Playground Equipment Upgrade.

Mr Ryan said the project would redevelop the fruit bins playground, with the existing worn-out play equipment to be replaced by a new maze and modern play equipment, suitable for children of all abilities, including those in a wheelchair.

“KidsTown’s fruit bins playground was developed by the community, in partnership with SPC, more than 20 years ago and has been a popular visitor attraction ever since,” Mr Ryan said.

“Over recent years the existing equipment has begun to show its age and is in urgent need of replacement.

“The Nationals recognise the importance of this great local facility, which attracts 165,000 visitors per year, and we are thrilled to be investing in this important local project.

“This investment will deliver modern play equipment and a challenging maze that will entertain and engage local kids for another 20 years.”

Mr Barr welcomed the Coalition Government’s investment, saying the community would be thrilled at the news, particularly the many local businesses, service clubs and individuals who have donated time and money to develop and maintain this iconic local facility.

“KidsTown is a much-loved and popular local playground, and as a local parent I understand how dear it is to the hearts of our local children and their parents,” Mr Barr said.

“I am pleased the Coalition Government has recognised the importance of KidsTown to the community and had the foresight to invest $69,000 to deliver this much-needed upgrade.”

During his visit to KidsTown, Mr Ryan also announced the Coalition Government would invest almost $320,000 towards a $640,000 upgrade to the power supply at the Mooroopna Recreation Reserve.

Mr Ryan said the project would overhaul the Reserve’s power supply, enabling it to host a greater range of local sporting and community events.

“The Mooroopna Recreation Reserve is the premier community precinct in Mooroopna and is home to the Mooroopna Football Netball Club, Mooroopna Cricket Club, as well as hosting local tennis, bowls, croquet, Auskick, gymnastics and other community celebrations, events and private functions.”

“To ensure the Reserve can continue to cope with the vast array of local sporting and community events held here each and every week, it was important that we as a government invested to deliver the appropriate power infrastructure.

“While this investment doesn’t deliver a new grand stand, clubrooms and scoreboard, none of these things are of any benefit without the necessary electrical work to back it up.

“By investing to upgrade the power infrastructure now, we can ensure that any money spent at the Reserve in the future will have an immediate and beneficial impact on local user groups and the broader community.”

Mr Barr said this investment had been a key priority for the Mooroopna community.

“With this project now funded, thanks to the Coalition Government’s investment, the community can begin focussing on further developments at the Reserve, particularly those outlined in the Mooroopna Recreation Reserve master plan,” Mr Barr said.

“As The Nationals candidate for Shepparton, I will continue to be a strong voice for Mooroopna to ensure we are at the front of the line to secure Victorian Coalition Government funding.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Study to examine MCG deck to Melbourne Park

* * - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

  • Feasibility study to explore options for a deck over Brunton Avenue and adjacent rail lines
  • Potential to further improve Melbourne’s renowned sports and entertainment precinct
  • Coalition Government building a better Victoria

The Victorian Coalition Government today announced it would investigate opportunities to connect the Melbourne Cricket Ground to Melbourne Park, following a request from the MCG Trust and the MCC.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Minister for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum today joined MCG Trust Chairman Bob Herbert, Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) President Paul Sheahan and CEO Stephen Gough to announce a feasibility study into building a deck over Brunton Avenue and the rail lines adjacent to the MCG and Melbourne Park.

“Following a request from the MCG Trust and MCC, a feasibility study will investigate decking over Brunton Avenue and the adjacent rail lines,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government will provide support through relevant departments.

“Such a development could improve our world-famous sporting precinct by adding features such bars, restaurants, or a live site area including screens for fans to watch the action as it happens inside the 'G'.

“Any proposed development needs be thoroughly investigated so we attract even more national and international events into what is already the world‟s best sport and entertainment precinct.

“Contemporary stadium precincts around the world are making great use of their existing space to improve the spectator experience.”

Singapore Sports Hub, Hong Kong Sports Hub (currently under consideration), Staples Centre in Los Angeles, and the London Olympics Precinct are all examples of how spaces can be used for live sites, corporate and sponsor facilities, bars and dining, and digital broadcast infrastructure.

The MCG Trust and MCC will manage the feasibility study under the guidance of a joint steering committee including the Government and Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust.

“We welcome the opportunity to investigate the feasibility of utilising the space above the existing railyards,” Mr Gough said.

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“There are many possibilities and we are excited by the prospect of further enhancing the sporting precinct around the MCG.”

