Media Centre

BOOSTING FOOD RELIEF FOR THE BENALLA COMMUNITY

17th December 2020 The Andrews Labor Government is strengthening food relief services across Benalla, ensuring healthy food reaches Victorians in need. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced local organisation The Salvation Army Benalla have been successful with a grant of $20,000 as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to ensuring all Victorians have access to fresh, healthy food. The $5 million Community Food Relief Fund is part of the recently announced $11.3 million investment to boost food relief activities for vulnerable Victorians. The package builds on $7.4 million already announced earlier this year to expand food relief operations and deliver more free and nutritious meals, which is creating 119 new food relief jobs. This funding for The Salvation Army Benalla will support the expansion of facilities for the Doorways Emergency Relief Program. It will enable construction of two interview rooms/offices from the current office and storeroom and the creation of a mobile "walk through" pantry/supermarket space for clients and cooling for the mobile supermarket/food storage space. The local project receiving funding is one of 93 organisations across the state that are being supported thanks to the Community Food Relief Fund. The 93 projects will enable food relief organisations to provide an additional 2,000,000 meals and 180,000 food hampers to Victorians in need. In addition to the Community Food Relief Fund, the Victorian Government is also investing in the network of food distribution hubs in regional areas, with $3.5 million to strengthen the link between suppliers and those experiencing food insecurity. A Food Relief Taskforce is also being established to bring together key industry leaders and representatives from all tiers of government to ensure food supply and distribution is coordinated and targeted to areas most in need. For more information on the Community Food Relief Fund and to see all recipients, please visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/community-inclusion-and-food-relief-coronavirus-covid-19 Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This grant will make a real difference for local community members who are struggling to put food on the table.” “We’re making sure our local food relief system is be able to support people when and where they need it.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan “Every Victorian deserves access to fresh and healthy food – wihich is why we’re boosting resources for community-based food relief services.” “We’re working with the food relief sector to enhance coordination and ensure that food relief is targeted to locations in need.”  

BOOSTING FOOD RELIEF FOR THE BENALLA COMMUNITY

17th December 2020 The Andrews Labor Government is strengthening food relief services across Benalla, ensuring healthy food reaches Victorians in need. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced local organisation The Salvation Army Benalla have been successful with a grant of $20,000 as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to ensuring all Victorians have access to fresh, healthy food. The $5 million Community Food Relief Fund is part of the recently announced $11.3 million investment to boost food relief activities for vulnerable Victorians. The package builds on $7.4 million already announced earlier this year to expand food relief operations and deliver more free and nutritious meals, which is creating 119 new food relief jobs. This funding for The Salvation Army Benalla will support the expansion of facilities for the Doorways Emergency Relief Program. It will enable construction of two interview rooms/offices from the current office and storeroom and the creation of a mobile "walk through" pantry/supermarket space for clients and cooling for the mobile supermarket/food storage space. The local project receiving funding is one of 93 organisations across the state that are being supported thanks to the Community Food Relief Fund. The 93 projects will enable food relief organisations to provide an additional 2,000,000 meals and 180,000 food hampers to Victorians in need. In addition to the Community Food Relief Fund, the Victorian Government is also investing in the network of food distribution hubs in regional areas, with $3.5 million to strengthen the link between suppliers and those experiencing food insecurity. A Food Relief Taskforce is also being established to bring together key industry leaders and representatives from all tiers of government to ensure food supply and distribution is coordinated and targeted to areas most in need. For more information on the Community Food Relief Fund and to see all recipients, please visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/community-inclusion-and-food-relief-coronavirus-covid-19 Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This grant will make a real difference for local community members who are struggling to put food on the table.” “We’re making sure our local food relief system is be able to support people when and where they need it.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan “Every Victorian deserves access to fresh and healthy food – wihich is why we’re boosting resources for community-based food relief services.” “We’re working with the food relief sector to enhance coordination and ensure that food relief is targeted to locations in need.”  

