Press Releases

$50,000 for Leongatha industrial zone investigation

* * - Monday, April 30, 2012
South Gippsland Shire Council will do an economic assessment of the supply and demand for industrial land in Leongatha with the help of $50,000 in Victorian Government funding, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said Leongatha was the major town and industrial centre for South Gippsland and a key service provider to the smaller towns and communities in the region.

“Leongatha is experiencing significant growth and the South Gippsland Shire Council is progressing with a number of residential rezoning projects that have the potential to add approximately 700 to 900 new residences in the area over the next 25 years,” Mr Ryan said.

“With the expansion of major industrial and port activity in South Gippsland Shire, it is critical Leongatha is well placed to service future works.”

Mr Ryan said the Leongatha Industrial Zone Investigation project would assess further sites for potential industrial rezoning.

“The study will be benchmarked against similar reviews undertaken in Gippsland and Melbourne, particularly the recent Wellington Shire Council Industrial Land Review covering, Yarram, Maffra and Stratford,” Mr Ryan said.

“The study is intended to identify and cost infrastructure upgrades for transport routes, gas, water, electricity and sewage, and telecommunications.”

Mr Ryan said the South Gippsland Shire believed a supply of affordable and readily available land could create up to 200 jobs in the industrial sector within 18 months.

“The project will enable South Gippsland Shire Council to plan for the future infrastructure requirements identified in the study,” Mr Ryan said.

“The study will ensure the Council has suitable industrial land available to support the growth of the current businesses in Leongatha and any potential new businesses wanting to locate to Leongatha.

“Identifying and providing suitable areas will reduce economic ‘leakage’ outside the town and district, helping to revitalize the area.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Government funding for the $125,000 Leongatha Industrial Zone Investigation project would be provided to South Gippsland Shire Council.

He said the project was expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 108 870

$20,000 to link South Gippsland’s farmers’ markets

* * - Monday, April 30, 2012
A project to link South Gippsland’s three farmers’ markets is being supported with Victorian Government funding of $20,000, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan said there was vast community support for the three well established farmers’ markets at Coal Creek, Koonwarra and Foster but there was no structured coordination between them.

“The South Gippsland Farmers’ Market and Produce Network believes it would be more professional and effective to work as a group where possible,” Mr Ryan said.

“Cross promotion would be a very effective tool to increase the number of stall holders participating and highlight the broader activities of the local food networks beyond the specific markets.

“This will directly address the new retail opportunities for farmed produce and value-added products and, with increased supply and recognition of local foods, boost the local economy.”

Mr Ryan said the South Gippsland Farmers’ Market and Produce Network project would also provide resources that could be accessed by all three markets.

“The resources include combined promotion, regional produce mapping and information about existing and prospective local stallholders," Mr Ryan said.

"This would also help create linkages between the broader network of farmers’ market participants and the local hospitality, tourism and retail industry."

Mr Ryan said farmers’ markets provided a fantastic opportunity for producers to sell their produce directly to consumers.

“Farmers’ markets provide a healthy, affordable and fresh food supply for the community, and enable people to get more information about the availability, seasonality and origins of their food,” Mr Ryan said.

“Farmers’ markets also provide producers in a region with an opportunity to work together in identifying new business prospects, particularly in relation to supply chains.”

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Government funding for the South Gippsland Farmers’ Market and Produce Network project would be provided to South Gippsland Shire Council.

He said the project was expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 108 870

$25,000 for project to redevelop Sale’s York Street

* * - Monday, April 30, 2012
A design project to improve the function and look of Sale’s York Street is being supported with $25,000 in Victorian Government funding, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced today.

“Currently, York Street presents poorly and is considered in need of revitalisation to drive continued economic development, improve amenity and safety,” Mr Ryan said

“The York Street Streetscape Redevelopment – Detailed Design Development project will engage design consultants to make recommendations and develop detailed design layouts that consider commercial interests as well as the needs of the community.

“The project will deliver the necessary planning to facilitate significant improvements to the function and aesthetics of York Street, promoting economic growth and Sale’s amenity.”

Mr Ryan said York Street carried about 7000 vehicles per day and was considered a major carriageway for vehicles travelling through Sale as well as locals accessing Sale’s CBD.

“Redeveloping York Street has the potential to lift business activity, through such things as lifting yield through tourism, and greatly enhancing the amenity of the area,” Mr Ryan said.

“To ensure maximum benefit to the community and businesses, as well as value for money, it is important that the Wellington Shire Council undertakes thorough consultation, planning and design work.”

