Media releases Transport Regional Development Infrastructure Community Services

Extra trains on Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines and track duplication between Bunyip and Longwarry

 

  • $178.1 million to improve Victoria’s long distance V/Line train frequencies
  • Extra weekday and weekend trains on the Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines
  • 79 extra long-distance V/Line weekly trips around Victoria

 
A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will give the biggest boost to Gippsland’s trains in 60 years with new train trips to be added to timetables on the Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines and more than four kilometres of single line to be duplicated between Bunyip and Longwarry, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today.
 
Mr Ryan, who was joined in Traralgon to make the announcement by The Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe and The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull, said it was great news for Gippsland.
 
“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, Echuca, Maryborough, Shepparton, Swan Hill and Warrnambool, as well as Bairnsdale.”
 
Mr Ryan said highlights on the Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines include:
 

  • an extra early-morning weekday return peak period train departing Traralgon, stopping all stations,
  • on the return, this new weekday train will depart Southern Cross at 5:10pm and stop all stations, allowing the 4:58pm train to run express from Dandenong to Drouin and then stop all stations to Traralgon,
  • an increased weekend train frequency on weekends with three additional return trains on Saturdays and four extra each way on Sundays, increasing train frequencies between 7am and 11pm on Saturdays and 8am and 9pm on Sundays,
  • extending the 6:37am weekday train from Traralgon to originate at Sale at 6am,
  • extending the 3:19pm Southern Cross to Traralgon train to Sale, arriving at 6:20pm, and
  • a new Sunday return train at 9:25am from Southern Cross to Sale and Bairnsdale where it will arrive at 1:10pm, with an extra train departing Bairnsdale at 2:00pm, arriving at Southern Cross at 5:45pm. 

Mr Ryan said the duplication of the Bunyip to Longwarry section of single track would benefit passengers by improving train punctuality on the Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines.
 
“Bunyip and Longwarry stations will each receive a new second platform with at least a 20 metre long canopy on each to protect waiting passengers from the elements,” Mr Ryan said.
 
Mr Northe said that the extra trains and track duplication would be a huge boost for the Latrobe Valley.
 
“Weekday commuters and weekend leisure travellers will be winners. The Latrobe Valley has strong links with not just Melbourne’s CBD but also Dandenong, so more frequent trains is a marvellous move,” Mr Northe said.
 
Mr Bull said Bairnsdale had already benefited from an additional two weekday return V/Line road coaches introduced earlier in 2014 between Traralgon, Sale and Bairnsdale.
 
“The extra Sunday trains help residents to have a choice of trains to get them to or from Melbourne for the start of the working week,” Mr Bull said.
 
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said the new timetable would formally bring Sale into V/Line’s commuter belt.
 
“The extra train trips are all about making it easier to work and study,” Mr O’Brien said.
 
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood was thrilled with the announcement.
 
“For a long time, the community has asked me why the track between Bunyip and Longwarry is only a single line. It is a regular cause of train delays that under a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will be consigned to the history books,” Mr Blackwood said.
 
“Because Traralgon line trains share tracks with Metro trains between Pakenham and Southern Cross, it is vital that the V/Line trains from Warragul and Drouin arrive at Pakenham on time, or very close to it, to avoid being delayed by a suburban train pulling out just ahead of the V/Line train.
 
“Having two tracks between Bunyip and Longwarry will be very helpful to improving train punctuality on the Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines,” Mr Blackwood said.
 
Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder passed on support and said that the Coalition would also provide V/Line with capital funding to construct a secure train stabling compound at Sale and additional train crew facilities at Bairnsdale.
 
“This will keep the train that will stable overnight at Sale free from the scourge of vandalism and graffiti,” Mr Mulder said.
 
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.

Media releases LOCAL ISSUES SPORTS AND RECREATION Regional Development

Coalition Government commits to future of Stawell Gift

  • A re-elected Coalition Government will continue the Significant Sporting Events Program investing a further $3.5 million over the next 4 years
  • The Stawell Gift  just one of a number of events to be supported in Victoria by the Coalition
  • Napthine Government  investing in sporting events to build a better economy 

Minister for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum joined Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner and Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley, to announce that under a Coalition Government the future of the Stawell Gift will be secured through increased funding to the Significant Sporting Events Program.

The oldest professional footrace in the world, the Stawell Gift held over Easter is one of Australia’s most iconic sporting events and will be one of many national and international events that will be held in Victoria under a Coalition Government.