BUILDING & IMPROVING KINDERGARTENS FOR THE FUTURE

17th December 2020 The Andrews Labor Government is building and upgrading kindergartens across Victoria including in Avenel, and Nagambie – creating thousands of new kinder places and hundreds of jobs as Victoria rolls out funded universal Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced Avenel Early Years Childhood Service is set to receive $47,135, while Nagambie Kindergarten and Early Childhood Service have been successful with $21,888 to improve their learning environments. These are two of 127 successful grant recipients to share in $46.9 million through the Building Blocks capacity building and improvement grant streams, which provide new kindergarten places and improve learning environments. Seven new early learning facilities, five new integrated children’s centres, three modular buildings and 20 building expansions are among the projects funded. These projects will create an almost 2,200 funded kindergarten places across 32 local government areas. More than 90 grants will share in almost $8 million under the Building Blocks improvement stream. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will invest a further $38.5 million into the Building Blocks grants program, which offers early childhood providers funding towards building, expanding, improving and creating more inclusive early learning facilities. Applications are also now open for the next round of Building Blocks including major works grants of up to $500,000 – minor works of up to $50,000 – and including grants of up to $200,000 to make kinders more accessible for all children of all abilities. Applications are open until 28 February 2021 via www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing $5 billion this decade to deliver two years of funded kindergarten for all Victorian children, with the roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten underway this year.   Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “Creating more places for children to attend kindergarten and ensuring they can access the best facilities across Victoria is vital to ensuring a world-class education in the early years.” “The evidence is clear that two years are better than one when it comes to early learning, which is why we are investing millions across Victoria to ensure every child has a place.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This investment will mean Nagambie and Avenel children can access high quality kinder close to home.”  “Investing in the early years is vital to encouraging a strong educational future and fostering a lifelong love of learning.”  

BUILDING & IMPROVING KINDERGARTENS FOR THE FUTURE

17th December 2020 The Andrews Labor Government is building and upgrading kindergartens across Victoria including in Avenel, and Nagambie – creating thousands of new kinder places and hundreds of jobs as Victoria rolls out funded universal Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced Avenel Early Years Childhood Service is set to receive $47,135, while Nagambie Kindergarten and Early Childhood Service have been successful with $21,888 to improve their learning environments. These are two of 127 successful grant recipients to share in $46.9 million through the Building Blocks capacity building and improvement grant streams, which provide new kindergarten places and improve learning environments. Seven new early learning facilities, five new integrated children’s centres, three modular buildings and 20 building expansions are among the projects funded. These projects will create an almost 2,200 funded kindergarten places across 32 local government areas. More than 90 grants will share in almost $8 million under the Building Blocks improvement stream. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will invest a further $38.5 million into the Building Blocks grants program, which offers early childhood providers funding towards building, expanding, improving and creating more inclusive early learning facilities. Applications are also now open for the next round of Building Blocks including major works grants of up to $500,000 – minor works of up to $50,000 – and including grants of up to $200,000 to make kinders more accessible for all children of all abilities. Applications are open until 28 February 2021 via www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing $5 billion this decade to deliver two years of funded kindergarten for all Victorian children, with the roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten underway this year.   Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “Creating more places for children to attend kindergarten and ensuring they can access the best facilities across Victoria is vital to ensuring a world-class education in the early years.” “The evidence is clear that two years are better than one when it comes to early learning, which is why we are investing millions across Victoria to ensure every child has a place.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This investment will mean Nagambie and Avenel children can access high quality kinder close to home.”  “Investing in the early years is vital to encouraging a strong educational future and fostering a lifelong love of learning.”  

BOOSTING FOOD RELIEF FOR WODONGA AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES

17th December 2020 The Victorian Government is strengthening food relief services across Wodonga, ensuring healthy food reaches Victorians in need. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced local organisations Albury Wodonga Regional Food Share and Birralee Park Neighbourhood House will both receive grants of $75,000 as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to ensuring all Victorians have access to fresh, healthy food. The $5 million Community Food Relief Fund is part of the recently announced $11.3 million investment to boost food relief activities for vulnerable Victorians. The package builds on $7.4 million already announced earlier this year to expand food relief operations and deliver more free and nutritious meals, which is creating 119 new food relief jobs. Albury Wodonga Regional Food Share are introducing the Community Pantry service which reflects the immediate needs of the community and is expected to meet the rise in demand for food relief services. This service is in addition to the general program for food distribution to a network of approximately 200 welfare agencies, schools and neighbourhood centres. Birallee Park Neighbourhood House are planning to use the funding to create a refrigerated mobile food pantry that will distribute donated food from Wodonga's Foodshare and Birallee Park Neighbourhood House directly to where it is needed, delivering fresh produce, groceries and nutrition education to people in rural areas under served by healthy food providers and food relief warehouses. The local project receiving funding are two of 93 organisations across the state that are being supported thanks to the Community Food Relief Fund. The 93 projects will enable food relief organisations to provide an additional 2,000,000 meals and 180,000 food hampers to Victorians in need. In addition to the Community Food Relief Fund, the Victorian Government is also investing in the network of food distribution hubs in regional areas, with $3.5 million to strengthen the link between suppliers and those experiencing food insecurity. A Food Relief Taskforce is also being established to bring together key industry leaders and representatives from all tiers of government to ensure food supply and distribution is coordinated and targeted to areas most in need. For more information on the Community Food Relief Fund and to see all recipients, please visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/community-inclusion-and-food-relief-coronavirus-covid-19 Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “These grants will make a real difference for local community members who are struggling to put food on the table.” “We’re making sure our local food relief system is be able to support people when and where they need it.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan “Every Victorian deserves access to fresh and healthy food – wihich is why we’re boosting resources for community-based food relief services.” “We’re working with the food relief sector to enhance coordination and ensure that food relief is targeted to locations in need.”  

