Home' The Great Southern Star : May 31st 2016 Contents PAGE 12 - “THE STAR”, Tuesday, May 31, 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.
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(not for publication), must be included.
Fawcett indicative of their refusal
to face the issues and of their pen-
chant for indulging in spin?
Vincent Morfuni QC,
annuals stay on
WHAT is going on at the Yanakie
South Gippsland Shire Coun-
cil took over the park several years
ago now and since they have, the
park has lost its soul.
We built our cabin at the park
a few years ago with the blessing
of the council and spent more than
When the council took over
the park they wanted all cabins
out by the end of September 2016
because they tell us that there can-
not be privately owned cabins on
Why didn’t they tell us that be-
fore we built?
We would have just kept our
other structure instead of spending
this sizeable amount on a cabin
that is now worthless.
Further to this, we have in
writing from an employee at the
council stating “that you can stay
as long as you like as long as our
cabin is compliant”.
Our cabin is compliant but
these words obviously mean noth-
Now to rub it in we received a
letter from council’s solicitors that
we have to remove our cabin be-
cause they want us to sign a permit
that is poorly written and contra-
Why would anyone want to
sign this that makes no sense?
This has not only affected us,
as we can cope with these bully-
ing tactics, but I feel for a lot of
the elderly people in the park who
love coming down and meeting up
with their friends.
This council wants to take
away one of few pleasures people
have left in their retirement. It’s
just not fair.
There are no winners in this
situation. Us annuals, who are
going to lose our dwellings; the
council, that is going to lose our
fees that are paid annually to it;
the local residents who no doubt
are going to foot the bill over the
lost income; and local businesses,
sporting clubs, etc, that will no
longer have our custom.
These councillors appear not
to care about us as we are not resi-
dents in the area. Unfortunately
for them, it’s local business and
the like that will be bleeding as we
can no longer support them in the
future. If it doesn’t believe us now,
they certainly will come election
time when they are out of a job.
Come on council. Reverse
your decision and let us stay. It’s
not too late.
Ross and Tammy Dahlstrom,
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council
continues to demonstrate its in-
Regardless of who owns the
land or who leases the Long Jetty
Caravan Park since its establish-
ment, the council is responsible
for compliance of any infrastruc-
ture situated within the park.
This begs the question who
should bare the cost of the coun-
cil’s sudden and apparently urgent
need to fulfil their duty and re-
The park was established I
believe in the late forties which
means councils have been negli-
gent for more than 50 years.
The fulfilment of the council’s
duty and responsibility has come
at a huge cost to the ratepayers,
and a huge financial and emotional
cost to those being evicted.
There are guaranteed losses to
the ratepayers with the ongoing
running costs of the caravan park
now that the “bread and butter”
income of the park is lost with the
removal of the annual renters.
I beg ratepayers to urge coun-
cil to reconsider its poor financial
decisions and cruel lack of com-
passion for the victims of its ac-
I WOULD like to publically ex-
press my thanks to Bass Coast
Shire councillors Le Serve,
Brown, Rankine and Wright, for
voting in support of the residents
of Park Street, Inverloch, at the
council meeting on May 18.
Before the vote, Cr Le Serve
raised an amendment disallowing
a planning permit for a childcare
centre in Park Street.
The amendment passed by the
slimmest of margins, one vote.
A planning permit application
had been submitted on November
19, 2015 for a childcare centre
on the corner of Park and Cashin
streets to cater for 85 children and
That application raised 18
written objections to council. On
January 10, 2016 an amended plan
was submitted for an increase in
size to 111 children and 13 staff.
This change delayed the council
vote from January to May.
More than three dozen writ-
ten objections had been received
prior to the vote. Council arranged
a community engagement meeting
the week prior to listen to the resi-
dents’ concerns in a less formal
The process was fair and rea-
sonable, and the mayor gave those
present every opportunity to state
their case. At the council meeting
the residents were permitted to
state their objections to the coun-
cillors and gallery audience.
The decision to refuse a plan-
ning permit for the childcare cen-
tre in this residential area was the
only sensible decision that could
be made in these particular cir-
However, it required sig-
nificant political courage to vote
against the recommendations of
the shire’s planning department.
I was impressed by the pro-
fessional approach taken by Cr
Le Serve to properly research the
main issues surrounding the appli-
cant’s plans and found them want-
ing in many respects.
It was clear to anyone attend-
ing the meeting that Cr Le Serve
was very well prepared, had a
sound knowledge of the proce-
dural operation of council and the
planning department, and above
all, clearly understood the impli-
cations of neighbourhood charac-
ter on the neighbouring residents.
It was apparent that this com-
mercial operation in a General
Residential Zone would create
significant traffic and parking is-
sues, and did not comply with the
neighbourhood character of the
At the council meeting prior to
the vote, all councillors agreed the
provision of childcare facilities in
the shire was an ongoing issue that
needs to be addressed.
However, the municipal strate-
gic statements for each township
state the expected growth patterns,
and where development and infra-
structure will be required.
Inverloch has an educational
precinct that serves the town well.
That precinct is also located with-
in the zone marked for re-devel-
opment surrounding the Inverloch
These plans have been through
the community consultation pro-
cess between council, the residents
and local business.
Approving planning permits
that are outside these guidelines
is not the best way to plan for the
On this occasion the process
worked but only after a lot of
objections from the nearby resi-
“I like the change of the leaves
on the trees and the sun shin-
ing on the frost.”
What do you enjoy about winter in South Gippsland?
“I love the crispness of the
weather. I also enjoy the con-
trast from summer.”
“I love the green, rolling hills.
