News - Berwick Star News - 28th March 2024

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“The people, if you look at all these surveys - with the people I’ve spoken to - they can’t call triple-zero and that’s a basic necessity for any person living in this country,” Ms Fernando said.

A total of 10,000 surveys were sent out by the office, and to receive half of them back was nothing short of astounding according to Ms Fernando.

While the survey was recent, planning for tackling the reception issues in her electorate and surrounds had been brewing since April 2022.

What began with door-knocking and calling constituents, soon developed further during the pre-polling season when she realised it was a much bigger topic and issue.

“I said to myself and to those people, if I come into government, or as a Member for Holt, that was something that was going to be a main focus for me, that these people get the coverage they need,” she said.

The Connecting Victoria campaign and the $56 million Victorian Mobile Project will see more than 230 places in the state fitted with better mobile infrastructure, to deliver more than 1400 projects by 2026.

With this, Ms Fernando said that “people who are planning or are planners that had these estates planned out, should have had the towers as something they considered”.

“When the pandemic hit in 2020, a lot of people were struggling to work, especially because they didn’t have the connectivity.

“This should have been considered by these planners before those houses were built.

“I’m glad it’s (Connecting Victoria) coming in, the towers are coming which is great,” she said.

Now that the surveys have finished, the next phase involved meeting with telco companies, namely Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and TPG.

“I want to work with the telcos and the council to make sure that these people get one of the most essential items of their life.

“I’ve spoken to Optus twice, a Zoom meeting and I met with them in parliament where I showed them the surveys.

“Showing them that was very important because this is not my word, it’s the people’s, the ones who live there,” she said.

When she spoke with Optus, Ms Fernando said that although they are in the planning phase, Optus had plans for ten sites in the surrounding areas.

She also spoke with City of Casey’s CEO Glenn Patterson where she emphasised to him that the surveys show “a community need for proper mobile coverage”.

Likewise, she also called for other electorates whose citizens are experiencing reception issues to take action similar to hers, or anything that addresses the issue.

“I’ve faced the issue myself and I think just experiencing it is very important to know these people’s struggles that they have to go through.

“See, someone said here ‘we feel unsafe living here, we have either lost connection and/ or can’t even call triple-zero for emergencies’.

“I had one lady tell me that she was feeling so sick, she couldn’t call emergency services that her husband had to drive her to the hospital,” Ms Fernando said.

At a recent visit to parliament, Ms Fernando got in touch with Greenway MP and Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland, where the latter party acknowledged the issue.

“She said to me that she’s aware of it and that she’s going to take it as one of her priority issues because she knows how tough it is,” Ms Fernando said.

She emphasised that in the 21st century, having adequate mobile coverage can almost be as important as having water when it comes to accessing services and maintaining contact, especially in emergencies.

“I think the pandemic changed everyone’s lives in that sense, there’s a lot of young families out there and a lot of them work from home three to four days a week.

“These little things can change an entire aspect of your life, in this day and age mobile coverage is important in any household.

“Not just that however, but for schools, businesses, childcare centres - these places are your necessities,” she said.

The meeting with Telstra is set to take place on Tuesday 26 March, with Ms Fernando and her office confident in their progress.

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Benedicto A stack of over 3000 physical surveys made their home in Holt MP Cassandra Fernando’s office with 2000 more via email after she inquired local citizens on reception issues.
By Ethan
concerns, the
calling triple-zero.
there was a barrage of
factor that was more often mentioned than not was
Holt MP Cassandra Fernando holding the stack of roughly 3000 surveys from local constituents. Ms Fernando in a meeting with Optus representatives on the reception issues in the southeast. Cassandra Fernando handing out pamphlets that read, ‘tell me more about your mobile coverage’.
Pictures: SUPPLIED

Crime’s on the rise

Casey saw retail theft spike by 9 per cent by the end of 2023 compared to 2022, with supermarkets seeing the highest rate of incidents with an 83 per cent rise compared to the previous year.

With supermarket incident figures jumping from 187 to 342, service stations were the second highest, with a 42.7 per cent increase from 601 to 858.

The city also had a rise in young offenders, with those aged 10 to 17 seeing a 27.9 per cent increase from the previous year’s figure of 1009 pushing to 1291.

Similarly, and for the first time in the 10year stretch of records by the Crime Statistics Agency, the age group of 45 and over alleged offenders peaked at 1244 incidents.

This is a 42.5 per cent increase to the average figure of 873 from 2014 to 2022.

Houses were the most common locations for recorded offences, with an 8.6 per cent increase from 2022 at 10,328 and 9506 respectively.

