Media Centre

SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY

Thursday, 22 July 2021 More students with disability will receive the support they need to learn, contribute and participate in their schools and classrooms, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced the following schools – along with all government schools across the Barwon, Loddon Campaspe and Bayside Peninsula areas – will receive further funding support to make their school more inclusive for all students, as part of the Disability Inclusion package: Heathcote Primary School - $59,138 Redesdale Mia Mia Primary School - $11,665 Colbinabbin Primary School - $23,669 Stanhope Primary School - $22,943 Girgarre Primary School - $20,954 Rushworth P-12 College - $62,828 Schools in Loddon Campaspe are in Year 1 of the five-year Disability Inclusion roll-out, and will have all receive a base level of funding from Term 3 this year, with additional funding provided depending on the individual school’s characteristics. This new funding support is ongoing and is in addition to support already provided through the current Program for Students with Disabilities. Schools will use this funding to implement whole-school practices that support the inclusive education of students with diverse learning needs such as autism and learning difficulties. This may include undertaking professional development for staff, employing new disability and inclusion staff, and purchasing programs, interventions or specific equipment and technology – depending on the needs of their students and the school. For example, a school may choose to use this funding to employ a new inclusive practices leader to work in classrooms with teachers or an occupational therapist to develop sensory profiles. Other schools may choose to use the funding to invest in the services of external professionals or coaches who can provide advice and training on equipment and technology to support learning for students with diverse learning needs, and implement consistent inclusive supports throughout the school. Disability Inclusion will be rolled out progressively over the next five years, reaching all Victorian government schools by 2025. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 invested an unprecedented almost $1.6 billion to make sure Victorian students with disability are supported at school through the Disability Inclusion package. The record investment will transform support for students with disability in Victorian government schools – doubling the number of students receiving extra support in the classroom to 55,000 – and is expected to create up to 1,730 jobs across the state by 2025. Disability Inclusion will transform funding and support for students with a disability in Victorian government schools, to ensure every student at every ability can thrive at school and in life as we continue to build the Education State. Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This funding will enable these schools to support more students with disability, so that they can get the great education they deserve.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is the biggest change in disability support in our schools Victoria has ever seen, and it will make a difference in classrooms and to kids across the state.”  

SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY

Thursday, 22 July 2021 More students with disability will receive the support they need to learn, contribute and participate in their schools and classrooms, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced the following schools – along with all government schools across the Barwon, Loddon Campaspe and Bayside Peninsula areas – will receive further funding support to make their school more inclusive for all students, as part of the Disability Inclusion package: Heathcote Primary School - $59,138 Redesdale Mia Mia Primary School - $11,665 Colbinabbin Primary School - $23,669 Stanhope Primary School - $22,943 Girgarre Primary School - $20,954 Rushworth P-12 College - $62,828 Schools in Loddon Campaspe are in Year 1 of the five-year Disability Inclusion roll-out, and will have all receive a base level of funding from Term 3 this year, with additional funding provided depending on the individual school’s characteristics. This new funding support is ongoing and is in addition to support already provided through the current Program for Students with Disabilities. Schools will use this funding to implement whole-school practices that support the inclusive education of students with diverse learning needs such as autism and learning difficulties. This may include undertaking professional development for staff, employing new disability and inclusion staff, and purchasing programs, interventions or specific equipment and technology – depending on the needs of their students and the school. For example, a school may choose to use this funding to employ a new inclusive practices leader to work in classrooms with teachers or an occupational therapist to develop sensory profiles. Other schools may choose to use the funding to invest in the services of external professionals or coaches who can provide advice and training on equipment and technology to support learning for students with diverse learning needs, and implement consistent inclusive supports throughout the school. Disability Inclusion will be rolled out progressively over the next five years, reaching all Victorian government schools by 2025. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 invested an unprecedented almost $1.6 billion to make sure Victorian students with disability are supported at school through the Disability Inclusion package. The record investment will transform support for students with disability in Victorian government schools – doubling the number of students receiving extra support in the classroom to 55,000 – and is expected to create up to 1,730 jobs across the state by 2025. Disability Inclusion will transform funding and support for students with a disability in Victorian government schools, to ensure every student at every ability can thrive at school and in life as we continue to build the Education State. Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This funding will enable these schools to support more students with disability, so that they can get the great education they deserve.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is the biggest change in disability support in our schools Victoria has ever seen, and it will make a difference in classrooms and to kids across the state.”  

