Vale Gerry Smith – City of Greater Geelong

The Greater Geelong Council offers its heartfelt condolences
to the family of Gerard ‘Gerry’ Smith, after the inaugural Mayor of the City of
Greater Geelong passed away last night surrounded by loved ones.

Mr Smith was Mayor of the municipality from 1995-1998, after
the amalgamation of six local councils in 1993.The former Mayor was an experienced councillor at the Shire
of Corio before amalgamation and also served as President.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher paid tribute to Gerry
Smith for his immense contribution, which is still being felt today.

I thank Gerry for his passionate service to the Council and
the broader Greater Geelong community over many years.

Gerry had a significant task on his hands to unite six
councils after amalgamation, successfully laying the foundations of the City of
Greater Geelong.

Councillor Anthony Aitken, Windermere Ward said while Gerry
Smith was small in stature, he was a giant in local government in Geelong.

Not much got past Gerry at his beloved Shire of Corio,
where from the 1970s until 1993 he served with distinction as a Councillor and
Shire President.

Gerry’s leadership and political skills were witnessed by
the whole of Geelong in 1995 when he was elected as the first Mayor of the
newly amalgamated super city, the City of Greater Geelong. He served three
terms as Mayor until his retirement in 1998.

Gerry was a great negotiator, and although a lifelong
member of the Australian Labor Party, Gerry was instrumental in negotiating
with the then Liberal Premier of Victoria Jeff Kennett in the establishment of
the Steampacket Place Development Board.

If you name an organisation in Geelong’s northern suburbs
Gerry was active in it, whether it was the Norlane RSL, North Shore Football
and Netball Club, Norlane Community Centre, Corio Little Athletics, the list
seems endless. He was actively engaged as a member of the Osborne Park
Association to help save and restore Osborne House, a building which his life
in Australia was so intertwined with.

Gerry deserves our appreciation and respect. The City
acknowledges his wonderful contribution to the Geelong community and his
distinction of being the first Mayor of the City of Greater Geelong.

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Tasmania’s Latrobe Council in costly blunder over Wesley Vale accommodation development

Ratepayers in Tasmania’s north-west will have to pay potentially “tens of thousands of dollars” in legal fees after the local council failed to properly reject a development application and lost an appeal before the state’s planning tribunal.

A decision handed down by the Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal (RMPAT) said Latrobe Council intended to reject a 2019 seasonal worker accommodation development, but did not pass a motion doing so, meaning their decision was not legally valid.

Under the Tasmanian Land Use and Approvals Act, projects requiring council approval are automatically given the green light 42 days after the council receives them if they are not formally addressed earlier.

“The result of the vote on the motion to approve the application, in the negative, did not constitute a determination to refuse the application. As the Council failed to determine the application within the time required … it was deemed to have granted a permit on conditions to be determined by the Tribunal,” the decision said.

Latrobe Mayor Peter Freshney.(

ABC News: Tim Morgan


The tribunal ultimately came to the same conclusion as the council, deciding the permit to build the 106-person accommodation facility on Beer Street in Wesley Vale should not be granted, but that the council must pay the costs for all parties involved.

That includes the proponents, Devonport-based Starbox Architects, and Beer Street resident PJ Hodgkinson, who was part of the proceedings as a joined party.

Latrobe Mayor Peter Freshney said the council’s appeal against the awarding of costs failed.

“It’s difficult to stomach, to some degree, particularly when we’re having to pay ratepayers’ money out, but at the end of the day we do have to justify our decisions and, quite rightly, get the process right,” he said.

Mr Freshney said it could be months before the council knew exactly how much it owed.

“It’s a lesson learned, but obviously at quite some cost.”

Development opposed by residents

The 2019 development was recommended for approval with conditions by council officers, but councillors decided against it, something Mr Freshney said was “rare”.

According to the minutes from the meeting, it was knocked back because of a lack of access to enough quality water for the amount of people likely to be living there, and because the wastewater could adversely affect surrounding properties.

A birds eye view of a mocked up cabin development on a property surrounded by trees.
Objections to the project cited concerns about traffic impacts, water and stormwater infrastructure.(

Supplied: Starbox Architecture


Seven members of the public made representations against the plan, expressing concerns about traffic impacts, water and stormwater infrastructure and potential damage to livestock.

Beer Street resident David Miller was one of those to object, and has called the council’s handling of the matter “disgusting”.

“The council should know how to put things through meetings,” he said.

“I could never see how it got through planning, it should have stopped there, and yet it’s dragged on for two years.”

The site of the development application made headlines last year as one of two in the municipality under investigation for being inappropriate accommodation for berry pickers, with the other site, a five-bedroom house in Shearwater, found to have up to 70 workers living there in what unions called “slum-like conditions”.

