Home' The Great Southern Star : April 27th 2016 Contents PAGE 24 - “THE STAR”, Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Cr Bob Newton
Show jumping wows
A GROWING num-
ber of participants
turned out for the an-
nual Kardella Farm
Jumping Classic on
Saturday, April 16.
This year featured a to-
tal of 190 rounds, ranging
from 80 centimetres to 1.5
Morrison and Amalfi
White were pleased with
the number of supporters
who came to watch, and
were thrilled to have par-
ticipants travel from afar
to enter the classic.
“We had lots of locals
but we also had people
travel from Sale and Shep-
parton, which is great to
see,” Amalfi said.
Judging the event was
Leongatha’s Ellen Wilson
and the main sponsors
were Browns Stockfeed,
the National Australia
Bank (NAB) and Wide
Action: Sale’s Sophie Crook on Nasam Artimore
prepared for the next jump in the NAB 1.5 metre.
Congratulations: Kardella South organiser Amalfi White presented NAB 1.5 metre winner Jane Powell
and Dom Perignon II with the blue ribbon and a NAB gift bag.
LEONGATHA Railway Sta-
tion could become a tourist
attraction for the town if Ian
Cole’s model railway project
Mr Cole, president of the Gippsland
Historical Model Railway, would like
to transform the disused station into a
model railway similar to the one cur-
rently in the works at Bass.
“Leongatha Station will become
dormant following the closure of the
South Gippsland Tourist Railway. I
want to acquire the station so we can
use it for a model railway,” he said.
“VicTrack has given away a lot of
stations in Gippsland to be transformed
into other projects. I am keen to do a
second model train following the one
in Bass and we could operate both as
The current railway model in Bass
is based on the Wonthaggi train line at
the turn of the 20th century. The plans
for the model includes over 100m of
track reflecting the landscape of the
now defunct train line with overpasses,
tunnels, secluded passageways, oceans,
rivers, stations, villages and famous
landmarks of the 20th century era.
The Bass model is looking to ob-
tain a Hitachi train carriage to host the
simulation with the tracks and interac-
tive model placed inside. Guests would
be free to roam the carriage and wan-
der throughout a miniature landscape
like a maze.
Mr Cole wants to harness new
technology so people can view a live
stream of the train simulator online.
“The program would go up online
and people could access the interac-
tive simulator from anywhere in the
world,” he said.
“People who do not have access
to Leongatha Station or live overseas
could see the model with the unbeliev-
able technology we have.”
Mr Cole is looking for expres-
sions of interest for the project to
gain traction. To get involved, head to
Track plans: Ian Cole and his dog Sasha sit outside Leongatha Railway Station which Mr Cole hopes to
transform into a model railway tourist attraction.
Bright idea to make tracks
MINIMISING red tape and
increasing cultural aware-
ness are the objectives of the
2016 Business Forum, hosted
by Prom Country Regional
This year’s forum will feature
two speakers: the Victorian Red
Tape Commissioner Matthew Butlin
and Dr Barb West, a recognised
cultural anthropologist and expert in
Mr Butlin will discuss how he
works with Victorian businesses to try
to reduce State Government red tape.
Issues Mr Butlin deals with
regularly in his role include licencing
concerns (liquor licencing for example)
and onerous permit requirements.
Forum participants will hear
examples of what other businesses
in Victoria are experiencing and can
submit items for discussion prior to the
Mr Butlin will also be available
for a limited amount of one on one
consultations for individuals who
would like to discuss their problems
in a more private setting. Bookings are
required for the consultations, which
will be held the following day.
Dr West has spent more than
20 years working in intercultural
communications. Her presentations are
informative and highly entertaining,
and provide a unique perspective on
how to better deal with customers from
a variety of backgrounds.
Dr West will provide forum
participants with an insight into the
Chinese market and will discuss how
working with customers from different
cultures more effectively can result in
better business relationships.
The business forum is the second
hosted by Prom Country Regional
“We are excited to be welcoming
these two speakers to our region,”
PCRT chair Philip Botte said.
“Both are well recognised in their
respective areas and have a lot of
valuable information to offer our local
industry. We hope many people will
take advantage of this unique and cost-
effective learning opportunity.”
The Prom Country Business Forum
will be held on Tuesday, May 3 at The
Greenhouse in Foster from 1.30pm–
Tickets cost $15 per person or $10
per person for PCRT members. To
book please visit www.pcrt.com.au or
phone 0435 261 281.
The forum is coordinated by Prom
Country Regional Tourism with support
from Destination Gippsland Ltd and
South Gippsland Shire Council.
Don’t miss business forum
WHAT a disappointing time in our coun-
cil’s history to have one of our council-
lors found to have breached the code of
Councillors are expected to adhere to a
set of standards that reflect public expecta-
tions of their conduct.
The independent Councillor Conduct
Panel is established by the Municipal As-
sociation of Victoria only after council pro-
cesses to resolve the issues have been fully
The panel found Cr Don Hill breached the
code of conduct last year in relation to mat-
ters of honesty and respect towards fellow
councillors and council staff, and misleading
and or deceiving the community with incor-
I reiterate that an independent panel found
Cr Hill guilty of this behaviour, not council.
Given this and Cr Hill’s recent newsletter I
feel I must use this message to provide my
view as mayor.
Cr Hill has used ratepayer dollars to pro-
duce a newsletter that does not provide a fair
or balanced view of council. Cr Hill is using
the newsletter to present facts selectively.
As a case in point, I would like to ad-
dress the claims about the municipal build-
ing project. Contrary to Cr Hill’s claims, an
extensive, unbiased community consultation
process took place with key stakeholders to
support consultants in preparing a number of
options for consideration.
Contrary to Cr Hill’s inference that the
project will be funded by ratepayers, it is en-
visaged the project will largely be supported
by government grants.
If the project does come to fruition it will
be at a time when the municipality has grown
to the point when a new community precinct
As councillors, we must govern not just
for today; we must also plan for the future.
That is exactly what we are doing in this
Is it not prudent to put money away for
future needs? Is it not the very same as every
family saving for the day when they need to
invest in a new home?
We ensure these savings exist so they are
available in times of need, for example if we
have an emergency situation that we need to
It seems Cr Hill would rather council has
no savings, no forward planning and leave
future councillors with the legacy of manag-
ing for growth in our shire without prudent
Also disappointing in the newsletter is Cr
Hill’s reference to a lack of community con-
sultation to support council decision making.
In all my years in local government, never
have I seen so much emphasis on community
engagement, and rightly so.
It is our responsibility to recognise the
importance of involving the community in
our work to ensure the best approach is taken
for all decisions and actions. Council facili-
tated 51 community meetings and engage-
ment opportunities over the last 18 months
to encourage the involvement of community
members in discussions.
With the introduction of rate capping,
council’s engagement with the community
assisted in providing suggestions on the pri-
orities for future budgets and we proudly re-
solved to work within the 2.5 percent rate cap
without having to reduce levels of service.
As a council we are obliged to accept the
result of a majority vote and in this instance, the
community’s feedback to work within the 2.5
percent rate cap was the majority decision.
Councillors are accountable to both the
community and to their own constituents. As
members of council, we are expected to gov-
ern in the best interests of the entire munici-
pality, accepting the majority vote following
democratic and transparent debate.
I for one resent the constant references
to there being a majority bloc. It is only ever
heard from those who fail to rally their col-
leagues to support their point of view.
There will be a majority on every deci-
sion, that’s democracy. The ongoing personal
grandstanding demonstrates that some of my
colleagues still fail to grasp this fundamental
All aboard: a model railway has been suggested as a new use for the Leon-
gatha Railway Station.
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