Monthly Archives:August 2019

Rates and a pay rise on council’s agenda ( admin posted on August 21st, 2019 )

ROADS, ramps, rodeos, remuneration, rates schedules and fortnightly general council meetings are expected to be on the agenda at Redland City Council’s final meeting for 2012.

The council is expected to adopt the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal pay schedule’s 2.5 per cent pay rise for the mayor, deputy mayor and councillors.

Under the schedule, Redland City Council will remain a category six council next year.

Mayor Karen Williams’s pay will go from $150,864 to $154,636, and is calculated at 110 per cent of $140,578, the base salary of a state Member of the Legislative Assembly.

Deputy mayor Alan Beard’s pay will rise from $102,862 to $105,434, which is 75 per cent of the base salary of an MLA and the nine councillors’ pay packets will go from $89,147 to $91,376.

All will get a 12 per cent employer superannuation contribution.

The council will vote on overhauling its committee structure, introducing fortnightly general meetings and appointing five councillors to a Cleveland CBD Revitalisation Special Committee, starting on February 1.

It is also expected to adopt its rates notice schedule with the first round of quarterly rates bills to be issued on July 2, 2013 and due on August 13.

The council is also expected to introduce a direct debit payment option for rates, which is set to start on January 1.

Councillor Mark Edwards (Div 5) will ask the council to consider setting up a camp site at Sandy Beach, Russell Island and councillor Lance Hewlett (Div 4) will ask the council to negotiate control of Colburn Avenue from the state government.

It will also vote on proposals for a footpath and cycleway on Point O’Halloran Road, Victoria Point, along with plans to cancel steps on the foreshore outside 38 Orana Esplanade, Victoria Point, while keeping steps at 24 Orana Esplanade.

The council is also expected to ratify its Open Space strategy, a 500-page document outlining a 14-year plan for the city’s parks.

If adopted, officers claim the strategy will save ratepayers having to buy $97million of land for new parks.

A raft of amendments to the Redlands Planning Scheme are also expected to be adopted.

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Storms dampen weekend sports ( admin posted on August 21st, 2019 )

THUNDERSTORMS early on Saturday morning proved to be the undoing of Northern District cricket at the majority of venues, leaving matches called off at various points prior to the scheduled start times.

The Northern District Lawn Tennis Association’s round was free to go ahead wherever home clubs deemed the court surfaces to be suitable.

The Northern District lawn bowlers appeared to have no such issues with a rain-related decision, playing on time with well-drained greens.

Bowls president Maisie Murphy said that all ND matches went ahead as far as she was aware. The secret to the bowlers’ success in regard to the weather was indeed the way that greens generally drained well, she added.

“Bowls would be the last sport to be put off because of rain,” said Murphy.

“I can only speak of the Kerang (greens, but) we’ve had a thunderstorm which has really drenched it, water lying everywhere, and within probably an hour you can play on it. It’s wonderful, really. I think a lot are like that – it’s got to be, really. You can’t let water lie on them, because you’d get diseased grass then.”

Murphy added that bowlers would seem to be a particularly hardy lot, as they happily play through rain as well, unless it’s absolutely pouring down.

“It comes back to a club as to whether their greens are open or not,” she said.

“Of course, it’s hard to say how much rain you get in one place than another.”

Most of the cricket was cancelled, including both the A grade Cohuna derby between United and Nondies, plus the Barham/Koondrook-Wandella game. Similar fates befell the B grade fixtures at Cohuna, Leitchville and Koondrook Oval, where three magpies sat on the pavilion steps to oversee nothing much in particular. Only the B grade Wandella-Kerang encounter at Riverside Park went ahead, along with an under 14 match earlier in the day.

“I can’t believe (many) would’ve played – it was pretty wet!,” said ND cricket association secretary John Arthur.

“Some of the games were still being called off at 11 o’clock.”

However, Arthur echoed Murphy’s sentiment about the fact that a diverse set of venues might also mean an equally diverse set of conditions on the day that determine whether play goes ahead or not.

“You can’t call them off too early, because the association (boundary) goes right from Gunbower to Kerang, through to Barham,” he said.

“It’s still up to individual clubs to make their call. Just because it’s raining in one area, you might not get rain in another…But in saying that, there was a lot of rain!”

Cricket matches can of course be started later than originally scheduled if enough time remains for an agreed minimum amount of overs to be completed, but when the rain is at such a significant level as on Saturday morning, it probably wouldn’t matter when the game was supposed to get under way.

And it’s not just wet outfields that can be the cause of concern – and possible cancellation – for cricketers. Turf pitches can become very muddy very quickly.

Rain is the natural enemy of cricket, a source of frustration for players and administrators alike, according to Arthur.

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From paddockto speedway ( admin posted on August 21st, 2019 )

Ten year old speedway driver Adrian Lawrence is right at home behind the wheel.MOST children do not start driving until the age of 16; by then, Hazelwood North’s Adrian Lawrence will have six years’ speedway experience.

The 10 year-old won his first junior standard saloon race at Drouin Speedway last fortnight, in just his third event since taking up the high speed sport at the minimum legal age.

Having ridden bikes since the age of three, and proven successful in motocross, Adrian made the switch to four wheels after showing driving aptitude in the family’s paddock.

“I just started to drive cars and loved it… it’s fun,” Adrian said.

