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Regional communities to host Parliament under Liberal Nationals

Thursday 8 February 2018

Communities in Regional Victoria would host Victorian Parliament for the first time since 2012, under an elected Liberal Nationals government.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh announced the commitment today at State Parliament, in the first sitting week of 2018.

The Liberal Nationals commitment would see two regional sittings of each chamber held in the next term of government.

“You can’t fix country Victoria’s problems from behind a desk in Spring Street. Labor scrapped Regional Parliament, the Liberal Nationals will bring it back,” Mr Guy said.

“Regional sittings offer country communities a unique opportunity to be the focus of Parliament and are an important opportunity for city-based parliamentarians to learn more about regional communities.”

The commitment would see Mildura, Shepparton, Warrnambool and the Latrobe Valley host parliamentarians from one chamber of Parliament – either the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council – for one sitting week each.

Mr Walsh said Daniel Andrews’ decision to scrap Regional Parliament was more proof he can’t see beyond Melbourne’s tram tracks.

“Daniel Andrews’ city-centric focus has denied our school children and communities in regional Victoria a chance to be part of Victoria’s democratic process,” Mr Walsh said.

“The Liberal Nationals will put an end to the absolute contempt Labor has shown our country communities and make sure our regional communities can be part of the parliamentary process.”

The last regional sittings were held by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2012.

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Labor’s training ‘rescue’ cuts funding in half

Thursday 1 February 2018

Daniel Andrews' promise to 'rescue' TAFE was a lie.

Instead of a rescue, Daniel Andrews is conducting a raid cutting $123 million from the sector in the past 12 months alone.

A report from the Productivity Commission released today shows the Andrews Labor Government cut recurrent funding to Victoria's VET sector to $698.7 million in 2016.

This is half the investment under the former Liberal Nationals government, with $1.57 billion spent on training in 2012.

The Report on Government Services 2018 also showed students continue to lose confidence in Victoria’s training sector.

Government-funded VET student numbers dropped to 338,400, from 460,500 in 2014.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan

As student numbers plummet, the Andrews Labor Government is investing less in our state’s training sector.

It’s ironic that Daniel Andrews promised to 'rescue' TAFE and then halved the state’s training spend.

Under Labor, Victoria’s training system is weaker, not stronger.

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Liberal Nationals commit to tackling cross-border problems

Friday 19 January 2018

Communities along Victoria’s state borders will benefit from the services of a dedicated Cross Border Commissioner under an elected Liberal Nationals government.

People living and working in Victoria’s border communities alongside New South Wales and South Australia face unique problems, including with access to services, licencing and coordination of emergency services.

Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh is in Mildura today to make the announcement.

“A lot changes when you travel across the border and for our business owners and residents in border communities this is an added complication to everyday life,” Mr Walsh said.

“It means our tradespeople have to get two separate licences to operate their business, while farmers and transport operators require two separate permits to move agricultural equipment.

“It also makes it harder for our police officers and emergency services to share the information they need to do their job.

“An elected Liberal Nationals government would ensure our communities have a dedicated Cross Border Commissioner based in regional Victoria to identify and solve these problems.”

Areas the Cross Border Commissioner would focus on include regulation and licensing, legal systems, emergency services and service delivery.

“The Liberal Nationals want to make it easier for border communities to go about their business,” Mr Walsh said.

“New South Wales already has a Cross Border Commissioner and has signed agreements with both Queensland and the ACT.

“It’s time for Victoria to take action to resolve our cross border issues with South Australia and New South Wales.”

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Statement on The Nationals preselection for the seat of Morwell

Wednesday 17 January 2018

The Nationals have announced nominations for preselection for the seat of Morwell in November’s State Election will open on February 5.

Nationals State President Neil Pankhurst said The Nationals are seeking candidates who are committed to fighting in the best interests of the Morwell electorate.

“The 2018 state election is an opportunity for the Latrobe Valley to elect a representative who will stand up for them on the issues that are important to the community and make sure their voice is heard,” Mr Pankhurst said.

Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath said The Nationals were committed to delivering for the Latrobe Valley community.

“The Latrobe Valley has suffered because of disastrous decisions from the city-centric Andrews Labor Government and it is vital that the electorate of Morwell has a strong voice in State Parliament,” Ms Bath said.

Nominations will open on Monday, February 5 and will close at 5pm on Thursday, February 15 2018.

All members of The Nationals are eligible to nominate. For further information or to obtain a nomination form, interested parties should contact The Nationals Head Office on 03 9600 1424.

 

 

Media enquires

Melina Bath 03 5174 7066

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Dairy training

Friday 12 January 2018

Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE’s decision to cut dairy training at Warragul and Leongatha raises more questions than it answers.

The Andrews Government must come clean on the number of students who are part way through a traineeship with GOTAFE who will no longer be able to complete their training with the provider. 

Given Federation Training does not currently offer these courses, Training Minister Gayle Tierney should also detail what she is doing to ensure students who are stranded can complete their qualifications. 

This is the latest sign of instability in training in Gippsland, following revelations one-third of Federation Training’s workforce was sacked in Labor’s first year of government and figures showing a drop of 700,000 student contact hours.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan

Daniel Andrews and Gayle Tierney are missing in action yet again while Gippsland students are left in limbo.

The Andrews Government has failed to offer Gippsland trainees any assurances they’ll be able to complete their training.

Labor promised to ‘rescue’ TAFE, but instead have presided over a massive drop in student numbers and staff redundancies.

Comments attributable to Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien

Our dairy sector provides vital job opportunities and boosts our local economy.

At a time of great uncertainty for our local dairy sector, the Andrews Labor Government’s silence speaks volumes about their level of care for our region.

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Victoria’s iconic High Country history immortalised in new Hall of Fame

Wednesday 10 January 2018

An elected Liberal Nationals government will help Victoria’s High Country communities immortalise their heritage in a new High Country Hall of Fame.

Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh will announce the Liberal-Nationals’ commitment at Omeo this weekend at the Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria Annual Get Together.

“Just as Banjo Patterson immortalised the region in his poem The Man from Snowy River, the High Country Hall of Fame will pay tribute to the people and industries that have shaped this unique region’s history,” Mr Walsh said.

“The Hall of Fame will preserve and celebrate the High Country’s heritage, including the indigenous culture, exploration, the iconic mountain cattlemen, conservation, winter sports and other aspects of high country history, industry and life.

“It will be another attraction and asset to one of Victoria’s iconic tourism regions.”

The Hall of Fame would be established in close consultation with High Country communities to determine the best location and design for the complex.

“Our plan is for a two-step process,” Mr Walsh said.

“Firstly, an expressions of interest phase where interested communities can put forward a bid; and secondly, a shortlist phase where the best three bids would receive financial assistance and help from Regional Development Victoria to prepare detailed business cases.

“High Country communities will have a say on the best location and design for a Hall of Fame that will share their stories with locals and visitors alike.

“If the Liberal Nationals are elected at the November State Election we will ensure the rich history of this iconic region, and the people and industries that have defined it, are preserved and celebrated.

“This will be a place our communities can be proud of and it will add to the outstanding tourism attractions that already draw more than one million people to the High Country every year.”

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A website won’t fix country roads

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Today, Labor’s Roads Minister Luke Donnellan detailed his ‘bold plan’ to fix country Victoria’s deteriorating road network – a new website.

Country Victorians don’t need a website to tell us regional and rural roads have been seriously neglected by the Andrews Labor Government.

What’s worse is that Luke Donnellan’s ‘bold plan’ doesn’t include a cent of new investment to fix country roads.

Despite the potholes and dangerously uneven surfaces littering our country road network, the Andrews Labor Government refuses to reverse its decision to axe the Liberal Nationals’ successful $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program.

The only ‘bold’ part of Labor’s plan is its absolute determination to ignore the needs of country Victorians.

