Media releases

Statement on Barnaby Joyce

Friday 23 February 2018

Statement on Barnaby Joyce

Attributable to Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh

Barnaby Joyce is a tenacious and unabashed champion of rural and regional Australia and there’s no doubt communities across the country will reap benefits from Barnaby’s strong advocacy long into the future.

The State Nationals team thank Barnaby for all he has done to boost investment into roads, rail, water infrastructure, communication services, country jobs and industries and much more for the benefit our regional communities here in Victoria.

As I’ve already said, the leadership of the Federal Nationals is a matter for the Federal Nationals Party Room.

The State Nationals will continue to work productively with our Federal team to advance the issues that matter most to the people and communities we represent in regional and rural Victoria.

Media releases Agriculture Infrastructure Environment Regional Development Community Services

More Labor lies on wire rope barriers

Thursday 22 February 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media releases Education and Skills Community Services

Half a billion missing from the education department

Thursday 15 February 2018

Victoria’s training budget was underspent by hundreds of millions of dollars in 2016-17 but no one seems to know where the money has gone.

Asked today how much money was returned to consolidated revenue, department officials appeared to be struck by a case of amnesia.

Department officials are not just confused about where the money’s gone, they are also unable to get their story straight on the extent of Labor’s cuts.

The figures provided at Public Accounts and Estimates Committee today don’t match up to the figures provided at hearings in May.

The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government services, released earlier this month, revealed that in 2016 Labor underspent the student training budget by a staggering $502 million.

Comments to be attributed to Shadow Training, Skills & Apprenticeships Minister Steph Ryan

Higher skills and training officials have got a serious case of the ‘umm’s.

It just isn’t believable that hundreds of millions of dollars could vanish from the department and no one knows what it’s been spent on.

Daniel Andrews cannot continue to claim he is providing record funding for training when the $1.2 billion student training budget has been cut by half a billion in just one year.

Labor’s cuts are of unprecedented magnitude and are a betrayal of his promise to ‘rescue’ TAFE.

Media releases Agriculture Infrastructure Environment Regional Development

Liberal Nationals to make kangaroo pet food trial permanent

Wednesday 14 February 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media releases Regional Development Community Services Infrastructure

FAST FACTS: What Labor used to say about Regional Parliament

Thursday 8 February 2018

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

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

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

(Hansard, 6  September 2012)

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

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

(Hansard, 26 October 2000)

 

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

Media releases Regional Development Community Services Agriculture Environment

Regional communities to host Parliament under Liberal Nationals

Thursday 8 February 2018

Communities in Regional Victoria would host Victorian Parliament for the first time since 2012, under an elected Liberal Nationals government.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh announced the commitment today at State Parliament, in the first sitting week of 2018.

The Liberal Nationals commitment would see two regional sittings of each chamber held in the next term of government.

“You can’t fix country Victoria’s problems from behind a desk in Spring Street. Labor scrapped Regional Parliament, the Liberal Nationals will bring it back,” Mr Guy said.

“Regional sittings offer country communities a unique opportunity to be the focus of Parliament and are an important opportunity for city-based parliamentarians to learn more about regional communities.”

The commitment would see Mildura, Shepparton, Warrnambool and the Latrobe Valley host parliamentarians from one chamber of Parliament – either the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council – for one sitting week each.

Mr Walsh said Daniel Andrews’ decision to scrap Regional Parliament was more proof he can’t see beyond Melbourne’s tram tracks.

“Daniel Andrews’ city-centric focus has denied our school children and communities in regional Victoria a chance to be part of Victoria’s democratic process,” Mr Walsh said.

“The Liberal Nationals will put an end to the absolute contempt Labor has shown our country communities and make sure our regional communities can be part of the parliamentary process.”

The last regional sittings were held by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2012.

Media releases Education and Skills Regional Development Community Services

Labor’s training ‘rescue’ cuts funding in half

Thursday 1 February 2018

Daniel Andrews' promise to 'rescue' TAFE was a lie.