We need the rain to ensure they
stay nice and green.”
weather so winter here suits me
LAST week’s revelation that a Leongatha couple
had won $40 million in last Tuesday’s Oz Lotto
draw was the uplifting news the community needed
in the wake of the dairy downturn.
Even better was the news the winning couple would share
some of their winnings with the Leongatha community.
When was the last time $40 million of outside money came
The new hospital that opened in 2013 was not even worth
that much, valued at $32.5 million.
The new heavy vehicle alternate route under construction is
worth $5.1 million and South Gippsland believes the redevelop-
ment of Bair Street will come in at several million dollars.
Regardless of how much the winners spend directly on com-
munity projects, they will no doubt further benefit the local
economy through personal spending and that has to be music to
the ears of retailers perhaps wondering of just how significantly
their bottomlines would be affected by the dairy situation.
Any cash splash is welcome, regardless of the sum, but given
the chances of winning lotto, it is unlikely Leongatha will ever
see this amount of money won in the town ever again.
Leongatha’s got a
Not a stooge
REGARDING your article ‘Coun-
cillors suspect rivals using stoog-
es’ (The Star, May 24).
I read with interest the com-
ments attributed to councillors
Brunt and Fawcett in your article
to the effect that rivals are using
stooges to address council.
What is interesting is that nei-
ther councillor sought to address
the issues raised. They resorted
to personal epithets. Rather than
discussing the issues they attack
For the record I am not any-
one’s stooge. I have been moti-
vated to address council because
of the rate increases since 2014.
Last year I made a written sub-
mission and an oral presentation. I
did so because I was of the view
the rate increase was excessive
and certain items of expenditure
Council last year argued that
without the increase in rates ser-
vices would need to be cancelled.
I made a submission this year
because I felt some items in the
budget were excessive and there
was inequity in the way the rate
dollar was being distributed within
It would have been of greater
assistance if councillors Brunt
and Fawcett explained where they
stood on the issues raised by me.
Do they deny that capital ex-
penditure is Leongatha centric?
Do they consider the disparity
in capital spending in Venus Bay
and Leongatha is justified?
Do they deny that removal of
the municipal office costs from
this budget would reduce the
amount ratepayers would have to
pay in rates?
Do they condone the CEO crit-
icising councillors publicly?
Do they consider the manage-
ment structure in place at the mo-
ment is justified having regard to
the total number of employees?
Such structure includes the
CEO, three directors under him
and three managers under each
director, as well as coordinators
under the managers.
I also note the draft budget
provides for the sum of $640,000
in consultancy costs which indi-
cates there are no cost savings in
such fees despite the amount spent
Do they consider it appropriate
to move baseless points of order
in order to stifle views which they
Do they consider it good eco-
nomic management to fund loss
Do they consider that only
resident ratepayers are entitled to
be heard in relation to the budget?
If so where does that leave 80 per-
cent of the ratepayers in Venus Bay
who are not permanent residents?
The fact that I live in Mel-
bourne does not mean I cannot be
informed about what is happening
in South Gippsland.
In fact it enables me to be more
objective because I have a basis of
comparison between the perfor-
mance of councils in Melbourne
and the performance of the South
The comparison is not flatter-
ing to South Gippsland council-
Is Cr Brunt suggesting the ma-
terials available on the council web
page relating to future planning
and the budget are inaccurate?
Or is she assuming only per-
sons “on the inside” can know
what future needs there are?
The comments by councillors
Brunt and Fawcett give credence
to the view the council is divided
Your readers may have read
other reports dealing with council-
lors’ behaviour, the most recent of
which related to the coal seam gas
Such reports confirm my view
this council is not functioning ef-
ficiently or properly. It is conduct
similar to that of Geelong council
and we know the result that behav-
iour achieved for Geelong.
I know I was not the only per-
son to address council; there were
13 listed in the minutes.
Are all those persons who
made submissions and addressed
council stooges or are the com-
ments by councillors Brunt and
dairy farmer Max Jelbart
has lost his long battle
with illness after dying
peacefully at his property
last Friday, May 27 sur-
rounded by his friends and
It was only this year, in the
Australia Day honours, when Max
was awarded an Order of Australia
Medal for his service to the dairy in-
dustry and the community.
He had been a Murray Goul-
burn director since 2012 until he
stepped down recently due to health
concerns, and a director at Marcus
Oldham College since 1997.
He is a life member of the Nuff-
ield Farming Scholars Australia and
was a past president of the South
Gippsland Branch of United Dairy
Farmers of Victoria.
His involvement in the commu-
nity included work with the Pound
Creek CFA, the Tarwin Lower Ten-
nis Club and the Tarwin Lower Pri-
His involvement in the dairy
industry started in earnest with the
purchase of his Leongatha South
property in 1981, after leasing it in
When he started, Max milked
As of this year, Max milked
1350 cows across two properties,
on a total of 2700 acres with around
35 to 40 employees, including run-
ning the Caldermeade cafe and
dairy tourist attraction.
Earlier this year Mr Jelbart told
The Star he enjoyed the industry
in the early days, particularly after
completing a Nuffield Scholarship,
which he described as “a life chang-
“I realised there was such a lot
to be achieved and an opportunity
to educate farmers to help move the
industry forward,” he said.
“I just tried to give something
back to an industry that had given
me so much.”
A memorial service will be
held this Friday, June 3 in the gar-
den at Willy Willy, 60 Nicholas
Road, Leongatha South. Further
details in The Star’s classified
Well deserved: the late Max
Jelbart received an Order of
Australia Medal on Australia
Day this year for his inspi-
rational involvement in the
A life dedicated to the dairy industry
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