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It comes on top of $3 million for Bass Coast Health in the first allocation from the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) and an increase of $5.4 million this financial year in overall funding for the health service.
The latest funding has been warmly welcomed by Bass Coast Health.
Local MP Brian Paynter has also welcomed the funding while also reinforcing his commitment to having the hospital upgraded to sub-regional status.
And despite a jibe directed at the Federal Member for Flinders, Greg Hunt, the Turnbull Government Cabinet Minister has also welcomed the Premiers announcement (see quotes below).
However, while the local community was expecting the State Government to finally commit even more significant funds to the complete redevelopment of the hospital, in line with its sub-regional status, it may be that Mr Andrews was simply re-announcing funding his colleague Harrier Shing had released three days earlier, building on works last year which forced the temporary closure of the hospitals maternity service.
Ms Shing said on Monday, March 12 that health services in Gippsland would receive $3,923,680 between them through the first round of the Labor Governments new RHIF fund a feature of which was $1.65 million for the Foster hospital and Bass Coast Health $1 million for the following:
* Replacement medical air and installation of medical air backup with auto change over switch $205,600,
* Replacement five air handling units in patient care areas $512,000,
* Replacement fire panel and installation colour graphics system $287,000.
Today, the Premier joined hospital staff to announce that Bass Coast Health would receive a $1.9 million funding boost to fit Wonthaggi hospital with the latest air handling systems, alongside other crucial safety upgrades to boost patient outcomes and improve working conditions for staff.
The announcement almost certainly includes the allocations detailed by Ms Shing three days earlier, and then some.
Both Ms Shing earlier, and the Premier today, said the funding was part of the Labor Governments $200 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) the largest of its kind in Victorian history rebuilding regional...
In the Queensborough river forests of far East Gippsland protected habitat for the Greater Glider is being logged.
Community surveys reported a population of Greater Gliders in a logging coupe earlier this week triggering legal protection of the forest.
The Victorian Labor government are continuing to log where protected Gliders have been found. Locations where Greater Gliders were reported have now been logged.
By Matt Male
AN umpire from the Inverloch Bowling Club will be keeping a
watchful eye over the best bowlers internationally this year at the
Umpire and keen bowls player Lorraine Dowson has been picked as one of the umpires for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Lorraines the only qualified international umpire in Gippsland, starting at the Inverloch Bowling Club 14 years ago.
I used to live half-way between Inverloch and Wonthaggi, she said.
I was just learning to bowl and I met a lady who played at Inverloch and I thought it was a good, friendly club and very supportive so I went there.
About three years ago, she was accredited as an international bowls umpire.
Recently, she was announced as one of the umpires for the Commonwealth Games.
Its a bit unbelievable, she said last week.
I thought this sort of thing only happens to city people.
Then I had to keep it a secret for four months. I couldnt divulge. It was like keeping the gender of your baby a secret.
Now Lorraine regularly gets a wave and congratulatory hug when she bumps into someone on the street whos heard of the wonderful news.
Its actually a little funny for me to say it too. Im just a little girl from South Gippsland.
The umpire went up against 41 other applicants for the 20 umpiring positions in the Gold Coast games.
Its based on your experience and what youve done during the year.
As for advice for other bowls players, Lorraine says: I think, and this is with all sports, you should start young.
On the international level, you get a lot of people in their 20s playing, although at a local level its often retirees.
Umpiring at Inverloch Bowling Club, there are usually two umpires; one on the green answering questions and another working off the green, making decisions on law and measuring.
But with international, youre doing all of that, Lorraine said.
On a local level, the public can walk within centimetres of players, but at the Commonwealth Games, theyre kept in the stands.
Although you can walk in and out of games, youre kept to the public stands; you cant just walk around where the pla...
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas is the sole shareholder of government logging agency VicForests.
He has the power to direct VicForests to stop logging in protected wildlife habitat and comply with the law.
And its not often youd have the Premier in town without a major announcement.
His main port of call is the Wonthaggi Hospital, operated by Bass Coast Health, which has been petitioning the State Government for its commitment to developing Wonthaggi as the sub-regional hospital for the Phillip Island, Bass Coast and South Gippsland region.
Big bucks are required. Millions.