Planning a ‘difficult field in which to work’

The challenges of having local governments act as planning authorities have been much discussed in the past few years, with councillors across the state citing the difficulty of taking public opinion into account when acting under specific laws.

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It has prompted the state government to introduce controversial Major Projects Legislation, which would allow the government to declare large and complex developments as requiring special attention and have them assessed by a specially convened panel rather than a local council.

Mr Freshney said the council had rejected a different proposal in the same way in 2018, but in between the two decisions, a new legal precedent had been set by a Supreme Court ruling against the Launceston City Council — a legal move the council didn’t know about when considering the Beer Street application.

“Planning is a difficult field in which to work, always has been and always will be,” he said.

“We are everyday people after all, we aren’t perfect and without fault, and occasionally there will unfortunately be the odd error around protocols.”

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#Tasmanias #Latrobe #Council #costly #blunder #Wesley #Vale #accommodation #development

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Spicers Hidden Vale

Just an hour’s drive from Brisbane, Spicers Hidden Vale is an ultra luxurious country retreat perched on top a ridge with sweeping mountain views. Here you can enjoy the best of the country, nestled within 12,000 acres of typical Australian bush.

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“. This post was shared by My Local Pages Australia as part of our Australian events & what’s on stories services.

#Spicers #Hidden #Vale

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Vale Justin Little

Gilbert and Tobin energy and resources partner Justin Little has passed away following his battle with a brain tumour.
The corporate law firm announced the passing of Mr Little via social media on Monday.

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Methamphetamine among drugs seized by police during raid on Morphett Vale industrial property

Police have arrested two men and seized several kilograms of drugs, cash and a pill press from a property in Adelaide’s south.

The industrial site at Morphett Vale was searched about 6:00pm on Thursday by officers from the Crime Gangs Task Force and STAR Group, who were assisted by a sniffer dog.

During the search, police allegedly found 6 kilograms of methamphetamine, 1 kilogram of cocaine and 150 ecstasy tablets.

A pill press and $26,000 in cash were also allegedly located at the premises.

Two men at the site were arrested and have been charged with drug trafficking offences.

They were refused bail and police said they would appear in the Christies Beach Magistrates Court.

Six kilograms of methamphetamine were allegedly uncovered, as well as cocaine.(Supplied: SA Police)

In a separate incident, a 39-year-old Semaphore Park woman was arrested early this morning after drugs and weapons were allegedly found inside her car.

Police said a patrol on Tapleys Hill Road spotted the woman sitting in the vehicle in a hotel car park in Seaton about 2:15am.

“Officers searched the woman’s car and allegedly found a substance believed to be methamphetamine, prescription drugs as well as a taser, axes and a knife,” police said in a statement.

The woman was charged with weapons and drugs offences as well as driving while disqualified, and her car has been impounded for 28 days.

She was bailed to appear in the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court in February.

Thank you for visiting My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed reading this story on National and South Australian News and updates named “Methamphetamine among drugs seized by police during raid on Morphett Vale industrial property”. This news article was brought to you by My Local Pages Australia as part of our national news services.

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Bickfords’ microbrewery, accommodation for McLaren Vale

SA beverage producer Bickford’s has been given the green light to begin developing a new microbrewery, restaurant and 15 tourist accommodation units at its Beresford Estate in McLaren Vale.

Bickfords was given development approval from the state’s planning body this week and aims to begin construction in the new year.

Group sales and marketing manager Chris Illman told InDaily the $9.36 million development was “shovel ready” with a builder to be appointed early in 2021.

He said the development was anticipated to take 12-18 months and committed to being complete in 2022.

The plan will add Bickford’s beer brand Vale Brewing into the Beresford Estates McLaren Vale site and includes tourist accommodation, an indoor and outdoor dining area. The associated micro-brewery – to be known as the Vale Brewing Taphouse – will be able to cater for up to 200 people.

An artist’s render of one of the new Beresford accommodation units. Image: Supplied.

Famously known for its cordials, South Australian brand Bickford’s bought the Beresford Winery as part of its alcohol portfolio in 2012.

Illman said 15 single-storey tourist pods were intended to be split across two buildings and sit on either side of the existing Beresford tasting pavilion, which was built in 2015.

He said nine of the two-person accommodation units would be “premium,” while the remaining six ­– slightly larger units – would be “super-premium” and targeted towards VIP guests.

The Vale Brewing Taphouse will sit alongside the high-end block of accommodation units.

The development follows the acquisition of the South Australian owned Vale Brewing by Bickford’s Group in 2017.

As part of the sale, Bickford’s also took on the Fox Hat Brewing brand, which now falls under the alcohol division of the Bickford’s Group, Vok Beverages.

“We will look to hero the Vale and Fox Hat portfolio,” Illman said.

