Press Releases

Festival celebrates community inclusiveness

* * - Wednesday, April 09, 2014


·        Free events to bring community together at Easter Tarra Festival
·        Support Gippsland producers by enjoying local food and beverages
·        Activities for children at the Family Fun Day at Won Wron

A festival that was first run on a budget of just $15 in 1972 will be held in the Yarram area for the 42nd consecutive year this Easter, Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

“The Tarra Festival is a great opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate this fantastic area of Gippsland and all the things that make it great,” Mr Ryan said.

“The festival is co-ordinated by a dedicated team of volunteers from local service groups and community organisations with the aim of creating a program that appeals to all ages.”

Mr Ryan said a prominent feature of the festival each year was Saturday’s street parade.

“Floats entered in the street parade will follow this year’s theme of ‘A taste of country’,” Mr Ryan said.

“For the first time, a mobility scooters category has been added to the parade and a feature from the first parade, the pram category, will make a return.”

Mr Ryan said it was pleasing that Gippsland produced food and beverages, including products from Grand Ridge Brewery and Wild Dog Winery, would be available at the festival.

“When the regions are thriving, Victoria thrives so it’s important that farmers and regional producers are supported so they can continue to contribute to our local economy in the many ways they currently do,” Mr Ryan said.

One of the festival organisers Kim Hutton said the committee had worked hard this year to include an event for everyone.

“If you’ve never attended the festival before, this is the year that I urge you to attend,” Ms Hutton said.

“The program includes a free concert in the park, the Family Fun Day, markets, tai chi, a golf stableford, children’s activities, bush walking, history and open garden displays and a social dance to encourage everyone to spend some time in Yarram this Easter.

“Many of the activities from the first festival are still on the program, which shows how much the community does enjoy and support the event.”

Ms Hutton said for the first time this year, Easter church services had been incorporated into the event program.

For more information or to view the program, visit:

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Gippsland Vehicle Collection celebrates 10 years of motoring in Maffra

* * - Friday, April 04, 2014

  • Gippsland Vehicle Collection celebrates 10 successful years
  • More than 70,000 enthusiasts have visited
  • Display vehicles are regularly changed over

More than 70,000 car enthusiasts have admired displays at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection in Maffra since the group first formed 10 years ago.

Speaking at the museum’s 10th birthday celebration today, Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the collection provided a significant economic benefit to the Maffra community.

“In April 2004, the decision was made to try and establish a motoring museum for Gippsland,” Mr Ryan said.

“The group signed a lease for this property with Murray Goulburn in December 2004 and the members set about creating a home for what would one day become the Gippsland Vehicle Collection.

“Over the following two-year period, the group raised $80,000 by holding vehicle displays and participating in the Maffra Mardi Gras to transform the facility into the magnificent collection it is today.”

Mr Ryan said the Gippsland Vehicle Collection has showcased between 70 and 120 cars and motorcycles at once and has successfully operated out of the Maffra Shed since its inception in October 2006.

“More than 70,000 visitors have visited the collection since its opening in 2006 and in 2010, it attracted 10,000 visitors in one year for the first time,” Mr Ryan said.

“The majority of vehicles in the collection are privately owned and leased or loaned to the club and this unique element allows the collection to be regularly changed to reflect a new theme, such as cars of the 1970s, Holdens, Fords, American-made or British-made vehicles.”

Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said the collection is a fantastic community asset for Maffra and the wider Gippsland community.

"Having taken my own family, I can attest to what a great experience a visit to the museum is, and I encourage local residents and visitors alike to check out the collection," Mr Bull said.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Two local show societies receive funding

* * - Thursday, April 03, 2014

  • Almost $3,000 to update Foster show jumping equipment
  • $8,543 to upgrade power, purchase urn and install speed humps at Korumburra Show
  • Gippsland show societies encouraged to apply for next round

The Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government is providing two South Gippsland show societies with funding to upgrade equipment, improve safety and continue their valuable contribution to the community.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said Foster and District Agricultural Society would receive $2,734 to purchase a set of show jumping safety cups and Korumburra Agricultural and Pastoral Society would receive $8,543 to upgrade power, purchase an urn and install two speed humps.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to supporting agricultural and pastoral show societies in the great work they do for their communities as well as showcasing the region’s agriculture industries to locals and visitors.