New Mental Health Coaching Service For North East Victoria

14th July 2021 Victorians living in North East Victoria seeking support for their mental health and well-being will be able to be cared for in their own communities, thanks to a new mental health coaching service developed by Beyond Blue and supported by the Andrews Labor Government. Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Steve Dimopoulos was joined by the Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes in Beechworth today where the NewAccess program is now supporting people with mild to moderate anxiety and or depression. NewAccess is an early intervention coaching program, designed to provide free, accessible, quality services for anyone finding it hard to manage life-stress. It is delivered by trained local coaches and aims to help people break the cycle of negative or unhelpful thoughts and to prevent the deterioration of symptoms. NewAccess is of particular benefit to people living in rural and regional areas where mental health support can be limited and participants do not require a referral from a doctor or health professional. The free program is delivered by Wellways in Mansfield, Alpine, Wangaratta, Indigo, Towong and Wodonga local government areas. To learn more go to: www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/newaccess. The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System acknowledged that local mental health services are critically important in regional and rural Victoria, where there are higher rates of psychological distress and suicide. In response to the Royal Commission recommendations, work has already started on a new mental health system that has communities at its centre, ensuring people can access treatment, care, and support much earlier, and much closer to their homes. The Labor Government committed a record $3.8 billion to mental health services and support in the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14 Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health, Steve Dimopoulos “We haven’t forgotten how tough it’s been for bushfire-affected communities and mental health support, especially for those in the regional areas like Beechworth, remains a top priority.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes “There is a lot of attention on communities in the midst of the emergency – we are making sure that help and support continues in the years after when we know trauma can continue to be experienced.” Quote attributable to Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Danny Pearson The devastating impacts of bushfire often extend well beyond the physical repercussions. We’ll make sure communities continue to receive the assistance they need on their recovery journey.”

New Mental Health Coaching Service For North East Victoria

14th July 2021 Victorians living in North East Victoria seeking support for their mental health and well-being will be able to be cared for in their own communities, thanks to a new mental health coaching service developed by Beyond Blue and supported by the Andrews Labor Government. Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Steve Dimopoulos was joined by the Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes in Beechworth today where the NewAccess program is now supporting people with mild to moderate anxiety and or depression. NewAccess is an early intervention coaching program, designed to provide free, accessible, quality services for anyone finding it hard to manage life-stress. It is delivered by trained local coaches and aims to help people break the cycle of negative or unhelpful thoughts and to prevent the deterioration of symptoms. NewAccess is of particular benefit to people living in rural and regional areas where mental health support can be limited and participants do not require a referral from a doctor or health professional. The free program is delivered by Wellways in Mansfield, Alpine, Wangaratta, Indigo, Towong and Wodonga local government areas. To learn more go to: www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/newaccess. The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System acknowledged that local mental health services are critically important in regional and rural Victoria, where there are higher rates of psychological distress and suicide. In response to the Royal Commission recommendations, work has already started on a new mental health system that has communities at its centre, ensuring people can access treatment, care, and support much earlier, and much closer to their homes. The Labor Government committed a record $3.8 billion to mental health services and support in the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14 Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health, Steve Dimopoulos “We haven’t forgotten how tough it’s been for bushfire-affected communities and mental health support, especially for those in the regional areas like Beechworth, remains a top priority.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes “There is a lot of attention on communities in the midst of the emergency – we are making sure that help and support continues in the years after when we know trauma can continue to be experienced.” Quote attributable to Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Danny Pearson The devastating impacts of bushfire often extend well beyond the physical repercussions. We’ll make sure communities continue to receive the assistance they need on their recovery journey.”