The second most common location was streets, lanes and footpaths, which saw a more dramatic increase of 13.8 per cent from 2022 to 2023, jumping from 2649 to 3017.

Both Cranbourne and Narre Warren remained at the top with 3232 and 3028 recorded offences, respectively, and a 17.31 and 6.69 per cent increase compared to 2022.

Berwick and Clyde North trailed just behind, with 2527 for the former and 1630 for the latter suburb; a 12 and 12.5 per cent increase each.

Property and deception offences, such as theft and burglary were up 17.6 per cent, with a figure of 3231 compared to 2747 the year prior.

Theft from a motor vehicle saw an increase of 35.3 per cent compared to 2022, with figures at 736.9 and 544.6 per capita respectively.

This comes after a two-year dip in figures between 2020 and 2021, which saw a decrease of 18.7 per cent from 721.2 and 585.8 per capita.

Residential aggravated burglaries were also up 10 per cent, with non-residential, non-aggravated burglaries up 31 per cent.

Overall the city had an 8 per cent increase in offences recorded per capita in 2023 compared to 2022, with Mark Goldspink, Casey’s Local Area Commander and Acting Inspector remaining confident in the city’s safety.

“The overall crime rate in Casey has slightly risen over the past year, it remains at its third lowest level for the past decade.

“Casey remains a very safe place to live and work, with the overall crime 22 per cent below the state-wide crime rate,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Neil Patterson, who spoke on state-wide crime trends on 21 March said, in relation to youth crime, that what they’re seeing “is mindless and driven by the pursuit of notoriety or social media likes”.

“When cars are stolen by children their driving is particularly poor, that’s not surprising because they have very little experience on

the road,” he said.

Victoria Police have dedicated operations such as Alliance – targeting youth gangs –and Trinity – targeting youth burglars and car thieves – to counter the offending, and have a focus on Casey, Greater Dandenong and Cardinia areas.

“When interviewed, offenders are telling us they will walk up and down a street until they find a door or window that is unlocked,” Mr Patterson said.

“Young people know the technology around cars; it’s harder to steal a car than it has been.

“The only way is to steal the keys; we’re calling on everyone to lock their doors and lock their cars, this will make a big impact on those types of crime,” he said.

Police have also added that with the gears of the local community once again moving post-pandemic, crimes in public places have also risen.

Additionally, local units are proactively door-knocking on known family violence offenders and victims to identify any breaches and prevent further offending.

Facing 46 charges

An alleged hit-run driver who crashed into a parked car in Springvale while dropping burnouts is facing almost 50 charges including multiple burglaries.

Police say the 26-year-old Mulgrave man crashed on Hope Street on 31 August 2023 and fled on foot.

He allegedly made a false report to police that the vehicle was stolen at the time. Dandenong Achilles Taskforce detectives arrested the man on Lonsdale Street, Melbourne about 10.30am on Wednesday 20 March.

He was charged with nine offences relating to 31 August, including perjury, making a false report to police, failing to give information as to the driver, driving a vehicle causing loss of traction, failing to exchange his name and address after a collision, failing to report to police after a collision, and failing to render assistance after a collision.

The man allegedly made an earlier report that the vehicle was stolen on 11 August. Achilles investigators say they linked the vehicle and the man to a series of alleged commercial burglaries and thefts across south-east Melbourne in the early hours of 10 August 2023.

They occurred at shopping centres on High Street, Cranbourne and Police Road, Mulgrave, as well as a service station on Hall Road, Carrum Downs, police say. The man was charged with an additional 37 offences.

The man appeared at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 21 March. He was further remanded to reappear in the same court on 9 April.

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Casey Council saw an 8 per cent rise in crime by the end of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

Bank fire spurs response

A shopping trip quickly turned into horror for Hampton Park hero Robert Tomecki.

On the late morning of 18 November 2016, Tomecki heard screams and watched black smoke and flames billowing out of the Commonwealth Bank branch’s front doors on the opposite side of Springvale Road, Springvale.

A man had self-immolated inside the bank filled with nearly 40 customers and staff, igniting a scene of “panic, confusion and danger”, a County Court judge later noted.

Without hesitation, Tomecki ran to the rear of the building and entered the fray.

“You could hear the yelling. It was dark and smoky – I couldn’t see the hand in front of my face.

“I tried yelling out and a few got out – including the perpetrator, he just ran past me in the middle of the group.”

He and two other rescuers heard entrapped people yelling behind an internal door, which Tomecki kicked open.

They helped about 10 victims outside to safety.

Tomecki returned with a fire extinguisher. He put out the blaze before emergency services arrived.

In recognition, Tomecki, now 53, of Hampton Park, has been presented with a Commendation for Brave Conduct as part of the Australian Bravery Awards on 26 March.

