Media Centre

Community Environmental Grants Open for Northern Victoria

Monday, 22 February 2021 Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes is encouraging community groups in Northern Victoria to help protect the environment, with grants of up to $50,000 now available for conservation projects or habitat restoration. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio has announced the $7.4 million Community Environment Grants package, which will fund small and large-scale projects dedicated to preserving Victoria’s biodiversity and waterways. Community and Traditional Owners groups, volunteer organisations and schools from across the North East are welcome to apply for grants through three different streams, which include: Community Volunteer Action Grants – to protect and enhance the natural environment, boost volunteer participation and address threats to biodiversity on public and private land. Aboriginal Community Caring for Country Grants – to support Aboriginal communities and organisations to access and care for Country. A further two streams will open later this year, including the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants – opening in March – which supports the next generation of Victorians to protect biodiversity through action that improves and restores habitat for native plants and animals. The Victorian Landcare Grants will open in April to support groups to undertake on-ground and natural environment improvement works. For more information and to apply, visit environment.vic.gov.au/grants. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “We have so many wonderful community groups dedicated to protecting and enhancing our precious biodiversity – these grants ensure their good work can continue.” “Communities and volunteers play such an important role to ensure Victoria’s natural environment remains healthy for years to come.” “This is an opportunity to invest in projects with clear conservation outcomes and I encourage all eligible community groups and organisations to apply.”    

Community Environmental Grants Open for Northern Victoria

Monday, 22 February 2021 Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes is encouraging community groups in Northern Victoria to help protect the environment, with grants of up to $50,000 now available for conservation projects or habitat restoration. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio has announced the $7.4 million Community Environment Grants package, which will fund small and large-scale projects dedicated to preserving Victoria’s biodiversity and waterways. Community and Traditional Owners groups, volunteer organisations and schools from across the North East are welcome to apply for grants through three different streams, which include: Community Volunteer Action Grants – to protect and enhance the natural environment, boost volunteer participation and address threats to biodiversity on public and private land. Aboriginal Community Caring for Country Grants – to support Aboriginal communities and organisations to access and care for Country. A further two streams will open later this year, including the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants – opening in March – which supports the next generation of Victorians to protect biodiversity through action that improves and restores habitat for native plants and animals. The Victorian Landcare Grants will open in April to support groups to undertake on-ground and natural environment improvement works. For more information and to apply, visit environment.vic.gov.au/grants. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “We have so many wonderful community groups dedicated to protecting and enhancing our precious biodiversity – these grants ensure their good work can continue.” “Communities and volunteers play such an important role to ensure Victoria’s natural environment remains healthy for years to come.” “This is an opportunity to invest in projects with clear conservation outcomes and I encourage all eligible community groups and organisations to apply.”    

SAFER JOURNEYS FOR ALPINE TRAVELLERS

Friday, 19 February 2021 Drivers taking in the beautiful Alpine region will have safer and more reliable journeys, thanks to important landslip prevention works which have started on multiple roads in the region. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said culvert renewal and replacement works on Bright-Tawonga Road near Bright marked the start of a program to reduce the risks of dangerous landslips in north east Victoria. Crews will undertake essential maintenance on more than 50 culverts across Great Alpine, Mount Buller, Bogong High Plains and Bright-Tawonga roads, to prevent disruptions to the flow of drainage runoff, which can undermine the stability of the existing road. Further works will roll out later in the year across north east Victoria under the funding package, including the installation of new rock netting, rock-filled cage retaining walls, minor road realignments and earthworks. The important upgrades are being delivered as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $32.8 million investment to prevent landslips on key tourist routes and support local jobs across the state. Find out more on the Regional Roads Victoria website and interactive map at regionalroads.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This important work will safeguard these key routes and prevent future landslips from disrupting the snow season and access for local communities.” “Victoria’s Alpine Region is a huge drawcard for tourists and plays a vital part in our economy, which is why it’s so important that the road network remains safe and reliable.”    