Mr Ryan said the funding for the York Street Streetscape Redevelopment – Detailed Design Development project would be provided to Wellington Shire Council through the Victorian Coalition Government’s Planning for Tomorrow Program.

“Local councils and regional economic development organisations play an important role in strategic, long-term economic, infrastructure and land-use planning that responds to the challenges of a rapidly changing environment,” Mr Ryan said.

“Planning for Tomorrow helps local councils deliver on their broad strategic planning responsibilities and enables improved efficiency and decision-making processes.”

Mr Ryan said the design project is expected to be completed by November this year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 108 870

Victorians urged to be FloodSafe

* * - Sunday, April 29, 2012

Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan launched a new campaign today urging Victorians to avoid risk-taking behaviour such as driving, swimming or playing in floodwater.

Mr Ryan said the important initiative was part of the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) FloodSafe Week campaign running from 30 April to 6 May and would encourage flood risk awareness and preparedness.

“Floodwater is dangerous, you don’t know what you are getting into,” Mr Ryan said.

“We have seen first-hand the devastating effects flooding has had on our community and risk-taking behaviour like driving, swimming or playing in floodwater is just asking for trouble.”

Mr Ryan said from earlier this year widespread flooding had isolated communities, inundated homes and closed hundreds of roads in one of the wettest periods on record for some regions since the late 1800s.

“In the last 18 months alone, both regional and metropolitan Victoria has been hit by extreme and unprecedented rainfall, causing some of the worst floods in the state’s history,” Mr Ryan said.”

Mr Ryan said during the last three major flooding events in Victoria calls for help to the SES jumped ten-fold.

“The message is clear – don’t be fooled. Floodwater may look innocent and placid on the surface, but underneath it is a completely different story. It can change in a minute without warning,” Mr Ryan said.

“Driving through floodwater is the number one cause of adult deaths during floods and playing or swimming in floodwater is just as dangerous, and is the number one cause of child and teenage deaths during floods.

“Aside from the risk of death, floodwater is full of churning toxic waste and hidden debris such as barbed wire and tree branches.

“Even shallow water has enough force to wash your car completely off the road. Once you have lost traction, there is nothing you can do. You can become trapped within seconds.”

Mr Ryan said a new Victorian Government-funded advertising campaign would feature during FloodSafe Week to highlight the hidden dangers lurking within floodwater.

“The catch phrase of this campaign is ‘You don’t know what you’re getting into’, highlighting dangers and targetting risk-taking behaviour such as driving, riding, or playing in floodwater,” Mr Ryan said.

In conjunction with the campaign, SES volunteers will hold events in and around local communities to raise awareness about the dangers of floodwater.

For more information about FloodSafe Week go to

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

$27,000 to help Lake Guthridge see the light

* * - Friday, April 27, 2012
The popular walking track around Sale’s Lake Guthridge will be fully lit with the help of $27,000 in Victorian Government funding, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan said the Lake Guthridge Public Lighting Stage 2 project involved the installation of eight ‘Toorak Style’ lights around the lake.

“Lake Guthridge has long been a focal point for recreational activities, picnics and barbeques, nature observation and people seeking a quiet place to unwind,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Lake Guthridge parklands have become a significant visitor attraction assisting with the growth of the local tourism market and the improved lighting will make it more attractive and economically sustainable.

“The project will also improve community safety, as well as encourage greater use of the area by cyclists, runners and walkers. It will boost physical activity, leading to health improvements.”

Mr Ryan said the Lake Guthridge Public Lighting Stage 2 project is one of the final elements of the redevelopment of the lake and its surrounds into a beautiful and functional recreational area for the community.

He said the Victorian Government funding for the project would be provided to Wellington Shire Council through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund’s Putting Locals First Program.

“Putting Locals First is a $100 million initiative that enables regional communities to devise and deliver service and infrastructure responses that reflect local priorities,” Mr Ryan said.

“It is supporting stronger and more sustainable regional communities by building their capacity to drive development in their region.”

The Lake Guthridge Public Lighting Stage 2 project is expected to be completed by the middle of this year.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 108 870

The best of regional and rural Victoria on show in Melbourne

* * - Friday, April 27, 2012
Victoria’s first Regional Victoria Living Expo got underway in Melbourne today with 130 exhibitors showcasing the many business, career and lifestyle benefits on offer outside the big city.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the three day expo at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre would be a one-stop-shop for the many Melburnians actively considering a move to the country.