The hard-working Hallam Bolts and Industrial employee and supermarket delivery driver says he still seeks out extreme thrill-seeking, such as travelling overseas and bungy-jumping.

On the fateful day in 2016, he was left with the nauseating after-effects of smoke exposure.

He says he stayed inside as long as he could for “the last person to get out” until he was overwhelmed.

“Everyone got out,” he said. “There could have been a bigger situation …”

The fire was started by then-21-year-old Nur Islam, who had doused himself with petrol and set himself alight.

The blaze quickly engulfed the bank, injuring 15 customers and staff.

Four received serious full-thickness burns to their faces, hands and other parts of their body, requiring hospitalisation and rehabilitation.

Nur, who survived with self-inflicted burns to 60 per cent of his body, was later jailed for up to 11 years.

Tomecki also remembers 2016 for his belovedWestern Bulldogs winning their first premiership in more than 50 years.

The other unexpected silver lining was news of his bravery award this month.

“The best thing is it will make my mum happy. She’s been going through a fair bit for a while.”

Nod to bravery after saving family from fire

terwards and extinguished the fire.

She is commended for brave conduct for her actions rescuing a family from a house fire in Cranbourne on 12 October 2020. At 9.30am, she was at a park when she heard a smoke alarm and saw smoke billowing from a nearby house. She ran to the house, gained entry, and was confronted with thick smoke. She located a baby in one bedroom, and then a toddler in another, and took both outside to safety. She re-entered the house and located a woman in another room and took her outside. Ms Salesulu returned to the park. Emergency services arrived shortly af-

The Governor-General announced 50 Australian Bravery Decorations to recognise the courageous acts of 89 people and congratulated all the recipients.

“Confronted with danger, each chose to help someone. Their bravery is commendable, and their selflessness is inspirational,” he said.

“In a moment of peril, each of the people we are recognising today decided to come to the aid of someone else – some, someone they knew, others a total stranger.

“Often their actions were at a cost to themselves. Tragically, two recipients lost their own lives.” Thursday, 28 March, 2024 Pakenham 190 Princes Highway Ph: 5941 4888 Cranbourne 6 Brunt Street Ph: 5996 6822 Drouin 2 Porter Place Ph: 5625 2571 Family Funerals 12658638-AA02-24 CONTACT US Phone: 5945 0666 ADVERTISING Visit Email Phone 5945 0666 EDITORIAL Email Published by Star News Group Pty Ltd ACN 005 848 108. Publisher/Managing Director, Paul Thomas. All material is copyright to Star News Group Pty Ltd. All significant errors will be corrected as soon as possible. Distribution numbers, areas and coverage are estimates only. For our terms and conditions please visit AUSTRALIAN OWNED & INDEPENDENT REAL ESTATE Email Visit Email Phone 5945 0600 12651769-SN47-23
A tradie who helped extract people from the chaotic, smoky scene.
Emergency services in the aftermath of the bank inferno in late 2018. 162683 Picture:
Robert Tomecki with his bravery medal of honour
Picture: LJUBICA VRANKOVIC Cranbourne resident Tenaia Salesulu has been acknowledged with a Commendation for Brave Conduct under this year’s Australian Bravery Decorations on 26 March.

‘Buy’ plea rejected

A small piece from the history of the Doveton community may be lost unless the City of Casey intervenes, says a concerned residents group.

One of the area’s few heritage-listed properties, at 24 Doveton Avenue in Eumemmerring, is up for sale for a maximum $850,000.

The spacious 960m vintage Captain Doveton house is named after Captain John and Margaret Doveton who bought the house in 1894, lived almost a decade before the house was sold on August 1903.

Despite their short stay in the town, in 1954 the area was named after Captain John Doveton.

The Doveton Eumemmerring Township Association (DETA) has written to the council to acquire the property to save it from private hands and maintain the house as part of the area’s history.

“The property holds immense significance for our community, embodying our history and story of our suburb’s creation,” chairperson Stefan Koomen said in his letter.

The group has expressed concern that the property may fall into disrepair if it remains in private hands.

The group remain hopeful of the outcome of their letter as they wait anxiously for a response however City of Casey manager planning and building Tania Asper has told Star Journal that the council has no intention to acquire the property.

“Doveton Height is a rare example of a surviving Victorian house in this urbanised and industrialised area, which demonstrates an early period of settlement and development — it is one of just two early houses remaining in Doveton Avenue.

“The property located at 24 Doveton Avenue in Eumemmerring (Doveton Height) is

currently protected by a Heritage Overlay in the Casey Planning Scheme. Council has no plan to acquire the property.

