Home' The Great Southern Star : October 25th 2016 Contents PAGE 8 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, October 25, 2016
CR JIM Fawcett paid
tribute to retiring South
Gippsland Shire council-
lor Kieran Kennedy, who
is not seeking re-election
to the next council, at last
In particular, Cr Fawcett noted
his contribution to formulating
the Rural Land Use Strategy and
improving council’s financial
annual report, Cr Kennedy
observed library use had dropped
with the rise of the internet and
large rural shires continued to
struggle to maintain services
under increasing costs.
He had this advice for the
incoming councillors: “Council
is not an easy club to be part of.
It takes 18 months to get to know
the new council.
“Be sure to respect each other
from the start and have positive,
constructive debate because that
is what the community of South
Gippsland will be looking for.”
Cr Fawcett also thanked
Cr Bob Newton for his service
as mayor in a “hard year” in
resolving differences between
councillors and wished him well
in his bid for re-election.
Cr Newton, a 24 year veteran
of council, responded, “You can’t
be all things to all people all the
time but you can try and help
He thanked his fellow
councillors, staff and family for
the support and said while he
hoped to return to council, if not,
“I will fire up the motorhome”.
By Brad Lester
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council is
concerned about its ability to fund fu-
ture projects in the wake of the State
Government’s rate capping policy.
In a message to Local Government Minis-
ter Natalie Hutchins in council’s annual report,
chief executive officer Tim Tamlin said the gov-
ernment’s Fair Go Rates policy would likely im-
pact council in the long term.
“South Gippsland Shire Council continues to
deal with the pressures of balancing community
needs and our capacity to raise the revenue re-
quired to meet those needs,” Mr Tamlin wrote.
“With a small population in a large geograph-
ical area, the reality is that we are always chal-
lenged to manage the asset renewal gap, particu-
larly as we framed the budget for the 2016-17
year in the context of your government’s Fair
Go Rates policy.”
Mr Tamlin said rates remained council’s only
substantial revenue source.
“While we have been able to successfully
frame a budget for 2016-17, the implications
for our community and its assets will be more
pronounced the longer the policy endures. As a
result of the policy we are forecasting a cut to
our revenue by $38.9 million between now and
2030,” he wrote.
“As a consequence of councils no longer
being able to levy sufficient rates to provide
the services and asset maintenance their com-
munities expect without seeking an exemption
through the Essential Service Commission,
competition for grants will intensify.
“Thus far we have been quite successful in
attracting funding to our municipality, but we
fear that this may not be the case into the fu-
Mr Tamlin said at the end of June 2016, coun-
cil’s financial position remained strong with the
operating result of $4.23 million in line with the
forecast outcome of $2.50 million.
The annual report states council has reduced
rates under the State Government’s rate capping
legislation through a restructure that reduced se-
nior management and streamlined services.
In the last official duty of the current coun-
cil ahead of the new council being announced
this Saturday, council last Wednesday adopted
the report which purports council has listened
to ratepayers’ requests to cut rates, made Coal
Creek Community Park and Museum more fi-
nancially sustainable by introducing cost sav-
ing measures, and distributed rates more equi-
Among other highlights were more road
repairs and advocacy for major repairs to the
South Gippsland Highway between Korumburra
and Leongatha, and funding for the Black Spur
realignment at Koonwarra.
Seventy-seven percent of planning applica-
tions were decided within 60 days.
“It tells the story in black and white of what
By Sarah Vella
THE Leongatha RSL Veterans Resource
Hub held an open day on Saturday, to
give the local community an opportunity
to see the new facility.
The day was held in conjunction with Veter-
an’s Health Week.
Wendy Wyhoon from the Leongatha RSL said
the building on Bellingham Street was purchased
late last year and has had a lot of work done on
it since then.
“The majority of the work was done by volun-
teers and volunteer hours,” she said.
“The centre is a place for anybody in the com-
munity, not just veterans, to visit and enjoy a cup-
pa and a chat to help reduce the isolation often
experienced in rural communities.”
The centre also provides a pension officer
once a fortnight to help people cut through the
bureaucracy of applying a pension.
Ms Wyhoon said there was a fantastic turnout
for the open day.
“The day provided a chance for our volunteers
to meet other volunteers and get familiar with
the centre and for the community to see what is
here,” she said.
Leongatha RSL Sub Branch secretary and re-
source hub volunteer Ken Wanklyn said the cen-
tre is in place to help veterans of any age, as well
as Australian Defence Force personnel and their
“It is open on Thursdays and Fridays at the
moment, but we want to make it as accessible as
possible. Now we have more volunteers, that will
be easier for us,” he said.
CEO warns: purse strings will tighten
calls for respect
Last hurrah: Cr Kieran
Kennedy addresses South
Gippsland Shire Council for
the last time last Wednesday.
He is not seeking re-election.
we have done this year,” Cr Jim Fawcett said.
Cr Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks said South
Gippsland council was widely respected beyond
the shire for being receptive to public presenta-
tions and easy to deal with.
“This council can be proud with the way it
deals with the issues that come before it,” he
Here to help: from left, Jason Lawler from Lang Lang, Leongatha RSL Sub Branch secre-
tary and resource hub volunteer Ken Wanklyn, Edwin Millett from Leongatha South, Le-
ongatha RSL’s Wendy Wyhoon, Ian Rasmussen from Leongatha and Vince Campisi from
Nerrena at the Leongatha RSL Veterans Resource Hub open day on Saturday.
Veteran’s hub gets
tick of approval
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