With early polling allegedly indicating that former Bass Coast Shire Mayor Jordan Crugnale, the endorsed Labor candidate for the burgeoning Bass Electorate, has a genuine chance of unseating the incumbent Brian Paynter of the Liberal Party, it might be payday for Bass Coast and its hospital.
After funding the rebuilding of the senior campus of the Wonthaggi Secondary College recently, the redevelopment of the Wonthaggi hospital as the sub-regional centre remains the main outstanding project in the southern region of the Bass electorate.
The Premier is apparently having lunch with Ms Crugnale and key business and political leaders after the expected announcement at the hospital.
Insert photo: The Premier Daniel Andrews is also meeting with ALP candidate for Bass Jordan Crugnale after visiting the Wonthaggi hospital tomorrow.
POLICE are seeing a recent increase in the occurrences of
wildlife, particularly kangaroos, being hit by motorists.
It is most likely due to the dry conditions the area is experiencing at the moment; with no available feed in the paddocks animals are being attracted to the road verges where there is more grass.
Police are asking that motorists be aware of this and slow down largely at night, particularly at dusk and dawn.
Motorists who collide with animals can contact wildlife rescue services, or can call 000, if they require police assistance.
OBLEM gambling can result in gamblers losing their homes, as
well as not having enough money for everyday essentials.
That was the message delivered at a forum held by Gamblers Help at Leongatha Community House last Wednesday.
A small group of attendees heard of the significant losses to poker machines in South Gippsland Shire.
In 2016-17, $6.57 million was lost on the 105 machines at four venues, equating to an average of $18,016 a day.
Gamblers Help community educator Lauren Sewell said problem gamblers face the real prospect of losing their homes by not being able to afford repayments.
People with a low and moderate risk of becoming a problem gambler are at risk of not having enough money left for recreational activities or are not able to afford new clothes, she said.
While South Gippsland Shire has four venues that have pokies compared to other municipalities that might have 10 venues, the losses across those four venues are still huge.
Ms Sewell said the audience at Leongatha Community House was surprised to learn of the extent of gambling losses in the shire.
Ms Sewell said warning signs of a gambling habit becoming a problem include people gambling money they would usually save and gambling more money than they can afford.
They also start spending less time with family and friends because of their gambling behaviour, she said.
Gamblers can often increase their alcohol consumption because poker machines are often located where alcohol is sold, and alcohol can also help relieve stress gamblers incur when they spend more than they can afford.
Given the shires population is widespread, people can also turn to online gambling to overcome feelings of social isolation.
Anyone can be affected by gambling. There is not a particular gender or socio-economic type who can only be impacted, Ms Sewell said.
Community house coordinator Eunice Donovan said houses support people through life.
So when they are struggling with something that is a problem in their lives, the community house is an opportunity for them to get assistance, she said.
Leongatha RSL is one of the local venues with poker machines.
Assistant manager Ricky McNaughton defended the presence of poker machines, saying people are not forced to play them.
Theyre there as a source of entertainment, as is horse racing, bingo, etc, but those figures are never exposed to the public, he said.
Take gaming out of our venue, and probably 30 of the 40 locals we employ wouldnt be working there.
Almost all of the profits we make have to be given back into our community through donations and sponsorships.
Mr McNaughton said he has worked in gaming for 22 years.
Yes, you see some sad situations, but everyone forgets about old Mabel down the road whose family has also forgotten about her, as she comes to visit us daily for a coffee and a bit of a flutter. T...
A colony of protected Greater Gliders has been found in VicForests logging coupe 892-507-0020 in the Queensborough river forest. Surveys conducted by GECO and Fauna and Flora Research Collective have documented a 'high density' of Greater Gliders triggering legal protection of the forest.
KORUMBURRA milk company Burra Foods could expand into Victorias
The company may assess whether to submit an offer to buy Murray Goulburns Koroit milk plant.
Canadian dairy company Saputo will look to sell the Koroit plant in order to obtain Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) clearance for its purchase of Murray Goulburn.
Burra Foods managing director Grant Crothers said, Im not in a position to comment regarding the commentary of others on Burras possible expansion.
We, as Im sure many others, were interested to learn of the ACCCs guidance regarding MGC Koroit. We regard it as a high quality asset with considerable processing capacity. Like other complementary assets when a sale process is run, we will consider the opportunity and decide on suitability and affordability.