“The current Casey Planning Scheme includes Clause 15.03 Heritage, Clause 21.07 Built Environment and Clause 43.01 Heritage Overlay.

“These controls recognise the heritage significance of the property, ensures that the building cannot be demolished without permission and discourages any inappropriate demolition and/or development to occur on the land.“

However, the DETA group doesn’t see any reason why the council have decided against the purchase.

“The house is heritage listed by the council, so they have recognised it but it’s just a matter of whether the council can own and gain control over it.

“I can’t see why they couldn’t do it,” Mr Koomen said.

“They have lots of other properties, like in Berwick,thatareheritagesites.”

According to him, residents around Doveton share the same view.

If the council aquires the house, it could use it for an array of purposes as long as the heritage building is “retained and maintained“, DETA argues.

“DETA understands that the purchase of such a property entails financial considerations,“ Mr Koomen says.

“However, we believe that the benefits far outweigh the costs. The property could be rented out for residential, business or community use in the short term, serving as both an investment while retained for the community.”

Captain Doveton died at the age of 61 on 7 April 1904 of throat and liver cancer. At that time he lived at his Oakleigh house and didn’t have any children.

He was buried at the Oakleigh Cemetery.

Meanwhile his wife, who was also his first cousin, moved to Malvern East and Mordialloc. She passed away on December 1941 at an approximate age of 97 years and was buried at St Kilda Cemetery.


Developer John Woodman’s claim that his reputation was unreasonably damaged by IBAC has been dismissed by the Victorian Supreme Court.

Woodman had claimed for damages against the State Government and IBAC over being publicly examined for six days in late 2019 during the IBAC Operation Sandon inquiry.

In the Supreme Court, Woodman alleged that IBAC knew or ought to have known that holding his examination in public would unreasonably damage his reputation, safety and wellbeing.

He argued the examination and media reporting of it caused economic and reputational harm.

In her summary dismissal of the claim, Justice Jacinta Forbes said it had “no real prospect of success”.

She ordered Woodman to pay IBAC and the government’s legal costs.

“The chance of harm resulting from an examination in public (is) not only foreseeable, it is in some circumstances likely or even inevitable given IBAC’s function to identify, investigate and expose corrupt conduct,” Forbes noted.

Forbes noted that Woodman had legal representation and other judicial avenues available to “remedy any deficiency” in the examination process.

“Nor could it be said that IBAC assumes some responsibility to act in the interest of witnesses or perform some task for their benefit.”

Woodman earlier abandoned a ‘public law claim’ that IBAC’s decision to conduct his interrogation in public lacked procedural fairness.

Concerns for bandicoot habitat amid rezoning push

Casey Council has endorsed a planning permit amendment to rezone approximately four hectares of endangered-bandicoot habitat for housing near Cranbourne’s botanic gardens, while separate housing approval from the Federal Environment Minister remains up in the air.

At its 19 March meeting, the council endorsed the request by Brown Property Group to rezone the company’s land at 40-46 Cyril Beechey Lane from the Farming Zone to the General Residential Zone.

The 3.902-hectare block is covered with dense vegetation regrowth, located north-west of Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne.

The council stated that the land was part of an established urban residential area and could be efficiently serviced.

“The development of the land will fulfill a need for more housing stock within metropolitan Melbourne, reduce bushfire risk, and can complement the character of the area,” it stated in the officers’ report.

However, the council also pointed out several planning considerations, including the potential habitat loss of the Southern Brown Bandicoot, a species formally listed as endangered.

According to an ecology report by consultancy Ecology and Heritage Partners, the species was detected on 17 occasions during 17 surveyed nights.

It found that residential developments would “impact any bandicoot population given the high-quality nature of the habitat, and the frequent use by the existing bandicoot population“, resulting in “fragmentation of any existing populations in the local area“.

A referral has been made to the Federal Environment Minister to decide upon a proposed action for developing housing on the land, which would necessitate the clearing of 3.143 hectares of the bandicoot habitat.

A Department of Environment spokesperson said the minister was due to decide on whether this proposed project could go ahead under national environment law on 2 April.

The property group has proposed an offset

a 30-metre-wide vegetated biodiversity corridor located on the eastern boundary of the land as an extension to the adjoining Grandeur Court Reserve to the

north for the bandicoot habitat and to create a north-south corridor to facilitate dispersal of the species“.

Accordingly, the developer has sought to re-

zone parts of the land in the Grandeur Court from the General Residential Zone to the Public Conservation and Resource Zone, which Casey Council also green-lit at the latest meeting.

