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ONE of the most spectacular rides in Victoria was held in Inverloch on Sunday, November 12.
Hundreds of cyclists and their friends and families from all
over Australia were in Inverloch for the 2017 Bass Coast Cycle
Challenge (BCCC) and family festival.
The BCCC teamed up with the Inverloch Lions Family Festival once again which had all sorts of fun activities on offer such as a bike decorating competition for kids, face painting and billy cart races.
There were four different ride distance options available on the day including a 121km, 85km, 53km and a 40 km ride.
For those who arent cycling fans, a 10km, five km and 1.8km run
The weather conditions were perfect for the scenic run and ride.
FORMER Leongatha residents Lisa and Kurt Gowers showcased how hard work pays after winning the professional services category in the Hobsons Bay Business Excellence Award.
They opened Lavanya Spa Retreat in Williamstown more than five years ago. They started out in a single room in 2012 and have since expanded to a large day spa with seven staff offering a range of services from massage, organic facials and body scrubs to wraps, seasonal specials and group packages,
To enter the awards, they had to submit a 35 page application. It was later revealed their application was judged the most impressive.
They were then shortlisted as finalists, and they announcement they had won occurred at a gala dinner attended by 400 businesses.
Kurt said the win came as a pleasant shock.
It was a big surprise. The award was great recognition for all the hard work that we put in. To be recognised with an award like this gives us confidence we are on the right track and must be doing something right. We love what we are doing and like to think that this is reflected through our business, he said.
Kurt said the award has already done wonders for the business, creating more awareness across Hobsons Bay.
Weve had a lot of people say they didnt know we were here, so it has broaden our range of reach and given us more business. It has been great to get that kind of awareness out there, he said.
Kurt and Lisa both grew up in Leongatha, attending the local primary and secondary schools.
We are regularly visited by many Leongatha locals, which we absolutely love to see, Kurt said.
BASS Coast Shire Council is ready to roll into a massive 2018, with projects in the pipeline.
In a show of unity, councillors re-elected mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield and deputy mayor Cr Brett Tessari for a second term to maintain balance and continuity.
Cr Rothfield said she was delighted to continue her role and to go in to the new term with knowledge.
You network and establish connections in the first year, and its wonderful to be able to build on that, she said.
As a council, we will be able to hit the ground running, and I feel confident in facing challenges like advocacy in this state election year.
During 2018, Cr Rothfield said council would work with VicRoads to upgrade roads, work to secure better medical facilities both in Wonthaggi and on Phillip Island, and work on recreational projects like the Phillip Island aquatic centre.
These may not all be achieved in 2018, but we will certainly continue to advocate for these projects, she said.
Coastal erosion is also a challenge council will be looking to face and is particularly important to tackle given the environment is the economy.
Cr Rothfield said she was proud of the community engagement that took place this year, which led to the council plan and the business case for the Phillip Island car ferry. Car ferry consultations will continue through the holidays with residents and tourists.
On top of this, Cr Rothfield was thrilled with the funding received by Wonthaggi Secondary College and the Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club.
Cr Tessari said seeing the council vote as a collective would continue to instil confidence in the residents.
Cr Rothfield and I have a rapport, and it would take time to start again with a new mayor. We have an advantage because we can continue as normal, and Cr Rothfield is fantastic in the role, he said.
He said he was thrilled with the open communication achieved between council and the community during 2017, as well as the announcement of the Wonthaggi education precinct.
Heading into 2018, he is looking forward to the completion of Jetty Triangle a plan to beautify Cowes town centre and foreshore as well as the development of the North East Wonthaggi precinct, which gives a clear vision of future expansion in Wonthaggi.
Cr Michael Whelan nominated Cr Rothfield to be mayor.
Giving people a go is not always in the best interest of the shire. We can continue to be a cohesive council, he said.
Cr Stephen Fullarton nominated Cr Tessari to be deputy mayor.
Cr Tessari has done a wonderful job in (Cr Rothfields) absence. This shows councils unity. In different councils I have seen divided party lines and I am pleased we dont have that here, he said.