HABITAT PLANTING TO PROTECT ENDANGERED REGENT HONEYEATER

Wednesday, 14 July 2021 The Andrews Labor Government is partnering with a north-east Victorian all-abilities team to create a habitat for the endangered Regent Honeyeater species on the Hume Freeway road reserve. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said 9,000 trees, shrubs and ground covers will be planted in Chiltern and Glenrowan as part of a commitment to helping create a more sustainable transport network. The sites, which run over five kilometres, were selected because they will help link habitats for the Regent Honeyeater. The Regent Honeyeater is a nationally threatened species, listed as critically endangered under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. A species native to mainland south-east Australia, the Regent Honeyeater uses specific eucalypt and mistletoe species for feeding. Sadly, its decline is due to factors including habitat clearing and environmental degradation. The planting at Chiltern will rehabilitate a site where the invasive Golden Wreath Wattle species was removed in previous efforts by the Department of Transport to help support the Regent Honeyeater. Merriwa’s all-abilities team will create the Regent Honeyeater habitat with tube stock plants grown at their Park Lane nursery, Wangaratta, including Silver Wattles, River Red Gums, Yellow Box, Common Wallaby Grass, Gold Dust Wattle, Sweet Bursaria, and Kangaroo Grass. Planting will take up to three weeks and is dependent on weather conditions. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “As custodians of the environment, we are pleased to be supporting habitat creation for the endangered Regent Honeyeater along the Hume Freeway, in partnership with Merriwa. We will always try to protect or rehabilitate the environment where possible.” “This initiative is a great example of how the Victorian Government can create a more sustainable transport network and help to safeguard our native fauna.” Quotes attributable to Divisional Manager Park Lane – Merriwa, Maria Wadley “We are extremely proud to be a part of this significant environmental project and work towards building a sustainable future for our environment in the years to come.” “There will be great outcomes for our all-abilities team, including project experience and learning new skills, which is something that we really value and love to see our team learn, grow and develop.”  

HABITAT PLANTING TO PROTECT ENDANGERED REGENT HONEYEATER

Wednesday, 14 July 2021 The Andrews Labor Government is partnering with a north-east Victorian all-abilities team to create a habitat for the endangered Regent Honeyeater species on the Hume Freeway road reserve. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said 9,000 trees, shrubs and ground covers will be planted in Chiltern and Glenrowan as part of a commitment to helping create a more sustainable transport network. The sites, which run over five kilometres, were selected because they will help link habitats for the Regent Honeyeater. The Regent Honeyeater is a nationally threatened species, listed as critically endangered under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. A species native to mainland south-east Australia, the Regent Honeyeater uses specific eucalypt and mistletoe species for feeding. Sadly, its decline is due to factors including habitat clearing and environmental degradation. The planting at Chiltern will rehabilitate a site where the invasive Golden Wreath Wattle species was removed in previous efforts by the Department of Transport to help support the Regent Honeyeater. Merriwa’s all-abilities team will create the Regent Honeyeater habitat with tube stock plants grown at their Park Lane nursery, Wangaratta, including Silver Wattles, River Red Gums, Yellow Box, Common Wallaby Grass, Gold Dust Wattle, Sweet Bursaria, and Kangaroo Grass. Planting will take up to three weeks and is dependent on weather conditions. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “As custodians of the environment, we are pleased to be supporting habitat creation for the endangered Regent Honeyeater along the Hume Freeway, in partnership with Merriwa. We will always try to protect or rehabilitate the environment where possible.” “This initiative is a great example of how the Victorian Government can create a more sustainable transport network and help to safeguard our native fauna.” Quotes attributable to Divisional Manager Park Lane – Merriwa, Maria Wadley “We are extremely proud to be a part of this significant environmental project and work towards building a sustainable future for our environment in the years to come.” “There will be great outcomes for our all-abilities team, including project experience and learning new skills, which is something that we really value and love to see our team learn, grow and develop.”  

