- $12.5 million to upgrade and expand Grains Centre of Excellence at Horsham
- Research capacity boosted with new laboratories, greenhouses & infrastructure
- Napthine Coalition is building a better agriculture industry for Victoria
A re-elected Coalition Government will invest $12.5 million to upgrade Victoria’s Grains Centre of Excellence, Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh announced today.
Mr Walsh, joined by The Nationals candidate for Lowan Emma Kealy, said the $12.5 million investment would enhance research capabilities at the Horsham centre.
“The Liberal-Nationals Coalition recognises that modern facilities are crucial to equipping our research centres to undertake important, cutting-edge work that supports our agricultural industries,” Mr Walsh said.
“Under a re-elected Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government, $12.5 million will be invested into a modernisation project at the Horsham centre that will improve and expand existing laboratories and greenhouses, and upgrade critical infrastructure including power, water, IT capacity and road access.”
Ms Kealy welcomed the announcement and said it would be another enhancement to Horsham’s growing research hub.
“The creation of the Australian Grains Genebank and the new Bayer CropScience wheat and oilseed breeding centre at Longerenong College alongside an upgraded Grains Centre of Excellence at Horsham will help establish Horsham as the leading place for grains research in Australia,” Ms Kealy said.
“The Grains Centre of Excellence modernisation project will help us to attract and retain world-leading scientists here at Horsham.
“The Nationals in government set a goal to double food and fibre production in Victoria by 2030, and we are committed to making the research, development and extension investments that are critical to helping our farmers meet that target.”
Mr Walsh said the Liberal-Nationals Coalition’s commitment to farmers was in stark contrast to Labor, which failed to commit any additional funding for critical research, development and extension work.
“This $12.5 million commitment comes on top of the additional $60 million a re-elected Coalition Government has already committed for a further four years of the successful Growing Food and Fibre initiative, which partners with industry to co-invest in strategic research, development and extension projects,” Mr Walsh said.
“Only the Liberal-Nationals Coalition has committed the funding necessary to deliver the research, development and extension programs needed that will help Victoria’s food and fibre producers increase productivity and profitability.”
In 2013-14 Victorian cereal, oilseed, pulse and processed grain exports totalled $1.955 billion.
· $10.4 million war on weeds, rabbits under a re-elected Liberal Nationals Coalition
· Supporting councils to control pest weeds and rabbits on rural and regional roads
· Liberal Nationals Coalition delivering for Victoria’s farmers
A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will commit a further $10.4 million over the next four years to assist rural and regional councils to fight the war on pest weeds and rabbits on municipal roadsides.
Minister for Local Government Tim Bull and Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh today announced the Victorian Coalition would be extending the Government’s successful Roadside Weeds and Pests Management Program if re-elected on 29 November to help build a sustainable Victoria.
Mr Bull said rural roadsides can be a major corridor for the spread of weeds and rabbits, which in turn can threaten the state’s agricultural productivity, biosecurity and environmental assets.
“The Coalition recognises the challenges facing small rural and regional councils in managing assets and controlling pests which is why we are committed to providing local government with this funding assistance,” Mr Bull said.
“This renewed commitment provides for a more than doubling of the level of assistance provided to councils under the previous Labor Government.
“By committing a further $10.4 million to roadside weed and rabbit control if re-elected, the Coalition will be helping put more downward pressure on council rates.”
Mr Walsh said 56 rural and regional councils will benefit from the extended roadside weeds and rabbit control program.
“The Coalition has worked constructively to build a partnership between the Department of Environment and Primary industries and the local government sector to clarify responsibilities for the control of pest weeds and rabbits on roadsides,” Mr Walsh said.
“Councils have reported treating more than 14,000 kilometres of roadsides for rabbits and weeds over the past two years under this program.
“Funding will be strictly targeted to deliver on-ground works controlling pest weeds and rabbits.”