SAFER JOURNEYS FOR ALPINE TRAVELLERS

Friday, 19 February 2021 Drivers taking in the beautiful Alpine region will have safer and more reliable journeys, thanks to important landslip prevention works which have started on multiple roads in the region. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said culvert renewal and replacement works on Bright-Tawonga Road near Bright marked the start of a program to reduce the risks of dangerous landslips in north east Victoria. Crews will undertake essential maintenance on more than 50 culverts across Great Alpine, Mount Buller, Bogong High Plains and Bright-Tawonga roads, to prevent disruptions to the flow of drainage runoff, which can undermine the stability of the existing road. Further works will roll out later in the year across north east Victoria under the funding package, including the installation of new rock netting, rock-filled cage retaining walls, minor road realignments and earthworks. The important upgrades are being delivered as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $32.8 million investment to prevent landslips on key tourist routes and support local jobs across the state. Find out more on the Regional Roads Victoria website and interactive map at regionalroads.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This important work will safeguard these key routes and prevent future landslips from disrupting the snow season and access for local communities.” “Victoria’s Alpine Region is a huge drawcard for tourists and plays a vital part in our economy, which is why it’s so important that the road network remains safe and reliable.”    

Resources Sector Rocks On With More Growth

19th Feb 2021 Victoria’s resources sector has continued its strong growth with high demand to meet the Andrews Labor Government’s big infrastructure agenda delivering record production and more jobs across the state. Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes updated Parliament today on the sector’s continued strong performance in minerals exploration expenditure and quarry production. The Earth Resources Regulation 2019-20 Annual Statistical Report reveals that quarry production has now grown by twenty-five per cent over the last six years – providing over sixty-three million tonnes of sand, rock and gravel last financial year to help deliver new housing and infrastructure development. Minerals exploration spending in Victoria has grown – according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data expenditure increased by a third in 2019-20 compared to the previous year. Over the same period, gold mining expenditure also increased by a third and gold production by nearly forty per cent. World-leading geoscience has underpinned this minerals boom. The Geological Survey of Victoria estimates that around 75 million ounces of gold is yet to be found. The news of Victoria’s exploration and mining potential has sparked an increase in minerals licensing, total applications for 2019-20 up seventy-five per cent to 154. This track record of growth has raised Victoria’s profile globally as a hub for resources production. Melbourne will again be on show when it hosts the 2021 International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), Australia’s largest annual mining and resources event. IMARC 2021 will take place from 25 to 27 October at the Melbourne Showgrounds, allowing organisers to include an outdoor exhibition space into its program for the first time. An extra $1.1 million was provided in the recent Victorian Budget 2020/21 to process the unprecedented number of applications and ensure the sector can ramp up its works to help the state’s economic recovery. Earth Resources Regulation has undertaken significant reform through the actions identified in Getting the Groundwork Right: Better regulation of mines and quarries report. Action has been taken to support the growth of the sector with safeguards in place to better protect public safety and the environment. Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes “Minerals and quarry products play an essential role in our everyday lives – they make up the houses we live in, the train tracks we ride on, and the computers we work from. Our resources sector helps us all.” “The resources sector has kept going all throughout this pandemic – supporting jobs and our everyday needs. IMARC 2021 will be a fantastic chance for those businesses to reconnect and celebrate this continuing, strong success.”