Mr Drum said that these events bring economic benefits to the state as well as inspire Victorians to get involved in sport.

“The Stawell Gift brings people from across Victoria, Australia and the world to the region with economic, social and health benefits flowing,” Mr Drum said.

“This is why the Coalition has increased funding for the Significant Sporting Event Program by $3.5 million over the next four years. 

“This is in addition to the $4.8 million already locked into the budget. The Stawell Gift will benefit from $150,000 worth of funding each year for the next four years and a commitment from the Government to work with the Stawell Athletic Club to make the event financially sustainable into the future,” Mr Drum said.

Mr Turner said that the Stawell Gift is an important event for the region and the benefits will be felt by the whole community.

“The Stawell Gift is our iconic major event, the event that showcases to all of Australia what the region has to offer, it is vital economically and for us to develop further tourism,” Mr Turner said.

“Not only will a Coalition Government secure the Gift for the next four years, but the commitment to work on a sustainable model for the future means the event can start to plan forward and become bigger and better.”

Ms Staley said a focus on regional cities and towns means the Significant Sporting Events Program is vital to regional Victoria.

“A Coalition Government gives regional Victoria a true voice, and program and events such as the Stawell Gift are unashamedly viewed as a way to inject tourism benefits for regional areas that can hold and support sporting events as well as anywhere in the city,” Mr Staleysaid.

“Regional Victoria deserves major sport and it’s the Coalition that will work hard 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 are held in regional Victoria.

HEALTH AND AGE CARE Community Services Media releases

$85 million package to support health and wellbeing of Victoria’s seniors

 

  • $27 million boost to surgery for seniors to improve quality of life
  • $32.4 million for community-based mental health care for seniors
  • Napthine Coalition Government caring for the community 

A re-elected Napthine Coalition Government will provide an $85 million package to support the health and wellbeing of senior Victorians, Premier Denis Napthine, Minister for Health and Ageing David Davis and Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge announced today.
 
“The Coalition Government understands that a key ingredient of staying healthy and happy in older age is to remain active in the community and engaged in the activities that we enjoy,” Dr Napthine said.
 
“This package for seniors will address a full spectrum of services, including community participation and wellbeing, mental health services, targeted support for Victorians with dementia and their family and carers and increased access to elective surgery and other health care.
 
The package includes:

  • $12.1 million to support community participation and wellbeing, including funding for Men’s Sheds and University of the Third Age (U3A) organisations;
  • $32.4 million to boost community-based mental health care for seniors, a new hotline and information service for children and carers of older people with a mental illness;
  • $13.5 million to provide better research, early intervention and support for Victorians with dementia, their families and carers; and
  • $27 million to significantly increase access to specific elective surgeries for seniors, including procedures on hips, knees and cataracts.

 
Dr Napthine made the announcement at the Alamein Men’s Shed, which will be awarded a grant of $20,000 to allow it to open on Saturdays.
 
“Men’s Sheds have proven to be a fantastic way of providing men, particularly seniors, with a safe and friendly environment to meet, talk and learn new skills,” Dr Napthine said.
 
“They are an important way for local communities to combat the challenges of isolation and depression often faced by men.”
 
Mr Davis said that the package would significantly support the roll out of the Seniors Count! participation action plan launched in October this year.

He said that $4 million would be directed towards the University of the Third Age (U3A).
 
“This funding will boost the good work and reach of U3A organisations, which help seniors keep brains and bodies active with regular education, social and physical activities,” Mr Davis said.
 
Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge said more than $31 million would be invested in intensive community-based mental health care for older people to be available state-wide.
 
“People experiencing a mental health issue should be given the opportunity to receive care in the community, rather than having to be admitted to hospital,” Ms Wooldridge said.
 
“This is particularly true of older Victorians, who often wish to remain in a familiar environment and close to the support of their family and friends.
 
“Supporting an older relative or friend in managing a mental illness can be a challenging task and the Coalition recognises that an information service will provide assurance and comfort to children and carers of the options available.”
 
Mr Davis said a re-elected Napthine Coalition will provide a dedicated $6 million dementia research fund.
 
“This fund will specifically target research for earlier diagnosis and treatment and will position Victoria to leverage additional funding from the Commonwealth’s $200 million dementia fund,” Mr Davis said.
 
“To support Victorians living with dementia, their carers and families, the Coalition will also provide $7.5 million to boost diagnosis, treatment and support services.”
 
Mr Davis said a re-elected Napthine Coalition will deliver $27 million to boost surgery places for the most common surgeries accessed by senior Victorians.
 
