Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 4, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2017 - PAGE 5
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AN 80 year old Inverloch woman died away
at the scene of a collision in Wonthaggi over
the New Year’s long weekend.
The collision occurred on the Bass Highway
just before 4.30pm on Monday, January 2.
It is believed the woman may have had a
medical episode, before crossing to the op -
posite side of the road and colliding with an-
The woman was the sole occupant of the ve -
hicle, and despite the best efforts of paramed-
ics, she died at the scene.
The female driver of the second vehicle,
also travelling by herself, suffered from mi-
nor injuries and was conveyed to hospital.
Local CFA and SES volunteers attended the
The woman’s death is under investigation,
and as such the Victoria road toll for 2017
currently stands at zero.
The past 12 months yielded a particularly
high fatality count on Victorian roads.
There were 291 fatalities on Victorian roads
during 2016 – an increase on the 252 record-
ed in 2015.
According to Victorian Police, 150 fatalities
took place in country Victoria on rural roads
a nine per cent increase from 137 in 2016.
The 80 to 89-year- old age bracket saw the
biggest increase in lives lost on our roads
with 15 killed in 2015 compared with 28 in
2016 - an increase of 87 per cent.
Road Policing Command Assistant Com-
missioner Doug Fryer said the number of
lives lost on our roads this year was more
than just a figure.
“The provisional figure of 291 lives lost, 39
more lives than last year, is a shocking num-
ber and a sad reminder of the fragility of life,”
Mr Fryer said.
“What we are talking about today is so
much more than numbers. This is personal,
however I feel that many in our community
will only truly realise and comprehend road
trauma if or when it happens to them.
“I don’t want this to be the case. I don’t want
another family to experience the pain I have
seen in too many families’ eyes.
“What is a stand out for me this year, and
what seems so avoidable, is the number of
lives that have been lost by careless and reck-
lessness along with high risk taking behav-
“After 16 days of the operation, 880 drink
drivers and 503 drug offences have been de -
tected in what can only be described as bla-
tant disregard for not only their own lives but
the lives of others.
“I t doesn’t need to be this way. Please take
care on the roads and make a conscious deci-
sion to be present, play your part and arrive
at your destination safely. ”
New Year fatality
POLICE from across the Bass Coast Shire
are relatively happy with behaviour from par-
ty goers over the New Year’s Eve long week-
A successful booze bus patrol and roadside
drug testing operation showed just how well
Sgt Andy Boldiston from the Wonthaggi
Police station said that the cooler New Year’s
weather saw numbers of people out and
about decrease in comparison to 2015.
Five people were arrested for drunkenness
on New Year’s Eve, with three arrested in In-
verloch and two on Phillip Island.
A 19 year old male from Somerville was
arrested in relation to shop thefts on Phillip
Island, while a 16 year old male and a 20 year
old male were arrested on the Cowes fore-
shore in relation to drugs and weapons.
“There were also a number of young people
spoken to in relation to possession of alco-
hol,” Sgt Boldiston said.
A booze bus from Melbourne was sent
down to the Bass Coast Shire from December
30 until January 1 to assist local police in
their roadside drug and alcohol testing.
Across three days, 2250 drivers were test-
ed for alcohol, with only one person detected
with alcohol levels above the legal limit.
A number of drug tests were also conduct-
ed, however no persons were detected with
drugs in their system.
“This is very encouraging, considering the
time of the year and the large amount of peo-
ple on our roads,” Sgt Boldiston said.
Near miss for cop
However, not everyone was well behaved on
our roads over the festive season.
As most people safely welcomed in the New
Year with celebrations and cheer, a Bass Coast
Highway Patrol member narrowly avoided se-
rious injury on Saturday, December 31, when
a small red hatchback failed to stop at the
site and almost ran the police member over.
The police member was fortunate to escape
with only minor injuries.
“Police have launched an investigation and
are keen to speak to any witnesses that may
be able to assist us in identifying the occu-
Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000
or the Wonthaggi Police on 5671 1400 if you
have any information regarding this incident.
Booze bus success over New Year’s
Future business for old Coles building?
RUMOURS are doing the rounds in Wont-
haggi about the future of the disused Coles and
Celebrations building on Watt Street.
The building has lay vacant and unused since
Coles shifted down to the Wonthaggi Plaza a few
years ago, and since then there has been much
discussion about the future use of the building.
Many ideas have been tossed about, includ-
ing a cinema complex, and even a bowling alley,
along with mainstream retailers.
Now the whispers are starting up again, with
two big franchises having been mentioned as
potential candidates to take over the lease of
Saddleworld, a tack and riding shop whose
nearest store is in Cranbourne, has been men-
tioned as potential tenants.
Auto store Repco has also been mentioned as
a potential co-tenant.
But staff from the Wonthaggi Repco store on
Murray Street said that they were not aware of
any plans to shift.
The Sentinel-Times also made contact with
the Saddleworld head office asking for com-
ment regarding a Saddleworld franchise poten-
tially taking up residence in Wonthaggi.
No comment had been provided at the time
Speculation surrounding future tenants of
the building started after builders were seen
working inside recently.
A spokesperson from the Bass Coast Shire
Council said that no planning permits had been
put in for the building, and that the council was
not aware of any major works taking place at
Builders have been seen working at the old Coles and Celebrations building on Watt Street
in Wonthaggi, sparking conversation about the future of the building.
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