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Tuesday, 18 December


Bass Coast heroes in Bali Hope Swimrun South Gippsland Sentinel-Times

Nina and Kara in action in Bali.
Puja and Nina made a poster on recycling.

TWENTY heroes racing to save one small island are the words etched into the back of the medals Kara Landells and Nina Barry-Macaulay recently received for being the first amateur team to cross the finish line in South East Asias first ever Swimrun on Saturday, December 8.
The Bali Hope Swimrun was an event aimed to raise funds towards improved recycling infrastructure for the Island of Nusa Lembongan and improved waste management education, as well as raising awareness on the global issue of plastic pollution.
Unlike triathlon or duathlon, Swimrun is completed as a team of two and comprises multiple legs of swimming and running at various distances.
The Nusa Lembongan event involved 3km of swimming and 18km of running. It started with a boat dropping teams off 500m from land to begin the first swim leg and ended with a 2km uphill run.
Team Bass Coast (Nina and Kara) raised more than $10,000 which will go towards buying recycling equipment and implementing education in the local schools.
Nina and Kara visited one of the schools during their visit and worked with the children to make recycling posters.
They also visited the recycling plant to see how basic the facilities are and how important the new equipment will be.
On the last day, the Bali Hope teams joined forces with 60 students from the local school for a clean-up.
They sorted and collected rubbish and recyclables from an open space which is currently being used as an informal dump site.
Key stakeholders, including the Mayor of Nusa Lembongan and the landowner, attended the event.
Kara and Nina said the clean-up lead to a formal agreement between the landowner and recycling plant.
The landowner agreed to donate a small part of his land for the recycling plant to build an enclosed waste disposal point, which will be emptied daily by the recycling plant, Kara said.
Locals can continue to deposit their waste at this location, but in an organised and sustainable way, where rubbish cant be easily swept into the ocean.
This will be a great example for other landowners t...


Fences to stop erosion eating road News The Star

THE impact of soil erosion on the Inverloch coastline has spurred an inter-agency group to construct fencing on the beach.
At a drop-in information session recently, the community heard from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Parks Victoria, Regional Roads Victoria, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Bass Coast Shire Council.
As the lead agency, DELWP has been coordinating a plan for the pinch points of coastal erosion at the Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road where it intersects with Surf Parade and also at the Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club.
The eroding edge is almost six metres from the road intersection, where the coastline has retreated 35.6 metres since 2012.
The foreshore next to the surf life saving club has seen 33.5 metres of coastline retreat since 2012, leading to the clubs patrol house to be moved to higher ground earlier this year.
To prevent and ideally grow the sand coastline, the multi-agency working group has decided to build two rows of 1.2m high fencing installed at the two pinch points.
The area will be renourished with sand reconstructing the fore-dune to 1.5m above the current beach level and five metres wide.
Funded by the Bass Coast Shire Council and the Victorian Government, detailed design of the fencing is currently underway with on-ground works to commence in either February or March.
Wet sand fencing was successfully used at a coastal erosion site at Port Fairy in 2014 and has successfully retained sand in the area to allow for revegetation.
South Gippsland Conservation Society president Dave Sutton, who attended the drop-in, said the wet sand fencing was a short term measure that would protect the existing infrastructure, the surf club patrol house and the road.
The society has received funding from the Lord Mayors Charitable fund to undertake a Bass Coast Climate Resilience project which melds in with what is proposed by DELWP, he said.
The societys project is expected to further inform coastline planning to include soft engineering, whether it is revegetation options, and look at the natural value that the dunes provide.

Collaboration: Bass MLA Jordan Crugnale (left) dropped into a recent multi-agency information session about Inverloch coastal soil erosion hosted by Depart...


