Month: December 2018

Survey shows improvement

UNSEALED roads, footpaths, slashing and weed control have all raised the ire of Wellington shire residents.

Community communication, engagement and lobbying on behalf of the community are also areas Wellington Shire Council could improve, according to the shire’s annual community satisfaction survey.

The survey, undertaken every year by the State government’s Planning and Community Development Department, benchmarks council’s performance over time. This time 83 per cent of residents who participated in the survey believed council was heading in the right direction.

Mayor Peter Cleary said the results were a strong endorsement of council’s performance.

“In the four key performance areas of overall performance, advocacy, customer service, community consultation and engagement, Wellington Shire Council achieved rankings higher than the state average and higher than those in our peer group of large rural shires,” he said.

“We’re always very pleased with the results, but this year significantly so.

“Customer service was our highest key performance rating at 71, a tremendous reflection of the work that has been undertaken over the past 12 months to drive stronger customer focused outcomes across the organisation.

“Our customer service team is a highly talented team of professionals who deal with customer requests day in and day out.

“It can be an extremely rewarding and challenging role but one undertaken with considerable aplomb by our dedicated staff.”

Also noted as areas of high performance were the categories of recreational facilities, appearance of public areas, emergency and disaster management and art centres and libraries.

Cr Cleary said through the survey results, the community had suggested that council should increase its focus on unsealed roads, footpaths, slashing and weed control, community communication, engagement and lobbying on behalf of the community.

For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.

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Power ready for finals charge

GIPPSLAND Power will play the Dandenong Stingrays in a TAC Cup qualifying final on Saturdayfrom 2.30pm at Visy Park in Melbourne.

The Power finished the home and away season in second place, missing out on top spot on percentage, after a final round win over the Northern Knights at Moe last Saturday.

On paper the Power seemingly had little to worry about as the Knights had only won three games during the year, however they proved to be very difficult opposition given the conditions and with the inclusion of several key players.

Josh Cashman, Jack Leslie and Shane Jamieson returned to the Power side, while skilful Bairnsdale youngster Derek Hayes made his TAC Cup debut after being held back by injury earlier in the season.

Despite having more scoring opportunities, the Power only led by two goals at half-time. It appeared as if the Power was content to put the ball anywhere inside the forward 50 rather than use it intelligently and to the side’s advantage.

Coach Nick Stevens read the riot act to the boys during the main break and was particularly disappointed with their accountability and willingness to follow the most basic elements of the team’s game plan.

It appeared as if they hadn’t got the stern message early in the third term as they again wasted several possible scoring opportunities with bad skills and finishing. By the last change they were only nine points up after again dominating the forward 50 entries.

Just to illustrate the Power’s wastefulness, the Knights scored two easy goals after capitalising on more poor manning up by the Power.

Some good work under pressure by Ben Kearns saw a much-needed reply by Matt Northe, before Northe combined with Nick Graham to see Hayes take advantage of a lucky bounce to put the Power back on track.

Anthony Tipungwuti created a chance for a clever snap by Will Hams and it seemed as if the Power were finally upping the ante.

Another defensive mistake by the Power allowed the Knights to get back within a kick and it was game on. Good work by Northe and Leslie gave the ball to Daniel Jackson who goaled and seemingly put the issue finally beyond doubt.

In the final moments the Knights kicked another but the Power held on well to emerge an unconvincing winner by two points, 9.10 (64) to 8.14 (62).

Tough Sale on-baller Shannen Lange was one of the few Power players who could hold his head high after another superb display of hard-nosed and creative work. He tackled with enormous intensity and put his body on the line over and over again to gather 30-plus possessions and played a crucial role in the side’s win.

Fellow on-baller Nick Graham matched Lange’s amazing statistics in yet another fine game.

Josh Cashman was given an important run-with role and did a fine job in minimising the impact of very dangerous opponents. He too worked very hard to restrict their impact as well as winning several important possessions himself.

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Spirited donations

OBERON’S community spirit received a big boost last week.

Community organisations that contribute to life in the townand district in various ways – from education to entertainment, and everythingin between – were presented with donations totalling $18,126 from OberonCouncil.

The presentations were made at the Robert (Bob) HooperCommunity Centre.

Groups that received funds were:

■Burraga Public School to support learning and Black Springs Public School, OberonHigh School, Oberon Public School, St Joseph’s Catholic School and O’ConnellPublic School to assist with costs for annual presentation nights.

■Burraga Public School and Burraga Bugs Playgroup for the activities and operationof the Burraga Bugs Playgroup facility.

■Telstra Child Flight to contribute to its emergency care transportation.

■Lifeline Central West, an incorporated charity providing a 24 hour crisistelephone counselling service in Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo, for itsmuch-needed telephone counsellor training. Lifeline Central West received47,000 calls for assistance last year.

■The Oberon Men’sShed to assist with the day-to-day expenses in running the facility, includinginsurance and rental fees.

■Oberon Show Society (through president Lyn Butterfield) for the annual Miss ShowgirlCompetition, which will be held at the Oberon Show in February 2013.

■X-sight Youth Group, co-ordinated by PastorAndrew Godden, to help fund the X-sight Youth Talent Show.

■The Country Women’s Association of NSW to assistwith its public speaking contest.

■Bathurst PCYC to assist with running two PCYC Blue Light Discos for the youthof Oberon.

■The Central Tablelands Industry Links groupfor work placement programs and TAFE qualifications for students.

■The Highland Steam and Vintage Fair (in-kinddonation) towards the running of the annual event.

■Life Education NSW to assist with a new Life Education Program vehicle whenvisiting schools in the Oberon area.