“Each of Victoria’s 48 regional councils are here to share advice and resources and answer questions, as well as up to 130 exhibitors ready to discuss the unique lifestyle benefits on offer in regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“We know there are many Melburnians who are looking for a change, and this is a great opportunity for them to get the information they need to make it happen.

“Everyone who visits the expo this weekend will see that Victoria’s regional and rural areas provide numerous advantages in terms of business viability, jobs, education and overall liveability,” Mr Ryan said.

To kick off the expo program, Mr Ryan hosted a business lunch where he was joined by a who’s who of high profile Victorians and successful businessmen and women who call regional and rural Victoria home.

“Today we see so many examples of people who have shown that living in a regional or rural area is no barrier to business or career success,” Mr Ryan said.

“Australian rock sensation Evermore calls Macedon home and Margot Spalding, the founder of national furniture retailer Jimmy Possum, lives and works in Bendigo.

“Celebrity chef Matt Dempsey has received rave reviews for his Inverleigh-based restaurant Gladioli, and of course we have our many sporting greats and media personalities who chose life in regional Victoria.

“It is great to see so many people here who want to tell their story of life in regional and rural Victoria and encourage more people to share in the good life.”

Mr Ryan said Victoria’s population was projected to increase by more than three million over the next 40 years.

“In the past, Melbourne has grown faster than the regions, which has placed pressure on Melbourne’s public transport, roads and infrastructure,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government is keen to ensure our regional and rural communities share in the population boom and help take the pressure off Melbourne.

“The Regional Victoria Living Expo is central to the Coalition’s strategy to promote our regions and realise the many economic and environmental advantages of encouraging more Victorians to settle in regional Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

The Regional Victoria Living Expo will be held at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre from 27 – 29 April. For more information visit:

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

$20,000 helps promote Moorabool 365 days a year

* * - Friday, April 27, 2012

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan was on hand at the 2012 Regional Victoria Living Expo today to launch an innovative calendar highlighting local events in the Shire of Moorabool.

Mr Ryan said the unique calendar, 365 Days in Moorabool, was designed to highlight exciting opportunities available year-round in the region and help attract both visitors and new residents to the area.

“The calendar showcases so many excellent examples of the kind of celebrations and community events that regional Victoria has to offer,” Mr Ryan said.

“Moorabool plays host to a wonderfully diverse range of events from Oaks Day at the Plough in Myrniong to the Blackwood Spring Antiques Roadshow and the Titanic Ball at Ballan.”

Mr Ryan said the Strawberry and Cherries Festival at Bacchus Marsh, the Ballan Feast and the Autumn Festival at St Erth in Blackwood were particularly popular and highly anticipated events.

“This is the first time the tourism and events industries have worked together on such a calendar to highlight the all-year-round benefits of coming to live in a regional community such as Moorabool,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said Victorian Government funding of $20,000 was provided to the Moorabool Shire Council to help with their Regional Living Expo campaign and the development of the calendar.

“The Victorian Government is providing $3 million over four years to support the Regional Living Expo, which is a one stop shop for Melburnians to find out about the numerous advantages of living in regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to ensuring Victoria’s regional and rural areas are an ideal alternative to metropolitan centres.”

The 2012 Regional Living Expo is taking place this weekend, April 27 to 29, at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, with free entry.

For more information visit:

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

Gippsland clubs receive VicHealth funding boost

* * - Thursday, April 26, 2012

Twenty-five local sporting organisations from across Gippsland South have been awarded grants of up to $2,500 under the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation 2011/12 Active Clubs Program, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan said grants were available for the training of volunteers, purchase of essential sports equipment, injury prevention and equipment management, and portable sunshades.

“The Active Club grants are designed to get more people in the community physically active and to support smaller regional and rural clubs that sometimes need extra support,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the 25 local sporting organisations that received funding were from a wide variety of sports including football, netball, surf lifesaving, surfing, golf, shooting, athletics, basketball, swimming, cricket, pony club, soccer, tennis and motorcycling.

“Gippsland residents love participating in a wide variety of sports and it is pleasing to see so many different sporting groups and organisations supported through this round of funding,” Mr Ryan said.

“Regular physical activity is important as it not only protects against many illnesses, it also makes us mentally healthy, alert and resilient to the stresses of modern life.

“As well as the physical benefits, research shows sport builds community pride and loyalty, offering people the opportunity to get involved and providing them with a sense of self-worth.”