Southern Brown Bandicoot outreach officer Eilish Roberts, from the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, said this might be the most important population of Southern Brown Bandicoots remaining in the world.

“Southern Brown Bandicoots are not just cute critters; they are incredible ecosystem engineers. One Southern Brown Bandicoot turns over nearly four metric tons of soil in a year, which helps to circulate nutrients, aerate the soil, improve water penetration, and more. Not only that, Southern Brown Bandicoots spread important fungal spores in their droppings which help plants to absorb key nutrients,” she said.

“Southern Brown Bandicoots are under constant threat from foxes and cats and are in desperate need of dense vegetation to give them a chance at survival.

“It is recommended that habitat corridors be around 80 metres wide to help them move safely throughout the suburbs.”

City of Casey’s manager growth and investment Kathryn Seirlis said the federally protected marsupial was known to occupy the area, and preservation of this species was taken seriously with conservation requirements in place.

She explained that separate approval from the Federal Environment Minister was in the process of being obtained.

“Endorsement of this planning scheme amendment is the first step of a statutory process to amend the Casey Planning Scheme, which if approved, will trigger the requirement for a Development Plan and planning permit to be applied for and approved to develop the land,” she said.

“This could not be granted without the necessary federal approvals in place.”

Casey Council will request the Planning Minister to authorise the preparation and exhibition of the amendment.

Community engagement will commence at the public exhibition of the amendment.

4 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 28 March, 2024
to alleviate the impact on bandicoots, which would be to “retain Southern Brown Bandicoots are active in the rezoned area. 262016 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS 40-46 Cyril Beechey Lane. 262016 40-46 Cyril Beechey Lane is covered with dense vegetation regrowth, located northwest of the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne. 262016
Stefan Koomen outside the heritage-listed Captain Doveton house, also known as Doveton Height. 396485 Picture: GARY SISSONS


Casey Council’s chief administrator has challenged local MPs to “put your money where your mouth is” to complete the long-awaited Doveton Pool in the Park upgrade.

Despite no state or federal funding, the council has gone it alone and announced $7.91 million for Stage 1 works to rebuild the outdoor 50-metre pool.

The parkland and splash pad will be accessible all year, and the toddler’s pools, water slide and Gambetta Room will also be removed.

In 2022, the council stated that the $21 million project was contingent on 50 per cent state and federal funding.

The project will now be staggered across three stages, with stage 1 funded by the council across 2024-’25 and 2025-’26.

Its total cost has been estimated down to $14.7 million, contingent on state and federal funding.

Chair of administrators Noelene Duff told a council meeting on 19 March that it was time for state and federal governments to get behind the project.

“We remind those federal and state members that here is an opportunity to support this community.

“We know there has been a lot of interest. I think it’s ‘put your money where your mouth is’ time.

“We’ve done that here and seek the support of state and federal governments to finalise this into the future.”

Local MPs had backed a fierce public campaign to ‘Save Doveton Pool’ that led Casey to abandon its 2021 plans to replace the pool with parkland.

At the 2022 election, Bruce federal Labor MP Julian Hill pledged that he was “very confident” that the pool upgrade would receive

federal funding.

“Progress in saving the pool is incredibly welcome,” he said in reaction to the council’s committed funding.

“I’ve been proud to stand with the community in opposing council’s efforts to close the pool. People power worked!”

Mr Hill urged the council to submit a “high quality application” to an upcoming federal grants program.

“While this is ultimately a local project, funding for a metropolitan sporting and community infrastructure grants program was allocated in the Federal Budget and program arrangements are currently being finalised.

“Of course our Doveton Pool in the Park project will have to compete against all other potential projects nationally as the era of Scott

Morrison style rorts where Governments just hand out money to individual projects is over.

“But we’ll give it a red hot go as soon as applications open.”

A spokesperson for Dandenong state Labor MP Gabrielle Williams said: “Any state contribution will be subject to state budget rounds, and Gabrielle has been actively discussing this with council.

“Gabrielle will continue working with council over the coming years in what we understand may be a multi-stage proposal.”

Doveton-Eumemmerring Township Association chair Sean Balfour said the project was now “finally coming to fruition” – with the group hoping to learn further details on the design.

“We don’t need a ‘Mercedes’ that no one

wants to use. We just want a ‘Ford’ that everyone wants to use.”

Construction of the project’s first stage will be timed during the pool’s off-season.

The rebuilt pool may include environmentally sustainable design features, such as energy capture and recovery, more efficient electric services, and water use and capture systems.

Future stages will be subject to funding from state and federal governments as well as community feedback, according to a council report.

Stage 2 could include a beach sand pit, plaza, canopy tree planting, upgraded splash pad, playground, outdoor fitness equipment, barbecue, toilets.

