Press Releases

Additional coach stops for Loch and Nyora

* * - Monday, July 28, 2014

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870


Regional Growth Fund 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 www.depi.vic.gov.au/holidaytrout

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Surveying works begin for alternate route

* * - Wednesday, July 02, 2014

  • Surveying works begin on heavy vehicle alternate route
  • Drivers urged to take care where works are being conducted
  • Route will divert 600 trucks per day away from Bair Street

The Leongatha Alternate Heavy Vehicle Route is another step closer to completion with important pre-construction works set to begin this week.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said VicRoads surveyors would be on site in Leongatha from today.


“The $5.12 million Leongatha Alternate Heavy Vehicle Route, which was jointly funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments, will see more than 600 trucks per day to be diverted around the Leongatha CBD,” Mr Ryan said.

“This project will provide significant benefits to shoppers and business owners in Bair Street, including increased pedestrian safety, better traffic flows and less damage to the road caused by heavy vehicles.”

Mr Ryan said before the project could move to the design and construction phase, important surveying work needed to be completed.

“This work will ensure existing features such as power and water services can be accommodated in the project design or moved if necessary,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said once the surveying was complete the final design works and pre-construction activities such as service relocation would be carried out.

He said construction works would then follow in 2015, with the project expected to be complete by 2016.

“VicRoads will be in regular contact with the community, including landowners and key stakeholders to discuss potential designs for the Leongatha Alternate Heavy Vehicle Route,” Mr Ryan said.

“There will also be community updates, briefing sessions and updates on South Gippsland Shire’s website, with finalised designs to be presented to the community later this year.”

Mr Ryan said while the surveying work was being completed temporary traffic changes would be put in place and he urged motorists to take care while travelling through the area.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government had prioritised roads funding in and around Leongatha.

“This year alone, the Coalition Government is investing more than $500 million to undertake vital road maintenance,” Mr Ryan said.

“This funding is in stark contrast to Labor's transport plan which sets aside just $1 billion over eight years, or $125 million a year, for regional roads.

“We are also investing $9.4 million to make South Gippsland safer through the Safer Roads Infrastructure Program.

“This includes $4.5 million on the South Gippsland Highway between Stony Creek and Foster for safety barriers and rumble strips and $3.8 million for the Strzelecki Highway between Leongatha and Koorooman for safety barriers, rumble strips and tree removal.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Ryan and O’Brien in Mirboo North to hear community issues

* * - Monday, June 23, 2014

  • Peter Ryan and Danny O’Brien in Mirboo North on 11 July
  • Opportunity for face-to-face meeting to discuss State Government matters
  • Contact Sale office on 5144 1987 to register interest to meet with Peter or Danny

Members of the Mirboo North and surrounding communities are invited to meet with Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan and The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien on Friday 11 July.

Mr Ryan said the mobile electorate office would visit Mirboo North to make it easier for residents to meet with their local Parliamentarians to discuss State Government matters affecting them.

“This event gives us an additional opportunity to connect with our constituents and listen to the issues that are important to them,” Mr Ryan said.

“As part of my role as The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, I believe it is crucial that I am accessible to all of my constituents, no matter where in the electorate they live.

“The mobile electorate office is a great chance for members of the community to meet with me face-to-face to discuss State Government matters relevant to them.”

Mr O’Brien said the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government was responsible for areas including agriculture and fishing, state planning, law enforcement and public transport.

“If you have any State issues you want to discuss or need assistance with, please make contact with Peter’s office to arrange a time to meet,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr Ryan and Mr O’Brien will be at the Dalliance Chocolate Shop on Friday, 11 July and those wishing to make an appointment should call the Sale office on 5144 1987.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

$25,000 grants to tackle local graffiti issues

* * - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • Regional shires encouraged to apply to tackle graffiti 
  • Part of Coalition’s $35 million Community Crime Prevention Program
  • Up to $25,000 available until 20 June

Councils can now access grants of up to $25,000 to combat graffiti in local neighbourhoods as part of the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government’s graffiti grants program.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today encouraged local councils to think about graffiti solutions that would improve the visual amenity of neighbourhoods and increase community confidence in the safety of public places.

