Press Releases

A new place to cool off in Mildura

* * - Wednesday, July 16, 2014


  • Next stage of the Mildura Riverfront project gets underway
  • Project delivers pop-up jets, streams, BBQ, boardwalks and terraced skate park
  • Precinct will attract visitors and confirms Mildura’s status as the ‘Gateway to the Outback’

Children, families and visitors will have a new place to cool off in Mildura during hot summer days with water jets, splash pools and interactive water play equipment to be developed as part of the $18.3 million Mildura Riverfront project.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp at Mildura today to turn the first sod for the new $2.1 million Mildura Riverfront Waterplay and Ornamental Lakes Precinct.

Mr Ryan said development of the Waterplay and Ornamental Lakes Precinct was the latest stage of the $18.3 million Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment Project, and would include:

  • Extensions to the lake to include water play equipment, pop-up jets and shallows;
  • A shallow stream running throughout the precinct, incorporating water play equipment;
  • Shaded areas, timber boardwalks, sand pits, decking, seats, lighting and barbeques;
  • Indigenous plants, landscaping and cultural heritage information; and
  • A new terraced skate area extending from the existing skate park.

“This is a fantastic development that will benefit the entire Mildura community,” Mr Ryan said.

“The water play equipment will be something truly unique to Mildura, providing another drawcard for visitors and holiday makers looking to spend time in this part of our great state.

“The community can relax and cool off over the pop-up jets and in the shallows or simply relax in the shaded areas.

“It will become a great place to walk the pet dog and a perfect location to spend time with family and friends enjoying a barbecue.

“Skaters have not been left out, with the large terraced skate space set to add to what is already a terrific and well used skate park.”

Mr Crisp welcomed the Deputy Premier to Mildura and said The Nationals, as part of a strong Coalition Government team, were continuing to deliver for Mildura.

Mr Crisp said the Mildura-based King Construction Group had been awarded the contract for this component of the development. In addition, the project included the redevelopment of the East/West promenade, the Rowing Club and Langtree Avenue pedestrian connection.

“I am proud to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan to mark the beginning of another important step in delivering the transformative Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment,” Mr Crisp said.

“This $18.3 million project, $12 million of which is funded through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, is stimulating the local economy, is set to boost tourism and confirms Mildura’s status as the ‘Gateway to the Outback’.

“I will continue to advocate strongly for Mildura to ensure we continue receiving strong Coalition Government support and investment.”

Mr Crisp said construction on the Waterplay and Ornamental Lakes precinct would begin shortly, with the Waterplay area to be completed by April 2015 and the remaining works completed by the second half of 2015.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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

$1 billion Regional Growth Fund transforms Nyora Community Hall

* * - Monday, June 02, 2014

  • Deputy Premier announces $255,000 funding for Nyora Hall upgrades
  • Projects will deliver flexible, functional and appealing community meeting place
  • Victorian Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund is putting locals first

Everybody will be Kung Fu fighting in Nyora following Friday’s announcement by the Victorian Coalition Government that it will support a major redevelopment of the Nyora Community Hall.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan was in Nyora on Friday to announce the Coalition Government would invest $255,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to support a $340,000 redevelopment of the much-loved community hall.

Mr Ryan said the hall would be transformed into a flexible, functional and appealing meeting place that the Nyora community could be proud of.

The redevelopment will include the replacement of roofing and gutters, the treatment of external walls to eliminate rising damp, the installation of bi-fold walls, internal upgrades, paintwork and a redesigned entry.

The project will also include new car parking, landscaping and drainage improvements.

“The redevelopment of the Nyora Community Hall was identified as a key priority by the local community and we have listened to their concerns and invested $255,000 to ensure this project goes ahead,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Nyora Community Hall is the only community meeting space in Nyora and is a popular location for weddings, birthday celebrations and other community gatherings.

“It is also used for a wide-range of community activities, including playgroups, patchwork groups, Kung Fu classes, the community newsletter office, outreach programs, the local Lions club, as well as hosting the Council immunisation program.

“Nyora residents and user-groups will benefit from having a reliable, flexible and usable space at their disposal.”

Mr Ryan said the redevelopment would be finished by June next year.

Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien, who joined Mr Ryan at Friday’s announcement, said the redevelopment would ensure the Nyora Community Hall continues to meet the needs of the community as Nyora’s population grows.

“Nyora’s population is projected to grow from 1,300 today to more than 2,100 by 2030,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We need to build the infrastructure that can support a growing population and that is why we have invested more than $250,000 to enable this significant redevelopment of the Nyora Community Hall to be undertaken.”

