Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : June 20, 2017 Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2017 - PAGE 53
MENTION the word "rat” to most Australians
and images of two introduced pests - the black
rat and brown rat - immediately spring to mind.
In fact, the Australian water-rat (Hydromys
chrysogaster) is a genuine native species that
was a natural part of our environment long be-
fore its Eurasian rodent cousins arrived on the
ships of the early colonists.
The water-rat (sometimes also known as
rakali) is an extremely attractive animal which
functions as a top predator in a variety of
Its ecological role is equivalent to that of the
otters found on other continents.
The water-rat also has many otter-like fea-
tures, including a thick coat of soft fur, a blunt
and densely whiskered muzzle, partly webbed
hind feet and a furry, tapering tail.
Water-rats are known to eat aquatic insects,
yabbies, mussels, shrimps, and frogs (and even
cane-toads in Queensland!). Their formidable
set of teeth can also be used to kill fish, tor-
toises and water birds.
The water-rat is a particularly difficult species
to study in the wild. As a result, little is known
about its current status and distribution.
Unfortunately, there is considerable evidence
that numbers have declined in many areas.
The Australian Platypus Conservancy (with
support from the Norman Wettenhall Founda-
tion) is conducting a study to try to find out
how water-rat populations are faring through-
Because the species is a top predator, the in-
formation will also help to monitor the environ-
mental health of the state’s waterways.
You can make a vital contribution to this
study by reporting all sightings of water-rats
(including if you find a dead one) via the APC
website (www.platypus.asn.au) or phone 5157
Sightings from the past are welcome (even if
you can only provide an approximate date) as
they often help to establish how populations
may have changed over time.
All information is entered on a secure da-
tabase and is only used for conservation pur-
Now is a great time of the year to try spotting
water-rats, especially in the early morning or
The best way to positively identify the species
is by the white tip of the tail.
The animals can usually be seen swimming
and diving but they also frequently emerge from
the water to eat (sitting up and holding their
meal in their forepaws) or run along the river-
bank or shore searching for food.
A feeding “table” – a pile of food fragments,
such as yabby claws or mussel shells, on a rock
or log – often gives a clue to the presence of the
This water rat, also known as a rakali, is very much an Aussie. Photo: Carolyn Hall.
Look out for Victoria’s otter
A ONE act play festival gives the chance for a
friendly theatrical competition.
A festival is exciting when theatre companies
from all over the state come together to showcase
their talents to an audience not normally available
to them and it makes for a marvellous chance for
local people to see some wonderful theatrical tal-
ent close to home and without spending a fortune.
FAMDA will be hosting its 17th Bendigo Bank
South Gippsland One Act Play Festival in Foster on
the weekend of August 18 and 19.
Theatre companies and youth groups are al-
ready starting to submit their entries for this
amazing theatrical event and FAMDA wants to in-
clude its own entries as well.
FAMDA is looking for two men and seven wom-
en to form the casts for two brand new plays. ‘Bus
Stop’ tells the tale of a chance encounter of two
men at a bus stop. ‘The Wylah Valley Book Club’
features seven members of a book club who find
they have something in common.
Cast members do not necessarily have to be
experienced actors so it could be a chance to put
your toe in the water to give theatre a try with only
a short, sharp rehearsal period and loads of fun
Edwin Coad is coordinating the FAMDA entries
in the festival.
Anyone who would like to be involved in this
exciting project should contact Edwin via pande-
email@example.com, 5689 1305 or 0423 455
on the act
• Westernport Field and Game
Sartori takes the
high gun honours
SIXTY-FIVE competitors attended Western-
port Field & Game’s June Clay Target Shoot.
Good targets were on offer and scores were
mixed around the grades.
Congratulations to all winners and place
getters. The club thanks sponsor, Alex Scott
Real Estate, Cowes.
High Gun: Brian Sartori (65).
AA Grade: 1st Don Sgarbossa (64), 2nd
Tom Trypogiorgos (62), 3rd Jason Barclay
A Grade: 1st Paul Johnson (63), 2nd Mar-
ton Holmes (61), 3rd David Mioni (60).
B Grade: 1st Arthur Rawlinson (56), 2nd
Aaron Caldwell (53), 3rd Michael Braden
C Grade: 1st Curtis Hilbrick (57), 2nd
Josh Dowell (55), 3rd John Wheeler (52).
Veterans: 1st Colin Barker (56), 2nd Len
Box (55), 3rd Warwick Cumberland (55).
Ladies: 1st Tracey Jacobs (51), 2nd Kathy
Cecho (47), 3rd Kylie Ross (32).
Juniors: 1st Kassi Moat (41), 2nd Dusty
Case of shells won by Kylie Ross.
Raffle: Meat trays donated by Island Pri-
mary Produce, won by Kathy Cecho, Janet
Miles and Shirley Ould.
The club’s next shoot is on Sunday, July
16, with nominations commencing at 9am.
Clay target shooting is suitable for all
ages, genders and fitness levels with juniors
shooting for free.
LEONGATHA’S Kyle Reid and Boadie Motton
had outstanding games for Gippsland Power in
their win against Greater Western Victoria Reb-
els at Casey Fields in Round 10.