BIRALLEE PARK PRECINCT SCORES HOCKEY AND BMX PAVILION

Wednesday, 14 July 2021 Wodonga’s largest multi sport venue Birallee Park is set to get even bigger with a new hockey and BMX pavilion on the way thanks to an investment of $1.65 million from the Victorian Government. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes today announced that the project is one of 42 that secured funds from the second round of the Victorian Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program. Complete with two ovals, cricket practice facility, netball court, BMX facility and synthetic hockey field, Birallee Park is Wodonga’s major centre for sport. Recently local hockey and BMX, including the Wodonga Hockey Club, Hockey Albury Wodonga and Border BMX have been struggling with outdated clubrooms limiting the growth of the sports. The new hockey pavilion will include a multi-purpose room, canteen, umpire rooms, public amenities, and undercover raised viewing area. The existing hockey club rooms will be upgraded to include female friendly change rooms and amenities. Local BMX will also soon have a new pavilion featuring modern change areas, meeting room and storage space. Once complete, the new pavilions will provide the perfect base for local hockey and BMX to host training and competition, build on local membership and development programs, and attract and host events at the popular precinct. The project is expected to create 13 new full-time jobs and generate up-to $5.4 million in economic impact for Wodonga. By working with local government authorities and sporting clubs and organisations, investment from the second round of the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program is expected to create 600 local jobs and drive local economic activity worth over $180 million. 70 projects have now benefitted from a share of $178 million from the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program that recognises the overwhelming demand for shovel-ready community sports infrastructure across and Victoria and is part of the Government’s $1.1 billion investment in community sport and recreation infrastructure since 2014. Ms Symes acknowledged the Federal Government, the City of Wodonga and the Wodonga Hockey Club for their commitment and financial contribution to the project. For more information about the program and successful projects go to sport.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Congratulations to the Wodonga hockey and BMX community - this boost will go a long way to support the growing number of people in the region keen to get involved and take their sport to a whole new level.” “This investment will support the local economy by creating economic activity and jobs.” “This project is a great example of how the Victorian Government is making sport and recreation more accessible, welcoming and inclusive for all Victorians.”  

BIRALLEE PARK PRECINCT SCORES HOCKEY AND BMX PAVILION

Wednesday, 14 July 2021 Wodonga’s largest multi sport venue Birallee Park is set to get even bigger with a new hockey and BMX pavilion on the way thanks to an investment of $1.65 million from the Victorian Government. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes today announced that the project is one of 42 that secured funds from the second round of the Victorian Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program. Complete with two ovals, cricket practice facility, netball court, BMX facility and synthetic hockey field, Birallee Park is Wodonga’s major centre for sport. Recently local hockey and BMX, including the Wodonga Hockey Club, Hockey Albury Wodonga and Border BMX have been struggling with outdated clubrooms limiting the growth of the sports. The new hockey pavilion will include a multi-purpose room, canteen, umpire rooms, public amenities, and undercover raised viewing area. The existing hockey club rooms will be upgraded to include female friendly change rooms and amenities. Local BMX will also soon have a new pavilion featuring modern change areas, meeting room and storage space. Once complete, the new pavilions will provide the perfect base for local hockey and BMX to host training and competition, build on local membership and development programs, and attract and host events at the popular precinct. The project is expected to create 13 new full-time jobs and generate up-to $5.4 million in economic impact for Wodonga. By working with local government authorities and sporting clubs and organisations, investment from the second round of the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program is expected to create 600 local jobs and drive local economic activity worth over $180 million. 70 projects have now benefitted from a share of $178 million from the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program that recognises the overwhelming demand for shovel-ready community sports infrastructure across and Victoria and is part of the Government’s $1.1 billion investment in community sport and recreation infrastructure since 2014. Ms Symes acknowledged the Federal Government, the City of Wodonga and the Wodonga Hockey Club for their commitment and financial contribution to the project. For more information about the program and successful projects go to sport.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Congratulations to the Wodonga hockey and BMX community - this boost will go a long way to support the growing number of people in the region keen to get involved and take their sport to a whole new level.” “This investment will support the local economy by creating economic activity and jobs.” “This project is a great example of how the Victorian Government is making sport and recreation more accessible, welcoming and inclusive for all Victorians.”  

