Pages tagged "Media release"


Liberal Nationals pledge to upgrade Highview College

The Liberal Nationals are committed to supporting great education facilities for all Victorian children.

That’s why a Liberal Nationals Government will commit $4.28 million to construct a Science Complex and modernise the STEM facilities at Highview College in Maryborough.

This announcement follows the Liberal Nationals commitment of $400 million for capital upgrades for non-government schools.

The Liberal Nationals support a strong public and private education system because we believe in giving parents choice and children the best opportunities.

A critically important part of that choice is for parents to have the option of low-fee, independent and Catholic schools.

Highview College was established in 1974 as the first Ecumenical school in the world. 426 students from six local government areas are currently enrolled.

Science is a growing area of focus for the school but its current STEM centre is in poor condition with out-of-date facilities.

This investment indicates the importance the Liberal Nationals place in STEM education and preparing young people to tackle the high-tech jobs of the future.

The Liberal Nationals believe the only way to get back in control of population growth is to decentralise our State, ensuring key services are readily available for families in regional Victoria.

Only the Liberal Nationals are committed to ensuring students have the 21st century facilities they deserve.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Education, Tim Smith:

“Highview College is an outstanding regional school. Students wanting to spend more time learning STEM subjects need to be supported with the best possible learning environments and with access to the technology they are learning about. A facilities upgrade will support teachers in delivering STEM subjects, knowing they have the necessary resources to help their students excel.”

The Liberal Nationals are committed to providing new STEM facilities at Highview College and giving local students every chance they need to pursue a quality education.”

Comments attributable to Member for Ripon, Louise Staley:

“This is fantastic news for Highview College and I am delighted to announce this funding for a much-needed upgrade.

The new STEM centre will provide students access to new, modern facilities to increasing their learning and, opportunities to grow in the areas of chemistry, biology and physics.

Highview College has a long history of providing quality education to Maryborough and surrounding communities and this new STEM centre will allow them to continue to deliver high quality, educational outcomes.”

 


Liberal Nationals to fund STEM centre and upgrades at Marian College Ararat

The Liberal Nationals support a strong public and private education system because we believe in giving parents choice and children the best opportunities.

That’s why an elected Liberal Nationals government will commit $4 million to deliver much needed upgrades at Marian College Ararat.

This announcement follows the Liberal Nationals commitment of $400 million for capital upgrades for non-government schools.

A critically important part of that choice is for parents to have the option of low-fee, independent and Catholic schools.

Marian College Ararat is an outstanding co-educational Catholic secondary college with over 500 students from Ararat, Stawell, and surrounding rural and farming districts.

The project will fund an upgrade of the school’s STEM facilities, as well as the development of a college auditorium.
The school currently runs a popular STEM program, but it needs new facilities so that it can continue to prepare students for the jobs of the future.

The Liberal Nationals believe the only way to get back in control of population growth is to decentralise our State, ensuring key services are readily available for families in regional Victoria.

Labor has ignored the needs of students in regional areas for too long. Only a Liberal Nationals Government will give the students and teachers at Marian College Ararat the facilities they deserve.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Education, Tim Smith:

“I am delighted to announce this $4 million investment in Marian College Ararat as part of our $400 million commitment to non-government schools.”

“The Liberal Nationals are committed to providing new STEM facilities at Marian College and giving local students every chance they need to pursue a quality education.”

Comments attributable to Liberal Member for Ripon, Louise Staley:

“This is fantastic news for Marian College and I am delighted to announce this funding for a much-needed upgrade.

The new STEM centre and auditorium will provide students access to new, modern facilities to increasing their learning and, opportunities to grow in the areas of science, drama, dance and music.

Marian College has a long history of providing quality education to the Ararat and Stawell communities and these new centres will allow them to continue to deliver high quality, educational outcomes.”


CCTV cameras for Maryborough

Our local communities deserve to feel safe.

Shadow Minister for Community Safety, Edward O’Donohue and Member for Ripon, Louise Staley today announced that an elected Liberal Government would provide $250,000 towards extending the current CCTV security network in Maryborough.

The CCTV camera network will be extended along High Street to enhance the safety of shoppers and traders.

