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Lake Boga Company Wins Major Technology Grant

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The Victorian Government has awarded Wattle Organic Farms of Lake Boga a new technology grant of $42,000 to invest in high-tech equipment which will enhance its competitiveness.
Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, joined Minister for Manufacturing, David Hodgett, today in visiting Wattle Organic Farms which package and market organic produce for domestic and international markets.
“I congratulate Wattle Organics on accessing this grant,” Mr Walsh said.
“Wattle sources the highest quality certified organic produce locally and from interstate and supplies the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane wholesale markets as well as large retailers and an increasing export market.
“Wattle will use this grant for the purchase and installation of a flow wrapping machine capable of utilising fully compostable, shelf-friendly packaging.
“It will also enable the company to increase employment by 10 staff and boost its export market,” Mr Walsh said.
Made up of certified organic farmers, produce wholesalers and an energetic sales and marketing team, the company is accessing the rapidly growing organic produce market.
Minister for Manufacturing, David Hodgett, said Wattle was one of 20 companies to be awarded a total of $3.4 million under the IMT program which is designed to stimulate investment in new technology.
“The projects supported under the third round of the IMT program represent more than $15 million worth of investment in new technology, processes and equipment and will create at least 65 new jobs and transition 101 employees to higher value roles.
“IMT is a key initiative of the Victorian Government’s Manufacturing Strategy. These grants are an excellent example of how new technology is helping to improve production processes, develop new skills and take advantage of a range of innovative export opportunities.
“Victoria is the hub of Australia’s manufacturing industry but to meet the challenge of the high Australian dollar and competitive international markets, manufacturers must look to increase investment in new technology to remain competitive,” Minister Hodgett said.
Applications for IMT round four grants are now open and for more information visit

Disability Self-Help Grants Now Open

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Grants of up to $10,000 over two years are now available to assist disability self-help groups to increase the independence and community participation of people with disabilities, Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, announced today.
“The Victorian Government is assisting disability groups by simplifying the application and doubling the funding period for the latest round of Disability Self Help Grants,” Mr Walsh said.
“Grant funding is provided for a variety of practical purposes including general expenses, running costs, and minor works or equipment.”
There are several criteria for funding and goals can include:
• increasing the capacity of people with a disability to live independently in their own community; and/or
• increasing opportunities for self-help groups to provide information and education on the experiences of people with a disability.
“These grants provide self-help groups with a great opportunity to access funding to support their members’ activities,” Mr Walsh said.
“Self-help groups that focus on supporting their members to participate in their own community and make informed decisions about their lives will be given priority for grants.”
The grants process has been made easier for applicants.
“The grants will now be provided on a two-year basis rather than annually, which means groups don’t have to go through the application process every year,” Mr Walsh said.
“Also, groups that have previously been successful in obtaining grants of less than $2000 per annum will no longer have to itemise their proposed expenditure in their applications.”
Applications close on Friday 13 December 2013 with further information and application forms available at: or by telephone on 9096 9747.