 

SUPPORTING WORKERS TO MAKE A MOVE TO REGIONAL VICTORIA

Thursday, 8 July 2021 The Andrews Labor Government is backing businesses and industries in the state’s north east to attract critical workers through new investments to tackle housing shortages and other barriers to regional workforce attraction. Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas today announced a $5 million investment in new Regional Workforce Pilots which would be strategically located across the state to help regional and rural communities attract the workers they need. While the local economy benefits from strong demand for housing from visitors, this has increased market rents with the median rate in the Alpine Shire climbing by more than 10 per cent in the 12 months to the March quarter. In response, the Labor Government will invest $260,000 to support Alpine Shire Council to pilot a Key Worker Housing Program to match workers to suitable housing by connecting them with property owners. The pilots will build on new Victorian Government investments designed to create more jobs and attract more workers to the region including through the $10 million Regional Recovery Fund. This includes $825,000 to Tourism North East to plan for long-term affordable housing. Housing affordability and workforce needs have been a consistent priority for the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership. Victoria’s north east region is one of four sites to benefit from the pilots. The others will be located within the Grampians, along the Great South Coast and at Robinvale in northern Victoria. The Regional Workforce Pilots are part of the Government’s almost $30 billion investment in regional and rural Victoria since 2015, supporting thousands of jobs and contributing to the nation’s lowest regional unemployment rate. The Regional Workforce Pilots and regional housing initiatives build on the Government’s historic $5.3 billion Big Housing Build to construct more than 12,000 new secure and modern, social and affordable homes throughout the state – with $1.25 billion being invested in regional Victoria. For more information about the Regional Workforce Pilots visit rdv.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs. Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas “We understand that workforce shortages are a real issue in the North East – that’s why we are investing in these new pilots as well as other immediate initiatives to boost employment across the state.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Our support for the High Country, where tourism is paramount to our state’s prosperity, will help create new opportunities for workers in this beautiful part of regional Victoria.” Quote attributable Ovens Murray Regional Partnership Chair Amber Gardner “A lack of affordable and accessible workforce housing and seasonal staff accommodation is a major inhibitor of business growth in the Ovens Murray, which is why addressing this issue through innovative new programs is a priority for the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership.  

SUPPORTING WORKERS TO MAKE A MOVE TO REGIONAL VICTORIA

Thursday, 8 July 2021 The Andrews Labor Government is backing businesses and industries in the state’s north east to attract critical workers through new investments to tackle housing shortages and other barriers to regional workforce attraction. Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas today announced a $5 million investment in new Regional Workforce Pilots which would be strategically located across the state to help regional and rural communities attract the workers they need. While the local economy benefits from strong demand for housing from visitors, this has increased market rents with the median rate in the Alpine Shire climbing by more than 10 per cent in the 12 months to the March quarter. In response, the Labor Government will invest $260,000 to support Alpine Shire Council to pilot a Key Worker Housing Program to match workers to suitable housing by connecting them with property owners. The pilots will build on new Victorian Government investments designed to create more jobs and attract more workers to the region including through the $10 million Regional Recovery Fund. This includes $825,000 to Tourism North East to plan for long-term affordable housing. Housing affordability and workforce needs have been a consistent priority for the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership. Victoria’s north east region is one of four sites to benefit from the pilots. The others will be located within the Grampians, along the Great South Coast and at Robinvale in northern Victoria. The Regional Workforce Pilots are part of the Government’s almost $30 billion investment in regional and rural Victoria since 2015, supporting thousands of jobs and contributing to the nation’s lowest regional unemployment rate. The Regional Workforce Pilots and regional housing initiatives build on the Government’s historic $5.3 billion Big Housing Build to construct more than 12,000 new secure and modern, social and affordable homes throughout the state – with $1.25 billion being invested in regional Victoria. For more information about the Regional Workforce Pilots visit rdv.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs. Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas “We understand that workforce shortages are a real issue in the North East – that’s why we are investing in these new pilots as well as other immediate initiatives to boost employment across the state.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Our support for the High Country, where tourism is paramount to our state’s prosperity, will help create new opportunities for workers in this beautiful part of regional Victoria.” Quote attributable Ovens Murray Regional Partnership Chair Amber Gardner “A lack of affordable and accessible workforce housing and seasonal staff accommodation is a major inhibitor of business growth in the Ovens Murray, which is why addressing this issue through innovative new programs is a priority for the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership.  

