The Jeep retail chain, including a Geelong store, has collapsed into voluntary administration. The company with the licence to sell Jeep clothing and ... Read More »
YARRA Ranges Council will seek intervention to try to resolve a dispute regarding the future of the old Sanitarium factory in Warburton.
In the move, the roles of the licensor, the Upper Yarra River Reserve Committee (UYRRC), and licensee, Edgewater, will come under the spotlight.
The recommendation is for the Minister for the Department of Environment, Land and Planning (DELWP) to review their involvement.
The decision comes after numerous hold-ups in a plan to develop a visitor accommodation centre and connected tourist facilities at the site, which council views as an important community project.
A Planning Scheme Amendment was first issued on 22 December 2005, which would have allowed appropriate zoning for the development.
The permit’s initial expiry was on 23 December 2013, but VCAT extended this permit.
An extension for time request in June last year was recommended to council for refusal, but was overturned.
At council’s 27 January meeting, Cr Jim Child noted requirements attached to that overturning had further interrupted progress.
“(As) late as 2014, we gave an extension of time … part of that extension was the condition to abide by the Bushfire (Management) Overlay,” Cr Child said.
“Part of the requirement … is the proposal must have a defendable space in regards to a fire management plan.
“This can be achieved on the site with overlapping on to Crown Land.
“That requires a lease or agreement with DELWP.”
Cr Child said the length of the lease was a major issue for the UYRRC and Edgewater.
“Now, we’ve reached a stalemate situation where we have the recommending authority, the Country Fire Authority, recommending that a 21-year lease period would be appropriate to achieve that defendable space – DELWP is agreeable to that,“ Cr Child said.
“But we have the UYRRC who are opposed to that and are wishing to have a six-year licence agreement.”
Cr Child said this had been a source of frustration.
“We’ve reached a stage that I’ve had to take this move, that we should have an intervention by the minister to achieve this result for this development to go through,” Cr Child said.
Cr Child’s motion was seconded by Cr Noel Cliff, who said it had been an issue for too long.
“It’s 10 years down the track and we’re at this point, this is silly stuff,” Cr Cliff said.
“We’ve got to go to the minister and sort it.”
In addition to intervention, council agreed to advise the minister of its disappointment in the ongoing delays experienced in trying to secure an appropriate agreement.
A LONG-term vision for regional Australia was discussed last week in Ettamogah between Federal Farrer MP Sussan Ley and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on the opportunities that would revamp the regional development policy.
Regional communities are being asked to take the driver’s seat in crafting a fresh regional development policy that would focus on opportunity growth through nurturing innovation and investing in infrastructure.
Mr McCormack said the fundamental input by local community leaders, regional businesses, academic institutions and regional Australians was central to the Federal Government’s plans to identify local needs of regional Australians.
He said the ongoing dialogue and partnerships with regional communities were crucial as the Australian economy responded to change.
“The Australian Government has invested heavily in the future of our regions, including our record $50 billion infrastructure program with projects specifically targeting productivity improvements and creating regional jobs,” Mr McCormack said.
“During these discussions (in regional communities), I will be outlining existing government programs and how they can benefit regional areas, as well as engaging local communities to see examples and hear ideas on how we can improve policy settings to make our regions even stronger.”
Ms Ley said Mr McCormack’s visit wa a great opportunity to showcase what the region had and needed.
“We have the confidence to invest in infrastructure including rails so we’ve got great facilities coming in line with these next developments,” Ms Ley said.
“The feelings of confidence are going up and there are really good opportunities for national and international companies to relocate here and do business.
“There are also great opportunities for all local companies to come up with good ideas for development.”
Ms Ley said expansion and development of businesses in regional areas is not second rate to metropolitan areas.
“There are plenty of business opportunities in the region and the lifestyle for family is also great out here. Being in regional areas can be an advantage for businesses,” Ms Ley said.
“I meet people every day who live in Albury and work overseas. They have clients and customers all over the world.
“We know the exchange of ideas that come from people that live and work here and who have a global business is important – the flow and effect of that is substantial.”
Mr McCormack said it was an exciting time for regional Australia where people were poised to take advantage of the opportunities of the future.
CASEY Councillor Rosalie Crestani was once again the MC for the latest Reclaim Australia rally, this time held outside Parliament House in Canberra.
The Reclaim Australia rally, held on Saturday 6 February, was the group’s largest yet with several hundred people turning out to the event on the Parliament House lawn.
Saturday’s rally was the first in a series of global rallies against the Islamisation of the West organised by German anti-immigration movement the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA).
No arrests were made, with roughly 50 AFP and regular officers monitoring the anti-Islam rally to which only a few dozen counter-protesters attended.
The Reclaim Australia supporters were made up of members from Danny Nalliah’s Rise Up Australia Party (RUAP), the United Patriot Front and their aligned political party Fortitude, Party For Freedom, and several others.
“We made a stand against Marxism views and Islamic fundamentalism,” Cr Crestani, the deputy leader of RUAP, said.
