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Media Releases

Lake Boga-Ultima Road upgrade begins

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The Victorian Coalition Government has provided Swan Hill Rural City Council with $700,000 to widen a section of the Lake Boga-Ultima Road, with works starting this week.
Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh said a 5.4km section of the road, from Dog Netting Fence Road towards Lake Boga, was being widened from 3.9 metres to 6.2 metres.
The project is being funded by the Coalition Government’s $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program.
“It is vital that agricultural produce and other products coming out of the Swan Hill region are able to safely and efficiently make their way to Melbourne’s markets, shops and ports – and this upgrade will help to ensure that happens,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government’s $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program is building a better Victoria by supporting rural and regional Councils to improve the condition of their local roads.”
Swan Hill Rural City Council Chief Executive Officer Dean Miller said the program provided Councils around the state with much-needed funds to improve safety and functionality of rural roads.
“For our municipality, we have made a conscious effort to put forward projects that improve the flow of freight traffic to and from our agricultural, horticultural and industrial areas,” he said.
“Over the past three years we have been fortunate to receive $3 million from the Country Roads and Bridges program for 16 road projects, including the North South Road at Woorinen, Meatian-Mystic Park Road and Larkin Road at Kooloonong.”
 The Coalition Government is also providing Swan Hill Rural City Council with $300,000 to reconstruct the final 800 metre section of Karinie Street including drainage, kerb and channel work. The project is expected to start at the end of March.

GRANTS TO INCREASE RECYCLING IN SWAN HILL AND ROBINVALE

Friday, March 14, 2014
• $29,400 for Public Place Recycling in Swan Hill and Robinvale
• 22 Grants Given to Regional Groups Across Victoria
• $815,000 in Total Committed to Increase Recycling and Educate the Community
 Residents in Swan Hill and Robinvale are being encouraged to recycle more when out and about, with new public place recycling bins to be installed in the region.
 The Nationals Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government has committed $815,000 as part of its program to increase recycling in the Swan Hill electorate.
 “Swan Hill Rural City Council has been granted $29,462 to provide residents and visitors with opportunities to recycle when away from home”, Mr Walsh said.
 “Public place recycling bins will be installed in Robinvale’s CBD, the second largest town in the municipality, and along the banks of the Swan Hill Riverside Park Precinct.
 “Accessible and well-maintained recycling bins make it easier for people to do the right thing and contribute to a more liveable regional Victoria.
 Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said this is one of 22 grants given to regional groups across Victoria to increase recycling and divert waste from landfill.
 “The Regional Public Place Recycling Grants are part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Victorian Litter Strategy 2012-14. The strategy has set a target for a 25 per cent improvement in littering behaviours by 2014, from 2003 levels”, Mr Walsh said.
 “The Regional Public Place Recycling Grants will help install new recycling bins and other infrastructure for people to dispose of waste when they are out and about, reducing unsightly litter and creating a safer and healthier environment for all Victorians.
 “The funding will go to regional councils, regional waste management groups and regional communities for initiatives that seek to increase the rate of recycling in public places as well as educate the community”, concluded Mr Walsh.

STRATEGY TO GUIDE LODDON SHIRE ECONOMY

Friday, March 14, 2014
• Project to create strategic directions paper to 2018
• Focus on partnership opportunities with business and industry groups
• Victorian Coalition Government funds project from $1 billion Regional Growth Fund
 Loddon Shire Council will commission an economic development strategy to guide the Shire’s economy and stimulate employment opportunities up to 2018 with the help of $45,000 from the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.
 The Nationals Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said that along with the Government’s $45,000 funding, Council will contribute $15,000 towards the economic development strategy, which will identify opportunities to enhance local business environments, and attract industry investment to create local jobs.
 “New infrastructure for gas, telecommunications and improved transport links is making Loddon Shire more accessible and affordable for business,” Mr Walsh said.
 “And while the Shire’s communities have recovered from prolonged drought and the 2010-11 floods, there is a need to develop economic resilience in the face of future adverse climatic conditions.”
 Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, said the project would create a strategic directions paper identifying Loddon Shire's competitive strengths and conditions for economic growth.
 “It will identify the trends and issues that are likely to influence the region’s economy to 2018 and provide strategic directions to create a resilient economy,” Mr Ryan said.
 “An implementation plan will be produced with clear recommendations for the Council on creating new partnership opportunities with business and industry groups”, Mr Walsh added.
 “Key areas of focus will include developing appropriate policy, governance and planning frameworks, economic infrastructure priorities and business services required to support existing and emerging enterprises in Loddon Shire.
 “The Regional Growth Fund is investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria and, in Loddon Shire alone, it has provided $3.36 million to support 15 projects, leveraging $11.75 million in total investment.”
 The Loddon Shire Council Economic Development Strategy is expected to be completed in September 2014.
For more information about the Regional Growth Fund visit www.rdv.vic.gov.au/regional-growth-fund