BOOSTING FOOD RELIEF FOR WODONGA AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES

17th December 2020 The Victorian Government is strengthening food relief services across Wodonga, ensuring healthy food reaches Victorians in need. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced local organisations Albury Wodonga Regional Food Share and Birralee Park Neighbourhood House will both receive grants of $75,000 as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to ensuring all Victorians have access to fresh, healthy food. The $5 million Community Food Relief Fund is part of the recently announced $11.3 million investment to boost food relief activities for vulnerable Victorians. The package builds on $7.4 million already announced earlier this year to expand food relief operations and deliver more free and nutritious meals, which is creating 119 new food relief jobs. Albury Wodonga Regional Food Share are introducing the Community Pantry service which reflects the immediate needs of the community and is expected to meet the rise in demand for food relief services. This service is in addition to the general program for food distribution to a network of approximately 200 welfare agencies, schools and neighbourhood centres. Birallee Park Neighbourhood House are planning to use the funding to create a refrigerated mobile food pantry that will distribute donated food from Wodonga's Foodshare and Birallee Park Neighbourhood House directly to where it is needed, delivering fresh produce, groceries and nutrition education to people in rural areas under served by healthy food providers and food relief warehouses. The local project receiving funding are two of 93 organisations across the state that are being supported thanks to the Community Food Relief Fund. The 93 projects will enable food relief organisations to provide an additional 2,000,000 meals and 180,000 food hampers to Victorians in need. In addition to the Community Food Relief Fund, the Victorian Government is also investing in the network of food distribution hubs in regional areas, with $3.5 million to strengthen the link between suppliers and those experiencing food insecurity. A Food Relief Taskforce is also being established to bring together key industry leaders and representatives from all tiers of government to ensure food supply and distribution is coordinated and targeted to areas most in need. For more information on the Community Food Relief Fund and to see all recipients, please visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/community-inclusion-and-food-relief-coronavirus-covid-19 Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “These grants will make a real difference for local community members who are struggling to put food on the table.” “We’re making sure our local food relief system is be able to support people when and where they need it.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan “Every Victorian deserves access to fresh and healthy food – wihich is why we’re boosting resources for community-based food relief services.” “We’re working with the food relief sector to enhance coordination and ensure that food relief is targeted to locations in need.”  

Agriculture And Climate Change Council Appointed

17th December 2020 A new ministerial advisory council has been appointed by the Andrews Labor Government to help the Victorian agriculture sector prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today met the nine new council members, with a broad cross-section of experience across farm types, regions and climate policy expertise, each with their own unique skills, knowledge and networks. The Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council (VACCC) will provide independent and strategic advice to the Minister about the challenges and opportunities facing the Victorian agriculture sector from an increasingly variable climate. The VACCC will help government to work with industry to deliver strong, lasting and collaborative action on climate change for agriculture. CEO of the Rural Bank Alexandra Gartmann will steer the VACCC as Chair. Ms Gartmann is an experienced leader of rural, agriculture and community development focused organisations. She is joined by beef and wool farmer and carbon-neutral farming pioneer Mark Wootton as Deputy Chair. The VACCC is part of the Labor Government’s commitment to delivering strong and meaningful action on climate change in the agriculture sector. This includes working with industry to support action that is already being taken to manage climate change risks, build business resilience and improve productivity. For more information about the Council and the full list of members, visit the Agriculture Victoria website . Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “I’m excited to be appointing our first Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council. Our farmers are already experiencing the effects of climate change and we need to work together to address the risk it poses.” “The new Council members bring with them a wealth of relevant experience and knowledge and will provide practical advice on how we can support our agricultural sector to not only adapt but thrive for years to come.” Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio "This council will play a crucial role in changing the way the agriculture sector responds to climate change. I'm looking forward to seeing the tangible outcomes as they work to drive down emissions." Quote attributable to Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council Chair Alexandra Gartmann “I’m honoured to take up this appointment. Our agricultural sector is extremely resilient, and I look forward to working with the Council to advise on how we can further strengthen our unique and valuable industry while addressing the challenges of climate change.”

