Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 7, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2017 - PAGE 25
I was horrified when I read in the
Sentinel-Times recently that Bass
Coast Health has made the decision
to amalgamate District Nursing and
Palliative Care offices, downsizing
from two offices, to just one in San
CEO Jan Child cannot seriously
believe that this will better serve
clients with acute health issues and
those under palliative care.
How are elderly people with dia-
betes living in Inverloch going to get
their insulin injection at 8am each
morning, when hand-over is in San
Remo, 37km away?
Nurses who live further afield will
have increased travel times just to
do the hand-over at San Remo, at
the start of their already busy and
often stressful day.
I speak with first-hand experi-
ence. My dear husband Graeme was
able to remain at home until the
day before he died due to the dedi-
cation, expertise and compassion of
these wonderful nurses.
On two occasions, a nurse was
able to come very quickly to admin-
ister advanced pain relief, as she
was based at Wonthaggi hospital for
overnight palliative care.
This care made Graeme’s last
weeks more comfortable and gave
me the reassurance and confidence
to look after him at home.
Help was only a phone call away.
I have also had ongoing support
with a nurse visiting after Graeme
died too, just to make sure I was
I cannot adequately express how
this has helped me to get through
this very difficult time.
I am bewildered and have been
trying to work out where the prob -
lems lie. The referral base for Won-
thaggi is greater than that for Phil-
lip Island according to the CEO Jan
Child, so why move the base away
from the area of most need?
Ms Child said, and I quote, “we’re
underservicing or not able to re -
spond adequately to some referral
bases”. I would have thought that
better coordinated care would re -
sult from more face to face time
with clients. Otherwise the problem
must lie in the area of management.
I believe that a better solution,
resulting in an increase in service
and jobs would be to provide expe -
rienced team leaders (Nursing Unit
Managers) at each office to imple -
ment the new clinical service plan.
Surely NUMs could come together
to liaise on issues requiring higher
Extra travel time to daily hand
over, central meeting and for down
time seems frankly, a waste of time.
Meetings happening on a daily basis
should be localised, travelling to a
central venue eats into service time.
Apparently staff is entering a five -
week consultation process.
I wonder if the experienced team
of nurses was consulted before
these changes were made.
It is very obvious that many are
strongly opposed to these changes.
One employee was pushed to break-
ing point so I assume there will be
a staff leaving and friction amongst
The SGST mentions that the re -
lease of the Clinical Services Plan
for the hospital had been delayed
until March 2017. I only hope that
it is not too late to reverse this lu-
dicrous decision that will negative -
ly impact on the very people it is
meant to serve.
I have started a petition. Since
Wednesday I have collected over
100 signatures supporting the re -
tention of the District Nurses and
Palliative Care team office in Won-
The petition can be signed at In-
verloch Newsagency, Inverloch Post
Office, Inverloch Community House
This cannot be allowed to happen
as it affects the whole community
and its most vulnerable members.
Margaret Pope, Inverloch.
Sun’s out: ditch the car and give
your kids the chance to shine
Kids have been outside enjoying
the school holidays and the sun-
shine. Now is a perfect time to keep
up the momentum and develop a
healthy back-to -school routine.
Walking, riding or scooting to
school is a fun start to the day, a
great way to spend time together as a
family and it contributes to the hour
of physical activity they need each
day. Research shows that spending
time in an outside natural environ-
ment can reduce stress and help
children regulate their emotions.
If you can’t go with them, consider
allowing your kids to make the jour-
ney to school with siblings or peers,
or even on their own, if they are
ready. Every child is different and
parents need to decide when their
child is ready to travel on their own.
Consider walking part of the way, or
dropping your kids a short distance
VicHealth’s 2016 Walk to School
program was the most successful
ever, with a record number of stu-
dents across Victoria walking a total
of 1.6 million kilometres. That’s a
hugely impressive record that both
parents and kids should be proud
So why not get your kids walking
to school and make tracks towards
a healthy and happy new school
year. They’ll thank you for it.
Find out more: How to help your
kids get around safely on their own.
Jerril Rechter, CEO, VicHealth.
An assumption has been laid on
the table by this newspaper that I
was ‘in favour’ and ‘happy’ for the
Cape Paterson residential expan-
sion project to proceed. Those in-
terested in the facts can refer to
page 111 of Council’s August 2016
minutes for verification.
