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Winter 2018

Orbost Connect is a quarterly newsletter from East Gippsland Shire Council.

Our aim is to produce a regular newsletter that provides residents with accurate information about your place in East Gippsland. This newsletter will feature information about upcoming events, activities, projects and programs planned for Orbost District.

The Orbost District comprises of the following localities: Orbost, Newmerella, Marlo, Bemm River, Cabbage Tree Creek, Jarrahmond, Brodribb River, Corringle, Lochend, Simpsons Creek, Bete Bolong, Bete Bolong North, Waygara, Bellbird Creek, Cape Conran, Manorina, Yalmy, Sardine Creek, Nurran, Murrungower, Tabbera and Sydenham Inlet.

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Council awards contract for streetscape project

J W Volk Pty Ltd was awarded the contract to complete Stage Two of the Orbost Streetscape upgrade at East Gippsland Shire Council’s June meeting.

The company also undertook Stage One, which was completed on time and on budget. The project involves upgrading the eastern side of Nicholson Street and follows the completion of the upgrade of the western side of the street in 2017.

It includes footpath reconstruction, construction of retaining walls, drainage and kerb works, new landscaping elements and new furniture. The design specifications for Stage Two used the amended planting design from Stage One, which had some changed plant species following concerns raised by some community members.

The contract awarded was worth $1,602,067, excluding GST. Council also approved the transfer of $600,000 from the 2018-19 Major Road Renewal budget. This means the project is fully-funded by council and can commence sooner than if council waited to seek funding from external sources.

Further information: Sophie Beasley, Strategic Project Planner

Boat ramp open at Brodribb

Construction of the upgraded Brodribb River boating facility was recently completed, in time for the busy summer season.

The upgraded boating facility will support recreational and tourism opportunities in the Marlo area. A major focus of the project is improved accessibility and safety for recreational boating and angling.

Council would like to acknowledge and thank Kevin and Peter Whelan from Tambo Constructions for the smooth and on time delivery of the project. We also want to thank the Marlo community for their input in to the planning and design of the new facilities, in particular the Marlo Ratepayers and Residents Association who played a leading role in the overall development of the new facilities.

A big thank you also goes to the Bemm River Angling Club who were instrumental in securing grant funding to convert the old PS Curlip mooring structure into an accessible fishing platform just downstream of the new boat ramp.

A new stainless-steel fish cleaning table will soon be installed on the fishing platform making it one of the best fishing platforms in the region. The combination of the new boat ramp and new fishing platform has transformed the Brodribb River site into a high quality recreational boating and angling destination.

Works are planned for improving the surface of the parking areas later this year.
The project was funded by the Victorian Government Boating Safety and Facilities grants program, and East Gippsland Shire Council.

Image credit: Tanya Coleman, Marlo Business and Tourism Association

Rural Council of Victoria Rural Summit

Council recently supported the participation of thirteen community members at the Rural Council of Victoria Rural Summit, held in Lakes Entrance.

Community members represented the Omeo District; Newlands Arm community; and Mountain Rivers, Cann River and Twin Rivers Districts.

This provided an opportunity for some community members involved in the current place and community plans to:
  • Access presentations around economic and social issues currently impacting their community;
  • Inform community members of the role of local government in their lives and other communities;
  • Gain an understanding of the broader governance issues facing the region now and into the future;
  • Share their ideas with each other and reflecting on the application of ideas to their communities;
  • Creating networks and contacts between communities; and
  • Sharing knowledge gained with their respective communities.

Council meeting in Orbost: July 3

The next Ordinary Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday July 3, 2018 at 1.00 pm in the Council Chamber, Orbost Service Centre, 1 Ruskin Street, Orbost. The meeting is open to the public.  Doors open at 12.40 pm.

The agenda is available from 1.00 pm on the Friday before the meeting from our Corporate and Service Centres or our website.