Resources Sector Rocks On With More Growth

19th Feb 2021 Victoria’s resources sector has continued its strong growth with high demand to meet the Andrews Labor Government’s big infrastructure agenda delivering record production and more jobs across the state. Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes updated Parliament today on the sector’s continued strong performance in minerals exploration expenditure and quarry production. The Earth Resources Regulation 2019-20 Annual Statistical Report reveals that quarry production has now grown by twenty-five per cent over the last six years – providing over sixty-three million tonnes of sand, rock and gravel last financial year to help deliver new housing and infrastructure development. Minerals exploration spending in Victoria has grown – according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data expenditure increased by a third in 2019-20 compared to the previous year. Over the same period, gold mining expenditure also increased by a third and gold production by nearly forty per cent. World-leading geoscience has underpinned this minerals boom. The Geological Survey of Victoria estimates that around 75 million ounces of gold is yet to be found. The news of Victoria’s exploration and mining potential has sparked an increase in minerals licensing, total applications for 2019-20 up seventy-five per cent to 154. This track record of growth has raised Victoria’s profile globally as a hub for resources production. Melbourne will again be on show when it hosts the 2021 International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), Australia’s largest annual mining and resources event. IMARC 2021 will take place from 25 to 27 October at the Melbourne Showgrounds, allowing organisers to include an outdoor exhibition space into its program for the first time. An extra $1.1 million was provided in the recent Victorian Budget 2020/21 to process the unprecedented number of applications and ensure the sector can ramp up its works to help the state’s economic recovery. Earth Resources Regulation has undertaken significant reform through the actions identified in Getting the Groundwork Right: Better regulation of mines and quarries report. Action has been taken to support the growth of the sector with safeguards in place to better protect public safety and the environment. Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes “Minerals and quarry products play an essential role in our everyday lives – they make up the houses we live in, the train tracks we ride on, and the computers we work from. Our resources sector helps us all.” “The resources sector has kept going all throughout this pandemic – supporting jobs and our everyday needs. IMARC 2021 will be a fantastic chance for those businesses to reconnect and celebrate this continuing, strong success.”

Historic Laws Passed To Decriminalise Public Drunkenness

19th Feb 2021 People who are drunk in public will get the health support and help they need with laws to decriminalise public drunkenness passing Parliament today. The Summary Offences Amendment (Decriminalisation of Public Drunkenness) Bill 2020 will save lives by ensuring no one can be locked in a police cell just for being drunk in public. It paves the way for public drunkenness to be treated as a health issue, not a crime. These laws have been informed by Aboriginal communities and health experts – who have advocated for this reform for decades – and enable the Government to move to culturally safe and appropriate model that prioritises the health and safety of individuals who are intoxicated in public, as well as the broader community. This will include more outreach services, training for first responders and new sobering up services – making sure people are transported to a safe place where they can receive support if they need it. The Bill builds on three decades of work and activism, including key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and the Coronial Inquest into the tragic death of Tanya Day. Over the next two years, the Government will continue to work closely with Aboriginal communities, health experts and key stakeholders – including Victoria Police – to design, trial and refine the public health model and develop local solutions that are safe and effective. These reforms were developed following extensive consultation to ensure they strike the right balance between protection of people who are intoxicated and community safety. The government is currently considering trial site locations in line with advice provided by an Expert Reference Group report. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes      “Today we have delivered a reform that is long overdue – public drunkenness laws have caused too much pain for too many and we acknowledge everyone who has fought tirelessly for this change.” “We’ll continue to work closely with Aboriginal communities, health experts and other stakeholders, including police to establish a health model that focuses on support and safety, not punishment.” Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams “We have worked with and listened to the Aboriginal community to deliver real change. These reforms will save lives and provide fair and culturally appropriate care – that's the right thing to do.” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley    “This important change wraps a culturally appropriate health response around vulnerable people who are drunk in public, giving them the immediate help they need.”

Historic Laws Passed To Decriminalise Public Drunkenness

19th Feb 2021 People who are drunk in public will get the health support and help they need with laws to decriminalise public drunkenness passing Parliament today. The Summary Offences Amendment (Decriminalisation of Public Drunkenness) Bill 2020 will save lives by ensuring no one can be locked in a police cell just for being drunk in public. It paves the way for public drunkenness to be treated as a health issue, not a crime. These laws have been informed by Aboriginal communities and health experts – who have advocated for this reform for decades – and enable the Government to move to culturally safe and appropriate model that prioritises the health and safety of individuals who are intoxicated in public, as well as the broader community. This will include more outreach services, training for first responders and new sobering up services – making sure people are transported to a safe place where they can receive support if they need it. The Bill builds on three decades of work and activism, including key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and the Coronial Inquest into the tragic death of Tanya Day. Over the next two years, the Government will continue to work closely with Aboriginal communities, health experts and key stakeholders – including Victoria Police – to design, trial and refine the public health model and develop local solutions that are safe and effective. These reforms were developed following extensive consultation to ensure they strike the right balance between protection of people who are intoxicated and community safety. The government is currently considering trial site locations in line with advice provided by an Expert Reference Group report. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes      “Today we have delivered a reform that is long overdue – public drunkenness laws have caused too much pain for too many and we acknowledge everyone who has fought tirelessly for this change.” “We’ll continue to work closely with Aboriginal communities, health experts and other stakeholders, including police to establish a health model that focuses on support and safety, not punishment.” Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams “We have worked with and listened to the Aboriginal community to deliver real change. These reforms will save lives and provide fair and culturally appropriate care – that's the right thing to do.” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley    “This important change wraps a culturally appropriate health response around vulnerable people who are drunk in public, giving them the immediate help they need.”

