Media releases Regional Development Transport Infrastructure

Derailed Murray Basin Rail Project still not back on track under Labor

Derailed Murray Basin Rail Project still not back on track under Labor

Labor still hasn’t got the Murray Basin Rail Project back on track.

Transport Minister Jacinta Allan has finally announced the Murrayville to Ouyen freight line is set to reopen – more than six months later than promised.

Work on the Murrayville to Ouyen line was scheduled to begin in August 2017, with the line to shut for five months for standardisation, upgrades and track maintenance.

But the Andrews Labor Government has completely botched delivery of the Murray Basin Rail project, blowing out the budget and the timelines.

Originally scheduled for completion this year, Labor’s poor management has left the project reportedly $100 million over-budget, seen the head contractors sacked, reports that sub-contractors are owed tens of thousands of dollars and pushed the expected completion out to 2020.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to upgrade and standardise the rail system of north-west Victoria and make it easier for our producers to get their product to port is at risk under Labor.

Comment attributable to Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh

Jacinta Allan is desperately trying to cover her tracks and convince Regional Victorians Labor hasn’t utterly botched the Murray Basin Rail Project.

Every time the Andrews Labor Government puts out a press release on the Murray Basin Rail Project we find out it’s been delayed even more.

Only the Premier for Melbourne and his Minister for Excuses Jacinta Allan could inherit a fully-funded, once-in-a-generation project and completely botch the delivery.

Comment attributable to Member for Mildura Peter Crisp

Producers and businesses in north-west Victoria have been dealt a dud hand by the Premier for Melbourne.

Freight operators and primary producers in north-west Victoria should be reaping the benefits of standardised track and increased freight volumes this year, but under Daniel Andrews it’s off in the never-never.

The Nationals in government funded the $440 million Basin Rail project and I’ll keep fighting to make sure this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is delivered – in full – so we can get on with the level crossing upgrades that must be done in order to get a passenger service returned for Mildura.

Media releases Agriculture Environment Infrastructure

Liberal Nationals securing water to boost Victoria’s food production

Liberal Nationals securing water to boost Victoria’s food production

A Liberal Nationals Government will investigate ways to better use recycled water to make sure Victoria can feed a growing population.

As Melbourne grows to an expected population of seven to eight million people by 2050, it will need at least 60 per cent more food.

Research shows that if the city’s footprint continues to grow, population growth and urban sprawl will reduce the capacity of Melbourne’s foodbowl to meet the city’s food needs from 41 per cent to around 18 per cent by 2050.

Despite this, Labor still has no plan to better manage or meet the needs of Victoria’s growing population.

If elected in November, the Liberal Nationals will provide $1 million for a business case into establishing a new irrigation district in either Breamlea or Balliang utilising recycled water that would otherwise be sent out to sea.

Working with the communities of Breamlea and Balliang, we’ll investigate opportunities to use recycled water from existing treatment plants at Melbourne or Geelong.

The recycled water plant at Black Rock has the capacity to produce 18GL of recycled water a year, while Western Water’s plant at Melton produces 40GL a year.

The new irrigation district would expand Victoria’s agricultural productivity in the region, complimenting the successful Werribee Irrigation District which also utilises recycled water to grow crops. A lack of available land and rising land prices are holding back growers looking to expand to keep up with population growth and export demand.

Only the Liberal Nationals have a plan to invest in the future of our farmers and food manufacturers, and in turn this is an investment in the people and communities of regional Victoria.

Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan

Under Daniel Andrews, billions of litres of usable recycled water is going to waste.

We want to use more of that water to provide new Victorian jobs, to grow industry and to keep the cost of food affordable.

Developing a new irrigation district will create new jobs and enable local growers to provide more fresh food to Victorians’ tables.

Media releases Regional Development Transport Infrastructure

Massive Boost to Home and Community Care

Massive Boost to Home and Community Care

A Liberal Nationals Government will deliver a massive $175 million expansion of home and community care and support for Victorians with chronic disease and other conditions who can safely be treated outside hospital in the comfort of their own home and in their community.