The win follows Power’s upset of the season
when they defeated the Geelong Falcons in their
A wonderful ‘speccy’ mark and goal by mid-
fielder Callum Porter put the side on the score-
board and then some wonderful forward pres-
sure by Jack Hudson and Kyle Reid set up Will
Broadbent for their second major.
Defensive errors “gifted” the Rebels first
quarter goals and they added insult to injury by
kicking a fourth on the rebound.
From the resultant centre bounce, Will Ste-
phenson went quick, long and direct where
Reid contested strongly and Boadie Motton
kicked a ripper on the run.
Once again Stephenson generated excellent
team play as he linked with Foster’s Xavier
Duursma and he found Reid who gave the team
a two point led at the first break.
An unlucky bounce allowed the Rebels to
kick the opening goal of the second term but,
great contested football by Bailey Beck and Ste-
phenson set up Reid for a long goal.
After a slow start to the second half, excellent
pressure by Duursma and Beck was finished
off by Stephenson and this seemed to inspire
boys up forward.
Another Parrot, ruckman Julian Patterson,
combined with Porter, and Reid finished it off
with an excellent contested mark and goal.
Again Power let the Rebels in before three
It took about 15 seconds for Porter to set the
standard for the side when he kicked a stun-
ning long goal from the opening bounce of the
Fish Creek’s Matt McGannon kicked a fine
goal off the pack as Power took control.
Forward pressure, this time a Masterson
tackle, put the ball in Motton’s hand and he
kicked a fine long goal.
From the centre bounce, pressure by Julian
Patterson allowed Motton to go long into attack
and, this time it was Duursma who finished it
They missed some chances to further extend
their lead but the intensity continued.
In the last minutes the Rebels scored another
but Reid then took a fine intercept mark and
kicked the Power’s sixth for the quarter.
Final scores: Gippsland Power 15.14.104 d
Greater Western Victorian Rebels 12.5.77.
Goal kickers: Will Stephenson 4, Kyle Reid
4, Callum Porter 2, Boadie Motton 2, Xavier
Duursma, Matt McGannon and Will Broadbent
Youngster Boadie Motton has been on a steep
learning curve this season and his rapid prog-
ress indicates his skill, pace, reading of the play
and ability to take on and soundly beat oppo-
nents in one-on-one contests.
He rarely wastes possessions by hand or foot
and does this so quickly that you almost miss
who it was that got play started.
Another South Gippsland youngster, Kyle
Reid had shared Boadie’s rapid progress in
defence and attack. He showed his potential to
full effect as a key forward with the ability to
take strong, contested marks and effectively ap-
ply intense pressure at ground level in the tight-
est packs when tackling or putting pressure on
Skilled utility, Matt McGannon has been in-
valuable all season with his disciplined and
Once again, he was able to be a stout defend-
er, minimising the impact of dangerous oppo-
nents. Importantly, he was also able to have a
huge impact when on the ball and up forward
with his pace and silky skills used to full effect.
Xavier Duursma belied his youth with an-
other clever game in the midfield. He took on
and defeated talented opponents and seemed to
thrive as the intensity of the contests increased.
Either in the aerial contests or at ground level
he was able to be a consistent and effective con-
The next match sees them take on the high-
ly placed Oakleigh Chargers at their home
Due to the under 18 national championships,
both sides will be without vital players but the
Power has a key advantage under the TAC Cup’s
The teams have to play 12 bottom age players
while the championships are on and the Power
has been almost doing this all season.
As a result of this, youngsters like Xavier
Duursma, Grady Cocksedge, Bailey Patteron,
Liam Carroll, Bailey Beck, Nick Lowden, Kyle
Reid, Will Broadbent, Brad Daniel and Boadie
Motton have already adjusted to the pressure
and tempo of the most elite junior competition
in the nation.
Reid and Motton
star for Power
By Bryan Mitchell
WONTHAGGI Croquet Club held its club
singles championships over two days on June
7 and 17.
Section 1 was held on Wednesday, June 7
and comprised players on 0-6 handicaps.
The competition was held on a level play
(no extra turns) basis and Paul Andrews was
the outstanding victor, winning all of his eight
The other also-rans only won three games
each with Russell Kelly being declared the
runner-up on hoops won.
Saturday, June 17 saw the Section 2 com-
petitors (handicaps 7-10) hit the courts and
Virginia Wheeler was victorious winning all of
Ray Ogle finished runner-up.
Congratulations to all the competitors on
both days which produced some great cro-
quet from everyone.
It was great to see one of the club’s elder
statesmen, Ray Ogle (age undetermined) com-
pete with youngest member, Jay Conn (early
teens) on Saturday.
Jay acquitted himself well, finishing third
on the day.
It truly shows that this is a game for all ages
The weather was phenomenal on both days
and thanks to all those involved in getting the
tournament organised and running smoothly.
Croquet singles champions
Section 2 winner Virginia Wheeler with
president Gerry Kool.
Section 1 runner-up Russell Kelly (left)
with winner Paul Andrews.
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