LOCAL ISSUES Community Services Media releases

An open letter to the people of Victoria

A message from the Board of Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria.

On Tuesday 18th November, the Labor Party announced a policy that we believe will have grave and disastrous consequences for CFA.

As CFA volunteer firefighters with an average of over 40 yearsservice each and as the elected board of the body established in Victorian law to be the voice of CFA volunteers, we feel the need to take this unprecedented action of activating all Victorians to help us stop a policy that has the potential to destroy CFA.

Our concern with the recently announced Labor policy is that it establishes external industrial interference with the CFA Chief Officer’s power to decide where and when and how he uses CFA firefighters.

We are also concerned that Labor’s policy will reduce CFA’s volunteer firefighting force by thousands of volunteers, pushing volunteers out of CFA stations and hundreds of CFA trucks off the road when we need them for major fires such as Black Saturday.

Labor has grossly underestimated the cost and impact of its policy. Labor’s promise of $150M and an additional 350 paid firefighters actually only provides 70 additional paid firefighters on the ground at any one time under current paid firefighter rostering arrangements, and it will come at the expense of thousands of highly trained and professional volunteer firefighters.

We support and welcome additional paid support and resources for CFA, provided these resources are required and provided that the CFA determines the need, not a union. Don’t be fooled, the plan announced by Labor is not about improving community safety in Victoria, the detail included in their announcement is about giving the control of CFA to a union.

Labor’s policy announcement includes specific provisions to surrender CFA operational decisions to an external industrial relations panel.   page1image18720page1image18880

Instead of Labor’s policy, we need a plan that will recruit and train more CFA volunteer firefighters, provide trucks and equipment to combat fires and other incidents, investment in a modern firefighting fleet, give CFA the flexibility to deploy resources when and where they are needed and remove industrial control over how CFA uses its workforce.

Victoria is one of the most fire prone areas in the world and there are predictions of longer, hotter and more severe fire seasons ahead. If Labor’s policy is allowed to push trained and experienced CFA volunteers out of fire stations across greater metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria will not have the fire fighting force it needs for day to day incidents and certainly will not have the force to deal with major incidents when they occur, such as Black Saturday.

When you vote on Saturday 29th understand one thing, as some of Victoria’s most senior volunteer firefighters, we believe Labor’s policy for CFA is not good for CFA volunteers, is not good for Victoria and is not good for the future of CFA.

Signed & authorised by

Hans van Hamond AFSM
48 years’ volunteer service
State President, Ex Captain Wendouree Fire Brigade

Nevyn Jones AFSM
45 years’ volunteer service State Vice President,

Bruce Pickett AFSM
44 yearsvolunteer service

Ex Captain Geelong West Fire Brigade

Andy Cusack AFSM
37 years
’ volunteer service Captain Mumbannar Fire Brigade

Gerry Neyenhuis
48 years
’ service
Ex Captain Wallington Fire Brigade

Bill Maltby
37 years
’ volunteer service
Ex Captain Castlemaine Fire Brigade

Captain Moorooduc Fire Brigade

Tom Brodie AFSM
51 years
’ volunteer service
Ex Captain Longwood Fire Brigade

Gary Lyttle AFSM
50 years
’ volunteer service
Former President VFBV, Cardigan Fire Brigade

Graeme Jilbert
45 years
’ service Swan Hill Fire Brigade

Mick Nunweek JP
34 years
’ service
Ex Captain Stawell Fire Brigade

page2image21688

PO Box 453 Mt Waverley 3149 Unit 9, 24 Lakeside Drive Burwood East 3151Tel 9886 1141Fax 9886 1618vfbv@vfbv.com.au Inc. A0043424H ABN. 110 830 804 03 

Media releases LOCAL ISSUES Community Services Agriculture

Coalition commits a further $10 million for Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation

  • Coalition commits $10 million for Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation
  • Finalised project will deliver 9700 megalitres of water savings back into production
  • Victorian Coalition aims to double food and fibre production by 2030

A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will invest $10 million into the Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today.

