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ON Thursday evening a meeting was held at the Community Centre in Foster where concerned locals met with Geoff Davis from the Council and Engineer Nick Andrewes from the consulting 
The post Flooding of Stockyard Creek a difficult and complex issue appeared first on Foster Community Online.
Community members from the Strathbogie region have again taken direct action today the International Day of Forests to prevent the ongoing, needless destruction of Strathbogies forests.
Local group Our Strathbogie Forest reports:
Erecting a monopole over machinery used for the timber-harvesting to stop the machinery being used, and also entered the logging coupe to prevent any logging.
This is part of a determined, ongoing community campaign to
protect the remaining un-logged forest in the Barjarg Flat coupe,
said Shirley Saywell, Euroa Environment Group President and local
business operator. We will not stop until the Government listens to
our community and acts!
Daniel Andrews and Minister DAmbrosio have so far failed to listen to the communitys concerns and failed to act to help protect this part of Victoria and its known populations of threatened wildlife, even though they have the powers to do so right now. The community will not stand by and watch the needless destruction of these forests and threatened animals. The community cares about its local biodiversity and natural environment, even if the Government does not, and has decided it has no choice but to intervene directly.
On International Day of Forests, of all days, we will not stand by and see the natural values of our region destroyed for wood chips and firewood. We call upon the Minister and Premier to act upon our concerns, intervene now and halt the logging. That action would show genuine Government leadership on this International Day of Forests
The recent purchase of the Heyfield Timber Mill by the Victorian government is a monumental mistake. It is not the involvement of government that is the problem. A strong, probably dominant, contribution will be required from government to achieve any just transition to a low carbon economy. The mistake is investing in the continuing destruction of Gippslands native forests probably amongst the best carbon stores in mainland Australia.
They government have invested in a lose/lose situation almost certainly because of the influence of the unions in this case the CFMEU. This union is the natural power base for the Labor party in Gippsland and the timber workers jobs have become sacrosanct. This is regardless of the fact that they are in electorates that are most unlikely to return Labor members and from anecdotal accounts many of these workers will not vote Labor anyway. The decision was also probably influenced by Vicforests a government business tied to the continuation of the logging industry. Aside from shoring up their base support any political gains of the purchase are hard to find.
Labor (and eventually we all) will lose because of the loss of this precious carbon store. As it becomes increasingly obvious that the remaining forests must be retained and protected the union base of the old economy will decline. So too will their political support diminish unless they can also change to support and even promote the new economy. They will also lose because there will probably never be a return on the so called investment. The mill purchase was only ever a short term political fix.
A just transition in the bush should take no more than ten years. Employment should be the primary concern. As areas are closed to logging all bush workers should be offered work with DELWP changing their tasks from forest destruction to forest protection. Likewise, as mills close, the workers should all be offered employment preferably near their current jobs. In the remote mills the main employment may be with DELWP. In Heyfield employment could be offered in large government projects such as floating solar on Lake Glenmaggie and plantation or reafforestation projects. No doubt there are many other low carbon economy options.
The rapid changes in the South Australian renewable energy should serve as an example to the Andrews government. Although SA Labor has lost political power their achieveme...
FOSTER Secondary College student Xavier Duursma is one of
Gippsland Powers brightest prospects to be drafted to the AFL at
the end of the year.
The Year 12 student was last week named captain of the Gippsland Power Under 18 TAC Cup team for 2018, and Gippsland Power talent manager Peter Francis says he has all the attributes to be a drafted player by the end of November.
Hes very mature and hes a very good player. He leads by example not just with his voice but in the way he plays. He goes hard at it and hes got some really nice skills, Francis said.
A talented and versatile midfielder, Duursma has come up through the ranks playing for Foster in the Alberton League and in Gippsland Powers Under 15 and Under 16 squads.
Hes twice represented Victoria in the Australian Football Championships, played for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships in 2016, and debuted in Gippsland Powers Under 18 TAC Cup team last year as a bottom age player, winning best first year player for his efforts.
He says hes proud to be captain and looking forward to the
Its pretty exciting but its also a big responsibility. As captain, I plan to lead from the front and set the tone and set a good example.
Im hoping well get to the finals. Hopefully top four. Thats realistic for us. Weve got a very talented group, he said.
