Pages tagged "Media release"


Maryborough trains still running late

Passengers on the Maryborough lines are on slow, unreliable trains under the Andrews Government and it’s only getting worse.

VLine figures show the Maryborough lines have continued their poor performance with just 78.1 per cent of services running on time last month, falling far short of the target of 92 per cent. The line has failed to meet punctuality targets every month since October 2016.

Member for Ripon, Louise Staley said unreliable and late train services were making it harder for people in Maryborough and surrounding towns to get to medical appointments and see family and friends.

“A large number of residents who use VLine trains in these communities are people travelling to Melbourne for much needed medical appointments, services that are not available to them locally, they often have to wait months for these appointments only to miss them because the Premier for Melbourne has no idea how to run regional rail on time, Ms Staley said.

“Local passengers are on slow, unreliable trains under the Andrews Government and it’s only getting worse.”

Across all regional lines, just 84.4 per cent of services ran on time in March. VLine figures also show that over the past five years, just 86.2 per cent of services made it to their destination on time, leaving commuters on nearly 57,000 services running late.

VLine also failed to meet the 96 per cent reliability target in March, with 95.2 per cent of services delivered. 

Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport Steph Ryan said while the Andrews Government poured billions into Melbourne metro projects, it refused to commit to desperately-needed regional rail upgrades.

“The Andrews Government has abandoned regional passengers leaving us with unreliable, slow and uncomfortable trains,” Ms Ryan said.

“Better rail connections between regional communities would transform regional Victoria making it possible to live in one town and work in another but that won’t happen while Labor treats us as second class citizens.”


Ararat trains still running late

Passengers on the Ararat line are on slow, unreliable trains under the Andrews Government and it’s only getting worse.

VLine figures show the Ararat line have continued their poor performance with just 78.1 per cent of services running on time last month, falling far short of the target of 92 per cent. The line has failed to meet punctuality targets every month since October 2016.

Member for Ripon, Louise Staley said unreliable and late train services were making it harder for people in Ararat and surrounding towns to get to medical appointments and see family and friends.

“A large number of residents who use VLine trains in these communities are people travelling to Melbourne for much needed medical appointments, services that are not available to them locally, they often have to wait months for these appointments only to miss them because the Premier for Melbourne has no idea how to run regional rail on time, Ms Staley said.

“Local passengers are on slow, unreliable trains under the Andrews Government and it’s only getting worse.”

Across all regional lines, just 84.4 per cent of services ran on time in March. VLine figures also show that over the past five years, just 86.2 per cent of services made it to their destination on time, leaving commuters on nearly 57,000 services running late.

VLine also failed to meet the 96 per cent reliability target in March, with 95.2 per cent of services delivered. 

Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport Steph Ryan said while the Andrews Government poured billions into Melbourne metro projects, it refused to commit to desperately-needed regional rail upgrades.

“The Andrews Government has abandoned regional passengers leaving us with unreliable, slow and uncomfortable trains,” Ms Ryan said.

“Better rail connections between regional communities would transform regional Victoria making it possible to live in one town and work in another but that won’t happen while Labor treats us as second class citizens.”


Ripon drivers pay for Labor’s Transurban deal

Ripon motorists can’t get local pot holes fixed, but Daniel Andrews is shamelessly forcing them to pay for his West Gate Tunnel deal.

Member for Ripon Louise Staley said drivers going in to Melbourne via CityLink will take a hip pocket hit after the Andrews Labor Government signed a secretive deal with Transurban that will increase tolls to pay for a completely different new road – the West Gate Tunnel.

The Parliamentary Budget Office has released a report into the West Gate Tunnel Project and CityLink tolls which estimates the deal struck by the Andrews Labor Government will cost motorists an extra $37.3 billion in tolls.

The analysis shows that $26.5 billion of that increase (around 71 per cent) will come exclusively from CityLink users – and that includes Ripon drivers who use the tollway when coming in to the city via the Monash or Tullamarine Freeways.

“Our local country roads are in appalling condition due to funding cuts by the Andrews Labor Government yet the arrogant Premier for Melbourne is making us help pay for his new Melbourne tunnel.

“We can’t even get pot holes fixed on our crumbling country roads but under Daniel Andrews’ sneaky deal with Transurban, we’ll be forced to pay for city infrastructure we aren’t even using.

“This is hugely unfair, especially when in Ripon we have country roads with much needed repairs being consistently ignored by this Labor Government,”

“It is gobsmacking that while refusing to fix country roads, Daniel Andrews is arrogantly slugging country drivers to pay for his Melbourne tunnel deal.”

Labor has axed the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges program and slashed hundreds of thousands more from VicRoads country maintenance budget.

Last year Labor MPs refused to support a Liberal Nationals’ amendment to the Transport Legislation Amendment Bill that would have increased funding for country roads.

Ms Staley said the cost of doing business would also skyrocket as a result of Labor’s deal.

“Commercial vehicles already pay higher tolls, so any movement of fresh produce or freight that goes across the state via Melbourne will also cost more with Labor’s toll increases, and there will be a third commercial category added under this new deal.” Ms Staley said.