PLANTATION TIMBER TRANSFORMED INTO INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS

Wednesday, 7 July 2021 Benalla’s Ryan and McNulty Sawmills will use plantation timber to produce pine beams for construction and housing markets, backed by funding from the Andrews Labor Government. The Benalla Sawmill has received $100,000 in funding from the Victorian Timber Innovation Fund -with plans to assess how they can use pine logs to extend their production line. This business will share in more than $2.4 million in grants across the state to extend the use of plantation timbers to make new products in different ways. For almost 80 years Ryan and McNulty has been part of Benalla manufacturing landscape providing timber jobs for generations. The sawmill now employs around 50 staff who produce a range of products for the building industry. Through the Victorian Forestry Plan, Ryan and McNulty have previously received funding to develop a Business Transition Plan to support them moving to plantation-sourced timber. The Victorian Timber Innovation Fund offers the opportunity for the industry to embrace innovation and new ways of working for a future industry that has plantation timber playing a central role. The Andrews Labor Government is working to transition the native forest industry to a range of new opportunities by 2030 through the Victorian Forestry Plan, setting up a strong plantation-based sector. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas “The Victorian Timber Innovation Fund is supporting businesses to develop new ways of working with new sources of supply, and retaining local jobs while doing so.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Ryan and McNulty have been a long-time major employer in Benalla and by taking up the Victorian Timber Industry Innovation funding they are able to investigate and make changes now so they can be in the best position to grow in years to come.” Quotes attributable to Ryan and McNulty General Manager Greg McNulty: “The Victorian Timber Innovation Fund allows us to explore how we can utilise plantation-based timbers to ensure the longevity of the business and secure local employment opportunities.”

PLANTATION TIMBER TRANSFORMED INTO INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS

Wednesday, 7 July 2021 Benalla’s Ryan and McNulty Sawmills will use plantation timber to produce pine beams for construction and housing markets, backed by funding from the Andrews Labor Government. The Benalla Sawmill has received $100,000 in funding from the Victorian Timber Innovation Fund -with plans to assess how they can use pine logs to extend their production line. This business will share in more than $2.4 million in grants across the state to extend the use of plantation timbers to make new products in different ways. For almost 80 years Ryan and McNulty has been part of Benalla manufacturing landscape providing timber jobs for generations. The sawmill now employs around 50 staff who produce a range of products for the building industry. Through the Victorian Forestry Plan, Ryan and McNulty have previously received funding to develop a Business Transition Plan to support them moving to plantation-sourced timber. The Victorian Timber Innovation Fund offers the opportunity for the industry to embrace innovation and new ways of working for a future industry that has plantation timber playing a central role. The Andrews Labor Government is working to transition the native forest industry to a range of new opportunities by 2030 through the Victorian Forestry Plan, setting up a strong plantation-based sector. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas “The Victorian Timber Innovation Fund is supporting businesses to develop new ways of working with new sources of supply, and retaining local jobs while doing so.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Ryan and McNulty have been a long-time major employer in Benalla and by taking up the Victorian Timber Industry Innovation funding they are able to investigate and make changes now so they can be in the best position to grow in years to come.” Quotes attributable to Ryan and McNulty General Manager Greg McNulty: “The Victorian Timber Innovation Fund allows us to explore how we can utilise plantation-based timbers to ensure the longevity of the business and secure local employment opportunities.”