A keen athlete, Duursma has recently had success at regional level in interschool swimming, but AFL is his number one, perhaps unsurprising given his father, Dean, now a Gippsland Power under 16s assistant coach, was once a Sydney and Melbourne-listed player.
Dads a bit of a role model. Hes happy to see me doing alright, Xavier said.
Xaviers uncle Jamie also played 59 games for Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in the 1980s.
Xaviers a Brisbane Lions supporter but would love to play for any AFL team.
Hes set for a big year, with responsibilities as a school captain as well as trying to make it onto the Vic Country Under 18s side.
Round 1 sees Gippsland Power take on the Murray Bushrangers at Punt Road this Saturday.
South Gippsland is well represented in this years squad, which also includes Matt McGannon of Fish Creek, Leongatha pl...
Australian animals, they are amazing unique creatures that everyone is amazed by, even us who live here. I have always marvelled at the kangaroos bounding across our landscape, little echidnas waddling through the bush, wombats digging huge holes that seem to go on forever and those little koalas that perch themselves high above us in the treetops. We have been to many places overseas and if we got to a zoo or wildlife park and if there are Australian animals there my girls will still seek them outthey are like a little piece of home all the way over the other side of the world. When we are watching them people will gather to see them too, amazed by these unique creatures and they are from where we come from.
Last time we visited Dromana we drove past the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park and I thought it would be a fantastic place to visit. Unfortunately, we ran out of time so, on our next visit, I made sure it was on our itinerary. Willow and Marley both love animals and learning more about how we can protect our native ones is very important to us. We left Dromana at about 8.30 to make sure we got there for the 10 oclock opening. There were already some people lining up for entry to the Moonlit Sanctuary so we filed in behind them.
Once we were at the ticket counter Michael came out to greet us and to tell us a little about the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. He told us what times the shows would be on and gave us a map that included all the information we would need to see as much as we could while we were at the Moonlit Wildlife Sanctuary. He then handed us all a lanyardthe girls looked at him not really understanding what they were but as soon as they saw the picture on the front they had the biggest smiles on their faces! We were going to be able to be up close and personal with a Koala! Bucket List Check!
We all walked through the entry door and out into the wildlife park. Two little wallabies knew exactly where to stand! They were just the cutest little things and they were getting ALL the food from everyone walking in! The girls made a beeline for them straight away and Marley got to feed the little one before we moved on to the Koalas. I love seeing these guys even though they are normally...
INVERLOCH has chased down a mammoth first innings total at the
Korumburra Rec against OMK to secure their place in the A Grade
Division 1 grand final.
OMK batted superbly on day one posting 8/365 from their 90 overs with Jesse Van Rooye making a top notch 106 not out.
It all began at the top for the Diggers with openers Adam Miller and Tommy Wyatt getting to 0/90 before Lewie Rankin found the edge of Wyatt dismissing the in-form bat of the competition for 50.
Rankin struck again soon after trapping Miller in front for 38 and when captain Daniel Mock followed almost immediately for just 4 runs Lewie and the Stingrays had their tails up with the scoreboard reading 3/112.
English import Callum Honeyman and Jason Wilson then teamed up to put the Diggers right back in the game with a solid 80 run partnership.
Tim Thornby then took an absolute screamer on the boundary to dismiss Honeyman for 62 and the Stingrays looked in control at 5/198.
But a defiant Jesse Van Rooye stood tall at number 6 and put together a terrific innings in the middle order with a mixture of good cricket shots along with some power hitting to get the Diggers to what seemed like an insurmountable score of 8/385.
The Rankin brothers, Lewie and Will, bowled a combined 56 overs for the Stingrays with captain Kit Rotthier going down with food poisoning and Dave Newman still recovering from a leg injury he susta...
THERE was a brilliant turnout at The Cape passata making day and
the launch of some of The Capes zero energy bill homes.
Around 600 people visited The Cape throughout the day, showing great interest in the five sustainable open homes homes that are super energy efficient, comfortable to live in, allow people to eliminate energy bills and experience the effortless comfort of passive solar, carbon neutral living.
The teams from TS Constructions, Beaumont Concepts, Adapt Design Group, The Sociable Weaver were alongside many current and future residents making the general public welcome and sharing information.
