Posted on 21. Mar, 2013 in Victoria

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan’s new portfolio of ‘State Development’ is nothing short of a farce, with Mr Ryan not responsible for one piece of legislation, for one policy area, for one program or for any allocation of funding, Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Victoria, Jacinta Allan said today.

Ms Allan said that the Parliamentary General Order released this week allocating responsibilities to Ministers revealed that the Minister for State Development was not responsible for one single piece of legislation.

“Since Mr Ryan’s sacking as Minister for Police, he has been portraying his new State Development portfolio as bigger than Ben Hur,” Ms Allan said.

“This portfolio has been concocted by Peter Ryan, it is a pretence – he is the minister for nothing, not one piece of legislation or government program.

“No wonder Premier Denis Napthine did not want to give Mr Ryan any actual responsibility after his time in the police and emergency services portfolio, mired by his incompetence and scandal.”

Under Peter Ryan, Victoria’s police and emergency services were subject to:

• $41 million cut from the Country Fire Authority impacting on vital equipment access, training and development

• $25 million scrapped from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade impacting on operational capacity and cancelling of essential training courses

• $65 million from Victoria Police impacting on frontline services and essential equipment

• 9.5% increase in Victoria’s crime rate

Ms Allan said that considering Mr Ryan had kept the regional and rural portfolio, Regional Victorians deserved answers from Mr Ryan on the Government’s vision and plans for the regions.

“Over the past two years, Peter Ryan has been absent from the field in Regional Victoria as he and his office were embroiled in the Tristan Weston affair. As a result Minister Ryan invested minimal time and effort into regional and rural development,” Ms Allan said.

“The key question that needs to be asked after Mr Ryan’s complete bungling of the Police and Emergency Services portfolio is whether he is still up to the job of representing the best interests of regional and rural Victoria.

“Regional and Rural Victorians deserve a government and a Minister that will deliver and not once again make them the ‘toe nails’ of the state.”

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