Home' The Great Southern Star : September 20th 2016 Contents PAGE 12 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, September 20, 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
things that compromise the agricul-
tural sector, which employs more than
We will not put our ‘clean, green’
reputation of Victoria’s agriculture
sector at risk.
In a national first, the Andrews
Labor Government is introducing a
permanent ban on the exploration and
development of all onshore uncon-
ventional gas in Victoria, including
hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and
coal seam gas.
Quite clearly this is one of the
biggest issues affecting regional Vic-
Surprisingly, it is still unclear
whether the Victorian Nationals will
support our move to ban fracking.
They’re nowhere to be seen or heard.
Will the Nationals support the
legislative ban or will they side with
the Liberals’ calls for more uncertain-
ty, indecision and inaction?
I’m calling on all National Party
MPs to declare their support for the
legislation, which will ban fracking
and coal seam gas once and for all.
The Hon. Wade Noonan MP,
Minister for Resources.
Vision for growth
FOR years, Bass Coast Shire Coun-
cil has been told by its auditors and
financial advisors it is essential for
the shire to find alternate sources of
Council has never listened to
this advice and instead, council has
stubbornly remained reliant on rates
and government grants.
It is essential we move away from
this outdated way of funding and look
for different ways to improve our
As a candidate running this year
in the election, I have initiatives and
policies that might have more success
in improving our economy.
We need to look into tried-and-
tested methods from around Australia
and around the world to increase our
Methods like using citizen
scientists instead of consultants in
projects the community can get
Pay-to-park for tourists and
visitors which is used in most of
Australia can bring in millions each
year, though there is significant
Public/private partnerships is a
successful model which previous
councils rejected as too complex but
which we must urgently reconsider.
Encouraging low key cultural
events targeted at high value tourists
rather than huge numbers will stabilise
our seasonal economy and encourage
Some of the candidates have
stated we need to lower rates and cut
costs. This is a sweet sentiment, but
are they really so naïve they think this
method hasn’t been tried before?
Do they honestly believe previous
councils have not had this spark of
inspiration in the past? And if they
are aware this method has been tried
before, why are they recycling these
irrelevant ideas when it is quite clear
that lowering rates and cutting costs
only gets you so far?
The other candidates have no
plan, no initiative and no policy. No
In the current council’s plan Bass
Coast Towards 2030 it states “...
by protecting and maintaining our
natural assets as well as putting in
place the support infrastructure and
services, our tourism industry thrives.
Employment in a range of industries
is now year-round creating a much
more sustainable local economy.”
This is a fine thing to say. But
how does the current council plan to
do that exactly? By refusing to seek
alternate revenue they have no option
other than to limit their infrastructure
spend and reduce needed programs.
Again, this current council’s plan is
reliant solely on hope.
The shire needs a thriving
economy in order to provide
employment and to secure its own
financial position. My economic
plan for growth and jobs will help to
achieve that goal.
Unlike other candidates and
current councillors running again,
I actually have a plan for financial
sustainability, plans that have been
tried and tested and succeeded in
other places. In order for the shire to
move forward along with the rest of
the world, this shire needs to adopt
Candidate for Western Port Ward.
from tip closure
I WANT to write about the planned
closure of the Inverloch Transfer Sta-
tion by the Bass Coast Shire Council.
Whilst currently I am not a
resident of Inverloch or the Bass
Coast Shire, I did live in Inverloch
for three years and then in Wonthaggi
for another four years and have close
connections with family land nearby.
I understand the inconvenience
issues being raised by members of the
community due to the closure plans.
Convenience is a relative thing.
Within a 15 to 20 minute drive of
Inverloch you have options to deposit
your rubbish at either the Wonthaggi
or Koonwarra sites.
I feel the inconvenience that
some will experience will be far
outweighed by the potential social
and environmental benefits that
could come from a well planned and
resourced area of public land.
The decision to close the transfer
station, whether you are in favour of
it or against, provides some amazing
opportunities for a transformation of
There are numerous examples
that exist of creative rehabilitation
works on land which was previously
used as a landfill site.
The City of Darebin has
developed the All Nations Park in
Northcote. Once a landfill site, this
area has been transformed into an
amazing community open space park,
engaging residents and providing
a positive interactive landscape
experience for community members.
