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Tuesday, 17 July

15:19

Spoils shared at 2018 Evans Petroleum Cup South Gippsland Sentinel-Times

Gippsland League and Wonthaggi Power under 16 Harrison Dawson got up for this hanger at the Evans Petroleum cup on Wednesday.

The Gippsland League under 18s team claimed the title with another very impressive performance. Despite being defeated by the West Gippsland team, were still able to generate enough percentage to finish the carnival on top.

THE West Gippsland Football Netball Competition secured a famous victory at Wednesdays Evans Petroleum Cup junior representative football carnival at Yinnar.
West Gippslands under 16 team won all four of its games, including the final game of the day against the previously undefeated TRFM Gippsland League team to win the title for the first time.
It marked the first time since 2015 and only the second time in the past nine years that the Gippsland League has been defeated.
West Gippsland ruckman Mitch Nicholas was named player of the carnival, as voted by the umpires, while tall forward Nick Prowd was named West Gippslands best player.
Kye Benson was awarded the medal as Gippslands best player, with Jayden McCormack, Bailey Stephens and Jai Hayward best for the Mid Gippsland, Ellinbank and District and East Gippsland/Omeo District teams respectively.
West Gippsland also came within a whisker of upsetting Gippsland in the under 18 competition.
Gippsland opened proceedings with a 20-point win against North Gippsland, before fighting back from three goals down to defeat Ellinbank and District.
West Gippsland also defeated Ellinbank and District, but a 15-point loss to North Gippsland in its second game proved costly.
Going head to head in the final game, West Gippsland at one stage moved ahead of Gippsland on percentage.
However, late goals to Gippslands Nic Bulmer and Burkeley Macfarlane ensured that while West Gippsland handed the Gippsland under 18 team its first loss in any competition since 2013, the five point final margin...

11:43

Tricky intersection hits raw nerve News The Star

HUNDREDS of people have commented on a video about the best way to navigate through arguably one of the most confusing intersections in central Leongatha.
The short video on The Stars Facebook page shows traffic plotting its way through the T-intersection of Anderson, Roughead and McCartin streets across from the Leongatha courthouse.
The intersection was constructed last year as part of multi-million dollar works for a heavy vehicle bypass route and the Give Way sign was where Anderson Street formed a T-intersection there.
One Facebook user, Karen Fowles who commented on The Stars Facebook page said she had nearly experienced a collision at the intersection, whereas most users said they avoided the intersection at all costs, citing long waiting times to turn into Anderson Street from the Give Way sign at McCartin Street.
Despite these claims of near-misses and high potential for collisions Leongatha Police Sergeant Dale McCahon said according to police data, it is not a high collision intersection.
Anecdotally it appears to me that the rate of collisions has dropped off, he said.
Although not perfect yet and it never will be the number of people not using their left indicator correctly when travelling south and proceeding straight into McCartin Street has improved also.
If people concentrate, obey the big Give Way signs and show some courtesy by using their indicators when approaching the intersection, there is no reason any collisions should occur.
According to data from VicRoads, only one collision that resulted in an injury has occurred since the new intersection was constructed, other data reveals three casualty accidents have occurred.
Data from collisions with no injuries is not collected by police or VicRoads.
The Leongatha Heavy Vehicle Alternate route was estimated to remove about 600 heavy vehicles a day out of the Leongatha Central Business District.
It included works to a number of major intersections including the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Ogilvy Street and the South Gippsland Highway.
VicRoads eastern regional director Scott Lawrence said community concerns regarding turning movements and pedestrian safety were raised following the commissioning of the new signals in 2016.
Changes to the operation of the signals were implemented in 2017 to improve safety at the intersection, he said.
South Gippsland Shire Council is planning future redevelopment to Bair Street. There will be significant changes to the traffic volumes at this intersection following the redevelopment.
VicRoads will reassess the operation and reprogramming of the signals at that time.
Two casualty crashes occurred at this intersection in August 2017.

