Wednesday, May 31, 2023



Stop horsing about, AEMO

Dear Sir, Despite AEMO’s best efforts to tick the box and grant a submission extension period, that hidden in the fine print was the extension was only for VFF members, AEMO closed their submission on the 5.4.2023 and then gave a selective extension of 13 days.

Beanies may be a life changer

This is the ninth consecutive year of the FightMND movement, and for this year, for teacher Kim Griffiths and the Year 12 Donald High School girls, it’s personal. Tony Goode was a vital part of the heart of the school. For this year, as it was last year, the funds raised from the FightMND beanies and socks will be in honour of him. 

Council appalled as transmission line steamrolls over community concerns

Northern Grampians Shire Council is appalled that widespread community opposition has had no material impact on Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) final recommended alignment for the controversial VNI West power transmission project ... “Landowners need clear and concise answers to the questions they have asked and not simply to refer them to some other arrangement as a reference to how it might work here": Mayor, Cr Kevin Erwin.

Failed power plan forced onto farming communities: VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has slammed the Andrews Government’s decision to steamroll ahead with transmission developments in Western Victoria following the announcement of a new corridor for the proposed VNI-West project. VFF President Emma Germano said Victoria’s Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio is using extreme powers to come over the top of farming communities and force transmission towers to be built on their land.

Taking action to deliver critical energy infastructure: D’Ambrosio

Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio confirmed that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) can progress the critical VNI-West project, which will better connect the Victoria and NSW energy grids ... A Ministerial Order has been implemented to progress AEMO’s preferred option, which connects VNI West to the planned Western Renewables Link (WRL) at a terminal station at Bulgana in Victoria’s west, then linking to a terminal station near Kerang in north central Victoria, before crossing the Murray River north of Kerang.

End of native forestry – Victorian Government fails to see the forest for the trees: Timber Towns

The State Government’s decision earlier this week to end the native forestry industry effective January 2024 came as a shock to the whole sector, clearly with zero consultation with any forestry industry representatives. Timber Towns Victoria calls the decision ‘reckless’ and ‘irresponsible’, condemning the decision.

It’s that lovely time of year when the foals come out to play

Autumn is the time of year that breeders start bringing in the foals born last season and assessing the development of those from the previous year. Foal shows provide an opportunity to not only give the youngsters some ring experience, but for the humans to meet up and have a natter as well.

Strong woman’s answer to youth crime

There are three things we need to solve the juvenile crime problem: It’s not $250m, not more cops, not more talk. It’s families, families and more families – functioning ones. The film Audrey Napanangka playing in Alice Springs this week is about a woman in her seventies who demonstrates this, and doesn’t take no for an answer.

Speedway to success

Not every teenager has something in common with their parent, but young Maldon local Anthony Hanson shares a passion for speedway racing with his dad, Marc. Now, after 23 years of racing himself, Marc is stepping aside to support 17-year-old Anthony pursue his dream to become a professional racer.

Down the middle?

On Wednesday thirteen ladies contested the second round of the Donald Golf Club Championship, sponsored by Love Shack Gifts ... “Grant me the serenity to accept the shots I miss, the courage to try again and the wisdom not to throw my clubs in the dam.”

BCG Buloke Farm Tours coming up

Did you know: If you poured all the grain—canola, lentils, hay and silage—produced each year in the Buloke Shire into the MCG it would overflow? The BCG Buloke Farm Tours, launching this August, are a new initiative to showcase the produce, passion and dedication of farming communities in the Buloke Shire. 

Time to kick in for Kookaburra

With regional tourism on the rise, Donald, along with a lot of other rural communities, is finally getting its time in the proverbial spotlight. And the Donald 2000 committee is determined to shine that spotlight on something that cannot be missed.

For the love of lyrics

Renowned printmaker and Castlemaine-based artist David Frazer identifies with rock n’ roll. He even tried to be a musician before realising his strengths were more in fine art than music ... he’s created a very small run of handmade books titled More than Flesh and Bone featuring his signature wood engraved prints inspired by the lyrics of three of his favourite Tom Waits songs.

National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

Friday is National Sorry Day, the annual event held on 26 May to acknowledge the pain, injustice and enduring impacts of the stolen generations on our First Nations communities.

Gannawarra Shire Council adopts flag policy

The new policy governs the flying of flags ... locations in the municipality where flags can be flown on a temporary basis, and the process to apply for a request to fly additional flags ... My petition titled ‘Fly the flag, be the change’ was to highlight a grave inequity and discrimination that existed, one based on what appeared to be fear and phobia more than logic or science ... Council shelved the request, citing the need for a flag flying policy.

25th Border Flywheelers rally

It was another successful two days of the Border Flywheelers rally. The sprawling museum, steam powered marvels and shiny rides delighted attendees. Saturday saw a light shower of rain but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of visitors from as far away as Armidale NSW and even Perth WA.

Timber industry chopped

The Andrews Government has announced the cessation of native forestry at the end of 2023, despite promises in 2019 to phase out native timber logging by 2030. The native timber industry represents a large segment of the state’s overall timber industry, creating 2,500 jobs and generating more than $770 million in revenue annually ... The Government will establish an advisory panel to consider and make recommendations on which forests to lock up as National Parks.

New deadline brings mixed response

The decision by the Victorian government to bring forward the end of native forest logging to January 2024 has been met with differing reactions ... "There are very few production systems on the globe that offer stronger sustainability credentials than well managed native forests. In fact, we know that well managed native forests can actually provide superior biodiversity, fire and climate outcomes": President of Forestry Australia, Dr Michelle Freeman ... On the other side of the coin, the Victorian National Parks Association ...

Power project marks another milestone

Despite recent news about time and cost blowouts, the Snowy 2.0 pumped-hydro mega project has achieved another important construction milestone, with a second tunnel excavation completed at Lobs Hole. The 2.93-kilometre emergency, cable and ventilation tunnel (ECVT) has been excavated and fully lined with 13,140 locally-manufactured concrete segments by tunnel boring machine (TBM) Kirsten.

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