Home' The Great Southern Star : October 18th 2016 Contents PAGE 38 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Quality continues: Hustler Equipment will continue to produce standout agricultural ma-
chinery after acquiring Robertson Manufacturing. Hustler machinery is available from
Gendore Tractors and Machinery in Leongatha.
AN evening of celebration and laughter
was had on Saturday, October 10 for the
South Gippsland Landcare Network’s
Annual Dinner to celebrate 30 years of
Landcare in Victoria.
The night, which incorporated the AGM, in-
cluded guest speaker Brian Nankervis and was
held on a pleasant spring night at the Woorayl
Golf Club, Leongatha.
Network board chair Mark Walters welcomed
all in attendance and thanked the affiliated groups
and members of the network, along with the board
and staff for their hard work and enthusiasm over
the past 12 months.
The AGM elections were then held with eight
vacancies out of 10 positions on the board. Seven
nominations were received from Ray Saunders,
Libby Anthony, David Layton, Jean Carnell, Mark
Walters, Helen Hasty and Frank Dekker.
Ray is a member of the Tarwin group, Libby
and Helen are members of the Mardan Mirboo
Laugh a minute: an absolute hit with the crowd, Brian Nankervis (right) shares a joke with
newly appointed South Gippsland Landcare Network chair Frank Dekker and coordinator
Laughter to celebrate Landcare
All together: comedian Brian Nankervis had
the crowd join hands in a light hearted ode to
the late Joan Kirner at the South Gippsland
Landcare Network event.
Mrs Kirner, former Victorian premier,
was a driving force behind the establishment
of Landcare in the 1980s.
North Group, David is a member of the Fish
Creek group, Jean and Frank are members of
the Hallston group, and Mark is a member of
the Poowong Landcare group. Network member
Margaret McDonald and Russell Swan of (Tarwin
Valley group returned for their second year on the
As the number of nominations was less than
the number of vacancies, all seven nominees were
duly elected to the board with one position va-
Frank Dekker was elected as chair, Mark Wal-
ters was elected as vice chair and Margaret Mc-
Donald was elected as treasurer.
Retiring board members, including Sally Jel-
bart, Mark Uren, Arie Bos, Phil Piper, Rosemary
Trease and Dawn Marotti, were thanked for their
volunteer contributions to the network.
Network coordinator Kate McKenzie present-
ed on the significant achievements of the network
over the past year.
To mention some of the impressive results, the
network has enabled the planting of 56,526 indig-
enous plants and the erection of 15,673.4 metres
of stock proof fencing to protect remnant vegeta-
tion and revegetation.
Mrs McKenzie emphasised how the Landcare
groups and members inspire and motivate the net-
work staff and board.
She also thanked former project officer Nicole
Walsh for her hard work and enthusiasm with
the network, wishing her every success with her
new role as biodiversity officer with the West
Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.
She ended by thanking past network coordina-
tor Jenny O’Sullivan, network partners and local
businesses for their support, in particular the West
Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.
Following dinner, comedian Brian Nankervis
created a party atmosphere to celebrate 30 years
of Landcare with mini version of television music
trivia show Rock Wiz.
The group’s music knowledge was put to the
test with a ‘boys versus girls’ completion. Mr
Nankervis had the room in hysterics with his po-
ems and candid behaviour.
Thanks to the Woorayl Golf Club, Mama Van
food truck, Brian Nankervis and Semken Land-
scaping for making the night such a special one.
For more information about the network or to
become a Landcare member please visit www.sgln.
org.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Frank Mickan, Agriculture Victoria
EACH year we hear about hay stack
fires in sheds and paddocks and unfortu-
However, not so commonly thought of are baler fires.
During every hay harvest, the Victorian Country Fire
Authority (CFA) attends several baler fires, many of which
could have been avoided or at least with reduced damage.
Balers are often burnt-out in these fires, but sometimes
the tractor is also partly or completely destroyed, neither
cheap pieces of machinery.
No doubt, there are other unreported costs such as pad-
dock fires caused by the baler fire spreading into nearby
windrows and surrounding dry paddocks, especially if
there is wind.
Plus there is always the dangerous prospect of per-
Most baler fires are caused by over-heating of dam-
aged/worn bearings and often not noticed until the hay
bale and baler are well alight, unless the operator just hap-
pened to turn around when fire first started.
What should be known by farmers and contractors, it
is compulsory by law in Victoria for all tractors to have a
water extinguisher with a minimum nine litre capacity at-
tached to the tractor during the fire restriction period.
This can be either a pressurised water extinguisher or
a knapsack, although the latter are difficult to attach on
many late model tractors.
This simple tool is a no brainer when operating equip-
ment with hot bearings in hot dry, windy conditions in dry
An extinguisher could be critical to nipping a baler fire
in the bud or at least delaying it spreading too much before
the CFA arrives.
Another recommendation includes carrying a mini-
mum two kilograms of dry powder extinguisher for sev-
These are useful for electrical and hydraulic oil fires,
often starting as a result of the baler fire melting wires or
Embers often are blown into nooks and crannies
around and under the tractor cabin and other hard-to-get-at
Spraying water into these spots sometimes does not
reach all crevices or deep enough where dust and loose dry
material has built up.
The water can sometimes evaporate before extinguish-
ing the fire in some locations.
A powder extinguisher will spread further and is more
effective in these scenarios.
Electrical shorts can also start fires and even though
the electrics are usually automatically shut down on many
of the latest model tractors, fires can sometimes short cir-
cuit this safety process.
Water won’t extinguish these fires.
Separate the tractor from the baler as quickly as pos-
sible, because baler fires can get out of control quickly.
This rapidly generates extreme heat, so approaching
the drawbar is almost impossible (without severe risk of
burns) and metal components heat quickly making un-
coupling of hydraulic hose very difficult and extremely
If there is no extinguisher available, this is a must, to
avoid destroying the tractor as well.
Clean the tractor each day to minimise build -up of
flammable material, this will occur during the harvest op-
eration, but the less build-up the better, particularly near
hot parts like the engine manifold, exhaust and turbo-
LOOKING after local youth is a prior-
ity for South Gippsland Shire Council
Strzelecki Ward candidate David Amor.
He said for children living in the smaller
towns around the shire, transport is limited.
Mr Amor would like to see South Gippsland
Shire Council consider a designated bus line to
safely transport children into the major towns.
Mr Amor grew up on the outskirts of Wont-
haggi and would generally only go into the town
once a month. He is committed to ensuring chil-
dren do not miss out on opportunities now.
“A new bus service would give them the op-
portunity to do things like go to the cinema or
catch up with mates if they don’t have a licence.
Parents could rely on this bus system, knowing
their child is safe,” Mr Amor said.
“There are a lot of things in the major towns
that the people who live there take for granted
and the unique towns on the outside are often for-
gotten. This is an opportunity to allow everyone
to enjoy these facilities.
“Council needs to have a focus on all of South
Gippsland and its amenities, which doesn’t just
mean the larger towns. It’s the smaller towns that
need to be taken care of as well.”
Candidate backs youth transport
Balers a hidden fire danger
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