Stage 3 will upgrade the pool building.

The latter stages’ combined estimated cost is $6.84 million.

For the past two summers, the outdoor pools has opened on days 25 degrees Celsius and hotter – a reduction from the previous 30-degree temperature trigger.

However, attendances were down. In 43 days of operation in 23-’24, there were 5836 visitations – thought to be due to the lack of extreme heat days.

The Doveton Pool was developed in 1968 after a long campaign of community fundraising in response to drownings in Eumemmerring Creek.

Ms Duff said the pool was an “excellent example of the challenges with respect to infrastructure maintenance and ongoing development that the city faces”.

“It is a very sad facility currently, left in demise for a long time.

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Pool cash
Federal Regional Development and Local Government Minister Kristy McBain, second right, with Casey Council chief executive Glenn Patterson and administrator Miguel Belmar and Bruce MP Julian Hill at Doveton Pool last year. 336420 Picture: CAM LUCADOU-WELLS

Simply outstanding

Winners of the 2024 Casey Community Awards were announced at a gala celebration event at Bunjil Place on Friday 22 March.

The annual awards are a recognition program that celebrates the outstanding individuals and groups who go above and beyond in their contribution to the community.

CFA member Shane Keen was named Casey Citizen of the Year, Gunaikurnai/Yorta Yorta Elder Aunty Lucy Boothey the Casey Senior of the Year, and Maya Pinn the Casey Young Citizen of the Year.

Cancer Support Angels chief executive officer Jodie Hollis was named Casey Woman of the Year, Berwick and District Woodworkers Club member John McMahon won the Lindsay King Art Award, and Fiona Spargo was named the Environment and Sustainability Champion.

Casey Rainbow Community advocate Ray Adcock won the Casey Diversity and Inclusion Award and Wild Days Wildlife Shelter was named Casey Community Group of the Year.

City of Casey chair of administrators Noelene Duff PSM congratulated all the nominees for the well-deserved recognition.

“It was fantastic to come together and celebrate the many people who give their time, passion, and energy to help build a better community,” she said.

“I’d like to congratulate the 2024 winners and all the nominees for these prestigious awards. Thank you for the contribution you all make to our community.”

Casey Citizen of the Year – Shane Keen Shane has been a volunteer with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) since 1977. He was at Hampton Park Fire Brigade for 30 years, including 10 years as captain. Since then, he has served with the Narre Warren North Fire Brigade, where he has been Captain for the past three years. Shane is also the Casey Group Officer, who is responsible for facilitating information sharing and emergency response capability development between the 13 brigades within the City of Casey. Shane is a representative of the City of Casey Municipal Fire Management Working Group and the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee.

Casey Young Citizen of the Year – Maya Pinn Maya is a business owner, a university student, and a single carer/mum to a six-year-old child, who is severely disabled, and a neurotypical three-year-old. Maya has advocated for better policy throughout her paid and volunteer role at Syndromes without a Name (SWAN) and Association for Children with a Disability, as well as through the Dandenong Valley SDS school council. Maya has hosted numerous events as a volunteer peer support facilitator for parents and carers of children with undiagnosed or rare genetic conditions. She is also on the community advisory group at SWAN

and Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance and contributed to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) review for zero to eightyear-olds.

Casey Senior of the Year – Lucille Boothey (Aunty Lucy)

Proud Gunaikurnai/Yorta Yorta Elder Aunty Lucy is a pillar in the Aboriginal community, committed to sharing the invaluable gifts of story, culture, and care for the Country. Aunty Lucy tirelessly volunteers and connects to community and country through various contributions including gardening at the Aboriginal Gathering Place and engaging in the co-design and facilitation of cultural elements in playgroups. Lovingly known as ‘Nan’, a term only used with the utmost respect and regard in many cultures, these contributions to the Casey community have had a profound and lasting impact.

Casey Woman of the Year – Jodie Hollis

Jodie’s journey began in 2017 with her volunteer work for the Narre-Cranbourne Relay for Life in the City of Casey. In recognition of her outstanding commitment to the community, she received the Holt Australia Day Award in 2020. In December 2019, Jodie founded her own charity, Cancer Support Angels to assist cancer patients and their families during challenging times. As Cancer Support Angels enters its fourth year, it now boasts more than 70 dedicated volunteers nationwide and has touched the lives of more than 5,000 patients.