 

NATURE AND COMMUNITY GROUP IN NORTHERN VICTORIA BENEFIT FROM VOLUNTEERING INNOVATION FUND

Thursday, 18 February 2021 Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes, congratulated Parklands Albury Wodonga Limited on receiving a grant of $20,000 from the Andrews Labor Government’s Volunteering Innovation Fund. The $2 million Fund is supporting conservation projects, like Parklands Albury Wodonga Limited whose project will build on the success of the Park Stewardship programs in North East Victoria through the trials of two new approaches: Aboriginal river ranger program that will work with local Aboriginal community members to deliver environmental volunteer sessions and walking trail engagement project that will support volunteers with resources to produce 10 themed maps with photos and 3 x Park Treasure Hunts. The special interest and treasure hunt maps and videos of the aboriginal environmental sessions will be published online and accessible by locals, visitors, special interest groups, friends groups and schools. Twenty innovative volunteer projects have been awarded more than $300,000, with funding of up to $20,000 per project. The Volunteering Innovation Fund will support people from all walks of life to volunteer in our parks and forests, benefiting the environment, volunteers and the community. The Fund will run from 2020-2023 awarding a total of $2 million across four different rounds allocated as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $105.6 million Victoria’s Great Outdoors program. Round two of the Volunteering Innovation Fund opens at 9am Thursday 11 March  with funding of up to $50,000 available per project. The public will be invited to vote for successful applications through Engage Victoria.   Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes    “Parklands Albury Wodonga’s project is a wonderful example of innovative ways to increase the number and diversity of people volunteering in our parks, in particular increasing the number of volunteers participating for the first time.”  “The Volunteering Innovation Fund is building on the incredible work of existing volunteers and inviting others to enjoy Victoria’s Great Outdoors through volunteering.” “I encourage all local groups in Northern Victoria to apply for Round 2 of the Volunteering Innovation Fund when it opens on 11 March”  

NATURE AND COMMUNITY GROUP IN NORTHERN VICTORIA BENEFIT FROM VOLUNTEERING INNOVATION FUND

Thursday, 18 February 2021 Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes, congratulated Parklands Albury Wodonga Limited on receiving a grant of $20,000 from the Andrews Labor Government’s Volunteering Innovation Fund. The $2 million Fund is supporting conservation projects, like Parklands Albury Wodonga Limited whose project will build on the success of the Park Stewardship programs in North East Victoria through the trials of two new approaches: Aboriginal river ranger program that will work with local Aboriginal community members to deliver environmental volunteer sessions and walking trail engagement project that will support volunteers with resources to produce 10 themed maps with photos and 3 x Park Treasure Hunts. The special interest and treasure hunt maps and videos of the aboriginal environmental sessions will be published online and accessible by locals, visitors, special interest groups, friends groups and schools. Twenty innovative volunteer projects have been awarded more than $300,000, with funding of up to $20,000 per project. The Volunteering Innovation Fund will support people from all walks of life to volunteer in our parks and forests, benefiting the environment, volunteers and the community. The Fund will run from 2020-2023 awarding a total of $2 million across four different rounds allocated as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $105.6 million Victoria’s Great Outdoors program. Round two of the Volunteering Innovation Fund opens at 9am Thursday 11 March  with funding of up to $50,000 available per project. The public will be invited to vote for successful applications through Engage Victoria.   Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes    “Parklands Albury Wodonga’s project is a wonderful example of innovative ways to increase the number and diversity of people volunteering in our parks, in particular increasing the number of volunteers participating for the first time.”  “The Volunteering Innovation Fund is building on the incredible work of existing volunteers and inviting others to enjoy Victoria’s Great Outdoors through volunteering.” “I encourage all local groups in Northern Victoria to apply for Round 2 of the Volunteering Innovation Fund when it opens on 11 March”  