In Maffra with The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull and The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien, Mr Ryan said the investment would contribute to Phase 1B of the project, which involved modernising the Southern Tinamba delivery system with pipelines and automated channels.

“The Coalition Government is a strong supporter of this major irrigation system modernisation project, which will boost the region’s economy by about $45 million every year through increased water efficiency and food production,” Mr Ryan said.

“We have already provided $16 million to Phase 1A of the Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation, which will connect 75 per cent of customers to a modernised system by 2017 and will save more than 12,000 megalitres of water, water which will go back into food production.

“I am pleased to announced today that if the Victorian Coalition is re-elected we will invest another $10 million to kick-start the $60 million Phase 1B of the project.

“This phase includes replacing about 85 kilometres of ageing, open channel with 38km of pressurised pipes and 26km of modernised automated channel – expected to save another 9700 megalitres of water.”

Mr Bull said he was pleased to see the Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation identified in the Federal Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper for potential Commonwealth funding.

“The Macalister Irrigation District is an absolute powerhouse of food and fibre production in Victoria. The district’s farmers already inject about $500 million a year into the state’s economy – imagine how much that will grow with this modernised irrigation infrastructure,” Mr Bull said.

“The Coalition Government has a clear vision for agriculture in Victoria. We want to double the state’s production of food and fibre by 2030.

“Projects such as this – combined with our $60 million Growing Food and Fibreinitiative, which is funding vital agricultural research and development – will ensure we reach that goal."

Mr O’Brien said the Liberal-Nationals Coalition’s clear vision for Victorian agriculture and its support for food producing regions was in stark contrast to the Labor Party.

“Labor has no vision and no commitment to invest in growing food and fibre production in Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Labor’s only real irrigation commitment has been its hollow promise not turn on the north-south pipeline if elected – which just shows that the $750 million project was a total waste of money.

“Unlike Labor, the Coalition will invest in projects that make a real difference forVictorian farmers and will help them to double food and fibre production.”

Community Services Media releases Education and Skills

$9 million for Korumburra Secondary College rebuild

  • Re-elected Coalition Government will invest $9 million to complete the redevelopment of Korumburra Secondary College
  • Follows $5 million provided in the State Budget earlier this year
  • Coalition Government building a better education system

 
Korumburra Secondary College will be completely rebuilt with $9 million from a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government.

Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan visited the school today to announce the funding commitment.

“Korumburra Secondary College desperately needs this funding to rebuild its ageing and deteriorating school buildings,” Mr Ryan said.

“This project has been a priority of mine for many years as the local Member of Parliament.

“In May this year I was proud to announce $5 million from the State Budget for planning and the first stage of works, and at that time I said we would provide the remaining funding in coming budgets.

“It is great to be back here today to deliver on that commitment and announce that a re-elected Coalition Government will provide the remaining $9 million needed complete the rebuild.

“It is vital that all students in Victoria – whether they live in the city or country – get a quality education and that our teachers are supported with first-class facilities to deliver the best outcomes for their students.

“By building better schools, like Korumburra Secondary College, we are investing in the future of our young people.”

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said the Coalition Government was able to commit $9 million to support this project thanks to strong financial management over the past four years.

“Unfortunately the former Labor government failed to invest enough funding to rebuild the school despite years of requests from the local community,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The former Labor government left a $420 million school maintenance backlog when the Coalition came to government in 2010.

“This government has been able to turn that around and will invest a total of $1.2 billion in capital funding for new schools and school upgrades across Victoria if re-elected.”

Community Services Media releases Education and Skills

Coalition commits to completing Sale Specialist School

 

  • A re-elected Coalition Government will invest $15 million to complete new Sale Specialist School
  • Investment builds on land purchase and first $4 million which was made available in the May Victorian Budget
  • Victorian Coalition Government is building better regional 4communities

A re-elected Coalition Government will invest $15 million to complete the new Sale Specialist School, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull and The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien at the new site of the Sale Specialist School to make the announcement.

