Home' The Great Southern Star : July 19th 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - PAGE 13
patients will benefit from a
new weighing chair, do-
nated last week by Heart
The South Gippsland branch
of Heart Support Australia pur-
chased the $1600 chair and pre-
sented it to the Bridge Street hos-
pital on Thursday.
“The chair is donated in mem-
ory of our late former president
Bill Chivers. Bill was in Korum-
burra Hospital at the beginning of
the year and was unable to stand
to be weighed,” South Gippsland
Heart Support director John
“We wanted to purchase and
present a chair so future patients
can be weighed without trauma.”
The electronic scale requires
patients to simply sit in the chair
to get an accurate recording of
weight for various medical pur-
“We have donated in excess
of $40,000 to the Korumburra
Hospital over the years with
the presentation of cheques and
donations of various pieces of
equipment,” Mr Grenon said.
“We have 45 local members
of the Heart Support branch and
we give to a number of heart and
cardiac related programs. We also
give to Ambulance Victoria.”
South Gippsland president Bill
Ross said he was happy to see the
presentation of new equipment to
the local health service.
“I am very pleased to present
the electronic scales to the hospi-
tal and I hope they will benefit pa-
tients for years to come,” he said.
Acting nurse unit manager
Glenis Lemasurier said Heart
Support Australia has been a
long time supporter of Gippsland
Southern Health Service.
“We have received a lot of
support from Heart Support and
from various other community
organisations over the years and
we are very appreciative of it,”
“For instance, we are upgrad-
ing our cardiac monitoring sys-
tems which have been funded by
community groups to the sum of
$40,000, which is fantastic. We
are sincerely grateful.”
FAMILY Doctor Week recognises the
valuable work done by doctors who pro-
vide priceless aid to people of all ages in
Long Street Family Medicine’s Dr Fred Edwards
treats patients in Leongatha’s clinic and in Churchill,
where he established the first medical practice of
Medical and Aged Care Group in 1993.
Dr Edwards is focused on providing care to the
rural community by training doctors to handle a di-
verse range of cases for patients of all ages.
“I am the clinical director and have been re-
sponsible for overseeing the training and conduct of
junior doctors to ensure they get into senior roles in
medicine,” he said.
“I am what is called the supervisor liaison officer
for the eastern Victoria region of general practice
training and I ensure family doctors across the re-
gion are delivering the best practices of medicine.”
Having worked in family medicine in country
Victoria, Dr Edwards said a wide knowledge base
for medicine is required to help all patients.
“As general practitioners we require a wide
range of skills,” he said.
“My particular interests are in farmers’ health, men-
tal health and industrial medicine. Family medicine in
particular is very interesting and I am passionate about
training well equipped doctors in that area.”
Dr Edwards has worked with the dedicated team
at Long Street since it was first established and said
the bulk billing clinic is an integral part of healthcare
in the community.
“In areas like South Gippsland it can be hard for
patients to gain access to specialists so we have to
be able to deal with all problems presented to us,”
“We care for people irrespective of age, sex, na-
tionality and ethnicity and ensure they are getting
the best possible medical care they can.”
The Boolarra resident also farms Angus beef and
said he has an understanding of the farming industry
and the pressures to make a dollar in tough times.
“Being a farmer myself, I believe it has enabled
me to keep in good contact with my patients who are
farmers because I can speak the language,” he said.
Dr Edwards is also member of the Barrier Break-
ers for mental health advocacy.
“This is partly why I am so interested in farmers’
health. I am passionate about mental health advocacy
and I think it is so important to advocate for mental
health awareness in times like these,” he said.
“In times of difficulty it is important to remem-
ber there are resources available in town. Long
Street Family Medicine is a bulk billing clinic and
we will remain so to ensure our patients can always
Above right, Long Street support: Dr Fred
Edwards attends to his patient Jeff at Leon-
gatha’s Long Street Family Medicine during
Family Doctor Week.
Helping hands in medicine
HAVING attended the two recent Inverloch com-
munity meetings to hear Council’s attempt to jus-
tify their recommendation to close the Inverloch
transfer station, I am both heartened and disap-
I am heartened because the community has told
Council in very clear and certain language that it
does not want the transfer station closed. At each
meeting community members asked many valid
questions, and offered a variety of alternatives that
Council has not previously considered.
Our current councillors now have no alternative
but to vote to reject the closure of the transfer sta-
Should they do otherwise, they will be flying in
the face of the community’s will.
And yet whilst I am heartened by the communi-
ty’s clear expression of it’s wishes, at the same time I
am disappointed, because of what took place during
the second community session.
What I observed at that second meeting was
nothing less than an abject suppression of democ-
racy by a local government representative.
And most alarmingly of all, that suppression of
democracy was perpetrated by none less than the
current mayor of Bass Coast Shire, Cr Crugnale.
As the community questions drew to a finale, I
attempted to point out to the mayor, and to the as-
sembled community members, pretty much what
I’ve stated above i.e. councillors now have no choice
but to reject the recommendation.
However, Cr Crugnale refused to let me speak.
Several community members urged her to con-
tinue the discussion so that I could be heard. How-
ever, Cr Crugnale refused to allow it.
Then another community member called for a
show of hands for me to be heard. The result was
as near to a unanimous show of hands as you could
But Cr Crugnale was determined that I not be
The gathering was aghast when the mayor then
made a comment about the gathering descending
into a mob, before she walked away to a distant cor-
ner of the room, effectively shutting down further
I am alarmed at this undemocratic behavior be-
ing displayed by an elected representative of our
Such behavior is Orwellian in its authoritarian-
At the first community meeting former Cr Ross
Smith described Council’s behavior as akin to that
of a dictatorship.
Having witnessed and been subjected to this
outrageous suppression of democracy, I am now in
full agreement with Cr Smith.
But, regardless of the petulance displayed by Cr
Crugnale, I would like to thank the many commu-
nity members who approached me after the meeting
to express their encouragement and support of my
efforts to bring more accountability to Council.
Later this month I’ll be hosting a public meet-
ing that will outline various issues that are causing
widespread concern among our community.
The meeting will be held on Saturday, July 30,
commencing at 2pm.
The venue is the Kirrak Room at the Wonthaggi
Workmen’s Club, 75 Graham Street, Wonthaggi.
I look forward to seeing you there.
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
Weighing in for Korumburra Hospital
Weight donation: from left, Heart Support South Gippsland
treasurer John Kurrle, Loraine Chivers, director John
Grenon, president Bill Ross, Korumburra Hospital acting
nurse unit manager Glenis Lemasurier and occupational
therapist Antoinette McHarg at the presentation of the new
weighing chair last Thursday.
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