“Show societies play a vital role in rural and regional communities, by not only boosting local economies but providing a place for the community to come together each year and so we are pleased to provide some assistance,” Mr Ryan said.

“More than $265,000 is being provided to 45 show societies across Victoria this year through the Agricultural and Pastoral Society Grants Program, which provides grants of up to $10,000 for improving facilities that promote agriculture and arts and crafts,” Mr Ryan said.

“Societies can also apply for up to $8000 to install or upgrade showground amenities and up to $5000 for business activities such as workshops, planning and surveys.

“I would encourage all local show societies in need of upgrades to consider applying for a grant under the next round of funding.”

Foster Show Society president Noel Afflitto said he was thrilled that the grant would allow the committee to purchase their own set of show jumping cups that would improve safety for riders and horses.

“Up until now, we’ve been borrowing the cups from local pony clubs to use at our show each year, which is difficult as they often require them at the same time,” Mr Afflitto said.

“Having a strong horse presence at our show is integral and it’s important that we provide riders with the best equipment that we can.

“Now that we will have our own set of safety cups, we will be able to loan them out to other smaller organisations to assist them with their events.”

Korumburra Agricultural and Pastoral Society’s Syd White said all show patrons and competitors would benefit from the $8,543 grant.

“The installation of speed humps will prevent the road that runs through the showgrounds from being used as a thoroughfare, which will improve safety for those walking around that area at show time,” Mr White said.

“The power upgrades will take place in the cattle area and the funding will also allow for lighting to be installed, which will be handy for those setting up of a night or early morning.”

Mr White said the hot water urn would also be made available to others who used the Korumburra Showgrounds throughout the year, including the pony club and dairy expo.

Mr Ryan said the show grants were conditional on show societies providing $1 for every $2 contributed by the Victorian Government.

For more information on the Agricultural and Pastoral Society Grants program, visit: 

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870 

Face of Australia Festival to celebrate Gippsland’s diverse cultures

* * - Monday, March 31, 2014

• Inaugural Sale festival celebrates diversity of cultures
• Food, dance and other cultural activities on offer on Saturday April 5
• $1,000 Coalition Government grant supports Festival marketing

The culture, food, wine and music of Gippsland’s diverse ethnic communities will be celebrated at the inaugural Face of Australia Food, Wine and Music Festival in Sale coinciding with the start of school holidays.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government was pleased to offer a $1,000 grant to assist organisers in marketing the event to audiences outside of the local area. 

“This inaugural local festival will provide a mini world tour of Australia’s global communities through various culinary, musical and cultural activities,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Festival will also provide a celebration of all the things that make us different and the common elements that unite us.”

Mr Ryan said The Face of Australia Festival, set for Saturday 5 April at the Port of Sale, will recognise the traditions, music and cuisine of the rich and diversified cultures that co-exist in Victoria and more specifically Gippsland.

“From indigenous Australians to the many ethnicities that now call Australia home, this festival will highlight the contribution these communities make to regional areas.”

Mr Ryan said about 45 percent of Australians were born overseas or had at least one parent who was born overseas and people from more than 200 countries now lived in Australia.

Tourism Minister Louise Asher said events like this had a strong track record of contributing to regional economies and helping grow Victoria’s $19.1 billion tourism industry.

“It is anticipated the event will draw visitors to Sale and generate economic benefit for local businesses especially accommodation, tourism and hospitality operators,” Ms Asher said.

“Events like the Face of Australia Food, Wine and Music Festival are a major drawcard with the inaugural festival expecting to draw 5000 visitors.”