“The last thing farmers and regional businesses need is escalating costs, but that’s exactly what the Premier for Melbourne’s dodgy Transurban deal delivers.”


Price relief for Wimmera Grampians gas consumers

Ripon MP Louise Staley has welcomed the announcement by Origin and Red Energy that they are considering entering the Wimmera Grampians gas market.

EnergyAustralia currently has a monopoly on the region, consumers have no option but to use EnergyAustralia for natural gas.

Ms Staley said EnergyAustralia’s monopoly on the region was an issue that was regularly raised by her constituents.

“This news will be very much welcomed by residents of Ararat and Stawell,”

“For too long EnergyAustralia has held the monopoly on this region, it is completely unfair, consumers have no ability to shop around suppliers and get a better price,”

“Competition is important and potentially adding Origin and Red Energy to the market supplying gas will provide a choice of retailer for gas customers.” Ms Staley said.

EnergyAustralia has been the only retailer in the region since the gas market was privatised in the 1990s.

Only one pipeline serves the area – the Carisbrook to Horsham pipeline. It is a 182 kilometre pipeline privately owned by Gas Pipelines Victoria, who has an agreement solely with Energy Australia.

“I am particularly pleased to hear that EnergyAustralia has been open to negotiations with the other gas retailers,”

“Residents of Ararat and Stawell shouldn’t be disadvantaged because it is a small market,”

“I have repeatedly raised this issue with the Labor Government’s Minister for Energy, her response “shop around”, it’s pretty hard to do that when there is no other option!”

“Labor has been in power for most of the past 20 years and have failed to do anything about this, residents of Ararat and Stawell should be able to access the same energy deals as those available in Melbourne.”


Local impacts due to Port of Melbourne price hikes

Users of the Port of Melbourne are alarmed that the Ports Minister, Melissa Horne, failed to explain in Question Time yesterday why access fees charged by the major stevedoring companies have increased from $3.60 to $80.00 per container over the past 2 years.

Following the lease of the Port of Melbourne in March 2016, the Andrews Labor Government promised that “the scope of regulated charges will be expanded to cover all trade charges for cargo and shipping movements.” 

However, major stevedoring companies that operate at the Port of Melbourne have since increased their infrastructure access fee by over 2000 per cent in just two years.

These massive cost increases will be passed onto local producers, exporters, retailers and consumers in Ripon. 

Communities like Ripon are built around the agricultural sector and support thousands of jobs directly and indirectly across Victoria.

Local farmers are already under pressure from drought, rising energy and water prices, and a swag of taxes from the Andrews Labor Government. The government should stay true to its word and keep these skyrocketing port costs in check.

Despite the Andrews Labor Government promising an “expedited enquiry” into these exorbitant fee increases in October 2018, the Ports Minister still has no answers for producers suffering under these soaring costs about who will conduct this enquiry, or when it will begin.

The Port of Melbourne is currently Australia’s largest container port, however these massive cost increases risk container business, and as a result could cost local jobs, being lost to ports in Sydney and Brisbane.


Daniel Andrews uses cancer compensation for firefighters to play politics in Ripon

The Liberal-Nationals this week reintroduced a bill for presumptive cancer rights for firefighters to protect those who protect us, and again Daniel Andrews and Labor voted down this bill to play politics.

“The health and wellbeing of all our firefighters continue to be used as a political football by Daniel Andrews and his Minister, Lisa Neville” said Louise Staley MP, Member for Ripon.

“Daniel Andrews will only offer firefighter’s compensation for cancer claims, on the condition of their controversial reform – which is to tear up the CFA.” said Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Brad Battin MP.

The Andrews Government lied to our firefighters when they said they would introduce presumptive legislation within 100 days of the November 2014 election. It is now 2019, and our firefighters remain unprotected in the midst of another deadly fire season.

 “In 2016, Daniel Andrews attempt to tear apart the CFA made thousands of volunteers get out and protest in the weeks leading to the electoral defeat of Bill Shorten. Daniel Andrews is now refusing to talk about protecting volunteers to remain silent during the federal election campaign as requested by Bill Shorten,” Louise Staley said.

It is time to put politics aside and protect the firefighters who deserve our respect and support when it comes to their health and wellbeing while protecting our community.

Daniel Andrews and his Labor Government continue to mock our fire services and are now blatantly refusing to protect those who protect us. The Liberal-Nationals will continue to stand up for our firefighters and ensure our fire services have a say and are represented.


Staley backs Ballarat Racing Industry

Horse owners who are being forced to relocate horses away from Darren Weir’s Forest Lodge stables, have been urged to consider other Ballarat based trainers.

Local MP, Louise Staley, said today she understood some owners had to make urgent decisions on the future of their horses due to the stage of their preparation and immediate racing future.

“What I would say to those owners, bearing in mind they have to make the best decision for their horses, is that they consider other Ballarat based trainers as an option.

“This would assist with both local employment for Forest Lodge staff facing an uncertain future and also support the local economy, which will take a hit from the proceedings of the past week.