“Fox Hat’s traditional home is in the Fleurieu Peninsula area, so we are really looking forward to bringing that tap room to life in the region next to Beresford Estate, which is our wine trademark.

“And this particular location is nestled in Blewitt Springs, so it’s a slightly quieter location.

“Wrapped around the Vale tap-room are our estates: estate Grenache, estate Chardonnay, estate Shiraz and Cabernet, so the tap-room itself will be interspersed and mingled in with some premium vineyards.”

An artist’s render of the Vale Brewing Taphouse. Image: Supplied

To make way for the development, about 8298sq m of vines from the existing Beresford vineyard will be removed, as well as surrounding vegetation and a River Red Gum, which grows on the proposed accommodation site.

The proposal said the remaining trees would be protected and integrated into the development.

As part of the planning approval, Bickford’s is required to pay $192 to the Planning and Development Fund to “ensure sufficient replacement trees can be provided for following removal” of the River Red Gum.

A new road into the micro-brewery and restaurant below the current Ingoldby Road is also set to be created as part of the development.

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Vale Mungo MacCallum — a true progressive voice gone

Independent Australia founder and director David Donovan pays tribute to one of this country’s most valued journalists, Mungo MacCallum.

VERY SAD to hear that Mungo MacCallum has died. An Independent Australia contributor for years, I’ve known Mungo since my time as a director of the Republican Movement, a decade and some ago. A charming man, incredibly astute, brilliantly eloquent and utterly his own. Such a loss.

Mungo has two stories in our top nine over the last week and only announced his retirement on Monday. He kept writing right until the end. What a professional he was.

Mungo was part of the Bunyip aristocracy, as his family were offshoots of British aristocracy. His great-great-grandfather, William Charles Wentworth, came to the NSW colony in the early 1800s and stamped his mark as an explorer and politician, and as a father of the nation.

His family stamped its mark on this country. His father, also Mungo, was a pioneer of television nationally. His uncle, William Charles Wentworth IV, was a Liberal Party minister under Robert Menzies. Gough Whitlam described Mungo as “the tall, bearded descendant of lunatic aristocrats”.

But, despite his family being known generally for its Right-wing views, Mungo was from a different cloth. A true progressive, Mungo cut his teeth on the alternative Nation Review — the journalistic cradle of so many fearless reporters and the model for Independent Australia.

Mungo is a journalist such as Australia has very seldom seen and may never see again. Irascible, incorruptible, totally truthful, fiercely independent and completely in command of every tool in his trade, Mungo MacCallum was exceptional. Vale Mungo, your legacy will long live on.

You can follow IA founder and director Dave Donovan on Twitter @davrosz.

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Moss Vale and Goulburn train station upgrades on track | Goulburn Post

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Planning will soon start on a new project to improve accessibility and safety for customers at Moss Vale station, creating around 50 local jobs. Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said project planning would now progress to make it easier for all customers, including people with a disability, to access public transport services from the station. “An upgrade like this at Moss Vale Station will help ensure it can meet the needs of our customers both now and into the future,” she said. “We’re excited this project is now a step closer because we know it will make a real difference to locals once complete, but will also create about 50 local jobs across engineering, design, construction and administration during construction. “In addition to the Moss Vale upgrade, the $2.7 million accessibility upgrade to Goulburn Station is due to begin in the coming weeks with site preparation work – prior to the major construction starting next month.” READ MORE: The Goulburn upgrade will deliver improvements to the station’s entrance, new ambulant toilets and upgraded accessible parking spaces, as well as improved lighting and wayfinding, path upgrades, new kerb ramps, upgrades to the waiting room and ticket counter and accessible help points. The station will remain open for all customers while work progresses and regular services will continue and is expected to be completed in mid-2021. Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the upgrades were being delivered thanks to an additional $112 million in the 2020-21 NSW Budget as part of the Transport Access Program, with a further $80 million to progress future upgrades. “Upgrades like these ensure that stations have the amenities to support growth in public transport, and build upon our vision to make public transport a first choice for everyone living in the regions,” Mr Toole said. “The station upgrades will create about 600 jobs right across regional NSW, with contractors looking to engage local suppliers where possible.” More than $2 billion has been committed to the Transport Access Program since 2011, with more than 470 projects either completed or currently underway across NSW. To find out more about the project visit or


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Yatala Vale hilltop home that’s out of the box

144 Seaview Road, Yatala Vale. Supplied by Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.

Looking for something a little different?

You’ll find it in this stunning hexagonal Yatala Vale home, offering that Insta-trendy yurt lifestyle, but with all the creature comforts.

Neil and Kathleen Bryans built the 144 Seaview Rd house in 1975, creating a home that was sympathetic to its environment, a little out of the ordinary, and one that made the most of its picturesque environment.