Life savers plea for more time News The Star

NEW clubrooms for Venus Bay Surf Life Saving Club are still proposed only just later than planned.
Club president Craig Watson last Wednesday asked South Gippsland Shire Council for more time to build the new complex.
Council promised the club it would allocate $150,000 to the new clubrooms, but the club has not been able to source $2.5 million from the State Government in the mean time.
Councils funding pledge was conditional on the club obtaining the required funding by June 30, 2019.
Mr Watson asked council to rollover the funds for a further 12 months. Council will consider the request in 2019.
Mr Watson is confident of securing state funding, saying the process of seeking funds had taken longer than he expected as the club was lower on funding priority lists than other clubs.
The building itself is in very good condition and we are being punished for how well we have maintained it, he told council.
The new clubrooms will not only service the club but also provide a larger venue for the community to use. Cr Jeremy Rich felt any caf at the clubrooms could be an ideal venue for selling local produce.
Mr Watson said more Tarwin Lower and Venus Bay residents had joined the club, which continues to set new records for patrol hours, number of beach users and fewer first aid cases.
The club now has a record 546 members who in 2018 patrolled for 3335 hours and serviced 14,197 beach users.
The club welcomed a record 181 Nippers in 2018, won a record 34 medals at Victorian championships and also received 216 new lifesaving awards.
The current life saving season started on December 1 and will continue until Easter. Nippers starts on December 27 and the clubs Tarwin River Marathon to raise awareness of river safety is on December 28.
A local business owner is set to join the clubs board and take responsibility for fundraising.


Forward thinking: an artists impression of how the new Venus Bay Surf Life Saving Clubs clubrooms may look.


Mayor holds out hope on supermarket News The Star

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council mayor Cr Don Hill said the door is still open for council to resume negotiations with Michaels IGA to buy council land and develop an $18 million supermarket in Korumburra.
Cr Hill said, He (Michaels IGA owner Michael Lorenz) can come along at any time and sign a contract.
Michaels IGA recently revealed it had abandoned plans for now to build the new supermarket at the corner of Commercial and King streets, Korumburra, after negotiations with council to buy council-owned buildings on the site broke down.
Councils final offer was a bank guarantee of $400,000 and a six percent deposit to ensure Michaels IGA delivered the supermarket in a timely manner. Michaels IGAs offer was $300,000 to be held in trust and a 10 percent deposit.
Cr Jeremy Rich has also defended his role in bringing Michaels IGAs latest offer to a closed special council meeting on December 5.
That meeting followed a meeting on December 2 of Mr Lorenz, Crs Hill and Rich, and councils development services director Bryan Sword, after discussions between Cr Rich and Mr Lorenz at the recent Christmas function of Melbourne law firm, Wisewould Mahony.
Both men were at the function as they are clients of the firm. Cr Richs brother Adam Rich is a partner in the firm.
As a result of his brothers involvement with the firm, Cr Rich said he was absent from the December 5 meeting where councillors rejected the latest proposal from Mr Lorenz, which came about at the December 2 meeting.
As for the conversation between himself and Mr Lorenz at the Christmas function, Cr Rich said, We said hello and we talked about regional produce as we always do.
Cr Rich also said, I have the best interests of South Gippsland in mind, as Im sure that Michael (Lorenz) and the shire do too, and I hope everyone can find a path forward that works for all.
Michaels IGA general/operations manager Len Morabito said the men discussed Mr Lorenzs frustrations with the state of negotiations. Mr Morabito did not believe the discussion between them was inappropriate because of Cr Richs brother being a partner in the law firm.
You cannot ignore the guy (Cr Rich). He is a councillor in one of the places where we have our stores, Mr Morabito said.
The Star understands Cr Rich urged Cr Hill to simply resume negotiations about the sale of the land and therefore ensure Korumburra received a new supermarket.
That resulted in the meeting of December 2 and the subsequent closed meeting on December 5.
Mr Morabito said the company still did not propose to develop a new supermarket on the corner of King and Commercial streets.
He said many Korumburra people and customers had expressed unrest on social media about the news and were holding the shire responsible for in-action again.
Korumburra Business Association president Noelene Cosson said the association was disappointed the superm...


