Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : March 21, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 14 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2017
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CRIME in Victoria continues to rise with lat-
est statistics showing a 20 per cent increase in
crime since the government came to power.
Gippsland South MP Danny O’Brien said that
in addition to high profile public order issues
in Melbourne, the crime spree is now spread-
ing to Gippsland with the latest figures showing
crime is up 16.6 per cent in South Gippsland
Shire and 7.83 per cent in the Wellington Shire
in the past 12 months.
“This is a really concerning trend with the
crime wave spreading out from Melbourne into
our country areas.
“Since Labor came to power, crime in the
South Gippsland Shire Council has risen 29
per cent and in the Wellington Shire, almost 22
“Our local police do a great job, but with
limited resources and Daniel Andrews’ soft
on crime approach, this is starting to hurt our
Mr O’Brien said Labor has failed to keep po -
lice numbers growing with the growth in the
population and that this is reflected in the sta-
tistics released today.
“The justice system in Victoria is in crisis be-
cause Labor has weakened bail laws, weakened
sentencing, removed move-on powers from po-
lice and cut frontline police numbers.
“We’ve got a clear crisis in our juvenile cri-
sis system and crime more generally is grow-
ing despite statements from the Premier that he
would smash violent youth gangs and make our
“The reality is that the opposite is occurring
and Daniel Andrews and Labor seem to have no
plan to address it.
“Since the election in 2014, aggravated bur-
glaries have gone up 64 per cent, aggravated
robbery up 30 per cent, assaults up 31 per cent
and car theft is up 43 per cent.
“None of these figures are showing any sign of
improvement despite the government’s claims
and Daniel Andrews has to shoulder the blame
for these statistics.”
Mr O’Brien said the Liberal-Nationals Coali-
tion had already outlined a number of policies
including toughening bail laws, no body no pa-
role laws, and other changes to make our com-
Crime still out of control: MP
VOLUNTEERS at the Wonthaggi State Coal
Mine are asking the community to take a
look out in their back sheds and dig up any
vintage bicycles that they can find.
Before cars were commonplace on the
streets of Wonthaggi, miners heading off to
work would saddle up and ride out to the
state coal mine.
Now, Parks ranger Elio Piasente is collect-
ing as many old bicycles as he can to preserve
for the future in a new bike shed museum.
In particular Elio is looking for older, vin-
“People might have them up the back of an
old shed, just gathering dust,” Elio said.
“I asked a friend once who was out near
Glen Alvie. I said you must be knocking
around in plenty of old sheds all the time.
Then he dropped off a couple of bikes for me
here at the museum.”
Bicycles played an important role in the life
of miners, and were used as a mode of trans-
port as well as entertainment.
The Wonthaggi to Melbourne road race of
the early 20th century proved to be a popular
event, and was considered a classic event of
the depression era.
Volunteer at the state coal mine, Jack
Blundell, said that cycling became even more
important after train services to the area
“When they stopped running the Sunday
train, the boys would hop on their bikes and
ride back from Melbourne,” Jack said.
“It took about three to five hours. They’d
often ride in a group, with one taking the lead
for a while before switching it up. They were
For Elio, creating a specific bicycle muse-
um at the mine site is important for the his-
tory of the mine and Wonthaggi.
The building that the bikes will be housed
in is an old bike shed that was used by the
miners to store and maintain their bicycles.
“They’ll be looked after, and they’ll be here
forever,” Elio said.
“Preservation is our game. We hope to have
the museum up and running by the end of
the year. It’ll be another feature of the coal
mine, and will keep the preservation of his-
“I’d just like to see these old bikes on dis-
play as a feature, rather than having them
destroyed or thrown out. ”
If you have an older bicycle that you would
like to donate to the bike museum, contact
the State Coal Mine on 8427 2118.
Parks ranger at the State Coal Mine, Elio Piasente, is calling out to the community to
donate their old, vintage bicycles for a new museum at the mine. ms051217
Donate your old bike
to coal mine museum
When the mines were active, many min-
ers used bicycles as their main mode of
transport, with some even travelling the
five hours from Melbourne on their bike.
WHILE fire agencies work to control two
bushfires in the Dargo area, the community
is reminded to be vigilant as hot and dry con-
ditions persist across Gippsland.
These fires near Dargo are now more than
700 hectares collectively and fire crews are
working in steep and inaccessible country to
Gippsland Regional Controller Mike Owen
is urging our community to be vigilant.
“ We are currently experiencing hot, dry and
windy conditions and the risk of starting new
bushfires is very real.
“We are calling on the community to be
aware of the conditions and to act responsi-
“The community are reminded that fire
restrictions are still in place throughout
Gippsland. No burning off is permitted with-
out a permit and severe penalties apply for
breaches of these laws, ” Mr Owen said.
For up to date information and advice re -
garding bushfires and emergencies go to www.
emergency.vic.gov.au or on the VicEmergency
app, or phone the VicEmergency hotline on
1800 226 116.
Bushfire awareness needed
as hot weather continues
GIPPSLAND South MP Danny O’Brien said
the State Government has failed to support
Gippsland tourism, jobs and economic oppor-
tunities with the rejection of a grant application
for Agnes Falls in South Gippsland.
The application was for the construction of
a cantilevered viewing platform at Agnes Falls
under the Tourism Demand Driver Infrastruc-
Mr O’Brien said he is disappointed the ap-
plication put forward by the South Gippsland
Shire was not approved.
“The Friends of Agnes Falls committee has
been working on this application for three
“This hard-working committee has spread
the word about the beauty of Agnes Falls far
and wide, including to any politician passing by.
“A cantilevered platform at Agnes Falls would
be a huge draw card, improving the visitor ex-
perience at a hidden gem of South Gippsland
and resulting in a significant tourism boost for
“This application had the full support of the
local council and demonstrated viability and
long term benefit.
“When is Labor going to support tourism and
job creation in South Gippsland?” Mr O’Brien
The Friends of Agnes Falls committee is con-
tinuing to actively seek funds to see this project
Agnes Falls should
have been funded: MP
THERE are only two things certain in life,
death and taxes, they say, and out at Meeni-
yan, they’ve had that old adage reinforced
The local cemetery trust runs an excellent
service on behalf of the community and un-
til recently, they’ve enjoyed the favour of the
South Gippsland Shire in not having to pay
But, unbeknown to them, they’ve now been
trapped into paying rates, through no fault of
their own or the shire.
The trust was recently approached by the
NBN to lease a proportion of land for an NBN
Tower. A lease was signed which provides
essential monies with which the trust has
hired a part time worker to carry out needed
works. Unknown to the trust at the time of
signing the lease, the leased land, being com-
mercial, was subject to the payment of rates
and Fire Services Levy but the contract ex-
cluded the NBN from paying the rates; hence
the Meeniyan Cemetery Trust is now out of
The trust has subsequently asked the shire
to support it in putting a motion to the State
Council of the Municipal Association of Vic-
toria, seeking a rating exemption for them
and other cemetery trusts who find them-
selves in a pickle.
Should the Motions be carried at the State
Council Meeting, the MAV will then make
representations on behalf of Local Govern-
ment to the State and Commonwealth Gov-
ernments as appropriate to advocate for the
The issue will be discussed at this Wednes-
day’s council meeting.
You don’t have to be dead to be stiff
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