Press Releases

South Gippsland towns gain new sewerage scheme

* * - Monday, July 14, 2014
  • New sewerage system approved for Poowong, Loch and Nyora
  • The three towns will also pilot Right Water cash back incentives
  • Coalition Government building a better Victoria with affordable infrastructure

    The Victorian Coalition Government will deliver a new state-of-the-art pressure sewerage system for residents of Poowong, Loch and Nyora 18 months earlier than expected, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced on Friday.

    Local residents will also be offered cash incentives to install or upgrade rainwater tanks and other water saving devices.

    Joining residents in Nyora, Mr Ryan said he was delighted to deliver for local communities ahead of schedule.

    “Construction on the advanced pressure sewerage system for Poowong, Loch and Nyora will begin in the coming weeks,” Mr Ryan said.

    “South Gippsland Water, in conjunction with South East Water, have planning well underway.

    “Under the new system, wastewater generated by the three towns will be treated at South East Water’s Lang Lang water recycling plant.

    “All properties are expected to be connected by 30 June 2016 – 18 months ahead of previous estimates.

    “The new system will help improve Poowong, Loch and Nyora by minimising the risk of household sewerage polluting the environment through ageing, failing and poorly maintained septic tanks.”

    The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Danny O’Brien said residents of Poowong, Loch and Nyora would be encouraged to adopt the Right Water principles, ensuring they were using the right water for the job at home.

    “The Coalition Government’s Right Water campaign shows how easy it is to use the right water for the job around the home. For example, rainwater from the roof is a great way to keep gardens green, to wash the car and even to flush the toilets inside,” Mr O’Brien said.

    “Poowong, Loch and Nyora residents will be offered cash back incentives for upgrading or installing rainwater tanks and water-efficient products that minimise use of precious drinking water for showering, washing clothes, flushing toilets and watering gardens.

    “The Coalition has not only delivered this win for Loch, Nyora and Poowong residents, it has delivered it ahead of time.

    “Contrast our sensible and affordable water policies and projects to a multi-billion dollar, unused, over time and over budget desalination plant and the plugged north-south pipeline.”

    Residents wanting more information on the new sewerage scheme and the Right Water cash back incentives can call 1300 851 636.

    Media contact: Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404 
     
     
     

Study to mitigate flood risk at Seaspray

* * - Friday, July 04, 2014

• An investigation to identify the risk of flooding at Seaspray
• Communities to be better informed and prepared for floods
• Victorian Coalition Government supporting the Seaspray community

The Seaspray community will be better protected and informed about its flood risk with an investment of $70,000 for a study announced by Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan.

Mr Ryan said the flood study would develop models to help understand and predict the extent, depth, speed and potential impacts of a range of future flood events.

In Seaspray today, Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government would contribute $52,200 through its FloodZoom program towards the project.

“As locals would know, Seaspray is vulnerable to flooding as a result of high storm water flows into Merrimans Creek and a study carried out in 2010 found that current flood mapping for the town is unreliable and out of date,” Mr Ryan said.

“The findings of this flood investigation will be incorporated into the Wellington Shire Council’s planning scheme and will give town planners, emergency service workers and the Seaspray community a better understanding of flood behaviour.”

Mr Ryan said Seaspray had about 320 permanent residents and that number increased significantly during Summer to more than 1,000.

“Therefore it’s important we have detailed modelling to ensure the town is adequately prepared for potential floods,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s contribution of $52,200 was part of a $4.2 million initiative to make towns across the State more flood resistant.

Mr Ryan said the Commonwealth Government would contribute $7,800 through the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme (NDRGS) with West Gippsland CMA to contribute $10,000 and manage the project alongside Wellington Shire.

The Nationals Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the NDRGS was designed to encourage input from locals.

"Many communities already have extensive local knowledge when it comes to flooding and the disruption and damage these events can cause,” Mr Chester said.

“The NDRSGS allows communities and authorities to build on this local knowledge, so that everybody has access to the same information before the next flood event happens.

“Flooding is a reality of living in Gippsland, but with the right information our communities have a better chance of ensuring any property or land damage is minimised.”

“Community consultation is a key element of this project and residents will have the chance to offer their input.”