Students celebrate ATARs News The Star

TUDENTS from across the region received their ATAR scores from 7am onwards on Friday, December 14.
Leongatha Secondary Colleges 64 Year 12 students were congratulated for their VCE efforts this year by principal Wayne Chester.
From everybody here at the college, we are very proud of this years Year 12 group. They received excellent scores, all their hard work paid off and it is very pleasing to note they now have plenty of options going forward into the future, Mr Chester said.
Dux of Year 12 was awarded to Grace Thorson who attended Leongatha from years 7-12.
She attained an ATAR score of 94.5, completing English, specialist mathematics, chemistry, biology and history of revolutions.
Year 11 student Maddi Brew attained a perfect score of 50 this year for outdoor education. She looks forward to studying English, further mathematics, health and human development, biology and physical education next year.
Mary Mackillop College celebrated Year 12 results, with all 53 students satisfactorily completing VCE exams.
The top three scores were all above 90, with dux awarded to Molly Clark with a score of 93.9.
Ellie Homes and Emma Carlisle scored 91.25 and 90.0 respectively. The top five scores were 93.9, 91.25, 90.0, 86.1 and 85.05.
The highest individual study score was obtained by Tomei Dal Pozzo scoring 48 for health and human development.
The college reported initial calculations indicated 19 percent of ATAR scores above 80, 23 percent were in the top quarter, 34 percent were above 70, 3.3 percent of study scores were above 40 and 11 percent of students attained a study score of 40 or above.
A very big thank you to the teachers who have worked so well to get the most out of their students this year. A particular feature is the depth of performance with a solid spread of scores in the 70s and 80s, principal David Leslie said.
We are proud of our 22 Applied Learners too. Six are in apprenticeships, 10 have places in their preferred TAFE, 6 are already employed, all successfully placed.
Congratulations to all students and teachers on your results for 2018. Mary MacKillop College is proud of you and of your achievements.
The depth of the 2018 Mirboo North Secondary College cohort was highlighted with 93 percent of year Year 12 students attaining an ATAR above 50 and all students satisfactorily completing their VCE.
64 percent attained an ATAR above 70, with 29 percent above 80.
Dux was awarded to Lucy Palmer whose ATAR score of 97.7 placed her in the top three percent.
The hard work and dedication of our students has been rewarded with excellent results, senior school coordinator Marina Bruzzese said.
Seven students will additionally receive the VCE Baccalaureate award as a result of achieving scores above 30 in English whilst successfully completing Mathematical Methods and a language study (German).
The efforts of the 15...


Operation safe plate success News The Star

OPERATION safe plate took place on Sunday in the car park of Bunnings in Wonthaggi.
Operation coordinator, Senior Constable Dengerink stated that the event was a huge success with over 150 vehicles fitted with anti-theft number plate screws.
He thanked local SES and Bunnings Wonthaggi for assisting on the day.
For those who missed out, stay tuned for details of another Safe Plate Operation in the New Year


Traffic fix News The Star

WITH car parking at a premium as Christmas shoppers flock into Leongatha, a plan for a traffic overhaul of the CBD to improve public safety and the towns economy and vibrancy is being put forward.

The plan is being devised by a visiting environmental consultant surprised by the dangers motorists and pedestrians now face in town.

The consultant, James Hickey, has what he says are solutions for Leongathas traffic woes after working in town for several months.

He called for heavy vehicles to be removed from McCartin and Bair streets, reverse parking to be created in McCartin Street, and the confusing intersection near the courthouse addressed by directing the heavy vehicle alternate route down Turner and Hughes streets an idea already supported by many locals.

In the long term, McCartin Street could be a cul de sac ending at Bair Street or a 25km/h speed limit imposed, Mr Hickey said.

A vast improvement will be felt once the vibrations from B-Doubles no longer tumble lattes off coffee tables, he said.

Mr Hickey said reverse 60 degree parking would reduce the incidences of cars reversing out of parking bays and into other vehicles, with such parking used in other regional towns.

Ironically, soon after Mr Hickey shared this idea with The Star, a driver reversed into a car behind.

South Gippsland Shire Councils manager infrastructure delivery John Moylan said, The standard practice for angle parking in the state of Victoria is based on reversing out of parking spots. To change this practice in one town or municipality would create confusion.

Mr Hickey also called for zebra crossings in McCartin Street between Bair and Peart streets to increase safety and entice more shoppers.