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Labor and Jacinta Allan bag in Bendigo what they barrack for in Burwood

* * - Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • Jacinta Allan criticising a policy her party supports
  • Labor tells country voters one thing; city voters another
  • Labor treating country voters with contempt

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan has slammed the Labor Opposition for treating voters with contempt over the Victoria Coalition Government’s new public transport initiative.

The Coalition Government announced yesterday that it would provide free tram travel within the Melbourne CBD and Docklands, meaning country visitors no longer need a Myki to use trams in the CBD and Docklands.

“Labor leader Daniel Andrews backed the Coalition plan in a story in today’s Herald Sun, titled ‘Cheaper travel for outer ‘burbs – Napthine plan wins over ALP’,” Mr Ryan said.

“Mr Andrews was quoted as saying: ‘No matter who wins the election, public transport fares will be cheaper’.

“In other words, ‘me too’ politics.

“Meanwhile, in the Bendigo Advertiser today under the headline ‘Allan slams transport pledge’, the member for Bendigo East attacks the Coalition’s plan for free tram transport within Docklands and the CBD.

“This is deceitful and deceptive conduct by any standards.

“The member for Bendigo East is trying to give the impression to the people of Bendigo that Labor is opposed to this plan, which Labor actually supports. She seems to think country people are not aware of what her leader is saying in the Herald Sun.

“Labor supports this great new public transport initiative when it is speaking to city voters and smashes it when it is speaking in the country – Labor barracks for this initiative in Burwood while bagging it in Bendigo.

“Labor treats country people with contempt. The contempt shown by the member for Bendigo East and Labor to the voters of Bendigo and regional Victoria is not lost on these people. They will remember this,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

Visitors to Melbourne will benefit with free CBD trams

* * - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

• Significant cost of living relief for Victorian families
• Free tram travel in Melbourne CBD without needing to touch on with a myki card
• Coalition Government building a better public transport network for Victoria

Visitors to Melbourne including regional and rural Victorians will be able to take advantage of free tram travel in Melbourne’s CBD and Docklands, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today.

“Visitors to Melbourne will be able to travel for free on trams within the CBD and Docklands without needing to touch on with their Myki card,” Mr Mulder said.

“Many people travel from the country to the city for all sorts of reasons, including to watch the football, cricket or tennis – in fact the Friday night and Saturday night V/Line services to the city are affectionately known as ‘footy trains’.

“Free trams within the CBD and Docklands can take sports fans to the Docklands, or to within an easy walk of the MCG or Nationals Tennis Centre.

“Visitors to Melbourne can also take free trams to the city’s laneways and bars, theatres, museums, restaurants, Casino, Victoria Market, Melbourne Aquarium or Federation Square.

“Those wanting to explore the Docklands’ many attractions, including Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, Waterfront City or concerts at Etihad Stadium, can do so minus the travel costs.”

Mr Mulder said the changes would come into effect from 1 January 2015.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the free tram reforms build on the success of the City Circle tram, which is hugely popular for regional and rural visitors.

Mr Ryan said regional and rural families travelling to Melbourne’s CBD for the day, a weekend or during school holidays would benefit from the Coalition Government’s initiative.

“It currently costs $7.16 a day per adult to travel on our tram network,” Mr Ryan said.

“This can add an extra $20 to $30 or more per trip to Melbourne for mum, dad and the kids to use Melbourne’s CBD tram network.

“This money will now go straight back into mum and dad’s pocket for use elsewhere.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s initiative came as the Coalition Government continues to deliver more frequent and improved regional train services.

“This bonus comes on top of the massive $4.8 billion Regional Rail Link project, which is reducing travel times from Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat by giving V/Line trains from these destinations their own dedicated rail lines, so that they are not delayed or slowed by city Metro trains,” Mr Ryan said.

“Regional Rail Link will allow for an extra 10 regional train services during each morning and evening peak period.

“It also supports our decision to purchase 43 VLocity railcars which will cater for growing regional patronage and increased service levels when Regional Rail Link is complete.