Uniform Boost For Local Sporting Clubs

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Thirty three sporting clubs throughout the Swan Hill electorate can look forward to new club uniforms courtesy of the Victorian Government’s Sporting Uniform Grants Program.
Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said the grants of up to $1,000 would be a big boost to these clubs and their identification throughout their community and their various sporting disciplines.
“Team uniforms are more than just colours, they represent local sporting traditions and community pride,” Mr Walsh said.
“This funding boost will not only benefit existing club players, but hopefully attract new members who are also keen to show their support for their club and to look and feel part of the team.”
The clubs are among a total of 442 across Victoria to share in more than $425,000 worth of Sporting Uniform Grants Program funding.
Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty said the Sporting Uniform Grants Program aims to reduce financial barriers to participation by providing sporting clubs with an opportunity to purchase new uniforms, or a range of related items for club members including team tops, shorts, socks and footwear.
“These grants will assist sporting and recreation clubs to invest in new uniform clothing and footwear. This will attract and accommodate new members, helping to increase participation in sport as well as nurture talent,” Mr Delahunty said.
If your club is looking to introduce new life to your team colours and inspire more people to be more active, more often visit
Please find below a list of all clubs which have received uniform grants. These clubs have been divided up according to their local government area. Please adapt as appropriate to your readership.
Loddon Shire
Boort Swimming Club - $840, Boort Netball Club - $1000, Boort-Yando Cricket Club - $972, Calivil Tennis Club – $896, Dingee Cricket Club - $1000m, Pyramid Hill Golf Club - $1000, Wedderburn Hockey Club - $1000m, Mitiamo Golf Club - $1000, Loddon Pony Club - $859
Buloke Shire
Charlton Hockey Club - $700, Charlton Netball Club - $1000, Donald Netball Club - $1000
Gannawarra Shire
Kerang Bowling Club - $1000, Kerang Little Athletics Centre - $1000, Kerang Pony Club - $795, Northern District Football Umpires - $1000, Swan Hill Kerang Masters Football Club - $1000, Macorna Pony Club - $1000, Murrabit Netball Club - $1000
Swan Hill Shire
Swan Hill Badminton Assoc - $330, Swan Hill Boxing Club - $1000, Swan Hill Football Netball Club - $1000, Swan Hill Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club - $924, Swan Hill Motorcycle Club - $686, Swan Hill RSL Cricket Club - $1000, Ultima Tyntynder United Cricket Club- $1000, Woorinen Cricket Club - $1000, Nyah District Cricket Club - $1000
Yarriambiack Shire
Warrack Eagles Netball Club - $1000, Minyip Cricket Club - $1000, Murtoa Tennis Club - $1000, Rupanyup Tennis Club - $655
Northern Grampians Shire
St Arnaud Gun Club - $1000

St Arnaud Families Heading For Harness Racing Fun

Wednesday, November 06, 2013
St Arnaud Harness Racing Club has received support from the Victorian Government to help build a bumper crowd for its Carnival Climax raceday on 10 November.
Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh said $9,500 will be provided from the Victorian Government’s Raceday Attraction Program for St Arnaud Harness Pacing Cup Day.
“The Carnival Climax race meeting is a great initiative through which the whole community can share in the excitement of harness racing,” Mr Walsh said.
“The day is the only race meeting conducted at Lord Nelson Park and is one of the highlights of the St Arnaud community’s calendar.
“The track was shut down under the previous Labor Government but has been revived by the Coalition Government with the return of racing last year.
“The funding will contribute to two family holiday giveaways, a mechanical bull, a jumping castle, plaster painting, a live band and many other fun activities.
“As well as attracting patrons to the big day, the St Arnaud Harness Racing Club is also hoping to increase its membership base and community involvement in harness racing.
“The race meeting will be the climax to the festival season in St Arnaud as it comes at the end of the St Arnaud Country Music Festival and the St Arnaud Festival.
“Everybody should get along and support their local race club and enjoy what will be a great day out,” Mr Walsh said.
St Arnaud Harness Racing Club Secretary Kaye Boyd said Victorian Government support helped promote and maintain harness racing in grassroots areas where it began.
“An event such as the Carnival Climax offers the chance to involve youth and the community in general who may not have experienced the sport of harness racing,” Ms Boyd said.
For information about the Carnival Climax, please contact the St Arnaud Harness Racing Club on 5495 1402.

Upgrades For St Arnaud Pool

Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, was in St Arnaud today to announce funding to upgrade facilities at the St Arnaud Swimming Pool.
“The St Arnaud pool has been identified by the community as being in need of significant re-development works and I am pleased that the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty, has provided funds to enable these works to be carried out,” Mr Walsh said.
“Funding of $40,000 has been provided out of the Community Facility Funding Program which is designed to assist with the upgrading of local sporting facilities.
“The St Arnaud swimming pool upgrade will see the change rooms and toilets upgraded to make them more energy efficient and safer to use.
“Modern efficient plumbing, LED lighting, painting and gas boosted solar water heating will ensure the facilities more efficiently meet the needs of its diverse user groups.
”Shelter and shade facilities will also be provided and an automated watering system installed to maintain grass cover during the drier summer months.”
The St Arnaud pool is an important community facility and the project will significantly improve its overall aesthetic appeal while addressing risk areas such as loose paving, inadequate shade provision, poor lighting and sub-standard conditions in the change rooms and the lack of adequate grass cover.
The $60,000 redevelopment project will be carried out by the Northern Grampians Shire and will commence when the pool closes at the end of the coming summer season.