My ‘for’ vote was only to begin
the formal process of a developer-
led amendment whereby all written
submissions to be received would
be on the record, legitimate in the
eyes of the State and Local Govern-
ment planning process, and thereby
present a valid platform for debate
for councillors to then decide on
whether to proceed or not.
An opinion never entered the de -
cision. The resolution was far from
a notice to grant or refuse the ap-
plication in question and for the
record, also included in the resolu-
tion: “that a further report be pre -
pared for Council’s consideration
once exhibition period is complete
to consider any submissions re -
ceived’ . The decision in favour or
otherwise surfaces at that time and
Jordan Crugnale, Inverloch.
Editor’s note: For your informa-
tion, page 111 is the wrong page.
Readers might instead refer to
page 117 in the meeting agenda
papers or 144 in the Minutes,
where the report on the Cape Pa-
terson North amendment begins.
The motion seeking authorisation
from the Minister for Planning to
prepare an amendment is on page
153 of the August 17, 2016 Min-
utes, with Crs Drew and Crugnale
voting in favour of taking it to the
next stage. Yours was the more
decisive motion and would have
resulted in an outcome, ultimately
though your council voted for the
sort of non- decision which is typi-
cal of local government. So yes,
you were ‘in favour’ and presum-
ably ‘happy’ to take it to the next
stage. You can’t now, have it both
ways. If you’d like to discuss it
further, you might best be advised
to take your position up with the
Australia Day, on January 26, at-
tracted the usual criticism, that it is
a day that divides rather than unites.
It happens every year - unsurpris-
ingly as January 26 marks both the
arrival of the First Fleet and the day
Aboriginal sovereignty was lost.
Given these realities, it is a prob -
lematic day on which to base nation-
The Federal Government doesn’t
like criticism of Australia Day. As-
sistant Immigration Minister, Alex
Hawke, recently banned the city of
Fremantle from changing the day for
its citizenship ceremony to the 28th
of January, because it would give an
anti-Australia Day message.
But there is another Australia Day
that unites us all. It is called Nation-
al Wattle Day, September 1. It is al-
ready an officially gazetted national
It has none of the baggage and in-
sensitivity of January 26. It is a day
that unites us all, under the banner
of our national floral emblem, the
Increasingly Australians are seek-
ing a way to solve what has become
the conundrum of Australia Day.
If as a community we are serious
about recognising Aboriginal occu-
pation of the land prior to colonisa-
tion, it follows logically that we need
to find an alternative to celebrating
the day that ruptured their tenure in
National Wattle Day celebrates
the land itself and the society and
nation it sustains – all its people.
The simple beauty of the golden
wattle, a flower that has evolved in
our land for more than 30 million
years, unites us all in authentically
celebrating Australia and being Aus-
So let’s end the on-going angst and
think of the two days as comple -
menting each other. Let’s embark
on a journey over a period of five
years or so, where we celebrate each
day and see how those celebrations
evolve, as we look to create a nation
fully reconciled with our Aboriginal
peoples, the original custodians of
We will likely find that the wattle
will lead us to a great solution, just
as the wattle has been the unifying
symbol of Australia to which we have
so often turned in the past. Further
information on National Wattle Day
is available from the Wattle Day As-
sociation’s website – www.wattleday.
asn.au or Facebook: https://www.
Terry Fewtrell, President of the
Wattle Day Association.
Fat water profits
before our kids?
During the so -called millennium
drought between 1997–2009, gov-
ernments did not see a need to place
any restrictions on water use when
Melbourne’s dam levels were above
Stage 1 water restrictions were first
invoked in 2002 when dam levels
ranged between 50%-60% through
seasonal demand and inflow cycles.
Yet Minister Neville last year com-
mitted Victorians to an extra expen-
diture of some $27 million while
our water storage levels fluctuated
between a healthy 63%-76% in the
12 months cycle to April 2016, but
were a smidgin below 65% in March
2016, reportedly this government’s
adopted “trigger point”.
Was Minister Neville expecting that
the Wonthaggi desal plant will need
to operate year-in year-out at full ca-
pacity 150GL/yr into the future?
If not, the 50GL ordered this cur-
rent water-year could still be sup-
plied in future years if indeed severe
drought kicks in, and the $27million
prematurely spent now could have
been saved or, better still, used for
pressing needs such as a secondary
school upgrade here in Wonthaggi,
as suggested by our local State MP
Brian Paynter (Sentinel Times, De-
cember 20, 2016).