144 Seaview Road, Yatala Vale. Supplied by Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.

“A close mate of mine was an architect and we had some particularly talented workmen build it, particularly a German father/son bricklayers who did all the brickwork – we still get comments about the quality of the brickwork from visiting tradespeople,” Mr Bryans said.

“We also had German carpenters and they were really very smart people and did a great job.

“The aim was to create something sympathetic with its environment in that wood and brick, and that reflects the period as well.

144 Seaview Road, Yatala Vale. Supplied by Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.

“It resonates with its environment and we also wanted to make it as environmentally friendly as we could, so there are plenty of windows that flush the air through the house with those gully breezes, and there’s good insulation too so the place stays fairly cool in summer, and it’s fairly economical in terms of its power demands.

144 Seaview Road, Yatala Vale. Supplied by Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.

“It was probably ahead of its time in terms of its environmental sensitivity.”

The hexagonal home is set on a 4.905ha allotment and features up to four bedrooms, or three and an upstairs loft offering 360-degree views over its surroundings.

144 Seaview Road, Yatala Vale. Supplied by Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.

Open-plan living is the order of the day and the home is surrounded by established gardens and has three large sheds – 7.27m x 15m, 7.37m x 24.93m and 5.64m x 30.93m – and a shadehouse.

144 Seaview Road, Yatala Vale. Supplied by Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.

This infrastructure has made it the perfect place for the couple to run a Bonsai sale business from – something they have done since 1989.

“Being the engineer I am I put all the infrastructure in there, and it’s been great to be able to walk out there, potter around and shape the plants, and it’s been a very rewarding environment,” Mr Bryans said.

144 Seaview Road, Yatala Vale. Supplied by Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.

“It’s a bit sad to give that up, but at some stage we’ve just got to move on.”

Mr Bryans says one of the home’s highlights was its natural setting.

“There’s an extraordinary amount of birdlife and my wife and I love watching the interplay between the various species and they all seem to share, which is interesting,” Mr Bryans said.

“And there’s always a kangaroo or two in our paddock and we frequently see koalas and the odd echidna.”

With the couple getting older, the time has come to move, possibly closer to their family.

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“I think we’re at the point where if we don’t do it soon, the stresses and strains of it might be a bit demanding and at some stage you need to bite the bullet,” Mr Bryans said.

144 Seaview Road, Yatala Vale. Supplied by Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.

“We have people coming up here from time to time to buy Bonsai and they just love it, they find it so peaceful, restful and serene and a range of other descriptors.

“When people come they settle in and it can be hard to get rid of them.”

The home is on the market through Andrew Simpson of Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.


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One local case of COVID-19 confirmed in NSW, linked to Moss Vale mystery case

Health authorities are still unable to trace the source of a mystery coronavirus infection more than 120 kilometres from Sydney, saying it highlights the importance of sign-in procedures.

NSW Health confirmed one new locally acquired case of coronavirus to 8:00pm on Friday.

The person was a household contact of a known case within the Moss Vale cluster, NSW Health’s Michael Douglas confirmed.

However the source of the cluster’s original infection is still unknown, Dr Douglas said.

It follows Friday’s confirmation of four new cases in the Southern Highlands town, 122 kilometres south-west of Sydney’s CBD.

Health authorities have previously voiced concern that infections have been identified so far from the Sydney, where the vast majority of cases have been found and successfully traced.

In a statement, NSW Health said customer sign-in processes remained crucial to tracing infections and controlling outbreaks.

“The recent cluster in south-west Sydney highlights the importance of these measures, and we urge businesses and patrons to do their part,” the statement read.

This week NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced QR codes in hospitality venues would be compulsory from November 23.

Dr Douglas warned the contagion of the virus often takes place without obvious symptoms presenting.

“The process of becoming infected and infecting others often occurs silently, invisibly, and inadvertently,” he said.

“It is evident that the virus has an ability to readily spread from person to person. 

He reiterated calls for good hand hygiene and masks where social distancing is not possible (including on public transport).

There were 14,697 coronavirus swabs taken to 8:00pm on Friday, down from 17,492 completed on Thursday.

Four new cases of coronavirus were found within hotel quarantine.

A compliance blitz across hospitality venues in Sydney’s south-west this week found almost 100 breaches of COVID-safe practices.

Inspectors from a range of state government bodies including NSW Health, Liquor and Gaming and the Food Authority visited 85 restaurants, clubs, pubs and cafes in the Liverpool area on Wednesday.

They found 94 breaches including a lack of a COVID-safe plan, not recording patron sign-in details and no socially distanced seating.

More than 30 fines are expected to be issued with The Kulcha House and Al Barakeh Charcoal Chicken fined $5,000 each.

One COVID-19 patient in NSW is ventilated in hospital.

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