“The Coalition Government is serious about responding to concerns about graffiti vandalism, which is why we have committed more than $10 million over 4 years to reduce graffiti through a range of strategies under our anti-graffiti plan,” Mr Ryan said.

“The grants are open to councils to partner with local organisations such as schools, community and residents groups, local police, retailers and trader associations, to come up with local solutions to tackle graffiti.

“These might include design features such as murals, education and information programs, and graffiti removal projects.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to stamping out graffiti at a local level.

“Over the past three years, the government has provided more than $918,000 to fund 57 projects across the state through the grants.

Crime Prevention Minister Edward O’Donohue said that the Labor Party had shown its lack of commitment to such programs by abolishing the crime prevention portfolio from the shadow ministry.

“When Daniel Andrews reshuffled his front bench in December, the crime prevention portfolio disappeared,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“The Coalition Government is delivering programs to help communities find local solutions to local problems, while Labor is offering nothing.”

“These grants make a real difference and I strongly encourage councils across the state to apply for grants of up to $25,000.”

The Graffiti Prevention and Removal 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 Friday 20 June and to apply or for further information, visit www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/graffitigrants

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870
 



Regional Growth Fund makes McIndoe Park safer

* * - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • McIndoe Park is now safer and more accessible for families and children
  • $120,000 upgrade includes new rotunda, free BBQs, perimeter fencing and improved disabled access
  • Victorian Coalition Government invested $88,000 to make the project a reality

Leongatha’s much-loved McIndoe Park is now safer and more accessible for families and children of all ages and abilities thanks to an $88,000 investment from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan was in Leongatha on Friday to officially open the $120,000 McIndoe Park Development Project.

Mr Ryan, who was joined by Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien at Friday's event, said the project included new perimeter fencing and child proof gates, new pathways to improve disabled access, as well as a new rotunda with free barbecues, tables and chairs.

“McIndoe Park is one of the most used and loved community spaces in Leongatha, regularly hosting large community events such as concerts and Australia Day celebrations,” Mr Ryan said.

“Its accessible playground and open space make it a popular place to play for children of all ages and abilities, while its beautiful surrounds and picnic facilities mean it’s a perfect location to host gatherings with family and friends or simply for an afternoon out.”

Mr Ryan said that while the park was a popular destination for locals and visitors to Leongatha, it wasn’t always safe.

“There are two busy roads bordering the park and an accessible water drain nearby which has caused significant concern for parents of young children,” Mr Ryan said.

“Having secure fencing around the perimeter of the park will mean children are protected from the road and water drain, providing much relief for parents.”

Mr O’Brien said the installation of new pathways linking the rotundas to the playground had greatly improved accessibility at McIndoe Park, particularly for students from the South Gippsland Specialist School.

“The South Gippsland Specialist School spends a lot of time at McIndoe Park thanks to its impressive range of accessible playground equipment,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The development of these new pathways will make it easier and safer for students to access the accessible play equipment, enabling them to get the most out of this wonderful facility.”

Mr Ryan thanked the South Gippsland Shire Council, which contributed $22,000 towards the project, and the Lions Club of Leongatha, which contributed $10,000.

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

“Without a specific fund designed to support initiatives such as the McIndoe Park development, this important upgrade may have never been completed,” Mr Ryan said.

“The community asked for this development, local parents and the council drove it and the Coalition Government is proud to provide the funding to make it a reality.”

Mr Ryan said this project was one of more than 30 across South Gippsland to receive Regional Growth Fund support, delivering almost $60 million of leveraged investment to the region.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer  0437 547 731 


Coalition supporting Gippsland volunteers

* * - Friday, May 16, 2014

  • $4.42 million invested in volunteering program for students
  • Victorian Coalition Government supporting volunteers
  • Unite with more than 1.5 million people; become a volunteer today

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government this week announced more than $4 million to support volunteer programs for Victorian secondary school students.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the funding would see more than 20,000 students take part in volunteering and give back to their communities through the Advance program.

Mr Ryan said that the Coalition Government’s $4.42 million volunteer program would support more than 420 Victorian secondary colleges including those in Sale, Leongatha, Korumburra, Yarram and Foster.