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

“Right across Gippsland, the Regional Growth Fund is investing in vital local projects that would otherwise have struggled to secure funding,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In the South Gippsland Shire alone, the Regional Growth Fund has invested more than $13 million to support more than 30 projects, leveraging around $60 million in total investment.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

$16,600 gets Mirboo North netball back on court

* * - Thursday, May 22, 2014

  • New netball court surface for Mirboo North Tigers
  • Funding of $16,600 from Victorian Coalition Government is part of $25,000 project
  • Part of $957,000 investment to get Victorians more active
Mirboo North’s growing sporting community will soon have a new netball court surface on which to practice and host big games following today’s news of a $16,600 investment by the Victorian Coalition Government to ensure the resurfacing of the match netball court at Walter Tuck Reserve.

Minister for Sport and Recreation, Damian Drum today attended the home of the Mirboo North Tigers Football Netball Club to announce the funding under the Country Football Netball Program.

“The Napthine Government is committed to building a more active Victoria, that’s why investments like these are so important,” Mr Drum said.

“The new court surface will be a welcome boost for local clubs like the Tigers and their netball teams which have until now being making do with an ageing an uneven surface.”

Mr Drum said the $16,600 funding boost will enable the replacement of the current surface with a new asphalt surface that will prevent water pooling and will be capable of hosting training and competition.

“Our investment in this project is part of our plan to build more sustainable local infrastructure to cater for growth and encourage even more people to play sport,” Mr Drum said.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the project had strong community support, with the South Gippsland Shire Council and the Mirboo North community committing $4,160 and $4,240 respectively.

“The Mirboo North Tigers field teams in each of the six divisions in the Mid Gippsland Netball Association and last year won premierships in B Grade and the Under 17s, demonstrating the town’s strong passion for netball,” Mr Ryan said.

“This investment from the Coalition Government will deliver a new match court surface to ensure that local netballers of all ages can continue to enjoy their sport in a safe environment.”

Mr Ryan said this project was one of the 12 projects from across Victoria that benefitted from a share in over $957,000 from the latest round of the Coalition Government’s $10 million Country Football Netball Program.

“The program is part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to build a better Victoria by investing in quality sporting infrastructure in regional communities,” Mr Ryan said.

$15 million Cultural Hub project to boost Port of Sale

* * - Friday, May 16, 2014
  • Victorian Coalition Government invest $4.75 million in Sale Cultural Hub
  • Gippsland Art Gallery and Sale Library to co-locate at Port of Sale Civic Centre
  • Victorian Coalition Government is building important local infrastructure

The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will invest $4.75 million to co-locate the Gippsland Art Gallery and Sale Public Library at the Port of Sale, delivering a long awaited cultural and community hub for residents in Sale.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan joined Minister for Local Government Tim Bull at the Gippsland Art Gallery in Sale today to jointly announce the Coalition Government’s funding to support the $15 million Port of Sale Cultural Hub project.

Mr Ryan announced $4 million of the Coalition Government’s investment would come from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, with Mr Bull announcing the additional $750,000 would be provided through the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program.

Mr Ryan said the project would involve developing the existing Port of Sale Civic Centre into a cultural and community precinct incorporating an expanded Art Gallery and Library.

He said the new facility at the Port of Sale would include the library headquarters, offices, public meeting spaces, a central café, lounge area and free WIFI.

“The Gippsland Art Gallery currently has insufficient exhibition space, meaning its ability to host exhibits is limited. The Sale Public Library, which is currently located at the Sale Secondary College, faces a similar situation,” Mr Ryan said.

“This new facility will provide both the Art Gallery and Library with more room, with this new hub set to become be a great new asset for the community.

“The expanded Art Gallery is expected to attract a large portfolio of programs and blockbuster exhibitions, while the library will also be of great educational, social and cultural benefit to the local residents.”

Mr Bull said the project would also involve the relocation and consolidation of local council employees to the recently acquired Desailly Street commercial office block.

Mr Bull said the project would retain 29 existing jobs at both the Art Gallery and Library, create 38 new construction jobs and generate more than 40 indirect jobs in Sale.

Mr Ryan thanked funding partners including the Wellington Shire Council, which contributed $9.25 million towards the project, and local philanthropist John Leslie, who made a generous donation of $1 million.

“The new Port of Sale Cultural Hub will inject $15 million directly into the local economy and generate around $27 million in total economic output,” Mr Ryan said.

“Through initiatives such as our $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, the Coalition Government is delivering much-needed and important local infrastructure that will benefit regional and rural communities.”

Mr Bull said the Coalition Government were strong supporters of libraries in regional and rural Victoria.

“Our libraries are at the very heart of our communities with nearly half of all Victorians current members of their local library,” Mr Bull said.

“We are is investing more than $17 million in our Living Libraries Infrastructure Program, with a record $39.5 million to be invested through our Public Libraries Funding Program in 2014-15, the highest amount of ongoing funding ever provided for library service delivery.

“Over the past three years the Coalition Government’s Living Libraries Infrastructure Program has provided $12.4 million towards 45 library projects across the state.”

