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Press Releases

$1 billion Regional Growth Fund transforms Nyora Community Hall

Friday, June 06, 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

$25,000 grants to tackle local graffiti issues

Friday, June 06, 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

Friday, June 06, 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 Government thanks emergency workers and volunteers

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government thanks volunteers and emergency services personnel for their contribution to protecting Victorian communities
  • More than 7,000 fire fighters fought the Hazelwood fire in Morwell
  • Thank you held during 2014 National Volunteer Week

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Minister for Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Kim Wells on Sunday recognised and thanked Victoria’s emergency services personnel and volunteers at a barbecue at Kernot Hall in Morwell.


“The Victorian Coalition Government is proud to support the vital work of emergency workers and volunteers who protect our state,” Mr Ryan said.

The barbecue was one of several events being held across Victoria to recognise the emergency workers and firefighting volunteers for their contribution to the community.

Mr Ryan, representing Premier Denis Napthine, said the 2013-14 bushfire season posed a serious challenge to regional Victoria, with fire conditions at their worst since Black Saturday.

A total of 4,600 bush and grass fires burned more than 463,000 hectares of land across Victoria this bushfire season. One person died and eighty houses were destroyed by fire across the state.

Morwell experienced the largest mine fire ever to occur in Australia during February and March this year. More than 7,000 firefighters engaged in the firefighting and more than 500 people worked directly and indirectly on the fire and its effects.

“The Coalition Government remains committed to helping the Morwell community get back on its feet following the Hazelwood Mine Fire,” Mr Ryan said.

Joining Mr Ryan in Morwell, Mr Wells said the event was an important opportunity to thank volunteers for their efforts during the 2013-14 fire season.

“Victoria has more than 90,000 operational and non-operational emergency services volunteers,” Mr Wells said.

“Our volunteers have a proud history assisting Victorians during times of need, and we are grateful for their outstanding support again this fire season.”

Member for Morwell Russell Northe thanked emergency services workers and volunteers for their tireless efforts during the Hazelwood Mine fire.

“This has undoubtedly been a trying time for local residents, and I join them in acknowledging, praising and being truly thankful for the relentless efforts of emergency services and volunteers who worked day and night to put out the Hazelwood fire and respond to the needs of the township.”

The barbecue was held during National Volunteer Week, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

More than six million people in Australia participate in voluntary work, representing 36 per cent of the population according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2010.

Coalition supporting Gippsland volunteers

Friday, June 06, 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

New Rosedale CFA Station open for business

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Deputy Premier opens new Rosedale CFA station
  • Local firefighters can better protect lives and save property from the threat of fire
  • Coalition Government is delivering record investments in regional and rural infrastructure

The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government has invested more than $450,000 to build a new CFA station at Rosedale, increasing the capacity of local firefighters to protect lives and save property from the threat of fire.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan was in Rosedale on Saturday to open the new $473,000 Rosedale CFA station.


“The Coalition Government is proud to support CFA members by providing them with the facilities and equipment they need to save lives and property,” Mr Ryan said.

“This new, modern three-bay fire station has improved meeting and training facilities and replaces the 48 year old building that brigade had been operating out of.

“It also provides additional equipment storage space and an office that will make it easier for members to undertake administrative tasks.

“The new Rosedale CFA station will ensure the Rosedale Fire Brigade is well equipped to perform its critical work now and into the future.”

Mr Ryan said the new CFA station would help attract and boost membership at the unit, which has 21 members who attend about 50 calls each year.

“The Rosedale Fire Brigade has provided an invaluable service to the communities of Rosedale, Flynn, Willung and Kilmany,” Mr Ryan said.

“Volunteers have played a vital role in protecting these communities, initially as two separate entities in the early 1940s as Rosedale Urban and Rosedale Rural brigades, and then as the Rosedale Fire Brigade after an amalgamation in 2000.”

Mr Ryan said the new CFA station had been funded through the Rural Fire Station project, with the brigade also contributing $20,000 towards the $473,000 facility.

“The local contribution is a fantastic effort and shows the commitment that CFA members have for the work they do on behalf of the community,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government is proud of the vital work performed by the CFA and we will continue to support them.”

Mr Ryan said since coming to office, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $2.29 billion.

“This financial year the CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than what was provided by the former Labor Government during its last year in office,” Mr Ryan said.