Mr Drum said the study will also consider how existing facilities at the MCG and Melbourne Park might benefit from the additional space created by a deck, such as an expanded National Sports Museum, the future redevelopment of the Great Southern Stand, and space to accommodate a growing Australian Open.

“I congratulate the MCG Trust and the MCC for their enthusiasm and their proactive approach to this development proposal,” Mr Drum said.

The feasibility study will consider such things as:

  • the types of activities the deck could accommodate;
  • the public benefits;
  • project costs;
  • design options and engineering challenges;
  • implications for operations in the rail corridor;
  • the timeline for funding and delivery; and
  • any return on investment opportunities that can be achieved.

Mr Drum said the MCG Trust and the MCC had already identified the need to establish links for efficient and safe movement of people within the corridor, including the separation of people and cars where possible.

“Major events like this week‟s AFL Grand Final highlight just how important the MCG is to the fabric of Victoria‟s sporting culture,” Mr Drum said.

“As the capacity of the precinct grows, the safety of patrons, particularly those on Brunton Avenue and Punt Road seeking access to Richmond Station and beyond, must also be a priority.

“The Victorian Coalition Government, with its proven commitment to this iconic sporting precinct, is ideally placed to drive this exciting proposal.”

View the MCG Deck Concept

Media contacts: Les White 0409 805 122

Garry Lyon supports Regional Victoria Living Expo at Royal Melbourne Show

* * - Monday, September 22, 2014


  • AFL great Garry Lyon drops in to Royal Melbourne Show stand in support of next year’s Regional Victoria Living Expo
  • Expo offers information on regional housing, career, education, health, lifestyle
  • Expo to be held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1-3 May

Former AFL champion and media personality Garry Lyon has dropped in on the Regional Development Victoria stand at the Royal Melbourne Show, helping promote the Regional Victoria Living Expo.

Mr Lyon, raised in Kyabram in northern Victoria, joined Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan at the Regional Development Victoria stand to promote the three-day Regional Victoria Living Expo, which will run from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 May 2015.

Mr Lyon, a long-time supporter of the Regional Victoria Living Expo, gave a passionate speech at last year’s event, telling listeners his heart had never left his home town.

“Regional Victoria is a great place to grow up and a great place to raise kids,” Mr Lyon said.

“The space and sense of community is great for children and adults too. The country lifestyle has many advantages the city can't offer – like a 10 minute commute to work.”

Mr Ryan said the Royal Melbourne Show, which attracts half a million visitors, was a great opportunity to promote the advantages of regional living.

“The Royal Melbourne Show showcases the best on offer from regional Victoria and is one of Melbourne’s premier events with a genuine connection to country living,” Mr Ryan said.

“The RDV stand at the Show will give people considering relocating to regional Victoria access to the right information to plan their move, while entertaining the kids with plenty of activities including fishing games, rock climbing and finger painting.

“The Regional Victoria Living Expo will showcase Victoria’s 48 regional councils as well as information on career, housing, health, education and lifestyle opportunities in regional Victoria. It allows attendees to speak directly with regional real estate agents and to sample Victoria’s great food and wine, with regional food tastings.

“Almost 10,000 people attended last year’s expo and it’s easy to see why. On-stage performers will provide entertainment for all ages, while the Kids' Interactive Zone and Sports in the Community Precinct will engage children with interactive and educational games.

“An Arts and Culture Program will feature at the 2015 Expo, curated by Arts Victoria, in conjunction with Regional Arts Victoria, Multicultural Arts Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria and Public Galleries Association of Victoria.

“I am also pleased to note that major sponsor First National Real Estate – a company founded in regional Victoria – will continue its support in 2015,” Mr Ryan said.

For more information about the 2015 Regional Victoria Living Expo, visit

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Support for local sporting clubs to build inclusive facilities

* * - Thursday, September 04, 2014


• Up to $50,000 available for local clubs to partner with Victorian Coalition Government to build or upgrade their facilities

• Local Facilities for Local Clubs Program to support local projects

• Clubs encouraged to offer in-kind support for new facilities

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan has encouraged local clubs to apply for funding to improve their facilities through the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 million Local Facilities for Local Clubs Program.

Mr Ryan said the program rewarded innovative community clubs and organisations with dollar-for-dollar funding of up to $50,000 for sport and recreation facility projects that encouraged participation, improved safety, delivered innovative facilities and for improvements that were environmentally sustainable.

