Environment Agriculture Media releases

LANDHOLDERS DESERVE RIGHT TO SAY NO TO CSG

The Nationals have heard the concerns of our communities and will demand stronger safeguards for landholders regarding onshore coal seam gas operations should the industry ever develop in Victoria.

The Nationals support landowners having the right to say no to coal seam gas extraction activity on their property.

We also believe the regions where mining takes place should share the benefits from the activity. The Nationals support the introduction of a landowner and community benefit structure, so that when mining activity takes place the local community and landowner get a share of the wealth to invest in local priorities.

The Victorian Nationals will never support any activity that risks harm to our state’s water or land assets. Victoria’s agricultural industries are the lifeblood of our regional communities and are too valuable to jeopardise.

The previous Victorian Coalition Government, of which we were part, introduced a sensible moratorium to stop any hydraulic fracking activity and stop any new coal seam gas exploration or extraction licences until more is known about this activity and how it might affect our water and land assets.

The previous Victorian Coalition Government also brought in legislation so that BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene) chemicals can never be used in any future fracking practice.

In January this year Premier Daniel Andrews indicated the current moratorium would be extended until a public Parliamentary Inquiry is conducted.

The Nationals support maintaining the moratorium, and believe there should be no coal seam gas mining or extraction in Victoria until thorough scientific assessment and community consultation has been completed.

The Nationals also believe we need to better protect landowners. The concerns of our community are important to us, and Victoria’s farming resources are too valuable to lose.

        The Nationals position on onshore unconventional gas:

·     Maintain Victoria’s moratorium on coal seam gas
·     Only if science proves CSG is safe should industry proceed
·     Ensure water resources and the environment are protected
·     Farmers should have the right to say no to CSG extraction on their land
·     Farmers should get fair compensation for and complete rehabilitation of any CSG activities
·     Any CSG activity must deliver a benefit to the land owner
·     Any CSG activity must deliver a benefit to the local community

Media releases LOCAL ISSUES Community Services

O'Brien endorsed by Nationals for Gippsland South

Creating new jobs, improving roads, upgrading health and education services for families and community safety will be the focus for The Nationals candidate for the Gippsland South by-election, Danny O’Brien.

The 40-year-old former journalist, agricultural industry executive and trade adviser was endorsed as The Nationals candidate over the weekend. He says his vision for Gippsland is focused on healthy families, more jobs, profitable small businesses and better returns for farmers.

Recently re-elected as the Upper House MP for Eastern Victoria, Mr O’Brien said he was attempting the move to the Lower House to continue the work of former Nationals Leader Peter Ryan.

“The electorate of Gippsland South is used to having a strong voice in State Parliament and I’m determined to continue the good work of Peter Ryan,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In the past four years, The Nationals delivered more than $220 million worth of projects in the electorate as part of the Coalition Government.

“It’s not just about delivering money to the region – politics is all about standing up for your community on the issues that matter to them.

“As a born and bred Gippslander, I’m passionate about our region and I want to make sure the new Labor Government doesn’t forget about us.”

Married to Vicki, with two young children, Mr O’Brien lives on a small farm near Sale and is involved in country football, Rotary and the local CFA branch. A keen traveller, he has spent time living in Indonesia and believes the Asian markets are a huge opportunity for Gippsland producers.

“We produce some of the finest agricultural goods in the world in our region and the growing middle class across Asia is keen to access our clean, green food,” Mr O’Brien said. “I’m keen to work with Federal MP Darren Chester to maximise the job opportunities across Gippsland arising from Asian demand.”

Mr Chester said he would campaign to support The Nationals candidate because the region needed a strong, united team to deliver results.

“Unfortunately, the past week in Federal Parliament has seen the Liberal Party fighting amongst themselves and it’s good to be part of a united National Party team which is focused on delivering results for Gippsland,” Mr Chester said.

“I’ve known Danny O’Brien for 20 years and he has the right mix of experience and passion to get the job done for our region in State Parliament. It helps to have your State and Federal MP working in partnership for the good of the region.

“As a local family man, he understands the cost of living and other pressure facing modern families and I’m confident we can work together for the benefit of Gippsland South residents.”

Mr O’Brien was educated in Gippsland and completed a journalism cadetship at the Gippsland Times in Sale and local television, before working in State and Federal politics as a senior trade and agricultural adviser. He is the former Chief Executive of the National Irrigators’ Council and was elected to the Upper House in 2014 to replacing retiring MP Peter Hall.

He was pre-selected unopposed as The Nationals candidate for the upcoming by-election after nominations closed on Friday, February 13. The date for the Gippsland South by-election has not been set at this stage.

