Home' The Great Southern Star : September 13th 2016 Contents PAGE 12 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, September 13, 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.
The Star reserves the right to edit all letters for length and style.
Writer ’s details, including full name, address and phone number
(not for publication), must be included.
As at September 21 the shire
is in shut down mode, not the
end of August.
There is no reason why my
questions have not been an-
swered other than it hurts the
shire! Cover up, again, again.
Time for change!
What’s in the pot?
AS I see it, the issue of capital
works is going to be one of the
most important issues over the
next term of Bass Coast Shire
Simply put, capital works
funding is the money that is
spent building things within the
shire. It provides for the con-
struction of buildings, roads,
footpaths and the like.
It is an issue which is bigger
than any one project.
Capital works items are the
things that get built for com-
munity benefit. They are the
things that we can see and
touch. They are tangible. Once
they are made, they stand as a
So how much does coun-
cil currently spend on capital
works? The 2016/17 budget
lists the figure as 15.98 million.
That is 22.1 percent of the total
In comparison, if we look
at say South Gippsland Shire
Council, they are spending
$20.81 million on capital works
in the current financial year
which is 30.45 percent of their
One of my key priorities
would be to fight to bring this
part of Bass Coast budgets up
towards large rural council av-
Another point to make is
that when you have a bigger
pool of money sitting in capital
works, the council can apply
and receive more money in the
form of grants from other levels
of government. Such grants of-
ten function on a ratio of one to
one. If we spend a dollar then
we can receive a dollar. In es-
sence the more you have, the
more you can get.
This would be a big internal
and structural change to council
budgets. Let’s address it and
let’s put future budgets on the
right trajectory. Let’s spend
money in ways that make a dif-
ference to the community as a
Candidate for Bunurong
DO councillors live in an alter-
I have just received a letter
from South Gippsland Shire
Council proudly announcing it
will spend $400,000 on capi-
tal works in Foster in 2017-18
and asking me to be involved in
their online forum.
I am not certain if this money
is from taxes paid or rates paid;
either way it is our money.
I would have thought with
Gippsland being Australia’s
largest dairy producer, the
downturn in the dairy industry
and with farmers struggling to
survive, now might be a time
to stop spending in towns and
assist farmers instead.
Perhaps consider a $400,000
rate reduction instead.
I WOULD like to commend
The Great Southern Star for its
impartial coverage of the candi-
dates for the council elections.
This helps to overcome the tyr-
anny of distance and budget.
I am greatly encouraged by
the interest shown by the gen-
eral public in the actions (or
inaction) of council and hope
that the community can work
together with the incoming
council to create the Bass Coast
we aspire to.
We are going to make tough
decisions to stay under the
rate cap and we need to know
what community expectations
are. Change is obviously the
Independent Candidate for
Western Port Ward
McCraws Rd, Wattle Bank.
Think before you
FOUR years ago the community
voted in six new councillors out
of seven in response to the pre-
vious Bass Coast Shire Council
apparently being asleep at the
Mr Ross Smith, a councillor
in that previous council, is now
asking for this council to be
voted out of office via a letter
to the editor in The Star, Sep-
Do you remember four years
ago, at the end of that previous
Council’s term; potholes every-
where, drains not functioning,
our assets falling apart and the
main streets looking shabby.
Why was that? Well, in the
last year of Mr Smith’s term
on council just $4.65 in every
$100 of your rates was going
directly to asset maintenance,
renewal, and well, there was
nothing much available to build
I know, I couldn’t believe it
either when I got onto council.
council, that is now $16.23 out
of every $100 of your rates be-
ing spent directly on mainte-
nance, renewal, and money for
matching government grants for
new assets. That’s three to four
times what it was at the end of
Mr Smith’s term, now going to
what the community wants to
see, as opposed to a black hole
of operational expenditure,
New assets include drain-
age of rec reserves, tennis and
netball upgrades, surf life sav-
ers emergency access ramp,
playgrounds and toilet blocks,
bicycle paths, etc.
Have you noticed the level of
general maintenance - cracked
footpath repairs, painting our
assets, reroofing halls - and how
many potholes have you seen
on council roads recently?
This council has a vision for
the future, a 10 year plan, some-
thing we’ve never had before,
and finally the ability to deliver
Adopted precinct plans and
a commitment to only promise
what we can deliver.
Coming up: a shared path
from Inverloch to Wonthaggi,
revitalisation of the Wonthaggi
Union Arts Centre, a new aquat-
ics and basketball courts com-
plex, and a contract in place for
a kitchen and garden waste bin
to commence next year.
While we can, and will do
better than the $16.23, imagine
where we would now be with the
government rate cap if this coun-
cil hadn’t addressed the structural
problems we inherited.
Please consider carefully
before voting out all sitting
Cr Neil Rankine,
Bass Coast Shire Council.
Nats welcome ban
UNCONVENTIONAL gas ex-
ploration is a source of concern
for many Victorian farmers.
collective sigh of relief recently
for many who are on land in the
sights of CSG companies.
The former Coalition Gov-
ernment’s ban on exploration
and extraction of unconven-
tional onshore gas was given
permanency, while a morato-
rium on conventional onshore
gas was extended to 2020.
Farmers have serious con-
cerns on the detrimental effects
of fracking on water quality and
quantity, this ban brings them
peace of mind for the future.