Along the Merri Creek in East
Brunswick, the award winning Ceres
Environmental Park is situated on a
site that was once quarried for basalt
and then subsequently used to dump
Now the site is a centre for high
quality environmental educational,
research activities and commerce.
Both these sites are worth a visit, or at
least having a look at websites linked
to them on line.
These examples may seem ‘pie
in the sky’ to some, however there
is no reason why the public land
surrounding the Inverloch Transfer
Station site could not be transformed
into a positive, interactive area of
Inverloch has what a lot of the
city areas only dream of; public space
that is directly linked to a vegetated
waterway like Screw Creek which
flows into an amazing inlet like our
I would hope the leaders within
the Bass Coast Shire are able to
engage the community and guide
the process of developing this area of
land into a really positive and inviting
space to enhance the natural beauty of
Inverloch and provide residents and
visitors alike with an uplifting place
No gender bias
I NOTE mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale
used her most recent Bass Coast may-
or ’s message to accuse The Star of
getting its facts wrong in its editorial.
Letter writers of a particular
“age set, gender type and political
persuasion” were also attacked
and accused of gender bias.
I am not sure if I have the honour of
being included amongst these, but,
for the record, I did not choose my
gender, would definitely opt to be
younger if I had a choice, and could
not bring myself to support any of the
parties at the last general election.
As for gender bias, it is my view
that three out of the four current
councillors who routinely put their
personal biases ahead of the wants
and needs of ratepayers are male and
the only councillor worthy of possible
consideration in the upcoming
election happens to be female.
Does that make me gender
As for council’s commitment to
facts, I could fill several pages with
all of the “misinformation” issued by
council and councillors over the last
The most recent example being
a claim the public was consulted
about waste management issues
even though the documented Waste
Management Strategy confirms no
such consultation was allowed for.
I have no doubt all councillors
honestly believe they have acted in the
best interests of ratepayers. However,
in a democracy, voters will make the
final determination as to whether they
believe this to be true.
For my part, I do not expect
to agree with every decision made
by councillors, but I expect their
decisions to be based on logic,
evidence, and the potential impact on
the quality of life of the people they
I expect them to take the views
of the public into account and to
clearly explain the reasons behind any
If a new set of councillors can
achieve this then perhaps I can rest
my aging, male, writing hand and
spend more time enjoying the mostly
underutilised beaches of Inverloch
with my dog instead of writing to
WHY is the Department of Environ-
ment, Land, Water and Planning,
Walkerville Foreshore Reserve Com-
mittee of Management and South
Gippsland Shire Council uncon-
cerned about the unprotected eroded
beach front between the caravan park
to south of McPhersons Creek at
Why continue to ignore it or is it
more important to restrict parking and
access to the beach?
The foreshore committee has this
obsession with reducing the available
area for parking at the end of Bayside
Why this constant push to restrict
parking and consequently the beach
experience of ratepayers or visitors?
Yes, the rock wall needs atten-
tion but there is a greater priority and
that is the repair for the badly eroded
beach between the caravan park and
south of McPhersons Creek.
Council has now already commit-
ted more than $130,000 for road and
retaining wall protection (Proposed
This for raising and strengthen-
ing a seawall the foreshore commit-
tee has responsibility for and this is
part of their restrictive parking plan.
If the road is breached because of
this lack of concern, will ratepayers
be expected to pick up the bill? Ob-
viously not DELWP or the foreshore
committee because they are doing
nothing about it now!
Why are the council and shire of-
ficers apparently eager to facilitate the
building of a car park whose function
will reduce the amount of available
I presented a plan that would have
allowed about 50 cars with trailers or
100 cars to park between Holt Street
and the toilet.
This plan was similar to many
road centre car parks. It would have
required less area than the proposed
plan. This plan was dismissed without
any discussions on its merits or what
modifications may be made necessary
to fit this site.
People do not need to arrive at
the beach to find when you arrive you
can’t stay because parking has been
“It’s for a good cause and you raise
money and awareness. When we did
the walkathon we had to ask people
for sponsorship, which raised aware-
ness about our charities.”
Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College, Leongatha, gave $20,000 to seven charities last
week. The Star asked students “Why do you think it is important to give to charities?”
“It’s important to help others. The
Salvation Army is a good charity
to give to.”