Has Minister Neville learnt the les-
With our water storages close to
three quarters full after spring rains
and still over 70% full two thirds of
our way through summer, we would
be $27million better off if Minister
Neville had exercised proper Ministe-
rial caution before boosting the prof-
its of Aquasure and hence French
water barons Suez Degremont and
Dam levels will surely be above the
65% trigger point in March 2017,
demonstrating the need to change
Labor’s model so water-order-wast-
age is not repeated by the twitchy
Further, it has been reported that
the Minister’s $27 million windfall to
Aquasure was to improve their debt
financing (The Age, Jan 11, 2017).
Result, Wonthaggi kids schooling
needs fall way behind gifting big prof-
its for a foreign water corporation.
Is that ‘Yes Minister’?
Stephen Cannon, Watershed Vic-
On Saturday, June 11 John was
hammering a nail above his head,
when it flicked back and hit him in
the eye, cutting the eyeball and pierc-
ing the lens and the retina.
The staff at Cowes Medical Centre
were amazing when we arrived after
phoning they were ready for John to
be seen by the Doctor on duty and
also by Alex Poon who was conduct-
ing his monthly clinics.
Barb on reception was wonder-
ful couldn’t do enough for us. They
phoned through to Eye and Ear Hos-
pital advising of John’s injury requir-
ing surgery to stitch the eyeball.
When we arrived they were waiting
for John and he was seen immedi-
ately, as they had faxed all his details,
they had organised the surgeon who
did surgery on the eye.
John had more surgery and follow-
ing a week in hospital he was allowed
to go home.
After many trips back to the Eye
and Ear for check-ups he has been
given the all clear, which we feel was
because of the wonderful attention
given to us from all the staff at Cowes
Medical Centre. Although John
hasn’t got his full vision due to the
scar tissue from the stitches in the
eyeball, he is able to drive and con-
tinue with his daily life.
Thanks once again to the staff on
duty for all their care and attention.
John and Marg Craven Rhyll
I wonder where Bernie McComb
from Phillip Island went to school
In his Letters article in Tuesday
Jan 24 issue of the Sentinel-Times he
claimed the ferry would cost $21,000
per day and claimed it would cost
$130 per trip based on 1600 cars
making the trip per day.
Sorry Bernie but where I went to
school $21,000 divided by 1600 car
is closer to $13.
Or maybe Bernie can’t multiple 16
cars per trip by 10 trips is only 160
cars per day.
Either way Bernie needs some tu-
toring in mathematics.
Is there a grade 3 kid from Phillip
Island primary school out there that
Dale Wise, Ashwood.
Farmers’ markets laying an egg
Farmers’ Markets seem to be
losing their attraction in Victoria
probably because too many are
In the early days they were useful
vehicles for selling farm produce,
but recently buyers have been put
off by seeing markets spring up all
over the place, often with the same
The Department of Regional De -
velopment Victoria has splashed
millions of taxpayers’ dollars in
providing seeding grants for new
markets which have sprung up like
Producers are rebelling against
exorbitant fees charged by some
market managers. As a result of
declining market sales, we no lon-
ger sell at farmers’ markets.
Churchill Island was our last
farmers’ market and when we com-
plained that the new market man-
agers at Regional Farmers Markets
Pty Ltd were less than competent
and needed to learn communica-
tion and marketing skills, they had
a tantrum and banished us from
Didn’t really matter because we
were only waiting until after Easter
to see if there was any prospect of
We work on the basis that stall
fees should be no more than 10%
of the value of sales at a market.
At $55 per stall, Churchill Island
was not viable for most of the year.
Extra markets held over the
holiday period at Christmas and
throughout January helped to
make up the shortfall in the past
but with the change in manage -
ment this year, the summer mar-
kets have not attracted customers
in the numbers required because
the lack of promotion meant that
few people knew that the extra
markets were being held.
With egg production running at a
lay rate of over 90%, we need con-
sistent sales and at a $55 stall fee,
supplying shops and restaurants
together with farm gate sales is
more viable than attending mar-
Phil Westwood, Grantville.
Phil Westwood’s Freeranger Egg Van at the Churchill Market recently.
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