Press Releases

Vic Coalition committed to world-class emergency management

* * - Friday, September 30, 2011
Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan outlined Victoria’s vision to introduce a world's best practice emergency management framework at a multi-agency emergency management seminar in Melbourne today.

Speaking to more than 200 delegates at the 2011 Control Line seminar Mr Ryan said recent extreme events had highlighted the need to revisit the emergency management framework that had served Victoria for nearly 30 years.

“Victoria's resilience has been tested in recent years, with extreme natural disaster events like the 2009 bushfires and the historic and prolonged floods of 2010/11 proving too big for any one emergency services agency to manage alone,” Mr Ryan said.

“In response to the Comrie Interim Flood Report and the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission the Coalition Government has launched a Green Paper Towards a more disaster resilient and safer Victoria.

“This important initiative will obtain feedback from emergency management agencies, local government and the community on new and innovative ways we can improve the legislative, organisational and cultural basis of Victoria’s emergency system.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government was committed to delivering a modern, all-hazards all-agencies emergency management framework to help protect Victorians.

“Forums such as Control Line provide an invaluable opportunity for emergency management personnel to share ideas and knowledge in a collegiate environment,” Mr Ryan said.

“Control Line started in 2004 as a CFA Bayswater Fire Brigade pre-fire season incident management-training workshop and it has now grown to give all emergency agencies the chance to learn how to deliver better emergency management services to communities.

“I would like to congratulate Control Line Director Craig Ferguson and his team on their efforts this year in organising this event and securing expert speakers and delegates from around Australia.

“Events like this are cultivating a multi-agency approach to learning, educating and sharing knowledge across the sector that will provide valuable benefits in the short and long-term.”

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0427 200 674

Victoria honours fallen police officers on Blue Ribbon Day

* * - Thursday, September 29, 2011
Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan today joined community and parliamentary leaders across Australia in paying tribute to those police who had died in the line of duty.

Mr Ryan joined Victoria Police Acting Chief Commissioner Ken Lay in the National Police Remembrance Day march in Melbourne before laying a wreath to honour Victoria’s police officers who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

“In Victoria 157 brave men and women police officers have died while protecting and serving their community,” Mr Ryan said.

“National Police Remembrance Day is an important time for all Victorians and Australians to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who died in the line of duty and to celebrate their lives and achievements.

“Known across Victoria as Blue Ribbon Day, today is also a time for us to praise the members of Victoria Police who continue to serve our community displaying bravery in the face of adversity.

“Victorians proudly wear blue and white ribbons to show support, appreciation and remember those brave police officers who have died while striving to make our state safer.”

Mr Ryan said National Police Remembrance Day was also a reminder to say thank you to the 11,500 Victoria Police officers who proudly served their community every day.

“Since being established in 1988, the Blue Ribbon Foundation has raised more than

$5.4 million to buy specialised emergency equipment for public hospitals across Victoria, which assist about 200,000 Victorians every year,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Blue Ribbon Foundation is a wonderful volunteer-based organisation offering support to worthwhile community projects across our state.”

Media contact: Sonia Heath 0413 485 526

Vic Coalition Government announces Police Graves Memorial Fund

* * - Thursday, September 29, 2011
Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Minister Peter Ryan today announced the Victorian Coalition Government would establish a dedicated Police Graves Memorial Fund to ensure the grave sites of officers killed in the line of duty were maintained.

Mr Ryan, who attended a National Police Remembrance Day march in Melbourne, said $50,000 State Government funding would ensure the graves of Victoria’s 157 police officers who died in the line of duty would never again fall into disrepair.

“There are about six sites that require restoration and the Coalition Government has taken steps to ensure those who made the ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Police Graves Memorial Fund is being established by the Coalition Government with the help of the Police Association, the Blue Ribbon Foundation and the Police Historical Society, all of which have taken a close interest in this initiative.

“We are all concerned to ensure the graves of police officers killed in the line of duty don’t remain in a state of disrepair.

“It is a mark of respect to these members who died in uniform and a message to their families and the broader Victorian community that these officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice will always be remembered.”

Mr Ryan said preliminary work had been undertaken to identify the grave sites requiring attention.

“The vast majority of graves of our 157 police officers who bravely lost their lives protecting others are lovingly maintained by relatives of the fallen,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Police Graves Memorial Fund will ensure the remaining police graves that aren’t currently maintained can be restored and forever honoured and remembered.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government would continue to work with the Police Association, the Blue Ribbon Foundation and the Police Historical Society to ensure the restoration of police graves was a priority.

Media contact: Sonia Heath 0413 485 526

Mildura Master Plan starting to take shape

* * - Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Plans for the transformation of Mildura’s riverfront precinct and the overhaul of the town’s airport passenger terminal have received support from the Victorian Coalition Government with the allocation of $8 million in funding from the Regional Growth Fund.

Speaking in Mildura today, Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to supporting growth in the Sunraysia region.