Yackandandah Leads Charge On Clean Energy

8th Jul 2021 Yackandandah is one step closer to being powered by 100 per cent renewable energy with a new community battery and microgrid, made possible by more than $550,000 from the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today officially opened Totally Renewable Yackandandah’s Community Battery and the Twist Creek Microgrid. The Community Battery project, which includes 65kW solar panels and a 274kW battery system installed by TRY and Indigo Power, will power up to 40 Yackandandah households. The Community Battery is Victoria’s first behind-the-meter, community-owned solar and battery system, capable of providing clean energy to local customers during the day and into the evening. The Project received $171,000 from the Victorian Government’s New Energy Jobs Fund and was a test case for Sustainability Victoria’s sustainable financing mechanism, receiving an additional $100,000 grant to guarantee a social impact loan provided by local bank WAW Credit Union. The Minister also opened the Twist Creek Microgrid, which had received $380,000 from the Victorian Government’s Microgrid Demonstration Initiative. Solar panels, low-emission hot water services and batteries have been installed in nine homes in the bushfire-prone area giving the households cheaper, more reliable and resilient power. Microgrids ensure that bushfire-prone communities are well-prepared and have access to power in all circumstances. These investments build on the Public Virtual Powerplant, which was opened in 2018 and saw the Government help install rooftop solar panels on 10 community buildings in and around the township. The Government’s investment in these new community-based renewable energy projects is giving more Victorians access to clean, affordable and reliable energy while making sure local economies benefit from the boom in renewable energy and the jobs it is bringing to Victoria’s regions. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “Totally Renewable Yackandandah and Indigo Power are setting a great example with their ambitious targets and work to get Yackandandah on 100 per cent renewable energy by the end of next year.” “Projects like these show the community is keen to embrace renewables. This grassroots enthusiasm is so important as Victoria works to halve its emissions by 2030.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “The Yackandandah community working together to generate clean, reliable and affordable power that boosts local economies and creates jobs.”

Yackandandah Leads Charge On Clean Energy

8th Jul 2021 Yackandandah is one step closer to being powered by 100 per cent renewable energy with a new community battery and microgrid, made possible by more than $550,000 from the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today officially opened Totally Renewable Yackandandah’s Community Battery and the Twist Creek Microgrid. The Community Battery project, which includes 65kW solar panels and a 274kW battery system installed by TRY and Indigo Power, will power up to 40 Yackandandah households. The Community Battery is Victoria’s first behind-the-meter, community-owned solar and battery system, capable of providing clean energy to local customers during the day and into the evening. The Project received $171,000 from the Victorian Government’s New Energy Jobs Fund and was a test case for Sustainability Victoria’s sustainable financing mechanism, receiving an additional $100,000 grant to guarantee a social impact loan provided by local bank WAW Credit Union. The Minister also opened the Twist Creek Microgrid, which had received $380,000 from the Victorian Government’s Microgrid Demonstration Initiative. Solar panels, low-emission hot water services and batteries have been installed in nine homes in the bushfire-prone area giving the households cheaper, more reliable and resilient power. Microgrids ensure that bushfire-prone communities are well-prepared and have access to power in all circumstances. These investments build on the Public Virtual Powerplant, which was opened in 2018 and saw the Government help install rooftop solar panels on 10 community buildings in and around the township. The Government’s investment in these new community-based renewable energy projects is giving more Victorians access to clean, affordable and reliable energy while making sure local economies benefit from the boom in renewable energy and the jobs it is bringing to Victoria’s regions. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “Totally Renewable Yackandandah and Indigo Power are setting a great example with their ambitious targets and work to get Yackandandah on 100 per cent renewable energy by the end of next year.” “Projects like these show the community is keen to embrace renewables. This grassroots enthusiasm is so important as Victoria works to halve its emissions by 2030.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “The Yackandandah community working together to generate clean, reliable and affordable power that boosts local economies and creates jobs.”