“The Shadow Minister for Racing Tim Bull, and I have been in regular discussions with Ballarat Turf Club since this unfolded and while we understand there are discussions with other high profile trainers about taking over a presence at Forest Lodge and support this, the reality is there will be a net horse loss.

“Given this, we need to be supportive of the local employees and aware of the wider community economic perspective and the more horses we keep locally helps considerably on both counts.”


Staley appointed Shadow Treasurer

Member for Ripon Louise Staley has been appointed Victorian Shadow Treasurer by Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien.

In announcing the appointment, Mr O’Brien said, “Louise Staley is a fierce advocate for her constituency. Louise brings to this role her 20-year career in finance as well as small business and farming experience. She will hold Labor accountable for its record high taxes and plans for the biggest debt binge in Victorian history.”

I am delighted to be given this opportunity and looked forward to both holding Labor to account and being part of the team to develop positive, relevant and affordable policies for Victorians.

Roma Britnell MP from South West Coast has also joined Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Rural Roads, Ports and Freight and Nationals MP Emma Kealy from Lowan takes on the roles of Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Family Violence and Women. Richard Riordan MP from Polwarth joins the team as Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional Victoria and Agriculture.

The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Member for Wannon as Federal Education Minister and as a member of Federal Cabinet ensures the region’s needs are exceptionally well represented in Canberra.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“I am very pleased to be part of a very strong team of Liberals and Nationals from Western Victoria. Together we will ensure the needs of our region are front and centre in Spring Street.

I know my first and most important role is to be the Member for Ripon to represent my constituents and deliver outcomes for them. I look forward to continuing to do so as I take on this statewide role as Shadow Treasurer.”


Sport and recreation hub for Miners Rest community

Miners Rest community will at last get the sport and recreation hub it needs.

Miners Rest is one of the fastest growing suburbs of Ballarat and yet Labor has ignored this community for the past four years and not delivered them any of the vital infrastructure they need.

The Liberal Nationals are committed to ensuring that fast-growing regional communities, like Miners Rest, have the infrastructure they need to be thriving, vibrant communities.

That is why we are committing $5.46 million to build the new Miners Rest Sport and Recreation Hub.

The new hub, to be built in conjunction with the City of Ballarat, will include:

  • Senior and Junior Ovals
  • A Community Sporting Hub, providing meeting spaces, kitchen, and female friendly and universal access change rooms
  • Shared Netball and Tennis Courts
  • Cricket Training Nets
  • A playground

With Victoria’s growing population, it’s important that every person in our state has access to sporting facilities. The Liberal Nationals will get back in control of population growth and stand up for all Victorians, unlike the Andrews Labor Government.

Member for Ripon Louise Staley said, “Our local sporting clubs are a vital part of our community. The Liberals are proud to support grassroots sport with this commitment that will help ensure the Miners Rest community have access to new, modern sporting facilities.”

“Daniel Andrews insists on giving $225 million to the AFL to upgrade Etihad Stadium, while local communities struggle with no facilities.”

“Only a Liberal Nationals Government will get back in control of grassroots sport and provide our growing communities with the sporting facilities they need to support local population growth.”  

“This funding is a real win for the Miners Rest community who, for years, have been fighting for sport and community facilities.”


Eureka! Goldfields Tourism set to ensure regional towns prosper

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will create a brand new, targeted, tourism marketing campaign to encourage tourists to try their hand at gold prospecting and immerse themselves in Victoria’s rich goldfields history as well as enjoying the extensive landscapes in the region.

Tourists who want a genuine goldfields experience can try their hand at gold prospecting with experienced tour operators who can provide them with an authentic journey into Victoria’s rich golden past time.

A particular focus of the marketing campaign will be to encourage international tourists to Victoria for an extended stay and get them out into our regions to experience all Victoria has to offer.

This campaign will help shine a light on regional towns in Victoria’s golden triangle to provide them with a much-needed boost to the local economy, create jobs and allow small business to prosper.

Towns like Maryborough, Beaufort, Talbot, Dunolly, Wedderburn and Castlemaine are already seeing an influx in gold prospectors who continue to help support these local communities.

The Liberal Nationals are serious about decentralising Victoria, and to do that we must invest in tourism and jobs for our regional towns and cities.

Only the Liberal Nationals will get back in control of population growth and encourage jobs and tourism in regional Victoria.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Heidi Victoria:

“This untapped tourism opportunity is pure gold to these regions and our visitor economy.

A Liberal Nationals Government will change the direction of tourism marketing in Victoria, and provide regional tourism operators with better support to promote the diverse offerings that showcase Victoria as a must-see destination.

The Liberal Nationals have a strong plan to grow Victoria to create a state of cities, not a city-state, and to do this we need to bring jobs to regional cities.”

Comments attributable to Member for Ripon, Louise Staley:

“Already Goldfields tourism is important to many towns in Ripon and this campaign will allow these professional tourism operators and service providers to showcase this region to the world.

Ripon is the heart of the Goldfields, and a dedicated goldfields tourism marketing campaign will drive economic growth in our region.”