The 25 local sporting organisations to receive funding under the program are:

  • Woodside Recreation Reserve - $1,500
  • Devon Welshpool Won Wron Woodside Football and Netball Club - $2,485
  • Korumburra and District Pony Club - $2,273
  • Bushy Park Pony Club - $2,460
  • Sale Tennis Club - $2,045
  • Corner Inlet Pony Club - $2,500
  • Outrim–Moyarra-Kongwak Cricket Club - $1,935
  • Poowong Amateur Swimming and Lifesaving Club - $2,000
  • Poowong Football and Netball Club - $400
  • South Coast Stars Soccer Club - $1,900 
  • Loch-Nyora Pony Club - $2,200
  • Welshpool Golf Club - $820
  • Rosedale Rifle Range - $2,070
  • Wellington Athletics Club - $1,000
  • Golden Beach Surf Lifesaving Club - $2,500
  • Gippsland Swimming - $900
  • Loch Sport Boat Club - $2,450
  • Korumburra Motorcycle Club - $2,500
  • Meeniyan Golf Club - $2,450
  • Meeniyan and District Netball Club - $2,430
  • Rosedale Amateur Basketball Association - $1,300
  • South Coast Board Riders Club - $1,800
  • Yarram Basketball Association $1,370
  • Yarram Colts Cricket Club - $2,500
  • Venus Bay Surf Lifesaving Club - $2,500          

For more information about VicHealth’s Active Clubs Grants, go to

Media contact:  Ben Bulmer 0437 108 870

Livestock and farm crimes under the microscope

* * - Thursday, April 26, 2012

A co-ordinated strategy to crack down on farm crime and livestock theft was officially launched at the inaugural state conference of the Victoria Police Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Group in Echuca today.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Peter Ryan officially opened the conference saying farming communities had welcomed the new focus on stamping out livestock and farm crime.

“Last financial year there were 250 recorded offences of livestock theft across Victoria, worth an estimated $1.7 million,” Mr Ryan said.

“This growing problem is now receiving the focus needed to prosecute thieves and criminals taking advantage of Victoria’s farmers.

“This important two-day event will be held twice a year to ensure Victoria’s team of 42 specialist Agricultural Liaison Officers (ALOs) build knowledge and specialist skills in this important area of policing.

“Farming industry representatives will be on-hand to help educate ALOs and ensure they have the skills, intelligence gathering and professional networks needed to investigate, prosecute and prevent these sorts of crimes.”

Mr Ryan said the Livestock Theft and Farm Related Crime Strategy 2012-15 would provide the framework for Victoria Police’s offensive against farm crime.

“The strategy will focus on four key areas; prevention, intelligence, enforcement and integrated operations,” Mr Ryan said.

“It also aims to build partnerships between police and industry at a local level to reduce the opportunity for these sorts of crimes.

“A strategic advisory group will be established to work with agencies to develop state-wide crime prevention programs for farmers and other regional Victorians.

“Under the strategy, Victoria Police will also establish an online ‘information hub’ to provide training to ALOs and access to up-to-date information on local crime issues.”

Mr Ryan said the delivery of targeted resources to crack down on livestock and farm crime offences was a key part of the Coalition’s regional law and order agenda during the 2010 election.

“It is pleasing to see this important initiative starting to make a real difference in regional and rural communities,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

Police Minister officially opens new Elmore Police Station

* * - Thursday, April 26, 2012

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Peter Ryan joined Victoria Police and community representatives in Elmore today to celebrate the official opening of the town’s new $400,000 police station.

Mr Ryan said the new and modern facility was an important investment in community safety that would support policing in the community for many years to come.

“The new facility will give the Elmore station officer improved resources to effectively police the local area and strengthen community safety,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Hervey Street station incorporates an office, interview room, storage facilities, staff amenities and a kitchen, as well as a solar energy system and rainwater harvesting to reduce the site’s environmental impact and operating costs.”

Mr Ryan said the improved resources would complement police activities across the region.

“I congratulate everyone who worked so hard to deliver this project on time and on budget,” Mr Ryan said.

“The modern and custom-built facility will offer greater support for Elmore’s Leading Senior Constable David Rowland who plays such an important role in the community.”

Mr Ryan said the Victoria Coalition Government was delivering record investment in law and order initiatives across the state.

“The Coalition Government is committed to delivering 1,700 new frontline police officers by November 2014, which will be the largest boost to frontline police resources in a single term of government in Victorian history,” Mr Ryan said.

“By the end of June an additional 850 sworn officers will be allocated across the state, including 26 additional officers that have been allocated for the Greater Bendigo Police Service Area.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had made policing and community safety a priority after 11 years of neglect under Labor.

“This is about delivering a stronger police presence on our streets and in our towns and we remain focused on the needs of regional Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541

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