SUPPORTING CREATIVE RECOVERY IN NORTHERN VICTORIA

Wednesday, 17 February 2021 Several groups and local creatives have received a boost as recipients of grants through the Andrews Labor Government’s Creative Recovery – Small Grants program. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced grants totalling $69,142 to be shared amongst North East organisations and creative individuals to showcase their talents, rebuild their business and run workshops following the impacts of the 2019-20 summer bushfires. Arts Yackandandah Inc will receive $5000 to record monologues and a play on Indigo FM Radio, designed to engage the Yackandandah and Indigo Shire audience. The project will include writing workshops and will involve a local writers’ group, theatre company and dramaturg. A performance entitled Comings and Goings-Arrivals and Departures from Yackandandah will take place in 2021. Beechworth Primary School will receive $5,000 to undertake a creative arts project with a First Peoples artist. Students will research local natural environments and learn more about the animals and plants in their local area. This knowledge will become the shared community understandings and will be transformed into a collection of mural storyboards. Bethanga Primary School are set to receive $5,000 to employ an Artist in Residence who will, over several weeks and sessions, workshop with students and design a mural that depicts connections and recovery. The BMF Rock School Inc will receive $5,000 to re-engage and re-invigorate the Rock School Beechworth program by introducing previous participants to the recording process using their own classroom at the Old Beechworth Gaol as a studio. Beechworth Artist Chris Henderson will receive $5,000 to create two murals to celebrate the importance of local flora and fauna. The murals will also support his aim to inspire the next generation of artists by building a bigger local public art scene. Mansfield Photographer Emma McPherson‘s will receive $1,650 to replace camera equipment that was damaged by fire retardant while changing lenses during the 2020 bushfires. The Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance (GANEAA), Wangaratta will receive $5,000 to engage three local artists to create new works and deliver workshops inspired by the Mullinmur Billabong, a regenerated area beside the Ovens (Torryong) River in Wangaratta. Workshops will be delivered as part of Elemental, the 2021 Across the Arts Forum presented by GANEAA. Tallangatta writer Ian Trevaskis will receive $5,000 to undertake professional development through Writers Victoria on-line and face-to-face workshops. Janet Leith Director of the Art Gallery on Ovens Wangaratta is set to receive $4,600 to facilitate emerging artist Sara Cope. Sara will be supported to develop her creative practice as a Resident Artist through a year-long Young Artist Mentorship Program, following the impact of bushfires and the completion of her Year 12 studies. Beechworth Artist Julianne Piko will receive $5,000 to reinstate her studio practice with explorations into new processes and sustainable materials. It enables Julianne to commit time and energy to undertake classes and seek mentorship. Kate O'Toole, from Beechworth will receive $1,800 to resume Life Drawing classes that have been disrupted this year. The classes are for people of all abilities to participate. To make the class accessible for everyone, all materials are provided, and the cost is kept minimal. Kellie Wolfson from Cudgewa will receive $5,000 to enable the replacement of damaged equipment and provide an opportunity to progress Kellie Wolfson's photography ambitions. Chiltern artist Lisa Bishop is set to receive $5,000 to take on a lease in the space next to her own studio and art store, to set up an artist’s gallery for local creatives to exhibit and sell their work. The gallery will become a central place for creatives to connect and gather, increasing social cohesion. Bethanga Artist Marley Dawson will receive $5,000 to take preparatory steps to ensure the sustainability, viability and safety of his studio and practice within a fire-prone area. Wandiligong Artist Mat Vaughan will receive $5,000 to create new artworks based on the mountain bike trails surrounding his home near Bright. Textile artist Nicole Oakes from Kergunyah will receive $1,092 to expand her practice which is focused is on knitted garments, accessories and homeware pieces through her business Nic Wilde Textile Design. The funding will help her purchase computer aided knitting design software. Inspired by a program launched after the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires that helped communities to reflect, rebuild and recover, The Creative Recovery – Small Grants program was created to support artists and creative organisations in bushfire affected areas. Last year, 19 projects across the Alpine, East Gippsland, Indigo, Mansfield, Towong and Wangaratta communities shared in $90,000 in support through the first rounds of the program. The latest and final round will distribute more than $140,000 to 31 projects. Grants have gone toward supporting artists to replace tools and equipment that were lost or damaged in the fires, support for professional development activities and grants to help local creative businesses launch projects that will draw visitors to the region. The Creative Recovery initiative is part of the Victorian and Commonwealth Government's $86 million Community Recovery Package for bushfire-affected communities announced in January 2020. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Our communities have always had a strong creative scene and creative events and activities have an important role to play in long term recovery and reactivation after the events of 2020.” “Congratulations to all these wonderful recipients and thank you for the contribution you make to the vibrancy of our region.”

