Mine back on track
Stawell Gold Mine kept the town’s residents abreast of its latest operations with a community information session in Stawell’s Main Street last week.
A group from the mine provided information for curious passers-by with displays of core samples and gold from the mine, which officially re-opened last year after closing in 2016.
The mine had a ceremonial first gold pour since reopening in January.
The drop-in session followed the format of previous information sessions run by Stawell Gold Mine before its closure.
Stawell Gold Mine health, safety and environment manager David Coe said the session represented a good opportunity for people in the community to learn what was happening at the mine.
“It was a chance for anyone to come down and see what we’re doing and the plans of where we’re heading,” he said.
“It’s been about five months now since we started up again with our first gold pouring at the end of January.
“We’re interested to hear from people and provide some feedback about how everything is going.”
Mr Coe said the mine’s reopening had been a positive for the Stawell SIR, – Daniel Andrews succeeded last week in his plan to tear apart our CFA.
After years of war on our CFA volunteers, the Andrews Labor Government’s destructive CFA Bill passed the Legislative Council with support of Labor MPS, the Greens and the Animal Justice Party.
It will see the CFA stripped of its paid staff, which will be moved into the new Fire Rescue Victoria and seconded back to the CFA, with approval from a union-controlled board.
It is devastating news for local volunteers, with the union also being given a controlling stake in decisions on surge capacity, resourcing and budget allocations for the CFA.
It’s a dark day for our CFA volunteers and the regional communities they protect.
Our local CFA volunteers have been outspoken in their opposition to Daniel Andrews’ destructive plan, but still Labor went against what our community wanted.
By voting for this bill, Labor has sold out local volunteers and our community for a sweetheart pay back deal that destroys the CFA and delivers control of it to the union.
The Andrews Labor Government deliberately tied its divisive CFA Bill to a bill granting presumptive rights to firefighters who develop cancer as a result of their work. But although career firefighters will get it as a right, volunteers will have to prove they fought enough fires to be eligible – but that number’s yet to be defined. Volunteers must be treated fairly. I support presumptive rights for volunteer and career firefighters.
But twice, The Nationals introduced a standalone presumptive rights bill to Parliament and twice the Andrews Labor Government voted against it.
Daniel Andrews has trashed decades of tradition and volunteerism all to pay back his union mates.
Country communities will never forget community, bringing more jobs to the area.
“Generally people are quite happy with the amount of employment back in the town again,” he said.
“Most of our employees are locally based and we’ve been able to reemploy about 50 to 60 percent of the people that were here prior to the closure.”
Mr Coe said the mine’s gold explorations were ‘looking really positive’.
“All of the new eastern flank area is where we will move production to in the near term, and that’s coming up really well,” he said.
“It’s just a lot of capital development that’s required to access all those new areas.” what Daniel Andrews has done to the CFA and The Nationals will keep fighting to make sure our volunteers get a fair go and our communities are protected in times of emergency. Emma Kealy Member for Mallee
Bushfire museum plan
SIR, – I would like to invite readers of The Weekly Advertiser to have their say on a new bushfire museum and education centre to raise awareness of the history, stories and lessons of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, as well as other significant fires.
Bushfires have impacted every community at some time and Wimmera residents can be part of the planning of the new museum by participating in an online public consultation process which seeks input from bushfire-affected communities, as well as those involved in bushfire recovery, CFA volunteers and indigenous community.
The Bushfire Anniversary Advisory Group has recommended creating a bushfire museum with a reflective space to commemorate our past and educate generations into the future.
The consultation will seek community views on how a centre or program would function, possible locations if a permanent site was to be established, and what visitors would expect to see and learn.
Feedback gathered during the consultation process will help shape the next steps for the project, which is being led by Creative Victoria in consultation with groups including the CFA.
The Victorian Bushfire Centre public consultation is open until August 15 and details can be found at engage.vic.gov.au/ bushfire-centre-consultation.
We want to hear from all Victorians to help shape a new bushfire museum and education centre, because we want this to be a centre for everyone. Jaala Pulford Member for Western Victoria
CFA torn apart
SIR, – As the Member for Ripon, I know how much local communities depend on CFA volunteers who protect them.
Two weeks ago the Andrews Labor Government used their majority in the Legislative Assembly to rush through legislation to break the CFA apart, separating career and volunteer firefighters.
On Thursday night the Andrews Labor Government succeeded in getting its new fire services legislation to pass through the Legislative Council.
Having consulted with hundreds of local CFA volunteers and thousands of CFA supporters in the wider community, I know that in Ripon the plan to tear the CFA apart does not have community support.
None the less, one of our local Upper House Members of Parliament Andy Meddick, who was elected to represent voters in Western Victoria, was a key player in abandoning volunteer firefighters and supporting Labor’s bill.
To add insult to injury, the Animal Justice MP spent the lead up to Thursday night’s vote posing for photographs with his real mates, the United Firefighter’s Union. Thanks to Mr Meddick and Labor, all CFA staff, including vital brigade support staff, will now be transferred out of the CFA.
Volunteers will be left under-resourced and without access to the same cancer compensation as their paid counterparts.
Ripon has more than 90 all-volunteer brigades, and our firefighters must have access to the same resources and the same cancer compensation as career firefighters
As the Member for Ripon I joined with every one of my Liberal National Coalition colleagues in voting against this bill.
I will not give up on our CFA volunteers. I will continue to fight for the resources, recognition and protection they deserve. Louise Staley Member for Ripon