MORE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FUNDING FOR LOCAL COUNCILS

Friday, February 28, 2014
• Buloke, Gannawarra, Northern Grampians and Swan Hill Councils to Benefit
• Local Government plays a Crucial Role in Managing Emergencies
• 64 Councils in CFA Districts to share in $9.12 million funding
 The Nationals Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, today announced that four local councils will continue to benefit from the Coalition Government’s Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program(MERP) with a two year funding commitment to assist them prepare local communities and businesses for emergencies.
“Buloke Shire Council and Gannawarra Shire Council have each been allocated $60,000 for both 2014/15 and 2015/16, while Northern Grampians Shire Council will receive $120,000 in both years.
“Swan Hill Rural City Council will benefit as a member of the Mildura group of councils, which will also receive $120,000 in both years”, Mr Walsh explained.
“Victoria has experienced a series of emergency events in recent years including the recent bushfires which have demonstrated the importance of agencies working together when such events occur,” he said.
“These councils play a crucial role in emergency management, primarily around planning for an emergency response, preparing local communities and providing support to the services such as the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Department of Environment and Primary Industries, State Emergency Service and Victoria Police in the event of an emergency.
 “Council funding has enabled the training of key council emergency management personnel; preparation of emergency management plans; fire prevention works; participation in multi-agency relief exercises and the management of the Vulnerable Persons Register,” Mr Walsh said.
 Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell said 64 councils within CFA districts would share the $9.12 million funding as they continue to address recommendations of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission and assist in their role of planning for and protecting communities during emergencies.
 “Local government has been identified as playing a crucial role in managing emergencies in the future, given their extensive local knowledge and connection to Victorian communities,” Mr Walsh said.
 Councils will be funded individually or in groups of up to three member councils, with funding arrangements now extended to June 2016.
For further information about the MERP visit the Projects and Programs section at www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/localgovernment

New Netball Courts at Macorna

Friday, February 21, 2014
Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh today announced $118,900 for Gannawarra Shire Council to upgrade flood-damaged courts and lighting at Macorna Netball Club.
Mr Walsh said the courts had deteriorated since flooding in January 2011, with cracks now reaching a point where they needed to be repaired to ensure the safety of players.
“I am pleased to announce that the two netball courts at Macorna will be re-levelled, the asphalt will be resurfaced and linemarking redone, while the court lighting will also be upgraded,” Mr Walsh said.
“Through the $30 million Flood Recovery for Community Infrastructure Fund, the Coalition Government is pleased to support the re-establishment and replacement of flood-damaged assets that are important to our regional communities.
“A total of $13.4 million has been provided from the Fund to councils and community committees in the Loddon Mallee Region, funding 86 upgrade projects since early 2011.”
Work on the upgraded netball courts is expected to begin in March and be completed before the start of the 2014 netball season.
Gannawarra Shire Councillor Brian Gibson said the project would see an overall upgrade to key facilities at the Macorna Recreation Reserve.
“The project will complement other works recently completed at the Reserve including an upgrade to the irrigation and septic systems,” Cr Gibson said.
“The completion of the project will provide for increased use and participation for the Macorna Netball Club and the wider Golden Rivers Netball League.”