The sale of Murray Goulburn will remain subject to an ordinary resolution of MGs voting shareholders, which is expected to occur at an extraordinary general meeting on Thursday, April 5.
If the ACCC has not provided clearance for the sale by April 4, MG will postpone the meeting.
Upon revision, MG has increased its estimate of the net value per share/unit which shareholders could receive as a result of the sale. The estimated net value is now $1.15 to $1.20, an increase of five cents.
As a result, the initial distribution to be paid shortly after completion of the sale has been increased by five cents to $0.80 per share/unit.
MG currently expects the sale to complete on May 1
THE wombat came from nowhere and Patricia Ludgate could not
swerve to avoid it.
The Wonthaggi woman was on her way to work when her vehicle collided with the wombat and then hit a tree on the side of the Bass Highway at Leongatha South recently.
The force of the impact crashed the side of her Nissan Pathfinder, caving in the passengers door and footwell, and leaving the bonnet buckled.
Somehow, despite suffering bruising and scratches, and vomiting from the stress of the ordeal at 4.45am, Ms Ludgate found the energy to continue on to work milking cows at a Boorool farm, after her husband Tony collected her.
The horrible thing about it was that I had four cars pass me and no-one stopped, she said.
I was standing on the side of the road, but you would have thought someone would have stopped and asked if I was okay.
Despite her vehicle spinning around 180 degrees and glass falling over her, Ms Ludgate said she felt protected.
It was like I had someones arms wrapped around me like a guardian angel, she said.
I reckon it was my late grandparents. We were always close.
Im grateful to still be alive considering it could have been a lot worse.
Ms Ludgate urged motorists to watch for wildlife on the roads, particularly near where her accident occurred, not far from Zotti and Dowels Road. Nearby bush provides habitat for wombats, wallabies, kangaroos and koalas.
Just take it easy. I was not speeding when the accident happened. I just see a lot of people speeding past me because theyre in a hurry, she said.
I see so much stupid driving.
THE prospect of a new RSL complex for Leongatha is still on the
That is the message from the new Leongatha sub-branch president, Ken Wanklyn.
The former Navy commander, and now Korumburra resident, was elected to the top job at the RSLs annual general meeting last Wednesday, after previously serving as secretary.
Last year, the Leongatha RSL flagged the possibility of building a new RSL on the corner of Smith Street and Michael Place in Leongatha. The new complex was to include a restaurant, accommodation, function centre and on-site parking.
The RSL proposed to buy the former Carinos office complex now owned by South Gippsland Shire Council and sell the existing RSL site in Michael Place to council.
But the RSL withdrew its proposal in October 2017, despite the RSL and council entering into a Memorandum of Understanding to start talks about a land swap earlier that year.
The Star understands the Leongatha RSL withdrew its proposal after the complex did not receive unanimous support from the RSL committee. The project could require the community to raise many millions of dollars.
Mr Wanklyn said the RSL board wished to revisit the project and consider whether it was indeed affordable.
There is a lot more work to do on the development, he said.
We always want to contribute to enhancing these premises for the membership of the sub-branch by way of improving what we have got and then in the longer term, down the track, depending on how our finances pan out, there is scope on doing further work.
In the mean time, Mr Wanklyn said the sub-branch is looking forward to turning 100 on January 3, 2019 and holding a commemorative event worthy of the occasion.
We want to get the community involved with it because the RSL is a significant part of Leongathas history and the area, he said.
Mr Wanklyn is adamant the sub-branch will continue to service veterans through its veterans resource hub by providing a drop-in centre with social facilities and assistance with veterans affairs claims.
He wants to reach out to younger veterans, those who served in such conflicts as Iraq and Afghanistan, to help them adjust to civilian life and enjoy a social link with the community.
His own military experience in the Middle East gave him an empathy for the sort of stress other veterans experience.
Mr Wanklyn also wants to increase the sub-branchs membership by making the community more aware of the sub-branchs activities.
He was formerly secretary of the Leongatha RSL and served in the Royal Australian Navy, as a sailor, in operational logistics and then commander. He served in the first Gulf War as officer in charge of the logistics support element in the Middle East.
Other members of the new Leongatha RSL committee are secretary John Schelling, treasurer Mark Carruthers, senior vice president Vince Campisi, vice president Col James, and committee member...
