Home' The Great Southern Star : November 22nd 2016 Contents PAGE 12 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, November 22, 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(not for publication), must be included.
LIKE most of us, I’ve joined
many clubs over the years but
never would I have expected,
nor accepted had it been of-
fered, the role of president as
soon as I joined.
It doesn’t make sense for
anyone to try to run an organi-
sation when they have no expe-
rience at all of how it operates.
So how clever are our new-
ly elected councillors at South
There’s a lot more at stake
here than with your average
sporting or social club yet they
blithely appoint two novices to
the top positions of mayor and
Now I have nothing against
Ray Argento or Maxine Kiel
but it’s a very tall order to step
into these roles with no directly
And it’s not as if there was
no viable alternative: one can-
didate received far more prima-
ry votes than any other candi-
date (37 percent more than Ray
in fact), has years of experience
both working in local govern-
ment and as a shire councillor,
and more sensible ideas as to
how to improve our shire than
all the others put together. Yet
he’s been frozen out.
The electorate spoke when
they threw out nearly all of the
old guard at the recent election
but if we’re not careful their
ghosts may still return to sty-
mie our progress.
I genuinely wish the new
council all the best but they
don’t seem to be off to an aus-
One thing’s for sure: CEO
Tim Tamlin will be quietly re-
joicing that he has novices to
manage, rather than the coun-
cillors managing him which is
the way it should be and what
most of us voted for.
THANK you to everyone who
voted for me at the recent South
Gippsland Shire Council elec-
Thank you to our departing
councillors and congratulations
to the successful candidates.
There was a large number
of good candidates and, to me,
a surprising amount of inter-
est from the community in the
elections and local government
Are there currently ade-
quate opportunities for people
to continue to have input into
decisions made by council af-
fecting their lives? One or two
complaints or questions may be
We need an ongoing, inde-
pendent group, be it a council
watchdog, ratepayers associa-
tion or similar to raise issues,
give feedback, get answers and
generally lobby council for the
If you have such a group or
are otherwise interested please
contact me at stevefinlay@live.
Council needs our input,
needs to be accountable and
may even be helped by such a
“Make sure you have an adult
with you when you go swim-
ming. Always keep an eye out
What are your water safety tips?
“Always swim between the
flags on patrolled beaches,”
“Listen to the lifesavers by
swimming between the red and
yellow flags; if we can’t see
you, we can’t save you.”
“Look at the conditions before
getting in the water and always
swim with a friend.”
IT’S been a political handball that’s gone on for too
The realignment of the South Gippsland Highway at Black
Spur, between Koonwarra and Meeniyan, has been a dream of
the region for many years, and as The Star reports today (Tues-
day), is now closer than ever to being funded by the State and
However the deal is yet to be signed, after the Federal Gov-
ernment last week took the State Government by surprise in an-
nouncing the state had agreed to match its federal counterparts
in funding infrastructure projects around Victoria, one of them
being the Black Spur.
As it turns out, this was news to the State Government, de-
spite a public announcement by the Federal Government to the
contrary, with the Andrews Government claiming negotiations
were still being finalised.
The winding bends of the Black Spur, with the intersection
with Caithness Road at the centre, have been the scene of many
accidents over the years, including trucks turning over but for-
tunately not landing on passing traffic and taking lives in the
Yet the potential for such a tragedy is there.
VicRoads continues to work on a business case although
there was talk of this case being due for completion by late last
year and then again by the middle of this year.
This case was to be put forward against other projects state-
wide to compete for state funding.
The federal funding commitment is simply too good for the
state to pass up and that’s why Victorian Roads Minister Luke
Donnellan must put politics aside and approve this project.
After all, Mr Donellan, as a former shadows roads minister, vis-
ited South Gippsland while in opposition to highlight the pothole-
riddled state of the region’s roads then and is well aware of the
value – both economic and safety wise – of roads to the region.
Let’s hope for an announcement some time soon.
Time to fund Black Spur
WATERSHED members and supporters
rallied in Wonthaggi on Friday, ahead of
the desal plant commencing full opera-
tion this week.
The protesters gathered at the corner of Lower
Powlett Road and the Bass Highway.
Watershed vice-president Jessica Harrison
said, “The desal plant is the most expensive and
most destructive method for producing water.
“The Andrews Government promised sustain-
able alternatives. Instead Water Minister Lisa
Neville has rashly ordered 50GL or $30 million
worth of water from the desal consortium, at a
huge cost to Victorians.
“Who will pay? We question why the water
order was made at this time, when dams are 72.5
President Mark Robertson added, “Never for-
get the desal plant uses a huge amount of energy
and will cause a massive increase in Victoria’s
Voicing concerns: members of Watershed make their opposition to the desalination plant
known at Wonthaggi on Friday.
Protest as desal fires up
THE Great Southern Rail Trail is com-
plete and will be officially relaunched
this Saturday at Fish Creek.
The day will also include an official opening of
the Commonwealth Games fish which is now in-
stalled in the town, between Ride the Wild Goat and
the Butter Factory.
Taking place at the Fish Creek station site, the
relaunch of the rail trail will be officiated by Eastern
Victoria MP Harriet Shing.
The rail trail project cost around $4.75 million,
with $3 million from the State Government and
$1.75 from South Gippsland Shire Council, and was
delivered over three stages.
The project included an 18.5 kilometre extension
of the trail from Foster to Port Welshpool and the
development of the Black Spur section of the trail.
The trail is now a continuous 72 kilometres be-
tween Leongatha and Port Welshpool.
The opening will take place this Saturday, No-
vember 26 at 11.30am at the John Terrill Memorial
Park, at the Fish Creek station site.
The opening of the Commonwealth Games fish
will take place after the opening of the rail trail at
South Gippsland Shire Council councillor Meg
Edwards said the fish added another element to the
town’s growing public art collection.
“The combination of art and agriculture in the
public space has been welcomed by the community
and is indicative of the culture of Fish Creek,” she
Cr Edwards said the fish has been helped greatly
along the way through the donations and generosity
of the local community.
She said the artists Andy McPherson and Ray
Jones donated their time to create the installation.
“Thank you to everyone involved in the project
over the long period of time, including people willing
to store the fish in their sheds, Deidre Grainger for
her past work, Ned Dennis and the South Gippsland
Shire Council, Tony Walker, to Andy and Ray and
everyone else who has volunteered,” she said.
Flying fish: Andrew McPherson, left and
Ray Jones with the Commonwealth Games
fish installed at Fish Creek. The fish will be
officially recognised this Saturday, after the
official relaunch of the Great Southern Rail
Trail in Fish Creek at 11.30am.
Rail trail to re-open
with fishy twist
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