“During the election campaign we promised to deliver a $14.5 million economic development package for Mildura and it is great to see these important local projects start to take shape,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had already achieved a number of key outcomes to promote Mildura’s Master Plan including:

• the declaration of the riverfront and marina development as a ‘project of state significance’; and
• the establishment of the Mildura Riverfront Project Control Board (PCB).

During the visit, Mr Ryan and Member for Mildura Peter Crisp received an update on the Riverfront Master Plan from the newly-appointed Mildura Riverfront PCB.

“The Mildura Riverfront PCB is playing a key role in delivering on the Riverfront Master Plan and ensuring the objectives of all key stakeholders are met,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Victorian Government recently allocated $5 million for the Riverfront Master Plan to support works to parklands, boardwalks, jetties, landscaping and waterfront cafes.

“The Coalition Government has also provided $3 million to support an upgrade to Mildura’s Airport Passenger Terminal to provide a world-class gateway into the city.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government would continue to work with Mildura Rural City Council to secure funding from the Commonwealth for the Mildura Master Plan.

“The riverfront, marina and airport projects are key regional development initiatives for the northern part of Victoria that will provide a social and economic boost, promote tourism and growth throughout the Sunraysia region,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

$4 million to support innovative transport solutions

* * - Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Four million dollars over the next three years will be allocated to help improve access to transport networks and services for people living in regional and rural areas Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan announced today.

Speaking in Mildura, Mr Ryan said the $4 million Transport Connections Program Innovation Fund would be available for initiatives that improved access to services, employment, education and community activities.

“The new Innovation Fund will build on the success of the Victorian Government’s $22 million Transport Connections Program that is supporting 34 transport-related projects across Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“Under the Innovation Fund the existing 34 Transport Connections projects will be eligible to receive up to $75,000 in additional funding for a two-year local initiative.

“Up to 20 regional initiatives will also be eligible to receive up to $85,000 under the program.”

Mr Ryan said the Innovation Fund would promote greater collaboration between regions to help people in the community who have limited access to transport.

“This new fund is all about linking local projects to address greater regional needs,” Mr Ryan said.

“Communities, businesses and government will be able to continue to work together through Transport Connections, making more effective use of existing transport options.”

While visiting Mildura, Mr Ryan and Member for Mildura Peter Crisp met with representatives of the local Northern Mallee Transport Connections project - the Sunraysia Car Pool.

Mr Crisp said the project was an outstanding example of a simple and innovative idea that provided clear benefits to members of the community.

“This project helps local women coordinate shared travel to and from long-distance breast screening appointments through the social networking site Facebook,” Mr Crisp said.

Mr Ryan said the Transport Connections Program Innovation Fund was part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to supporting sustainable growth and development across the state.

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

Local communities encouraged to apply for crime prevention grants

* * - Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Acting Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan today encouraged Mildura Rural City Council to take advantage of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $39 million Community Crime Prevention Program.

Mr Ryan and Member for Mildura Peter Crisp met with local traders and Acting Mayor of Mildura Rural City Council, Councillor Susan Nichols, in Red Cliffs to hear about public safety concerns in the town.

“It is clear that residents of Red Cliffs are concerned about incidences of vandalism, graffiti and anti-social behaviour in the community,” Mr Ryan said.

“To help address some of these concerns, I encourage Mildura Rural City Council to apply for funding under the Coalition Government’s Public Safety Infrastructure Fund which is part of the Community Crime Prevention Program.

“Under the fund councils around Victoria can apply for grants of up to $250,000 to meet the cost of safety measures such as closed circuit television systems (CCTV) for public places, lighting upgrades, perimeter fencing, security-grade door and window treatments for community facilities and streetscape improvements.”

Mr Ryan said crime prevention initiatives supported under the program would work alongside law enforcement measures to reduce crime and increase public safety.

“The Coalition Government is delivering on a range of other law and order initiatives across the state, including the provision of an additional 1,700 frontline police during our first term,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Crisp said Victoria Police this week announced four additional police officers would be allocated to the Mildura region before the end of December, which was on top of an extra 14 police officers allocated to Mildura earlier this year.

“The Coalition Government is also introducing tougher sentencing and investing more than $30 million in new and upgraded police stations to make Victoria safer,” Mr Crisp said.

Information about community crime prevention grants is available at: www.justice.vic.gov.au Applications must be submitted by 28 October 2011.

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            0429 507 541      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Coalition Govt investigates better deal for regional media outlets

* * - Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The Victorian Coalition Government will undertake a full scale review of its current regional advertising policy to examine how media outlets in regional and rural communities can be better supported now and in the future.

Making the announcement in Mildura today, Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government was committed to improving its relationship with regional and rural media outlets.

“The Coalition Government has asked for a full scale review of our Regional Communications Policy to reassess whether it is delivering the best possible outcomes for our local communities,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the current regional media policy had not been reviewed since it was implemented in 2005, even though the media landscape had changed considerably.

“Current policy encourages government advertisers to spend a minimum of 10 per cent of all advertising in regional newspapers, radio and television,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government believes a complete review of our current policy will lead to broader community engagement and better support for our grassroots media outlets.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had already begun consulting key regional media providers seeking their expert opinion.

