Peter Ryan, Warren Truss in harmony

Click or flick across for more photos from Peter Ryan's visit. 

PETER Ryan and Warren Truss are agreed on regional development funding issues.

Mr Ryan, the Victorian Deputy Premier and Regional Development Minister, said in Wodonga yesterday his federal counterpart was right to rule out funding for hundreds of infrastructure items, including several in Indi.

Both are National Party leaders and Mr Ryan said Mr Truss had had to make “difficult” decisions on which Regional Development Australia Fund projects would go ahead.

Mr Truss has said round five projects, including a $5.8 million Wodonga city centre redevelopment and a Wangaratta saleyards upgrade, would not get the cash promised by Labor pre-election.

Mr Truss and Mr Ryan met last week to discuss promised Victorian projects, for which the state government was co-funding $10 million worth.

Mr Ryan said federal Labor shouldn’t have announced the initiatives anyway, when it was in “political death throes”.

“It’s created an enormous sense of expectation... where it’s been announced in circumstances where there was no money attached to it, there were no agreements, no contracts signed,” he said.

“I know it’s no solace, but this region is not alone in this, it’s Australia-wide.”

Mr Ryan also spoke briefly on next year’s state election — he and Nationals Bill Sykes are both considering retirement.

“We, of course, would love Bill to remain in parliament, he does a fantatsic job,” Mr Ryan said.

“We respect, though, that he will make that call in the near future.”

About himself, Mr Ryan said: “Watch this space”.

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