The festival atmosphere was enhanced by young local musicians and artists from Bass Coast showing their talent in the various homes and wonderful passata making by the guest chef Mara Ripani.
Tony OConnell from TS Constructions described the CORE 9 house as both economical and sustainable house.
CORE 9 is a completely new design thats been designed by Beaumont Concepts. CORE is an acronym for Carbon positive, zerO waste, Recyclable and Economical.
It has almost zero running costs, which means you spend a bit more on your build and for the rest of your life the house pays for itself basically, or returns on the earlier investment.
Visitors came from New South Wales, Warrnambool, Melbourne, Latrobe Valley, Gippsland and the Bass Coast area, which indicates there is strong interest in better performing energy efficient homes.
Cape Stage 2 is now more than 50 per cent sold with roads, parks and wetlands under construction, and some wonderful home sites being built with views over the Bass Strait towards Cape Woolamai in the East and Mt Oberon/Wilsons Promontory in the west.
If you are interested in joining a great modern, well designed community and securing an affordable townhouse site or a lovely ocean view site that can never be built out in a great part of Victorias coast, dont wait too long as they are being snapped up.
GIPPSLAND South schools were on the agenda when Shadow Minister
for Education, Tim Smith, visited Foster Primary School, Korumburra
Secondary College and Sale Specialist School recently.
Gippsland South MLA Danny OBrien said he had been long campaigning for these schools and it was important the Shadow Minister saw first-hand the poor state of Foster Primary School and the need for stage two of Korumburra Secondary College to be funded.
The current Foster Primary School, which was built in 1965, is in a poor state of repair and the Andrews Labor Government must look at funding a rebuild, Mr OBrien said.
The school is full of asbestos, falling apart, with maintenance costs now placing a burden on the school budget. It is not a conducive environment for our childrens education and needs to be rebuilt.
Mr OBrien and Mr Smith also visited Korumburra Secondary College, highlighting the need for funding of stage two of the school.
Mr OBrien said the former Liberal-National Coalition provided $5.6 million for the planning and first stage of works at the college.
It would be great to finish the project now that stage one is being used to ensure our Korumburra students have access to the best quality educational infrastructure, Mr OBrien said.
Mr OBrien and his Gippsland East colleague, Tim Bull also took the opportunity to tour the new Sale Specialist School with the Shadow Minister.
Mr OBrien said the new school, which opened this year, is a fantastic facility for the community that worked hard to secure the funding.
Mr OBrien said petitions are circulating for both Foster Primary School and Korumburra Secondary College and he encourages people to sign them so we can keep the pressure on the State Government.
BY his own admission, Premier Daniel Andrews made a small
contribution of $1.9 million to the Wonthaggi Hospital on
However, the re-election of the Labor Party to government could see more funding for the hospital yet, with Mr Andrews saying he would have more to say about regional health later this year.
Obviously, elections are all about choices and we will be giving the people of Bass Coast Shire and this region a very clear choice, Mr Andrews told The Star on Thursday.
We were pleased last year to announce $31m for the school (Wonthaggi Secondary College), which was a fantastic outcome and is backing local students to do their best.
Today was a small investment area for the hospital, but it is very much needed. Theres been careful and considered planning work in terms of the needs of the hospital for the whole community. We will have more to say about health right across regional Victoria throughout the course of the year.
In the meantime, the $1.9 million boost will go towards ongoing maintenance at the hospital. In particular, it will go towards replacing the lift, five air handling units in patient care areas, new medical air compressors, and the installation of improved emergency backup and warning systems.
The funding was granted as part of the Labor Governments $200m Regional Health Infrastructure Fund and funding for the air units had been already announced by the government some two weeks ago.
For the first time ever, we have been able to apply a grant for works no one really gives a lot of attention to but are critically important, Mr Andrews said.
Without upgrades, without replacement funding, the hospital simply cant provide the care and support that it does.
Acting Bass Coast Health CEO Noni Burke said the hospital was thrilled.
It will ensure we are providing our patients with a safe and pleasant environment, and will allow us to work more effectively, she said.
Ms Burke said the emergency lift was an important feature of the hospital for accessibility, but was often unreliable and had been out of order on a number of occasions.