SOUTH Gippsland schools have hit the mark with some exceptional outcomes from the newly released 2017 NAPLAN results.
And one of the big improvers is St Laurences Primary School in Leongatha.
St Laurence OToole Primary School was recognised by the Australian Curriculum Reporting and Assessment Authority as one of the highest performing schools based on the students growth of improvement. The Grade 5 students who sat the test in 2017 achieved higher scores in reading than when they sat the test in Grade 3.
The 2017 Grade 3 students also performed well in reading, with an above average core score.
School principal Kate Dourley said reading had been a key focus for the school for the past three years, and it had met its objectives.
Grammar and punctuation was identified as an area for improvement. Ms Dourley said the school would continue to focus on their reading, which would springboard the students into learning to write about books, and use grammar and punctuation effectively.
The children at St Laurences Primary School said they found some of the questions on the NAPLAN test challenging, but felt confident in the practice they had done in school, as well as the extracurricular reading they had done at home.
NAPLAN results, released last Wednesday, revealed impressive literacy and numeracy outcomes in many local schools.
Primary schools across Bass Coast and South Gippsland have produced particularly high scores in reading and writing.
St Laurence OToole Primary School in Leongatha and Wonthaggi Primary School returned above average scores in reading, which Tarwin Lower Primary School achieved substantially above average scores in reading for the third consecutive year.
Korumburra and Wonthaggi primary schools each performed well in reading.
The secondary colleges delivered average scores across the board, suggesting students are on track as they prepare for their VCE years.
Korumburra Primary School experienced exceptional growth in 2016. The Grade 3 students hit the above average mark in writing, and the Grade 5 students had impressive results in reading, grammar and numeracy.
In 2017, the Grade 5 students maintained those high results with above average scores in writing, grammar and numeracy.
Wonthaggi Primary School achieved exceptional results with Grade 3 students producing a substantially above average score in grammar.
The Grade 3 students were above average across the board, while the Grade 5 students recorded above average scores in reading and grammar.
These results were similar to those the school received in 2016.
Wonthaggi Primary School has worked with numeracy and literacy coaches for the past three year.
The coaches work with both students and staff, putting a strong focus on academic skill and targeting improvement areas throughout the year.
NAPLAN is one of the many assessment tools we...
In the 1930s a young Wilfred Burchett was clearing scrub on the family farm at Poowong. He went on to become one of Australias most controversial and well known journalists and commentators. He rose to fame with the journalist scoop of the twentieth century in Japan at the end of World War II. Whilst every other war journalist in Japan went with the flow and attended the signing of the peace treaty on USS Missouri, Burchett went against the flow deciding that the real news story was elsewhere.
Following his hunch he made a difficult and dangerous journey to Hiroshima and was the first journalist to witness the destruction of a city caused by a single bomb. Newspaper headlines flashed around the world; everyone who could read now knew about the Atomic bomb and the insidious radiation sickness that followed in its wake.
Like the nuclear age that burst on an unsuspecting world, man-made climate change is in a similar, but different, position in the world of news. It can be seen like that well-worn clich as the elephant in the room. Paradoxically climate change is well known but little understood. Vested interests have successfully muddied the waters and distorted the science. People in Gippsland generally, and some journalists, have accepted the distortion that our current climate change is natural and that therefore nothing can be done about it. The priority for the local media becomes the road accident at Briagolong or a drug bust in Mirboo North.
Many journalists and commentators still confuse weather and climate. From Alan Jones down some crow their disbelief every time there is a massive snow storm in the eastern USA (forgetting of course the record hot temperatures in the Arctic) or when there is a record frost in Bairnsdale. Normal weather patterns dictate that there will be both hot and cold records but not in a ratio of six hot ones to every cold. It is also becoming clearer over time that global warming is influencing all weather in many ways from warmer winters to longer fire seasons.
Amongst current mainstream media journalists working on climate Peter Hannam of the Sydney Morning Herald is a standout. Others such as Tristan Edis of News Corp lost his position some time ago as his work was continuously running counter to the political thrust of his organisation. The campaign of opposition, distortion and misinformation emanating from News Corp, the major print media organisation in Australia, is bordering on criminal. The Guardian by comparison is light years ahea...
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