Mr Ryan said projects that were eligible for funding included:

  • outdoor sports surfaces;
  • outdoor playing field developments;
  • unisex accessible change rooms, toilets and showers for facility users;
  • outdoor sports lighting;
  • indoor sports surfaces including lighting;
  • permanent/fixed equipment such as gymnastics floors;
  • water sports facilities;
  • multi-purpose training facilities; and
  • seasonal pool upgrades to support club activities.

“This program is a game-changer for local sporting clubs, acknowledging the hard work of volunteer administrators by providing financial support for projects that make a big difference to local people,” Mr Ryan said.

“Through this program we are keen to support local sport and recreation clubs which can source materials or have qualified tradespeople such as electricians or plumbers to provide in-kind support to projects.

“We want to unlock the capacity of local clubs to deliver sporting infrastructure, in particular the capacity of local sports communities to provide in-kind labour and materials towards a project.”

Minister for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum said clubs and communities wanting to access this funding should contact their local council to discuss potential projects.

Mr Drum said local councils could apply for up to $50,000 to support two projects in their region and that each project could have a total cost of up to $150,000.

“The Coalition Government is proud to invest in a program that promotes the importance of inclusive partnerships between clubs, local and state government, whilst generating additional economic activity in local communities,” Mr Drum said.

“It’s the Coalition Government that understands community sport, and it’s only the Coalition Government that can implement programs that make a real difference to local sport.”

Mr Ryan said more information about the Local Facilities for Local Clubs Program and other community sporting facility funding programs was available online at or by contacting his office in Sale on 5144 1987.

Mr Ryan said applications for the Local Facilities for Local Clubs Program close on Monday, 15 September 2014. 

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Ball bounced for further redevelopment of Simonds Stadium

* * - Friday, August 29, 2014

  • Funding of $5 million ensures next stage of stadiums redevelopment
  • Great news for the local economy and the people of Geelong
  • Napthine Government building a better regional Victoria

The Victorian Coalition Government will provide $5 million to the Geelong Football Club to undertake the next stage of the Simonds Stadium redevelopment, including the development of a full business case and detailed design work.

Premier of Victoria Denis Napthine and Sports Minister Damian Drum were at the stadium yesterday to make the announcement.

Dr Napthine said Simonds Stadium was Australia’s leading regional stadium and provided major economic benefits for the Geelong region.

“The Victorian Coalition Government wants to get the ball rolling on the redevelopment of the stadium which will include increased capacity and enhanced community facilities,” Dr Napthine said.

“Future stages of redevelopment could include replacement of the Brownlow, Jennings and Ford stands, as well as the Ablett Terrace and Southern Terrace. There will also be consideration given to constructing new and enhanced community and sporting facilities adjacent to Simonds Stadium.

“The redevelopment will potentially allow for Geelong to host an increased number of national and international events such as T20 Big Bash games, NRL games, A-league games and international-act concerts.

“As well as the great entertainment and excitement these types of events provide, they also generate local jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefits.

“A Deloitte study has found that each additional major event at Simonds Stadium, such as additional AFL games, injected $3 million into the local economy,” Dr Napthine said.

The $5 million in funding will allow the following work to begin immediately:

Investigate and minimise risks posed by construction activity to events;
Appoint a Design Team, including specialist engineers and consultants, to further develop the concept plans into detailed schematic design documentation;
Prepare 3D rendered images and video animations to assist in communicating the redevelopment vision;
Prepare construction tender documentation for market; and
Develop documentation to support future funding requests to the identified funding stakeholders.

Dr Napthine said the $5 million funding follows the Coalition Government's previous investment of $26.5 million in Stage Three of the Simonds Stadium redevelopment. Stage Three included construction of the Players Stand, installation of oval lighting and a new Community Wellness and Education Centre.

Mr Drum noted the positive effect such investments in sport have on the health of the broader community.

“Not only will this be a great economic driver for Geelong, but having world-class sporting facilities and world-class sporting events in Geelong will inspire generations of local children to be involved in sport and pursue healthy and active lifestyles,” Mr Drum said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the Deakin Cats Community Centre, which was built with the last round of assistance from the Coalition Government, had already proved a great success.

“The Deakin Cats Community Centre was created to provide community and education programs.