Mr Ryan said the $15 million commitment would fund the complete development of the new school, and follows Coalition Government investments to purchase the new site and the $4 million that was invested through the 2014-15 Victorian Budget for planning and design, and stage one works.

“This is great news for the students, parents and teachers at the Sale Specialist School,” Mr Ryan said.

“We said we would fund the development of a new school, and if re-elected we will do it.

“This new school will be a game changer for students, who are currently based at three different campuses in Sale.

“It will deliver for them the school they need and deserve, which is truly a great outcome.

“We have been able to secure a great site here on the Princes Highway just north of Sale, and once complete this school will be the envy of other communities.

“This project has been one I have been very keen to support and I am very pleased we have been able to secure this further commitment.”

Mr Bull echoed Mr Ryan’s comments and said the new school would benefit students from across the region.

“Whether students live in Sale, Stratford, Maffra, Heyfield or any other nearby communities, they will have access to what will be a magnificent facility,” Mr Bull said.

“The new school will make an enormous difference to students with special needs, their families and those who teach them.”

Mr O’Brien said the $15 million investment would deliver a modern learning environment.

“Having students across a number of different campuses is not the ideal environment for delivering the best learning outcomes,” Mr O’Brien said.

“To have the students located at the one site, with modern classrooms and facilities, and plenty of room to play and move about is what was needed and it is what this government is delivering.

“Securing this commitment is the result of a lot of hard work from parents, teachers and all those involved with the school and I congratulate them for their efforts – a great outcome.”

Media releases LOCAL ISSUES Community Services Agriculture

Coalition commits $8 million to health of Gippsland Lakes

  • $8 million to extend Gippsland Lakes Environmental Fund
  • Re-elected Coalition will further protect the health of the iconic Gippsland Lakes
  • Coalition committed to the economic development of regional Victoria

The health of the Gippsland Lakes will continue to be protected and enhanced under a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today.

Speaking in Paynesville, Mr Ryan said a re-elected the Coalition would invest $8 million into extending the Gippsland Lakes Environmental Fund, which for the past two-and-a-half years has supported important projects that boost the health of the lakes.

Mr Ryan also announced today that the term of the Gippsland Lakes Ministerial Advisory Committee, led by Dr Peter Veenker, would be extended until December 2018.

“The Coalition Government is committed to supporting the health and prosperity of the Gippsland Lakes,” Mr Ryan said.

“In 2012 we established the Gippsland Lakes Ministerial Advisory Committee to develop and implement an environmental strategy for the lakes, as well as providing an initial $10 million Gippsland Lakes Environmental Fund to deliver that strategy.

“So far, we have invested in 66 projects which are either underway or already delivered through the fund.

“This includes $126,000 to monitor the health of the Gippsland Lakes, $120,000 to develop an invasive pest plant and animal strategy, and $200,000 to restore habitat for migratory birds.

“This extra funding commitment today from the Victorian Coalition will ensure the Gippsland Lakes can continue to be protected and enhanced over the next four years.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull joined Mr Ryan in Paynesville and said the Gippsland Lakes were an iconic attraction in Victoria and he was proud that a re-elected Coalition would continue to protect them.

“As a proud local, the Gippsland Lakes hold a special place in my heart and I am thrilled The Nationals, working in Coalition Government, are continuing to deliver for this important waterway,” Mr Bull said.

“In the past, the lakes have suffered environmental health problems, including the 2008 non-toxic algal bloom which had a direct economic cost of $18 million.

“This funding will help to ensure those kinds of issues are minimised in the future.

“Locals and visitors love the Gippsland Lakes and that is why it’s so important we protect and maintain their health so they can be enjoyed for many more years to come.

“The environmental strategy for the lakes balances the needs of the environment, local communities and industries such as tourism and fishing, and this additional $8 million means we will be able to continue funding important projects that protect this balance.”

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien welcomed the commitment and said this ongoing investment would continue to transform the Gippsland Lakes.