“Each VLocity carriage can seat 76 passengers, adding more than 3,000 extra seats to the V/Line network.

“This latest move by the Coalition Government is just one more bonus for regional travellers.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122 

Regional Growth Fund support to complete Morwell Town Common redevelopment

* * - Friday, March 21, 2014
  • New pathways, play area, seating, BBQ, landscaping and carparking for Morwell Town Common
    • Victorian Coalition Government contributes $250,000 
  • Coalition Government building better public spaces for local communities

A new play area, pathways, seating, barbeque and picnic tables will be installed at the Morwell Town Common as part of a $375,000 redevelopment project, which is receiving support from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Speaking at the project site today alongside Member for Morwell Russell Northe, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan announced the Coalition Government would invest $250,000 to complete the project.

“As well as the new park infrastructure, extensive landscaping will also be carried out including re-vegetation, development of new sensory features and planting of shade trees in existing playgrounds,” Mr Ryan said.

“The funding will also be used to complete construction of the western car park, off Chapel Street, further increasing accessibility to this much loved facility.”

Mr Northe said he was extremely proud that The Nationals, as part of Coalition Government, were able to deliver this important community project.

“For almost a decade local organisations, including Advance Morwell and the Rotary Club of Morwell, have called for improvements to the Morwell Town Common and for years the former Labor Government failed to fund it,” Mr Northe said.

“The Coalition Government, through our $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, is delivering for Morwell and Latrobe Valley families and businesses.

“Through the Regional Growth Fund we have so far invested more than $16 million to support over 50 projects across the Latrobe Valley, leveraging almost $50 million in total investment.

“This includes the $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund, which has so far invested around $10 million and created almost 400 new jobs.”

Mr North said the Morwell Town Common project would be managed by funding partner Latrobe City Council, which contributed $125,000.

He said works would be carried out between school holidays to ensure minimal disruption to park users, with the project scheduled to be completed by June 2015.

Mr Ryan said the project was another example of the Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund working in partnership with local government to invest in important local infrastructure projects.

“The Regional Growth Fund is creating new jobs and delivering much needed infrastructure in regional communities by investing in projects that may otherwise not have come to fruition,” Mr Ryan said.

“Since it was established in early 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has invested more than $394 million to support almost 1,400 projects across regional and rural Victoria, leveraging $1.57 billion in total investment.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

Avenue of Agriculture highlight of Show

* * - Monday, February 17, 2014

A new feature at this year’s Foster Show will shine a spotlight on the breadth of quality food produced by the Gippsland agriculture industry, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

“The Avenue of Agriculture highlights the variety of food grown and produced in this magnificent region, much of which is sold throughout Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“Truffles, unique jams and preserves, 30 varieties of fruit and nuts and locally grown pepper and garlic are some of the foodie delights that will be available,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said it was important to recognise the contribution that local farmers made to Victoria’s economy and urged the community to support their efforts by visiting the Avenue of Agriculture this Saturday.

Mr Ryan said he was thrilled to be presenting this year’s Junior Show Ambassador awards. 

“The Junior Show Ambassador awards recognise some of Foster’s young residents that are dedicated to improving their community and demonstrate leadership among their peers,” Mr Ryan said.

“Young leaders are the lifeblood of rural communities and contribute in many ways through sporting clubs, Landcare, primary school programs and show societies so it’s fantastic to see their efforts recognised.”

He said the winner of the Junior Show Ambassador award would represent the district at the Central and South Gippsland Regional Final at Korumburra in May.

“This year’s show will celebrate 60 years of oat-filled sacks being tossed over a bar when it hosts Victoria’s longest running sheaf tossing championship,” Mr Ryan said.

“For those not familiar with sheaf tossing, it involves a competitor using a pitchfork to throw a 3.2 kilogram oat filled sack over a bar that is raised after each competitor’s ‘toss’ has successfully cleared the bar.”

Mr Ryan said it was great to see that Leon Murphy, the man who introduced Foster to sheaf tossing in 1954 was opening the 107th Foster Show.