Agriculture And Climate Change Council Appointed

17th December 2020 A new ministerial advisory council has been appointed by the Andrews Labor Government to help the Victorian agriculture sector prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today met the nine new council members, with a broad cross-section of experience across farm types, regions and climate policy expertise, each with their own unique skills, knowledge and networks. The Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council (VACCC) will provide independent and strategic advice to the Minister about the challenges and opportunities facing the Victorian agriculture sector from an increasingly variable climate. The VACCC will help government to work with industry to deliver strong, lasting and collaborative action on climate change for agriculture. CEO of the Rural Bank Alexandra Gartmann will steer the VACCC as Chair. Ms Gartmann is an experienced leader of rural, agriculture and community development focused organisations. She is joined by beef and wool farmer and carbon-neutral farming pioneer Mark Wootton as Deputy Chair. The VACCC is part of the Labor Government’s commitment to delivering strong and meaningful action on climate change in the agriculture sector. This includes working with industry to support action that is already being taken to manage climate change risks, build business resilience and improve productivity. For more information about the Council and the full list of members, visit the Agriculture Victoria website . Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “I’m excited to be appointing our first Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council. Our farmers are already experiencing the effects of climate change and we need to work together to address the risk it poses.” “The new Council members bring with them a wealth of relevant experience and knowledge and will provide practical advice on how we can support our agricultural sector to not only adapt but thrive for years to come.” Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio "This council will play a crucial role in changing the way the agriculture sector responds to climate change. I'm looking forward to seeing the tangible outcomes as they work to drive down emissions." Quote attributable to Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council Chair Alexandra Gartmann “I’m honoured to take up this appointment. Our agricultural sector is extremely resilient, and I look forward to working with the Council to advise on how we can further strengthen our unique and valuable industry while addressing the challenges of climate change.”

 

Setting Victorian Agriculture Up For Growth And Change

16th December 2020 The Andrews Labor Government is backing a bold new strategy for Victorian agriculture – helping the industry to grow in the face of constant change so it remains a cornerstone of the state’s economy and delivers better returns for farmers. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes unveiled the transformational strategy today, highlighting the Waverly Pastoral Company in Maffra, which has received an Agricultural Energy Investment Plan grant to install solar technology that will reduce energy and water usage at their dairy farm. Building on initiatives such as this – which put money back into farmers’ pockets and help tackle climate change – the strategy sets out the Labor Government’s vision and commitments to drive a strong, innovative and sustainable sector over the next 10 years. The strategy outlines fourteen commitments under five key themes of Recover, Grow, Modernise, Protect and Promote. These include commitments to strengthen local supply chains and manufacturing jobs, export our world class products to more markets more often, increase access to AgTech and research, position Victoria as a leader in low-emissions agriculture, and make agriculture a career path for more Victorians. The strategy will support Victorian farmers and producers to gain a competitive edge as the sector evolves over the next decade and beyond. It will also provide certainty and leadership to seize opportunities and take on challenges armed with as much knowledge and experience as possible. The Labor Government has invested $115 million in the Victorian Budget 2020/21 to develop and deliver the strategy. This includes $30 million to extend the popular Agricultural Energy Investment Plan that supports government partnerships with industry to build a more resilient, energy efficient and internationally competitive agriculture sector, and $50 million to upskill the next generation of farmers. The strategy’s funding also includes $15 million to access leading AgTech, innovative farming methods and new skills, and $20 million for the Food to Market and Pathways to Export programs, supporting infrastructure and business development projects and dedicated agriculture export resources. Working hand-in-hand with industry partners and the community will be critical to the successful implementation of this strategy. To read the strategy and have your say, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/strategy. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “Many farmers and growers are showing that it is vital to the future of agriculture to adopt new ways of doing things to gain a competitive advantage and set themselves up for the future.” “We need to ensure the whole industry can take advantage of new approaches that not only protect our industry and our state’s enviable position as a leader in ag, but also help it grow to its full potential.” “This strategy provides certainty and leadership for Victorian agriculture. It’s an exciting chance to set our sector up for a strong future – I look forward to working with industry and communities to deliver this important work.”

