Home' The Great Southern Star : February 23rd 2016 Contents PAGE 12 - “THE STAR”, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Post: PO Box 84 Leongatha 3953
Fax: 03 5662 4350
Post: PO Box 84 Leongatha 3953
Fax: 03 5662 4350
OPINIONS Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
ALL letters should be kept to 400 words or less.
The Star reserves the right to edit all letters for length and style. Writ-
er’s details, including full name, address and phone number (not for
publication), must be included.
don’t own. You can only charge for
This shire council needs council-
lors who will only swear an oath of
allegiance to the people without fear
or fine or imprisonment.
THE ABC program Catalyst on Tues-
day, February 16, 2016 was about con-
cerns over microwave radiation from
mobile phones and wifi in schools.
Microwave ovens, mobile
phones, bluetooth and wifi usually op-
erate at 2.45 GHz. One GHz is equal
to one billion hertz. Microwave ovens
might be 1000 watts in power and a
mobile phone 0.2 of a watt but they
are exactly the same radiation (750
watts equals one horsepower).
I recently bought an acoustime-
ter to read frequencies between two
and eight GHz. I was shocked at the
readings I was getting for mobile
phones and wifi. The wifi reading at
my computer was much higher than
the reading I got from walking around
under the mobile phone tower at the
Inverloch Football Ground.
I was expecting high readings
for the microwave oven and mobile
phone but I didn’t expect the high
readings I got from wifi.
When I reconnected my old mo-
dem which is hardwired to our land-
line the reading went back to zero.
The use of wifi near young chil-
dren who may experience its effect
24/7 needs to be considered by our
society. Remember they don’t get a
choice when they are subject to wifi
in schools and at home. Children are
more at risk than adults due to their
age and developing bodies. Micro-
wave radiation is absorbed in greater
quantities by children than in adults,
as seen on Catalyst. A hard wired
house or school avoids all exposure to
children. Wifi just subjects everyone
to the radiation.
In 2011 the World Health Organi-
sation labelled microwave radiation a
possible 2B carcinogen which puts it
in a category with lead and pesticides.
The same year Russia said wifi should
not be put in schools due to possible
The German Government now
recommends wifi is not placed in
schools and the Austrian Medical As-
sociation has recommended there be
no wifi in schools.
Our safety standards are based
around 1950s high powered radar
safety standards for immediate ther-
mal injury from heating. There are no
long term studies of the affects low
powered continual microwave ex-
posure will have on biological being
such as humans.
In 1997 Lloyds of London, the
multinational insurer, said they would
not insure any mobile phone com-
pany against any future damages their
product causes to health.
The two actions I would suggest
in the interest of ‘duty of care’ would
be to have computers in schools hard-
wired so there is no microwave radia-
tion in classrooms.
At the very least the wifi or router
in the classrooms should be turned off
when not in use. Preps shouldn’t be
in a classroom bombarded by micro-
wave radiation when they hardly even
A concerned retired teacher, par-
ent and grandparent,
IN the upcoming South Gippsland
Shire Council meeting of Febru-
ary 24, the usual report of councillor
meetings is on the agenda.
Normally this motion reads coun-
cil receive and note the report. This
time three additional clauses have
been added which I believe signal the
end to open transparent discussions
within this council.
Let me explain why. The three
motions move that the economic
committee, the planning committee,
and the budget meetings are all confi-
dential. Not to suggest that councillors
don’t treat these briefings/committees
in proper confidence but the wording
means no councillor is able to discuss
anything on these topics forever, un-
less a future motion makes those
meetings un-confidential again.
This means when the budget is
debated in council during the March
meeting, no councillor will be al-
lowed to discuss anything within the
proposed budget document despite
the fact it will have been listed for
public viewing since the middle of
Now, whilst keeping all council-
lor debate behind closed doors might
please the majority bloc on council, it
does not I am sure satisfy the ratepay-
ers in the community. And it does not
impress me either.
I did not stand for council to rep-
resent the ratepayers’ interests only to
be given a gag order effectively mak-
ing it impossible for me to add one
iota of commentary or opinion on the
important matter at hand.
