Home' The Great Southern Star : February 23rd 2016 Contents PAGE 18 - “THE STAR”, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
BASS Coast Shire Council
achieved over $300,000 in effi-
ciencies for the second quarter of
The savings were presented in a quarter-
ly report at the February ordinary meeting
The efficiencies follow savings of
$345,000 made in the first quarter of 2015-
16, with council’s number of equivalent full-
time staff also reduced by five in the first
half of the financial year.
Council CEO Paul Buckley said the effi-
ciencies were part of council’s commitment
to continuous improvement and reviewing
processes to ensure services were efficient.
“Management and officers continue to
look for opportunities to review the way we
provide services to ensure they remain rel-
evant and are as efficient as possible,” Mr
“Any savings identified within the 2015-
16 financial year will allow greater investment
in capital works or a reduction in any need for
rate increases in future years.”
Service reviews undertaken in local laws,
emergency management and fire prevention,
as well as environmental health, resulted in
efficiencies of $240,000 and $60,000 re-
Following a more educative approach to
pet registrations, council also collected in-
creased revenue of $15,000.
Service reviews across the organisation
are continuing, with reviews in cemetery
management, building approvals, valua-
tions, local laws, emergency management
and fire prevention, visitor services and en-
vironmental health services already imple-
Reviews in caravan parks, recreation
services and waste management are current-
ly in the draft report stage, while upcoming
reviews include fleet management and fund-
ing to other organisations.
These savings, totalling $640,000, are on
top of direct savings of $2.78 million com-
pared to the 2014-15 budget.
Operational savings came in the form of
reduced employee costs, as well as ongoing
efficiencies made through service reviews.
ELLA Morgan, 10, is
like many happy go
lucky children, but
behind the good looks
and huge smile is a
brave little girl put-
ting on a big front.
Granddaughter of Jim
and Joy Morgan of Leon-
gatha and daughter of son
Nick and Bel and sister to
Lucy, 5, and Evie, 3, of Al-
bury, Ella was born on June
27, 2005 with a congenital
ear condition called Micro-
The condition affects the
formation of the outer ear
and the development of the
As a result, she has se-
vere conductive hearing loss
in her right ear, mild hearing
loss in her left, and cosmeti-
cally an underdeveloped
For Ella and her parents,
life has not been a bed of
roses but for this little girl,
after many sleepless nights
and research, there is light
at the end of the tunnel.
Ella is a candidate for
not only outer ear recon-
struction surgery, but also
ear canal (atresia) repair that
will open Ella’s ear.
It was during the an-
nual Microtia and Atresia
conference in Brisbane that
Nick and Bel were fortunate
enough to meet American
surgeons Dr Joseph Rober-
son (otologist) and Dr John
Reinish (plastic surgeon).
Together they perform
the world’s only Combined
Atresia and Microtia (CAM)
This surgery is extreme-
ly complex. Dr Roberson
performs the Atresia repair.
He will create a new ear ca-
nal and ear drum to achieve
near normal hearing.
Dr Reinish performs the
Microtia repair, which uses
a synthetic ear framework
called Medpor and a com-
plex skin grafting procedure
to build a new ear.
The only barrier is the
surgery is not available in
Australia and only carried
some $110,000 that includes
the surgery, combined with
post-operative care and the
recovery period of four to
While mum and dad
both work, such a sum is al-
most impossible to consider,
but with family and friends’
support the dream is becom-
ing a reality.
Bel has started a bou-
tique online, handmade
jewellery business, so when
she isn’t working her day
job she burns the midnight
oil and creates stunning
jewellery to help raise much
needed funds. See Poppy
Clay Jewellery - For Ella’s
Ella’s poppy and nanny
Joy and Jim are doing all
they can to help raise funds
and are thrilled Darryl Mc-
Gannon of Edney’s Leon-
gatha has jumped on board
with a great deal on a popu-
lar Nissan Micra ST Auto
Hatch being raffled now in
Darryl said he was only
too happy to help out such
a worthy cause and encour-
ages everyone to jump on
board and give Ella a go!
