Home' The Great Southern Star : June 7th 2016 Contents PAGE 12 - “THE STAR”, Tuesday, June 7, 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
This management style left lease-
holders powerless to do anything to
prevent or stop eviction. As major
stakeholders in danger of losing their
property, they surely had a right to
reasonable, meaningful consultation
with the shire council without having
to resort to costly legal action.
Annual leaseholders are not fair-
weather holiday makers who come to
South Gippsland for a few days from
Christmas to New Year or only during
They come because they have a
love of the area, and have committed
funds and allocated time for their holi-
day experience on a regular all year
At a time when other regional
councils are spending money en-
couraging people into their region to
spend their tourist dollar and time,
South Gippsland Shire Council has
ensured around 100 plus families and
their associates and friends will no
longer do this.
It appears this madness could be
repeated at the end of 2017 at Waratah
Bay Caravan Park if a more concilia-
tory approach is not taken, resulting in
more stress and loss of tourist income
to South Gippsland.
I am also sorry for the small busi-
ness people of South Gippsland who
will no longer have the income from
these families and their friends buy-
ing food, petrol, meals and spending
other entertainment dollars in towns
throughout the shire.
As a past resident of South
Gippsland and a current caravan holi-
daymaker, I am amazed at the huge
disconnect between the unwelcom-
ing attitudes and behaviour of the
shire council and those of all South
Gippsland people I have met or had
In this regard the shire council
does not seem to be truly representa-
tive of the people or spirit of South
THE South Gippsland Shire Council
has been the committee of manage-
ment overseeing parks in its shire
for several decades. The parks over
this time were run by council and/or
leased out to private operators.
During this time regular camp-
ers were offered sites. Over time they
were allowed to park a caravan, put
up an annexe and a front deck, there-
fore becoming an annual siteholder.
This evolved around council not
making a great deal of money out of
campers so therefore cash flow would
be guaranteed from the annuals.
In 2013 council decided to take
back the parks and run them as it saw
fit. Now the council wants to enforce
rules and regulations that are only
play the innocent party. It would have
to do audits on all the parks within its
shire and clearly it ticked all the right
Most of the annual siteholders in
the parks cannot conform to its rules/
permit, for example caravans needing
to be registered. It would be hard to
register your caravan when there is no
drawbar on it and an annexe attached
to it. To register the caravan you must
tow it to VicRoads.
An annual fee increase of 30 per-
cent in one year is also an issue that
should be looked at.
In saying that, we the annuals vot-
ed in a committee to represent Yanak-
ie and Long Jetty caravan parks. The
committee members have worked
hard and long on our case just to get
a no response from council.
So far council has had two meet-
ings (in a space of two to three years)
with our committee but refuses to lis-
ten to our side.
The next step was to employ a
solicitor to help negotiations with
council and try and resolve the issues
at hand. Council is still refusing.
To add to our stress and worry
over where we stand when there is
a stand off from council, we receive
this: on April 29, 2016, eviction no-
tices were sent out to the annuals.
Containing in one part was paragraph
2.3 it read, “Council hereby demands
that you vacate the site and remove
your property from the site and the
land within 30 days from the date of
“If you fail to do so, council pro-
poses to, without further notice, apply
to the Supreme Court for an order for
possession of this site.”
Our question is: Why are we all
being evicted for something that was
clearly in the hands of the council?
This is an outline of how you
can fool people into buying an onsite
caravan/annexe at Yanakie Caravan
Park. We, as one of many who were
Step 1. Look for ‘for sales’ on the
public noticeboard located outside the
park office (this board was locked and
the key in the office).
Step 2. Ask at office for a list of
for sales (a list was handed over).
Step 3. Walk around park and
look, choose, agree on price and buy.
Step 4. Pay owners. It’s yours.
No permits offered, no regula-
tions to follow other than park rules
eg: fires, noise or no alterations to
your site unless agreed upon.
At no time were there any discus-
sions between council, the leasee or
One siteholder has been there for
over 33 years and at that stage it was
run by council.
He wanted to extend his little car-
avan and put an annexe on it, so the
council manager gave him a helping
hand to do the work.
He is a retired Vietnam vet and
enjoyed going there for the peace and
quiet he needed to escape the horrid
memories of the war. In saying that,
he has no choice but to pullout, totally
gutted and save himself. How cruel
can you be?
Well, when it is all done and dust-
ed the council will be left with two
empty parks to run.
Not forgetting the enormous
salaries they pay to the park manag-
ers and the council staff to run the
parks. Watch out raterayers of South
Gippsland; someone has to pay.