Media contacts:

Ben Bulmer   0437 547 731 (Deputy Premier)                     

Sean Burton  0428 506 585 (Minister Bull)  

$10,000 grants for crime prevention initiatives

* * - Friday, May 02, 2014

  • Grants of up to $10,000 now open to local groups, schools and councils
  • Funding can be used for security lighting, fences and alarms
  • More than $200,000 in grants funding already delivered

Community groups, schools and councils in Gippsland are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for crime prevention initiatives as part of the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government’s Community Safety Fund.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said groups with innovative and practical community safety projects should apply.

“In the two previous rounds of these grants, groups in Wellington and South Gippsland shared in more than $200,000 to deliver projects in and around their clubrooms that improve safety and security,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government recognises that locals are best placed to identify and prioritise safety and security issues in their communities, and we will support them to do so.”

Mr Ryan said councils, community and sporting groups, and local schools are able to access these grants that can be used to install a range of security measures.

“This includes installing security lighting, padlocks, security screens, fencing, or undertaking awareness activities to deter crime and increase community safety,” he said.

Mr Ryan said previous local grant recipients included Nyora Recreation Reserve Committee, which received $10,000 to install security lighting, and Sale Scout Group, which was granted more than $9,000 to install security lighting and fencing.

Crime Prevention Minister Edward O’Donohue said the grants support local community groups to help provide safer and more secure facilities for local people.

“Over the past three years, the Coalition Government has provided more than $2.8 million to fund 422 projects across the state through the grants,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“The grants are part of the Coalition Government’s $35 million Community Crime Prevention Program, which helps promote community safety and prevent crime in communities across Victoria.”

Applications close on Monday 12 May and to apply, visit:

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870 

$110,000 for Benalla Airport master plan

* * - Friday, May 02, 2014
  • Victorian Coalition Government invests $110,000 in Benalla Airport master plan 
  • Project is a local priority ahead of the 2017 World Gliding Championships 
  • The Regional Growth Fund has delivered almost $400 million to support more than 1400 projects, leveraging more than $1.6 billion in total investment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media contact: Les White
0409 805 122

Deputy Premier announces new home for Sale Specialist School

* * - Thursday, May 01, 2014

• Land purchased for new Sale Specialist School
• Victorian Budget to deliver $4 million for planning and stage one works
• Victorian Coalition Government supports students with special needs

The future of the new Sale Specialist School is assured, with Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announcing on Tuesday that land had been secured for the new school.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by Member for Gippsland East and Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs Tim Bull and Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien, said a four hectare site on the Princes Highway, in Sale’s north, had been acquired.

Mr Ryan also announced today that the Victorian Coalition Government would provide an initial $4 million in the 2014-15 Victorian Budget for planning and design, and to deliver stage one works.

The total cost of the project is anticipated to be in the order of $15 million.

“This is a great day for students, parents and teachers at the Sale Specialist School,” Mr Ryan said.

“Securing the land and providing an initial $4 million to begin stage one works confirms what we have all been hoping for, and that is a new Specialist School will be built in Sale to cater for the growing number of students.”

Mr Ryan said the site chosen was one of the largest of the 13 sites originally offered up by local landowners, enabling construction of a school that will cater for a growing demand for years to come.

Mr Ryan said planning and design works for the new school would now begin.

“It was not possible to begin designing the new school until the land had been secured, but with the land now purchased we can start the process with certainty,” Mr Ryan said.

“I strongly encourage parents and families to share their vision and ideas with the school board about how they would like the school designed and built.”

Mr Ryan said once planning and design was complete, initial works would begin at the site.

“The intention of this first $4 million is to enable stage one works to begin. The balance of funds to complete this project will follow.”

Mr Bull said today's announcement would make an enormous difference to the lives of so many children with special needs and their families.

"The families of students both present and future that access this school from towns in my electorate like Maffra, Heyfield, Stratford and surrounding districts will be delighted," Mr Bull said.

“To all those who have lobbied for this outcome, my congratulations, and like them, I am already looking forward to this new facility opening its doors.”

Minister for Education Martin Dixon passed on his support for the project and said today’s announcement marked an exciting next step in the realisation of a vision to develop a truly world class specialist school in Sale.

“To cope with growing student numbers, Sale Specialist School currently operates at its main Raymond Street campus as well as on part of Sale College’s Guthridge Campus,” Mr Dixon said.

“By creating a one-campus school on a larger site, students and teachers will have the space to learn and grow in a modern learning environment.

