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Liberal Nationals will bring back Country Roads and Bridges Program

Wednesday 18 April 2018
Liberal Nationals will bring back Country Roads and Bridges Program
An elected Liberal Nationals government will fix country roads and save country lives.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh and Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure David Hodgett announced today if elected, the Liberal Nationals will bring back the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program.
By contrast, Daniel Andrews axed the program when he was elected in 2014, leaving councils struggling to meet the cost of maintaining local roads.
Approximately $1 million in grants will be provided to Victoria’s 40 rural shires each year over four years.
The grants will help restore and rehabilitate council-maintained roads and bridges, which have deteriorated under Labor’s neglect.
People in rural Victoria are over-represented in the road toll. In 2017, 156 lives were lost on roads in rural Victoria, compared to 102 on roads in Melbourne.
The Country Roads and Bridges Program will give rural Victorians the safe and reliable infrastructure they deserve.
Comment attributable to Opposition Leader Matthew Guy
The Liberal Nationals will get Victoria moving with the high-quality, safe roads and infrastructure regional and rural Victorians deserve.
Daniel Andrews is the Premier for Melbourne, I’ll be the Premier for all Victorians.
Comment attributable to Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh
While Daniel Andrews is reducing speed limits on country roads, the Liberal Nationals have a plan for the safe, reliable infrastructure rural Victorians deserve.
If you fix country roads, you save country lives – and that’s exactly what this program will do.
Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure David Hodgett
Daniel Andrews axed the Country Roads and Bridges Program, leaving Victoria’s rural councils struggling to maintain their local roads network.
The Premier for Melbourne prefers to put country infrastructure funding into improvements near his own suburban electorate, only an elected Liberal Nationals government will invest in road safety improvements in rural Victoria.

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Twice as many trains and at faster speeds under the Liberal Nationals

Monday 23 April 2018
 
Twice as many trains and at faster speeds under the Liberal Nationals
 
Shepparton will finally get the rail service it has long wanted under a Liberal National plan to revitalise the city’s rail services and help decentralise Victoria’s economic and population growth.
 
The Liberal Nationals will double the current number of return rail services from Shepparton to Melbourne.
 
Through a $77 million investment the Liberal Nationals will increase the number of daily services from four to eight and track conditions will be vastly improved to allow maximum train speeds of up to 130 km/h, significantly higher than the current limit of around 95 km/h.
 
The Liberal Nationals’ plan will also see up to 32 road level crossings fully protected on the Shepparton line, eliminating the need to slow down and enabling maximum speeds to be maintained for as long as possible.
 
New remotely controlled automatic signalling will be installed on the line along with new sleepers, ballast and drainage.
 
The announcement is part of the Liberal Nationals’ plan to invest in heavy rail upgrades and to decentralise Victoria’s growth, creating a state of cities, not a city state.
 
It also follows the Liberal Nationals’ $633 million announcement to replace all diesel hauled country rail services with six carriage long haul VLocity railcars, which would operate all Shepparton services.
 
Gone will be the days of waiting for emergency repairs on ageing 1980s rolling stock and consistent broken air-conditioners on hot days, Shepparton will finally get a first class rail service.
 
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:
 
“A government I lead will deliver faster, comfortable and more reliable rail services for Shepparton. As one of the largest cities in Victoria, Shepparton deserves no less.
 
“One of the most effective ways to decentralise Victoria’s population and economic growth is to upgrade our rail network and this is exactly what a Liberal National government will do.
 
“While Daniel Andrews is only interested in being the Premier for Melbourne, I will be the Premier for all of Victoria.”
 
Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh:
 
“The Labor Premier for Melbourne is putting billions into the Melbourne metro and leaving Shepparton on the slow train.
 
“This commitment, in addition to the purchase of new long-haul trains, reflects the Liberal Nationals’ vision for Shepparton becoming a major regional centre as part of our plan to grow the whole state, not just Melbourne.”
 
Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Shepparton, Cheryl Hammer:
 
“The Shepparton community has told us loud and clear that improved connectivity to and from Melbourne is essential for building our future. 
 
“I am proud to be part of the Liberal Nationals team that will deliver a faster, more reliable train service giving us the opportunity to better showcase our region, and move our travelling public in the manner they deserve."
 
Comments attributable to The Nationals Candidate for Shepparton, Peter Schwarz:
 
“Modern, fast, reliable trains and more services on the Shepparton line will be a terrific asset to attract people and new businesses to our community.
 
“The Shepparton region has a lot to be proud of and the better public transport links that will be delivered by an elected Liberal Nationals government will help our community grow.”

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More Labor lies on wire rope barriers

Thursday 22 February 2018

First, Luke Donnellan denigrated and disrespected country Victorians. Now he is straight out lying to us.

Asked today in Parliament if Labor’s botched placement of wire rope barriers would result in workers mowing kilometres of the Hume Fwy grass verge with push mowers, the Roads Minister responded ‘no’.

But photographs of workers mowing the edges of the Hume Fwy with push mowers suggest otherwise.

Luke Donnellan’s own guidelines on wire rope barriers state that the ongoing maintenance of areas on both sides of the barrier should be taken into account when installing them.