Mr Walsh said the Coalition has given councils the ability to set roadside pest management plans in
consultation with their communities to target weed and rabbit control activities where they would have the greatest positive impact.
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has strongly supported this Coalition election commitment with VFF president Peter Tuohey welcoming the extra investment in roadside pests and weeds.
“It’s vital that councils get the funding they need to manage pest and weeds along these road corridors, given their resources,” Mr Tuohey said.
“If councils don’t do this work these roadsides end up acting as a breeding ground for weeds and vermin to invade our farms.”
Mr Bull said Labor had failed to commit to the roadside weeds and rabbits control program meaning rural rates would rise and farm biosecurity would be threatened under an Andrews Labor government.
- Labor’s $95,000 study is a joke without commitment to Murray Basin Rail Project
- Labor don’t understand infrastructure & transport needs of regional Victoria
- Labor will cut the country
Labor’s claims today to care about freight logistics around Ararat is completely contradicted by its own policy to scrap Victoria’s biggest freight rail project, The Nationals campaign spokesperson Peter Walsh said today.
Labor says it will “provide Ararat Rural City with $95,000 to undertake a feasibility study and build the case for Ararat to become a major freight and logistics hub”.
Local Labor candidate Daniel McGlone even rightly says: “Freight is one of our state’s leading industries. If Ararat can claim its place in the regional supply chain, we can create local jobs.”
“Labor wants to rip-up $220 million freight rail project and replace it with a $95,000 feasibility study,” Mr Walsh said.
“Labor says they understand the importance of freight to local jobs, yet they will tear up the landmark $220 million Murray Basin Rail Project which will standardise freight rail lines from Mildura to Geelong and deliver huge benefits directly to Ararat.
“The Murray Basin Rail Project will connect north-west Victoria with major export gateways in Portland, Geelong and Melbourne, with billions of dollars worth of produce flowing through Ararat. Around $3 billion worth of food, fibre and minerals is exported from the Murray Basin annually.
“Without the Murray Basin Rail Project and under a Labor government, Ararat will never be a freight hub because vital upgrades to western Victorian rail will never occur.
“Instead, Labor would be forcing more freight onto trucks, ripping up local roads.
“The money for the Coalition’s Murray Basin Rail Project has already been provided for in the 2014-15 budget. If Labor are only going to spend $95,000 on a half-baked feasibility study, there is no doubt they will be spending the remaining $219,905,000 trying to sandbank the city seats from the Greens.
“Labor will cut the country.”
A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will implement a strategy that tackles youth unemployment and gives Victoria’s young people the best chance of getting a job, Premier Denis Napthine announced today.
From April next year, the Youth Employment Strategy will support young Victorians aged 15 to 24 years, who have been unemployed for more than six months and are not enrolled in full time education or training, with the right skills and experience to gain a rewarding and meaningful job.
Highlights of the Youth Employment Strategy include:
- vouchers of $2,000 each to assist small businesses with recruitment and start-up costs;
- WorkCover premium rebates to any business that employs an eligible young Victorian for 12 months; and
- payroll tax exclusion for eligible new employees for up to 12 months.
Dr Napthine said that many young Victorians need extra support to gain employment experience.
“What young Victorians have been telling me is that they have been rejected from a job because they don’t have any experience, yet the job they are seeking would give them the experience they so desperately want,” Dr Napthine said.
“This comprehensive Youth Employment Strategy will make it more attractive for employers to give young Victorians the experience they need to go onto bigger and better things.”
Vouchers to assist small business with start-up costs
Dr Napthine announced that the Coalition will invest $40 million for up to 10,000 eligible participants per year to receive a $2,000 voucher. This voucher will be redeemed by any small business upon employing the eligible participant and will assist in covering start-up costs.
The voucher will include an upfront payment to the employer of $400, with the balance redeemed on a pro-rata basis, and fully redeemable when the participant is employed for six months.
“We understand that small businesses in particular bear a significant cost when employing additional staff,” Dr Napthine said.