Mr Andrews also discussed the Federal Governments $100 million hospital deal, which was offered to all states.
The states were offered a percentage of the $100 million innovation fund.
Its a deal that sees the Federal Governments contribution capped at 45 percent so the state is having to do more than the Commonwealth, and the indexation rate is capped. Everybody knows when it comes to providing care to those who need it most, you cant cap health funding, he said.
You cant say to someone who comes into the emergency department Well, Im sorry, weve reached the cap, youll have to come back next quarter or next financial year. It doesnt work that way, he said.
This deal is not a good deal for Victorian patients, and thats why the Victorian Government did not sign up to i...
FIREWORKS caused a grass fire at Leongathas Knoxs Hill early
Police said a group of men were camping beside Knoxs Hill on Nerrena Road when they set fireworks off just after midnight.
At least one firework started a grass fire.
Approximately 70 CFA members assisted in extinguishing the fire before it flared later. CFA crews returned to the scene and remained there well into the afternoon.
Leongatha Police interviewed a 48 year old Chirnside Park man who will be charged with associated offences.
Police and CFA personnel manning traffic management points were disappointed with the behaviour of numerous motorists who failed to slow sufficiently or at all when approaching the scene.
Police said it was timely to remind all drivers that they must slow to 40km/h when approaching or passing any stationary emergency services vehicle that has its emergency vehicle warning lights flashing.
SOUTH Gippsland ratepayers may receive a $100,000 gift from
Thats how much council is forgoing in rate increases by planning to keep the next rate increase below the State Governments cap of 2.25 percent.
South Gippsland Shire Councils proposed budget for 2018-19 forecasts a rate rise of two percent.
We are sending a nice message to the community, councils acting manager finance Stuart Smith said.
He said council could have increased rates to the limit permitted by the cap, resulting in an extra $100,000 income, but could afford not to.
Over the last 15 years we have stuck to our Long Term Financial Plan and that has enabled us to be in a strong financial position, he said.
Mayor Cr Lorraine Brunt said even by holding the rate rise at two percent, council would still achieve a surplus. Council predicts an underlying surplus of $3.33 million, which is the result minus capital funding sources.
Council plans to raise $42.15 million from rates in 2018-19. Rates increased by 2.5 percent in 2017-18.
Council will deliberate the proposed budget tomorrow (Wednesday) and it includes a $21.39 million capital works program featuring the expansion of the Great Southern Rail Trail from Welshpool to Hedley, building a footpath along Jumbunna Road to Korumburra Secondary College, a new bridge on Bena-Kongwak Road, $3.8 million refurbishment of Mirboo North pool, and drainage and kerb and channelling in Lochs Main Street.
While the capital works expenditure is up $3.2 million on 2017-18, council expects much of the cost to be funded by grants. Council will spend $6 million less on major works compared to this financial year.
Council has allocated $1 million towards extending the rail trail 8.3km from Welshpool to Hedley next financial year rather than the extension from Leongatha to Korumburra, as council believes it may obtain grants for half of the project from the Latrobe Valley Authority and Regional Development Victoria towards the works. Council plans to allocate $3 million towards the Korumburra extension in 2019-20.
Other capital works include $778,000 to cap three cells at Koonwarra landfill and a further $352,000 for a leachate evaporation system; $364,000 set aside towards the Korumburra Community Hub if the preferred site of the railway land is approved; and $1.3m for road seal rehabilitation works.
Total caravan parks works for 2018-19 are: $435,000 for a toilet block at Waratah Bay, $376,000 for a toilet block at Long Jetty Caravan Park, $60,000 to replace cabins at Long Jetty Caravan Park, $68,000 for an office at Long Jetty, $99,000 for a communal area at Yanakie Caravan Park and $169,000 for an electrical upgrade at Yanakie, for a total of $1.307 million.
Staff costs have risen by $1 million to $26 million, with council now employing 265.53 fulltime equivalent staff. This financial year, council added an arts and events officer.
We are still...
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council CEO Tim Tamlin will today
(Tuesday) address the Supreme Court in Melbourne about councils
handling of noise complaints in relation to Bald Hills Wind
He will be asked to explain councils actions in complying with a court order in August 2017 to investigate the noise complaints.