“For all its magnificence, the Gippsland Lakes are Australia’s best kept natural secret,” Mr O’Brien said.

“As Australia’s largest inland network of waterways, the potential to grow tourism and jobs is limitless.

“Only the Coalition Government is committed to improving the health of the lakes for the benefit of all.”

Today’s announcement follows the Coalition Government’s recently announced election commitment to offer a voluntary buy-back of commercial fishing licences on the Gippsland Lakes.

The up to $2 million commitment will provide a fair and equitable exit strategy for licence holders to boost opportunities for recreational fishing and help grow local businesses that are supported by recreational fishing tourism.

LOCAL ISSUES Community Services Media releases

Newborough CFA to get $1.2 million upgrade

  • A re-elected Coalition Government to fund $1.2 million upgrade to Newborough CFA station

  • Investment will fund the purchase of land and upgrade the station to enhance emergency response capabilities

  • Coalition Government building a better and safer Victoria

Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Kim Wells and Member for Morwell Russell Northe today announced a re-elected Coalition Government will fund a new $1.2 million CFA station in Newborough.
 
Making the announcement at the Newborough Fire Station, Mr Northe said that the Coalition Government is building a better and safer Victoria and enhancing emergency response capabilities for Newborough and surrounding areas.
 
“Newborough Fire Brigade is nearly 60 years old. The new station will ensure Newborough’s 26 volunteer firefighters have access to the latest specialist equipment and resources to increase protection for our region and boost their own personal safety,’” Mr Northe said.
 
“Responding to around 250 callouts each year, for bushfires, structure fires, motor vehicle accidents, and chemical spills, this new facility will provide an important infrastructure asset that will protect life and property for many years to come.
 
“This is fantastic news for Newborough, as it will significantly enhance emergency services in our area. Newborough Fire Brigade regularly responds to support surrounding CFA brigades at Moe, Yallourn North and Morwell.”
 
This major investment for Newborough will fund $400,000 for land acquisition and $800,000 for a new station. It builds on the Coalition Government’s proven track record in delivering significant investment in Victoria’s emergency services.
 
Mr Northe said the announcement builds on the recent delivery of $5 million funding for the new Morwell CFA station.
 
“I am proud to have delivered an array of fire-fighting resources for the Latrobe Valley area over the past four years including new fire tankers for the Tyers and Glengarry fire brigades; new CFA stations for Cowwarr, Glengarry and Glengarry East; a fire-fighting helicopter based in Traralgon this fire season; additional career fire-fighters and fleet vehicles; and amenity upgrades to a number of stations,” Mr Northe said.
 
“Since 2010, the Coalition Government has invested $2.29 billion in the CFA, more than any previous government. This financial year the CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than when Labor left office in 2010.
 
“Under a Coalition Government, Victoria’s emergency management response is better prepared and resourced than ever before.”

Regional Development Media releases SPORTS AND RECREATION

Mildura to host World Motorcycle event under Coalition Government

 

  • World Under 21 Speedway Teams Championship to come to Mildura under Coalition Government
  • A re-elected Coalition Government will continue the Significant Sporting Events Program investing a further $3.5m over the next 4 years
  • Napthine Government  investing in sporting events to build a better regional economy  

A re-elected Coalition government will bring the 2015 Under 21 Speedway Teams motorcycle championships to Mildura thanks to a $3.5 million boost to the Significant Sporting Events Program, Minister for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum and Member for Mildura Peter Crisp announced today.
 
Mr Drum said this would be the first time Mildura has hosted a motorsport event of this stature and is just one of many national and international sporting events that will be held in regional Victoria under a re-elected Napthine Government.
 
“A Napthine Government will provide $100,000 worth of Significant Sporting Events Program funding to bring this world-class event to Mildura,” Mr Drum said.
 
“”This event is expected to bring more than 2000 visitors from around the world to Mildura and there is a projected economic boost of $5 million to the region from the staging of the Championships.”
 