Many Victorians have to be admitted into a public hospital or have extended stays in hospital due to the limited availability of Hospital in the Home or equivalent care. Hospital in the Home helps patients, who can safely be treated outside hospitals, get back home to their loved ones but with regular visits and support from health care professionals.

Hospital in the Home enjoys bi-partisan support and Victorians are currently receiving a number of treatments in their homes such as dialysis, rehabilitation and palliative care. Our investment will increase the availability of those treatments and expand treatment to other areas for patients who are clinically recommended, such as infection management and complex wound care.

This will require dedicated 24-hour medical and nursing coverage, greater scale, increased priority for patients in home-based care and all reinforced with rigorous quality and outcomes measurement. Treating patients in their homes has been shown to increase patient and carer satisfaction and reduce readmission rates.

Our funding will ramp up Hospital in the Home to support an additional 6,000 patients each year, helping more Victorians to access high quality care in their home for acute and chronic conditions.

Further, there are over a million Victorians living with multiple chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart or lung disease, many of whom are living in pain, are limited in their employment and regularly require medical and hospital care.

A Liberal Nationals Government will provide vastly increased support to help thousands of Victorians with complex health conditions to identify their needs, navigate their care choices and get appropriate treatment. We will help people to manage their pain, their health and their lives – rather than wait until things fall apart and they end up in hospital.

This funding will improve their health with increased access to GPs and community health services and reduced time spent in hospitals and emergency departments.

Successive Governments have trialled a range of chronic disease management initiatives. Labor’s HealthLinks: Chronic Care is a trial at 10 hospitals but with no additional funding.

A Liberal Nationals Government will make a genuine commitment to embed community and home-based chronic disease management as a core element of health and community health services across the State through funding and focus.

In summary, the Liberal Nationals Policy will establish:

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]A ‘Home Hospital’, expanding, by up to the equivalent of 200 acute beds, Hospital in the Home services supporting an additional 6,000 patients each year discharged from emergency departments and wards or referred directly from nursing homes or GPs, who would otherwise be in hospital;

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]Home visiting and community support services for up to 5,000 people per year living with multiple chronic diseases to help manage their diseases and prevent or delay hospital readmission;

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]Enhanced support for young people with chronic disease transitioning from the Royal Children’s Hospital to adult services;

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]New small grants for local chronic disease peer support groups, including online groups; and

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]A state-wide plan for chronic disease management including approaches which prevent people from being admitted to hospital

With increasing demand for hospital services and increasing complexity in patient needs, ensuing high quality, accessible and responsive health services well into the future requires a strong network of acute hospitals as well as community health and home-based services for people who can be appropriately treated locally.

This policy commitment significantly expands the range of treatment options for Victorians with significant health needs and builds on Liberal Nationals commitments to build a new West Gippsland Hospital, new theatres and emergency department at Warrnambool Hospital and to make Australia’s largest investment in community based palliative care.

Media releases Regional Development Transport Infrastructure

Mildura to get a residential rehabilitation centre under Liberal Nationals

Mildura to get a residential rehabilitation centre under Liberal Nationals

 

The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp has today announced that an elected Liberal Nationals government will fund

and build a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre for Mildura.

 

The 18 to 20-bed centre will address the critical need for residential rehabilitation services in north-west Victoria.

 

Mr Crisp was joined in Mildura today by Shadow Minister for Mental Health Emma Kealy.

 

“Mildura has a real need for a residential treatment centre and if a Liberal Nationals government is elected, I will deliver

this vital service for our community,” Mr Crisp said.

 

“These centres save lives and they change lives, and we need one in Mildura.

 

“The Nationals believe in backing projects our communities have identified as a priority, and this centre will make a real

difference to the health and wellbeing of Mildura families.

 

“I’ve worked very closely with community supporters of this project and I am very pleased be here today with Emma Kealy

to tell them a Liberal Nationals government will deliver it.

 

“We have an excellent non-residential program run by Sunraysia Community Health already, and a residential facility would

complement that and boost our capacity to tackle the scourge of drug and alcohol addiction which sadly affects some

members of our community.