Vichealth Funding For Active Clubs Now Open

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, is encouraging sports clubs throughout the Swan Hill electorate to apply for VicHealth grants of up to $3,000 each for essential sporting and injury prevention and management equipment.
A total of more than $1 million is available to community sport and active recreation clubs to apply for funding under the VicHealth 2013-14 Active Club Grants.
“The grants aim to make it easier for clubs to fund items or equipment that help them to improve safety and to reach out to new participants,” Mr Walsh said.
“Each year the grants support more Victorians to become active and this is increasingly important as we see the impact of a lack of physical activity in the growing numbers of people with chronic diseases and other health problems.
“Regular physical activity not only protects against many illnesses, it also makes us mentally healthy, alert and resilient against the stresses of modern life.”
For 25 years, VicHealth has provided small grants to more than 9,700 community sport and recreation clubs across Victoria.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said this year’s Active Club Grants have been increased to up to $3,000 per club.
“The Australian Sports Commission lists cost as the biggest barrier to organised sport, while the Sports Injury Prevention Taskforce estimates around 4,500 people drop out of organised sport due to injury each year in Victoria,” Ms Rechter said.
“To address this, the amount of each grant has increased, while the focus of the grants will tackle two major barriers preventing people taking part in sport and active recreation – cost and injury”.
For further information or to apply for this grant online, visit
The funding round closes 4pm Thursday 5 December, 2013.

Local Racecourses Gain New Portable Fencing

Friday, October 25, 2013
Several local racecourses are set to benefit from a joint Victorian Government and racing industry investment of almost $12,000 in new portable fencing for raceday events.
The funding will benefit racecourses across the Wimmera Murray Mallee including Manangatang, Murtoa, St Arnaud, Swan Hill and Wycheproof.
Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said the new portable fencing and trailer will enhance the experience for racegoers across the many meetings held at local racecourses.
“This new fencing allows clubs to better configure their events to meet the needs of patrons including fencing off dedicated marquee and activity areas,” Mr Walsh said.
Aaron Garvie, Chief Executive of Murray Mallee Racing, expressed his appreciation for the new fencing and transport trailer.
“On behalf of all Murray Mallee Clubs I would like to thank the Government for their continued support to racing,” Mr Garvie said.
“The purchase of specific equipment such as fencing and a trailer enables our clubs to put on an even better experience for customers at a much more viable cost.”
Wimmera Racing Club President Penny Penfold echoed these sentiments.
“It is essential that local race clubs have access to reliable and quality portable infrastructure for use at their country cup meetings and raceday events,” Ms Penfold said.
“The Wimmera Racing Club and Murray Mallee Racing have successfully worked together for ten years to share equipment throughout the two regions and this investment is an extension of that cooperation.
“We are incredibly grateful to Dr Napthine and the Government for their contribution and support of racing throughout the Wimmera and Mallee,” she said.
Premier of Victoria and Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said the Victorian Government was a strong supporter of country racing and was committed to assisting country racing clubs with infrastructure improvements.
“It is vital to foster growth in an industry which is worth $729 million to the state’s rural and regional economy and employs over 27,000 country Victorians,” he said.
“Racing in the Wimmera and Mallee generates over $89 million of annual economic benefits to communities within these racing regions and many hundreds of jobs. We want to help grow these important local benefits,” he said.