“This is why a re-elected Coalition Government will increase funding for the Significant Sporting Events program by $3.5 million over the next four years.  This is in addition to the $4.8 million already locked into the budget. 
 
Mr Crisp said the Mildura Motorcycle Club had worked extremely hard to bring this event to Mildura.
 
“Our Government provided an initial Regional Development grant of $200,000 that was leveraged into $580,000 by the club members to upgrade the facility,” Mr Crisp said.
 
“That initial investment has made Mildura hosting international motorcycle events possible and today we’re thrilled to announce that this will happen under a re-elected Coalition Government.”
 
“Aside from the economic impact, and the encouragement it will provide for young people to take up the sport, I am particularly excited about the possible worldwidemedia exposure for the Sunraysia.”   
 
“A Coalition Government gives regional Victoria a true voice in terms of attracting international sporting events”.
 
 
“Regional Victoria deserves major sport and it’s the Coalition that works hardest to make that happen.”
 
An independent review of events held from 2012-2014 found a an average return on investment of 12.8 to 1 from the estimated 68,700 interstate and 7,150 international visitors to events supported by the program., many of these events being held in regional Victoria.
 

Media releases LOCAL ISSUES Community Services Agriculture

Coalition delivers $240,000 for Goulburn Valley growth

  • $240,000 to expand fruit production in Goulburn Valley & create 40 jobs
  • Supporting four projects in Shepparton, Toolamba and Bunbartha
  • Coalition Government supporting Goulburn Valley’s horticulture industry

Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh was today joined by The Nationals candidate for Shepparton Greg Barr to announce $240,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government to support the expansion of fruit production in the Goulburn Valley.
 
Mr Walsh said the investment from the Coalition’s $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund would support four projects in Shepparton, Toolamba and Bunbartha and create 40 local jobs.
 
“This is not an election promise, it is funding that has already been approved and will be delivered no matter what happens on 29 November,” Mr Walsh said.
 
The Coalition’s investment will support four projects totalling $2.88 million:

  • A new fruit grader, cool store and shed extension at ACN Orchards to improve packing efficiency;
  • An expansion at Boumbis Orchards to increase packing capacity by 50 per cent and allow the company to expand production;
  • New equipment at Barolli Orchards to allow the company to respond to a growing demand for stone and pome fruit in Asia, and increase production; and
  • New grading, shedding and packing equipment to enable Toolamba Fresh Produce to diversify into new tomato varieties.

Mr Barr said the Goulburn Valley currently produces 90 per cent of Australia’s processed fruit and these projects would ensure the local companies could expand production and unlock new export markets.
 
“The Coalition established the $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund out of the Regional Growth Fund to leverage new industry, investment and employment opportunities and support a strategic long-term plan for the region,” Mr Barr said.
 
“These are exactly the types of projects we want to support in the Goulburn Valley – projects that create jobs, expand businesses and increase production.
 
“The Coalition’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund  has invested in almost 1,800 community-driven projects outside of Melbourne, generating almost $2 billion of total investment.
 
“Our $1 billion fund is money set aside for regional spending, over and above normal spending on health, education, sport and roads.
 
“This compares to the Labor Party’s imitation fund announced this week – the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund – which is purely rebadged general revenue, not extra money for the regions.
 
“Labor is claiming to be investing in the regions while it funnels more money back to the city.
 
“Labor will cut the country.”
 

Transport Regional Development Media releases

Coalition to introduce extra train trips on Shepparton line

 

  • $178.1 million to improve Victoria’s long distance V/Line train frequencies
  • An extra evening weekday service to Shepparton under a re-elected Coalition
  • An additional return trip on both Saturday and Sunday
  • 79 extra long-distance weekly V/Line train trips around Victoria

A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will introduce extra V/Line weekday and weekend train trips on the Shepparton line, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan, who was joined in Shepparton by The Nationals candidate for Shepparton Greg Barr, said this announcement was great news for the Goulburn Valley.

