THE Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner has invited the Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan to Ararat this Thursday for the community's first Putting Locals First Forum.
Mr Turner said the Putting Locals First Forum would be held at Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre in Lambert Street from 1pm to 2.15pm.
"Putting Locals First Forums provide an opportunity for the Ararat community to have its say on what it wants from the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government," Mr Turner said.
"With less than 140 days to the Victorian Election we want to hear from the community about the infrastructure and services they would like to see delivered from a Coalition Government.
"This may involve funding for upgrades to locals schools, road improvements, new fire stations, health care services and agricultural infrastructure.
"It might include funding support for community projects such as hall upgrades, sporting facilities or local parks and gardens through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund."
Mr Turner said the Ararat Rural City was a strong beneficiary of the Regional Growth Fund, which had invested around $3 million to support 22 projects, leveraging almost more than $6 million of total investment.
"There is another $500 million available for local projects over the next term of government and we want to hear from the Ararat community about what projects and initiatives it wants funded," Mr Turner said.
Mr Turner said the Deputy Premier would also attend a number of meetings while in Ararat to discuss key local projects including the Ararat Recreation and Aquatics Centre Redevelopment.
Mr Turner said Mr Ryan would also meet with locals to discuss the Gordon Street Sporting Oval upgrade, visit local manufacturing business Gasons, and conduct a site inspection of the Alexandra Oval Community Recreation Centre.
"As The Nationals candidate for Ripon, I am a strong supporter of these key locals projects and I will continue to work with Mr Ryan and the Coalition Government to progress these important local initiatives."
Mr Turner said Mr Ryan would finish the day by hosting football training with the Ararat Under 17s at 4.30pm.
"It's an honour to have the Deputy Premier come along to training to meet the team and pass on some of his wisdom," Mr Turner said.
Mr Ryan will also visit Stawell - See story page 5.