Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 28, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 10 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2017
OUR smaller communities continue to surprise
me, punching way above their weight.
This was more than evident at the recent
Meeniyan Garlic Festival with large crowds at-
tending to support the many stalls, exhibitions
All of the event organisers and volunteer sup-
porters (which must have been the majority of
Meeniyan locals!) should give themselves a pat on
the back for not only developing the concept of a
Garlic Festival, but for following through and put-
ting Meeniyan and South Gippsland on the map.
This event will be talked about long after the
Australia Day scarecrows (which are still provid-
ing for an interesting point of discussion around
town) have blown away.
This week I also had the privilege of speaking at
a meeting of the Victorian Farmers Federation at
a branch I once chaired as a dairy farmer.
We discussed the issues the farming industry
is experiencing at the moment - many of which
are not new to the industries involved, but nev-
ertheless need to be at the fore of our political
lobbying. I always welcome discussions with local
groups about how the council might be able to
help. My door is always open.
Our population of just over 28,000 is predomi-
nantly made up of 28 towns and supporting ham-
lets, many of which have volunteer community
groups that aid in the progress and future direc-
tion of these towns with the support of Council’s
Community Strengthening team.
The staff in this department focus on helping
South Gippsland’s extensive volunteer base to
support our broader community. They do things
such as providing opportunities for people to de-
velop skills in managing social media for their
club or group, or even by matching experienced
volunteer drivers with young people who need
driving practice through the L2P program.
Often the assistance comes by helping a group
with planning an event or project, such as assist-
ing an energetic group of young people to develop
their plans for a new skatepark or supporting the
development of a new drama group.
This team has a key role assisting our wide
range of sporting groups to find ways to improve
their facilities, particularly in developing partner-
ships with individual clubs or sporting associa-
The new cricket nets at Nyora and Koonwarra
are a recent outcome of this support.
The effectiveness of the council’s work in this
space is the result of close and constant collabo-
ration within council teams and departments.
For example, support for the Mirboo North Ital-
ian Festa included getting help from the council’s
depot, Parks and Gardens team and Grants staff.
It really is a team effort.
THE South Gippsland Shire Council has
unanimously supported the expansion of an
‘Agricultural Services Precinct’ at Koonwarra,
on private land next to the VLE Saleyards.
The land is owned by Leongatha real estate
agent, Lindsay Powney and his wife Robyn, who
gave a presentation in support of rezoning their
43.7ha property, prior to last week’s council
Ms Powney said they had worked on the land
for the past four years to encourage the expan-
sion of new industry into the area.
She said the project had already received the
support of other government agencies includ-
ing the EPA, CFA etc and only waited the shire
council’s support as well.
Speaking at the meeting, Cr Meg Edwards
said the saleyards was good for Leongatha and
South Gippsland and rezoning the adjacent
land would allow for the precinct to grow fur-
Cr Aaron Brown agreed saying the develop-
ment of the area had the potential to create
“lots of jobs and economic activity, you only
need to look at VLE”.
Council will now submit the Amendment to
Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, for ap-
Amendment C108 seeks to rezone land at
590 South Gippsland Highway and 2 Hogans
Road Koonwarra (Cervus Agricultural Equip-
ment site) immediately north of the Koonwarra
Saleyards) from Farming Zone to Special Use
Zone. It will also undertake a two-lot subdivi-
sion along the proposed zone boundary.
According to the shire, the proposal is con-
sistent with the Council adopted ‘Leongatha In-
dustrial Land Supply Study 2013’.
Director Development Services, Bryan
Sword, said the new area “was ideally located
in the heart of the agricultural production zone
in the shire with great highway access alongside
existing facilities of interest to the farming com-
“To ensure that appropriate developments
are undertaken in the zone new uses will re-
quire a Planning Permit. Development must
be compatible with the aim of creating an Ag-
ricultural Services area and sympathetic to
both the rural landscape and prominent lo -
cation on the South Gippsland Highway, ” Mr
Shire supports Koonwarra ag zone
Cr Ray Argento
KORUMBURRA businessman David Amor
was given short shrift at the South Gippsland
Shire Council’s public presentation session
last week when he opened the batting at
The topic of Mr Amor’s ‘presentation’ was
listed under the categories of ‘financial per-
report’ and ‘councillor expenditure report’
however, he barely got to first base before
the CEO Tim Tamlin intervened.
Taking umbrage at Mr Amor’s
tions” of “doubling staff salaries” and “tri-
pling costs” in the past few years, Mr Tamlin
said the line of questioning was not appro-
priate in this forum.
“This is not the time for general questions.
This is about making a presentation on the
specific reports our items on the agenda,”
Mr Tamlin said, effectively shutting down Mr
Mr Amor had opened up with a question
about how many vehicles the council owned,
how many of them were cars and the number
of cars that were included in staff members’
“I ’m not an expert on this but I’m looking
for some information about the budget so
that I can understand what’s going on,” he
The Mayor, Cr Ray Argento, offered to meet
with Mr Amor to discuss his issues and Mr
Tamlin said he would be well advised to read
the shire’s policy on community participa-
tion in its meetings.
THE future for Leongatha’s aged care facil-
ity, Woorayl Lodge, looks clear after the South
Gippsland Shire Council agreed last week to
press ahead with the rezoning of a 4.047 hect-
are site on Boags Road, south of the town.
Following a decision by council last week,
the shire will apply to the Planning Minister
for the rezoning of the land from Farming
Zone to Low Density Residential Zone while
also removing the Environmental Significance
The land at 5 Boags Road was purchased
by Woorayl Lodge Inc as a prospective site to
construct a Residential Aged Care Facility as it
has no capacity to meet demand at its present
site in McCartin Street.
The subject land has a very gentle slope
down to the east and no significant native veg-
Council’s Municipal Health and Well Being
Plan identifies a growing need for appropri-
ate Residential Aged Care Facilities to cater
for an ageing population and with the existing
Woorayl Lodge residential aged care facility
operating at maximum capacity, councillors
enthusiastically supported the proposal.
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