From an annual that is being
IS THIS the world’s best minister in
action? Due to the efforts of the cur-
rent Minister for the Environment
Greg Hunt and his neighbour, Mc-
Millan MP Russell Broadbent, I now
have 11 pieces of paper for the recy-
I would like to thank Greg Hunt
for sending me a nice letter from the
Prime Minister, an application for
a postal vote and a reply paid enve-
lope to send the application to PVA
I would also like to thank the sit-
ting member for McMillan who sent
me a nearly identical package, except
that the (virtually identical) letter was
supposedly penned by the member
who tells me to send the application
to PVA McMillan. Both PVAs share
the same Sunshine PO Box.
I have previously asked Mr Hunt’s
team to borrow a decent map so they
don’t waste money mailing me things
that I can’t use.
They’ve been confused since our
coal mine shut down so I will say this
once again: Wattle Bank Is in Mc-
Millan! Federally, that’s the big bit
between Flinders and Gippsland.
ing booth but if I couldn’t, I would ap-
ply to the AEC through aec.gov.au.
Sending applications to odd post-
al boxes adds another name to that
party’s mailing list. I am very unlikely
to vote for the sitting member though
I would derive some amusement from
using his postal allowance to convey
my vote; I already get enough unre-
quested mail from politicians.
Why sign up for more? The AEC
has unsuccessfully tried to ban parties
from harvesting personal information
through potentially misleading Postal
Vote Application forms.
How many weeks to go? Better
move the recycling bin.
WE live in a time where council
spending has been forcibly curtailed
Has anyone mentioned this to the
South Gippsland Shire?
Whilst trying to balance its bud-
get, the shire is proposing facelifts
for both Korumburra and Leongatha,
as well as planning for new shire of-
I have lived in towns that have
had multiple facelifts over the years.
Concrete footpaths paved, then un-
safe pavers replaced by concrete.
Concrete footpaths expensively and
artistically stamped with the name of
our town, as if we are unsure of where
Sum total: money out, not money
Traders have been levied by coun-
cil for these unwanted beautifications.
We have heard no mention of costs
involved for Bair Street.
When I shop in Leongatha I want
to park as close as possible to the de-
sired shop. Years of work has given
me the inability to carry heavy things
very far. Please don’t remove car
parks. I will be less inclined to shop in
Leongatha. This is not rocket science.
Calling a project ‘Reimagining
Bair Street’ is persuasive and insult-
ing. A more accurate name might be
‘Trying to fill the empty Bair Street
Does the council really believe
the hype of the mayor?
Mayor Cr Bob Newton said “re-
vitalising Bair Street would be a cata-
lyst for change in the region. It is one
project that can significantly affect the
overall prosperity of the region”.
Don’t waste our money!
Pull in your horns. Times are
As an Australian manufacturer I
can tell you about budgeting.
I DROPPED in on the South
Gippsland Shire Council meeting on
Wednesday, May 25 and was very
disappointed with what I saw in the
short time I was there.
The governance situation has de-
teriorated to such an extent that we no
longer have nine councillors who are
prepared to openly debate and vote on
issues on their merits. We have five
or six councillors who dominate pro-
It seems that anything the other
three might propose will be opposed
and thereby defeated, almost on prin-
ciple. The three, not surprisingly, re-
spond in kind but to no avail because
of their inferior numbers.
The case in point came in the very
first agenda item where Cr Hill at-
tempted to move that council explore
three options summarised as:
•Live streaming of the Open Spe-
cial and Ordinary Council meet-
•Implementing a question time sec-
tion for councillors at each council
•Implementation of annual training
But the mayor Cr Newton would
have none of it, ruling the motion was
“objectionable in language, nature or
intent” and throwing it out. Well, the
language was fine but “nature” and
“intent” are just value judgements
anyone can make to suit themselves.
The decision met with eye-rolling
in the gallery, mild protest from the
three aforesaid councillors and not
a peep from the rest of the majority
This action seemed vindictive to
me, certainly not the action of a leader
who should be trying to unite all the
elected talent in the room to get the
best outcomes for all the shire’s rate-
payers and residents.
From the way they spoke, it seems
the majority of councillors think ev-
erything is going swimmingly in our
shire and want to keep things just as
they are with as little scrutiny as pos-
I don’t agree with them and nei-
ther do most ratepayers from my ob-
servations and contacts.
One thing’s for certain: if the
October local elections don’t result
in a substantial change of personnel
around the council table, we’ll have
another four years of a divisive “lead-
ership” running on less than three cyl-
inders. And that can’t be in the best
interests of South Gippsland Shire’s
DECIDING which competition a football-netball
club will contest is a significant decision that can
not only determine the future of the club but also its
players and supporters.