Mr Chester said the Seaspray flood study was one of 22 flood related projects approved through the NDRGS in 2013-2014.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Cheaper bills for South Gippsland Water customers

* * - Friday, June 27, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government delivering cheaper water bills
  • Average savings of $48 per year for the next four years
  • Coalition Government driving down cost of living pressures

Homeowners and small business operators in Yarram, Foster, Toora, Leongatha and Korumburra will save $48 on their water bills each year for the next four years thanks to the Victorian Liberal National Coalition Government‟s Fairer Water Bills Initiative.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan welcomed the savings which have been achieved by South Gippsland Water cutting back on office waste and unnecessary red tape.

“Gippsland households and small businesses have frustratingly come to expect that their water bills will keep rising each and every year,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has said „enough is enough‟ and asked water corporations to find savings.

“I am pleased to announce that for the next four years South Gippsland Water will provide rebates of an average of $48 a year to residential and small business customers paying water and wastewater service charges.

“This means that 90 per cent of South Gippsland Water‟s residential customers and many small business owners will receive a significant reduction to their water bills.”

Mr Ryan said the savings would be delivered through a once-off yearly rebate applied to all residential water customers‟ accounts (excluding cistern accounts) from 1 July 2014.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to driving down cost of living pressures and the Fairer Water Bills initiative was delivering real savings for household and small business budgets.

“The Coalition Government asked South Gippsland Water to identify ways it could help customers save on their water bills without compromising on service,” Mr Ryan said.


“South Gippsland Water highlighted a number of cost saving measures, which included partnering with other corporations to achieve larger savings, more efficient use of water treatments and lower vehicle management costs.”

South Gippsland Water Chairman Joan Liley said the corporation was pleased to deliver savings for customers over the next four years.

“Reductions in customers‟ water and wastewater bills will begin on Tuesday 1 July 2014, and these savings will help to ease pressures on household and small business budgets,” Ms Liley said.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Coalition delivering cheaper water bills

* * - Friday, June 27, 2014

  • Victorian Coalition Government delivering cheaper water bills
  • Savings of up to $36 per year for the next four years
  • Coalition Government driving down cost of living pressures

Homeowners, tenants and landlords in Sale, Rosedale, Stratford, Maffra and Heyfield will save up to $36 on their water bills each year for the next four years thanks to the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government‟s Fairer Water Bills initiative.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan welcomed the savings which have been achieved by Gippsland Water cutting back on office waste and unnecessary red tape.

“Gippsland households have frustratingly come to expect that their water bills will keep rising each and every year,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government has said „enough is enough‟ and asked water corporations to find savings.

“I am pleased to announce that for the next four years Gippsland Water will provide rebates of $26 a year to all customers paying water service charges and $10 a year to customers paying water use charges.

“This means that owner-occupiers will receive a total $36 saving off their annual water bills, tenants will save $10, and landlords will save $26.”

Mr Ryan said all residential customers of South Gippsland Water were eligible to receive the savings, which would be delivered through a yearly one-off rebate applied to all residential water customers‟ accounts from 1 July 2014.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to driving down cost of living pressures and the Fairer Water Bills initiative was delivering real savings for household budgets.

“The Coalition Government asked Gippsland Water to identify ways it could help customers save on their water bills without compromising on service,” Mr Ryan said.

“Gippsland Water highlighted a number of cost saving measures, which included a reduction in the use of external consultants, better collaboration with local government and other agencies, and streamlining of internal processes.”

Gippsland Water Chairman Richard McDowell said the organisation was happy to pass on savings to its customers as it would help to ease some of the pressure on household budgets.

“We‟ve been able to identify some projects and internal processes which will have a positive impact on our bottom line through the Fairer Water Bills initiative and we will continue to examine how we do business to keep downward pressure on customer‟s bills,” Mr McDowell said.

Media contact: Steph Nicholls 0437 108 870

Sign up for VICSWIM 2014 learn-to-swim activities

* * - Monday, October 28, 2013

Children across South Gippsland are gearing up for another fun summer of learn-to-swim activities, following the recent launch of the 2014 VICSWIM Summer Kidz Program.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said the 2014 program, to be held in the January school holidays, was set to be the most popular yet.  