“The Victorian Coalition Government wants to double V/Line’s long distance train patronage within 20 years,” Mr Ryan said.

“Commencing in 2016-17, the Coalition will introduce an additional 79 weekly V/Line trips on eight long distance country rail lines – Albury, Ararat, Bairnsdale, Echuca, Maryborough, Swan Hill and Warrnambool, as well as Shepparton.” Mr Ryan said that:

  • the 4:31pm Southern Cross to Seymour weekday train would be extended to terminate at Shepparton at 7:15pm,
  • the additional Saturday and Sunday trains would depart Southern Cross at 1:12pm and arrive at Shepparton at 3:45pm, while in the reverse direction the new weekend train would depart Shepparton at 12:50pm and arrive at Southern Cross at 3:15pm.  These weekend trains would stop enroute at Broadmeadows, Wallan, Broadford and Seymour then all stations to Shepparton, and
  • the 4:05pm Saturdays Shepparton to Southern Cross train would depart slightly later.

Mr Barr welcomed the commitment which he said would be strongly welcomed by locals.

“Locals want more frequent trains. Travellers prefer trains to road coaches, so I am delighted that the Coalition has acknowledged this. Under a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government, this will occur,” Mr Barr said.

Mr Barr said at Shepparton, V/Line would call tenders for construction of a secure compound to stable trains overnight together with new train crew facilities.

“This will ensure that a train is protected from vandalism and graffiti. The compound will be built by 2016-17,” Mr Barr said.

Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder passed on support and said that a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government would examine funding a new crossing loop between Seymour and Shepparton between Nagambie and Murchison East to further increase the number of trains that could operate.

Mr Mulder said that the Coalition would also investigate providing improved air-conditioning to V/Line’s N set carriages that were the mainstay of V/Line’s long distance trains.

“We will make a decision on this within a year of being re-elected,” Mr Mulder said.

Transport Regional Development Media releases

Coalition to introduce extra daily Maryborough line train

 

  • $178.1 million to improve Victoria’s long distance V/Line train frequencies
  • Extra daily return Maryborough train under a re-elected Coalition Government
  • 79 extra long-distance V/Line train trips around Victoria

A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will introduce an extra daily return train between  Ballarat and Maryborough, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan, who was joined in Maryborough by The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner, said this announcement was great news for Maryborough and the region.                                                                                                            

“The Victorian Coalition Government wants to double V/Line’s long distance train patronage within 20 years,” Mr Ryan said.

“Commencing in 2016-17, the Coalition will introduce an additional 79 weekly V/Line trips on eight long distance country rail lines – Albury, Ararat, Bairnsdale, Echuca, Shepparton, Swan Hill and Warrnambool, as well as Maryborough.”

Mr Ryan said the initiative would see the 9:08am train from Southern Cross to Ballarat on Mondays to Saturdays (9:28am on Sundays) extended to Maryborough, arriving at Maryborough at 11:40am and 12 noon respectively.

“On the return, the train will commence from Maryborough at 1:10pm on weekdays, 1:35pm on Saturdays and 3:15pm on Sundays and provide a convenient afternoon train to Ballarat, Ballan, Bacchus Marsh and Southern Cross,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Turner welcomed the announcement and said the extra train would be a further boost to Creswick, Clunes and Talbot.

“The more travel options that these towns have by public transport the better,” Mr Turner said.

“Locals prefer trains to coaches, so I am very optimistic that residents of historic towns like Clunes and Talbot will support the new return daily Maryborough line train by purchasing tickets and boarding the smooth, sleek V/Line VLocity railcars that will make two return trips a day instead of just one,” Mr Turner said.   

Liberal Candidate for Ripon Louise Staley said the tourism industry in Maryborough would  gain from the extra Maryborough line trains.

“V/Line already has an extensive network of trains and coaches from Southern Cross via Ballarat or Castlemaine to Maryborough.  The extra daily train is proof positive that under a Victorian Coalition Government, Maryborough is advancing further as a rural city that attracts many visitors,” Ms Staley said.