Requests to speak on agenda items for Ordinary Council meetings are welcome, as are written questions on any matter and presentations from organisations undertaking projects to support Council’s vision. Forms are required, and some restrictions apply.

Submission deadlines vary.  The forms and additional information is available from our website and the Corporate and Service Centres.

East Gippsland Shire Council live streams, records and publishes its meetings via webcasting to enhance the accessibility of its meetings to the broader East Gippsland community. These recordings are also archived and available for viewing by the public or used for publicity or information purposes. At the appropriate times during the meeting, any members of the gallery who are addressing the council will have their image, comments or submissions recorded.

Looking after the roads

Wherever you live in East Gippsland, you’re using services that we provide.

As your local Council, we provide over 100 services to over 40 individual communities across a geographic area that is equivalent to 10 per cent of the size of Victoria.

East Gippsland's road network includes:
  • 2,898 km of formed roads - 1,157 km are sealed);
  • 203 road bridges;
  • 27 footbridges;
  • 223 km of footpaths; and
  • 8,452 culverts - including 129 major culverts.
We’re currently sealing many roads across Orbost and District including:
  • Forest Road and Stirling Street, Orbost;
  • Jorgensen Street, Marlo;
  • The area in front of the CFA building at Trevaskis Road, Wairewa;
  • Willis Road, Tubbut;
  • Ambyne Road, Deddick Valley; and
  • Range Road, Bonang.
Further information: Danny Thorpe, Senior Area Supervisor Orbost

10-12 Clarke Street, Orbost Reticulated Gas Daughter Station

The reticulated gas daughter station at 10-12 Clarke Street was approved by VCAT Order following the March 15 and 16 Hearing.

Pre-development conditions in relation to confirmation of access arrangements, drainage design, and construction management have been satisfied and endorsed by East Gippsland Shire Council who is the Responsible Authority.

Enwave is the regional Victoria network gas provider and held a community consultation session June 13, 2018 which was a condition of the endorsed construction management plan. Further notice in local media and via a letterbox drop to Clarke Street residents will occur once a commencement dated is determined.

Council suggests that community concerns, in the first instance, be directed to the Site Supervisor engaged by Enwave. If the concerns are not resolved, please contact council.

Further information: Robert Pringle, Acting Senior Statutory Planner  

East Gippsland Shire Solar Bulk Buy

East Gippsland residents and businesses can take advantage of bulk buying rates for solar technology through a new initiative launched Thursday June 7.

The East Gippsland Shire Solar Bulk Buy program will run for 12 months and aims to increase the availability of solar in the region. In addition, for every system sold, a percentage will be donated to install solar on a local community facility.

The program was launched at The Hub in Dalmahoy Street, Bairnsdale, which also doubled as an information session for people interested in learning more about the program. Additional information sessions will be held in Lakes Entrance, Orbost, and Omeo in June and July.

A session specifically for the business community will be held in Bairnsdale; however, business owners are welcome to attend their nearest session. A bulk buy offers discounted prices for respected solar brands, due to the volume of sales. Yarra Energy Foundation will co-ordinate the rooftop solar installation, making it cheaper and more accessible to the community.

A council requirement is to use local installers to install systems sold through the program. Solar energy has been recognised as an important way of reducing the impact of power prices while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Both are key council objectives.
Details of the two-hour information sessions are:
  • Orbost: Thursday July 5, from 5pm at Orbost Service Centre, 1 Ruskin Street
  • Omeo: Tuesday July 17, from 5pm at Old Soldiers Memorial Hall, 179 Day Street
  • Business session: Wednesday July 18, from 5pm at Bairnsdale Library, 22 Service Street
At the information sessions, Yarra Energy Foundation and Jim’s Energy will give an overview of solar panels along with commercial and home battery systems available for purchase. They will answer questions on the available options.

For more information visit the East Gippsland Shire Solar Bulk Buy program website or phone 1300 866 634.

Further information: Wayne Burton, Sustainability Project Planner

Deep Winter Festival: June 29 to July 1, 2018

Let the wild rumpus begin and come celebrate the dark.