Setting Victorian Agriculture Up For Growth And Change

16th December 2020 The Andrews Labor Government is backing a bold new strategy for Victorian agriculture – helping the industry to grow in the face of constant change so it remains a cornerstone of the state’s economy and delivers better returns for farmers. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes unveiled the transformational strategy today, highlighting the Waverly Pastoral Company in Maffra, which has received an Agricultural Energy Investment Plan grant to install solar technology that will reduce energy and water usage at their dairy farm. Building on initiatives such as this – which put money back into farmers’ pockets and help tackle climate change – the strategy sets out the Labor Government’s vision and commitments to drive a strong, innovative and sustainable sector over the next 10 years. The strategy outlines fourteen commitments under five key themes of Recover, Grow, Modernise, Protect and Promote. These include commitments to strengthen local supply chains and manufacturing jobs, export our world class products to more markets more often, increase access to AgTech and research, position Victoria as a leader in low-emissions agriculture, and make agriculture a career path for more Victorians. The strategy will support Victorian farmers and producers to gain a competitive edge as the sector evolves over the next decade and beyond. It will also provide certainty and leadership to seize opportunities and take on challenges armed with as much knowledge and experience as possible. The Labor Government has invested $115 million in the Victorian Budget 2020/21 to develop and deliver the strategy. This includes $30 million to extend the popular Agricultural Energy Investment Plan that supports government partnerships with industry to build a more resilient, energy efficient and internationally competitive agriculture sector, and $50 million to upskill the next generation of farmers. The strategy’s funding also includes $15 million to access leading AgTech, innovative farming methods and new skills, and $20 million for the Food to Market and Pathways to Export programs, supporting infrastructure and business development projects and dedicated agriculture export resources. Working hand-in-hand with industry partners and the community will be critical to the successful implementation of this strategy. To read the strategy and have your say, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/strategy. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “Many farmers and growers are showing that it is vital to the future of agriculture to adopt new ways of doing things to gain a competitive advantage and set themselves up for the future.” “We need to ensure the whole industry can take advantage of new approaches that not only protect our industry and our state’s enviable position as a leader in ag, but also help it grow to its full potential.” “This strategy provides certainty and leadership for Victorian agriculture. It’s an exciting chance to set our sector up for a strong future – I look forward to working with industry and communities to deliver this important work.”

Resilience Of Food And Fibre Sector Sees Record Exports

15th December 2020 Victoria’s food and fibre producers have beaten the odds to deliver a record $14.5 billion in exports for 2019-20, despite the challenges thrown at them by drought, bushfires and the global pandemic. Victoria is Australia’s largest food and fibre exporter, accounting for 28 per cent of total national exports. Today’s release of the 2019-20 Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance Reportshows that Victoria is still on-track to reach its target to grow food and fibre exports to $20 billion by 2030. While China continues to be Victoria’s highest value market for commodities such as horticulture and dairy, South East Asia and North America are becoming increasingly important markets, with exports to South East Asia growing by 8 percent and North America by 7 per cent. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are major markets for Victorian dairy, grain and horticulture and will continue to present strong export opportunities. Since 2015-16, Victoria’s food and fibre sector - which includes dairy, meat, seafood, grain, as well as wool and wine - has increased its exports by a huge $2.4 billion. Through Global Victoria’s network of 23 international specialised trade offices, the Andrews Labor Government is working hard to ensure more pathways are opened for Victorian producers to do business around the world. The Government has developed funding packages and programs to support the sector through the challenges of the past year, including the $15.7 million Export Recovery Package that will provide increased assistance for Victorian industry to address logistics, supply chain, and market access issues caused by the pandemic. Other support for the sector includes a mentoring and business skills scholarship program for young farmers, the $5 million Wine to the World initiative, and the $8 million Growing Food and Fibre Markets program, which focuses on expanding international export opportunities by improving paddock-to-port capabilities. The Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance Report can be found online at agriculture.vic.gov.au/exports . Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Acting Minister for Trade Jaclyn Symes “Our food and fibre producers and exporters have shown enormous strength in the face of adversity, delivering an incredible result that Victorians should be proud of.” “We know the past year has been tougher than any other in recent memory – that’s why we’re delivering unprecedented levels of support to help the sector so it can continue to grow and create local jobs.”