“When it comes to the crime crisis we see locally, Daniel Andrews and Labor have been missing in action and haven’t delivered enough local police or safety measures like CCTV cameras for the Maryborough community.

Having an extensive CCTV network along High Street Maryborough will act as a deterrent for would-be criminals and assist police in catching criminals when they do offend.”

Ms Staley said since Labor came to power, crime in Maryborough has increased by 24% and nearly 20% across the electorate of Ripon.

“The last four years in Maryborough have been shocking; there have been some horrendously violent assaults and aggravated burglaries.

Residents and business owners of Maryborough don’t feel safe.

Small businesses just like these here in High Street Maryborough, have felt firsthand the effects of Labor’s ‘soft on crime’ policies with some of them having been broken into and ransacked multiple times. We need to protect these businesses and their customers.” Ms Staley said.

CCTV programs have been widely successful in improving residents’ feelings of safety and security as well as assisting Victoria Police in responding to crime.

Today’s announcement was welcomed by Central Goldfields Shire Council, Chief Administrator Noel Harvey said, “It’s a perfect response to the concerns raised by the community at the recent Community Safety Forum. Council absolutely welcomes this announcement that demonstrates a strong willingness to act on the specific safety concerns of the Maryborough Community.”

Despite Victoria’s population increasing by over half a million people, frontline police numbers have fallen under Daniel Andrews with Police Association figures showing there are now 190 fewer uniform officers than in 2013.

Under Daniel Andrews, crime is out of control.

“I want residents and business owners of Maryborough to feel safe again.

Daniel Andrews has let crime get out of control in Victoria and only a Matthew Guy led government will deliver tough on crime and community safety policies to keep residents in Maryborough safe.

There is a clear choice at the next election between more of the same from Daniel Andrews and Matthew Guy who is delivering for communities.” Ms Staley said.


Liberals commit to building Miners Rest Off-Leash Dog Park

Member for Ripon Louise Staley MP today announced that an elected Liberal Government would commit to developing a fully enclosed off-leash dog park in Miners Rest.

Miners Rest is a fast-growing town near Ballarat, and the community is still lacking in some essential infrastructure.

“Dog parks throughout Victoria provide a vital contribution to the community. They act as meeting places for both people and dogs to socialise and exercise in a safe environment.

The Miners Rest community has been fighting for an enclosed dog park for years; there are lots of dog owners and lovers in this community, the new park will give them all the opportunity to meet and socialise in this dedicated and safe off-leash dog park.” Ms Staley said.

The new dog park will be co-located at the Miners Rest Park; it will be fully enclosed and included access to water, shade park furniture, car parking and waste disposal.

The announcement was welcomed by the Committee for Miners Rest and the Miners Rest community.

Committee of Miners Rest President, Alice Bond said “This is a fantastic announcement for the Miners Rest community and their dogs, we have been advocating for this project for a long time. It will be a great community asset.”

Ms Staley said, “Labor has ignored the Miners Rest community.

The Liberals are committed to supporting and working with this expanding community to deliver the services and infrastructure they need.

Building this new park, along with a new Primary School, and the new synthetic race track for the Ballarat Turf Club shows our commitment to Miners Rest and the Ballarat region.”  

Unlike Daniel Andrews and his city-centric government, the Liberals listen, talk to and advocate for our regional communities.


Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme for Ripon

A Liberal Nationals Government will ease the cost of accessing specialist healthcare for the tens of thousands of people living across the Ripon electorate with significant increases in the reimbursement rates for the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS).

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will increase VPTAS funding by $35.1 million to raise reimbursement rates for accommodation and mileage, provide funding for future population growth in our regional cities and towns and speed up claims processing times, improving the lives of the 30,000 Victorians who use the scheme.

People who live in Ripon and have to travel more than 100kms one way or 500kms a week for specialist medical treatment are eligible for financial assistance under the VPTA scheme which assists with the cost of travelling to and staying near the treatment.

Under a Liberal Nationals Government, the nightly accommodation support will increase from $45 to $60 and the cents per kilometre reimbursement rate will rise from 21 cents to 25 cents.

Daniel Andrews and Labor have lost control of the cost of living with Victorians paying more than ever for power bills and housing; the Liberal Nationals will ease the squeeze on cost of living pressures when Victorians need it most.