11:41

House prices grow with demand News The Star

STRONG demand from buyers wanting a quieter lifestyle has seen median property prices lift in South Gippsland and Bass Coast significantly in the past 12 months.
People are flocking to rural towns like Korumburra, Kilcunda, Wonthaggi, Inverloch and Venus Bay, with demand often outweighing supply.
Adam Leys from Stockdale and Leggo Inverloch said since the start of 2017, median house prices in Inverloch had increased by over $100,000.
He said there were a number of factors driving the price increase.
One significant factor is an influx of buyers coming from the Mornington Peninsula who are seeing great value in our market, he said.
They are tired of the traffic and general crowding on the peninsula and prefer the more relaxed vibe of Inverloch.
Mr Leys said another factor was a shortage of vacant land, making homes in new estates hard to find.
This drives people to buy in more established areas which come with higher price tags, he said.
Mr Leys said a consistent decline in available properties had caused a degree of urgency among buyers.
Buyers in our market are used to having plenty of time to consider purchases, but now they are seeing the places they like sold before they are in a position to make an offer themselves, he said.
This results in a shorter time on the market than we have seen in previous years. I dont see this situation changing in the near future.
Anything within two hours drive of Melbourne is highly sought after.
Alex Scott and Staff Venus Bay director Daniel Lawrie said the median price for property in Venus Bay had increased by around $35,000 in a short period of time.
He said with a median price of around $310,000, Venus Bay was still very affordable compared to other coastal locations such as the Mornington Peninsula and Inverloch.
It is good news for the area, our permanent population is building and that means more people to be active in the community and down the track, could mean more infrastructure, he said.
It is very positive news for us down here.
PBE Wonthaggi director Adam Mabilia said the whole Bass Coast region was benefitting from real estate demand.
With an increase to the median property price of around $28,000 in Wonthaggi and $51,000 in Kilcunda, he said buyers from Melbournes south east still find properties in Bass Coast affordable.
There is a big wave at the moment and there is no sign of it slowing down in the future, he said.
Stock levels are short through every town in Bass Coast at the moment and that is not likely to change. It is healthy for the region.
Real estate manager at Elders Korumburra Don Olden said the median property price in Korumburra has lifted around 10 percent in the last 18 months.
He said strong demand means that properties are selling shortly after they come on to the market, causing a shortage.
We are getting a lot of intere...

11:38

Tourist rail may make comeback News The Star

TRAINS could run between Korumburra and Leongatha within 12 months, as the Southern Rail Preservation Group plans to invest $5 million to reinstate the tourist railway.
Eventually, the group plans to return a rail service along the full 58 kilometres of line between Leongatha and Koo Wee Rup.
Southern Rail president Stuart Gilbert said the project was in its early stages, but was hoping the model they were planning to adopt would ensure its success.
He said the funding needed to get the project started was being provided by a private investor.
The tourist railway that operated previously between Korumburra and Leongatha stopped running around two years ago.
It will be more community focussed this time around, we want the local businesses to get involved to provide services for passengers, Mr Gilbert said.
There will be a consultation process with interested businesses to get their input.
Mr Gilbert said the railway line between Koo Wee Rup and Leongatha was one of the most scenic in the country.
He said coupled with the decent infrastructure already in place, it could become the longest, most scenic heritage railway in the world.
That is a great selling point, he said.
Mr Gilbert said the group is currently knee deep in paperwork, but was positive any hurdles will be overcome and work should be able to start soon to get the track up to standard.
He said the railway was in good condition between Leongatha and Korumburra and would need minimal work to get it up and running.
We have been talking to a large rail maintenance contractor who is keen to give us a hand, he said.
We are working on striking up a deal with training rail workers to get the work done at a discounted rate. We get the work of a main line standard and they get certified.
The proposed extension of the Great Southern Rail Trail could be impeded by the return of trains, but Mr Gilbert said he didnt see any reason the trail couldnt be built alongside the railway line.
We see the benefits of both, he said.
It seems ludicrous to pull up decent infrastructure. Once it is removed, it will never return.
Once the trains are running between Leongatha and Koo Wee Rup, Mr Gilbert said it could create up to 40 jobs.
Initially most of the work will be done by volunteers, but we will be pushing towards employing people, he said.
How long that takes will depend on how popular the service is. With the marketing model we have, there are enough attractions down here to warrant it.
Mr Gilbert said their marketing model was largely aimed at tourists from Asia.
The group plans to run both steam and diesel engines on the line, starting with diesel and eventually, the line could incorporate a passenger service as well.
Mr Gilbert said they had all but secured several locomotives for the tourist railway.
There are a lot of good things coming. T...