“The VICSWIM Summer Kidz program just keeps getting bigger, with a record 7,500 enrolments last summer, meaning more kids than ever are getting involved in learn-to-swim activities around Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.  

“The upcoming program is expected to involve more than 130 instructors providing low cost swimming lessons at 127 venues across the state, including three in South Gippsland.

“Korumburra, Mirboo North and Toora pools will offer quality learn-to-swim activities during the January school holidays for children over four years of age and adults, who are also invited to enrol in the program.”

Mr Ryan said through the VICSWIM program, participants not only learnt important survival skills, but also had the chance to make new friends and boost their health by getting more active more often, in and around water.

“Every participant will receive one 40-minute class each day for the five-day program they are enrolled in,” Mr Ryan said.

“Enrolment is $25 per participant and I encourage families to get in quick and sign up for this very popular program.”

Mr Ryan said the upcoming program built on the Victorian Coalition Government’s 2010 election commitment of $1.6 million to the VICSWIM Summer Kidz Program that had enabled more children to take up affordable learn-to-swim classes.

“The Coalition Government’s commitment to the VICSWIM program is just one way that we are delivering on our goal to build active and healthy communities,” Mr Ryan said.

For more information about the program, participating venues and how to enrol, please visit http://www.vicswim.com.au/.

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

Regional Growth Fund creates jobs, saves water

* * - Thursday, September 26, 2013

Burra Foods at Korumburra will embark on a $20 million water saving project and plant expansion with the help of $1.5 million from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the water recycling and wastewater treatment project would pave the way for an expansion of the plant, which will allow Burra Foods to produce infant formula.

“The project will secure 101 jobs at the plant and create an estimated 26 new jobs as well as new jobs on farms and in supply chain businesses,” Mr Ryan said.

“These additional jobs will boost the regional economy through worker’s wages as well as contract fees to suppliers.

“This project will deliver improved water quality and security, and reduce demand on the town water supply by at least 165 megalitres, or 62 per cent, per year. Wastewater discharges to South Gippsland Water’s wastewater treatment plant will drop by at least 60 per cent.

“Recycling water and reducing wastewater provides significant benefits to the wider community.

“The project is a substantial investment in the region, with Burra Foods investing $20.461 million in the water initiatives and the expansion of its Nutritional Milk Powder Division. Further investment in the Nutritional Milk Powder Division is likely from 2016.

“The investment will also boost Burra Foods’ export sales, secure the future of existing regional businesses and make the dairy sector more sustainable and resilient.”

Mr Ryan said the Infant Formula Water Initiatives Project involves fabricating and installing:

  • water recycling infrastructure, including pipelines, new pre-treatment storage tanks and a microfiltration plant;
  • water supply treatment infrastructure, including pipelines, a carbon filtration plant, new reverse osmosis equipment and a sterilisation plant; and
  • wastewater treatment infrastructure, including new pipelines to separate waste streams, a new wastewater filtration plant and new reverse osmosis equipment.

    “The $1 billion Regional Growth Fund strategically drives jobs, growth and investment and has already provided more than $344 million for almost 1,200 projects worth more than $1.4 billion,” Mr Ryan said.

Shepparton water company expansion creates 106 new local jobs

* * - Thursday, July 04, 2013
More than 100 new jobs will be created in the Goulburn Valley following
today’s announcement by the Victorian Coalition Government that it will
provide Shepparton firm Rubicon Water with $750,000 to assist the company
expand its Goulburn Valley operations.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Peter Ryan joined Member
for Shepparton Jeanette Powell in Shepparton today to announce the grant
from the Coalition Government’s Industries for Today and Tomorrow program.

Rubicon Water is a provider of innovative and technologically advanced
solutions for improving management of irrigation water and currently
employs 189 people, of which 171 are based in Australia, including 114 in
Shepparton.

“The Coalition Government is helping Rubicon undertake an expansion project
worth close to $3.5 million, driving exports and generating 112 new jobs –
106 of them in the local area,” Mr Ryan said.