The greatest risk is at the corners of Peart and McCartin streets, where drivers tear around onto McCartin Street and give pedestrians crossing the road at these points very little time to reach the relative safety of the small median strip, he said.

Mr Hickey said McCartin and Bair streets are the heart of Leongatha and tankers, cattle trucks and tractors should be barred from them.

This is an extremely dangerous situation and it also degrades the amenity and customer experience, he said, suggesting

alternate routes north and south of Leongatha.

The north route would redirect heavy vehicles along Turner Street and then to Hughes or Roughead streets, depending on where traffic needed to go.

The south route would be along an extension of Parr Street from South Gippsland Highway to Bass Highway.

Mr Moylan said heavy vehicles cannot be removed from Bair Street as truck access is required for deliveries to businesses.

Mr Hickey said congestion needed to be alleviated at the confusing intersection of Roughead, Anderson and McCartin streets near the courthouse, where drivers dash in front of passing traffic and motorists unfamiliar with the inte...


Victoria 2018 Greens vote, mapped "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Todays maps focus on the performance of the Greens, who went backwards in terms of votes, yet managed to win a record number of lower house seats at a general election.

This first map shows the primary vote swing for the Greens in the 88 electorates.

Seats coloured dark green or bright green mostly swung to the Greens. Pale green seats had a small negative swing, with the brown seats doing worst.

In the recent past weve seen the Greens gain swings in the inner city while losing ground in regional parts of Victoria, but the picture from this election isnt quite as clear.

Yes there was a big increase in the Greens vote in Northcote, Prahran and Richmond (the last helped by the absence of a Liberal candidate), but the Greens vote went slightly backwards in Melbourne and Albert Park, and barely increased in Brunswick.

This second map shows the two-candidate-preferred vote by booth in non-classic seats. This includes five Labor vs Greens races, one Labor vs independent race and one Liberal vs Greens race, all in a contiguous area in the inner city stretching from Prahran to Pascoe Vale.

The map also shows the map data for Mildura, Morwell, Shepparton and Geelong, but you have to zoom out to see those areas.

You can also toggle the map to see the swing by booth, but only for four inner-city Labor vs Greens races for some obscure technical reasons.

Thats about it for today. Ill have more maps tomorrow.

Monday, 17 December


4:30pm Dec 19 | Save Hakeem Urgent Protest "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

When: 4:30pm 19th December 2018 Where: Australian Federal Police, 383 LaTrobe St, West Melbourne, VIC Facebook event here Bahraini refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi, a permanent Australian resident living in Melbourne, is being held in Thailand and faces deportation back to the threat of torture in Bahrian. He fled Bahrain because of persecution and torture due to(...)


Climate change impacts on ski resorts in the USA Mountain Journal

Climate science makes it abundantly clear that winter as we know it is coming to an end. Despite the evidence, the global community as a whole continues as if everything is fine. The climate change negotiations that have been underway in Poland had progress blocked by key oil producing nations and those led by climate deniers, like Saudi Arabia, the USA and Russia. Yet there was barely any reaction from the community as vested interests put their profits ahead of the planet.

Denial does not make the problem go away. The evidence keeps building up, like this recent work looking at climate change impacts on ski resorts in the USA.

Writing for the Snowbrains website, Sydney Stephens looks at likely impacts of climate change on resorts in the USA. She says:

Ski season is going to be shorter everywhere. Higher elevations will be especially important as trends continue, but all resorts will likely have to increase their reliance on snowmaking machines: but even these require certain conditions to make snow.

With higher elevations and a drier climate, ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains will be the least affected by these changes while resorts in lower elevations, the northwest, and east US will take the biggest hits from warming annual temperatures and more severe and frequent spells of warm/cold fronts.  Some resorts may have to close all together.

She uses data that was released in 2017 that shows that resorts will need to do more snow making earlier. The image above shows the average projected date from opening of the ski season to reach 450 hrs of snowmaking Credit Wobus et al. 2017

As always, action is the antidote to despair: She says we still have the ability to make a big difference in minimizing the negative effects of our climate in the near future.

Here are some simple ideas on taking action on climate change.



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