Monday, March 31, 2008

oxfam fundraiser - selby community house

Come one, come all to the Oxfam Fundraiser to support two teams in the 2008 Oxfam Trailwalker.

When: 1pm to 5pm Sunday 6th April, 2008
Where: Selby Community House, Minak Reserve, Selby
Cost: $10 per adult, children free

Come and support FatChance3 and WeChafeaLot, listen to the dulcet tones of local performer, the Tracey Roberts Trio, it's sure to be a great day out.

The Oxfam Trailwalker is about raising funds to overcome poverty and suffering around the world. Much of the track is within the Shire of Yarra Ranges and traverses many of our most spectacular and scenic areas of the shire. If you'd like to know more about the Oxfam Trailwalker visit

If you're really keen on a big day out in Selby, in the morning you can help at the Minak Reserve Working Bee as well, if you want to know more email me at

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the public phone booth, our new endangered species

Before privatisation we used to get some semblance of service from the then Telecom, however since privatisation every year I have seen Telstra remove more and more public phone booths from our community.
We are told by Telstra that "demand has fallen due to mobile phone usage". That doesn't mean we shouldn't have public phones available for our community.
what if your battery is flat?
what if the mobile tower is inoperable?
what if your mobile phone has been stolen?
what if you don't own a mobile phone?
what if you can't afford a mobile phone?
what if you're too young to have a mobile phone?
what if you'd rather pay for a local call not a mobile call?
what if your pre-paid card has run out of credit?
sorry too bad, demand has fallen (for public phones) you have no choice anymore.
Upon hearing of the proposed removal of not only this phone booth but numerous booths throughout the shire, Council wrote to Telstra and stated "many people who rely on access to payphones, especially in the identified areas where mobile phone coverage may be poor for some of the mobile phone service providers. The Shire is also an area which experiences significant visits from both local and international tourists. Many of these tourists rely on public payphones, particularly international visitors.

It is also considered that whilst mobile phone usage is growing, this is not so for the very young and the elderly, and those on low incomes. Access to public payphones is needed for these members of the community.

The Shire of Yarra Ranges does not support the removal of a further seven (7) payphones (just as it did not support the removal of the initial five (5) payphones) and requests that Telstra seriously reconsider this proposal."
It goes without saying that Telstra didn't seriously reconsider and we see yet another phone booth disappear in Belgrave.
I am appauled by the lack of respect for our community, but I guess this is the result of privatisation where profit is always put before people.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008


Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances the Celebration of 100 Years of Women's vote event being held on the 29th March has had to be postponed. Watch this space for details of the new date. I'm sorry to all who were looking forward to it, but don't despair, it wont be long before a new date is announced.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

join the celebration - 100 years of women's vote

In recognition of the efforts of Victoria’s suffragists and the contributions made by women in all areas of society, I along with my colleagues Cr's Monika Keane and Jeanette McCrae invite you to join in celebration for a night of fantastic food, fabulous entertainment and wonderful art. The event is a fundraiser for East Timor Women Australia and will feature East Timorese art, dancing and music.

Details are:
7:00pm to 11:00pm Saturday 29th March
Coldstream Community Centre, Kelso Street, Coldstream (Melways Map 281 B10)
Cost: $70 waged $50 unwaged

All proceeds are going to East Timor Women Australia (ETWA). The night has a East Timor theme - food, singing, dancing, artwork & craftwork display and sales, features local artist as well Tracey Roberts and will be fantastic.

ETWA's Gimme Shelter appeal is raising funds for Weaving Centres where women can work collectively with appropriate spaces, equipment, solar panels and training. Event proceeds will assist in empowering these women to manage their cooperatives more effectively and sustainably.

All welcome, don't forget your dancing shoes! To book contact Kelly Delaney on email or phone 9294 6106.


Monday, March 10, 2008

am: gm - pm:logging

Thursday 28th February

The GM Free rally outside parliament house.

I attended the GM rally at the steps of Parliament House, many concerned citizens where there lamenting Premier Brumby's decision to lift the moratorium on GM Canola.
Bob Phelps from GeneEthics and Greg Barber, Greens MLC both address the rally.
The Rally was well attended by members of the upper and lower house, the public, concerned advocacy groups, chefs, the slow food group, organic farmers, the list goes on and on.

I had the great pleasure of speaking at the rally. I urged the people there to talk to their local councillors about becoming GM free municipalities. It is not too late to turn this around.

On the 26th February, I moved a motion (which was supported unanimously) to ask Premier Brumby to make the Shire of Yarra Ranges GM Free, lets hope he fulfills our request.

The symbolic release of GM canola pollen into our environment, we all know that pollen knows no bounds, once it's out its everywhere.

That night I attended a public meeting in Warburton to discuss the implications of logging in Melbourne's water catchments. The meeting was very well attended with around 200 people packing the memorial hall. The Central Highlands Alliance and Wilderness Society talked the science, I spoke of the political imperative.

Me, Sarah Rees (The Central Highlands Alliance) and Luke Chamberlain (The Wilderness Society).
Warburton's past was as a timber town, but that industry has been well and truly eroded by the woodchipping industry, local mills do not get work pulping our native forests.
It was a very positive meeting with locals, environmentalists and loggers more understanding of the issues around logging in water catchments. The community now understands that this an issue is about Melbourne's water supply into the future.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

the logging petition

The issue of logging continues to grow across the upper yarra region of the shire, as a response to community concerns a petition has been developed.

The petition reads....

Protect Melbourne’s water catchments from logging to protect our precious water supplies long into the future.
We the undersigned draw to the attention of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria that logging of high conservation forest is occurring at the Armstrong Creek Catchment.
We the people, are outraged that at a time when Victoria is experiencing its most severe drought, logging of this catchment is reducing our water supply.
We are equally concerned at the fact that logging of this catchment is destroying the habitat of Victoria’s endangered faunal species, the Leadbeaters Possum.
We therefore call on the Victorian Government to immediately cease logging of the Armstrong, Thomson, Cement, McMahons and Starvation Catchments.

If you would like a copy of the petition to distribute please email me on

Please note petitions need to be returned by end of March, 2008

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