 

“Only a Liberal Nationals Government will deliver a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre for Mildura and

north-west Victoria.”

 

The Liberal Nationals will put $7 million into this commitment for Mildura, as part of a package of new drug and alcohol

rehabilitation services for regional Victoria.

 

Victoria currently has about the quarter the number of residential rehab beds of New South Wales, which has more than 800.

 

Ms Kealy said the Andrews Labor Government had failed regional Victorian communities by not keeping up with service

demands for new residential rehabilitation beds.

 

“Plans to increase the number of residential rehabilitation beds were axed by the Andrews Government when it was

elected in 2014, and that meant communities like Mildura have missed out.

 

“Waiting lists have blown out and in some places people are being told they have to wait up to a year, and that’s just

not good enough.

 

“A Liberal Nationals government will make the investments regional communities need so that when people are struggling

and need help for drug and alcohol addition, residential rehabilitation services will be there for them and their families.”

Media releases Education and Skills Community Services

Liberal Nationals to break down barriers for rural students

Wednesday 15 August 2018


Liberal Nationals to break down barriers for rural students


A young person’s future shouldn’t be determined by where they live.


For many young regional Victorians the daunting challenge of moving away from family and
friends for tertiary education is a reality they have to face alone.


An elected Liberal Nationals Government will invest in a brighter future for young Victorians with a
new program to help students who have to relocate settle into tertiary study.


In discussions with the Rural Youth Ambassadors, we'll provide $600,000 over four years to create
the Rural Tertiary Network, a program to link students who have moved to one of Victoria’s
regional cities or Melbourne for study with other students who have faced the challenge of settling
into university of TAFE away from home.


We’ll also establish a pop-up hub as a base for rural students and their families as they start their
tertiary education.


A lack of transitional support for regional students who relocate for study was one of the key
challenges identified in a 2013 report from the Regional Policy Advisory Committee.


Other challenges included isolation from friends and family, experiencing independent living for the
first time, culture shock and adjusting to an environment where they are one of many highachieving
students.


Only a Liberal Nationals Government will invest in a brighter future for Victoria’s next generation of
leaders.


Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Skills, Training and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan
Young people from country Victoria deserve the same opportunities as city kids.


The Liberal Nationals will help more students from rural and regional Victoria overcome the
obstacles barring them from tertiary education, be it university or vocational education and
training.


Our Rural Tertiary Network will give them the support they need to tackle a tertiary education.

Media releases Agriculture Environment

Irrigators to have a say on carryover rules under Liberal Nationals

Tuesday 31 July 2018

Irrigators to have a say on carryover rules under Liberal Nationals


An elected Liberal Nationals government will review carryover water in northern Victoria to make sure the rules are working in the best interests of water users.


Announcing the review today, Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan said it would look into whether current carryover rules on the Goulburn, Murray and Campaspe systems could better reflect the way our water use, storage and trade has changed in the past decade.


Carryover rules allow water entitlement holders to take unused water allocations from one season into the next, with the carryover water available for their own use or to trade.


“Carryover was introduced at the height of the drought in 2007 to help manage risk. Since then the way we use, trade and store water has changed a lot and we need to make sure the rules accurately reflect that change,” Ms Ryan said.


“A Liberal Nationals Government will review carryover rules to make sure we have system that’s fair and equitable for our irrigators, the environment and other water users.


“More than a decade since carryover rules were introduced, it’s time stakeholders get a chance to have their say.”


The review will examine whether carryover has increased the frequency of spills from northern Victoria’s water storages and, if so, seek to quantify what benefit that has to the environment.


It will also seek to identify whether carryover has reduced entitlement allocations of either high or low reliability water through increased spills. The committee will include irrigator representation.


“Lisa Neville has had years to take action but it’s clear she’s put this issue in the too hard basket,” Ms Ryan said.


“It’s vital we get the balance right to secure the future of Victoria’s irrigation communities.”

Media releases Agriculture Environment

Liberal Nationals will set up weeds and pest animals taskforce

Friday 20 July 2018

Liberal Nationals will set up weeds and pest animals taskforce

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will help support Victorian farmers and land managers in the fight against weeds and pest animals with a new taskforce that will properly enforce laws.

