Press Releases

Celebrating the big difference small business makes in Heyfield

* * - Friday, September 19, 2014

  • Ryan and Bull encourage Gippslanders to buy local in the lead-up to Support Small Business Day
  • Thousands of gift cards for local small businesses up for grabs
  • Coalition Government supporting small business in regional Victoria

Gippslanders are being encouraged to buy local to support small businesses across the region in the lead-up to Support Small Business Day on Saturday 4 October.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today joined The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull at CAFÉ 3858 in Heyfield to promote Support Small Business Day.

“Businesses such as Café 3858 in George Street Heyfield, run by Jamie Riley and Zac Stamos, contribute a great deal to our local economies,” Mr Ryan said.

“Jamie, originally from Heyfield, and Zac moved to Heyfield almost four years ago, purchasing the business and bringing with them a slice of Melbourne Café culture.

“They have grown the business which can now seat around 70 people inside, with room for another 40 in their courtyard.

“Their cafe has won several awards including Best Cafe twice and Best Coffee in the Wellington People Choice Awards and they have received numerous positive reviews in newspapers such as the Herald Sun and the Age.

“Jamie and Zac are a great example of our dedicated local small businesses owners investing in our local communities and I encourage locals to continue to support them by purchasing a coffee, cake or and some of the other delicious food they have on offer.”

Mr Bull said it was important locals supported small businesses such as Café 3858.

“Local small businesses employ local staff, which creates local jobs, they purchase local goods and services and reinvest in our local communities,” Mr Bull said.

“Whenever $100 is spent in a local small business, $50 is retained in the local economy.

“Whether it is purchasing the day’s milk for coffee, bread for sandwiches, or dropping into Tryhorn Supermarket for supplies, businesses like Jamie and Zac’s Café 3858 are reinvesting in our local communities and making your dollar go further.

“Local businesses are also the first to give back to their communities by putting up their hands to sponsor local sports clubs, charities or other local initiatives.”

Mr Bull said to further encourage locals to support local small businesses in the lead-up to Support Small Business Day, the Victorian Coalition Government and Bendigo Bank had partnered to give locals the chance to win gift cards that can be spent at participating businesses.

“There are thousands of gift cards be won as part of this initiative which runs throughout the month of September,” Mr Bull said.

“I encourage shoppers and businesses to visit the Support Small Business Day website to see some of the great competitions and initiatives which are on offer.

“Last year more than 4,000 small businesses and consumers participated in the inaugural event and it would be great if we could boost those numbers this year.”

Mr Bull said to participate, small businesses and shoppers across Gippsland could register at

Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404

Full steam ahead at the Moe rail precinct

* * - Monday, September 15, 2014


Construction of the Moe Civic Hub is now underway, and in 18 months will provide an attractive new space for residents to socialise and study.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the works at the Moe Rail Precinct were a great example of all three levels of government working together for the community.

“The $14.3 million Moe Civic Hub will be a great space for residents, with a café, public meeting rooms, a community kitchen, and most importantly, a new home for the public library,” Mr Truss said.

Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent was in Moe today, and joined Deputy Premier of Victoria Peter Ryan and Latrobe City Council Mayor Sharon Gibson to turn the first sod and officially start construction on this exciting project.

Mr Broadbent said the train line currently divided north and south Moe, and the works at the Moe rail precinct would turn that around.

“This project has been a long time coming and I’m thrilled and delighted for all those community members who have lobbied all levels of government. This is a great day for the people of Moe and I congratulate you all on seeing this valuable project through to completion,” Mr Broadbent said.

“By building a swathe of new green spaces and public areas we are linking the town centre with its surroundings, and reconnecting the north and south.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund had invested $3 million into the $14.3 million first stage of the project.

The new hub will include a state-of-the-art public library, Council service centre, public meeting and research rooms and consulting suites. Public toilets, a café, outdoor spaces and green roof are also planned.

“Projects like this show just how effective a well-managed Regional Growth Fund can be through investing in local infrastructure," Mr Ryan said.

“The Regional Growth Fund is making a real difference in regional communities - investing in community led projects, while strategically driving jobs and investment.