“It’s important to give back to oth-
ers. I respect the work of World Vi-
“To support people less fortunate
than us and to give back to the com-
WE, the Victorian Railways (formerly
the Great Southern Railway Society),
are interested in obtaining a lease to
operate the tourist railway services on
the Korumburra–Leongatha line.
We are seeking to do this in con-
junction with the local shire and other
interested community groups in order
to maximize the benefit of the area for
the local community.
The potential for community use
of the station buildings in harmony
with rail operations would be an en-
joyable tourist asset.
An overall approach to the whole
precinct by community groups and
the shire would provide a positive out-
come for the community.
The PTV, in a recent article, said
they would welcome a group to take
on the tourist railway, and we believe
through community support, both by
people and businesses, that this could
It would be beneficial if we could
work together and have a rail trail,
where possible, and rail track for the
operation of rail trolleys and into the
future tourist railway trains, so that
more options would be available for
the Korumburra community.
We would like to expand the
museum collection, to create an edu-
cational program for children and en-
joyment for visitors to the township of
We wish to enhance the area
around the Korumburra railway sta-
tion in keeping with the Korumburra
ladies gardening project.
Once the necessary paper work is
completed we will forward it to coun-
cil for approval.
We have been actively involved in
railway preservation for 30 or so years
as a small group, so we feel this is a
very good opportunity to be actively
Of course we are looking for new
members and would welcome anyone
from the local community who may
Our website is currently under
review but will give people an insight
into our love of Victorian railways.
Enquiries for support and mem-
bership can be made through victori-
I AM writing a thank you note
in appreciation of the wonderful care
given to my husband Michael on the
morning of August 20 when he suf-
fered a stroke.
They say act fast. On seeing it all
happen before my eyes, I rang triple
zero and followed instructions.
An ambulance was dispatched
within half an hour and the two am-
bulance paramedics were wonderful,
helping my husband get ready for the
trip initially to Dandenong, but was
then this was changed to Monash, and
finally the Royal Melbourne Hospital
where he stayed for five days.
Thanks also to my neighbour
Gerald Win who came to my aid and
watched for the ambulance to arrive
and showed the way in.
THERE has been a great deal of un-
certainty and large-scale community
concern about hydraulic fracturing
(‘fracking’) and coal seam gas in Vic-
The moratorium did not solve this
problem. It only brought more uncer-
tainty and caused a great deal of anxi-
ety to our farmers in the process.
Over the past few months, I’ve
spent a lot of time listening to both
farmers and regional communities.
What stood out strongly was that
the environment is the economy in re-
gional Victoria: if you do things that
compromise the environment – and
in particular, water security – you do
A FEW weeks into spring and the region continues
to receive ample rain, lifting the confidence of dairy
farmers in the wake of the price cuts that have left
many farmers operating below the cost of production.
While The Star this week reports farmers and the businesses
that rely on them are feeling somewhat more positive in the wake
of Murray Goulburn’s first step-up of the season, there is still a
long way to go before farmers can enjoy some financial relief.
The ideal outcome for MG suppliers would be if the company
abandoned its controversial milk supply support package that re-
quires them to pay back money MG claimed it had overpaid.
New Gippsland director Kelvin Jackson believes MG should
abandon the package and pay off the debt itself when the economy
and dairy market improves.
The intentions of new Western Region directors Craig Dwyer,
Lisa Dwyer and Harper Kilpatrick remain to be seen.
Mr Dwyer has told media he wants better communication with
farmers from MG and improved farmgate milk prices to help re-
Lisa Dwyer was also sympathetic to suppliers’ plights, writing
in her candidate’s statement, “What we currently face is the result
of unprecedented and inexcusable failure. We have every right to
feel angry, betrayed and bewildered”.
In his candidate’s statement, Mr Kilpatrick wrote, “I was and
am very disappointed as I have watched the events unfold around
the recent milk price crash. I have questioned how the management
and board brought us to this position on so late in the year.”
The newcomers seem to show a leaning towards a better
deal for farmers, but whether this results in the package being
withdrawn is unknown. No doubt MG has already built its future
finances around recovering money from suppliers and by the same
token, farmers would have also mapped out their futures based on
not having the income to spare.
Whatever the new board decides to do, MG needs to change
its constitution or otherwise to ensure clawbacks cannot occur in
the future, especially if it wishes to regain some of the trust it has
already lost from farmers and from within the broader industry.
MG must self-reflect
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