“We want to get a path back into parliament. We’re finding not many politicians are talking about this, there may be quiet support for changing terrorism laws, but we need to change the situation at a cultural level.”
South Eastern Metropolitan state Greens MP Nina Springle last year criticised Cr Crestani for being the MC at other Reclaim rallies in Melbourne’s CBD and Melton.
The war of words between the two women led to Ms Springle inviting Cr Crestani to a lunch at Parliament House in September, with the MP saying she wanted to “move past unhelpful conflicts”.
Ms Springle had previously said Cr Crestani should be “condemned” for participating in the rallies.
“Given the great contribution that generations of migrants have made to Australia, it is sad that Cr Crestani saw fit to participate in this way,” Ms Springle said at the time.
“Her participation must be condemned in the strongest terms.
“Fear and misunderstanding are the enemies of Australia’s peaceful, harmonious and multicultural way of life.”
VICTORIAN PREMIER CRICKET – ROUND 15 (Day 2)
THE all-round efforts of Casey-South Melbourne (249) finally paid off as the Swans celebrated the upset of the season defeating finals-bound Northcote (220).
Setting a monster tally for Northcote to hunt down – minus its Bushrangers’ all-rounder Marcus Stoinis who returned to the state line-up – Casey-South Melbourne managed to hold on in the dying overs to arguably clinch its best victory in years.
Nathan Lambden (1/50) fired up straight away to send Northcote’s Zimbabwean international Solomon Mire (12) back to the sheds, while the other opener Lindsay Hassett (60) bunkered down to try and see off the worst of the Casey barrage.
Brendan Rose (4/32) also started peeling off Dragons as the right-arm seamer found the edge of Sam Harbinson (21) and the skipper Steven Taylor (31).
Outside of Hassett, Northcote’s failure to carry on after a solid start proved its downfall as 20s and 30s made it difficult to chase down 250.
The middle order dug in as the runs started drying up through Casey skipper Lachlan Sperling’s clever use of spin.
He didn’t give himself a trundle though, as Sperling went to James Seymour (1/48).
Pushing his credentials as an all-rounder, instead of just an opener, Seymour held up an end as Hassett eventually holed out looking to up the ante.
The last few wickets doggedly stuck to the crease as Jack Lalor (21) and Grant Waldron (9no) tried to keep the run-rate tickling along.
In the end, one last spell with the new ball sealed the deal as Rose and Lee Diston (2/31) – who replaced Lambden after the spearhead cramped up – slayed the Dragons and gave the Swans a morale-boosting victory.
“Since I’ve been there, it’s been one of the better wins,” Sperling said. “Just with the team effort and everyone contributed throughout both innings.
“Was a pretty tight game actually – we bowled 80 odd overs and just stuck to our guns, executed pretty well and didn’t give them too much to hit – that was probably the most pleasing thing that the bowlers put it in the right areas all day.”
Sperling praised Rose and Seymour as the tandem managed to work the Dragons out of the clash wicket by wicket.
“He (Seymour) was superb at one end and pretty much bowled through the second session and put pressure on the batsmen,” Sperling said. “As well with Brendan Rose – they were the stand outs for the day and Rosey was brilliant and charged in from ball one and got the rewards in the end.”
Moving up to 16th on the ladder from its big win, Casey will face Essendon this round and Sperling was pleased to see the side’s constant improvement reap results.
“We fought pretty hard and was great to beat a quality side like them (Northcote),” Sperling said. “We’re very happy with our efforts and gives us that belief that we’re not far off – if we keep chipping away we know we can match it with sides in the top half.”
Narrow Casey success was sadly mirrored for Dandenong as its Premier Cricket race is just about run and done for 2015/’16.
Dandenong’s (157 and 1/54) hopes of making the Men’s competition final eight took a huge blow on Saturday with its narrow first-innings loss to Melbourne Uni (224)
At 8/128, the match remained in the balance as Dandenong’s spearheads Justin Butterfield (3/43) and Adam McMaster (2/61) seared through the top order.
With Peter Cassidy (4/36) and Tanner Stanton working through the tail, the Panthers hopes were sadly dashed. It took a miraculous partnership from the scholars’ tailenders to avert crisis.
The ninth-wicket stand between Steven Reid (66) and Elias Karageorgiou (35) turned the game on its head, leaving Dandenong close but not close enough.
Brenton Murphy (25no) and Cameron Forsyth (22no) saw out the overs on a tough day at the office in Dandenong’s second innings.
Sitting 10 points outside the eight, with two rounds to go, it will take a lot of outright success and results falling its way to sneak into Premier finals, starting Saturday as Dandenong hosts Fitzroy-Doncaster.
ANOTHER sporting landmark on the Greaves Reserve map was officially opened on Saturday as the City of Greater Dandenong unveiled the redeveloped Alan Carter Pavilion.
After undergoing a significant upgrade – courtesy of the council’s $1.34 million contribution to the Dandenong facility – the pavilion will be a year-round haven for the region’s cricket, soccer and rugby league players.