SUPPORTING CREATIVE RECOVERY IN NORTHERN VICTORIA

Wednesday, 17 February 2021 Several groups and local creatives have received a boost as recipients of grants through the Andrews Labor Government’s Creative Recovery – Small Grants program. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced grants totalling $69,142 to be shared amongst North East organisations and creative individuals to showcase their talents, rebuild their business and run workshops following the impacts of the 2019-20 summer bushfires. Arts Yackandandah Inc will receive $5000 to record monologues and a play on Indigo FM Radio, designed to engage the Yackandandah and Indigo Shire audience. The project will include writing workshops and will involve a local writers’ group, theatre company and dramaturg. A performance entitled Comings and Goings-Arrivals and Departures from Yackandandah will take place in 2021. Beechworth Primary School will receive $5,000 to undertake a creative arts project with a First Peoples artist. Students will research local natural environments and learn more about the animals and plants in their local area. This knowledge will become the shared community understandings and will be transformed into a collection of mural storyboards. Bethanga Primary School are set to receive $5,000 to employ an Artist in Residence who will, over several weeks and sessions, workshop with students and design a mural that depicts connections and recovery. The BMF Rock School Inc will receive $5,000 to re-engage and re-invigorate the Rock School Beechworth program by introducing previous participants to the recording process using their own classroom at the Old Beechworth Gaol as a studio. Beechworth Artist Chris Henderson will receive $5,000 to create two murals to celebrate the importance of local flora and fauna. The murals will also support his aim to inspire the next generation of artists by building a bigger local public art scene. Mansfield Photographer Emma McPherson‘s will receive $1,650 to replace camera equipment that was damaged by fire retardant while changing lenses during the 2020 bushfires. The Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance (GANEAA), Wangaratta will receive $5,000 to engage three local artists to create new works and deliver workshops inspired by the Mullinmur Billabong, a regenerated area beside the Ovens (Torryong) River in Wangaratta. Workshops will be delivered as part of Elemental, the 2021 Across the Arts Forum presented by GANEAA. Tallangatta writer Ian Trevaskis will receive $5,000 to undertake professional development through Writers Victoria on-line and face-to-face workshops. Janet Leith Director of the Art Gallery on Ovens Wangaratta is set to receive $4,600 to facilitate emerging artist Sara Cope. Sara will be supported to develop her creative practice as a Resident Artist through a year-long Young Artist Mentorship Program, following the impact of bushfires and the completion of her Year 12 studies. Beechworth Artist Julianne Piko will receive $5,000 to reinstate her studio practice with explorations into new processes and sustainable materials. It enables Julianne to commit time and energy to undertake classes and seek mentorship. Kate O'Toole, from Beechworth will receive $1,800 to resume Life Drawing classes that have been disrupted this year. The classes are for people of all abilities to participate. To make the class accessible for everyone, all materials are provided, and the cost is kept minimal. Kellie Wolfson from Cudgewa will receive $5,000 to enable the replacement of damaged equipment and provide an opportunity to progress Kellie Wolfson's photography ambitions. Chiltern artist Lisa Bishop is set to receive $5,000 to take on a lease in the space next to her own studio and art store, to set up an artist’s gallery for local creatives to exhibit and sell their work. The gallery will become a central place for creatives to connect and gather, increasing social cohesion. Bethanga Artist Marley Dawson will receive $5,000 to take preparatory steps to ensure the sustainability, viability and safety of his studio and practice within a fire-prone area. Wandiligong Artist Mat Vaughan will receive $5,000 to create new artworks based on the mountain bike trails surrounding his home near Bright. Textile artist Nicole Oakes from Kergunyah will receive $1,092 to expand her practice which is focused is on knitted garments, accessories and homeware pieces through her business Nic Wilde Textile Design. The funding will help her purchase computer aided knitting design software. Inspired by a program launched after the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires that helped communities to reflect, rebuild and recover, The Creative Recovery – Small Grants program was created to support artists and creative organisations in bushfire affected areas. Last year, 19 projects across the Alpine, East Gippsland, Indigo, Mansfield, Towong and Wangaratta communities shared in $90,000 in support through the first rounds of the program. The latest and final round will distribute more than $140,000 to 31 projects. Grants have gone toward supporting artists to replace tools and equipment that were lost or damaged in the fires, support for professional development activities and grants to help local creative businesses launch projects that will draw visitors to the region. The Creative Recovery initiative is part of the Victorian and Commonwealth Government's $86 million Community Recovery Package for bushfire-affected communities announced in January 2020. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Our communities have always had a strong creative scene and creative events and activities have an important role to play in long term recovery and reactivation after the events of 2020.” “Congratulations to all these wonderful recipients and thank you for the contribution you make to the vibrancy of our region.”