Weeds strangle the productivity of our farmers, costing an estimated $4 billion through yield losses and product contamination across the nation each year.

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will provide an additional $6.88 million over four years in a new weeds and pest animal enforcement taskforce which will be established in Agriculture Victoria.

The taskforce will strengthen compliance with Victorian laws and will support the hard work of landowners who already properly manage weeds and pest animals.

Supporting our farmers and land managers just isn’t a priority for Labor.

Weeds and pest animals are running rampant after Daniel Andrews cut the Department’s number of property inspections and has failed to enforce laws which are in place to protect private and public land.

It’s left landholders who do the right thing by controlling invasive species on their own properties negatively impacted by neighbours who flout laws which are not being properly enforced.

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh

A Liberal Nationals Government will boost enforcement activity with a new, dedicated taskforce.

We need to urgently reverse the damage Daniel Andrews has caused by cutting inspection rates and failing to properly enforce weed and pest animal laws.

There are lots of farmers who do the right thing, spend money and do the grunt work controlling weeds and pests on their properties but all that good work is undone if recalcitrant neighbours flout the laws.

Weeds and pests like rabbits can severely impact on productivity so it is critical that we do everything we can to support farmers, because profitable farm businesses are critical for local economies and jobs throughout Regional Victoria.

Media releases Agriculture Environment

Liberal Nationals will help farmers bridge the innovation GAPP

Friday 20 July 2018

Liberal Nationals will help farmers bridge the innovation GAPP

We must increase the productivity of our farmers if Victoria is to fulfil its potential as an agriculture powerhouse.

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will invest $5.3 million to roll out the Growth, Adoption, Production and Profitability (GAPP) program.

GAPP will help Victorian farmers access new technologies and practices in order to boost productivity and profitability of food and fibre growers.

The funding will be available to industry grower groups to deliver co-funded programs that help their members boost on-farm productivity through the adoption of new technologies and practices.

This follows the success of a pilot program, funded by the former Liberal Nationals Government in partnership with Birchip Cropping Group (BCG).

When Victorian farms are more productive it's good for regional jobs, good for regional economies and for all Victorians.

Only an elected Liberal Nationals Government will make sure farmers have access to the R&D programs they need in order to boost on-farm productivity and profitability.

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh

With strong demand for Victorian food and fibre products, both in local markets and overseas, it’s more important than ever to drive sustainable, long-term growth in Victorian agriculture.

A Liberal Nationals government will be committed to developing innovation and R&D partnerships with our agricultural sectors because this will deliver the best outcomes for Victorian farmers, and for the Victorian economy.

The Premier for Melbourne and his city-centric Labor Government have failed to help secure the opportunities that are knocking at our farm gates.

A Liberal Nationals Government will deliver a better deal for our farmers and for Regional Victoria.

Media releases Agriculture Environment Community Services

New Livestock and Rural Crime Squad to help protect farmers’ assets

Thursday 19 July 2018

 

New Livestock and Rural Crime Squad to help protect farmers’ assets

 

A Liberal Nationals Government will establish a new Livestock and Rural Crime Squad to specialise in dealing with rural crime including farm and livestock theft.

 

A Liberal Nationals Government will work with Victoria Police to establish a dedicated Livestock and Rural Crime Squad with 20 new specialist rural crime investigators.  The allocation of 20 new specialist roles will boost dedicated rural crime police numbers by 40 per cent.

 

Stock theft is becoming a huge business for criminals and its hurting hard working families on the land. 

 

Instances of stock theft rose 40% in 2017 and between April 2017 and March 2018 there were 232 instances of ‘Burglary/Break and Enter’ and ‘Theft’ offences recorded where livestock were stolen. Just 10 of these crimes resulted in an arrest or summons.

 

Labor has failed to act on rural crime, including livestock theft. Warrnambool Police Inspector Paul Marshall recently described stock theft:

 

“It’s big business… Traditionally farmers have been left a little bit short on the service they are getting so we’re really trying to correct that and treat stock theft for what it is. It’s a serious organised crime.” 