“The Advance program helps young people develop skills and receive training across a range of sectors, including animal welfare, culture, conservation, emergency services, events, human rights, and sport and recreation, that will help them transition from school to work,” Mr Ryan said.

“Examples of local activities include joining the Air Force cadets, becoming a volunteer surf lifesaver, CFA or SES member, helping out the Red Cross, becoming a Girl Guide or Scout and assisting at a community radio station.

“This is a great Coalition Government initiative that provides young Victorians with exciting opportunities so that they can volunteer and make a difference in their communities.”

Mr Ryan said National Volunteer Week was a fitting time to announce funding that would assist young people to be more active volunteers and also thank all of the young Gippslanders that already contribute their time to benefit others.

"Volunteers make a real difference in our communities, from volunteering their time as fire fighters, assisting with Meals on Wheels, providing lifesaving at our beaches and assisting at Visitor Information Centres. They provide a crucial service and for that I thank them.”

Mr Ryan today caught up with volunteer members of the Sale Fire Brigade to thank them for the service they give to the Sale and surrounding communities.

“At present, Sale Fire Brigade has 120 members, which includes 15 junior members and 13 auxiliary members, who actively contribute their time and skills to benefit members of the Sale community,” Mr Ryan said.

“In the 2012-13 year, the brigade was called out a record number of 246 times, which demonstrates the commitment that these members and fire fighters have for the communities they protect.”

Mr Ryan said most years the brigade attended around 230 turnouts.

“About 20 per cent of Sale Fire Brigade’s membership provides essential support services to reduce the workload of the fire fighters, so they can concentrate on putting out fires,” he said.

“The role that support members play to a brigade is invaluable and should never be underestimated.”

Mr Ryan said with more than 1.5 million Victorians currently volunteering, now was a great time to become involved in a community organisation.

“Volunteering brings immense personal satisfaction for the volunteer as well as making communities more active, confident and resilient,” Mr Ryan said.

"Research shows that people who volunteer report better physical and mental health as well as improved employment opportunities.

"Volunteering allows people to learn new skills, meet people and create networks, as well as providing a sense of belonging through team work and getting involved in the local community."

For more information on the Advance program, visit www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au or to learn more about volunteering, visit: http://www.volunteer.vic.gov.au. 


Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Coalition Government building a better Gippsland

* * - Friday, May 09, 2014

This week’s Victorian Coalition Government 2014-15 State Budget delivers in the key areas of education, roads, tourism, business, emergency services and health, Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition’s State Budget delivers improved infrastructure and services for residents and businesses throughout Gippsland to build a better, more connected Victoria.

“This Budget is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into Gippsland and other regional cities and rural communities,” Mr Ryan said.

The Liberal Nationals Coalition Government outlined significant expenditure in the 2014-15 Budget that benefits residents in the Gippsland South electorate. Highlights include:

  • $5.6 million to upgrade Korumburra Secondary College;
  • $4 million for planning and stage One works at the Sale Specialist School; 
  • $5.12 million for the Leongatha heavy vehicle alternate route;
  • $14 million for regional tourism marketing to increase visitors to regional Victoria;
  • $14 million to provide small business owners with practical financial management, marketing and human resources strategies;
  • $4.7 million to upgrade the online energy price comparison tool, My Power Planner;
  • $65 million to fund bushfire management measures;
  • $29 million for the CFA to acquire 78 additional vehicles
  • $20.5 million to replace Respiratory Protection Equipment for CFA and MFB firefighters;
  • 5.5 million for practical on-ground partnership with Landcare groups;
  • An additional $3 million a year for the Boating Safety and Facilities Program, bringing total funding to $8 million annually; and
  • $1.2 billion commitment per year to Vocational Education and Training.