LANDMARK Harcourts Leongatha office has cleaned up two quarterly awards for sales following an awards ceremony at the Brighton International last week.
Barry Redmond, business owner and sales consultant took out the top spot, a Titanium Award, for the best sales in the state for most property sold (dollar value) across the Landmark Harcourts group. This awards places Barry at the top for the July to September quarter ahead of 400 other sales consultants in the state.
And nationally, Barry ranked number three in the rural sales category and number four for all categories for sales.
Mr Redmond said experience covering over 40 years and a lot of hard work is behind the success.
I thank all my clients for their loyalty over 40 years and it couldnt have come without their support and friendship, he said.
Barry wasnt the only person to take out an award with his daughter Kellie Thomas collecting a silver achievement award and a gold pin for her sales achievements in residential and lifestyle properties.
Having only commenced two years ago as a sales consultant, Kellie is off to a very strong start.
THE air was cold outside but not for the lucky guests inside at Meeniyans Paella Party at Trulli Pizzeria on Melbourne Cup day.
Inside these punters had the right idea, enjoying canaps and paella and a glass of Aperol Spritz as they watched the races on the big screen. There was even a bus to pick them up and drop them home.
Wearing suitable race attire inside, it was warm and cosy and for some a glimpse of sunshine had them venturing outside in the garden, even just briefly.
Trullis owners said it was a great experiment and were pleased how the day went and hoping it will catch on bigger and better if held again next year.
TWO schools will receive funding from the State Government for vital maintenance.
Wonthaggi Primary School will receive nearly $110,000 to undertake structural works in the main administration building, and Foster Secondary College will get $1.3 million to replace the roof of the gym, music centre and surrounding walkways.
Foster Secondary College assistant principal Dean Duursma said the school started applying for funding to fix the leaking rooves around two years ago.
He said the roof leaked so badly in the boys change rooms it was posing a health a safety risk to students and teachers.
We are extremely appreciative for the funding. It took a long time before we could get it going, but it is underway now, he said.
The funding will also pay for new carpet in the music room, which was water damaged.
The school received emergency maintenance funding of around $120,000 for the administration building around two years ago, also to replace the roof.
Mr Duursma said the school was shared with the whole community and he was hopeful the new roof would last another 30 years.
The support from the State Government was appreciated at a time when the Federal Government seems to be devaluing state schools, he said.
It is important we have a world class facility.
Wonthaggi Primary principal Mark Chandler said the school was excited to get an opportunity to make some improvements to a building that was at least a century old.
He said the money would be used to complete maintenance works on the schools red brick building, which houses administration and some junior classrooms.
The money was tagged to a condition report undertaken by the school maintenance program around 18 months ago, he said.
It means we can reallocate some of our budget to other areas that will go towards improving the learning outcomes for the students rather than maintaining buildings.
Eastern Victoria Region MLC Harriet Shing said, These important upgrades will ensure that more school communities throughout Gippsland get the support and funding they need and will help more students to get the most out of their education.
SILAGE quality this year is said to be a lot better than last season, but there is loss of it in some areas.
Its hard to say which areas are producing more silage, PJ and NJ McNaughton Agricultural Contractors owner Phil McNaughton said.
The quality of the silage is really good compared to last year, however we are producing a little bit less.
The contractors have been collecting four to six bales per acre; thats 12 bales to a hectare.
Silage contractors always have a challenging relationship with the weather, as it plays such a decisive role in the process.
Mr McNaughton and his team were working in Korumburra last week and Leongatha the weeks before.
They started in Leongatha earlier because the red soil was a little bit drier and they have started on the later country in Korumburra where it is becoming drier now.
We started in Leongatha areas earlier a few weeks ago and the quality was quite good. Now were on to Korumburra and surrounding areas a lot later but its still fine quality, he said.
Its certainly still positive. Its all dependent on the weather and this week is looking good. Hopefully the worst of the weather is pretty much over.
Plastic wise, PJ and NJ McNaughton Agricultural Contractors have used green, clear, yellow, pink and blue and black is available.
