Mine back on track

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY COLIN MACGIL­LIVRAY

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.

CFA de­stroyed

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

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