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Yarriambiack Creek

Media Releases


Wednesday, March 26, 2014
• Regional Growth Funds for Two Swan Hill Projects
• $40,000 to Promote Swan Hill Businesses and Stimulate Local Economy
• $8,500 to Feasibility Study into more Farmers’ Markets
The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $40,000 from its $1 billion Regional Growth Fund in a project to promote Swan Hill businesses and stimulate the local economy.
The Nationals’ Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said the Strengthening Swan Hill Region’s Retail Industry project was an opportunity to provide support to Swan Hill retailers at a challenging time for the sector.
“Retailers in Swan Hill will benefit from strong marketing campaigns and also an increase of events in the CBD. The Victorian Government has funded earlier stages of the current Swan Hill CBD development and the completed stages are already attracting more pedestrians,” Mr Walsh said.
He said part of the project would focus on giving business owners tools to increase their online presence and marketing expertise, while providing strategies for business development.
Likewise, the Regional Growth Fund will provide $8,500 towards a study to explore the feasibility of holding a regular farmers’ market in the region.
Mr Walsh said the feasibility study would determine where the market could be held, how often, and address supply issues being experienced by existing general local markets.
“The feasibility study will provide an overview of strengths and weaknesses around the development of a genuine accredited farmers’ market in the Swan Hill region,” Mr Walsh said.
“It will also identify resource requirements should it be determined that a Victorian Farmers’ Market Association-accredited market would be a feasible option to pursue.
"A food and beverage producer audit of the region will make up part of the project, and will be used to identify suppliers for events such as the Swan Hill Region Food and Wine Festival, and other council-run community events.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, said Swan Hill Rural City Council was committed to developing opportunities to enhance economic growth and the sustainability of local producers.
“Both of these projects will go towards assisting Council’s endeavours in this regard”, he said.
For more information about the Regional Growth Fund visit


Wednesday, March 26, 2014
• Two Warracknabeal Business Plan Projects Receive Regional Growth Funds
• Warracknabeal Town Hall Wins $7,500
• Warracknabeal and District Historical Society Receives $7,500
 Funding from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund will be used by the Warracknabeal Town Hall Committee to create a business plan to look at ways of improving the town’s largest community meeting place.
The Nationals’ Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said the committee’s aims for the plan were to increase the use of the Warracknabeal Town Hall and to secure its future.
“The committee wants to improve the facility so as to attract events and people from surrounding districts, which will then provide benefits to Warracknabeal’s local businesses and overall economy,” Mr Walsh said.
He said the finished plan, which will have input from the whole community, will look at the town hall’s current structure, the cost of any upgrades required and the potential for increased and more diverse usage, as well as set priorities for works needed to upgrade the building.
“Unfortunately the kitchen and amenities of the town hall do not meet current industry standards, but this project aims to amend that and create an excellent venue,” Mr Ryan said.
Likewise, funding from the Regional Growth Fund will help the Warracknabeal and District Historical Society produce a business and marketing plan that will give three local tourist attractions more strategic direction and security.
Mr Walsh said the plan would ensure the Wheatlands Agricultural Museum, Warracknabeal Historical Centre and the Wheatlands Warehouse continued to bring visitors to the area.
“This thorough plan will look at the challenges faced by the society, while looking forward to future opportunities to ensure the three attractions continue to bring visitors to Warracknabeal and boost the local economy,” Mr Walsh said.
“About 60 members of the local community give their time to promote the history of the area, but one of the issues facing the society is their age profile and availability,” Mr Ryan said.
“The business plan will look at ways of addressing this issue to encourage more members of the community to put their hand up and help tell the story of Warracknabeal.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, said the Coalition Government would invest $7500 towards each business and marketing plan from the Regional Growth Fund.
For more information about the Regional Growth Fund visit


Monday, March 24, 2014
• Grants for practical community safety projects
• $2.8 million has funded 422 projects in last 3 years
• Donald 2000 Inc received $10,000 for Byrne St Lighting in Round 1
 Community groups and councils can now access grants of up to $10,000 for local crime prevention initiatives as part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Community Safety Fund.
The Nationals’ Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, today encouraged councils and community groups to think about innovative and practical community safety projects.
“The Coalition Government recognises that locals are best placed to identify and prioritise safety and security issues in their communities, and we will support them to do so”, Mr Walsh said.
“The grants are open to councils, community and sporting groups, and local schools to implement practical community safety projects.
“This includes installing security lighting, padlocks, security screens, fencing, or undertaking awareness activities to deter crime and increase community safety.
Mr Walsh said the grants support local community groups to help provide safer and more secure facilities for local people.
“Over the past three years, the Coalition Government has provided more than $2.8 million to fund 422 projects across the state through the grants,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“These grants make a real difference and I strongly encourage community groups and councils across the state to apply for grants of up to $10,000.
The grants are part of the Coalition Government’s $35 million Community Crime Prevention Program, which helps promote community safety and prevent crime in communities across Victoria. Applications close on 12 May.
To apply and for further information, visit


Monday, March 24, 2014
Many sports and active recreation clubs across the Swan Hill electorate will benefit from funding as part of VicHealth’s $1.8 million Active Club Grants program.
The Nationals’ Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said the grants, of up to $3,000 each, aim to increase physical activity by making it easier for clubs to reach out to new participants and fund items or equipment that help them to improve safety.
“In Victoria, half of all adults do not get enough exercise. As well as the physical benefits, research also shows that sport builds community pride and loyalty and offers people the chance to get involved, providing them with a positive sense of self-worth,” Mr Walsh said.
“Regular physical activity not only protects against many illnesses, it also makes us mentally healthy, alert and resilient against the stresses of modern life.”
The 25 successful clubs in the Swan Hill electorate are:-
 Brim Kellalac Sheep Hills Cricket Club Inc $1,364
Charlton Football Club $3,000
Donald Cricket Club $2,470
Dunmunkle Carpet Bowls Club $2,375
Inglewood Bowling Club $2,700
Kerang Bowling Club $3,000
Kerang Football/Netball Club $1,590
Kerang Bowls Club $500
Kerang Lake Charm Power Boat Club $3,000
Kerang Lawn Tennis Club $2,710
Kerang Pony Club $1,650
Kerang Turf Club $2,050
Lalbert Football Club $1,785
Loddon Valley United Junior Football Club Inc $2,992
Lubeck/Murtoa Cricket Club $2,720
Macorna Public Park and Recreation Reserve Committee $2,757
Murtoa Bowling Club $2,500
Murtoa Swimming Pool $2,600
Nandaly Tennis Club $1,390
Nullawil Netball Club $3,000
Nyah West Golf Club Inc $2,242
Rupanyup Football/Netball Club $3,000
St Arnaud Football Club $2,998
Warracknabeal Swimming Club $2,500
Wedderburn Football Club $2,935
 For more information about VicHealth’s Active Clubs Grants, go to

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.


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.


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


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

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

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