11:36

Wooreen to remember 100 years News The Star

SOON it will be 100 years since the Wooreen community planted 35 oak trees in memory of the local soldiers who served in World War I.
Although nearly half of the trees didnt survive, 15 were replanted at the 90 year anniversary of the Wooreen Avenue of Honour 10 years ago.
Wooreen Avenue of Honour organising committee member Nicole Pouws said the community had worked tirelessly to ensure the small area of Wooreen continued to be recognised and for its avenue to be restored.
Its a beautiful place to drive through and to live in. The committee has been making sure we are prepared to mark the upcoming centenary commemoration, she said.
The South Gippsland Shire Councils parks and gardens coordinator Steve Missen and his team has been very proactive in the planting 10 years ago and also for getting it ready for the centenary.
It really has been a group effort and its very exciting to hold this commemoration.
The public is invited for the solemn commemoration on July 29 at 9.30am at the Avenue of Honour on Leongatha Yarragon Road, Wooreen and for a gathering afterwards at the Hallston Hall at 10.30 for light refreshments.
Former Victorian RSL president Major General David McLaughlin (retired) will return for the event, having visited 10 years ago to mark the planting of the saplings at the avenue.
Committee member and retired commander Matthew Ferguson who is researching soldiers who enlisted for WWI from the area, said it was a lengthy process but at this stage he had found four names of people who had served.
For more information on the event or to attend, please contact CMDR Ferguson on 0402 671 221.

Honoured: Wooreen Avenue of Honour committee members from left, Matthew and Denise Ferguson, Deb Brown, Nicole Pouw and Tom Daffy who made the daffodils for the event.

11:34

Saputo chief fronts farmers News The Star

SAPUTO has explained its low opening price to suppliers in a series of meetings held across the region last week, which company CEO Lino Saputo Jnr came from Canada to attend.
In what was the first round of supplier meetings since the company made its opening price announcement, the Leongatha meeting was held last Tuesday.
Mr Saputo said the main purpose of the meeting was to explain why Saputo opened at $5.75 per kilogram of milk solids.
The meeting covered why we chose that price and what our expectations are for the balance of the year, he said.
Leongatha South dairy farmer Gordon Vagg said the meeting on Tuesday was quite good.
Mr Saputo explained why it wasnt the best opening price. He explained he doesnt take gambles and wanted to show that Saputo was a stable company, he said.
Mr Vagg said it was great to see Mr Saputo come from Canada to attend the meetings and thought he put forward an interesting message.
He talked about loyalty and balancing out the needs of all the stakeholders in the business, not just the shareholders, he said.
I think the Murray Goulburn board got one thing right, it sold to the right company.
Saputo now operates the former Murray Goulburn factory in Leongatha and Mr Saputo said the company planned to invest capital in the plant.
He said expansion of the Leongatha facility was possible.
Right now, the Leongatha processing facility is being underutilised. Once it is running at a higher capacity, we can consider (investing in the factory), he said.
In order to increase the utilisation of the Leongatha factory, Saputo needs to increase milk supply.
It will take time for us to get suppliers back on board. While the (opening) price is important, at close we have had the leading price for the past five years, Mr Saputo said.
The opening price is just an indication of the season ahead, it is the closing price that matters.
Mr Vagg said many in attendance at the meeting wanted to know how Saputo planned to increase its milk supply.
One guy said Saputo didnt open high enough to get suppliers back. Mr Saputo said the only way to get suppliers back was by restoring trust, he said.
Mr Saputo said it was more responsible than opening high. He said the worst thing would be to open too high and be unable to maintain that price.
Mr Saputo said he agreed farmers were not being paid enough for their milk.
Suppliers inputs are going up, yet their revenue is going down. We want to take a leadership role in the industry and encourage suppliers to grow our base.
Once the balance between supply and demand is there, the economy will be much better for dairy farmers.
The future of the dairy industry is good all over the world. Consumption is consistently growing 2.5 percent per year, dairy is in growth mode.
We just need to balance supply and demand.

...

11:30

Horsing around News The Star

A PROPOSAL to build a new exhibition and equestrian centre at Stony Creek has been turned on its head.

The South Gippsland Shire Council has resolved to consider other locations within the shire for an exhibition/equestrian centre, despite years of campaigning for a facility to be built at Stony Creek.