Mr Ryan said these investments build upon the Coalition Government’s recently announced budget initiatives. Highlights in the Gippsland South region include: 


  • An extra $130 million pumped into road maintenance, meaning that more than $500 million will be delivered in the coming year for maintaining roads - up from $384 million under Labor;
  • $73 million for a major redevelopment of Latrobe Regional Hospital, including a new emergency department with double the capacity of the current facility, a new 30-bed ward and a cardiac catheterisation laboratory;
  • $13.5 million for the rollout of new tasers to all 24 hour police stations across regional Victoria, including Sale; 
  • $34 million to expand drug and alcohol treatment services and tackle the use of illicit drugs including ice throughout the state, including Gippsland;
  • $2 million to improve wild dog control; and
  • $3 million to provide support for regional councils to assess infrastructure demand, develop business cases and manage projects.

“By rebuilding Victoria’s finances and keeping the economy strong, the Coalition Government has been able to advance key projects, including those under the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Nationals are exceptionally proud of the Regional Growth Fund, which has contributed to more than 70 projects in the Wellington and South Gippsland shires, leveraging almost $60 million in total investment.”

Mr Ryan said the local projects announced in the 2014-15 State Budget built on the Coalition Government’s significant investment in Gippsland over past Budgets.

Mr Ryan said the Liberal Nationals Coalition Government is building a better Victoria by delivering a strong budget with a record $27 billion investment in roads, rail, health and education, ensuring growth, jobs and opportunities across the state.

“This is in stark contrast to the risk that Daniel Andrews and Labor pose to Victoria’s economy and prosperity. Victorians cannot afford a return to Labor, which is more interested in kowtowing to its union mates than addressing the needs of regional Victorians,” he said.

“Only a Liberal Nationals Coalition Government can be trusted to deliver these important projects on time and within budget.”

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870
stephanie.nicholls@parliament.vic.gov.au



Victorian Coalition Government is building a better regional Victoria

* * - Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Victorian Coalition Government's 2014-15 Victorian State Budget delivers record funding to build a better Victoria by investing in the future infrastructure and services to unlock the potential and drive growth across regional and rural communities.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government was investing in new job-creating infrastructure projects that would deliver more efficient roads and rail, better hospitals and schools and safer communities.

"The Coalition Government is building a better regional and rural Victoria by delivering infrastructure and services that unlock the growth potential of the regions," Mr Ryan said.

"Responsible financial management means we have delivered a healthy $1.3 billion surplus and maintain our AAA credit rating, enabling us to invest more in rural and regional Victoria."

Rail Infrastructure

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government's investment in regional and rural Victoria was spearheaded by a commitment of up to $220 million to build the Mildura to Geelong rail standardisation link as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project.

"The Coalition Government's Murray Basin Rail Project will transform the movement of freight across the state and unlock economic potential by delivering key country freight rail line upgrades and building the Mildura to Geelong rail standardisation link," Mr Ryan said.

"An additional $209.5 million is also delivered for the maintenance of new stations, bridge, other infrastructure and the delivery of new train and bus services along the $4.1 billion new Regional Rail Link, which will transform regional passenger rail services.

"Other rail investment includes $5.8 million to improve disability access at the Geelong Station and to upgrade the bus interchanges at Moorabool Street and North Shore in Geelong, $14.3 million for a new crossing loop at Rowsley to improve rail operations on the Ballarat line and $1.3 million for planning for the Avalon Airport Rail Link transport corridor," Mr Ryan said.

Road Infrastructure

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was strongly investing in building and upgrading roads across Victoria with an extra $130 million for roads maintenance and restoration, increasing our roads maintenance investment to more than $500 million for the coming year.

The State Budget delivers key regional and rural road projects in partnership with the Commonwealth including:

  • $362.2 million to duplicate the Princes Highway from Winchelsea to Colac;
  • $86 million for the Calder Highway interchange at Ravenswood;
  • $31.8 million for the Princes Highway East interchange at Sand Road;
  • $11 million for Princes Highway East overtaking lanes; and
  • $56.2 million for the Transport Solutions initiative which delivers targeted improvement projects to reduce bottlenecks and improve transport flows in key regional areas.

The Coalition Government will also invest $12.9 million to deliver the Pioneer Road duplication.

"In stark contrast, Labor's transport plan says it will set aside just $1 billion over eight years, or $125 million a year, for regional roads – slashing regional roads spending by two-thirds," Mr Ryan said.

