Thank you from Peter Walsh
I thank Peter Ryan for his dedication to his electorate of Gippsland South, to the people of Victoria and to The Nationals.
Peter has served in the Victorian Parliament for more than 22 years, including 15 years as Leader of The Nationals, and four years as Deputy Premier and Minister.
During that time Peter's passion and enthusiasm for rural and regional Victoria has been second to none. There is no doubt he has helped to make our local communities better places to live and raise a family.
Peter was instrumental in introducing the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund under the Coalition Government to provide more support to communities than ever before.
Thanks to that fund there are now more jobs and new industry opportunities for rural and regional Victorians, and our communities have better facilities like revitalised CBDs, new seniors and community hubs, improved roads and bridges, and upgraded parks and recreational areas.
Peter was also the key driver in securing $22 million to save SPC Ardmona and protect jobs in the Goulburn Valley, he led the introduction of a moratorium on coal seam gas fracking to ensure water sources and landowners are top priority, and was a strong campaigner against Labor's north south pipeline so that precious water wouldn't be taken from farmers and sent to the city.
Some of Peter's more recent achievements for his Gippsland South electorate include securing a new hospital for Leongatha, keeping the Sale community safer with a new 24 hour police station and securing funds for the land and design works for the new Sale Specialist School - to name just a few.
There is no doubt that Peter has made a significant impact on his electorate and our state. He has also been a role model and mentor to both new and more experienced MPs.
I wish Peter, his wife Trish and children Julian, James and Sarah, all the best for the future.