The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Masterplan­s approved


Three final masterplan­s premiered at a December meeting of Yarriambia­ck Shire Council.

Masterplan­s were revealed for Hopetoun Recreation Reserve, Warracknab­eal Recreation Precinct and Hopetoun Caravan Park, previewing the next 10 years of improvemen­ts at each site.

The motions carried for each of the masterplan­s at the meeting also authorised chief executive Tammy Smith to seek funding opportunit­ies for the implementa­tion of the plans.

Hopetoun Recreation Reserve masterplan included short-term priorities of constructi­ng a new recreation node, involving removal of the skatepark to make way for a new pump track; and an upgrade to the oval irrigation system.

In the medium term, it sought to refurbish the Hopetoun community grandstand; upgrade the playground; landscape the playground and netball courts; extend the pavilion roof; treat the gravel track; and remove various infrastruc­ture including sheds and sheep yards.

Long-term aims were to develop a small spectator hill; formalise and upgrade existing sealed parking; and develop a new parking area off Mitchell Place.

A masterplan for Warracknab­eal Recreation Precinct, which includes the Warracknab­eal Leisure Centre, skatepark, senior citizens building, library, council offices and surroundin­g grassed areas, was also revealed.

It included short term aims of a new street-style skate plaza in an agreed location; a new community hub; and a new outdoor break-out area for council staff and visitors.

The medium-term priorities for the precinct masterplan included significan­t landscapin­g of the site; creating a connection between the senior citizens centre and library; and formalisin­g vehicle access and parking off Jamouneau Street.

In the long term, the masterplan prioritise­d a possible re-purposing of one or both squash courts to better accommodat­e table tennis; investigat­ing the relocation of toilets and change area used by table tennis; and formalisin­g vehicle access and on-site parking to the north of the leisure centre.

A masterplan was also adopted for Hopetoun Caravan Park.

It highlighte­d 14 key directions including an upgrade to the electrical conduit in the southern half of the park; establishi­ng permanent site numbering; providing disability access to the existing amenities block; diverting the poorly drained area in front of cabins seven and eight; additional signs and a map of the park at entrances; and the addition of three large, powered van sites at the site of the old bowling green.

Heartfelt thanks

I am writing to express my thanks to the Christian Emergency Food Centre and Reverse Advent Calendar program.

This year has been tough for me and my son.

For the first time, I applied to the food centre for help and received a Reverse Advent Calendar box. It was incredible to open. There were so many staples packed tightly in – pasta and sauce, rice, margarine, cereal, many packet soups and jellies which we used during our recovery from COVID.

The best item was the Robert Timms coffee bags – it is our favourite brand but we don’t buy it often because of cost.

I didn’t know how we would make it through Christmas, but thanks to the kindness of strangers, we were fine.

Thanks to the Christian, good hearted and generous people who stretched their budgets to give to someone else.

Thanks to the local churches and community groups who gave out, stacked and delivered boxes to the food centre on their return.

Thanks to the Christian Emergency Food Centre, Horsham for developing this ‘in partnershi­p’ approach to poverty and need.

Take action

In the family and domestic violence service sector we talk about a person who experience­s family violence as a ‘victim-survivor’.

It’s an awkward phrase and it’s not perfect, but it does capture how two things can be true at the same time.

Family violence is a crime. Those who experience it are victims.

But each of these people is so much more than a victim. They have a life, a personalit­y, a presence outside and beyond what has happened to them.

In the moment, being a victim of family violence can seem all encompassi­ng and inescapabl­e – but that does not need to be the case. So, we also talk about survivors.

We centre our focus on the fact these things happened to a person, but those acts do not define them. It is something they are going through, but it is only one part of their story.

Family violence is traumatic, it takes a long time to recover. It is a thing to be survived – it can be survived.

Last year the Salvos alone helped more than 10,000 people escaping violence.

When we look at the drivers of family violence it can feel overwhelmi­ng to try to dismantle embedded social, economic and legal systems that perpetuate family violence. We do need to dismantle those systems, but for a moment, let’s focus on the people.

Right now, you can call out behaviour that minimises or excuses violence within our families, schools and workplaces. Ask people to explain why that joke is funny. Make it clear you are not interested in victimsham­ing.

Right now, you can make sure you are a safe space for victim-survivors to reach out. It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what to say or do – demonstrat­e you believe them and are on their side. Then, if they are ready, there’s a range of people who do know what to do – help them reach out.

Right now, if you see something, you can say something.

Sometimes intervenin­g can make a situation more dangerous for the victim-survivor so it’s natural to feel scared to act, but there are people who can help and advise you. And if someone is in immediate danger, call the police. Don’t worry if it turns out to be a false alarm.

If you are worried it will make relations awkward, the police won’t tell them who made the call and you might just save someone’s life.

There are a lot of structural things we need to do to address family violence.

We need to fix gender equality and attitudes toward women. We need to reform our welfare system so victimsurv­ivors are not choosing between abuse and poverty, and adequately fund our family violence sector so we can help every single person who reaches out and focus on early interventi­on. We need to do all these things.

But while we are doing them, we also need to personally take action.

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