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Media Releases

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

Revitalisation Project for Lake Marma Reserve

Friday, January 24, 2014
The Victorian Government is investing $140,000 through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to develop Lake Marma as an important recreational setting and regional tourism attraction for Murtoa.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the Lake Marma Reserve Revitalisation project would develop a major focal point for the community.

“Revitalising the foreshore around Lake Marma will provide greater opportunities for the community and visitors to use and enjoy that space, and achieve positive economic outcomes for businesses,” he said.

Local Member and Minister for Water, Peter Walsh, said that Lake Marma has become an important community asset since it was decommissioned as water storage, and it is now used extensively for walking, fishing, and boating.

“This important project will establish new infrastructure along Lake Marma’s 150 metre-long foreshore by linking walking tracks and pathways, building a shelter, seats, and a table, and installing an electric barbeque.

“The foreshore will be creatively landscaped, and improved seating around the lake will encourage greater use by tourists and the community.

“Access to the revitalised area will be improved through the installation of new interpretive signage and bollards, a new car park, and an upgrade of vehicle access and power to the area.

He said the project supported the development of the town as a more attractive place to live and visit and it would achieve positive economic outcomes for businesses by attracting and supporting events in the community.

“Foreshore revitalisation will provide better amenities for weddings, community celebrations, outdoor movie screenings, the ‘Poets on the Pier,’ angling club events, and the iconic Big Weekend Festival.

“Improving and upgrading local facilities, such as Lake Marma, generates a greater sense of community pride and a sense of community ownership.

“Significantly, this project is in line with the policies, strategies and actions of the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Growth Plan.

Mr Walsh said the lake was an important asset, and the foreshore of Lake Marma was a key component of the future development of the town that needed to be revitalised.

“Our funding towards the $190,000 project is being provided to Yarriambiack Shire Council, which will manage the project as well as contribute $10,000. The Lake Marma Committee of Management will contribute $40,000 comprising cash and in-kind labour sourced from the Murtoa community” Mr Walsh said.

Region Growth Fund Delivers

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The Victorian Government’s Regional Growth Fund investment in the Swan Hill electorate has passed the $23 million mark on projects with a total value in excess of $106 million.
Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said a number of exciting projects had been delivered and he looked forward to more in 2014.
“This fund really has stimulated an enormous amount of projects, not only in the Swan Hill electorate, but all around regional Victoria,” Mr Walsh said.
Throughout the electorate, the RGF has invested $22.319 million to 126 projects with a total investment value of $106.411 million, including:
Buloke Shire
• $962,000 for the $1.908 million Berriwillock Community Centre
• $500,000 for the $2.587 million Donald Family Services Centre
Gannawarra Shire
• $770,000 for the $1.77 million Kerang Levee project
• $285,000 for the $392,000 Play in Gannawarra project which has benefitted several local communities
• $25,000 for the feasibility study for the exciting Koondrook Wharf development
Loddon Shire
• $430,000 for the $1.8 million Inglewood Town Hall Hub project
• $900,000 for the $2.1 million Streetscape projects involving Wedderburn, Boort and Pyramid Hill
Northern Grampians Shire
• $100,000 for the total cost of the St Arnaud Pool solar heating project
• $10,000 for the St Arnaud Basketball Stadium project
• The $50,000 makeover of the St Arnaud Racecourse
Swan Hill Rural City Council
• $197,000 for the $321,600 George Lay Park development
• $300,000 for the $407,955 Piangil Multipurpose Centre
• Considerable funding for the exciting Riverfront development project
Yarriambiack Shire
• $220,105 in total so far for the Yarriambiack Creek and Warracknabeal Weir Pool upgrade projects
• $46,000 for upgrades to the Senior Citizens rooms in Warracknabeal, Rupanyup and Minyip
Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, said the Regional Growth Fund leverages co-investment from business and all levels of government into community-led regional projects to produce jobs and benefits for country communities.
“Other components of the Regional Growth Fund have created many more regional jobs.
“When the regions do well, Victoria does well. That’s why the Regional Growth Fund was established – to deliver for country Victorians,” Mr Ryan said.
For more information, visit www.rdv.vic.gov.au/regional-growth-fund

Local Projects To Tackle Indigenous Family Violence

Friday, January 10, 2014
Six separate projects have received funding to assist in tackling family violence from the Indigenous Family Violence Community Initiative, Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, announced today.
“These projects are community–led initiatives that aim to prevent, reduce and respond to family violence in Aboriginal communities,” Mr Walsh said
“Family violence in any community is abhorrent and I congratulate the various organisations who have developed projects and which are now about to receive funding to support these projects on their initiative and their commitment to their community and I wish them well in their efforts to overcome the issue of family violence.
“The table below details each of the projects, the areas within our electorate and the grants each will receive to support them,” Mr Walsh said.
Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge said a range of projects that tackle family violence in Aboriginal communities will be implemented across Victoria.
“The projects are funded through the Indigenous Family Violence Community Initiative Fund and support the Indigenous Family Violence Strategy – a community-led initiative.
“Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Groups, which have been established across Victoria, have been very active in developing local responses and are to be congratulated for their commitment.
“It is encouraging to see Aboriginal communities involved in such varied work to address family violence.”
Thirty-nine projects have been funded through the Community Initiative Fund in 2013-14.
For information on the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018 visit: http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/aboriginal-affairs/aboriginal-affairs-policy/victorian-aboriginal-affairs-framework

Grants to care for Victoria

Friday, January 10, 2014
The Victorian Government has given Landcare groups a boost providing over $1 million for environment volunteer programs across Victoria.

Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said that 33 local Landcare groups and networks will share in $199,995 to protect and restore the local environment throughout the electorate

“These grants recognise and reward the hard work of our local volunteers who are dedicated to making sure Victoria's natural environment can be enjoyed by future generations,” Mr Walsh said.
“By funding environmental projects like these listed below, it helps Landcare groups to continue their incredible work that benefits both the local community and the environment.”
“Delivered through the Mallee and the North Central Catchment Management Authorities the funding will go towards a variety of projects (see attached listing).
Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said the Coalition Government was delighted to provide over $1 million in funding to help Landcare groups continue to improve the health of Victoria’s land, water and biodiversity.

“This funding importantly helps landholders and communities to plan, organise and develop practical ideas for environmental and land management projects,” Mr Smith said.

“The work of Landcarers throughout the state is very admirable and extremely important in the protection and conservation of our environment”.

Three types of grants were available through the 2013-14 Victorian Landcare Grants program:

• $1,000 to start up groups and networks
• Up to $20,000 for project grants
• $500 for group maintenance grants.

For information on Landcare groups and networks in the Mallee or North Central Catchment Management regions visit www.landcarevic.net.au.


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