BETTER BUS LINKS IMPROVING ACCESS IN BENALLA

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 Getting to and from Benalla’s eastern industrial estate will soon be a lot easier, with the local bus route set to be extended from mid-May thanks to improvements made by the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said Benalla Bus Route 2 will be extended to connect with Yooralla Business Enterprise, Benalla Tourist Park and other businesses in the estate. From 17 May, services on Route 2 from Witt Street will be extended to include Sydney Road and Irwin Road before returning to the usual route at Witt Street. Updated timetables for the four-kilometre extension will be coordinated to meet train services to and from Melbourne. Four new bus stops will be constructed to provide safe passenger access, with works to start in mid-March on stops at Benalla Tourist Park, the Schneider Factory, Australian Christian College and Irwin Road near the Yooralla Business Enterprise. The improvements follow the introduction of a bus turnaround point at Irwin Street, funded through the Government’s Flexible Local Transport Solutions program, which aims to provide better connections through tailored services in regional Victoria. Journey planning information including new route maps and timetables will be available on the PTV website from 16 April. Quotes attributable to Member for Jaclyn Symes “These improved transport connections to Yooralla will make it easier for people with a disability to access this important community service.” “The revised route will also create a better connection between Benalla Tourist Park and the town centre – providing improved public transport links for locals and visitors to the area.”