That is the conundrum facing AFL Gippsland as it faces an appeal
by Korumburra-Bena Football Netball Club against AFL Gippsland’s
desire for the Giants to remain in the Alberton league in 2017.
Instead the Giants believe the club faces a brighter future in the
new West Gippsland competition that will pit former Alberton league
clubs Inverloch-Kongwak, Dalyston, Phillip Island and Kilcunda-
Bass against the likes of Bunyip and Nar Nar Goon.
One could certainly understand Korumburra-Bena’s case, given
the Alberton clubs that will leave are successful clubs, and without
them, the standard of the Alberton competition would be weakened or
the Giants’ juniors would have no one to play, as was the case when
Toora was unable to field an Under 16s side on Saturday.
Playing more matches closer to Melbourne would no doubt help
Korumburra-Bena’s recruiting, given young people who had lived in
the Giants’ catchment may have moved to Melbourne for work or
study, and perhaps left the club due to the extra travel entailed.
However they could be enticed back if the Giants were travel-
ling to Bunyip, Nar Nar Goon, Garfield and Cora Lynn – all grounds
closer to Melbourne – than Toora and the Allies.
The disparity between the upper and lower clubs in Alberton has
been growing, with the review finding that in 2010, the average win-
ning margin reached its highest point at nearly 70 points.
Furthermore, the average winning margin of the league has in-
creased by 10.36 points per game since 2009 and six of the existing
12 clubs have not made a grand final appearance since 2009.
Geographically, Inverloch-Kongwak would appear to more be
suited to staying in Alberton and being replaced in West Gippsland
This, however, could also rob I-K of the chance to gain more Mel-
bourne based recruits while also resulting in I-K dominating the Al-
berton league, given its success in what is now a stronger competition
than what Alberton will be in 2017.
Perhaps contributing to the need for the review of football in
Gippsland is player payments, which have lured players to which
ever club has the deepest wallet, at the expense of loyalty.
Korumburra-Bena president Ross Besley said the club has not
paid big sums to players this season and that has contributed to its
current lower ladder positions.
It is unfortunate player payments can result in assembling the best
team money can buy, effectively buying premierships.
A state-wide review of player payments in country sport should
also be considered, particularly to look at the future of clubs without
a large business base from which to draw sponsorship.
After all, wasn’t Saturday sport meant to be for fun and to meet
Money not everything
Leave us alone
WHEN I was young, Chinese leader
Chairman Mao and Soviet leader Ni-
kita Krushchev always had five year
plans to improve agriculture output.
It always came unstuck in a spec-
Now South Gippsland Shire
Council makes plans for inundation in
84/100 years time.
In the meantime we could be hit
by space junk, or make the earth un-
inhabitable by over population and
Please just leave us alone. We are
If you are worried about future
liability, make the landowners sign
a disclaimer to make clear they have
PS, I do not know if the desal
was built on hydraulic stumps so they
could lift it when the water rises, like
they build houses in Holland now.
I WOULD like to express my sympa-
thy and support for the caravan park
annual leaseholders at Long Jetty and
Yanakie caravan parks for their stress
and dismay at having to tear down
their holiday accommodation follow-
ing recent eviction orders from South
Gippsland Shire Council.
I am sorry these people had to
experience the last two years of shire
council belligerence and inflexibility
in implementing statutory guidelines
for annual leaseholders in caravan
parks on Crown Land.
Baby born: from left, acting director of nursing Margaret Radmore, midwife Virginia Bolge
and nurse unit manager Chris Busuttil at Gippsland Southern Health Service with newborn
Ryder James Fairfoot in one of the hospital’s new cots.
Beds for babies
NEWBORN babies will
have a comfortable place
to sleep after Gippsland
Southern Health Service
purchased six new cots
In February Gippsland South-
ern Health Service launched a pri-
vate patient initiative encouraging
people with private health insur-
ance to use their insurance when
they are admitted to hospital.
“By using their health insurance
at Leongatha and Korumburra hos-
pitals, people assist the health ser-
vice to purchase new equipment,
maintain our facilities and provide
better services to the people who
come to us for care,” chief execu-
tive officer Mark Johnson said.
“It generates additional rev-
enue. We can use the money gen-
erated from private health funds to
purchase equipment and provide
“On behalf of GSHS I would
like to thank those people who
utilised their health insurance and
made it possible to purchase the six
Additional cots have been on
the equipment list at Leongatha
Hospital for over 12 months and
became a major priority when a
baby boom in March saw the health
service borrowing cots from South
“We average about 200 births
at Leongatha hospital every year.
There have already been 74 from
January to March of this year,” Mr
“This addition will mean we
will not have to rely on other health
services to provide cots for us in
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