Discover Parks Program Grants

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, is encouraging community organisations to submit applications for grants under Parks Victoria’s Discover Parks Grants Program.
These grants of up to $2000 are aimed at encouraging communities to access, explore and be active in parks through participation in projects delivered on Parks Victoria managed land.
The Program is funded through the Victorian Government Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative and encourages diverse groups to gain health benefits by actively participating in parks.
Diverse groups include people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, people with a disability, the aged, youth and children, those from a low socio-economic background or a combination of these.
Non-profit organisations, schools, council bodies and community groups can all apply for funding.
“This is an excellent way for groups to become involved and find out just what our great parks have to offer,” Mr Walsh said.
The aims of the Discover Parks Program are to:
• Provide opportunities for the target groups to visit and discover parks
• Foster an awareness of the health benefits (mental, physical, social, spiritual) of visiting parks
• Promote the diversity of parks and leisure and recreational opportunities available in parks
• Empower participants to return to parks independently of the program
• Increase participation and volunteering in parks by the target groups through connections with existing volunteer groups and programs
• Reduce the barriers that prevent target groups from visiting parks
For more information and to access the application forms go to
Applications for the grants close on Friday 15 November.

Joyful Sound Of Africa Comes To Warracknabeal

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Over 500 people will attend Warracknabeal’s Joyful Sound of Africa concert on November 2 following a funding boost from the Victorian Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.
In announcing the funding boost, Member for Swan Hill, Peter Walsh, said the event would create an opportunity to increase multicultural awareness and encourage community connectedness by bringing together disparate cultures, engendering a closer relationship and better understanding within the community.
The concert will see a performance by the highly regarded St. Pauls Lutheran Choir.
“This choir counts several nationalities within its members with many former refugees from throughout different African countries,” Mr Walsh said.
“Testament to the strength of the choir is the fact it has sung at the Keith Murdoch Oration, in the World Famous Spiegel Tent and at the Victorian Premier’s Gala Dinner.”
Mr Walsh said the non-religious event would also include the Longest Lutheran Lunch the following day.
“The lunch will be an opportunity for everybody in the community to come together as one, share customary foods and to learn a little bit about one another,” he said.
The Victorian Government will contribute $4,500 towards the $10,500 project, with funding partners Yarriambiack Shire Council and the Lutheran Church contributing a combined $6,000.
The Victorian Government’s support for the project is another demonstration of its commitment to building stronger communities throughout regional Victoria.
Since it was established in early 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has provided more than $340 million to support almost 1,200 projects across regional and rural Victoria, leveraging around $1.5 billion in total investment.
In the Yarriambiack Shire alone the Regional Growth Fund has provided $1.2 million to 28 projects worth $1.3 million.

Youth Grants Now Open

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Applications for Youth Grants for programs to be conducted in 2014 are now open.
Minister for Youth Affairs, Ryan Smith, has provided details of the grants programs and local Member, Peter Walsh, is encouraging relevant bodies to submit applications for funding for programs that support and strengthen young people’s participation in the community.
“The youth of our region are our future and I am very pleased that funding is available to assist with the development of programs and events to involve our young people in our communities,” Mr Walsh said.
National Youth Week 2014 runs from April 4 to April 13 and grants of up to $2000 are available to support local projects, events and activities during this week of celebration.
“Appropriately the theme for the next National Youth Week is ‘Our Voice. Our Impact’ and I am committed to supporting the contributions of young people to our community,” Mr Walsh said.
“The NYW 2014 grants enable young people to work in partnership with community based organisations, local government authorities and schools and applications close on November 20.”
Further information is available from
The second round of funding available are the local government Youth Inclusion Grants 2013-2014.
The Government is offering grants of up to $30,000 to five eligible local governments in rural and regional Victoria to establish and expand on their youth advisory processes.
These grants are for the period January 1 2014 to June 30 2015 and applications for funding close on November 22 2013.
Information on this grants program is available from
“I encourage all relevant organisations and authorities to investigate and apply for these grants and further enhance the role of young people in our community,” Mr Walsh said.

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