“These vouchers will not only assist these businesses with costs associated with staff training, inductions and uniforms, but give young Victorians the boost they need to improve their opportunities when looking for a job.”
The participant may be employed on a full-time, part-time or casual basis for a minimum average of 15 hours per week. The vouchers will be available from April 2015 for two years.
Dr Napthine also announced that the Coalition will invest $12.4 million to enable businesses that employ an eligible participant for 12 months to have a full WorkCover rebate premium for one year. This will deliver an average saving of $455 per eligible employee to each business.
“The Coalition Government’s sound financial management has delivered low WorkCover premiums compared with other states and territories. But we can always do more,” Dr Napthine said.
“This rebate will lower the cost of doing business in Victoria even further and significantly boost the job prospects of young Victorians into the future.”
Payroll Tax exclusion
The Coalition Government will invest $22.8 million for each eligible participant to be excluded from payroll tax calculations for up to 12 months.
Dr Napthine said that businesses will save an average of $1,736 per employee as a result of this initiative.
“This is about reducing business costs and giving young Victorians the help they need to get out of the Centrelink queue and into a job,” Dr Napthine said.
Building on our record
The Youth Employment Strategy builds on the Coalition Government’s record in providing unprecedented support for young people who are preparing for and starting in the workforce for the first time.
- $1.2 billion a year for skills training subsidies by the Coalition Government – a 50 per cent increase on Labor’s last budget in 2010-11. A further $5.2 billion for Victoria’s training system has been committed over four years by the Coalition Government.
The Future Skills package to provide young people with the skills for future jobs
- $41.9 million to fund future skills developed by TAFE institutes across Victoria, including $21.9 million for the Chisholm Institute’s Frankston Campus to build a new Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Trades to skill the next generation of leaders and managers in advanced manufacturing; and
- $20 million for Victorian TAFEs to innovate and better meet changing industry, student and employer demand.
Modernising TAFEs (through $200 million TAFE Structural Adjustment Fund)
- $64 million for the newly formed Bendigo Kangan Institute including a new Centre for Health and Human Services;
- more than $40 million for Federation Training in Gippsland; and
- $22.7 million investment in next generation blended learning.
Employment Start Up for Business
- $7.5 million to provide jobs for young unemployed Victorians aged 15 to 25 years old in small to medium businesses where a skills shortage exists;
- investment will help at least 1,750 unemployed young Victorians to find a job; and
- $4,000 grant to employing businesses – $1,000 when a young person is hired into a full-time role for at least 30 hours per week, and a further $3,000 after the employee has been employed for 16 weeks and is enrolled in accredited training.
$12 million Your Future, Your Choice initiative
- $9 million initiative over four years that will assist year 9 and year 10 students at risk of disengagement in schools across Victoria, gain hands on experience in vocational training. Students will attend a partner TAFE campus or training provider throughout a school term to gain exposure to future career and training options; and
- $3 million for a new phone line and website to provide support and career advice for adults, youth, parents and employers. This service will include expert advice, career direction and referral services to better inform decisions regarding employment and training.
A re-elected Coalition Government will deliver more support for Victorian families, with two new policy initiatives to reduce cost of living expenses announced today by Premier Denis Napthine.
The new measures unveiled today by the Coalition include:
- Delivering a $100 rebate on kindergarten fees for every Victorian child attending kindergarten in the year before school; and
- increasing the number of primary welfare officers to cover all state schools.
Dr Napthine said the Fairer Kinder rebate will apply each year for the next four years, with more than 200,000 families expected to benefit from the measure.
“The Coalition Government recognises that young families are feeling cost-of-living pressures and this is a simple, effective and financially responsible way to help ease those pressures,” Dr Napthine said.
“While the government already provides substantial per capita funding to kindergartens to ensure Victorian children have access to 15 hours of kinder per week, this rebate will cut costs by directly reducing the fees paid by parents.”