“The Coalition Government has committed more than $79 million towards building and upgrading special schools in the past three budgets.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Record attendance at Regional Victoria Living Expo

* * - Thursday, April 17, 2014
  • The Regional Victoria Living Expo attracted 9,638 Melburnians with a genuine interest in moving to regional and rural Victoria
  • About 2,000 people had their details electronically collected by exhibitors
  • The Expo is an ongoing Victorian Coalition Government initiative to drive population and investment into regional and rural Victoria

A new record of 9,638 Melburnians attended the 2014 Regional Victoria Living Expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre last weekend, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said the record numbers reflected growing interest amongst Melburnians to move to regional and rural Victoria, with the expo having grown steadily since beginning in 2012.

“Feedback from the 147 exhibitors at the event was that visitors this year were even more serious about relocating to country Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“Many regional councils reported that Melburnians attending had done their homework and asked very specific questions about the regions and the towns they intend to move to.

“The regional councils felt this year’s event would see the effort from the previous two years pay off as potential new country residents put the pieces in place for their move.

“Visitors asked about how to get quality jobs in their respective fields; about affordable housing, education, health and community life – questions indicating they are serious about relocating to the regions.”

Southern Grampians Shire Council Manager Economic Development and Tourism Hugh Koch said there were clear economic benefits in luring city residents to his region.

“A family moving to our region is worth around $90,000 a year to the local economy,” Mr Koch said.

“If we can get three to five families a year moving into the area, we’re more than happy with that – and the Expo is delivering that for us.

“If four families a year move for the next five years, that adds up to around an extra 1.8 million dollars into our local economy.”

Mildura Rural City Council Business Event Facilitator & Special Projects Julie Jewell said the level of interest in moving had increased in the expo visitors.

“Last year people were looking for a destination, and this year people know exactly where they want to move – we feel like it is a culmination of the three years of work we have put in, with each building on the last and becoming more targeted each time,” Ms Jewell said.

“We had 25 people keen to visit, many of whom are genuinely interested in moving.

“We really value the support from the Victorian Coalition Government and are very keen for the Expo to continue in forthcoming years.”

Ararat Rural City CEO Andrew Evans said a Smartphone App launched at the expo was already doing well.

“The App gives people access to a whole range of information about Ararat – we only made it available yesterday and we had 60 downloads by halfway through day two,” Mr Evans said.

“That’s 60 people with ongoing access to a whole lot of information about our area.”

A 2012 report found that by supporting growth in the regions we can help reduce the estimated $95 billion in cumulative congestion costs associated with expanding Melbourne’s outer-metropolitan areas over the next 20 years.

For example, the cumulative cost of providing critical infrastructure to support an additional 50,000 persons in the Regional Cities is $1 billion; this compares with inefficiency costs of $3.1 billion associated with the same number of persons being accommodated in metropolitan Melbourne.

“Basing population in the regions greatly reduces the strain on city services and infrastructure,” Mr Ryan said.

“Relocating house is a big step, and people undertaking it deserve support.”

“Exhibitors at the Expo this year provided visitors with information tailored to their needs including current job opportunities and the chance to match them up with existing or new businesses setting up in the regions.

“It also proves that the Coalition Government’s Good Move campaign, created to showcase the benefits of regional living, spurs city dwellers to genuinely consider a move to the country.

“Positive interaction between councils – promoting the best of their wares as a region – made a big difference to attracting greater interest among people genuinely interested to move.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Play your part in creating a safer Easter

* * - Thursday, April 17, 2014

·        Take ownership of your driving and help reduce the road toll
·        Share your Easter driving tips on social media by using #roadtozero
·        Make Easter an enjoyable time by making sensible decisions

Gippslanders planning a break or visit to family and friends this Easter are asked to take ownership and help drive down the state’s road toll.

“Victoria’s road toll is the lowest we’ve seen for close to 90 years and I’m asking all Gippslanders to make a conscious effort to ensure this downward trend continues,” Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said.

“The Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government recently launched ‘The Road to Zero – it starts with you’ campaign that encourages motorists to share their road safety ideas and tips through videos, photos or messages.

“By using the ‘#roadtozero’ hashtag, Gippslanders can show their support by posting their ideas and sharing stories through the campaign’s Facebook and Twitter pages.”

Mr Ryan said the campaign would run in conjunction with a statewide road enforcement operation including the consecutive Easter and ANZAC Day long weekends, as well as the Queen’s Birthday holiday.

“If you’re doing the wrong thing on the road, then expect to be stopped by police,” he said.

“It is thanks to the work of police, government and other agencies joining together to enforce the law and educate the community, as well as advances in medical treatment that has allowed the downward trend in the road toll to occur.”

For the road roll to continue to drop, it will require all motorists to take individual responsibility for improving safety by making safe travel choices, he said.

“Being distracted by text and phone calls, speeding while rushing to your next destination, or simply not respecting other road users, can lead to a situation from which you can never turn back,” Mr Ryan said.

“Whether you’re bushwalking at The Prom, sailing the magnificent Gippsland Lakes or spending time on the 90 Mile Beach, take ownership of our actions behind the wheel because the road to zero starts with you.”

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

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