The three major tenants – Dandenong Women’s Cricket Club, South East Titans Rugby League Club and White Star Dandenong Soccer Club – are set to benefit greatly from the pavilion renovations.
The works included the refurbishment and extension of the existing pavilion and improvements to change rooms, shower and toilets as well as a multi-purpose space, canteen, commercial kitchen, storage rooms, first aid room and umpires rooms.
The pavilion was opened by Mayor Heang Tak, who believes the facility is a boon for Greater Dandenong and will encourage residents to come along and try out the tenant sports at the reserve.
“It’s a fantastic venue for our sports so that our residents near and far can come and help have a healthy lifestyle,” councillor Tak said. “We’ve been waiting for a long time and today is the day we’ve come to celebrate at the start of the year and the start of the season.”
Dandenong WCC coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick said the redevelopment will improve the club’s professionaliam as well as cater for even more junior players from the south eastern suburbs.
“Being involved in community sport is exactly that – community,” Fitzpatrick said. “I know we’ve got an elite program running – in that we’ve got Australian players and Women’s’ BBL players out there – but this is really about bringing the young girls through.
“It’s a safe place and will change the dynamics of our training … it’s a vibrant precinct here and it’s long overdue, but it’s fantastic.”
With five fields, tennis courts and the Gloria Pyke Netball Complex, Greaves Reserve stands as one of the biggest and most inclusive sporting facilities in the state.
The opening of the pavilion also included the presentation of the Redderz Cup, held in memory of Carey ‘Redderz’ Cook who died when she was shot working as a nurse at the Mercy Private Hospital.
The council is set to start its next sporting facility project this year – a $10 million soccer development for Tatterson Park in Keysborough.
A COUNCIL investigation into whether it failed to inform residents about the building proposal for an Islamic school in Doveton found there was no wrongdoing by the City of Casey.
The investigation was undertaken after a petition was presented at the 19 January council meeting, with councillor Rosalie Crestani and more than 50 residents raising concern that plans to build an Islamic school in Doveton were seemingly approved without their knowledge.
It was claimed Casey Council had failed to meet a requirement to send letters to all residents in the vicinity of the proposed school, to be set up at the former Doveton North Primary School site in Rowan Drive.
Cr Crestani, the deputy president of Pastor Danny Nalliah’s far-right Rise Up Australia Party (RUAP), also questioned why the term “Islamic” was left out of despatches.
In May 2014, Star News reported how Ilim College of Australia bought the site for $4.2 million, with a spokesman for then Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich Phillips confirming at the time that the 20,420 square metre site had been purchased.
While some people did receive a letter, the petition argued many who lived close by weren’t informed.
“That’s the biggest peeve, that it’s such a big development and no-one was aware of what was going on,” head petitioner Grant Ferguson said.
He said residents were worried about how the new school would affect traffic and parking in the area.
“It used to be a school there and traffic was bad and that was just a primary school,” Mr Ferguson said.
“This will be a primary and secondary school and there’ll be twice as much traffic.”
But at last Tuesday’s council meeting the City of Casey announced the findings of its investigation and concluded there had been “no failure in the sending of letters to residents”.
The report noted that those who did not receive letters did not own or reside in adjoining properties.
“As per the Casey Planning Scheme requirements relating to the site in question, letters were sent to the owners and occupiers of adjoining properties,” the report stated.
“The faith-based nature of the school was not included in the letters as this information is not relevant to the planning process.
“All Casey Planning Scheme requirements in relation to the site in question were met.”
The council findings also noted that specifying the faith-based nature of the school could “contravene anti-discrimination and human right laws”.
AFTER racking up more miles than at any time during their 30-plus career history, favourite ska-pop exponents Loonee Tunes is set to hit Belgrave’s Sooki Lounge for a celebratory show on Friday 19 February.
The show is set to be a cracker, with a mix of originals and covers on the bill, running the gamut from ska to some classic modern tunes in two one-hour sets.
Frontman Adam Timms said the Sooki crowd was among their favourites.
“We’ve played Sooki a couple of times a year for the past few years and we’re always amazed by the support we get from the audience,” he said.
“Most of them are just there to have a good time and we give them that.”
Timms said interstate audiences have been responding well to their recent shows, with the band in tip-top shape.
“We’re on top of our game right now, with the strongest line-up ever,” he said.
“Our horn section is tight and powerful, while the rest of the band are energetic and focused on the show.”
The band formed in 1982 after being drawn to bands such as The Specials, The Selecter and Madness.
Their list of achievements is quite impressive, supporting a number of high-profile acts on the ska scene.
Their confidence and sound has grown considerably over the years and they have grown a loyal fan base, particularly after their Sooki shows.
Timms said like a fine wine, the band was getting better with age and encouraged old fans and new to check out their progress.
“It’s an exciting time,” he said.
“Capitalising on years of playing experience, finding new inspiration, expanding into the national marked and maybe beyond … a good time to be a Loonee Tune.”