New Appointments To Anti-Corruption Watchdog

7th Jul 2021 The Andrews Labor Government has appointed two new Deputy Commissioners to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) – further strengthening the agency’s vital oversight role. The new Deputy Commissioners Kylie Kilgour and Stephen Farrow both have extensive experience within the justice and legal fields and will be welcome additions to IBAC’s ranks. Ms Kilgour was appointed Acting Deputy Commissioner at IBAC in January 2021. She was previously CEO of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants, supporting the critical work of the commission until its conclusion in November 2020. She spent over a decade in several senior roles at the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS), including as Deputy Secretary. Ms Kilgour has extensive experience overseeing complex matters, such as DJCS’s responses to the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse and the Bourke Street Mall tragedy. She was admitted to legal practice in New South Wales in 2002 and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Sydney’s College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales. As Deputy Chairperson of the Adult Parole Board, Mr Farrow became the first non-judicial officer appointed to the role in the board’s 64-year history. He was CEO of the Sentencing Advisory Council from 2008 and has held several roles at DJCS focusing on terrorism and criminal law reform. Mr Farrow began his career as a solicitor with Blake Dawson Waldron Solicitors in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Melbourne. The new Deputy Commissioners fill a vacancy and create a new third Deputy Commissioner position. This change is designed to increase IBAC’s capacity across both the public sector and police, and increase IBAC’s prevention and education activities. As part of the last two State Budgets IBAC has been provided more than $56 million in additional funding to deliver its critical oversight role of upholding the integrity of our public institutions. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes “Ms Kilgour and Mr Farrow possess a broad range of experience and expertise, and I know they will both make significant contributions to IBAC’s important work.” “It’s crucial Victorians have confidence in a system that scrutinises our public sector and police force to ensure any corruption or misconduct is prevented, investigated and prosecuted – and both appointees will do just that.”

New Appointments To Anti-Corruption Watchdog

7th Jul 2021 The Andrews Labor Government has appointed two new Deputy Commissioners to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) – further strengthening the agency’s vital oversight role. The new Deputy Commissioners Kylie Kilgour and Stephen Farrow both have extensive experience within the justice and legal fields and will be welcome additions to IBAC’s ranks. Ms Kilgour was appointed Acting Deputy Commissioner at IBAC in January 2021. She was previously CEO of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants, supporting the critical work of the commission until its conclusion in November 2020. She spent over a decade in several senior roles at the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS), including as Deputy Secretary. Ms Kilgour has extensive experience overseeing complex matters, such as DJCS’s responses to the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse and the Bourke Street Mall tragedy. She was admitted to legal practice in New South Wales in 2002 and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Sydney’s College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales. As Deputy Chairperson of the Adult Parole Board, Mr Farrow became the first non-judicial officer appointed to the role in the board’s 64-year history. He was CEO of the Sentencing Advisory Council from 2008 and has held several roles at DJCS focusing on terrorism and criminal law reform. Mr Farrow began his career as a solicitor with Blake Dawson Waldron Solicitors in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Melbourne. The new Deputy Commissioners fill a vacancy and create a new third Deputy Commissioner position. This change is designed to increase IBAC’s capacity across both the public sector and police, and increase IBAC’s prevention and education activities. As part of the last two State Budgets IBAC has been provided more than $56 million in additional funding to deliver its critical oversight role of upholding the integrity of our public institutions. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes “Ms Kilgour and Mr Farrow possess a broad range of experience and expertise, and I know they will both make significant contributions to IBAC’s important work.” “It’s crucial Victorians have confidence in a system that scrutinises our public sector and police force to ensure any corruption or misconduct is prevented, investigated and prosecuted – and both appointees will do just that.”