A Liberal Nationals Government will also make sure patients and carers are reimbursed faster by employing more staff to halve reimbursement turnaround times. 

The ten extra staff dedicated to helping patients efficiently through the system and improving reimbursement times will be located in Ballarat. 

A Liberal Nationals government will also undertake further investigation into the scheme to enhance access, including considering the minimum and cumulative distance thresholds, stepped payments for long-stay patients and inclusion of patients who travel to access clinical trials or require emergency care.

The Liberal Nationals are committed to decentralising Victoria and encouraging growth in our regional areas, but to do that we need to ensure that all Victorians can access top-quality healthcare.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy

“This policy is about ensuring regional Victorians can access the best healthcare and helping them with cost of living pressures for travel and accommodation.

This will give regional patients more choice and help them get back in control of their cost of living pressures from travelling and accommodation. 

Daniel Andrews and Labor Candidate for Ripon, Sarah De Santis have ignored country Victoria and been too focused on Melbourne. 

Only a Liberal Nationals Government will give regional patients more control and choice over their health treatment.”

Comments attributable to Member for Ripon, Louise Staley:

“This commitment demonstrates the Liberal Nationals belief that all Victorians should be able to access high-quality healthcare no matter where they live.

We can’t continue with the situation that has occurred under Daniel Andrews where some country patients are opting for less effective health treatments when costs make the travel for the best care unfeasible for them.

Regional Victorians who are sick and need to travel long distances for life-saving treatment already have enough on their plate, with transport costs adding to the pressures of a skyrocketing cost-of-living.

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will help relieve the burden with extra support for patient travel so country people can see the specialist they need, when they need it, without worrying about the cost of getting there.”


CCTV cameras for Ararat

Our local communities deserve to feel safe.

Member for Ripon, Louise Staley today announced that an elected Liberal Government will provide $250,000 towards extending the current CCTV security network in Ararat.

The CCTV camera network will be extended along Barkly Street to enhance the safety of shoppers and traders.

“The last four years in Ararat have been shocking; there have been some horrendously violent assaults and aggravated burglaries.

Since Labor came to power, there has been a 53% increase in serious assault and a 400% increase in aggravated burglary – residents and business owners of Ararat don’t feel safe.

Small businesses just like these here in Barkly Street Ararat, have felt firsthand the effects of Labor’s ‘soft on crime’ policies with some of them having been broken into and ransacked multiple times. We need to protect these businesses and their customers.” Ms Staley said.

CCTV programs have been widely successful in improving residents’ feelings of safety and security as well as assisting Victoria Police in responding to crime.

Today’s announcement was welcomed by Ararat Rural City Council, Deputy Mayor Cr Jo Armstrong said, “Ararat Rural City Council welcomes today’s announcement. Additional CCTV in Ararat, especially along Barkly Street is much-needed and will help to keep local shoppers and traders safe.”

Despite Victoria’s population increasing by over half a million people, frontline police numbers have fallen under Daniel Andrews with Police Association figures showing there are now 190 fewer uniform officers than in 2013.

Having an extensive CCTV network around central Ararat will act as a deterrent for would be criminals and assist police in catching criminals when they do offend.

Since Daniel Andrews was elected crime in Ararat has increased by 31%, and nearly 20% across the electorate of Ripon.

Under Daniel Andrews, crime is out of control.

“I want residents and business owners of Ararat to feel safe again.

Daniel Andrews has let crime get out of control in Victoria and only a Matthew Guy led government will deliver tough on crime and community safety policies to keep residents in Ararat safe.

There is a clear choice at the next election between more of the same from Daniel Andrews and Matthew Guy who is delivering for communities.”

 

 


Liberals announce major boost to Ballarat Racing industry

Member for Ripon, Louise Staley today joined Shadow Minister for Racing, Tim Bull to announce that an elected Liberal Nationals Coalition Government would provide $5 million funding for a new state-of-the-art synthetic track for the Ballarat Turf Club.

The new synthetic track will ensure that Ballarat Turf Club can host more than 40 race meetings per year, will never lose a race meet for inclement weather or track conditions, and can expand its current training capacity which is almost full.

Mr Bull said, “Ballarat Turf Club is one of regional Australia’s busiest and most iconic racing facilities with more than 27 race meetings annually, today’s announcement will allow for a significant increase in race meetings and the new synthetic track means that race meets will no longer have to be cancelled due to bad weather.”