When asked about the reason for
this, the CEO informed me it was
good governance and that when the
proposed budget was approved in
March councillors could discuss the
topic again. This is not correct in my
The Local Government Act is
quite clear - it requires another resolu-
tion of council to make un-confiden-
tial that which has been made confi-
It is my belief once passed, this
motion will be used to gag any debate
from a handful of councillors who
hold different views to the majority
bloc and it will not be lifted until af-
ter the budget is approved in June, if
At that stage it will be too late for
duly elected councillors to have an
open transparent debate on the topic.
I am appalled by this stomping over
the democratic process. At what other
level of government is this sort of be-
haviour allowed? None.
It will also prevent me and other
councillors proposing alternative
scenarios within the budget sessions
since once discussed it becomes con-
fidential for ever. One such proposi-
tion I had planned to present to the
council was to keep the rate rise for
the next two years to zero. This would
be without cutting services and would
go some way to reducing the burden
on the ratepayer without cutting exist-
ing services now or in the future.
Another proposal I planned to
present would result in rate rises over
the next four years of one percent per
year, compared to the last budget at
around six percent and the budget be-
fore that this council approved show-
ing 15 years at around five percent.
My proposal would save 20 per
cent during those four years. Well, at
least the idea was good.
If council does not move a future
resolution of council to make matters
in the draft budget un-confidential
again, then councillors will not be
able to discuss anything at all if it is
financial, capital works or develop-
The only way for you the ratepay-
er to hear the whole debate and have
all views represented is to make your
views known and have this absurd
motion thrown out at the February 24
So at this stage I will not be pre-
senting those ideas to the council bud-
get discussions, choosing instead to
be able to debate the points and have
an open and transparent discussion
on the merits or otherwise of my pro-
posal, without of course, being able to
explain how this might be achieved
since I would have to refer to items
within the draft budget document.
Cr Don Hill,
Tarwin Valley Ward,
South Gippsland Shire Council.
REFERRING to the photo and arti-
cle, in The Star (February 16) entitled
“Simply Insightly”, on the donated
items being dumped in front of the
bins at the IGA supermarket.
I noticed it myself and felt disap-
pointed in the community.
Surely, if the bins are full the alter-
native is to take the items for donation
to any of the many organisations that
can accept these at their premises.
It defeats the whole purpose of
the donations and is disrespectful
to whom you want to receive these
items and to the organisations as well,
as they probably would not be able
to make good use of the items in that
For goodness sake, take your
donations to the op shops in the area
and hand them in yourself. I do this
all the time and I find it not only gives
me the satisfaction that they will be of
use, but also allows me to meet some
lovely people who do great work in
Those bins are not dumping sta-
tions and if you have any respect for
community and environment and the
supporting organisations, do as any
sensible person would: take it yourself
to the organisation of your choice.
If you need to dump, use the tip
because dumping it on the ground
next to the bins is showing no respect
for your town, the area where the bins
are housed and the community in
IT was good to see the results of the
cooperation and hard work between
South Gippsland Water and the Inver-
loch Farm Cluster.
A good result, but only in the short
term. Surely the next step is for com-
munities, farm or any other, to group
together and install small desalination
plants sized and powered to suit their
needs, and thereby removing forever
the vagaries of rainfall and the threat
I imagine this would be an exten-
sion, perhaps, of the way Daylesford
has set up its two wind turbines for the
community, and removed its carbon
footprint entirely with enough power
left over to sell on the market.
I BELIEVE South Gippsland Shire
Council has stated the Yanakie
Caravan Park would be up and run-
ning on a five year plan, that is in
The lost income over that time-
frame, based on the 60 already va-
cated sites at Yanakie Caravan Park,
I made out to be around $1,199,100
at the new rate of $3997 per site.
That’s more than $1.2 million
lost that could have gone back to
No wonder council’s director of
development services Bryan Sword
is saying council collects the ap-
propriate fees from its customers to
ensure the ratepayer is not covering
Then let’s think about the 65
remaining customers who may be
evicted at the end of March if they
can’t afford to buy a new cara-
van in order to comply to the new
Does that mean council is pre-
pared to lose another $1.2 million
over the next five years, just so
it can apply guidelines that have
not been applied at other council
run caravan parks along the Great
Ocean Road that have had no prob-
lem making a profit for ratepayers.
I have ceased to be amazed at the
handling of this issue by council.
They appear to not understand
how to make any income for the
ratepayers, even with a good prod-
uct like the two caravan parks that
made a good income under the care
of contractors before the council
took it over.
