Media Releases Local Issues

Local leaders programs secure under Nationals

09 September 2014

A re-elected Coalition Government will continue funding for the successful Regional Community Leadership Program, The Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan said today.

Ms Ryan said Deputy Premier Peter Ryan made the pledge last week while speaking at the 2014 Regional Community Leadership Forum.

“I will be putting the Alpine Valley and Rivers to Ranges community leadership programs forward for funding to ensure we continue to develop strong local leaders,” Ms Ryan said.

“Building leadership in key business and community sectors across regional and rural Victoria is a key to growing our regions.

“By developing people’s skills so that they can contribute to the community, these leadership programs are having a transformational impact on communities across the Euroa electorate,” Ms Ryan said.

The Alpine Valley Community Leadership Program began in 1998 and has produced more than 300 graduates, many of whom are now community leaders in Benalla and Strathbogie.

“Each year 24 participants, representing a diverse range of ages, professions and communities, are selected to participate in the program.

“The skills, tools, insights and strategies they gain have helped make exemplary employees and managers, and visionary leaders within their workplace and community,” Ms Ryan said.

Ms Ryan said the Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership Program, which operated across Mitchell Shire, was much newer and was formed in response to the Black Saturday bushfires.

“By creating strong local leaders, Rivers to Ranges will better equip communities to adapt to the changes and challenges arising from a natural disaster such as bushfire,” Ms Ryan said.

Ms Ryan said The Nationals, as part of the Coalition Government, had invested $6 million into the Regional Community Leadership Program over the past four years through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Ms Ryan urged the Labor Party to match the Coalition Government’s commitment.

“If Labor scraps the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, these leadership programs and other community-driven initiatives will be starved of funding,” Ms Ryan said.

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