The Nationals have always
had the best interests of farm-
ers and regional communities at
We were proud to be part of
the former Coalition govern-
ment who introduced Victo-
ria’s fracking moratorium and
who banned the use of BTEX
Our farmers and rural com-
munities are one of the power-
houses of Victoria’s economy
and The Nationals will always
fight to ensure the land and
water resources they need are
While the Coalition wel-
comes Labor’s continuation of
the Liberal Nationals’ policy,
Daniel Andrews must do more
to provide relief from rising
cost of living pressures hitting
Leader of The Nationals,
Member for Murray Plains.
Get around the Parrots
THE shock loss to Leongatha on Saturday in the seniors was very disappointing
for everyone but that makes it all the more important for our community to get
behind the team in this weekend’s do or die preliminary final.
The irony of it all is that Leongatha seniors will be up against its old foes
Traralgon and once again it will be on Traralgon’s home deck, the scene of last
year ’s grand final disappointment.
That’s all the more reason to get over to Traralgon and support the Leon-
gatha senior team as they fly the flag along with the Under 18’s, Under 16’s with
the Reserves already winning its way into the grand final.
The B Grade netballers are also readying themselves for a do or die battle
Leongatha seniors have been the best team all season in the Gippsland
League but come finals time, the work done to win the games is put aside as
all sides lift a gear.
Whatever happens this weekend the club has done an outstanding job so far
with all four football teams still in the mix.
Senior coach Beau Vernon and all the coaching staff should be commended
for the amount of work both on and off the field and for the professionalism the
club has shown.
When the ball bounces on Saturday the seniors will have no time to ponder
the future; the task at hand is to win against Traralgon first and that means score-
board pressure from the first minute on.
The Parrots have the team and depth to do it so lift your heads and show the
football public why the wins continued to mount up all season. Go Leongatha.
Another business goes
LEONGATHA will have another vacant shop and a large one at that with news
Kelvin Johns Bi Rite Electrical will close at the end of the month.
The main reason for the closure stems back to the collapse of Retravision
some years ago.
The large losses contributed to the difficulty faced by the business in being
able to afford to stock the premises with the latest and greatest electrical goods.
It is sad to see a businessman who has been in the caper for 41 years go
out this way.
Kelvin Smith and the family have been most generous to the community,
giving away thousands upon thousands for clubs and sporting groups to fund-
It is a timely reminder to groups that if you are prepared to put your hand out
for money or prizes in a local store be prepared to think shopping locally and put
your dollars back into the town.
Because for every dollar you spend out of town or on-line for a cheap item
from China, this could potentially be another nail in the coffin for another local
And that goes for every town in South Gippsland.
I HAVE in the last three to four
months at South Gippsland
Shire’s Public Presentations,
asked some tough questions,
which the mayor has said,
“David, we will take them on
Which means, within 21
days, the shire will reply – it’s
on their website.
This hasn’t happened –
The last time, on August 17,
where I spoke to all councillors
around 3pm, Cr Bob Newton
said at the end of the month –
that’s it for council to make de-
cisions due to shire elections.
This is incorrect by the shire
IT’S 50 years since
the Korumburra and
Society held its first
meeting on Septem-
ber 14, 1966.
To mark the occasion the
society hosted a function at
50 years of history celebrated
Book presentation: Dennis Conn vice president of
the Korumburra Historical Society presented Lam-
bis Englezos with a copy of the book, “The Land of
the Lyre Bird” during the groups 50th anniversary
celebration on Sunday.
Celebrating history: from left members of the Korumburra Historical Society
with special guest speaker Lambis Englezos, Jim Brookes, Lambis Englezos,
Doug Boston, Robert Harrison and front Wilma Walls during the group’s 50th
anniversary celebrations on Sunday at the Korumburra Showgrounds Complex.
the Korumburra Showgrounds
Complex on Sunday, Septem-
ber 11 attended by some 100
Coinciding with the anni-
versary was another important
milestone – the 100th year since
the Battle of Fromelles which
took place on July 19 and 20,
It was most appropriate the
society invited as guest speaker
Mr Lambis Englezos AO who
presented a graphic and emo-
tional account of his quest to
locate and identify missing
Australian soldiers following
Fromelles, who were buried
somewhere behind German
Historical society vice pres-
ident Dennis Conn was MC for
the afternoon welcoming the
guest speaker, members and
visitors. He spoke of the people
involved in the formation of the
society as “building the blocks
of our history”.
Representing the Korum-
burra RSL, Perry Neil led a trib-
ute to the fallen in the Battle of
Fromelles before inviting Shane
Maskell to place a wreath on the
Historian Doug Boston out-
lined achievements of the soci-
ety in the past 50 years referring
in particular to the establish-
ment of Coal Creek.
Mr Boston spoke of the
volunteers and dedicated mem-
bers over the years especially
prominent members like Kath
Ritchie, Brian Blake and Wal-
Guest speaker Lambis En-
glezos said 100 years on we re-
member the Battle of Fromelles.
There were 5533 Australian ca-
sualties in this battle, including
After a visit to Fromelles
in 2002 Mr Englezos returned
to Australia seeking answers
to the question of these miss-
After meticulous research
he discovered the “lost diggers
of Fromelles” uncovering more
than 200 soldiers who had been
hastily buried during the First
World War. The remains were
exhumed and buried with dig-
nity, despite government resis-
The Fromelles battle in July
1916 is believed to be among
the “worst 24 hours” in Austra-
Mr Englezos received the
Order of Australia (AO) for his
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