Ryan bows out

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Ryan bows out

DANNY O’Brien could be closer to becoming the new member for Gippsland South in the wake of the resignation of longstanding incumbent Peter Ryan yesterday (Monday).

Mr O’Brien is currently The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region in the Legislative Council and opened an office in Leongatha last Thursday.

The Sale resident told The Star “I’m leaning towards running” and would announce his decision this week.

“Now that it’s out there, I will certainly have a think about it. I will spend a bit of time talking to my family and National Party members in Gippsland South,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien received the backing of Mr Ryan and that would more than likely secure Mr O’Brien’s pre-selection.

Should that be the case, given The Nationals have long held Gippsland South and retained the seat with 66.1 per cent of the two party preferred vote last year, Mr O’Brien has a high chance of becoming the new member, should he nominate.

He contested The Nationals’ position for Eastern Victoria Region with Brenton Wight of Traralgon and Kate Lancaster, also of Traralgon, but given they both live outside Gippsland South, they will be ineligible to contest pre-selection.

However, they could re-nominate for Eastern Victoria Region should Mr O’Brien stand down.

South Gippslanders will return to the polls in a by-election within four to nine weeks.

Mr Ryan was Gippsland South MLA since 1992.

He wa highly regarded across South Gippsland for his achievements as a member and ability to secure substantial funding for the electorate while Deputy Premier in the previous Coalition State Government.

Mr Ryan submitted his resignation to the speaker of the Legislative Assembly yesterday (Monday) and told The Star it was time to hand on the role to the next generation of Nationals.

“It’s taken several weeks, a couple of months, to come to this decision,” Mr Ryan said.

After the Coalition government lost the Victorian election in November 2014, Mr Ryan told The Star, “The people of Gippsland South have again elected me to represent their interests in the Victorian Parliament and it is my intention to continue to serve on their behalf.”

But he has since changed his mind, after resigning from the Nationals leadership and rejecting any potential shadow ministry roles in opposition.

“I believe it is timely and in the best interests of the people of Gippsland South that I now stand aside and enable my successor to be elected,” Mr Ryan said.

“I have reached this decision after very careful consideration over Christmas and the New Year of all relevant factors and having discussed the matter with my wife Trish and our children.”

Mr Ryan thanked constituents for their support over the years, particularly the general membership of The Nationals.

“It is the people of the region who are its heartbeat,” he said.

“I have come to know them well over more than two decades of representing them in parliament and I wish them well for the future.”

Mr Ryan was responsible for establishing and administering the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund that resulted in a further $2 billion worth of community contributions throughout regional Victoria.

Locally, he was proud of the construction of the new Leongatha hospital and the development of the Leongatha Education Precinct, with new facilities for South Gippsland Specialist School, Leongatha Primary School and Leongatha Secondary College.

“There is some more work to be done at the secondary college and we have committed some money to that, and I hope that the current government will see its way fit to complete that,” Mr Ryan said.

He also rated new buildings at Mirboo North Secondary College and the Leongatha heavy vehicle alternate route as significant accomplishments.

Mr Ryan created the ministry of state development that has helped open opportunities for Victorian farmers to export produce.

Mr Ryan said he would remain in Sale and pursue opportunities in commerce, ruling out a return to law – his profession before entering parliament.

“I express my sincere thanks to my wife Trish and to our children Sarah, James and Julian for the magnificent support they have provided me since I was first elected in 1992. My subsequent parliamentary involvement would simply not have been possible without them,” he said.

 

MLA bids farewell: Peter Ryan, now the former Member for Gippsland South, reflects on his achievements for South Gippsland outside Leongatha Memorial Hall.

MLA bids farewell: Peter Ryan, now the former Member for Gippsland South, reflects on his achievements for South Gippsland outside Leongatha Memorial Hall.

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Posted by on Feb 3 2015. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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