THE South Gippsland Shire and the Leongatha RSL are working together to honour those from the area who served in Vietnam.
Currently the list has approximately 150 of veterans who live in South Gippsland and includes Wonthaggi.
Following a request from Richard Lester of Leongatha, Cr Maxine Kiel has taken on board the role of researching and documenting the names of local veterans who were either born in the region or who have come to live most of their lives in this area.
This is a long overdue project and I look forward to working with various organisations to complete a comprehensive list of our Vietnam veterans, Ms Kiel said.
Ive found there are a lot from Korumburra, Foster and Toora and not as many from Leongatha and Mirboo North.
If you are a Vietnam veteran and would like to be named on the Shire of Woorayl Honour Board being prepared, please contact Maxine on email@example.com for further information or inclusion.
The Leongatha RSL officially opened the Leongatha RSL Business Hub on Saturday.
The hub is located just down the road from the Leongatha RSL on Bellingham Street in Leongatha.
A key note address was given by RSL Active convenor Harry Moffitt.
Harry is a serving soldier from the SAS Regiment with 25 years of service to his country and 11 overseas operational tours.
RSL Active is RSLs next effort to engage with young veterans, he said.
Were hoping RSL Active can provide support for that next generation.
RSL Active offers a myriad of events and activities, aimed at creating social networks, enhancing support circles, and improving mental and physical health outcomes.
The new RSL Hub is open to veterans, veterans families and veterans partners as a safe place to relax, socialise, connect or use a computer on Thursdays and Fridays.
A PATRIOTIC crowd gathered at the Leongatha Cenotaph at 11am on Saturday to acknowledge Remembrance Day.
SAS Sgt Harry Moffitt spoke after a minute of silence.
As a proud infantry young veteran, it is my obligation to urge other young veterans to step forward and carry out the remembrance of those who have gone before us, he said.
Sgt Moffitt is a serving soldier from the SAS Regiment with 25 years of service.
Ex-servicemen and women, members of South Gippsland Shire Council and members of the public, including Leongatha Primary School students, gathered to lay wreaths and remember those who sacrificed their lives.
World War Two veteran Tom Parsons of Leongatha laid a wreath he had been sent from the Thurrock Branch Legion in England in memory of the fallen Commonwealth Forces who gave their lives for Australians freedom.
KOONWARRA residents continue to remain on high alert, with a prowler still knocking on doors late at night.
Reports of the prowler have prompted police to patrol the streets several nights a week in the hope of catching the offender.
Worried residents are installing security cameras around their homes in a bid to catch the snooper.
The perpetrator has been knocking on doors late at night and fleeing before occupants have a chance to identify them.
The Star issued a warning to the public on its Facebook page last week and that post reached more than 8600 people.
Senior Constable Nathan Grist of Leongatha Police said a tall, skinny male had been appearing on peoples back doors.
When they go and investigate, hes gone, he said.
S/C Grist believed the prowler had been frequenting properties in and around Kangaroo Rise, and had been moving through bush adjoining those properties.
If people hear or see anything, do not hesitate in calling triple zero at the time so that way we can strike while the iron is hot rather than chasing ghosts, he said.
S/C Grist did not believe the prowler could commit more serious offences.
Koonwarra resident Denis Hawkins experienced a stranger wandering around his Swan Road property around 10.30pm recently.
It sounded like there was someone lightly knocking on the door, he said.
I had heard about the prowler before this happened and I believe there is somebody hanging around.
I thought there was someone at the door and so I got up and had a look but didnt see anyone.
Ive got cameras that cover all around the house, however at the time I was in the middle of replacing them so they were actually turned off.
Mr Hawkins has sensor lights around his property and the front light turned on when he heard the knocking.
Some of the locals are frightened and have started installing cameras on their properties in Koonwarra, he said.
I dont want people to have to live in fear. People just need to be a bit more vigilant if there is a prowler around.
The Star has heard reports of a person recently entering a home in Koonwarra on, or near Kookaburra Drive, in the middle of the night.
The prowler activity is not only confined to Koonwarra, with Alana Anson of Wonthaggi also experiencing late night door knocking at her Merrin Crescent home.