 

 

For further information: Danny O’Brien 0481 013 620

Media releases Community Services

ANDREWS MUST SUPPORT YOUTH STREET TEAMS

Daniel Andrews and the Labor Government must ensure more young people get home safely after a night out by providing funding to expand Salvation Army Youth Street Teams.

Raising the issue in Parliament last night, Shadow Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation Russell Northe said the Youth Street Teams were ‘guardian angels’ who looked out for intoxicated or at-risk young people on Friday and Saturday nights in Melbourne’s CBD.

This includes handing out water, lollipops and footwear, and helping them into cabs.

They also provide a ‘chill-out zone’ for young people incapable of getting home, where they can spend time until they can head home safely.

The Coalition committed $400,000 to the Youth Street Teams before the election to expand the program to nightclub precincts in Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Frankston.

“As a parent I know too well that it can be a worrying time when your kids are having a night out,” Mr Northe said.

“These Youth Street Teams provide comfort to both parents and young people that somebody is looking out for them and helping them home safely.

“But at the moment these ‘guardian angels’ are only in Melbourne’s CBD. We want to see that expanded to suburban and regional centres so that more young people can get home safely.”

Shadow Minister for Young Victorians Steph Ryan said she had visited the Youth Street Teams in Melbourne several years ago to see first-hand the difference they made.

“I was told a story about one volunteer who actually accompanied a young person in a taxi back to their home on the outskirts of Melbourne, just to make sure they got home safely,” Ms Ryan said.

“We must not forget that these are volunteers helping people simply out of the goodness of their heart, and they deserve more support.

“Daniel Andrews must realise that Victoria doesn’t end at the edge of the CBD and provide this extra funding to expand the reach of these vital Youth Street Teams,” Ms Ryan said.

 

 

Media enquiries:

Russell Northe (Shadow Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation)    0408 225 523

Steph Ryan (Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs)                                     0488 441 820

Media releases

New Leader for The Nationals

Thursday 4 December 2014

The Hon. Peter Walsh MP has been elected Leader of The National in Victoria.

Steph Ryan has been elected Deputy Leader.

“I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of Peter Ryan, who set a leadership standard I aim to emulate,” Mr Walsh said.

“As Leader, I am determined to show to the people of regional Victoria that it is The Nationals who have their best interest at heart. I firmly believe The Nationals are the only party that truly represents regional Victoria.

“It is The Nationals that are committed to working with regional communities to ensure we have the services, the infrastructure, the industries and the opportunities that we need for a prosperous and productive future. It is The Nationals that have the strongest voice for regional Victoria in the Victorian Parliament.

"I want The Nationals to rebuild their on the ground connection with rural and regional people.

“The Nationals will fight tooth and nail during the next four years to ensure regional Victoria does not suffer at the hands of a city-focused, union-influenced Labor Government.”

Mr Walsh welcomed the election of Steph Ryan to the position of Deputy Leader.

Media releases LOCAL ISSUES Community Services Agriculture

Violet Town Nursing Centre wades into wetland project

  • $199,000 Living Victoria grant for new wetland at Violet Town Bush Nursing Centre
  • Project will manage stormwater and create a biodiversity ‘hot spot’
  • Napthine Coalition creating healthy waterways to build a better Victoria  
Violet Town Bush Nursing Centre will be helping the health of local waterways thanks to a $199,000 grant from the Victorian Coalition Government’s Living Victoria Fund.
 
Minister for Water Peter Walsh, The Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan and Liberal candidate for Euroa Tony Schneider met with board members of the nursing centre on Wednesday to discuss the project.
 
“The $199,000 Living Victoria Fund grant will enable the creation of a wetland and biodiversity ‘hot spot’ at the Violet Town Bush Nursing Centre,” Mr Walsh said.
 
“This is a great project which will give centre residents and the community a vibrant natural wetland to enjoy, while at the same time improving the management of Violet Town’s stormwater runoff and the downstream health of Lambing Gunyah Creek.”
 
Ms Ryan said healthy waterways were the lifeblood of regional and rural communities.
 
“Healthy local waterways contribute to the liveability of our towns, and this project is going to create a beautiful, natural entrance for Violet Town,” Ms Ryan said.
 
“This project is also going to be a great way to educate our next generation about water use and waterway care and management.”
 
Mr Schneider said the Napthine Coalition Government had reshaped urban water policies for Victoria, to avoid costly mistakes like Labor’s North-South Pipeline and the desalination plant.
 
“The Living Victoria Fund is a great program which is helping communities big and small, including Violet Town, make better use of all water sources, which includes stormwater, rainwater, groundwater and recycled water,” Mr Schneider said.
 
“It makes sense that with a variable climate and a growing population, we need to be smart in how we manage and use all available sources of water to keep our natural environment green and thriving.”
 
