Flood mitigation project a boon for East Bairnsdale
The Victorian Coalition Government will invest $1.7 million towards a $4.5 million flood mitigation and drainage project that will open up new areas of East Bairnsdale for business and residential development, creating hundreds of new jobs.
Minister for Local Government and Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the Coalition Government was proud to invest in this game-changing project through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.
“The project will develop a comprehensive flood mitigation and drainage scheme next to the estate at Lucknow, home to one of Gippsland’s biggest employers, Patties Foods,” Mr Bull said.
“As well as securing Patties Foods’ future at the site, the project will facilitate the company’s $25 million investment in a processing plant expansion, creating a further 110 jobs.
“Broadlands Development Pty Ltd is another local business that can now consider a proposed 120-site tourist and caravan park that would attract visitors to the area and create 10 new local jobs.
“The project will also unlock, for possible further development, up to 900 new allotments of land next to the existing industrial estate for residential purposes. Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, said the Commonwealth will contribute $1 million toward the project, honouring an election commitment. “It is pleasing to see three levels of government working together on such an important project for the growth of our region,” he said.
“This drainage project is required for Patties to go ahead with its proposed development. Patties employs 500 people with a gross wage expenditure of $18 million per year and we must support their long-term future.
Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan, welcomed the funding announcement and said it was yet another example of the Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund delivering vital local infrastructure.
He thanked the project’s funding partners including the East Gippsland Shire Council, which contributed $500,000, the Commonwealth Government, which provided $1 million, and local landholders, which invested $1.224 million.
“Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has delivered more than $400 million, generating around $1.6 billion of total investment across more than 1440 projects,” Mr Ryan said.
“This includes more than $10 million for 58 projects in East Gippsland, leveraging more than $26 million in total investment.”
Maffra Farm House Cheese to expand production
• Bull and O’Brien announce $150,000 to grow Maffra Farm House Cheese • Project creates 15 new jobs and secures 30 existing jobs • Victorian Coalition Government investing in regional businesses
The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will support Maffra Farm House Cheese to expand, boosting production and creating 15 new local jobs.
In Tinamba today, Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs and Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull announced the Coalition Government would invest $150,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to support a $400,000 expansion.
Mr Bull said the $400,000 project would enable the company to introduce specialised cheese manufacturing plant and equipment, upgrade on-site infrastructure and provide additional cheese maturation facilities.
He said the Coalition Government investment would also enable the company to expand its cheese cutting and packaging facilities.
“The Coalition Government’s $150,000 investment will support Maffra Farm House Cheese to grow, creating new jobs for Gippslanders,” Mr Bull said.
“The company has been producing specialty cheese for more than 30 years, and its growing reputation as one of Victoria’s best cheese producers has seen a significant increase in demand for its products.
“As the local Member of Parliament, I am proud to be in Maffra today to announce this significant Coalition Government investment.”
Maffra Cheese Company's master cheese maker, Ferial Zekiman, said the Coalition government has been very supportive of our business, allowing Maffra Cheese to expand into new markets and increase employment opportunities for local people.
“This investment will help Maffra Cheese boost sales of its award winning cheese, enabling even more people to experience this wonderful Gippsland product, both locally and internationally,” she said.
Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien joined Mr Bull in Maffra to announce the Coalition Government funding, and said the expansion would create 15 new jobs and secure the jobs of the company’s existing 30 employees.
He said it would also enable the company to grow exports.
“Having more local produce on more supermarkets shelves not only enhances the reputation of Maffra Farm House Cheese, it further enhances the reputation of Gippsland as a leading food pro
Swan Reach kinder upgrade
Local Swan Reach families can now access high-quality early childhood services with the upgrade of Swan Reach and District Preschool thanks to a $100,432 investment by the Victorian Government.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the upgraded centre has increased its capacity to provide eight additional four-year-old kindergarten places at any one time and extra storage for the service.
“In the short term, not only has this centre provided more kindergarten places, it also brings many long-term benefits to local families, including giving children the best possible preparation for school.”
Mr Bull said this upgrade has been supported by a further $9,500 in State government funding for an internal door in the kindergarten room for a quiet library area for the children.
“I would also like to congratulate the East Gippsland Shire Council for its contribution of $18,995 towards the kindergarten upgrade.
“The Coalition Government has invested $2.12 million in the East Gippsland region through record investments in early childhood infrastructure,” Mr Bull said.
Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, Wendy Lovell, welcomed the upgrade of the kindergarten.
“Upgrading children’s facilities is part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s plan to build a better regional Victoria by ensuring young children have a great start in life.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is building a better Victoria, with $120 million in state and national partnership funding invested since December 2010 towards building and upgrading hundreds of services, including many in regional Victoria.”