“I congratulate the Ballarat Turf Club Board Members and all their stakeholders who, through their commitment and passion for racing, have fought hard for this project.” Ms Staley said.   

With its superb location, excellent facilities, world-class locally based trainers, jockeys, vets, and support staff, the Ballarat Turf Club has established itself as the preeminent non-metropolitan turf club in Victoria. The Ballarat Turf Club complex is also the fastest growing horse training centre in Australia.

The announcement was welcomed by the Ballarat Turf Club and local horse trainers.

Lachlan McKenzie, CEO Ballarat Turf Club said, “We are absolutely thrilled to hear of the support from the Coalition for our Synthetic Track Project. The new track will provide additional capacity for our Training Centre, which will result in significant job creation and economic benefit to the local community. It will also provide us with the ability to race in all weather conditions,  and provide a venue to take transferred meetings from racetracks that have been impacted by wet weather.”

Matt Cumani, leading Horse Trainer and owner Cumani Racing said, “I moved to Ballarat because I saw a great future and found the club to be forward thinking & progressive with development. The commitment of funding to secure the synthetic track at Ballarat is a massive boost for all trainers and provides significant opportunity for racing & training.  I believe the addition of a synthetic race surface at Ballarat along with other planned developments positions Ballarat as the best training facility in Australia with world class facilities”

 Archie Alexander, leading Horse Trainer also welcomed the announcement saying that “The new synthetic surface at Ballarat will provide greater options for training and a guaranteed trial surface that’s not reliant of weather.  The horse population at Ballarat continues to grow and trainers need to have a variety of options and number of training tracks to cater for the growth.”

The new synthetic track will attract even more trainers to Miners Rest and will result in more horses being trained which will lead to more jobs, and a boost to the local economy. With one full-time job for every four horses trained, the new track will allow for an additional 200 horses, create over 50 ongoing FTE jobs and 54 construction FTE jobs.   

“This new track will mean more jobs and employment for Miners Rest and is a real boost for the local community and the racing industry in Ballarat.

The Liberal-Nationals are committed to growing our regions, this new track will see more horses being trained in the area which will lead to more employment, and a boost to the local economy.” Ms Staley said.

Only a Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will deliver this important funding boost to not only grow the Ballarat Racing industry but also Miners Rest, Ballarat and regional Victoria.


Labor’s Resources Red Tape costs local Quarry jobs

Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy, David Southwick and Member for Ripon, Louise Staley last week visited Palladium Quarries in Percydale to hear firsthand how Labor’s resources red tape is costing local jobs.

Situated in Percydale, just outside the township of Avoca, Palladium Quarries which is Victorian owned and operated creates several ranges of decorative aggregate products as well as construction materials and decorative landscape products.

Managing Director Michael Feldman took Mr Southwick and Ms Staley for a tour of the site showing them the significant investment that has been made to develop the site and also describing the enormous regulatory hurdles that the company faced in trying to get the site operational.

“Palladium Quarries is a fantastic, locally owned and operated business, it is extremely disappointing to hear, yet again, that because of Labor’s ridiculous red-tape requirements that this site has not been able to be fully operational.

Palladium Quarries have been waiting for months for the regulators to visit the site and complete all the necessary checks and yet here they are still waiting.

Minister for Resources, Tim Pallas likes to tell everyone that the Government have implemented the Cronin Report into better regulation of mines and quarries and yet here we are, a year on, and nothing has changed.” Mr Southwick said.

Ms Staley said the visit was also an opportunity to see and hear what has been holding back local jobs and investment.

“Local quarries such as this one and mines up in Stawell are major local employers; it is simply not good enough that employers are unable to hire the staff they need because of regulatory red-tape.

On a recent visit to Stawell, Tim Pallas, was happy to boast about creating jobs in the resources industry and yet it unwilling, despite saying he will, to remove the high degree of red tape in the industry,” Ms Staley said.

Palladium Quarries supplies a significant amount of products used in building and road construction projects.

Managing Director, Michael Feldman, said “with all the critically important infrastructure currently underway in Victoria, it is disappointing that the quarry isn’t at full production because of excessive red-tape regulation.”