“In the Latrobe region alone, the Regional Growth Fund is investing $20.5 million into 73 projects, leveraging $72.63 million in total investment.

“The Regional Growth Fund invested $1.1 million in the $1.55 million Moe Outdoor Pool Refurbishment and $1.5 million in the $2 million Growing Aerospace Manufacturing at Latrobe Regional Airport.”  

Cr Gibson said the Moe Civic Hub would turn what were the Moe Railway Station yards into an inviting space for residents.
“This project is all about innovation and making otherwise unused spaces into recreational spaces. Even the roof of the Civic Hub will become a green space, creating a welcoming environment for people to visit while also improving the building’s thermal efficiency.

I would like to thank the State and Federal governments for making the project a reality.”

The Moe Civic Hub is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $7.5 million, the Victorian Government $3.95 million and Latrobe City Council $2.85 million.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Redeveloped Marysville Golf Club swings into action

* * - Monday, September 08, 2014


  • $2 million refurbished Golf and Bowls Club set to boost Marysville economy
  • Victorian Coalition Government invested $1.45 million towards project
  • Victorian Coalition Government continues to support fire affected communities

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today officially opened the redeveloped Marysville Community Golf and Bowls Club, completed with a $1.45 million investment from the Victorian Coalition Government.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by Member for Seymour Cindy McLeish, said the completion of the $2 million redevelopment was a positive milestone for the Marysville community following the devastating 2009 bushfires.

“The Marysville Community Golf and Bowls Club was one of the few buildings that survived the tragic events of Black Saturday, and as a result became a key community meeting point in the months following the fires,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government was keen to support the redevelopment of this important local facility as part of our commitment to supporting the town during its recovery.

“The redevelopment has created a truly wonderful facility that the whole community can be proud of.

“These new facilities will encourage more people to visit Marysville, particularly those keen to play a round of golf on this magnificent course.”

Mr Ryan said the $2 million restoration included construction of a new a function room that accommodated up to 300 people, a new members’ lounge, meeting room, bar, lobby, kitchen, restrooms, outdoor timber deck, landscaping and a remodelled pro shop.

Mr Ryan said more than 50 construction jobs were created during the redevelopment, and a further five new full-time jobs had been created at the club on an ongoing basis.

Ms McLeish paid tribute to the Marysville and Triangle Community Bushfire Relief Fund for its $523,213 contribution to the project, as well as the Marysville Community Golf and Bowls Club which contributed the balance of the funding.

“The overall construction has created a new-look club that, along with other projects such as the $28 million Vibe Hotel & Conference Centre, will stimulate revenue and bring a much-needed economic boost to the Marysville area,” Ms McLeish said.

“Encouraging economic activity in Marysville and other bushfire affected communities has been a key focus of the Coalition Government as part of the ongoing recovery efforts.”

Following the official opening of the Marysville Community Golf and Bowls Club, Mr Ryan joined Club President Ken Whittingham, along with other members and guests, for a round of golf.

“The course certainly played a lot better than I did,” Mr Ryan said after his round.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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

Bright Court House reopened to the community

* * - Thursday, August 14, 2014


  • Bright Court House to be restored for public use
  • Deputy Premier announces $145,000 investment in the project
  • Victorian Coalition Government putting locals first

The Bright Court House will be refurbished with the support of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, returning this much-loved historical building to community hands.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan was in Bright yesterday to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $145,000 in the almost $200,000 refurbishment.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by The Nationals Member for Benalla Bill Sykes and The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy, said the investment would bring the run-down Bright Court House back to life, enabling the local community to once again host live theatre and other forms of entertainment at the venue.

“The Bright Court House is the town’s oldest building, it is heritage listed and held dear to the local community’s heart,” Mr Ryan said.

“Built in 1861, it was used as a court of petty sessions for Buckland Goldfields where it operated right up until 1989.

“Over the next 10 years it continued to host a wide range of community activities, most notably the Alpine Actors and Foothill Theatre and Bright P-12 College’s drama and music events and activities.

“By the year 2000, the facility had run its race, with the structure of the Court House deteriorating to such a point that it was no longer deemed safe for community use and was shut down.

“The Coalition Government’s $145,000 investment will enable the Bright Court House to be reopened, returning it to community hands.”

