THE YEAR THAT WAS

It was an­other busy year in news. We’ve brought you the highs and lows of 2018. From all of us at the Great South­ern Her­ald we wish you a merry Christ­mas and happy New Year.

Great Southern Herald - - Front Page -

It was an­other event­ful year in news in Katan­ning and sur­rounds. The sig­nif­i­cant changes to op­er­a­tions at the his­toric Katan­ning Co-Op dom­i­nated head­lines for much of the year while the tur­moil sur­round­ing live ex­port also hit the re­gion. The open­ing of the re­stored Katan­ning Flour Mill as a Dome cafe and ho­tel was a ma­jor boost for the town, draw­ing tourists from across WA. Deaths con­tin­ued on lo­cal roads across the Great South­ern, while lo­cal sports stars con­tin­ued to im­press lo­cally and na­tion­ally. Here is the year that was in 2018 . . .

JAN­UARY

A group of chil­dren da­m­aged Tam­bellup Pri­mary School be­fore van­dal­is­ing a nearby home be­cause they were bored.

The Shire of Dum­b­leyung fought to save its two bus runs af­ter the State Gov­ern­ment can­celled one of its bus routes.

FEB­RU­ARY

Gnowangerup farm­ers suf­fered stock losses, with thieves steal­ing more than 300 sheep. A man was killed in a fiery crash in Con­roy Street, which left the com­mu­nity in shock.

MARCH

Katan­ning play­group faced clo­sure in De­cem­ber, how­ever af­ter a sum­mer of com­mu­nity cam­paign­ing, the group re­cruited 10 new mem­bers to save the play­group.

Gnowangerup’s only re­main­ing bank shut its doors in April, but the Shire said there was po­ten­tial for a Bendigo Com­mu­nity Bank to re­place the old bank.

APRIL

O’Con­nor MP Rick Wil­son and Mem­ber for Roe Peter Run­dle’s of­fices in Nar­ro­gin were graf­fi­tied af­ter re­ject­ing calls in Par­lia­ment to ban live ex­ports.

The WA Gov­ern­ment passed his­toric changes, re­mov­ing the three-year statute of lim­i­ta­tions that pre­vented Katan­ning child abuse sur­vivor Todd Jef­fries to seek le­gal ac­tion against pae­dophile Den­nis McKenna, who abused him at St An­drew’s Hos­tel.

MAY

An en­gaged cou­ple from Wa­gin were ac­cused of at­tack­ing two coun­try po­lice of­fi­cers dur­ing a traf­fic stop, caus­ing them cuts and bruises that needed hos­pi­tal treat­ment.

In­ves­ti­ga­tion into his­toric sex­ual as­saults in the re­gion by the Great South­ern Her­ald re­vealed a rise in sex as­sault charges in the re­gion.

JUNE

The State Gov­ern­ment has re­quested the Shire of Katan­ning to re­turn $278,000 in­ter­est ac­crued on the scrapped Su­per Town fund, which has been put to­wards build­ing a new ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing.

Farm­ers were left count­ing the cost as live ex­port dra­mas with Emanuel Ex­ports con­tin­ued to rumble the sheep in­dus­try.

JULY

State Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan was booed and heck­led by al­most 1000 farm­ers at a live ex­port rally in Katan­ning af­ter telling pro­duc­ers a “plan B” needed to be found to deal with a po­ten­tial live ex­port ban.

Af­ter six years of plan­ning and ren­o­va­tion, the 127-year-old Katan­ning flour mill was trans­formed into a 22-room bou­tique ho­tel and was of­fi­cially opened.

AU­GUST

Katan­ning BKW Co-op an­nounced its de­ci­sion to en­ter into ad­min­is­tra­tion af­ter op­er­at­ing in town for more than 98 years.

Close to a fifth of all res­i­dents in Katan­ning do not have ac­cess to the in­ter­net, ac­cord­ing to re­cently pub­lished re­search by Bankwest Curtin Eco­nom­ics Cen­tre.

SEPTEM­BER

De­spite com­mu­nity ef­forts to save its coop, Katan­ning BKW Co-op­er­a­tive shut its doors for the last time af­ter its liq­uida­tors re­jected an of­fer from a lo­cal buyer to keep the busi­ness op­er­at­ing.

A spike in car break-ins in Katan­ning prompts a po­lice plea to re­mind res­i­dents to make sure no valu­ables are left in their ve­hi­cles.

OC­TO­BER

Katan­ning records its low­est Septem­ber rain­fall on record, with just 12mm recorded and grow­ers cross­ing their fingers the heav­ens open up.

A Katan­ning fam­ily have been left heart­bro­ken af­ter a fire started by a can­dle be­lieved to have shat­tered from the heat, de­stroyed their home.

NOVEM­BER

St John Am­bu­lance opened the doors at its ren­o­vated Katan­ning sub cen­tre.

The roller­coaster ride to save the 98year-old Katan­ning Co-op­er­a­tive shop has taken an­other loop, with the shop ex­pected to re­open its doors next year af­ter a lo­cal buyer pur­chased the store.

DE­CEM­BER

O’Con­nor MP Rick Wil­son made an im­pas­sioned plea to Fed­eral politi­cians to visit Katan­ning and see first­hand how cru­cial the live ex­port in­dus­try was to its econ­omy. Katan­ning Re­gional Hos­pi­tal’s ca­pac­ity to meet com­mu­nity de­mand was ques­tioned in Par­lia­ment as Mem­ber for Roe Peter Run­dle asked Min­is­ter for Health Roger Cook if he was aware of the lack of GPs and doc­tors in Katan­ning hos­pi­tal emer­gency depart­ment.

Aus­tralia’s Penny Squibb warm­ing up with Hock­ey­roos team­mates against Ar­gentina at the Hockey Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy in China. Pic­ture: Ro­drigo Jaramillo

The speed limit on Clive Street was re­duced to 40km/h.

Katan­ning Co-op new owner Adrian Richard­son.

The Katan­ning flour mill. Pic­ture: State Li­brary of WA

Katan­ning Men’s Shed mem­bers Alex Steven­son and Ge­off Flack with a World War I field gun they re­stored.

St John Am­bu­lance Katan­ning mem­bers at the re­fur­bished sub branch.

Fun at the Katan­ning Agri­cul­tural Show.

Katan­ning Pre­mier Mill Ho­tel ex­ec­u­tive chef Chris Black with kitchen man­ager Ravesh Ram­roop. Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

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