Home' The Great Southern Star : January 4th 2017 Contents “THE STAR” Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - PAGE 19
THE new chief ex-
ecutive of Parks
Victoria is the cur-
rent CEO of Phil-
lip Island Nature
was the CEO at Phillip
Island Nature Parks for
the past six years and
before that held other
senior roles within the
He has also had ex-
perience in the private
sector in marketing and
Mr Jackson was ap-
pointed after an interna-
tional search that drew
an outstanding response.
He has overseen
strong and continued
growth in research,
conservation programs and visitor numbers and
engagement during his time at Phillip Island Na-
He is expected to commence in mid-February
Mr Jackson said, “I have been involved in na-
ture based tourism and education for much of my
career and I hold a deep respect and affection for
Victoria’s parks and waterways.
“Parks Victoria is respected worldwide for its
Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative and I am
very much looking forward to continuing the re-
lentless pursuit of that
“The diversity of
the parks offering we
have in Victoria pro-
vides such an amazing
platform for educa-
tion, conservation and
I am excited and hum-
bled to have this fan-
manages 4.2 million
hectares of parks and
waterways across Vic-
Chair Jeff Floyd
said Mr Jackson has
overseen a transfor-
mation in the nature
parks with a high
level of community
consultation, and the
delivery of major
comes and significant new tourism attractions.
“Matthew’s leadership in securing funding for
our new Penguin Parade visitor centre and a ma-
jor increase in penguin habitat has placed the nature
parks in a very strong position,” Mr Floyd said.
“His internal leadership with our wonderful team
of staff has also been a key factor in our success.
“The board is sad to lose Matthew but equally
is very pleased to hear of his new appointment at
Parks Victoria for which he is warmly congratu-
COMMUNITY grants to the val-
ue of $126,985 were distributed
across Bass Coast Shire recently.
Up to $10,000 was received by a
range of community organisations.
A major grant of $10,000 was pre-
sented to the Wonthaggi Business and
Tourism Association for the inaugural
Wonthaggi Laneways Festival, to be held
on April 1.
The festival will take place in Won-
thaggi’s Jongebloed Lane, Taberner’s
Lane, IGA car park and Apex Park.
The event fills a need for an annual
festival that all community groups can be
proud of and participate in.
This event will also reinvigorate busi-
ness vibrancy within the central business
Other significant grants included
$4200 for the Corinella and District
Men’s Shed to purchase equipment,
$4000 for the Rotary Club of Phillip Is-
land and San Remo to research San Re-
mo’s culture and heritage and $4800 for
the Wonthaggi Citizen’s Band to make
further improvements to its band room.
Smiling faces: many community
groups from across Bass Coast Shire
received grant funding recently.
Community groups reap rewards
GIPPSLAND South MLA Danny
O’Brien has condemned the National
Australia Bank (NAB) for its decision to
close its Korumburra branch this year.
NAB announced its decision last month to
close the Korumburra branch from February
Speaking in Parliament recently, Mr O’Brien
said the decision was a bad one that needed to be
“Korumburra is a growing town, with new
housing investments and future expansion touted
for its major employer, Burra Foods,” he said.
“Of the 140 businesses in town about 40 per-
cent bank with the NAB and few will be inclined
to travel 15 kilometres to do their banking in Le-
ongatha each day.
“The company made a cash profit of $6.48 bil-
lion this year, while revenue increased by 2.5 per
cent against expenses growth of 2.2 percent —
hardly the signs of a company in serious trouble.
“I would hate to think this is a return to the
bad old days of the 1990s when Australia’s big
four banks closed regional branches throughout
“The NAB should reverse this decision and
keep the Korumburra branch open.”
Mr O’Brien said he had been contacted by
Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien.
many local people, including businesspeople,
with concerns about the closure and he supported
the Korumburra Business Association’s campaign
to have the branch kept open.
KOONWARRA’S Melina Bath, who
joined the Legislative Council in May
2015, has been appointed Shadow
Parliamentary Secretary for Country
Prior to entering parliament, Ms Bath was a
secondary school teacher in South Gippsland.
The promotion of Ms Bath to the shadow
cabinet highlights The Nationals’ commitment
to country students, to ensure they have the
same opportunities and access to similar facili-
ties as city students.
The Nationals’ leader Peter Walsh is enthu-
siastic about the appointment.
“We are very pleased to appoint Melina in
this role as she brings to it her own first-hand
experience as a teacher who worked in regional
communities,” he said.
“Country schools are the launching pads
for young people in regional communities and
Melina’s work will help ensure a future Lib-
eral-Nationals government delivers the right
policies and programs for country schools and
Coming from a teaching background, Ms
Bath welcomes the opportunity to contribute to
improvements for country education.
“I will be out listening to school communi-
ties in the New Year. I hope to meet with prin-
cipals, teachers, school councils and parents to
listen to their concerns,” she said.
“There is a significant and persistent gap be-
tween rural and metropolitan students when it
comes to aspiration and performance.
“Children and young people from rural areas
lag behind their metropolitan peers. The propor-
Climbing ladder: Eastern Victoria Region
MLC Melina Bath is now Shadow Parlia-
mentary Secretary for Country Schools in
the Victorian Parliament.
MP Bath promoted
tion of 15-24 year olds with a Certificate IV or
higher qualification is much lower, and far fewer
rural students go on to attend university.
“I am keen to be part of the solution to im-
prove educational outcomes.
“I want to see this change. It’s not something
that will happen quickly, but when you look at
the strains on infrastructure of a rapidly expand-
ing Melbourne, it makes even more sense to put
resourcing into supporting regional communi-
ties, starting with schools.”
Island chief to lead Parks
Role change: Phillip Island Nature Parks
CEO Mattew Jackson has been appointed the
new Parks Victoria chief executive.
dents across Bass Coast
have been learning to
cross the road safely with
the help of Bass Coast
Shire Council’s school
During term four, sessions
were held at kindergartens and
day care centres in Cowes, In-
verloch and Wonthaggi.
Bass Coast mayor Cr Pa-
mela Rothfield said the aim of
the program is to educate chil-
dren to use school crossings
“Key messages from pro-
gram is for children to ‘stop,
look, listen and think’, and pro-
moting that road safety is for
everyone – themselves, their
family and friends, and other
people using the road,” she
“It’s important for children
to take the message home from
the session and remind their par-
ents of school crossing safety.”
Cr Rothfield said it was also
important for kindergarten chil-
dren to learn the correct way
to use the crossing before they
start primary school next year.
Valuable lessons: Bass Coast Shire Council school crossing
supervisors taught children at McKenzie Street Kindergarten
in Wonthaggi about crossing the road safely.
Children cross the road safely
The education program con-
sists of an interactive in class
session run by two school cross-
Phillip Island Early Learn-
ing Centre kindergarten teach-
ers Lynne Hadley and Justine
McLaren thanked council for
allowing the lollipop education
program to visit the kinder.
“We find the children enjoy
joining in the role play the la-
dies present,” they said.
“Having the opportunity to
see the uniforms and signs up
close, and to be able to ask ques-
tions, is invaluable to the kinder
children and we view this visit
as part of our transition program
The school crossing super-
visors also received wonderful
feedback from the Bass Valley
Children Centre, which highly
recommended the service.
Nine of council’s 14 school
crossing supervisors are trained
to deliver the safety education
program at schools and kinder-
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