Further they state “the cost, practicality and Occupational Health & Safety implications of the maintenance of these areas need to be considered in accordance with Section 28 of the OH&S Act 2004.”

The use of push mowers on the Hume Fwy clearly does not comply with the Minister’s own guidelines.

Luke Donnellan must explain why the botched rollout of wire rope barriers has breached his own guidelines.

Daniel Andrews and Luke Donnellan must start listening to the legitimate safety concerns of country people.

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Liberal Nationals to make kangaroo pet food trial permanent

Wednesday 14 February 2018

A Liberal Nationals government will give Victoria’s emerging kangaroo pet food industry certainty and make the current trial program permanent.

In Seymour to make the announcement, Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the Liberal Nationals will also expand the program to take in other areas where kangaroo numbers are out-of-control.

“The kangaroo pet food industry doesn’t need another extension, it needs certainty,” Mr Walsh said.

“Daniel Andrews and his city-centric Labor Government refuse to support this fledgling industry and the jobs it’s created.

“Unlike Labor, the Liberal Nationals are committed to helping Victorian farmers, making sure processors have confidence to invest in the industry and supporting existing and future jobs.”

The industry has been dogged by uncertainty, with the Andrews Labor Government failing to commit to the program, despite it proving to be an outstanding success.

Since the trial was established by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2014, about 87,000 kangaroo carcasses, that would have otherwise been discarded, have been processed.

Currently, the trial is restricted to 16 regional LGAs, but the Liberal Nationals’ plan would expand it to all rural and regional LGAs.

A permanent program would align with the guidelines of the existing trial and would not change the requirement for Authority to Control Wildlife permits to be issued for any kangaroos used as pet food.

Mr Walsh said the Liberal Nationals would give industry certainty, even if Labor refused to make the trial permanent when it expires at the end of March.

“In plague numbers, kangaroos cause extensive damage to fences, compete with domestic animals for food and water and trample crops,” Mr Walsh said.

“The kangaroo pet food trial has proven this creates jobs in regional Victoria and it makes use of a resource that would otherwise rot in paddocks.

“The Andrews Labor Government isn’t prepared to guarantee this industry’s future, but the Liberal Nationals will.”

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FAST FACTS: What Labor used to say about Regional Parliament

Thursday 8 February 2018

In his opening remarks to the 2012 regional sitting of the Legislative Assembly in Ballarat then Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews remarked:

“The regional sitting program is a wonderful program, and I congratulate the Premier for continuing the efforts of previous governments.”

“The regional sitting programs are very important, not just because the communities get a better sense of what the legislature does but also because they are a great opportunity for us to spend time collectively in regional Victoria, to show our strong support for regional Victoria as a Parliament and to celebrate all the great things that are happening in regional Victoria.”

(Hansard, 6  September 2012)

Former Labor Premier Steve Bracks said of the Regional Parliament in 2000 that the regional sittings recognised:

“…the crucial role that regional Victoria played in the history of Victoria, the nation and the formation of the Federation”.

(Hansard, 26 October 2000)

 

Yet, not one regional sitting has been held during the current Andrews Labor Government’s term.

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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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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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Vic famers hard hit by chickpea and lentil tariff

Friday 22 December 2017

This morning I have spoken to Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to convey the seriousness of the impact of India’s 30 per cent tariff on chickpeas and lentils on Victorian farmers.

Victoria’s chickpea and lentil farmers have battled frost, hail and heavy rains in the past months. India’s decision to impose a 30 per cent tariff, effective immediately, has hit our hard working farmers at the worst possible time.

The imposition of a tariff, without warning and during harvest time, is not the way to manage trade relationships.

I have encouraged the Federal Government to take the strongest possible action on behalf of Victoria’s chickpea and lentil farmers.

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Labor fails farmers as produce rots on dock

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Background

Daniel Andrews continues to stand by while his union mates stop our hardworking farmers from exporting their goods.

In Parliament today, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford failed to acknowledge the economic and reputational damage a union blockade at the Port of Melbourne has forced on Victorian businesses.

Ms Pulford failed to explain why she had refused requests for assistance from Victorian businesses with produce stranded at Webb Dock.

Ms Pulford didn’t acknowledge the businesses, instead washing her hands of the issue.

There are 1000 shipping containers of goods, including agricultural product, stranded at the Port of Melbourne after the three-week union blockade.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh

Daniel Andrews has made it clear he isn’t willing to lift a finger against his union mates, even if they are damaging farmers’ bottom line and threatening Victoria’s agricultural exports.

Our farmers slog their guts out from dawn to dusk and turn out the best produce in the world but this union picket is wrecking their livelihoods and Victoria’s international reputation as a reliable exporter.

Daniel Andrews and his Agriculture Minister should be right in the thick of getting this resolved but yet again the people and industries of country Victoria are being sacrificed for Labor’s union mates.

Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Luke O’Sullivan

It’s disgraceful that when hard-working businesses like Kyvalley Dairy at Kyabram go directly to Labor’s Agriculture Minister appealing for help, the Minister’s minders tell them the Andrews Government doesn’t want to get involved.

This union action is costing our farm export businesses dollars and their trading reputations and yet Daniel Andrews refuses to act.