“It’s good because no-one else really drives cars at that age.”

After three races in his four-speed Ford TD Cortina, which required a custom setting so Adrian’s feet could reach the pedals, the fearless youngster said he had already picked up a useful tip.

“Don’t hit the walls,” he said.

Despite the fast and furious nature of the sport, parents Darren and Kerry are anything but anxious about their son sitting behind the wheel.

“It doesn’t faze me one little bit,” Darren said.

“It’s good because I’ve seen him out here (in the paddock) and he’s racing against his dad and all his mates and I know he’s a good driver… he can drive a manual for God’s sake,” Kerry added.

Adrian finished fourth in his first race at Rosedale Speedway, and his rapid improvement has prompted the family to consider traveling for bigger events, such as the state titles in Wangaratta next year.

While the fundamentals are already sound, Adrian’s parents will face a different set of challenges to most when teaching their boy to drive on the road.

“The biggest problem there will be taking all the bad habits out of him,” Darren said.

“Speedway cars don’t have mirrors or indicators or any of that so that will be the bad one.”

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Quick thinking saves shed ( admin posted on August 21st, 2019 )

THE actions of two quick-thinking residents have prevented the headquarters of one of Kerang’s volunteer organisations from being engulfed in flames.

Kerang Fire Brigade members worked for 15 minutes to contain a fire at the Kerang Men’s Shed headquarters on Thursday night.

Personnel were alerted to the Burgoyne Street blaze by a neighbouring couple who were walking home and smelt plastic burning

“Ten minutes (later) and it (the shed) would have been gone,” Kerang Men’s Shed co-ordinator Harry Sambrooks said.

“The couple could smell plastic burning and looked at the shed and saw the double roller doors glowing orange.”

Brigade members donned breathing apparatuses to battle the fire at the Kerang Technichal High School site, containing the blaze to the shed’s workshop.

“The fire had been going for a fair while before we arrived,” Kerang Fire Brigade captain, Ramon Steel said.

“The smoke was one metre above the ground when we got there, and we had to attack the blaze aggressively in a short period of time because the oxygen (which entered the building when the shed was opened to fight the blaze) could have created an explosion.

“I am pretty proud of the boys for their efforts.”

Fire investigators, led by Cohuna Fire Brigade captain Bruce Embleton, spent Friday morning working to determine the cause of the fire.

The fire has been listed as not suspicious, but what caused the blaze to start is still inconclusive.

The blaze has destroyed benches and equipment, as well as buckling the facility’s roller doors and a main support beam that hangs above the front of the workshop.

“Electricity has been cut right through the property and all of the circuit boards have melted,” Mr Sambrooks said.

“The steel parts of tools (used by members) have survived, but the plastic handles have melted.

Of greater concern to the shed’s members is the damage to numerous projects that were left in the damaged workshop.

These included restoration works on antique items and the construction of other objects.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Mr Sambrooks said.

Men’s Shed members held a Christmas break-up event hours before the blaze, with the centre scheduled to re-open on January 8.

However, it is uncertain when members will be able to access their headquarters.

Kerang District Health, who oversaw the implementation of the program and funds the initiative, has vowed to support the replacement of much-needed equipment.

“We will be looking at the replacement of affected tools though insurance,” hospital chief executive officer, Robert Jarman said.

“Fortunately we have three weeks to get things organised before the Men’s Shed is scheduled to resume.”

ASSESS. Bruce and Ben Embleton spent Friday morning investigating the cause of a fire that damaged the Kerang Men’s Shed the night before.

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Aged care park ( admin posted on August 21st, 2019 )

THE rezoning of Nancarrow Park to accommodate the future development of a transitional care facility whilst retaining community parkland has been approved.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy approved a request earlier this month allowing Gannawarra Shire Council to rezone the property, located behind Kerang District Health’s Burgoyne Street headquarters.

The health service has been lobbying for the rezoning of the community reserve for the past seven years with plans to develop a transitional living facility for the district’s ageing population.

The shire asked My Guy in February to implement an investigation into the rezoning proposal.

An independent two-member panel, appointed by Mr Guy, spent one day in May hearing from resident and the health service regarding the rezoning of the former quarry site, bordered by Shadforth Street, the hospital and the Kerang to Swan Hill railway line, to accommodate the transitional living facility.

The panel announced in July its recommendation to support the plan, with the recommendation that up to 0.3 hectares of the north-western end of the park be retained for recreational purposes.

The panel also recommended Kerang District Health, in consultation with shire staff, redesign the aged care facility focusing on aspects such as improved solar orientation, reduced car parking and a smaller more efficient common area containing driveways, access ways, pathways and open space.

Close to 400 community responses were received by the shire during the mandatory public comment period, with 347 submissions supporting the rezoning.

Opponents of the plan focused on the community benefits of the park, as well as issues relating to traffic, drainage and site contamination.

“It will be interesting to see what happens next,” shire planning manager, David Pietsch said.

“The project is now in the hands of the hospital.”

It is anticipated the health service will seek a planning permit for the project during the second half of 2013.

“I imagine the board of management will be keen to finish the current capital project before moving onto another one,” Kerang District Health chief executive officer, Robert Jarman said.

“The current capital development project took two to three years of planning, and believe a similar time will be needed.”

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