Instead of a rescue, Daniel Andrews is conducting a raid cutting $123 million from the sector in the past 12 months alone.

A report from the Productivity Commission released today shows the Andrews Labor Government cut recurrent funding to Victoria's VET sector to $698.7 million in 2016.

This is half the investment under the former Liberal Nationals government, with $1.57 billion spent on training in 2012.

The Report on Government Services 2018 also showed students continue to lose confidence in Victoria’s training sector.

Government-funded VET student numbers dropped to 338,400, from 460,500 in 2014.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan

As student numbers plummet, the Andrews Labor Government is investing less in our state’s training sector.

It’s ironic that Daniel Andrews promised to 'rescue' TAFE and then halved the state’s training spend.

Under Labor, Victoria’s training system is weaker, not stronger.

Media releases Regional Development Transport Infrastructure Community Services

Liberal Nationals commit to tackling cross-border problems

Friday 19 January 2018

Communities along Victoria’s state borders will benefit from the services of a dedicated Cross Border Commissioner under an elected Liberal Nationals government.

People living and working in Victoria’s border communities alongside New South Wales and South Australia face unique problems, including with access to services, licencing and coordination of emergency services.

Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh is in Mildura today to make the announcement.

“A lot changes when you travel across the border and for our business owners and residents in border communities this is an added complication to everyday life,” Mr Walsh said.

“It means our tradespeople have to get two separate licences to operate their business, while farmers and transport operators require two separate permits to move agricultural equipment.

“It also makes it harder for our police officers and emergency services to share the information they need to do their job.

“An elected Liberal Nationals government would ensure our communities have a dedicated Cross Border Commissioner based in regional Victoria to identify and solve these problems.”

Areas the Cross Border Commissioner would focus on include regulation and licensing, legal systems, emergency services and service delivery.

“The Liberal Nationals want to make it easier for border communities to go about their business,” Mr Walsh said.

“New South Wales already has a Cross Border Commissioner and has signed agreements with both Queensland and the ACT.

“It’s time for Victoria to take action to resolve our cross border issues with South Australia and New South Wales.”

Media releases Agriculture Infrastructure Environment Regional Development Community Services

Statement on The Nationals preselection for the seat of Morwell

Wednesday 17 January 2018

The Nationals have announced nominations for preselection for the seat of Morwell in November’s State Election will open on February 5.

Nationals State President Neil Pankhurst said The Nationals are seeking candidates who are committed to fighting in the best interests of the Morwell electorate.

“The 2018 state election is an opportunity for the Latrobe Valley to elect a representative who will stand up for them on the issues that are important to the community and make sure their voice is heard,” Mr Pankhurst said.

Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath said The Nationals were committed to delivering for the Latrobe Valley community.

“The Latrobe Valley has suffered because of disastrous decisions from the city-centric Andrews Labor Government and it is vital that the electorate of Morwell has a strong voice in State Parliament,” Ms Bath said.

Nominations will open on Monday, February 5 and will close at 5pm on Thursday, February 15 2018.

All members of The Nationals are eligible to nominate. For further information or to obtain a nomination form, interested parties should contact The Nationals Head Office on 03 9600 1424.

 

 

Media enquires

Melina Bath 03 5174 7066

Media releases Agriculture Environment

Duck hunting season

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Daniel Andrews has ignored his own consultation process by imposing new restrictions on Victorian hunters in the 2018 duck season.

The Andrews Labor Government has taken no notice of advice from informed stakeholder groups that strongly argued against the restrictions.

Victorian hunters legally taking part in the duck hunting season are being penalised by a Labor Government desperate to keep the Greens on-side.

Duck hunting is a legitimate recreational activity that brings thousands of hunters and their families into regional Victoria and provides a healthy boost to our regional economies.

Daniel Andrews has shown time and time again he will always put green ideology ahead of our regional communities.