“We have also invested more than $125 million over the past three years to build 250 new or upgraded CFA stations across the state, a record infrastructure investment for the CFA.”

Mr Ryan said CFA members would also benefit from the $64.5 million emergency services investment in the Coalition Government’s 2014-15 State Budget, which included:

  • $20.5 million to replace Respiratory Protection Equipment for CFA and MFB firefighters; 
  • $29 million for the CFA to acquire 78 additional vehicles; and 
  • $15 million to upgrade critical systems to support emergency call-taking and dispatch services at the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA). 

“The Liberal Nationals Coalition Government’s record investment is strengthening Victoria’s emergency services,” Mr Ryan said

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


Equipment grants for Gippsland youth

Friday, June 06, 2014

  • Grants to purchase equipment for youth events now open
  • Coalition committed to helping young people stay connected
  • Grants of up to $5,000 open until Friday 16 May

Grants of up to $5,000 to purchase equipment such as projectors for youth movie nights, iPads for youth council meetings or PA systems for youth events are now available from the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government’s Equip program was making it easier for young people to get involved in their communities.

“The Equip grants provide funding to buy items such as iPads, laptops, cameras and sound systems that can be used to host youth events,” Mr Ryan said.

"We know that groups in rural areas have great ideas to get young people involved in their community, but sometimes need a helping hand, and these grants are providing that assistance.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government recognises the significant role young people play in shaping their local communities.

“As a government, we are committed to helping young people connect with their community through a number of programs such as the Be Heard Community Radio Program and Local Government Youth Inclusion Grants,” Mr Ryan said.

“These grants are only available to regional community organisations and councils, so I encourage all Gippsland groups to apply for a grant of up to $5,000.”

Minister for Youth Affairs Ryan Smith said it is important that young people are supported to get involved in their local community.

“The Equip Grant program is part of the Coalition Government’s $3.2 million Shape It! strategy which supports young people in rural and regional Victoria to participate in local decision-making and their community.

“The program will be delivered through the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria’s ‘Victorian Rural Youth Services’ initiative which promotes research, training and policy development to support young people living in rural areas.

Applications close on Friday 16 May, visit: www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au to apply.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

$10,000 grants for crime prevention initiatives

Friday, June 06, 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: www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/safetygrants

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870 

Festival celebrates community inclusiveness

Friday, June 06, 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: www.tarrafestival.com.au/

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

New Poowong CFA Station open for business

Friday, June 06, 2014
  • Deputy Premier opens new Poowong CFA station
  • Local firefighters can better protect lives and save property from the threat of fire
  • Coalition Government is delivering record investments in regional and rural infrastructure

The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government has invested more than $400,000 to build a new CFA station at Poowong, increasing the capacity of local firefighters to protect lives and save property from the threat of fire.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan was in Poowong today to open the new $434,000 Poowong CFA station.

“The Coalition Government is proud to support CFA members by providing them with the facilities and equipment they need to save lives and property,” Mr Ryan said. 

“This new, modern three-bay fire station has improved meeting and training facilities.

“It also provides space for the brigade’s response trailer, which was previously housed at a brigade member’s property.

“The new Poowong CFA station will ensure the Poowong Fire Brigade is well equipped to perform its critical work now and into the future.”

Mr Ryan said the new CFA station would help attract and boost membership at the unit, which has 37 members who attend about 60 calls each year.

“The Poowong Fire Brigade has provided an invaluable service to the communities of Poowong, Loch and Nyora since it was formed 132 years ago,” Mr Ryan said.

“It has played a vital role in protecting the local community and the people of Victoria during some of the state’s biggest fires, including the Black Saturday fires in 2009.

“The Coalition Government is proud of the vital work performed by the CFA and we will continue to support them.”

Mr Ryan said the new Poowong CFA station had been funded through the Rural Fire Station project and highlighted the Coalition Government’s ongoing commitment to build and upgrade rural fire stations.

“Since 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $1.84 billion,” Mr Ryan said.

 “This financial year the CFA Budget is $446 million, $47 million more than what was provided by the former Labor Government during its last year in office.

“We have also invested more than $125 million over the past three years to build 250 new or upgraded CFA stations across the state, a record infrastructure investment for the CFA.

“The Liberal Nationals Coalition Government’s record investment is strengthening Victoria’s emergency services.”

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