“Since it opened a year ago, the Deakin Cats Community Centre has engaged with more than 16,000 young people from Geelong and the region. Many community

Regional Growth Fund ensures Wangaratta remains a cycling hub

* * - Wednesday, August 13, 2014


  • Victorian Coalition Government invest $400,000 to create cycling hub in Wangaratta
  • CBD Hub to include shower, toilet and secure bicycle storage facilities
  • Coalition Government building a better regional Victoria

Wangaratta’s reputation as the home of cycling in Victoria’s North East will be further enhanced with the Victorian Coalition Government investing $400,000 to create a cycling hub in the town’s central business district (CBD).

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy to announce the Coalition Government’s $400,000 investment, which is being delivered through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s assistance would enable the $500,000 Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub development project to proceed.

He said the project would transform the Wangaratta Comfort Station building at Merriwa Park into a CBD cycling hub.

Mr Ryan said the project would open up the view to Merriwa Park from the CBD and create a central cycle exchange at the southern end of town.

The project includes the development of toilet and shower facilities, construction of a deck overlooking Merriwa Park, installation of secure bicycle storage, and information on local trails and tourism services in Wangaratta. The new facilities will be wheelchair friendly.

“Wangaratta is considered a Mecca for cyclists in Victoria’s North East,” Mr Ryan said.

“Many of Victoria’s great rides start and finish in Wangaratta including the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail, or journeys into the high mountains to tackle the climbs of Mount Buffalo, Mount Hotham or the challenging roads in and around Bright.

“The creation of the Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub will ensure Wangaratta remains at the head of the peloton when it comes to attracting cyclists to Victoria’s North East.”

Mr McCurdy welcomed the investment and said the CBD cycling hub would provide everything a cyclist needed when embarking on a ride, from the elite cyclists who train in the region, right through to weekend warriors.

“Cyclists can base themselves here knowing that there will be a toilet, warm showers and a place to fill up their water bottles at the start and finish of their ride,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Having a secure place to store their bikes will encourage more cyclists to venture into the CBD before or after their ride for breakfast or lunch, or to have a much needed coffee and cake.

“A facility such as this is rare in regional Victoria, and by supporting this development we are encouraging even more cyclists to the region.

“I am proud to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier to say that The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, are right behind the community in supporting this wonderful initiative.”

Mr McCurdy also thanked the Rural City of Wangaratta which is contributing the remaining $100,000 needed to complete the project.

Mr McCurdy said the Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub Development would be completed by the end of next year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Ryan welcomes $12.5 million shooting fund

* * - Tuesday, August 12, 2014


  • Shooting clubs in Gippsland South can share in $12.5 million fund
  • Fund will help clubs to upgrade their facilities and attract events
  • Victorian Coalition Government is supporting local sport

The Deputy Premier and Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said local shooting clubs could soon access a $12.5 million fund to expand or upgrade their facilities, purchase equipment or host events and tournaments.

The $12.5 million Shooting Sports Facilities Program will encourage more people to get active in an environment that promotes safe and responsible firearms ownership.

Mr Ryan said shooting was popular throughout Gippsland South, with a number of strong shooting clubs in Sale, Rosedale, Yarram, Mirboo North, Leongatha and Korumburra.

“This fund will improve our local facilities and encourage more regional Victorians to participate in the sport of shooting,” Mr Ryan said.

“Gippsland has produced many successful professional shooters over the years, most recently we saw Longford local Keith Ferguson competing in the men’s skeet at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“Local sporting shooters have also nurtured the talent of 18-year-old Indi Gladman from Sale who took out the Tasmanian Clay Target Championships earlier this year.”

The funding can be used to purchase land for the expansion of existing facilities or to secure tenure over existing facilities in order to improve the long term viability of the sport locally.

Mr Ryan said it could also be used for capital improvements at existing facilities, or to purchase major equipment to enable a local facility to host major events and increase participation.

“Minor projects will be able to receive up to $100,000 from the fund, with the Coalition Government offering $2 for every $1 put in by the club or another contributor, for example a local council,” Mr Ryan said.

“There is no cap on funding invested by Coalition Government into a major project, but the investment will need to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the club or another contributor.

“More than 20,000 Victorians participate in competitive shooting events each year, and we have a proud history of producing Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games medallists, with Russell and Lauryn Mark, Adam Vella and Peter Tait all flying the flag.

“The Coalition Government is helping shooting clubs develop better facilities, host big events and give more people the opportunity to be participants, coaches, and volunteers,” Mr Ryan said.

An advisory committee, chaired by Mr David Hawker AO, will be established to assess project applications and provide specialist advice on the sport's specific and strategic needs.

Details of the program will be finalised following the establishment of the advisory committee.

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

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