If you would like to
help this little girl with a
big struggle, then tickets
are available at The Great
Southern Star office, Ed-
ney’s of Leongatha, Pan-
ther’s Mensland, and Stock-
dale and Leggo, Leongatha
You even have a great
chance of winning a top car
as there are only 1000 tick-
ets being sold and already
Family support: mum Bel, Lucy, Ella and dad Nick with Evie are appreciative
of the love and support of family, friends and their local communities in the
fundraising for Ella’s surgery.
Driving Ella’s ear appeal
many of those have been
snapped up. All tickets pur-
chased are tax deductible.
If you would like to
know more about Ella’s
Fundraiser see www.ellase-
ar.com or www.facebook.
com/HelpEllaHear or call
Joy on 0418 424 329.
Win a car: Joy and Jim Morgan of Leongatha are grateful to Darryl McGannon of Edney’s Leongatha
for helping out with a great deal on a brand new Nissan Micra ST Auto Hatch that is being raffled to help
fundraise for granddaughter Ella Morgan’s major ear surgery in the USA.
By Tayla Kershaw
WOOLAMAI’S Shirani Perera is
a step closer to achieving a reha-
bilitation centre in Bass Coast.
Her petition for a mental health and
youth at risk facility was considered at Bass
Coast Shire Council’s ordinary meeting last
Deputy mayor Cr Bradley Drew sup-
ports mental health awareness and backed
Ms Perera’s petition.
“This is a massive undertaking by a
member of the public. Mental issues are
ever present and funding is always a chal-
lenge,” he said.
“It’s great to see Bass MLA Brian Payn-
ter, representatives of Bass Coast Health
(BCH) and members of the community sup-
porting this cause. I certainly believe coun-
cil should give its support. We can’t give up
on mental health awareness. We cannot put
a price on human life.”
Councillors voted to refer Ms Perera
to the community grants program, which
opened for applications in January, as well
as forwarding information about other phil-
anthropic trusts to support her funding as-
“I enquired about the community grants
program but they could only fund equipment
for us. Unfortunately we are still looking to
fund for a building. Community grants are
designed to benefit the community immedi-
ately,” she said.
However, she is still well on her way to
getting her project off the ground with the
support of several community organisations.
The Wonthaggi Rotary Club has offered
to source funding and Wonthaggi’s Anglican
Church has offered two rooms so the pro-
gram can start as soon as possible.
“The support has been overwhelming, so
it is looking and sounding prosperous,” Ms
Ms Perera said she had investigated
Wangaratta’s Typo Station, which is a pic-
turesque rural property designed to help
youth at risk. She was impressed with her
findings and hopes to have a similar pro-
gram in Bass Coast.
“I will be contacting a counsellor from
Melbourne to see what days she is available
and a local artist willing to run art classes,”
Ms Perera’s initial idea was to create
a state of the art health facility called Su-
nasuma Maga, where people could reha-
bilitate from mental health and lifestyle
problems without the added stress of travel.
Ideally, she wanted the facility to be in a se-
rene, countryside location.
“We are looking out for farmers who are
willing to rent out a farmhouse with some
acreage,” she said.
“If we are able to find someone willing
to help us, we would be on the board.”
Ms Perera looked into a building near
the Bass Coast Community Health Service
in Warley Avenue, Cowes, but it was well
out of the committee’s budget and didn’t
have enough land space.
“Ideally I would like a country property
where people have room to walk around and
tend to gardens,” she said.
“I would also like it to be away from
the public eye so people feel comfortable
enough to go there.”
While Ms Perera establishes her pro-
gram with the Anglican Church, funding is
still desperately needed.
To donate, go to https://youth.chuffed.
Funding wanted for
mental health facility
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