BETTER BUS LINKS IMPROVING ACCESS IN BENALLA

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 Getting to and from Benalla’s eastern industrial estate will soon be a lot easier, with the local bus route set to be extended from mid-May thanks to improvements made by the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said Benalla Bus Route 2 will be extended to connect with Yooralla Business Enterprise, Benalla Tourist Park and other businesses in the estate. From 17 May, services on Route 2 from Witt Street will be extended to include Sydney Road and Irwin Road before returning to the usual route at Witt Street. Updated timetables for the four-kilometre extension will be coordinated to meet train services to and from Melbourne. Four new bus stops will be constructed to provide safe passenger access, with works to start in mid-March on stops at Benalla Tourist Park, the Schneider Factory, Australian Christian College and Irwin Road near the Yooralla Business Enterprise. The improvements follow the introduction of a bus turnaround point at Irwin Street, funded through the Government’s Flexible Local Transport Solutions program, which aims to provide better connections through tailored services in regional Victoria. Journey planning information including new route maps and timetables will be available on the PTV website from 16 April. Quotes attributable to Member for Jaclyn Symes “These improved transport connections to Yooralla will make it easier for people with a disability to access this important community service.” “The revised route will also create a better connection between Benalla Tourist Park and the town centre – providing improved public transport links for locals and visitors to the area.”

Work Begins On $2.5 Million Seymour Training Centre

11th February 2021 Construction on a new training centre at Seymour GOTAFE will now begin thanks to the Andrews Labor Government, giving students the best learning experience in a state-of-the-art facility. The $2.54 million Health and Community Services Training Facility will feature tutorial rooms, lecture theatres, computer labs and a clinical simulation centre to give students realistic training through interactive technology. The project will also include student amenities and upgraded staff offices. It will be used by students studying First Aid, Nursing, Aged Care and Community Services – giving them pathways to meaningful work and addressing skill shortages in the region. Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today visited the site to turn the sod and announce Lloyd Group will build the facility. The project was designed by Vincent Chrisp Architects through a collaborative process with locals from the region. It is expected to be completed in October 2021 with lessons to begin at the start of 2022. Since 2015, the Labor Government has invested to rebuild TAFE, refurbish campuses, launch Free TAFE for Priority Courses and support disadvantaged students into training and jobs. In the Victorian Budget 2020/21, we invested a record $1 billion to make sure the state has the training and skills system it needs to emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic. Quotes Attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney “Students in Seymour and the surrounding communities deserve the best training facilities and that’s what this project will deliver.” “TAFE is a ticket to skills, jobs and a stronger Victoria – that’s why we’re committed to strengthening it through record investments.” Quote Attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This facility is going to deliver a huge boost to the training and job opportunities available to people in Seymour, as well as a great boost to the local economy throughout construction.” Quote Attributable to GOTAFE Chief Executive Officer Travis Heeney “We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support from the Victorian Government which ensures GOTAFE provides students with contemporary, real-world training in state-of-the-art learning environments.”

Work Begins On $2.5 Million Seymour Training Centre

11th February 2021 Construction on a new training centre at Seymour GOTAFE will now begin thanks to the Andrews Labor Government, giving students the best learning experience in a state-of-the-art facility. The $2.54 million Health and Community Services Training Facility will feature tutorial rooms, lecture theatres, computer labs and a clinical simulation centre to give students realistic training through interactive technology. The project will also include student amenities and upgraded staff offices. It will be used by students studying First Aid, Nursing, Aged Care and Community Services – giving them pathways to meaningful work and addressing skill shortages in the region. Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today visited the site to turn the sod and announce Lloyd Group will build the facility. The project was designed by Vincent Chrisp Architects through a collaborative process with locals from the region. It is expected to be completed in October 2021 with lessons to begin at the start of 2022. Since 2015, the Labor Government has invested to rebuild TAFE, refurbish campuses, launch Free TAFE for Priority Courses and support disadvantaged students into training and jobs. In the Victorian Budget 2020/21, we invested a record $1 billion to make sure the state has the training and skills system it needs to emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic. Quotes Attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney “Students in Seymour and the surrounding communities deserve the best training facilities and that’s what this project will deliver.” “TAFE is a ticket to skills, jobs and a stronger Victoria – that’s why we’re committed to strengthening it through record investments.” Quote Attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This facility is going to deliver a huge boost to the training and job opportunities available to people in Seymour, as well as a great boost to the local economy throughout construction.” Quote Attributable to GOTAFE Chief Executive Officer Travis Heeney “We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support from the Victorian Government which ensures GOTAFE provides students with contemporary, real-world training in state-of-the-art learning environments.”