Centre president Pat Glyn said the project would involve regenerating the paddocks to the western side of the site to create a thriving wetland.
 
“This project will have a significant and positive impact on the whole Violet Town community,” Mr Glyn said.

“This is a community wetlands site so we are encouraging individuals and groups to get involved in its development and use - we hope to see school groups, families and individuals also enjoying the space.
 
“It will also be important to engage as many volunteers as possible to lend a hand with different aspects of this exciting project, such as tree planting.”
 
Draft plans for the project will be circulated across the town, in locations such as the library, supermarket, and community centre and, of course, the Bush Nursing Centre.

Media releases Regional Development SPORTS AND RECREATION

Bendigo Stadium to undergo $16.5 million upgrade under re-elected Coalition Government

  • A re-elected Coalition Government commits $5 million to Bendigo Stadium
  • Upgrade includes three new basketball courts and 12 new netball courts
  • Victorian Coalition Government is building a more active Victoria 

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined Minister for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum at Bendigo Stadium today to announce a $5 million funding boost under a re-elected Coalition Government.

Mr Ryan said the $5 million investment would be provided through the  Regional Growth Fund and would be the catalyst for a $16.5 million project involving Bendigo Stadium Ltd and Bendigo City Council.

“Bendigo Stadium is a hub for community and elite sport in Bendigo and this upgrade will open up a new range of opportunities for the region,” Mr Ryan said.

“This redevelopment will see three new basketball courts that can be converted to a 3000 seat show court, along with 12 new netball courts with change facilities, catering for more than 500,000 annual sports participants.”

Mr Drum said that the upgrades would help grow participation in a number of sports.

“Basketball, Netball and Volleyball will all get additional new facilities, facilities that are needed to keep pace with demand for sport in the city,” Mr Drum said.

Liberal candidate for Bendigo East Greg Bickley welcomed the investment and said the upgrades would see Bendigo attract more events to put the city on the national and international stage.

“We’ve seen the Stadium successfully host the WNBL Grand Final twice, the Australian Goldfields Snooker Open and the recent Australian Diamonds netball Test, proving that Bendigo supports big events,” Mr Bickley said.

“These upgrades mean Bendigo can host big sporting and entertainment events all year round.

“Already NBL Basketball and ANZ Championship Netball are on the agenda through interest from Melbourne United and the Vixens, and in addition these benefits will be enjoyed by our own Bendigo Spirit and Bendigo Braves players and fans.”

Liberal candidate for Bendigo West Michael Langdon said the commitment was great news for Bendigo and the new facilities would be an economic driver locally.

“Professional sporting events are one example, but also national and international basketball, netball and volleyball underage tournaments and titles could come to Bendigo, as well as attracting big music and entertainment events,” Mr Langdon said.

“I am proud to be working as part of a strong Coalition Government team which continues to deliver for Bendigo and the Goldfields regions.”

Media releases Regional Development Transport

Coalition commits $4.7 million to extend Mildura Airport runway

  • $4.7 million commitment to extend one of Mildura Airport’s two runways
  • Will allow planes to land more often, in all weather conditions
  • Only the Coalition will build a better regional Victoria

A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will invest $4.7 million into extending one of Mildura Airport’s two runways to cater for more flights, more often.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp at the airport today to make the multimillion-dollar election commitment, from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“This extension of one of the two runways at Mildura Airport will mean large commercial planes such as Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s will have more room to land and take off in almost all weather conditions,” Mr Ryan said.

“This will accommodate more frequent flights in and out of Mildura Airport to cater for ever-increasing passenger numbers.

“Local member Peter Crisp has been lobbying strongly for further improvements to the Mildura Airport and I am pleased to say today that it will be delivered by a re-elected Coalition.”

Minister for the Aviation Industry Gordon Rich-Phillips said the funding commitment followed $5.2 million provided by the Coalition Government for the Mildura Airport Terminal Redevelopment Project in 2012, which saw the terminal completely remodelled and brought new air services to the region.

“Thanks to the terminal redevelopment, Mildura is now serviced by three major airlines – Qantas, Virgin and Rex – with regular flights to Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Broken Hill,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“There are currently 210,000 people using the airport each year and that figure is expected to double over the next decade if patronage keeps increasing at the current rate.”

Mr Crisp said the runway extension would cater for that forecast growth by allowing planes to land and take off safely in all conditions.

“This will mean more flights, more often,” Mr Crisp said.

“The Coalition Government recognises that the Mildura Airport is at the heart of our region’s economic development and tourism.

“The Liberal-Nationals Coalition is committed to seeing Mildura become even more of a thriving, vibrant regional city and tourist destination.”

Media releases LOCAL ISSUES Community Services

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.”

Media releases Education and Skills Community Services

$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.”