“It is critical that all media outlets, particularly newspapers, radio and television are utilised to the best possible capacity as they are the main source of information for people living in our country and regional areas,” Mr Ryan said.

“These businesses are not only the voice of regional and rural Victoria but they are also the primary source of information for their local communities and we want to ensure critical government information is reaching these publications.”

My Ryan said the review would be completed by the end of the year.

Media contact: Sonia Heath 0413 485 526

400 extra police to protect Victorian families

* * - Monday, September 26, 2011
The Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to make Victoria safer is being realised with Victoria Police today announcing that 400 more frontline police will be allocated across the state by June 30 next year.

Acting Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan said Victoria Police would allocate 125 more police in Melbourne and regional and rural Victoria by the end of December 2011.

“The Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitment to recruit 1,700 more frontline police and today marks an important milestone in that process,” Mr Ryan said.

“From the end of October, the first of the new police officers will take up their posts serving growing communities and rural and regional centres across the state,” Mr Ryan said.

“The cities of Frankston, Brimbank, Melbourne, Hume, Moreland and Wyndham will receive a welcome boost in police numbers, while Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Shepparton, Latrobe, Mildura and other local communities will benefit from extra police.

“Families have every right to be safe and feel safe in their homes and on the street and the Coalition Government is ensuring Victoria Police is properly resourced to undertake necessary crime deterrence and preventative measures.

“Putting more police on the beat will boost community safety and serve as a visual reminder that crime, violence and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Mr Ryan said Victoria Police had already allocated 600 additional police across Victoria since November 2010, with 450 of those part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to deploy 1,700 officers above normal attrition to make Victoria safer.

“Our police work extremely hard keeping their communities safe and these additional officers will boost their efforts in targeting local crime issues and making our roads safer,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government is also resourcing Victoria Police to recruit 940 Protective Services Officers by November 2014 to boost safety at train stations across Melbourne and major regional centres.”

Media contact: Sonia Heath 0413 485 526

Population growth presents exciting opportunities for the Gippsland region

* * - Friday, September 23, 2011
Gippsland’s diverse industries and businesses play a vital role in supporting the Victorian economy, Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said today.

Speaking at the Gippsland Community Network Breakfast in Morwell, Mr Ryan outlined the Coalition Government’s vision for regional and rural Victoria and the important role Gippsland would play in supporting the state’s future growth and prosperity.

“Gippsland has a population in excess of 265,000 and by 2026 this is expected to grow to more than 305,000,” Mr Ryan said.

“In fact, the Baw Baw and Bass Coast municipalities are amongst the fastest growing local government areas in the state.

“With a diverse range of industries successfully operating in the region including manufacturing, construction, mining and agriculture, Gippsland is well positioned to take advantage of the projected population growth.

“The region also enjoys a number of natural attractions such as the Gippsland Lakes, Ninety Mile Beach and Wilsons Promontory that underpin a thriving tourism industry.”

Mr Ryan said population growth in regional and rural Victoria was part of the Coalition Government’s plan to support balanced growth across the state.

“A more even spread of population across Victoria will help ensure both Melbourne and regional and rural towns can reach their full potential,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was supporting regional communities through a range of initiatives including the flagship $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“The Regional Growth Fund will spearhead a new era of prosperity and a better quality of life for regional Victorians by supporting projects, infrastructure, services and ideas that are driven by the local community to address local issues and priorities,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan commended the organisers of the Gippsland Community Network Breakfast for organising the quarterly breakfast events that bring together community and business leaders from the region dedicated to advancing the interests of Gippsland communities.

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

Community ICT grants program now open

* * - Thursday, September 22, 2011
Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan today invited community organisations to apply for funding under the Victorian Government’s 2011 Community ICT Skills Grants program.

Mr Ryan said community organisations from throughout the state could apply for grants of up to $25,000 to fund projects that helped Victorians build information and communication technology (ICT) skills.

“The $600,000 program is particularly targeted towards assisting those groups within the community who have traditionally been less likely to access computer technology such as Victorians living in remote or isolated rural locations, senior citizens, migrant and refugee communities and people with a disability,” Mr Ryan said.

“The effective use of computer resources can support individuals make the most of opportunities for employment, education and skills development; as well as promoting increased independence and providing another forum for social interaction.”

Mr Ryan said funding could be used for a variety of projects including volunteer training, development of training materials or online resources for community networking and the purchase of equipment.

“In 2010, the Community ICT Skills Grants program provided funding of over $450,000 to fund a variety of important projects run by 23 organisations across Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“For example, one group used funding to train facilitators from a diverse range of backgrounds, who were then able to instigate computer training sessions within their own cultural communities.

“In some rural communities recipients used the funding to create mobile ICT resources, such as an internet bus, in order to provide access and training to those in isolated areas who might otherwise have missed out.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government encouraged all those interested in applying to seek further information via the Department of Planning and Community Development website at,www.dpcd.vic.gov.au

Applications for the 2011 Community ICT Skills Grants program close on 21 October 2011.

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

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