I recently had someone knock on my door on a Monday at 3am, she said.
I woke up to the sound of the person knocking and when I was sitting on my bed they were still knocking so I know I wasnt dreaming.
When I finally got up and went to open the door, there was no one there. I havent heard anything since.
Mikalah MacPherson, also from Wonthaggi, said she also had an unwanted person on her property one night....
THREE Korumburra homes or one business shed could potentially be demolished by South Gippsland Shire Council and replaced with a community hub.
Korumburra residents had the opportunity to speak up about the Korumburra Community Hub plan at a pop in information session hosted by council in the Korumburra Meeting Room last Thursday.
Councils manager of planning Paul Stampton said three potential locations for the hub require land to be bought and the financial value of each option was within 20 percent of each proposal.
Three locations have been identified as the potential site of the hub.
Option one is the former kindergarten site and surrounds in Victoria Street which is comprised of a private dwelling and a commercial shed.
Option two is 22 to 28 Victoria Street which comprises four separately owned lots between and including 22 and 28 Victoria Street.
Three of the lots contain privately owned dwellings zoned commercial one, while 28 Victoria Street is council owned and contains the former council childcare centre.
Obviously we feel for the landowners personally but we spent a considerable amount of time speaking with each property owner, Mr Stampton said.
Option three is the Korumburra railway station yard.
Korumburra resident David Jackson said, My favourite is option three; it is the perfect spot for it because it has the view.
The houses in option two have got to be at least 80 years old. Theyre beautiful homes that will be taken away.
Option one is a good spot but the access is poor and dangerous. Its no good.
Mr Jacksons wife Maryanne likes option one because its close to their home but shes worried about the trees that will be chopped down.
The railway station option will make better use of the land compared to whats there because at the moment its a waste, she said.
THE new Evans Petroleum Westside service station in Leongatha should be open for business by mid December.
The project was setback due to wet weather throughout winter.
Its been a bit of a hit or miss with the weather, Evans Petroleum managing director Stuart Evans said.
We closed the site down at the end of February, and then there was a bit of time lag between the demolishing so its taken a little bit longer than anticipated, mainly due to weather though.
Mr Evans was hoping the project would have been finished by Melbourne Cup weekend and is now anticipating it will be finished before Christmas.
Leongatha building company Considine and Johnston, along with local sub contractors, have been undertaking the works.
Its important to hire local contractors to keep the money in the town, keep the locals employed and also because at times they are customers of ours and its reciprocal trade, Mr Evans said.
Considine and Johnsons project manager Gary Bullen said he appreciates Mr Evans giving locals a go at a project like this in town.
The new site is specifically designed to suit trucks. The shop will be a lot larger and there will be a greater product range inside.
Four 50,000 litre tanks have been installed, giving the service station a greater fuel storage capacity than previously offered.
We needed to do it for a while. The original site was well past its used by date and it was looking pretty shabby, Mr Evans said.
ITS the beginning of a new chapter for Korumburra Secondary College with students finally settling into the new building.
The building accommodates subjects such as art, food technology, wood and metal work.
Inside has been designed with a central open space for shared learning, with individual classrooms that can be isolated for private lessons surrounding.
The kids have managed it really well. Theyve just been fantastic in terms of how theyve transferred into there, Korumburra Secondary College principal Abigail Graham said.
Theyre finding it an awesome learning space.
This was the first stage of the schools $5.6 million redevelopment and the next step has just begun.
The old technology wing building has been knocked down and will be replaced with new basketball courts over summer.
ST LAURENCE Primary School, Leongatha students have started collecting canned goods to donate to people in need over the Christmas period.
The school is hoping to collect around 500 cans before November 20 when each class will create a mural using the donated cans.
All cans will be donated to St Vinnies, but first the students will construct the best mural they can in the school yard using the cans.
You can drop off cans to the St Laurence Primary School office or The Star office.
SOME 116 people turned up for Leongatha Lyric Theatres Annie auditions that started on Friday evening and went all weekend through till about 5.30pm on Sunday.