Resilience Of Food And Fibre Sector Sees Record Exports

15th December 2020 Victoria’s food and fibre producers have beaten the odds to deliver a record $14.5 billion in exports for 2019-20, despite the challenges thrown at them by drought, bushfires and the global pandemic. Victoria is Australia’s largest food and fibre exporter, accounting for 28 per cent of total national exports. Today’s release of the 2019-20 Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance Reportshows that Victoria is still on-track to reach its target to grow food and fibre exports to $20 billion by 2030. While China continues to be Victoria’s highest value market for commodities such as horticulture and dairy, South East Asia and North America are becoming increasingly important markets, with exports to South East Asia growing by 8 percent and North America by 7 per cent. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are major markets for Victorian dairy, grain and horticulture and will continue to present strong export opportunities. Since 2015-16, Victoria’s food and fibre sector - which includes dairy, meat, seafood, grain, as well as wool and wine - has increased its exports by a huge $2.4 billion. Through Global Victoria’s network of 23 international specialised trade offices, the Andrews Labor Government is working hard to ensure more pathways are opened for Victorian producers to do business around the world. The Government has developed funding packages and programs to support the sector through the challenges of the past year, including the $15.7 million Export Recovery Package that will provide increased assistance for Victorian industry to address logistics, supply chain, and market access issues caused by the pandemic. Other support for the sector includes a mentoring and business skills scholarship program for young farmers, the $5 million Wine to the World initiative, and the $8 million Growing Food and Fibre Markets program, which focuses on expanding international export opportunities by improving paddock-to-port capabilities. The Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance Report can be found online at agriculture.vic.gov.au/exports . Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Acting Minister for Trade Jaclyn Symes “Our food and fibre producers and exporters have shown enormous strength in the face of adversity, delivering an incredible result that Victorians should be proud of.” “We know the past year has been tougher than any other in recent memory – that’s why we’re delivering unprecedented levels of support to help the sector so it can continue to grow and create local jobs.”

PROGRAM TO RECONNECT WODONGA WITH JOBS

Monday, 14th December 2020 Wodonga people will get the help they need to re-join the workforce as part of a $47 million expansion of the Reconnect program. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced Wodonga Institute of TAFE will be one of 34 providers across the state to offer the Reconnect program. The Reconnect program helps early school leavers, long-term unemployed, asylum seekers and those on Youth Justice Orders re-enter the workforce or connect with further education opportunities. The program has been expanded in 2021 to offer assistance to those whose jobs has been affected by either the pandemic or bushfires. Wodonga Institute of TAFE have been awarded $560,850 to run the program. Providers include a mix of TAFEs, Learn Local Organisations and Community Service Organisations, with the program to delivered state-wide. There will be places for 1700 people in the program in 2021. The program supports people to complete Learn Local and TAFE courses while providing a range of support services to learners who may face multiple barriers to learning and transitioning to the workforce. These include access to counselling and mentoring, housing and accommodation, and health and wellbeing services. Since 2016 the program has worked with 7430 people across Victoria and seen thousands of participants transition into accredited training. New funding terms for providers will be offered on an initial two-year basis, with the opportunity to extend it on a year by year basis until the end of 2024. Reconnect Program funding had previously been provided over three-year periods. More details on the program can be found here https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/reconnect-program.aspx Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Wodonga Institute of TAFE’s delivery of the Reconnect program will help break down the barriers for those in Wodonga and surrounds to reconnect with training and employment through the delivery of vital support mechanisms and links to services.” Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney “This expansion of the Reconnect program is ensuring that more people across Victoria will be connected to real pathways for further education and job opportunities essential to Victoria’s economic recovery.”