Casey Community Group of the Year – Wild Days Wildlife Shelter

For more than 15 years, Wild Days Wildlife Shelter has cared for sick, injured, and orphaned Australian native wildlife from Casey and surrounds. Founder and licensed wildlife carer Kay Taranto, and her wonderful team of volunteers operate 24/7, 365 days a year to fulfill their mission to rehabilitate wildlife that need help, nurture their environment, and return them to the wild. Wild Days is passionate


about sharing knowledge of biodiversity by training carers, mentoring, speaking with the community, schools, and groups, attending expos, consulting with the council, and guiding junior volunteers.

Casey Environment and Sustainability

Champion Award – Fiona Spargo

Fiona began collecting recyclable items when she started working at the Botanic Gardens Retirement Village two years ago. She expanded her recycling efforts to include the residents living there, and in August last year also began collecting items from the Coral Mews RetirementVillage. Some of the items are given to local childcare centres and schools and the rest are taken away for recycling. For events such as DetoxYour Home and textile recycling days, Fiona does a collection on behalf of the retirement village residents and books in time to drop items off on their behalf.

Casey Equity and Inclusion Award – Ray Adcock

Ray has made an outstanding contribution to the Casey community over the past year by facilitating numerous social events for the Casey Rainbow Community and providing a strong voice for the group. Ray partnered with the local Casey Cardinia Rotaract Club to auspice a grant for the facilitation of events in a neurodiverse inclusive space for an intersectional community.

Lindsay King Art Award – John McMahon

John is a member of the Berwick and District Woodworkers Club. As part of this club, he contributes to the significant handmade toy contribution that the club makes to local children’s charities each year. John has recently prepared a proposal for the establishment of a National Woodcraft Collection and Exhibition Centre to be located in Berwick. He has spent many hours researching the project and dedicated his own time to meeting with the Council, as well as local and federal MPs to gain support for his project.


Thumbs up

To the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal this week.

Thumbs up

Looking forward to the Bunyip Community Market this Sunday.

Thumbs up

To Matt and the team at Mitre 10 in Beaconsfield- helped me enormously with a tricky task with an item for a care facility. Thank you.

Thumbs up

To a paid day off this week!

Thumbs up

To an extra long weekend.


Man dies in collision

A man has died following a collision in Pearcedale on Thursday afternoon.

It was reported to the police that a car travelling on Tyabb-Tooradin Road collided with a truck approaching in the opposite direction around 4.50pm on 21 March.

The driver and sole occupant of the car died at the scene.

The truck driver was unharmed and stopped at the site of the collision.

Circumstances surrounding the incident have yet to be established and clarified, with an investigation currently ongoing, police said last week.

Authorities are urging anyone who witnessed the collision, or those with dashcam footage or further information, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or

$500k of stolen vehicles and parts seized

Over $500,000 in stolen vehicles and parts were recovered from a semi-rural Cranbourne East home in the morning of Wednesday 20 March.

A 39-year-old man was charged by detectives from the Vehicle Crime Squad with trafficking drugs of dependence, 11 counts of handling stolen goods and possessing proceeds of crime-related offences.

With assistance from the Vehicle Examination Unit, a search warrant was executed at the home which stored 10 stolen vehicles, of which were seven HoldenV8s, aToyota Landcruiser, a Mazda BT50, and another Toyota vehicle.

There were also three stolen road bikes, a stolen dirt bike, five stolen car engines, one stolen trailer, a stolen front-end loader, a stolen forklift and a stolen quad bike, all of which were seized by police.

Police believe that the property was used for vehicle rebirthing, which Julie Macdonald, Detective Inspector from the Vehicle Crime Squad said “refers to modifying or removing identifying information from a stolen vehicle or parts to disguise it has been stolen”.

“The wider ramifications of this kind of crime can ripple through the entire community, from someone who can’t get to work or school because their car’s been stolen, to insurance premiums being raised for everyone to cover the costs of vehicle theft.”

Other items were also seized from the home, including a small quantity of cash and a traffickable amount of suspected methylamphetamine.

All of the seized vehicles were displaying cloned number plates and had their vehicle identifiers, the VIN and engine numbers, either removed, altered or defaced.

“Rebirthed vehicles can be a major safety threat to unwitting buyers, often the process is not carried out by a qualified mechanic, meaning that the car could have serious issues which can result in an accident,” Inspector Macdonald said.

The suspect was bailed to appear at the Magistrate’s Court on 27 March with further investigation still ongoing.

Two charged following Hampton Park shooting

Police charged two people on 20 March as part of their investigation into a non-fatal shooting in Hampton Park this month.

A 25-year-old Cranbourne East man and a 21-year-old Clyde North woman were arrested with assistance from the Special Operations Group shortly after 11am on Wednesday 20 March in Mount Waverley.

During the arrest, investigators located and seized a firearm.

