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Over the fence – news and gossip

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Commonwealth Games equipment on offer

Many hundreds of pieces of Commonwealth Games sporting equipment used during the Games are being gifted to the Victorian community. The equipment available includes swimming pool fittings, netball bibs, basketball backboards, bowls equipment, hurdles and mats.
The Nationals Member for Benalla, Bill Sykes, would like to make all sporting and recreation groups in the Benalla Electorate aware that an expression of interest can be made directly to the Department of Victorian Communities (DVC) via email for the Commonwealth Games equipment.
Dr Sykes said, “I have been informed that equipment will be distributed through sporting associations such as those who participated in the Games including Athletics Victoria, Swimming Victoria and Basketball Victoria. Other sporting groups and associations will also be able to apply”.
“I encourage all groups to email James Morrissey, DVC with their expression of interest to acquire Commonwealth Games equipment as well as writing to their governing sporting association for support of their application.”

Contact Mr James Morrissey
Department of Victorian Communities
Freecall 1300 366 356

Collecting firewood

The summer is over and it is time to collect some firewood so I called into the Whitfield Parks Victoria/DSE/DPI Office to get information on obtaining a firewood permit.
They knew nothing. I was directed to the Whitfield General Store. They sold the permits but had no idea where the firewood collection area was. They made enquiries and eventually provided me with a faxed map of the area and a contact number at Beechworth. As the map was blotchy, I called the contact, Coleen Kindris, seeking an email or posted version. With no response – and a week later – I took an exploratory drive to try and find the firewood collection area.
As I entered the Black Range state forest, there was a sign pointing towards the firewood collection area. At the Gold Mine Ridge Track there was another. A few kilometres along this track and the going got tough. It became a four wheel drive track with steep inclines and ditches that a two wheel drive domestic car could not negotiate. If I had a four wheel drive that could negotiate that track, I certainly wouldn’t be needing a firewood collection permit! It was time for a strategic withdrawal.
I phoned Colleen Kindris at Beechworth seeking further instruction. She advised that she had never been to the area and connected me through to Stephen Deed at Myrtleford, whom she had asked to email me that map a week ago. Having not received that map, I was not surprised to find that Stephen was not there so I left a message on his answering machine.
I will keep you informed on my progress …

Cyclist in hay bale is looking tired
The cyclist in the hay bale has been alongside the Whitfield Road outside the Gracebrook Cellar Door for about 18 months. It is quite famous in the area and has been a feature photo on The KIng Valley Portal website.
Sadly, the hay is rotting away and the bale has been tipped on it’s end. With his gumboots now spaced about five fdeet apart, the poor cyclist must be feeling the pain. Let us hope he doesn’t dissapear completely. (Click photo for enlargement)


Landholders wishing to control rabbits should try using 1080 treated oats.

That’s the advice of Dr Bill Sykes, Nationals Member for Benalla, after he joined Strathbogie Range landholders at a rabbit control field day at Gooram near Euroa last week. The field day was organised by The Granite Creek Project Inc through Sarah Challis, Facilitator and Neil Devanny, Chairperson.

Dr Sykes said that he attended the field day to learn first hand about using 1080 treated oats following the furore amongst landholders when the Department of Primary Industry (DPI) withdrew 1080 treated carrots in association with cutting eight DPI pest and weed control staff in north east Victoria.

Dr Sykes said that 1080 treated oats had been used successfully in Western Australia and South Australia to control rabbits.
For best results the following practices need to be applied.

  • There needs to be a coordinated area approach with 1080 treated oats being used in conjunction with the ripping of rabbit warrens.
  • The 1080 treated oats need to be laid in a prepared furrow with the feeding of poisoned oats being preceded by 2-3 “free” feeds with normal oats.
  • Good quality oats should be used.
Dr Sykes also encouraged landholders to use rabbit control contractors as they could do the job professionally giving the best chance of good results.

Whilst it’s getting a little late to put out 1080 treated oats this year, expert advice is that if rabbits are a problem it is still worth doing.

IGA on track for April 12 sign off

It is looking increasingly likely that the draft intergovernmental agreement on cost shifting will be approved by federal, state and local government representatives in Canberra on April 12. A special meeting of the Local Government and Planning Ministerial Council has been called to consider – and possibly approve – a final draft. The draft document was developed in response to recommendations of David Hawker’s Fair Share report on cost shifting. It has been with state and federal government agencies since late last year. The draft was considered by the ALGA Board last month. ALGA President, Cr Paul Bell, said ALGA had sought a document that counters cost shifting by improving the way the three spheres of government relate to each other. “In particular, we want a set of principles guiding the allocation of roles and responsibilities in relation to services and functions and how services are funded and delivered at the local level,” he said. “Essentially, we want the IGA to secure fair treatment for local government, nothing more, nothing less.”

Bulldogs membership winners announced

Luke Saville from Euroa, Ian Davies from Benalla and Alan Cole from Winton have each won a free Western Bulldogs Membership for season 2006.
The Nationals Member for Benalla, Bill Sykes, announced the winners today
and will present the memberships in the coming days.

The Western Bulldogs donated the two club memberships and Dr Sykes donated one membership to constituents as part of a goodwill gesture to commemorate the Chinese Year of the Dog and to encourage support for the Bulldogs.

If you hear any news or gossip over the fence, you can tell the watchdog by clicking here to email the information through. Your name is required but can be withheld upon request. Readers articles and community group/club news will also be published so hit the keyboard and submit your story


Written by Greg Naylor

31 March 2006 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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