Dr Sykes welcomed the investment, which will deliver a number of key improvements including:

  • modifications to ensure all ability access to the building;
  • establishment of a kiosk and foyer area;
  • installation of staging, tiered seating, heating and cooling, a control room, sound system and lighting;
  • replacement of floor coverings; extension of the car park;
  • landscaping; and
  • upgrade of toilets and actor facilities.

“The improvements will deliver a state-of-the-art community facility capable of hosting a wide range of events and users groups,” Dr Sykes said.

“Refurbishing the Bright Court House has long been at the top of the local community’s list of priorities and I am proud to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier to announce this funding.”

Mr McCurdy, whose existing seat of Murray Valley will be renamed Ovens Valley and will include Bright following the 2014 Victorian Election, said this project was another terrific example of how the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund was putting locals first.

“Strong support for the refurbishment has been received from the Alpine Women’s Group, Alpine Shire Youth Council, Bright Alpine Actors, Chamber of Commerce, and Lions and Rotary Clubs, and I expect these groups and others to make full use of the Court House,” Mr McCurdy said.

Mr McCurdy said the community had ‘put its money where its mouth was’, with a number of local groups and organisations chipping in towards a total project cost of $194,000.

He said this included $8,000 from the Rotary Club of Bright, $5,000 from Bright Alpine Actors, $6,000 from MADAS Productions, and $5,000 from Alpine Shire Council.

Mr McCurdy said the Bright United Men’s Shed and local businesses had also contributed a combined total of $13,000 in goods and services, as well as an in-kind contribution of $12,000 from the Court House committee of management.

The Bright Court House Redevelopment project will be completed by the end of this year.

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 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 delivers for Nagambie

* * - Wednesday, July 09, 2014

  • $500,000 investment to position Nagambie as a tourist destination 
  • New roundabout, road upgrade, landscaping and outdoor dining 
  • Victorian Coalition Government investing in regional communities

The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will invest $500,000 in stage one of the $837,000 redevelopment of the Nagambie town centre, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan announced yesterday.

Following the completion of the Nagambie bypass in 2013, the local community has been keen for the town to reposition itself from a highway rest stop destination to a genuine visitor destination.

Responding to this call, Mr Ryan was joined by The Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan and Member for Benalla Bill Sykes in Nagambie to announce the Coalition Government’s $500,000 investment through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Ryan said the redevelopment of the town centre would include a new roundabout at the southern entrance to Nagambie, road upgrades, landscaping works, and the creation of new outdoor dining areas to encourage buses and recreation vehicles to stop in the town.

“Now that the Nagambie bypass has been completed, the community is keen to transition the town from a drive-through destination to a visitor destination,” Mr Ryan said.

“Nagambie has many great attractions including the magnificent Nagambie Lakes, its proximity to the Strathbogie Ranges, world class food and wine, and a life size bronze statue of the world famous mare Black Caviar.

“As a government, we are enabling the community to capitalise on its many great attractions, ensuring Nagambie becomes a central hub for visitors to the region.

“By encouraging more visitors into town, we are putting locals first and supporting local businesses and local jobs.”

Ms Ryan welcomed the $500,000 investment and said it was another example of what The Nationals could achieve by working as part of a strong Coalition Government team.

“This project is the first stage of an exciting redevelopment that will help transform Nagambie into a vibrant visitor destination,” Ms Ryan said.

“The Strathbogie Shire Council has developed concept plans for the redevelopment of the entire length of High Street over six stages.

“I look forward to working with Peter Ryan and the Coalition Government to help secure further funding to complete additional stages of this important local project.”

Dr Sykes said the redevelopment was one of 25 projects the Regional Growth Fund had supported in the Strathbogie Shire over the past three years.

“Since the middle of 2011 the Regional Growth Fund has delivered more than $400 million across regional and rural Victoria, generating well over $1.6 billion in total investment across almost 1,500 projects,” Dr Sykes said.

“Through the Regional Growth Fund we have been able to secure funding for many important local projects including vital funding to carry out landscaping works at the Black Caviar statue site.”

Dr Sykes said stage one of Nagambie town centre redevelopment would be completed by the middle of next year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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

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

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