“I urge Gippslanders to come and enjoy some of the events at the 107th Foster show on 22 February to ensure the event can be enjoyed by generations to come,” he said.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Operation Helix takes aim at illegal pipi harvesting

* * - Friday, January 10, 2014

A major education and enforcement operation has been launched at Venus Bay to ensure that recreational fishers are observing daily catch limits for pipis.

Acting Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said Fisheries Victoria officers would be out in force at Venus Bay as part of Operation Helix to target illegal pipi harvesting.

“Operation Helix is educating fishers at Venus Bay about daily catch limits for pipis as well as detecting any over-harvesting,” Mr Ryan said.

“Fisheries regulations limit the daily catch limit for pipis in Venus Bay and the rest of the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park area to two litres, or 0.5 litres of shucked pipis per person.”

Mr Ryan said the law existed to protect pipi stocks and was just one of the strategies used to make sure the fishery is there for our children and grandchildren.

“Fisheries Victoria has run compliance operations on pipi harvesting at Venus Bay each year for the past five years,” Mr Ryan said.

“These operations raise awareness and help people better understand the fishery and the regulations that apply to pipi harvesting.”

Mr Ryan said as part of the focus on the pipi fishery at Venus Bay, the Victorian Coalition Government had also undertaken in-depth and peer-reviewed research in 2011-12 that found pipi harvesting in the area remained at sustainable levels.

“Our Fisheries scientists are confident that Venus Bay pipis are being managed sustainably, and the Coalition Government is committed to making sure this important recreational fishery is here for future generations,” Mr Ryan said.

“Fisheries Victoria will continue to closely monitor the fishery and run compliance operations that make sure all fishers observe the rules and take only their fair share.

“I urge anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing to contact the 24-hour Fisheries offence reporting line on 133474.”

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870

Victoria to host Socceroos in Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup 2015 opening match

* * - Thursday, January 09, 2014

A year from today, Victoria will host the opening match of the biggest single sports event in Asia – the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2015.

In Melbourne today, Acting Premier Peter Ryan today joined Federal Minister for Sports Peter Dutton, Socceroos Coach Ange Postecoglou, the AFC Asian Cup Local Organising Committee CEO Michael Brown, Socceroos captain Lucas Neill and Victorian junior representatives from diverse multicultural backgrounds to launch the Asian Cup countdown.

“There’s no doubt football is the world game. What better place to showcase Asia’s premier sporting extravaganza than in our multicultural hub for all things sport, Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“This time next year, 32 matches featuring 16 teams from the Asian region, including the Socceroos, will be hosted across five cities Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle.

“The tournament kicks off in Melbourne with the opening match featuring the Socceroos on 9 January at AAMI Park, followed by other group matches at the purpose built stadium on 11, 14, 16, 18, and 20 January, and a quarter final on 22 January 2015.

“Hosting the AFC Asian Cup will 2015 showcase Victoria as a vibrant economic, sports and multicultural hub to the rest of the world.”

Michael Brown, CEO of the AFC Asian Cup Local Organising Committee, said the tournament was the biggest single sports event in Asia.

“At this time next year the Asian Cup will be in full swing as the Socceroos kick off the tournament in Melbourne,” Mr Brown said.

“We want to give the warmest of welcomes to all of Asia’s top teams, and deliver a tournament that celebrates Asia’s rich football culture.

Socceroos captain Lucas Neill, who is the Asian Cup’s captain ambassador, said the event brought home the reality of Australia hosting its biggest football championship.

“The prospect of playing in such a massive tournament, in our own backyard, in front of our families and friends, is a tremendous driving force,” Neill said.

The Socceroos bowed out at the quarter-final stage of the Asian Cup in 2007, and were defeated by an extra time goal in the 2011 final, losing out both times to Japan.

The AFC Asian Cup 2015 is proudly supported by the Federal Government and the Victorian, New South Wales, Queensland and Australian Capital Territory governments.

For more information about the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 visit

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

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