“This expansion will include a $2.9 million investment in new technology
for the machine shop and a $527,000 upgrade to facilities to house
additional staff, equipment and products.”

Mr Ryan said Rubicon’s export business was the driver of this expansion
with the company currently working on projects likely to create export
sales of approximately $10 million, and potentially up to $100 million over
the next three years.

“This will include projects in California and China as well as Australian
based projects including major irrigation district upgrades in New South
Wales,” Mr Ryan said.

Mrs Powell welcomed the announcement, saying it would provide a significant
boost for employment in the Goulburn Valley, following a recent contraction
in the fruit processing industry.

“The 106 local roles will include 58 jobs in manufacturing, 40 field roles
and eight jobs in project delivery and administration,” Mrs Powell said.

Mrs Powell said Rubicon was working with the Coalition Government to grow
its business, having recently participated in the Grow Your Business
program and also as a past delegate on international trade missions.

“Rubicon is a tremendous example of what can be achieved when businesses
access government support,” Mrs Powell said.

“The Coalition Government has introduced a new way of engaging with
business to help build lasting relationships that provide support over the
long-term.

“Teams of business development managers are now working to directly engage
with companies, based in the expanded network of Victorian Government
Business Offices across the state and internationally.

“This closer approach is helping firms improve competitiveness and
productivity, and develop new export opportunities.”

The local Victorian Government Business Office can be found at 79A Wyndham
Street, Shepparton.

Coalition unlocks East Bairnsdale’s economic potential

* * - Friday, June 07, 2013
Hundreds of new jobs will be created in East Bairnsdale as the region continues to benefit from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan announced today that the Coalition Government would provide more than $1.7 million towards a $6.2 million flood mitigation and drainage scheme for East Bairnsdale.

Visiting Patties Foods in Lucknow with Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull, Mr Ryan said the project would solve the long-standing and frequent flooding problems that have impacted on East Bairnsdale’s business growth and investment.

“Constructed adjacent to Lucknow’s flood-prone industrial estate, this project will secure existing business operations and open up land for development, to house new manufacturing, retail and tourism growth opportunities,” Mr Ryan said.

“This, in turn, will provide a boost to the local economy by attracting private sector investment and stimulating business and residential expansion, and flow-on jobs growth.”

Mr Ryan said the project would galvanise business expansion projects in East Bairnsdale, previously prevented by frequent and significant flooding, most recently in 2011 and 2012.

“Among the projects planned is a $25 million expansion of Patties Foods, creating 110 new jobs over the next five years,” Mr Ryan said.

“Another significant project is J C Dalhsens’ proposed $40 million investment in a commercial homemaker centre, creating 150 new jobs locally over the next five years.

“Broadlands Development Pty Ltd will be able to establish its proposed 120-site tourist and caravan park, attracting visitors to the area and providing 10 new jobs.

“Solving the Lucknow flooding issues has the potential to unlock about $67 million in investment for these three businesses alone and more than 280 jobs and more than 570 jobs down the regional supply chain.”

Mr Ryan said in addition to the private sector jobs, 17 jobs would be created during construction of the wetlands system.

Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said the project would unlock up to 900 new allotments for residential development, to cater for projected population growth in Bairnsdale.

“The new drainage system will improve the quality of water flowing into the internationally-listed Ramsar Wetlands and the Gippsland Lakes, create a landscaped entry to Bairnsdale, and revegetate degraded land,” Mr Bull said.

“It will also enhance the amount and quality of open space in Lucknow, providing a significant lifestyle asset for the local community.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government would contribute a total of $1,733,000 towards the project from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund – funding quarantined for regional and rural Victoria.

“Between July 2011 and April 2013, nearly $17 million in funding has been approved from the Regional Growth Fund towards a range of projects in East Gippsland attracting more than $23 million of total investment,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan thanked funding partners including local landholders who have contributed $1,224,000 and the East Gippsland Shire Council which has provided $500,000, but said the project was still reliant on federal funding to proceed.

“Council has applied for the balance of funding from the Regional Development Australia Fund and we look forward to the Federal Government confirming its support for this very important regional project,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731 ben.bulmer@minstaff.vic.gov.au.  