Dr Napthine said that having delivered on its commitment to provide an additional 150 Primary Welfare Officers in its first term, a re-elected Coalition Government will increase the number of welfare officers to cover all state primary schools.
“This initiative will help all government primary schools to better manage challenges such as bullying and will support students with behavioural, mental health and welfare issues,” Dr Napthine said.
The Coalition Government’s Supporting Families package also contains a range of other measures to help ease cost-of-living pressures and secure a better future for Victorian families including:
- Free trams in the Melbourne CBD and Docklands precinct;
- reduced Metro train fares for travel across Zones 1 and 2;
- extending free zoo entry for children;
- tougher restrictions on energy companies to avoid ‘bill shock’; and
- more mental health services for school-aged children.
Dr Napthine said that the Coalition Government is committed to supporting Victorians who are raising a family.
“In our first term of Government, we introduced a number of initiatives that have significantly reduced the cost of living for Victorian families,” Dr Napthine said.
“These included cutting the cost of public transport, reducing the cost of utilities and rates for concession card holders, delivering $100 savings on water bills through the Fairer Water Bills initiative, and reducing the cost of the fire services levy.
“Our Plan is about securing a better future for Victorian families,” Dr Napthine said.
- A re-elected Liberal Nationals Government to fund Go Goldfields
- Funding to be delivered over the next three years
- Coalition Government is committed to building a better regional Victoria
Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan visited Maryborough today to announce a re-elected Victorian Liberal Nationals Government will invest $2 million to continue the successful Go Goldfields Program.
Mr Ryan who was joined by The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner and Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley, said the Central Goldfields Shire Council had sought a funding commitment of $2 million over three years and the Coalition Government was more than willing to assist.
The Coalition Government has been a proud supporter of Go Goldfields since 2011, investing $2.5 million to develop and fund the successful local initiative.
Go Goldfields is delivering community driven approaches to improve social, education and health outcomes for children, teenagers and families in Maryborough and surrounding communities.
“The program has been a great success with literacy levels improving among local primary school aged children, school absenteeism is down, teenagers are better engaged at school and incidences of family violence have fallen,” Mr Ryan said.
“With so many positive outcomes being achieved, it is important that we continue to support this program and that is what a re-elected Coalition Government will do.
“The Nationals, working in a Coalition Government, are committed to delivering for regional and rural communities including the Central Goldfields and we continue to be strong supporters of initiatives such as Go Goldfields.”
Mr Turner who campaigned strongly for the funding said he was thrilled the Coalition Government had listened to the community and made this significant commitment.
“This commitment is great news for Maryborough and communities right across the Central Goldfields,” Mr Turner said.
“It has been made off the back of a lot of hard work from our local community and I thank the many locals who signed my petition calling for this funding.
“Go Goldfields helps our community become a better version of itself and I applaud the Coalition Government for supporting us for another three years.”
Ms Staley joined Mr Turner in welcoming this investment, saying the program was delivering positive outcomes for the region.
“Healthier and more engaged communities benefit us all,” Ms Staley said.
“School absenteeism and family violence are a problem in this region and by investing in Go Goldfields we can help reduce these issues.
“I applaud the Coalition Government for committing to this successful program if re-elected on 29 November,” Ms Staley said.
- Coalition Government invests $250,000 to help relocate Edlyn Foods to Maryborough
- Relocation will create 14 new jobs in Maryborough
- The Nationals are building a better regional and rural Victoria
Fourteen new jobs will be created as a major food processor relocates from Sydney and Melbourne to Maryborough with the support of a $250,000 grant from the Victorian Coalition Government.
Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner and Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley in Maryborough today to announce the Coalition Government’s investment to support the relocation of Edlyn Foods to Maryborough.
The Coalition Government’s funding will be provided through the Industries for Today and Tomorrow Program.