"The money Labor cuts from country roads will be used to pay for Melbourne level crossing removals, where 32 of the 40 promised level crossing removals are in Labor held seats."

Hospitals and healthcare

Mr Ryan said that country hospitals would share in an extra $287 million to hospital bottom-line funding over the next year alone, to treat more patients and assist more people in emergency departments.

"The Coalition Government is investing in building better hospitals and delivering more efficient services so that regional Victorians can access the best healthcare," Mr Ryan said.

The State Budget's key regional and rural health investments include:

  • $73 million for Stage 2a of the Latrobe Regional Hospital redevelopment;
  • $28million to build the new Barwon Health-North facility;
  • $14 million for the Boort Hospital redevelopment; and
  • $8.6 million for two new Prevention & Recovery Care (PARC) mental health services, at Mildura and Warrnambool.

"This new spending builds on what we have already delivered including the biggest regional hospital in Australia's history – the $630 million Bendigo Hospital; the $46.4 million expansion of the Ballarat Hospital, the $65.6 million Echuca Hospital redevelopment and the $10 million Castlemaine Hospital upgrade, and hospital redevelopments at Mildura, Swan Hill, Kerang, Charlton, Numurkah, Geelong and Kilmore," Mr Ryan said.

"The regions will also share in $34.1 million to expand drug and alcohol treatment services and tackle the use of illicit drugs including ice.

"This funding boost will provide support services for over 2,000 extra people a year in rural and metro areas to respond to the growth in the use of ice," Mr Ryan said.

Education and training


Mr Ryan said regional and rural schools would share in a massive $500 million school capital investment package in the 2014-15 State Budget.

"The Coalition Government is building new schools, including $10 million Horsham College for modernisation and regeneration, $8.5 million for Geelong High School as part of $20 million commitment for a modernisation, and $7.8 for the Ballarat High School modernisation," Mr Ryan said.

"Additional to general budget spending, we're also investing $5 million over four years from the Regional Growth Fund into Year 12 retention in the regions.

"The regions will also share in $272.8 million in funding for increased support for students with moderate to severe disabilities in mainstream and specialist government schools.

"For skilling Victorians, the Coalition Government is investing $1.2 billion per year in vocational education and training. The Victorian Coalition Government is also investing $30 million in training for automotive workers," Mr Ryan said.

Food and fibre production

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government will continue to build a stronger food and fibre sector with $41 million of new initiatives in the 2014-15 Budget.

"This year's budget includes $35.4 million over four years, plus a further $6 million thereafter, for the Government's Food into Asia Action Plan to increase the volume and value of food exports into Asia, as we aim to double Victorian agricultural production by 2030," Mr Ryan said.

"The 2014-15 Budget will assist farmers in the war against wild dogs with an additional $1.8 million allocated for aerial baiting and ground baiting in North East Victoria and Gippsland.

"There is also $2.3 million to help establish a poppy industry in Victoria, and $1.6 million to deliver the Goulburn Valley fruit growing industry concessional loans package.

"The Coalition Government will also invest a further $40 million in water management initiatives which will help protect more communities from floods, tackle salinity and support the Murray Darling Basin Authority," Mr Ryan said.

Public Safety

Mr Ryan said the State Budget continues to invest in the CFA and the three highest CFA budgets in Victoria's history have all been delivered by the current Victorian Coalition Government.

"The 2014-15 CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than Labor provided in its last year of office. This record investment shows Labor's 'CFA budget cuts' mantra is an outright lie," Mr Ryan said.

"The CFA investment will now include a bonus $17.2 million to purchase 49 additional medium tankers for CFA brigades on top of the 29 vehicles already coming out of the CFA's usual budget, and $20.5 million to replace all existing respiratory protection equipment for Victoria's fire services.

"The State Budget delivers $13.5 million to roll out Tasers to all regional 24-hour police stations as well as $14.4 million for the new Echuca Police Station and $8.4 million to establish an emergency service precinct at Ballarat West," Mr Ryan said.

Funding announced in the 2014-15 State Budget was in addition to the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which has so far invested almost $400 million in more than 1,400 projects, generating more than $1.6 billion of total investment and expected to create thousands of jobs.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122


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