Lightfoot and Sons benefit from lakes funding

* * - Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today visited
Lightfoot and Sons winery at Calulu to inspect important work being
undertaken to slow down river bank erosion.

Mr Ryan was joined by Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull.

Mr Ryan said the project, which was being funded through the Victorian
Coalition Government’s $10 million Gippsland Lakes Environment Fund, would
protect the river frontage adjoining Lightfoot and Sons winery, which has
been under threat from erosion.

“Lightfoot and Sons is a successful local winery situated on the lower
Mitchell River at Calulu,” Mr Ryan said.

“They produce award-winning wine, having won the title of Best Red Wine for
their Shiraz at the inaugural Gippsland Wine Show 2012.

“Despite their success, river erosion is threatening their land and posing
a very real environmental risk to Gippsland Lakes in terms of sediment
load.”

Mr Ryan said to combat the erosion, the Gippsland Lakes Environment Fund
had contributed $3,700 to fund works to stabilise the site.

“This included establishing one kilometre of fencing, excluding stock,
controlling weeds and protecting more than two hectares of river frontage,”
Mr Ryan said.

“The project has protected the land asset of a local small business and
delivered a significant environmental outcome in preventing sediment and
nutrients from degrading the Gippsland Lakes.

“This project will allow Lightfoot and Sons to continue producing fine
Gippsland wines, including their award-winning Shiraz for many years to
come.”

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731 ben.bulmer@minstaff.vic.gov.au.

The future is clear for the Gippsland Lakes

* * - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Victorian Coalition Government’s Gippsland Lakes Environmental Strategy was launched
in East Gippsland today, along with a range of new projects that will benefit the iconic
Gippsland Lakes.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan launched the
strategy in Paynesville today and said it puts in place a framework for investment through the
$10 million Gippsland Lakes Environment Fund, which was launched in August last year.

“The Gippsland Lakes Ministerial Advisory Committee has prepared the strategy which
balances the needs of the environment, local communities and industries such as tourism and
fishing,” Mr Ryan said.

“More than 200 individuals and 50 government agencies, community and special interest
groups, and industry bodies have had input into the strategy.”

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said the strategy outlined clear
steps for maintaining the environmental significance of the lakes, improving their health and
enhancing the lakes’ economic and social value.

“A total of $1.67 million will be invested in projects that build partnerships and support on-theground
works, planning, community engagement and sustainable fishing and boating,” Mr Smith said.

“Among the new projects, $150,000 will go towards a sustainable development plan and a
further $50,000 will be used to study the benefits of commercial and recreational fishing to the local economy in order to better support its long-term sustainability.

Other projects announced today include:

* Gippsland Care Groups caring for the Gippsland Lakes ($413,000)
* Enhancing the lower reaches of the Gippsland Lakes tributaries ($313,000 )
* Reducing the Loads, targeting the Upper Latrobe River ($150,000)
* Improving the Gippsland Lakes by Reducing Sedimentation through Improved
Catchment Management ($150,000)
* Gippsland Care Groups Engaging the Community ($57,400)
* Community-based education and interpretation ($100,000)
* Sustainable Lakes Management Centre of Excellence Feasibility Study ($80,000)
* Investigation of Economic Value of Boating ($50,000)
* Evaluation of models for fish stock assessment ($75,000)
* Engaging the Gippsland Lakes Community ($80,000)

“These are in addition to $800,000 worth of projects announced last year that are already
helping to improve water quality and restore vegetation in the catchment area,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Ryan said the $10 million Gippsland Lakes Environmental Fund was a component of the
Coalition Government's $1 billion Regional Growth Fund which is investing in regional areas
to improve infrastructure and services, grow jobs, and contribute to a better quality of life.

“Local projects already funded through the Regional Growth Fund include the Paynesville
CBD upgrade ($300,000), Bairnsdale Library community access project ($500,000),
Bairnsdale CBD upgrade ($500,000), Bullock Island refueling facility ($500,000), East
Gippsland Food Cluster Innovative Vegetable Processing project ($70,000) and J & J Nielson
nursery expansion ($70,000),” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731 ben.bulmer@minstaff.vic.gov.au.


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