■Oberon Junior Rugby League and Oberon JuniorHockey Club for their annual presentation days, and Oberon Tigers Rugby LeagueClub for a fencing upgrade.

■Western Region Academy of Sport for the academy’s operational costs.

Recipients and attendees enjoyed afternoon tea andrefreshments at the community centre after the presentations.

FUNDS: Members of some of the community groups to receive a donation.

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Every Dog has its Day: Jim’s best friend

“NOW you’ve worked like a dog, you’ll know where to place one.”

Trawalla manager Jim Gaylard was taught that lesson soon after he’d left school about 20 years ago.

“I went up north to be a jackarooand I asked to bring my dog up but boss told me I couldn’t,” Mr Gaylard said.

“After six months he finally said, ‘Lad, you can go and get your dog now’, so I had the weekend off and went home to pick up my dog.

“I asked him later on why I wasn’t allowed a dog and he said to me, ‘now you’ve worked like a dog, you’ll know where to place one’.”

He taught me a lifelong lesson in handling stock and handling dogs, and making sure that I was in the right position and making sure my dogs are always in the right position and that’s stuck with me forever.

“I try and instil that same values into the boys that work here not so much they can’t have a dog when they start out, that you need to stand in the right spot and you need to put your dog in the right spot, otherwise stock just don’t work and they don’t flow.”

Mr Gaylard has three working dogs; Joker who’s six, Dot, nine, and Dusty who’s about three-and-a-half.

“Joker is an all-rounder. She has a beautiful cast and cleans up paddocks really well,” he said.

“But I can put her in the yards as well.

“Dot is the one I pull out when all is going wrong. She’s a bit crazy.

“She doesn’t have great stamina, but she’s very forceful. She’s great for loading trucks and she loves getting in and unloading trucks.

“I’ve got Dusty on loan at the moment. He’ll bark and bark and work all day.

“He’s got massive amounts of stamina.”

Mr Gaylard recently lost one of his star performing dogs.

“I just lost a dog, Chance. I bought him as a two-year-old and when he died he was about 12,” he said.

“The guys around here used to call him the general manager as he got older.

“He didn’t do as much work then, but every so often he’d wander up from the house to the yards to see what was happening during the day.

“He’d go into the yards and bark for a bit and push sheep up and then wander home.”

My Gaylard is unable to work with stock and with his dogs like he used to.

“My role as manager is changing. I’ve got to make room for the younger guys to come through,” he said.

“So I’m stepping more out of the paddock and into the office.

“It saddens me to see the dogs often tied up on chains and not in the paddock.

“But I’ve made the decision to start winding down for now.”

Mr Gaylard has learnt many of his ethics working dogs and stock from his time working as a jackaroo.

“You hear people revving their motorbikes and all of that type of thing to move stock,” he said.

“We were working in total silence.”

To Mr Gaylard, dogsaren’t just for working.

“Animals like that are closer than your best friend, they are your best friend really,” he said.

“You know so much about them and they know so much about you.

“There are guys who like working with tractors, there are guys who like working with tools, there are guys who like working with bikes.

“There are guys who like working with stock and it just so happens that is the category that I fall into and it’s (my dogs) that have helped keep that interest alive for me.”

Jim Gaylard with his working dog Joker. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD.

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SEABL: Raiders start with a win

Good start: Knox Raiders guard Mick Hill was glad his side got a win over Dandenong on Saturday night. Picture: Gary SissonsTYPICAL first game – that was how Knox Raiders guard Mick Hill described his side’s season-opening 88-76 win over Dandenong Rangers at Knox Stadium on Saturday night as the South East Australian Basketball League tipped off for 2012.

Despite committing a torturous 36 turnovers, the Raiders still clung to the lead for all but two minutes of the game, powered by a 15-point first quarter from star import CJ Massingale (28 points but 12 turnovers) and a 51-40 rebound advantage.

The Raiders have fielded a much younger side this season so veterans like Massingale, Hill, Lester Strong (19 points, 15 rebounds) and John Philip (13 points, 13 rebounds) have been called on to take the majority of the minutes and scoring responsibility – which they did.

The Rangers fought back from 25 points down and got within single figures in the final term before Hill and Massingale put together a run of points to seal the win. Hill said his side should have put the Rangers away earlier in the final term.

“If we had made our shots then they wouldn’t have got as close,” he said. “We missed a lot of easy shots but in the end we know our guys can score points when we need them.”

Hill also commended Massingale and Philip for their efforts. “We knew CJ was going to come out and shoot the ball tonight so I wasn’t surprised about his start,” he said.

”This group has been together for five years or so now so we know how each other plays. This year more young guys are going to get the chance and I’m confident they can do the job for us.”

■ Two-time Dandenong Rangers women’s SEABL championship coach Larissa Anderson has given Knox Raiders a compliment following the Raiders’ 69-60 win over the Rangers on Saturday night.

With locally trained talent such as Sam Donald and Shanae Greaves elevated to higher roles this season, Anderson said the Raiders reminded her of the Rangers before they won their two championships.

“Their side is a lot like our girls were in that they are young players being given more court time,” she said.

Lesser-known Raiders such as Cassie Smith (10 points) and Odette Andrew complemented star signing Kelly Wilson (18 points, 13 rebounds) although Wilson suffered a severe cut under her eye after colliding with Rangers forward Alison Downie late in the game.

The Raiders sent Wilson for a scan to check she hadn’t damaged her facial bones.

Raiders coach Cheryl Chambers commended her players for their efforts. She also praised the fast-paced play of her side.

“We are going to have to play like that this year and take advantage of our speed,” she said.

Both Raiders teams visit Canberra Gunners this Saturday night with the Raiders women facing Canberra at 5.30pm and the two men’s sides playing at 7.30pm.