PROGRAM TO RECONNECT WODONGA WITH JOBS

Monday, 14th December 2020 Wodonga people will get the help they need to re-join the workforce as part of a $47 million expansion of the Reconnect program. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced Wodonga Institute of TAFE will be one of 34 providers across the state to offer the Reconnect program. The Reconnect program helps early school leavers, long-term unemployed, asylum seekers and those on Youth Justice Orders re-enter the workforce or connect with further education opportunities. The program has been expanded in 2021 to offer assistance to those whose jobs has been affected by either the pandemic or bushfires. Wodonga Institute of TAFE have been awarded $560,850 to run the program. Providers include a mix of TAFEs, Learn Local Organisations and Community Service Organisations, with the program to delivered state-wide. There will be places for 1700 people in the program in 2021. The program supports people to complete Learn Local and TAFE courses while providing a range of support services to learners who may face multiple barriers to learning and transitioning to the workforce. These include access to counselling and mentoring, housing and accommodation, and health and wellbeing services. Since 2016 the program has worked with 7430 people across Victoria and seen thousands of participants transition into accredited training. New funding terms for providers will be offered on an initial two-year basis, with the opportunity to extend it on a year by year basis until the end of 2024. Reconnect Program funding had previously been provided over three-year periods. More details on the program can be found here https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/reconnect-program.aspx Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Wodonga Institute of TAFE’s delivery of the Reconnect program will help break down the barriers for those in Wodonga and surrounds to reconnect with training and employment through the delivery of vital support mechanisms and links to services.” Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney “This expansion of the Reconnect program is ensuring that more people across Victoria will be connected to real pathways for further education and job opportunities essential to Victoria’s economic recovery.”

PROGRAM TO RECONNECT NORTH EAST WITH JOBS

Monday, 14 December 2020 Northern Victorian people will get the help they need to re-join the workforce as part of a $47 million expansion of the Reconnect program. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced The Centre for Continuing Education Inc will be one of 34 providers across the state to offer the Reconnect program. The Reconnect program helps early school leavers, long-term unemployed, asylum seekers and those on Youth Justice Orders re-enter the workforce or connect with further education opportunities. The program has been expanded in 2021 to offer assistance to those whose jobs has been affected by either the pandemic or bushfires. The Centre for Continuing Education Inc have been awarded $424,600 to run the program. Providers include a mix of TAFEs, Learn Local Organisations and Community Service Organisations, with the program to delivered state-wide. There will be places for 1700 people in the program in 2021. The program supports people to complete Learn Local and TAFE courses while providing a range of support services to learners who may face multiple barriers to learning and transitioning to the workforce. These include access to counselling and mentoring, housing and accommodation, and health and wellbeing services. Since 2016 the program has worked with 7430 people across Victoria and seen thousands of participants transition into accredited training. New funding terms for providers will be offered on an initial two-year basis, with the opportunity to extend it on a year by year basis until the end of 2024. Reconnect Program funding had previously been provided over three-year periods. More details on the program can be found here https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/reconnect-program.aspx Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “The Centre for Continuing Education’s delivery of the Reconnect program will help break down the barriers for those in the North East to reconnect with training and employment through the delivery of vital support mechanisms and links to services.” Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney “This expansion of the Reconnect program is ensuring that more people across Victoria will be connected to real pathways for further education and job opportunities essential to Victoria’s economic recovery.”

PROGRAM TO RECONNECT NORTH EAST WITH JOBS

Monday, 14 December 2020 Northern Victorian people will get the help they need to re-join the workforce as part of a $47 million expansion of the Reconnect program. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced The Centre for Continuing Education Inc will be one of 34 providers across the state to offer the Reconnect program. The Reconnect program helps early school leavers, long-term unemployed, asylum seekers and those on Youth Justice Orders re-enter the workforce or connect with further education opportunities. The program has been expanded in 2021 to offer assistance to those whose jobs has been affected by either the pandemic or bushfires. The Centre for Continuing Education Inc have been awarded $424,600 to run the program. Providers include a mix of TAFEs, Learn Local Organisations and Community Service Organisations, with the program to delivered state-wide. There will be places for 1700 people in the program in 2021. The program supports people to complete Learn Local and TAFE courses while providing a range of support services to learners who may face multiple barriers to learning and transitioning to the workforce. These include access to counselling and mentoring, housing and accommodation, and health and wellbeing services. Since 2016 the program has worked with 7430 people across Victoria and seen thousands of participants transition into accredited training. New funding terms for providers will be offered on an initial two-year basis, with the opportunity to extend it on a year by year basis until the end of 2024. Reconnect Program funding had previously been provided over three-year periods. More details on the program can be found here https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/reconnect-program.aspx Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “The Centre for Continuing Education’s delivery of the Reconnect program will help break down the barriers for those in the North East to reconnect with training and employment through the delivery of vital support mechanisms and links to services.” Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney “This expansion of the Reconnect program is ensuring that more people across Victoria will be connected to real pathways for further education and job opportunities essential to Victoria’s economic recovery.”