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Lots of questions, but no answers on Northcote by-election preference deal

Thursday 30 November 2017

Background

The Premier and Agriculture Minister today continued to refuse to answer questions in Parliament on Labor’s reported Northcote by-election preference deal with the Animal Justice Party.

AJP Northcote candidate Nina Lenk has said AJP preferenced Labor ahead of the Greens in Northcote “because they were offering us a Victorian welfare group for animals” and “$500,000 for animal organisations and community organisations”.

AJP’s policies include ending livestock farming for a “long-term, total transition to plant-based agriculture” and urge the withdrawal of Government support for animal product industries.

Jaala Pulford continues to evade questions on her decision to announce a new public sector group, Animal Welfare Victoria, and $500,000 of grants on the same day early voting opened for the Northcote by-election.

The Liberal Nationals’ questions have gone unanswered in Parliament this week, including:

  • What stakeholders did she consult with before making the decision to form Animal Welfare Victoria?
  • Why didn’t she consult the Victorian Farmers Federation, the Australian Veterinary Association or even the RSPCA?
  • Was the Minister aware that her decision to form Animal Welfare Victoria and commit $500,000 worth of grants would result in the Animal Justice Party preferencing Labor ahead of The Greens at the Northcote by-election?
  • Why didn’t the Minister inform the Livestock Industry Consultative Committee of her decision to form Animal Welfare Victoria, which met with Chief Veterinary Officer Charles Milne four days before AWV was announced?

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh

Daniel Andrews and Jaala Pulford have serious questions to answer on this alleged cash for votes deal with the AJP ahead of the Northcote by-election.

Daniel Andrews is proving time and time again he is the Premier for Melbourne and will sell out regional Victorians at any cost.

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The Nationals launch Shepparton community preselection

Wednesday 22 November 2017

The Nationals have announced key dates for Victoria’s first community preselection, to be held in the seat of Shepparton leading up to the 2018 State Election.

Leader of The Nationals in Victoria Peter Walsh and State President Neil Pankhurst were in Shepparton today to announce candidate nominations for the community preselection will open on 12 February 2018 and close on March 9.

Voters registered for the seat of Shepparton will vote in the preselection on April 14 next year, ahead of the State Election in November.

Mr Pankhurst said he was looking forward to opening nominations.

“The community preselection gives the people who know the region best a leading role in choosing who will be The Nationals candidate in the 2018 State Election,” Mr Pankhurst said.

“I look forward to working with the Shepparton Branch and Peter Walsh on this unique opportunity for a truly democratic preselection process.”

The Nationals’ community preselection will be the first ever held in Victoria, giving the Shepparton region a full vote on their elected representative.

“People who live and work in the Shepparton region have a deep understand of what matters to local people,” Mr Walsh said.

“We are looking for candidates who are prepared to be a strong voice for the region in State Parliament and fight for the community’s best interests.”

Candidate nominations will open on 12 February 2018 and close on March 9. The community preselection will be held on April 14.

For more information visit www.sheppartonvotes.com

 

KEY DATES

Candidate nominations open

12 February 2018

Candidate nominations close

9 March 2018

Shepparton community preselection

14 April 2018

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Farmers face skyrocketing diesel prices to keep the lights on

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Daniel Andrews’ desperate bid to plug the hole in Victoria’s power supply couldn’t come at a worse time for Victorian farmers.

The Andrews Labor Government’s failure to stop the closure of Hazelwood Power Station or make up the loss of power supply means Victoria will need expensive diesel generators to keep the lights on in summer.

Today in Parliament, Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio refused to answer questions on the impact the diesel generators would have on diesel prices, leading up to a busy grain harvest.

Victorian grain farmers will be paying the price for Daniel Andrews’ incompetence.

When an additional 500,000 litres of diesel a day is needed to keeping the lights and air-conditioning on, it will mean huge pressure on diesel prices at a time when our grain farmers need it most.