The Deep Winter Festival will be held in Orbost from June 29 to July 1, 2018 and is the brain child of Sailors Grave Brewing. This new event festival will attract craft beer enthusiasts from around Gippsland, as well as Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, where the Sailors Grave offering has built a strong following.

It will also give festival-goers the chance to explore the historic town of Orbost and its surrounds.

The festival in its first year will include a long-table degustation dinner, brewing workshops, a food and beer pairing dinner and a Sunday session all built around Sailors Grave’s unique range of beers and featuring the best of Gippsland artisanal producers and a botanical art installation by Natasha Morgan.

Bookings can be made here.

Further information: Jeanette Seignior, Events Officer

Council community grants now open!

The Council grants opened on Wednesday June 6 and all applications need to be submitted by Wednesday August 1, 2018.

Program staff will be holding Grants Information Sessions across East Gippsland to assist applicants by walking through the application process, advise on how to best frame your project ideas and answer any questions. Or you can learn more about the program here.

Further information: Kathryn Macdonald, Acting Community Development Coordinator

Significant Sporting Events Program

The significant sporting events program provides funding to support local event organisers, sporting associations, sporting venues and local councils to deliver sporting events that are national or international focus, or have regional significance and are recognised by a relevant sporting body.

Further information: Sport and Recreation Victoria website

Our Commitment to Reconciliation

Council launched its cultural awareness film on May 29 to coincide with National Reconciliation Week and received a Highly Commended award in the HART Awards (Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together) on June 1.

Titled ‘Our Commitment to Reconciliation’, the film aims to help council staff and the wider community better understand the history and culture of local Aboriginal people and their communities. The film will be shown as part of the induction process for new council staff, with the idea for the film stemming from council’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

The Aboriginal community within East Gippsland is about three per cent of the population. Council identified the importance of increasing our knowledge of this sector of our community. Councillors and all staff completed cultural awareness training a couple of years ago. This training was fantastic, but we wanted a way to be able to share this information with new staff on an as-needs basis. This film allows us to do that.

The original training sessions included a presentation by Aunty Dr Doris Paton followed by a visit to the Krowathunkooloong Keeping Place with facility manager Rob Hudson. Both have been involved in the making of the film.

Both the original training and this new film cover some history of Aboriginal people, both pre-dating European settlement and in more recent times, Aboriginal people’s customs and the importance of Country, as well as the importance of family and the role Elders play.

The launch included a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony undertaken by Wayne Thorpe through the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC). Council has worked with local organisations Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-operative (GEGAC) and GLaWAC to develop the film.

The film has been deliberately produced in a way that allows it to be customised to other businesses, meaning more organisations can include cultural awareness training for their staff in a cost-effective way. We already have several large East Gippsland employers looking to adapt this film for their organisations.

You can watch the video on our YouTube channel.

To find out more about council's Reconciliation Action Plan and local Aboriginal organisations, visit the Koorie Community page.

East Gippsland NDIS Readiness Project

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers. The NDIS will become available in the Outer Gippsland area from January 1, 2019.

The Outer Gippsland area covers the local government areas of East Gippsland and Wellington. It’s important to understand how the NDIS works and whether you are eligible to participate. If you are, you will develop a plan with the NDIS to help you access the supports you need.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the independent Commonwealth government agency responsible for implementing the NDIS. To support participants and families transition to the NDIS, Rural Access will run training throughout East Gippsland and will continue to provide up-to-date information on the council website.

Further information: Rebecca Pantry, Rural Access Project Officer

National Tree Day: July 27 and 29, 2018

Planet Ark and dedicated volunteers have planted more than 24 million trees across Australia. This year, they need your help to plant a million more. Landcare groups are keen to connect with schools as soon as possible.

If you already have a connection with a Landcare group please let them know you are keen to participate in a National Tree Day activity this year: Schools Tree Day Friday 27 July and National Tree Day 29 July.