Mr Tamlins appearance follows ongoing legal action by wind farm neighbours who believe council has failed to adequately followup their complaints about turbine noise which they say is having an adverse impact upon their health.
Council last month voted to pay a consultant $33,600 to determine if noise monitoring is required at the wind farm.
The Star understands council asked the neighbours to drop their request for Mr Tamlin to appear, on the grounds council had engaged a consultant to investigate turbine noise.
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council could make 43 jobs redundant under a proposal to no longer provide Home and Community Care (HACC) services.
The Star understands 43 jobs would end and council would pay a redundancy bill of approximately $1 million if council opts out of HACC.
At the March 28 council meeting, councillors will vote on a proposal by council officers that council withdraw from offering HACC services.
The withdrawal is conditional on council finding a suitable alternative service provider to continue to deliver services.
If a provider is found, council will recommend all HACC staff to the new provider. If not, council will remain the service provider.
HACC services are targeted at senior clients aged over 65 years and clients under 65 years with a disability.
The service provides short term restorative care or longer term services to enable clients to remain independent and at home for longer.
Such services include home care, personal care, respite and home maintenance. Council has approximately 1300 such clients.
Council has been reviewing the future of HACC services under changes to the provision of funding by State and Federal governments. These changes will see all clients eventually able to chose their own service providers.
Councils manager community services Bart Ruyter said council was currently not profitable in the sector and would most likely be uncompetitive once all governments changes came into effect.
He confirmed 43 was an accurate indication of the number of the jobs to be affected.
A number of options for aged and disability services have been explored by council and no decision has been made by council yet, Mr Ruyter said.
Australian Services Union (ASU) branch coordinator Melissa Wainwright said the ASU believed councils decision would result in the cessation of a total of 43 roles across the aged and disability team.
The union plans a meeting of member this Thursday.
This decision has the potential to devastate both staff and residents, who rely on good quality local jobs, with well trained workers providing vital support to those most vulnerable in our community who need it, Ms Wainwright said.
The union is extremely disappointed with this resolution, and urges council to vote against the recommendation to withdraw from provision of services in the strongest possible terms.
The community faces an uncertain future with poorer quality outcomes if this decision is to proceed.
The ASU believes council is making a decision far too soon, and should at the very least, wait until 2019 when more detail about future funding arrangements addressing councils concerns are known.
In November 2017, council received a petition urging it to rescind its motion to consider transferring HACC services to another organisation, and to retain aged and disability staff within council....
Gippsland Environment Group (GEG) recently organised a site visit to the Benambra mine tailings dam in the headwaters of the Tambo River to discuss mining company CopperChems proposal to re-open and massively expand the dam. The visit raised considerable alarm among all who attended. The Stockman mine has long been a controversial project and plans to re-open the operation have caused serious concerns in the community.
The following report comes from GEG:
Members of local Landcare Groups, Victorian National Parks Association, Gippsland Environment Group, Environment East Gippsland and other interested locals travelled to the Stockman Project east of Benambra to inspect the tailings dam. Staff from Earth Resources (Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) and Copperchem the mining company that has applied for a licence to expand the tailings dam, were also present to answer questions.
The original Benambra copper and zinc mine was operated by Denehurst Pty Ltd from 1992 until 1996. In 1998 the company went into receivership and abandoned the site forfeiting their mine rehabilitation bond of $375,000. Denehurst left behind an unstable tailings dam containing 700,000 tonnes of toxic tailings leaking acid and heavy metals into Straight Creek which runs into the Tambo River. The tailings dam had been constructed right across the waterway over a series of groundwater springs and had been built without a spillway. Between 1999 and 2005 the EPA authorised DPI to make emergency releases of 160 megalitres of contaminated water to reduce the risk of the dam wall overtopping and undermining the dam foundations.
In 2006 DPI rehabilitated the mine site and tailings dam at a cost of $7 million to the taxpayer. In the process of remediating the tailings dam and constructing a spillway another 140 megalitres of tailings dam water was released into the waterway. The dam operates as a flow through system spilling into Straight Creek as inflows from the catchment raise the water level over the tailings. The dam water was to the mouth of the spillway at the time of the site visit.
The original tailings dam was constructed from rockfi...
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