As for the title role of Anni,e 26 young girls auditioned and now there is a nervous wait this week with the selection down to the last four.
Lyric was pleased to see a further 51 young children try out for the orphan roles and while some 39 adults attended, the group is still looking for more men to get involved in this show.
Contact production manager Ann Hemming by email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any further information. Any interested men can also find out more about what roles are still available.
EMERGING from the dust and ready to soar in 2018 is the latest addition to Newhaven College, the awe-inspiring $10 million Senior School, Science, Art and Technology centre, due for completion this year.
The state of the art learning centre exudes style, commands an elevated position and is a credit to the Melbourne architect firm, Hayball Architects.
Funded with the assistance of a Federal Government $1.4 million grant for the Senior School, the science, art and technology wing was fully funded by the college.
The wing will feature five science labs including an outdoor lab, multi-media centre, makers room, three art spaces, dark room, textiles area, offices and toilet facilities.
The Senior School will offer spacious common rooms, including lounge space, outdoor social and study seating and tables, standing desks, brand new personal lockers, meeting rooms, specialist room and impressive lecture theatrette that opens to extra outdoor learning space.
The 85 Year 12 students will enjoy their final year of school with a dedicated common/lunch room equipped with microwaves, tea and coffee making facilities and outdoor study/social areas.
Teachers are well catered for with a spacious staff room, kitchenette, meeting room, break out areas and special areas for VCE teachers, and offices for heads of staff.
Builders and contractors have been putting the finishing touches to the state of the centre that, according to college principal Gea Lovell, should be complete by mid way through this month.
The Senior School will be finished mid-December and up and running for years 10, 11 and 12 students to start their 2018 school year.
While disruption to students at Boys Home Road has been kept to a minimum, Mrs Lovell said they have already started the final move from the Boys Home Road school.
We have moved the library over and as of November 20, all removable and workable screens and computers will be moved. Most of the honour boards and plaques have been brought over and hung, she said.
The Values Tree, a landmark of the Boys Home Road school, has been re-established with a newly planted Morton Bay fig tree that in time will provide a beautiful shady haven for the many generations to come.
Mrs Lovell said she believed in retaining the history of the college and has made every effort to ensure the history of the original school at Boys Home Road in Newhaven lives on at the current college site.
The rest of the move will occur once the Junior Presentation evening has been held in the first week of December and the staff will move in the week of December 8.
Overseeing every part of the build from endless site meetings, trips to Melbourne and hours spent making sure the build is on time and precision perfect, Mrs Lovell seems to revel in her hands on role with the whole building process.
She was quick to commend her project manager David Butt and local...
SARAH Van Stokrom has always enjoyed the outdoors, from fishing to camping, and is now sharing her passion with the rest of Victoria.
The Inverloch woman is the state coordinator of Fishcare Victoria, a program that encourages responsible fishing and stewardship of the states fresh and salt waterways.
The community operated, not for profit group is funded by fishing licence revenue, through the Recreational Fishing Licence trust fund.
Ms Van Stokrom manages volunteer members of six groups across the state and is keen to establish a new group servicing South Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.
We are addressing sustainability and we want people to fish responsibly, but its about breaking down that stigma that fishing is hard to get into it, she said.
You can keep fishing as simple or as technical as you like. Its an intergenerational activity and we want to get kids interested in fishing and their parents too.
Volunteers deliver fishing clinics and workshops to children about caring for the environment, present at community events, talking with anglers, marketing and working with students on projects.
Fishcare members will be at the upcoming Yarram Agricultural Show, spreading the word about fishing.
When the kids catch a fish for the first time, theyre so excited and thats very rewarding, Ms Van Stokrom said.
Fishcare aims to teach people about the impacts of litter and pest plants and animals on the environment, how to handle fish when they are caught, and promote the use of environmentally sustainable tackle such as non-lead sinkers and circle hooks that are easier to remove than conventional hooks.
Its generating that change in behaviour to the younger generations to ensure they treat the environment with respect, Ms Van Stokrom said.
