Home' The Great Southern Star : January 10th 2017 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - PAGE 9
By Sarah Vella
THE Port Welshpool community is feel-
ing positive on the back of the news the
town’s Long Jetty restoration project will
begin within six months.
The Port Welshpool Long Jetty project control
group met recently, to discuss the rehabilitation of the
ailing structure which will start in mid 2017.
Control group community representative Paul
Macphail said the meeting was positive, despite con-
cerns about the condition of the jetty.
“There was always a bit of a fear. The piles have
been there since it was built in the 1930s so obviously
they are going to deteriorate,” he said.
“(Gippsland) Ports has done a lot of work on
checking the condition of the piles and that has identi-
fied damage, but the project is still on budget which
is good news.
“As a community representative, I was happy with
the progress. It has come up with a new way of repair-
ing the damaged sections, which helps the budget.”
Mr Macphail said the jetty will be refurbished with
a concrete deck, which will be fire resistant and safer
than a wooden deck.
“It will also require less maintenance than a wood-
en deck,” he said.
Mr Macphail said once the first round of tenders
had been let, work on the jetty should become vis-
Peter Rose from the Port Welshpool General Store
said progress on the Long Jetty project was positive
for the region.
“Everyone is excited; even the tourists are excited
about the progress,” he said.
“It gives a good feeling within the community that
it is finally going to happen. We just wish it was fin-
Mr Rose said it was heartening to see South
Gippsland Shire Council CEO Tim Tamlin and mayor
Cr Ray Argento enthused about starting the project.
Roger Harvey first started visiting Port Welshpool
in the early 2000s, when the jetty was open and his
children were young.
“We built a holiday house and enjoyed most week-
ends in this magnificent part of Victoria. Not long af-
ter, the Long Jetty was closed,” he said.
By Tayla Kershaw
BASS Coast’s family violence rates are
the 17th highest in the state but the region
is missing out on government funding to
address the problem.
The State Government announced a $1.2 million boost
to train hospital staff to identify signs of family violence,
with Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy saying doc-
tors were respected by patients and were at the frontline
of the problem.
However, no funding was allocated to Bass Coast
Health, which runs Wonthaggi Hospital.
The State Government hosted forums across Victoria
as part of its priority response to 227 recommendations
made by the Royal Commission about family violence.
“We are overhauling our response to family violence
and the culture of silence that has failed victims,” Eastern
Victoria MLC Harriet Shing said.
“The family violence action plan is a big part of mak-
ing sure women and children enduring or escaping family
violence get the support they need, and it will keep us on
track to achieve the long term change that’s so desperately
Bass Coast Health currently operates family violence
counselling for women and children exposed to physical,
emotional, financial, verbal, stalking or threatening abuse.
It also has sexual assault counselling for men, women
“We work with children from four years old and we’ve
worked with people well into their eighties and beyond,”
counselling team leader Nikki Stanes said.
“We record our data for the Department of Health and
Human Services to reflect what’s happening here, but I
fear we get overlooked. There is more family violence re-
corded in Latrobe Valley, but it still has an impact in Bass
Coast, South Gippsland and Baw Baw. It’s great to have
a centralised service, but it means time away for those af-
Bass Coast Health’s family violence counselling is
available in Wonthaggi, Cowes, San Remo, Grantville and
Ms Stanes believed these services were seeing more
clients because trust in the health system was increasing.
“I’ve been in the field for 20 years and people are be-
coming more confident, feel safer and trust in the confi-
dentiality of our service,” she said.
“They no longer feel blamed or judged. They don’t
always report to the police, but we are seeing more self
referrals, which is great.”
The service also offers drug and alcohol support, and
support for parents and partners.
Go ahead: South Gippsland Shire Council councillor Jeremy Rich and mayor Cr Ray Ar-
gento are positive the Port Welshpool Long Jetty restoration will benefit the whole region.
By Sarah Vella
Jetty news brings joy
“It remained closed year after year, despite ru-
mours, hopes and promises and now my children are
old enough to drive. That is a long time.”
Mr Harvey said the rebuilding of the iconic
structure would have exciting outcomes for South
“Firstly the construction phase will bring employ-
ment across a wide spectrum of skillsets. I am looking
forward to seeing trucks, dredgers, cranes and what-
ever else is required, along with cars parked outside of
the local shop,” he said.
“When complete, it will be a regional drawcard – a
tourism anchor the area needs.
“Along with the Great Southern Rail Trail, it will
form a central tourism platform which will be comple-
mented by all the other attractions the area offers.”
Cr Argento said despite initial delays in receiving
Federal Government funding, the project was ear-
marked for completion by the end of 2018.
“Council will work with relevant parties to release
tenders early this year,” he said.
“It is an exciting project for the area. It shows the
hard work the local community has done.
“To see timeframes now being set is great news for
all parties concerned. The finished jetty will certainly
attract tourism back to the area.”
Hospital aims to prevent violence
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