New and improved Koondrook Reserve

Friday, February 14, 2014
• Regional Growth Fund invests $105,000 for Koondrook Recreation Reserve
• Reserve now home to a dedicated village green cricket oval for Koondrook
• Victorian Coalition Government proud to invest in local communities
The Victorian Government has invested $105,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to allow the community-led upgrade of the Koondrook Recreation Reserve to be completed.
Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh, representing the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, officially opened Koondrook’s newest community asset on Friday evening.
“The new and improved Koondrook Recreation Reserve has created a wonderful cricket oval that has the look and feel of a village green style reserve,” Mr Walsh said.
“The new setting is the result of a dedicated community effort that had the vision to transform the reserve into something special for the area.”
Mr Walsh said the reserve had a new sprinkler system, a fresh turf wicket for cricket and picket fencing around the boundary of the oval.
“The community also banded together to build new decking in front of the existing pavilion.”
Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan, said the Victorian Government was proud to invest $105,000 towards the Koondrook Recreation Reserve Project through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.
“The Regional Growth Fund is investing in community-led projects such as this which are of benefit to the people of rural and regional Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.
“Since it was established in early 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has provided more than $365 million to support over 1250 projects across regional and rural Victoria, leveraging $1.5 billion in total investment,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said in the Gannawarra Shire the Regional Growth Fund had provided $2.8 million to 10 projects in total investment. Some of those projects included:
• $500,000 for the $500,000 Benjaroop Tresco Upgrade project;
• $189,550 for the $259,550 Kerang RSL and Memorial Hall Upgrade project; and
• $160,000 for the $240,000 Kerang CBD Streetscape Renewal project.
For more information about the Regional Growth Fund visit www.rdv.vic.gov.au/regional-growth-fund

Capital Investment in Swan Hill Riverwalk enhancement

Friday, February 14, 2014
• Victorian Coalition Government invests $300,000 in Swan Hill River Walk
• Coalition’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund is boosting Swan Hill’s economy
• Regional Growth Fund’s $4.2 million toward 27 Swan Hill projects, has leveraged $13.3 million in total investment.
The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $300,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to enable safe access to small businesses and services along the Swan Hill River Walk.
Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh announced the funding today on behalf of the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is working with the Swan Hill Rural City Council on this project which will improve the connection between the Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery, the Pioneer Settlement, Riverside Caravan Park and Riverside Park,” Mr Walsh said.
“The River Walk upgrade is part of the Swan Hill Riverfront Masterplan, which is aimed at stimulating trade and investment along the riverfront.
“I am very pleased to have secured Regional Growth Fund support for this project because we know that developing Swan Hill’s riverfront could benefit the local economy by $54 million.
 “The Victorian Coalition Government will provide $300,000 and the Council will provide $100,000 for a project that will enhance the character of the Riverfront, and improve safety and access.
“Works will include upgrading and developing a shared 2.5 metre wide pathway along 1.5 kilometres of the River Walk, as well as installing new solar lighting, adding pedestrian crossing, realigning kerb and channelling, and improving the Pioneer Settlement entrance.
“There will also be new seating and tables, special path lighting, and bins for waste and recycling.
“The River Walk connects to other regional walking trails, links the components of the riverfront and provides the framework for an interpretive River Walk trail.”
Mr Walsh said the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund continued to deliver investment and opportunity to the people of the Swan Hill electorate.
“Since 2011 the Coalition’s Regional Growth Fund has invested in 27 Swan Hill projects, providing $4.2 million that has leveraged a total investment of $13.3 million for the region.
“I am very proud to be part of a Coalition Government that is delivering real benefits and meaningful investment to the people, communities and local economies of regional Victoria,” Mr Walsh said.