She works with a state committee and her role takes her across Victoria, from south west Victoria to Ballarat, and Melbourne to East Gippsland.
Anyone interested in joining a new group in South Gippsland and Latrobe Valley can contact Ms Van Stokrom on 0437 672 242.
We want to get younger adults who are interested in fishing as well as the older group, she said.
Ms Van Stokrom flagged the prospect of a monthly family fishing day at Inverloch and Anderson Inlet, with a barbecue.
Training is provided to volunteers, covering such skills as fishing rules, running a workshop, first aid training and a Working with Children check.
We are trying to get funding for an underwater activity to create an underwater environment in a pool for children to identify rubber fish and see plastic bags and hooks and the threat to the environment, Ms Van Stokrom said.
Before joining Fishcare, Ms Van Stokrom worked with Bass Coast Landcare Network.
POLICE are seeking the publics help after a stolen car was set alight at West Creek near Wonthaggi on Sunday morning.
The gold Holden Commodore was stolen from Lilydale on Saturday and was found ablaze at 12.30am Sunday on West Creek Road.
CFA attended and extinguished the blaze. Surrounding grass was burnt. Bass Coast Criminal Investigation Unit is investigating.
Anyone with information can contact Detective Senior Constable Peter Johnston on 5671 4100 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
INVERLOCHS Ken Lay AO APM is the 14th Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria.
He was sworn in to the role last Thursday by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, at a ceremony at Government House, Melbourne.
Mr Lay has a distinguished career in public service, including as Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police from 2011 to 2015.
His professional achievements include establishing the Family Violence Command within Victoria Police, alongside his chairmanship of the Council of Australian Governments Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence Against Women and the Prime Ministers National Ice Taskforce.
This is a wonderful honour that I never thought possible. It has made both me and my family very proud, Mr Lay said.
I am looking forward to supporting Governor Linda Dessau in whatever way I can. She is a wonderful Victorian who has made a difference in so many different ways.
There have been some extraordinary men and women who have previously held the role as Victorias Lieutenant Governor. I feel very, very humble to now join that group of people.
The Governor appoints the Lieutenant-Governor under section 6A(2) of the Constitution Act 1975 on the advice of the Premier.
The Lieutenant-Governor assumes the administration of Victoria if:
Mr Lay replaces the Honourable Marilyn Warren AC, who has been Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria since April 2006 and has recently retired as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria the first woman to hold that office.
Premier Daniel Andrews said, Ken Lay is a highly respected and valued community leader in Victoria, with a deep commitment to improving peoples lives.
I know hell be an excellent Lieutenant-Governor and I look forward to continuing our positive working relationship as he takes on this new role.
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council will begin consultation for Amendment C90 to the South Gippsland Planning Scheme this week.
The amendment will improve the Planning Schemes guidance of development and land use over the next 20 to 30 years. The function, size and services of the South Gippslands settlements plus the capacity of the environment to sustain development have been taken into account.
The changes are based on the recommendations of the South Gippsland Housing and Settlement Strategy 2013.
People will have the opportunity to learn more about the amendment at the public sessions being held this November and December.
Councils strategic planning officer Fiona Mottram said it was vital people considered the scheme and had their say. Amendment C90 includes Settlement Framework Plans and Restructure Plans which determine where settlement growth would be encouraged or limited, she said.
Community feedback is vital for this process so that we understand the implications these changes to the planning scheme may have for some owners.
We encourage community members to get in contact with us if they require any more information and highly suggest they attend a one on one meeting at the upcoming public sessions.
For more information about Amendment C90, the public sessions and how to make a submission please visit www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au/C90. To book an appointment at one of the public sessions please contact the strategic planning team on 5662 9200 or email C90@southgippsland.vic.gov.au with your preferred session, time and contact details.
There has been much interest in birding circles lately concerning sightings of Scarlet Honeyeaters around Victoria in locations well outside their usual range. In our general area this stunning small bird has been seen in Yea and Seymour, but we are not as yet aware of any reports of the bird around the Flowerdale and 
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IndyWatch Goulburn Valley News Feed was generated at Seymour VIC IndyWatch.
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