“Removing the regulatory burden for companies such as Palladium Quarries and other local quarries and mines is critical to supporting and growing local employment and industry.

An elected Liberals government will work to ensure that projects such as this don’t face burdensome regulation and are able to get operational as soon as possible.” Ms Staley said.


Ripon farmers desperate for rain

Farmers across Ripon are starting to look to the skies as an extended dry period leads to reduced yields and crop failures.

The northern areas of Ripon including the towns of Charlton, St Arnaud and Donald have recorded only 169.6mm of rain this year to October compared to the average of 303.6mm.

This year's climatic conditions have severely impacted farmers in Ripon, and with no sustained rain in sight farmers are in for a long summer.

Many farmers are already cutting what would have been highly valuable canola crops for hay in an attempt to break even due to the lack of rain, and hard frosts.

Member for Ripon Louise Staley has visited a number of affected farmers and has been struck by both the lack of rain, but also the resilience of the farmers affected.

“The lack of decent rainfall is really impacting farmers; together with some hard winter frosts Ripon farmers are doing an incredible job against the odds,

“We really need to make sure that the State Government is listening to what farmers on the land are saying, and that any drought relief is fast and efficient.”

“Daniel Andrews and his city-centric Labor Government are blind and deaf when it comes to country people, rather than spending money on pie in the sky ideas in Melbourne they should be focused on the needs of local farmers, and rural communities.”


Maryborough – Melbourne in less than 2 hours with Liberal Nationals High Speed Rail

Member for Ripon, Louise Staley today joined Leader of the Opposition Matthew Guy as he announced that an elected Liberal Nationals Government will build European-style high speed rail between Melbourne and Ballarat, slashing travel times by at least 28 minutes.

“Bringing Victoria’s cities closer together with European-style high speed rail is the cornerstone of my plan to decentralise our jobs and our population.

I want to build a state of cities and not be a city state.

Victoria needs population growth but it needs to be the right growth in the right places at the right time. We can’t afford another four more years of Labor’s unplanned, unmanaged population growth.” Mr Guy said.

European-style High Speed Rail to Ballarat will also provide faster overall travel times between Maryborough and Melbourne.

Ms Staley said currently it takes commuters 148 minutes to travel from Maryborough to Melbourne, with the new European-style High Speed Rail, that commute will be reduced to 119 minutes.

“Our plan for European-style high speed rail will decentralise our population and transform regional Victoria.

European-style high speed rail to Ballarat will give residents in my electorate of Ripon real choices where they live and work and free up precious time to spend with family that is currently consumed stuck on trains.”

A Liberal Nationals Government will also return passenger rail services to Dunolly, St Arnaud and Donald as a part of its plan to revolutionise Victoria’s passenger rail network.

Today’s announcement is a key part of the Liberal Nationals plan to revolutionise Victoria’s passenger rail network by delivering high speed rail right across Victoria.

Reaching speeds of 200 kilometres per hour, Victoria’s new high speed rail network will be the fastest in Australia.

The High Speed Rail project will see the rebuild of much of Victoria's current Class 1 track to 200 kilometres per hour operation as well as major track improvements on every other passenger rail line.

A Liberal Nationals Government will also fund new-generation, faster, inter-city and long haul variants of the successful V/Locity trains which will provide better comfort and leg room, safety and amenity for passengers.

At the core of the Liberal Nationals plan for European-style high speed rail is the further separation of the regional network from the metropolitan network thus increasing capacity and avoiding a 'dump and run' at the end of the suburban rail network.

At an estimated total cost of $15 billion to $19 billion, this super-infrastructure project will transform regional Victoria and is affordable, sensible and realistic.

Whilst Daniel Andrews and Labor have introduced 12 new taxes in the last four years, a Liberal Nationals Government will not introduce a new tax or levy to fund European-style high speed rail.

That’s why construction of a European-style high speed rail in Victoria is also a nation building project that will attract funding from the state and federal government along with the private sector.

“Today’s announcement is not only a win for commuters, it is also a win for regional employment.

Building a high-speed rail network across Victoria will create at least 10,000 new jobs, with many of these jobs in regional Victoria.” Ms Staley said.

A Liberal Nationals Government will grow all of Victoria, not just Melbourne.