Funding Available for Rainwater and Recycled Water Projects

Monday, February 10, 2014
The Victorian Coalition Government is encouraging communities to make greater use of rainwater and recycled water, with $15 million on offer for local projects through round two of the Living Victoria Fund. 
Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said the Living Victoria initiative was about securing the state’s future water supplies, keeping future water costs down and ensuring our neighbourhoods remain green and liveable. 
“The Coalition Government is building a better Victoria by transforming our urban water systems to focus on whole-of-water-cycle principles, to deliver more efficient, more sustainable and more affordable water services throughout the state,” Mr Walsh said. 
“It makes sense to use rainwater and recycled water for tasks like watering gardens or flushing toilets, instead of using our valuable high-quality drinking water. 
“These urban water reforms will help Victoria avert the need for more expensive large-scale infrastructure like desalination plants and the north-south pipeline in the future.” 
Mr Walsh said Labor’s desalination plant was costing Victorians $1.8 million per day. 
Round one of the $50 million Living Victoria Fund supported more than 40 projects across Victoria including harvesting stormwater to keep Albert Park Lake full, assessing aquifer storage in Ballarat and a wetlands development at Footscray Primary School. 
Round two funding can assist community organisations, education institutions, sporting groups, the private sector and local councils in accelerating innovative water projects. 
“The Coalition Government is delivering on an election commitment to help our cities and towns make better use of all available water sources for future water needs, and to improve the health of Victoria’s creeks and rivers,” Mr Walsh said. 
“The latest round of Living Victoria funding is an excellent opportunity to develop local water projects that deliver an economic and environmental dividend to the area. 
“I encourage local organisations to consider the opportunities for whole-of-water-cycle projects and become part of the broader improvement in Victoria’s water security.” 
To ensure the benefits of the smarter use of rainwater and recycled water are spread throughout Victoria, up to $3 million is set aside for community and not-for-profit organisation-led projects, and up to $5 million for regional projects. 
Applications close on 17 March 2014 at 2pm. To view the funding guidelines visit http://www.livingvictoria.vic.gov.au. 

Communities for Nature Grant for Swan Hill Primary School

Monday, February 03, 2014
Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, today congratulated the Swan Hill Primary School which will receive a grant of $4,000 over 2 years, as part of the latest round of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Communities for Nature $4 million environmental grants program.

“The Communities for Nature grants program supports local community groups by providing grants to complete on-ground works to conserve and enhance their local natural environment, Mr Walsh said.

“These grants support community groups and volunteers, and target environment projects that enhance our region’s native flora and fauna ecosystems.

“I congratulate Swan Hill Primary School on its initiative and commitment to our environment.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith, said the Coalition Government’s $4 million Communities for Nature grant round delivers practical and meaningful partnerships between government, community and environmental groups.

“Our environment will benefit to the tune of $20 million though local initiatives supported by the Communities for Nature program.

“Communities for Nature grants directly support local groups to carry out important ecological projects, while contributing to their local community’s environment.

“I would encourage other eligible community groups and schools to apply for this and similar grants in the future.”

“These grants are another example of the Coalition Government’s ability to deliver real and tangible support to local communities that directly benefit the environment, Mr Walsh said.

ANZAC Centenary Community Grants Open

Friday, January 31, 2014
Victorians will have the opportunity to commemorate the Anzac Centenary from 2014 through a range of community activities to be funded by the Coalition State Government.

Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh said the program will provide grants of up to $20,000 for projects to honour and share the stories of the Victorian service men and women and their communities.

“The Anzac Centenary (2014-2018) will be a significant period of reflection about Australia’s war service history and there is a strong desire from the community and Coalition Government to develop projects that honour our Victorian heritage,” Mr Walsh said.

“I encourage all Victorian ex-service organisations, local government authorities, not for profit organisations and educational institutions to apply for a grant through the Victorian Veterans Council Anzac Community Grants Program”.

Projects eligible for funding include establishing new war memorials, organising or enhancing local Anzac Day commemorative events during the centenary period or the publishing of books that educate the community about Victoria’s contribution.
“These projects will ensure Victorians can better understand Australia’s commitment to the war effort and the price paid by not only those who served, but the families left behind at home,” said Mr Walsh.

To learn more and to apply for assistance from the Anzac Centenary Community Grants Program please visit www.veterans.vic.gov.au or call 1300 366 356.

Further information about the Anzac Centenary in Victoria can be obtained at www.anzaccentenary.vic.gov.au


Contact: Electorate Office: 274 Campbell Street SWAN HILL Vic 3585 Phone: (03) 5032 3154 Fax: (03) 5032 9483