 

The Livestock and Rural Crime Squad will be based throughout regional Victoria.  Victoria Police will inform the final operational structure of the specialist unit however it is intended that the roles will be located throughout regional Victoria, ensuring unit members will be working in the rural communities they will be protecting. 

 

These 20 new investigation positions will merge with the existing Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Group and the 48 Agricultural Liaison Officers (AGLOs) to create the new Livestock and Rural Crime Squad.

 

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

 

“The skyrocketing numbers of farm and livestock thefts aren’t just statistics; they are the livelihoods of families which is why I am so determined to get tough on these crimes.    

 

A Liberal Nationals Government will muscle-up on farm and livestock thefts.

 

A Livestock and Rural Crime Squad will give the Police the resources they need to put more focus on farm and livestock thefts and protect the livelihoods of our farmers.

 

Daniel Andrews and his regional Labor MPs don’t seem to think farm and livestock thefts are an issue and after nearly four years they still haven’t done anything about it.

 

A Liberal Nationals Government will keep all Victorians safe and secure.”

 

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh:

 

“Daniel Andrews is the Premier for Melbourne, the Liberal Nationals will govern for all of Victoria. At the moment because of Labor’s cuts to police, there are only ever a handful of arrests made for farm and livestock theft and that sends a message to criminals that they can probably get away with it. 

 

A Liberal Nationals Government will send a strong message to potential criminals that if they are thinking about farm and livestock theft you will get caught and you will get punished.

 

Victoria’s agricultural industry can’t afford another four more years of Daniel Andrews and Labor’s lack of action on farm and livestock theft.”

Media releases Agriculture Environment

Agriculture will grow under a Liberal Nationals government

 

 

Thursday 19 July 2018

 

Agriculture will grow under a Liberal Nationals government

 

When regional Victoria’s economy is strong, all Victorians benefit.  

 

An elected Liberal Nationals government will make the investments to drive growth and support jobs in Victoria’s agriculture industries to benefit all Victorians.

 

Food and fibre production is the backbone of our regional communities. A Liberal Nationals Government will invest to make sure these vital sectors continue to grow and support jobs and business opportunities throughout our State.

 

If elected, the Liberal Nationals will establish the Grow Victoria: Food and Fibre Exports Program with a $40 million investment that will help our local farmers and food manufacturers to get more Victorian products into the rapidly expanding Asian markets.

 

Victoria’s reputation for clean, green, premium produce puts us in prime position to grow food and fibre exports but the current city-centric State Labor Government has failed to grasp the opportunity knocking at our farm gates.

 

Under the Liberal Nationals leadership, we will reverse the Andrews Government’s funding cuts and ensure Victoria’s food and fibre export strategy addresses key drivers including market access, research and development, reducing red tape and infrastructure investment.

 

Victoria is the nation’s largest exporter of agricultural goods but other states have increased their share of exports in the past three years and Victoria has declined, dropping from 28 per cent of Australian exports in 2013-14 to 25 per cent in 2016-17.

 

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

 

“When regional Victoria’s economy is strong every Victorian benefits.  

 

Creating more great jobs in regional Victoria is the key to decentralising our population.

 

A Liberal Nationals Government I lead will ensure Victoria’s farm and food businesses can continue to grow, and the regional communities these sectors support will also thrive.

 

We have innovative farmers and food businesses and exciting prospects for high value export markets right on our doorstep, and a Liberal Nationals government is committed to making sure Victoria’s food and fibre sectors seize every opportunity that is available.”

 

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh:

 

“A city-centric Labor Government has been short-sighted in the last four years but a Liberal Nationals government will restore funding and get this important work back on track.

 

Regional development and decentralising our population will only succeed if we create good, secure and well-paying jobs and business opportunities in regional Victoria.  

 

Only the Liberal Nationals have a plan to invest in the future of our farmers and food manufacturers, and in turn this is an investment in the people and communities of regional Victoria.

 

Growing Victoria’s farm and food businesses will create more great jobs in the industry and that will help grow our regions and decentralise our population.”