Further information: Visit or phone 1300 88 5000

Silage Wrap Recycling Trial

East Gippsland and Wellington Shire Councils will offer silage wrap recycling during a four week trial from Monday July 16 to Monday August 13 2018.

The drop-off point in East Gippsland is the Bairnsdale landfill at 200 Johnstons Road, Forge Creek. The cost is $11 per bulka bag.

Please separate silage wrap, which can be recycled, from net wrap, which cannot be recycled. Farmers are encouraged to use this service to dispose of their wrap.

Further information: Download a flyer

Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants

The Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants of up to $5,000 each (excl GST) are now available. They are open to Victorian schools, kindergartens, childcare centres, Scouts, Guides, and youth groups.

Projects need to focus on:
  • Improving biodiversity (develop, improve or restore) habitat for Victoria’s native flora and fauna.
  • Educate, involve, and engage young people in valuing and caring for Victoria’s natural environment.
Projects can be direct-action (with an on-ground component), indirect action (with an education component), or a mix of both.

Applications close Friday July 20, 2018.

Further information: Landcare website

East Gippsland Age-friendly Ambassador Program

Did you know that 40% of East Gippsland residents will be aged 60 years or over by 2020?

Through the Age-friendly Communities Project, an East Gippsland Age-friendly Ambassador Program has been developed. The aim is for older adults to become community leaders that drive the outcomes identified in the Age-friendly Communities Strategy.

The Age-friendly Communities Strategy focuses on nine domains that assess a community’s age-friendliness. The domains are:
  • Housing;
  • Social participation;
  • Respect and social inclusion;
  • Civic participation and employment opportunities;
  • Communication and information;
  • Community support and health services;
  • Outdoor spaces and buildings;
  • Economic opportunities; and
  • Transportation.
The Ambassadors are a group of older community representatives that will work together to develop, promote and advance age-friendly initiatives in the local community. The group currently comprises of seven members of the community from across East Gippsland Shire.

The Age-Friendly Ambassadors have participated in an induction session as well as a full day workshop around age-friendly communities, facilitated by Dr Kathleen Brasher. Dr Brasher provides advice to state and local governments and other organisations across Australia and internationally on the creation of age-friendly environments.

The Age-Friendly Ambassadors are working to develop the Terms of Reference for the program and will establish action groups. These action groups will provide opportunity for the Ambassadors to work collaboratively on specific issues and projects. 

Through the Age-Friendly Ambassador Program, council will on an annual basis, support the Ambassadors to identify key priorities to address from the East Gippsland Age-friendly Communities Strategy 2017-2030:  Ageing Well in East Gippsland.

If you’re interested in more information about the Age-friendly Ambassador Program, please contact us.

Further information: Jo Ellison, Age-friendly Communities Project Officer

ResourceSmart Schools

Energy Champion Challenge
An Energy Champion Challenge is open to all Victorian schools. By saving electricity there’s a chance to win $5,000. ResourceSmart Schools can use assistance from the ResourceSmart Facilitator to help apply.

Further information: Sustainability Victoria website

Pollinator pics for Landcare Calendar

The East Gippsland Regional Landcare Calendar 2019 will have the theme of Pollinators - bees, birds and bats and more. Get out your camera, or dust off some existing pics and send them in.

Photographs need to be landscape, electronic and a min 300 dpi.

Please provide: details of who took the picture; where it was taken; details about it; and if you’re from a Landcare Group, which one.
Closing date for photos is September 30, 2018.

Further information and email your contributions to Far East Landcare Facilitator:

Interesting App

Victoria Field Guide App
Explore Victoria's unique and diverse wildlife at home or in the great outdoors with Museums Victoria’s free Field Guide app. It includes sounds to help you identify different native species. Download here.

Did you know? 

The average family car travels about 15,000 kilometres a year and generates about 4.3 tonnes of pollution. By walking and saving a litre of petrol, you’ll also save 2.3 kilograms of CO2.

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