After changes were made to the council plan at a special meeting on May 30, the council will abandon the progression of a business case to assess the establishment of a centre at Stony Creek.

It will now undertake a feasibility study into establishing a multipurpose exhibition/equestrian centre within the shire.

This is despite a 2016 South Gippsland Shire OurSay forum showing the idea garnered the most community support with over 500 votes, 300 clear of the next suggestion.

Former council manager sustainable communities Chris Van Der Ark said at the time The OurSay responses are extremely useful. Council will use these to inform its decision making on future capital works programs and applications for funding.

Stony Creek Exhibition Centre committee member Janine Bullock said it was a shame council had decided to look elsewhere within the shire, after so much work had been done on the Stony Creek proposal.

Stony Creek is central. A facility such as this needs to be in the centre of the shire so the entire region benefits, she said.

The economic benefits of an undercover facility will be the highest if its located in the centre of the shire. There is no use putting it on the fringe.

Ms Bullock said there was a strong case to build an exhibition centre at Stony Creek due to existing facilities and utilities.

Power and water are already available at Stony Creek, she said.

It is not just about horse events, everyone in Meeniyan is for the facility because it would be a multipurpose building.

Ms Bullock said there had already been interest from different industries, which would benefit from an undercover location to hold events.

She said things like cattle shows, judging competitions, working dog trials, markets, machinery demonstrations and field days are just some of the options for the facility, if built.

These sorts of things need an undercover facility to run, particularly during South Gippsland winters, she said.

The original plan also featured conference facilities, and the proximity of Stony Creek to the Great Southern Rail Trail is a huge benefit.

A council spokesperson said the council plan amendment requires a different scope of works to the consultancy tender recently advertised and a suitable consultant will be sought to complete the feasibility investigations of potential sites across the shire.

Once council has had the opportunity to review the outcomes of the feasibility study, it will consider the level of support required to bring the project to fruition and the opportunities available to secure ext...

10:34

Australia rallies to Protect Our Winters Mountain Journal

An Australian chapter of Protect Our Winters (POW) will be officially launched this week, with a visit from pro skier Chris Davenport.  Chris is a POW board member and will be visiting Thredbo and Mt Buller as part of his trip.

Chris will speak at Mt Buller on July 24 and at Thredbo on Friday July 27. There will also be a Hike for POW to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko during the day on the 27th.

The following media release comes from POW Australia:

With snow flurries across the Australian Alps this week its an apt time for the launch of the Australian chapter of the global environmental group Protect Our Winters (POW).

The official launch of POW Australia this week will be followed by a visit from two-time world champion pro skier Chris Davenport.  Davenport is a POW board member and is widely regarded as one of the premier big mountain skiers in the world today.  Among his many mountaineering achievement Chris was the first person to ski all fifty-four of Colorados 14,000 foot peaks in less than a year.  He has also guided and skied on Mt Everest.

Chris is visiting Mt Buller and Thredbo resorts during his time in Australia, spreading the word on why we need winter and will speak at the Mt Buller cinema on Tuesday 24th July 2018. The talk will be followed by a screening of the new Teton Gravity Research film Rogue Elements in which Mt Buller Mitch Reeves features.

Thredbo will then build on the program with a Hike for POW to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko on Friday 27 July  and a speaker program that evening in resort.

Protect Our Winters activity in Australia started in 2017 when professional snowboarder and POW Founder Jeremy Jones and his family were invited to Mt Buller by long-time friend Tony Harro Harrington. The Jones family came to Mt Buller and Thredbo where Jeremy established the first Australian POW resort alliance at Thredbo.  This kicked off the the charge towards positive climate action within the snow industry with Falls Creek now also involved and more resorts expected to formalise their participation in the program.

Since founding POW 10 years ago, the organisation has grown to a global network of over 130,000 supporters and engaging with 60 million+ snowsports enthusiasts across the world, a following that is fast growing momentum in Australian alpine communities.

Leading the campaign in Australia is a passionate group of advocates including Tony Harro Harrington, Rhylla Morgan, Josh Fletcher and Kerris McLiver based at Mt Buller, all who have extensive experience in the snow and outdoor sports industry.

At the heart of it Protect Our Winters is a passionate crew of diehards, professional athletes and industry brands mobilizing the outdoor sports community to lead the charge towards positive climate action so we can continue to do what we love and live in the communities we care about. We are...

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