Mr Ryan said Edlyn Foods was established more than 80 years ago as a cordial, candied peel and fondant manufacturing business. It is currently based in Epping with 90 staff and provides food products to more than 300 wholesalers across Australia.
Edlyn Foods acquired a Sydney-based company in February and will now invest $1.4 million to relocate this business and part of its Epping operations to a new facility in Maryborough, which will be dedicated to dry-food manufacturing such as gravy and soup mixes, flavour boosters and nutritional supplements.
It will also invest a further $550,000 purchasing the Maryborough facility and relocating equipment to the facility.
The investment includes the purchase, renovation and refurbishment of the existing facility, including establishing food production areas and storage rooms, and upgrading walls, floor, hard stand and other areas and purchasing and installing new manufacturing plant and equipment.
“This investment is great news for Maryborough and is proof there is a strong manufacturing future here in the Central Goldfields,” Mr Ryan said.
“This relocation follows in the footsteps of True Foods, which relocated its operations from Melbourne to Maryborough with support from the Coalition Government, leading to the creation of 250 new local jobs.
“The Nationals, working as part of a Coalition Government, are committed to growing our regional communities and projects such as this are a win-win by reducing pressure on our capital cities while supporting the growth of regional and rural Victoria.”
Mr Turner welcomed the investment and said the 14 new jobs were a real shot-in-the-arm for Maryborough and the region.
“This region is positioning itself a food processing hub with projects such as this and the relocation of True Foods,” Mr Turner said.
“14 new jobs is just the start for Edlyn Foods and I see an even bigger future for the company here in Maryborough.”
Ms Staley joined Mr Turner in welcoming the investment, which she said would help develop and grow the region’s skill base, while helping the company access new export markets.
“The increase in production capability as a result of this relocation is expected to help Edlyn Foods to double its turnover by 2020,” Ms Staley said.
“This is good news for the Central Goldfields region.”
- Coalition funds Greenvale Field and Game Association land purchase
- Funding will give a permanent home for the sport in the region
- Napthine Government investing in regional sport for a more active Victoria
Victorian shooters can now practice a wider range of skills following today’s announcement of funding towards land purchase and facility upgrades at the Greenvale Field and Game Association at Willowmavin by Minister for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum and Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan.
The funding is part of the Victorian Shooting Sports Facilities Program (SSFP), helping shooting sports clubs and associations build the capacity of the sport and increase participation throughout the state.
“Shooting is a sport that Victorians of all ages can get involved with, progressing right up to Olympic Games level,” Mr Drum said.
“This upgraded facility will be a home for the sport from beginner to elite levels and secures the future of the sport in the region.”
“The accessibility of the sport was highlighted when 24 year-old Laetisha Scanlon won her second consecutive Commonwealth Games Gold medal in Glasgow earlier this year, more young competitors and females are taking up the sport and the new facility will assist in catering for that growth.”
The funding will contribute to securing the association’s tenure by enabling Field and Game Australia to purchase the land, with the final figure based on the valuer general’s valuation of the land.
$17,114 will contribute to clay target traps to support the "Come and Try Day" program to increase youth participation, as well as insulate, reline and provide sliding doors to the existing clubhouse to improve the general amenity.
Ms Ryan said that the assistance with the purchase of the facility would have many benefits for the region.
“This funding means the sport in Victoria now has a true home forever and can plan to grow the sport rather than worry about where it’s future lies,” Ms Ryan said.
“It’s a boost for the Greenvale association as well, but just as importantly it’s an economic boost for the local region with people travelling to Willowmavin to compete.”
Over the past four years the Victorian Coalition Government has invested more than $141 million across a range of programs in more than 885 community sports facility projects like these, resulting in almost $600 million of new local sporting infrastructure for Victorians.