“Of this, $25 million will be provided as a once-off, competitive funding pool to significantly increase the number of hip and knee surgeries, and $2 million will be provided for cataract surgery,” Mr Davis said.
 
Mr Davis also said that a re-elected Napthine Coalition Government will continue its cost of living measures for eligible seniors initiated during the current term of government, including year-round energy concessions, discounted energy plans through energy retailer AGL, stamp duty relief and the introduction of a new Seniors Business Discount Card in 2015 for senior Victorians who are still working full time.
 
Member for Burwood Graham Watt welcomed the initiative, particularly the $20,000 grant to the Alamein Men’s Shed.
 
“The Alamein Men’s Shed is a valuable community asset that gives local men a place to meet, establish social networks and work on projects for the good of the community,” Mr Watt said.

Media releases LOCAL ISSUES SPORTS AND RECREATION Regional Development

Deputy Premier opens Alexandra Oval Community and Recreation Centre

  • Alexandra Oval Community and Recreation Centre opens in Ararat
  • Centre will provide accessible space and better facilities for community sport
  • Victorian Coalition Government invested $1.15 million in the facility

The $3.8 million Alexandra Oval Community and Recreation Centre was officially opened today by Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan and Minister for Sport Damian Drum.

Mr Ryan, who was also joined by The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner and Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley, said the Victorian Coalition Government was a proud supporter of the project, investing a total of $1.15 million.

Mr Ryan said the investment had delivered new football and netball change-rooms and showers for home and away teams, umpire change rooms, a separate trainers’ room, coaches’ room, first-aid room, offices and a timekeeper’s box.

He said it also included a multi-purpose community space that can seat 200 people, meeting rooms, commercial kitchen, bar, canteen and display cabinets.

“To have a facility such as this is something special for Ararat and it is a project we are thrilled to have supported,” Mr Ryan said.

“Scott Turner has been a big supporter of this project with his role at the Ararat Football Netball Club, and he tells me the boys can’t wait to begin pre-season training with a facility such as this now at their disposal.”

Mr Drum said investing to redevelop sporting facilities was a key focus for The Nationals and the Coalition Government.

“I travel all over Victoria in my role as the Minister for Sport and have seen the inside of many community centres and clubrooms, and I can confidently say this is one of the best,” Mr Drum said.

“The Coalition Government is proud to invest in projects such as this to create more active and healthier communities, while also encouraging more people to participate in local sport.”

Mr Turner, a passionate member of the Ararat Football Club, said it was an honour to be here with the Deputy Premier and the Minister for Sport to open the clubrooms.

“For many years we have wanted a facility such as this here at Alexandra Oval, and to now be here standing in it is a real honour,” Mr Turner said.

 “I know the boys are itching to try out the new facilities and it is sure to make next year one of our best years in recent memory.”

Mr Turner said it was not just the football club which would benefit, with the netball club, Aradale, Chalambar and St Andrew’s cricket clubs, the Grampians Disability Cricket Team and Ararat City Tennis Club to be based here during their respective seasons.

“The new facility will also host community groups and schools for events and activities and can also be booked for wedding receptions, engagement parties, 18th and 21st birthdays and other local celebrations,” Mr Turner said.

“I am certain it will play host to many memorable nights for many years to come.”

Ms Staley said she was impressed by the size and scale of the new facility.

“Communities need modern and functional community spaces such as this to host a wide-variety of events,” Ms Staley said.

“Gone are the days of a single use clubroom that is only used for six months of the year.

“It is pleasing to see so many local groups are going to make use of this facility, delivering benefits to locals right across the region.

“I am a proud supporter of local sport and it is pleasing to be working as part of a strong Coalition Government team which continues to deliver benefits to this part of the state.”

Media releases Agriculture Environment Infrastructure

$12.5 million to upgrade Grains Centre of Excellence

  • $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.
 

Media releases Agriculture Environment

$10.4 million for war on roadside weeds and rabbits


·    $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.

Regional Development Transport Infrastructure Media releases

Labor fails on regional freight infrastructure

  • 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.”

Media releases LOCAL ISSUES Regional Development Education and Skills

$75 million for a Youth Employment Strategy

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.
 
WorkCover rebate

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.
 
This includes:

  • $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.   

Media releases Education and Skills

Supporting families in Victoria

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.

 


 

Media releases Regional Development Education and Skills Health and Aged Care

Coalition commits to Go Goldfields Program

  • 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.