Victorian Coalition building a better East Gippsland
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today welcomed multi-million dollar investments to build a better East Gippsland in the Victorian Coalition Government's 2014-2015 State Budget.
Mr Bull said today's Budget delivered improved infrastructure and services for families and businesses throughout East Gippsland.
“On the back of last week’s terrific announcement that a site has been purchased and $4.1m announced for the Sale Specialist School that will service communities in my electorate like Maffra, Heyfield and Stratford, there is additional good news.
“We have $5.5m for an overall $11m upgrade to the Princes Highway, including three overtaking lanes between Orbost and Nowa Nowa. Federal funds were earmarked last year and I am delighted the State has confirmed its contribution.
“There is also $3.38 million for works further east including a major upgrade to the well used rest area at Murrungowar, east of Orbost.
“From a wider Gippsland perspective we have $73m upgrade to our region’s major hospital (Latrobe), which services many East Gippslanders and an upgrade to the eastern metro rail corridor that will provide a far more reliable journey for Gippsland V/Line passengers.
Mr Bull said there were a number of other state-wide announcements that would be beneficial to East Gippslanders, including: • Additional health funding of $1.4b over the next four years, including a $190m to boost elective surgery, • An increase to the CFA Budget to $457m and additional funding for 78 new vehicles, • $130m boost for road maintenance in the state, taking the total to over half a billion dollars, • An additional $204m for disability support, • $198m to better support vulnerable children and families with specific funds to better protect women and children at risk of family violence, • A boost to the education budget of $1.6b over five years, including an additional $305m to support students with disability, • A record Victoria Police budget of $2.43b, including $13.5m for the roll out of tasers to all 24hr police stations, including Bairnsdale, • A further $12m to improve boating infrastructure, including a boost of $3m to the Boating Safety and Facilities Program, • $14m for regional tourism marketing, • $35m to boost agricultural exports, assisting our rural sector, • A reduction in payroll tax for 39,000 businesses, saving around a quarter of a billion dollars over four years. • An increase in stamp duty concessions for first home buyers from 40% to 50%.
Mr Bull said other major features of the budget were a commitment to build the western section of the East-West Link that will assist Gippsland freight related businesses and travellers - and the commitment to build the Melbourne Rail Link that includes a rail service from the city to the airport.
“With a forecast surplus, this is a Budget all Victorians can welcome,” he said.
Additional road maintenance funding
The State Government announcement of an additional $130 million to fix Victorian roads in this week’s Budget is good news for all of rural and regional Victoria, including East Gippsland, according to Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
“The extra funding includes $50 million for capital restoration works and $80 million for road maintenance and re-sealing works and is a commitment that will allow us to fix more roads more often.
“There are already a number of road improvements that have been completed or are underway in East Gippsland, including several sections of the Princes Highway, Great Alpine Road and a number of intersections.
“With many of these works still underway, I thank road users for their patience on the roads at this time.”
Mr Bull said this funding takes the road management budget to more than half a billion dollars all up, well above the funding levels of the former Government.
State Treasurer, Michael O’Brien, said this funding would assist every region in Victoria and reverses the previous Government’s neglect of Victorian roads.
“It is another example of the Coalition Government investing in better and safer roads for Victorians,” he said.
Major boost to fire services
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said this week's pre-Budget announcements of a $21.6m boost for bushfire protection and $29m for new CFA trucks, were important announcements for the region.
"These announcements were made by Environment Minister, Ryan Smith and Police and Emergency Services Minister, Kim Wells, and are both very pertinent to East Gippsland, which is one of the most fire prone areas in the world.
"In this region when you are talking fires, it is not a case of "if", but "when" and I am delighted this government is allocating more funds that will assist in better protecting our communities."
Minister Smith said his $21.6m announcement would go towards building and maintaining fire access roads, bridges and upgrading air bases and boost the capacity of fire management teams.
He said $11.6m would ensure more people are more often ready to respond during fire season and $10m would improve forest tracks, bridges and fire-fighting air bases.
Minister Wells, who grew up in the East Gippsland region, said the $29m he announced would go towards the purchase of 78 new CFA vehicles around the state - 74 medium tankers and four prototype vehicles.
"This is a significant investment in rural and regional Victoria that will strengthen our emergency services and make communities safer and provides a major boost to the purchase of fire fighting vehicles.
"In addition to the new vehicles, the Coalition has invested more than $125m over the past three years to fulfil our commitment to build or upgrade 250 CFA stations," he said.