For more information about the SSFP and other community sporting facility funding programs on offer, please visit www.sport.vic.gov.au
- $12 million over four years to sustainably fund Traditional Owner organisations
- $13 million red tape reductions and greater certainty for business
- Coalition committed to protecting Victoria’s Aboriginal cultural heritage
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Tim Bull today announced a re-elected Coalition Government will invest almost $12 million over four years to strengthen the protection of Victoria’s rich Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Mr Bull said for the first time Aboriginal Traditional Owner organisations would be sustainably funded to deliver heritage protection services and facilitate economic development.
“The Coalition values the central role of Traditional Owners in making decisions about their cultural heritage,” Mr Bull said.
“Aboriginal people have made an important contribution to Victoria over the past 40,000 years and it is vital this cultural heritage is preserved for the benefit of current and future generations.
“Victoria has a world class system for protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage but the Traditional Owner organisations charged with managing that heritage and engaging with developers have historically not been funded adequately to do so,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said as a result of the Government’s strong economic management, the Coalition will be able to increase future funding for Traditional Owner organisations to sustainable levels during the next term of office.
“Aboriginal organisations such as the Ballarat-based Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation will see cultural heritage management funding increased from $30,000 this year to $300,000 by 2017,” Mr Bull said.
“Improving the funding of Traditional Owners to protect cultural heritage will deliver an estimated $13 million in red tape reductions for Victorian businesses over four years and will support economic development across metropolitan and regional Victoria.
“This election commitment builds on the Coalition Government’s $3.1 million Aboriginal cultural heritage package announced in this year’s State Budget,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said a re-elected Coalition Government will also continue to consult with Traditional Owners and land users on proposed amendments to strengthen the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 by enhancing the role of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council in monitoring the performance of Traditional Owner organisations.
- Coalition commits $15.7 million to Aboriginal Affairs if re-elected
- 40 more people to be inducted onto the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll
- Victorian Coalition committed to closing the gap, protecting cultural heritage
A re-elected Napthine Coalition Government will invest almost $16 million over four years in new and extended funding to preserve and respect cultural heritage, promote reconciliation and close the gaps on Aboriginal disadvantage.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Tim Bull said the Victorian Coalition Government is strongly committed to the protection of Victoria’s rich Aboriginal cultural heritage and closing the gap on Aboriginal disadvantage.
“A re-elected Coalition Government will significantly increase support to Traditional Owner organisations, properly funding them to undertake their important work protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage for the benefit of future generations,” Mr Bull said.
“We inherited from Labor a chronically under-funded Aboriginal heritage protection system, which has resulted in delays in development approvals and Traditional Owner organisations struggling to pay for heritage protection activities required by legislation.
“A re-elected Coalition Government would commit almost $12 million over four years to sustainably fund Registered Aboriginal Parties, which are the Aboriginal organisations charged with advising on, and protecting, cultural heritage.”
Mr Bull said a re-elected Coalition Government would also induct a further 40 outstanding Aboriginal Victorians onto the highly successful Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.
“This will ensure more than 100 remarkable Aboriginal people and their achievements and contributions to the community will forever be held in high honour,” Mr Bull said.
”A re-elected Coalition Government will also invest $1.9 million to closing the gap in economic outcomes by driving the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy and boosting economic opportunities for Aboriginal people and businesses.”
The commitment builds on the Coalition’s record $61.7 million investment to close the gap in Aboriginal health, funded in last year’s State Budget.
“We have restored funding to Reconciliation Victoria since coming to office and will provide a further $800,000 over four years to support the organisation to continue its important work bringing Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people together in lasting reconciliation,” Mr Bull said.
“The work of Reconciliation Victoria will be especially important over the next few years given the Federal Government’s proposal to hold a referendum to recognise Aboriginal people in the Commonwealth Constitution by 2017.”
A re-elected Napthine Government will also invest $1 million over four years to establish an audio-visual collection of the stories of Aboriginal Victoria to be held across the public library network.
“This collection will be an invaluable resource for promoting understanding and respect across the community, enabling library users, school children and local history groups to learn about the Aboriginal history of their local regions,” Mr Bull said.