“They should turn it into a fun
park for children. There is an all
abilities playground in Bairn-
sdale. It would be cool to have
something like that.”
How would you like to see the disused rail yards in Leongatha transformed?
“I would like it to be turned into
a new shopping area.”
“I would like to see a new restau-
rant put in that area.”
“It would be good to see another
row of shops down there so there
could be an arcade behind Bair
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council will tomorrow
(Wednesday) discuss the prospect of adopting a new proj-
ect as a priority for advocacy, support and funding.
It is the Leongatha Revitalisation Project, that will bundle the
Bair Street, Anderson Street and former railyards development proj-
By including this as a priority project, council will be able to
formally advocate to politicians and other funding groups in a bid
to secure the financial and political support such projects need to
Council has achieved success with past priority projects, such as
the Karmai Integrated Children’s Centre at Korumburra, the Leon-
gatha Heavy Vehicle Alternate Route and Great Southern Rail Trail,
all now underway.
By giving the Leongatha Revitalisation Project priority status,
it shows just how much value council places on Leongatha as the
commercial and industrial centre of the shire.
However, the project does risk adding another layer of bureau-
cracy to projects that are nothing new and have in fact been called
for by the community for many years, and in the case of the rail-
Businesses in Anderson Street were approached by council
some six years ago regarding the prospect of a scheme to improve
landscaping and parking at the northern entrance to Leongatha but
physical works are yet to occur.
The redevelopment of Bair Street is already underway – at least
on paper – although council has been waiting for the heavy vehicle
route to be confirmed before being able to consider how Bair Street
may be enhanced.
The Leongatha project will be a priority project for 2016 along
with restoration of the Long Jetty, Foster streetscape development,
Northern Towns Water Security Project and the realignment of the
South Gippsland Highway at Koonwarra, at the Black Spur.
Funding for the Black Spur seems many years away given the
delay in VicRoads finalising its business case for the project.
The Long Jetty is crumbling as it continues to be a political hot
potato, and probably will continue to be until it falls into the sea
There is a possibility the northern towns project will be funded
in the state budget this year, linking Korumburra, Nyora, Loch and
Poowong’s reservoirs to the Lance Creek reservoir.
The Foster streetscape project will enhance what is already a
Given the Leongatha project comprises three overall projects,
and some with a more immediate chance of eventuating, council
should give it more urgent attention, for the benefit of not only Le-
ongatha but also the shire.
but action vital
Pay or sell
MY wife Lynne and I would like to
bring to the attention of the public and
South Gippsland Shire Council the
way council has proceeded against
My outrage is over the way coun-
cil has structured the amount it wants
to charge for 2015-2016 up to and not
inclusive of 2018. Apparently it’s all
about lowering the rate for farmers.
Our little bit of heaven is three and
a half acres of grass and a shed. No
town water, no electric, no services
and it wasn’t so long ago council
said it did not want people to build on
small blocks of land.
Grass is grass, no matter how you
look at it. We are now paying rates
of $3200 just to keep the gravy bowl
I went to the rates department to
ask some questions, as I thought there
must be a mistake. They had an an-
swer for everything and told me, “We
don’t want people like you holding
onto vacant land, as others want to
I asked what my options were.
The prompt reply was “Pay the rate
A visit to my neighbours on either
side of me revealed a one acre block
of land with an 18 square home was
paying $1600 to $1700 in rates. A
farmer up from me with 300 acres
plus a home and out houses had a sav-
ing of $50.
My conclusions to all of this is
that I am being discriminated against.
This is not what I expected from
my council. Do we the people have
any rights left?
There are three great rights so
bound together as to be essentially
To give a man his life, but deny
him his liberty, is to take from him all
that makes his life worth living.
To give him his liberty, but take
from him his property which is the
fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still
leave him a slave.
I believe this applies to a lot of us
and last but not least, the Common-
wealth constitution provides that only
the Commonwealth or a state can im-
The alleged local government has
no authority to impose tax because it
cannot exist as a form of government,
just as no department of the state can
impose tax, local government is no
more than a department of the state.
All land is held in fee-simple and
is in the name of the Crown. The peo-
ple are only assured of the land if that
was not the case. Government could
not compulsorily acquire land as they
do from time to time. The people do
not own the land and nor does the
Commonwealth or state actually own
the land, so you can’t charge people
property tax (rates) on property they
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