LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
AS the new leader of The Nationals in Victoria, I wish to recognise and pay tribute to the career of our parliamentary colleague and friend, Peter Ryan.
Peter has recently announced his resignation as Member for Gippsland South, a job he relished for more than 22 years.
This tenure included 15 years as leader of The Nationals and four years as deputy premier and minister.
During this long career, Peter’s passion and enthusiasm for regional Victoria has never wavered.
Peter was instrumental in introducing the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund under the Coalition government which meant regional communities were getting more support to create jobs and new industries; more money being spent to fix local roads and bridges; and greater investment that improved local facilities like local main streets, community centres and sport and recreation grounds.
Peter was also the key driver in securing $22 million which saved SPC Ardmona and protected jobs in the Goulburn Valley; he led the introduction of Victoria’s moratorium on coal seam gas fracking to make sure landowners and our land and water assets are protected; and he helped shut down Labor’s north-south pipeline.
It is his home electorate of Gippsland South that has been the greatest beneficiary of Peter’s passion for standing up for regional communities.
A new hospital for Leongatha, making Sale a safer community with a new 24-hour police station and securing funding for the land and design works for the new Sale Specialist School are but a few of the issues he has championed for his constituents.
There is no doubt that Peter has made a significant impact on his electorate and our state.
On behalf of the Nationals, I thank Peter for his loyal service, and I wish he and his family all the very best for their future.
The Nationals promise to the people of Gippsland South, and to all of regional Victoria, is that we will continue to stand up for you and your communities and be the strong voice you need in the Victorian Parliament.