The pair were interviewed and subsequently charged with attempted aggravated carjacking with a firearm, armed robbery with a firearm and intentionally causing injury.

The man was also charged with using a firearm contrary to the firearms prohibition order.

They were remanded to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 21 March.

The arrests follow an incident about 4am on Saturday 16 March where a man and a woman were approached while sitting in a vehicle parked in a car park on Hallam Road in Hampton Park.

It will be alleged that an altercation took place after demands were made for money.

A firearm was then discharged, striking a 39-year-old woman in the arm.

She later presented at the hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The 47-year-old man who was with her in the vehicle was not physically injured.

6 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 28 March, 2024
Jo from Brentwood Park Neighbourhood House and Community Centre gets into the spirit of the Easter egg hunt in Berwick. 397153 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS
John McMahon, Lucille Boothey (Aunty Lucy), Fiona Spargo, Shane Keen, City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM, Maya Pinn, Jodie Hollis and Kay Taranto and Stefanie Cruscz from Wild Days Wildlife Shelter. Picture: SUPPLIED

Our first Australian retirement village with premium aged care, Summerset Cranbourne North is selling off-the-plan now

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International fashion show

Along with a smorgasbord, the school celebrated with a fashion parade in a colourfully decorated quadrangle.

The day was part of Harmony Week – a national celebration of cultural diversity and inclusiveness.

Primary school marks Harmony Week with concert

on Friday 22 March,

The assembly in the Cranbourne West school was opened by students with a Welcome to Country and AUSLAN teachers helping the school communities to sing and sign the national anthem as they have been learning in classes.

Students were invited to wear their traditional cultural clothing or a touch of orange.

They presented cultural performances that they had worked hard over the past few weeks to get ready for.

A spokesperson for the school said they had dances from New Zealand, Australia, and India, songs from Sri Lanka, and folktales from Fiji and India were narrated along with Maori Haka performed by students from Cranbourne West Secondary College.

“It was a lovely afternoon, and our performers were excellent,” they said.

“It is a concert that recognises and highlights the beauty of our cultural diversity and inclusiveness at our school.”

8 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 28 March, 2024 NEWS
A Cultural Infusion Concert marked Quarters Primary School’s annual celebration of Harmony Week with students from different communities sharing their cultural songs, dances, and national dresses. Harseerat. 394086 Pictures: LJUBICA VRANKOVIC Cranbourne West Secondary College students. 394086 Nehmat. 394086 Cranbourne West Secondary College students. 394086 Claire (left), Helen (middle), So’outuli (right). 394086 Students and families shared bright fashions and tasty foods from around the world for an annual Harmony Day event at Southern Cross Primary School. Aisha, 11, brings vibrant fashion to the family day. 389242 Pictures: LJUBICA VRANKOVIC Ridwan 7, Aisha 11, Lomani 11, Destinee 11. Hadiyaz, 6, in elaborate costume for Harmony Day. 389242 Hadiyaz 6, Sarab 6, Dewa 8, Adam 11, Sia 11, Amir 11, Isabelle 10, Lily 11, Ayla 10, Zahra, and Somaya 4. Sarab, 6. 389242

You can keep fighting fatigue, until you can’t.

Working 17 continuous hours causes impairment equivalent to .05 blood alcohol concentration level.

Working long, multiple days in a row by yourself can be part of the job but consider the cost to you and your family.

Check in with yourself and others around you.

Know the signs of fatigue, visit

It’s never you, until it is. Thursday, 28 March, 2024 | STAR NEWS 9
farm safety

‘Unjust’ two years of tax

Moving to Clyde North and building a home had been a big goal for the Fernando family after selling their old house in 2014.

However, while they achieved that milestone, the family had been issued land tax worth two years on their primary place of residence.

“Never in my mind, had I thought about contacting the State Revenue Office or that they were going to contact me,” Sameera Fernando, husband and father of three, said.

“Because it’s a principal place of residence (PPR), I know I don’t have to pay any land tax, there was never an intention of letting the SRO know that we lived in our home or anything.”

In the Legislative Assembly on Thursday 7 March, Berwick MP Brad Battin addressed the Treasurer on this issue and detailed that the Fernando family’s certificate of occupancy was issued on 19 March 2019, and then soon after the family moved into their home.

According to the SRO website, principal places of residence are exempt from land tax and they are made known of this with the homeowner providing the SRO with a notice of acquisition of an interest in land, or NOA.

According to Hansard, Mr Battin also added the land tax was issued since there was no person occupying the land for two years.

“I got a notice that said I owed some money, so I called the SRO and told them about the situation,” Mr Fernando said.

“They asked me all the specific details, and then when the agent finished doing her calculations on her end, she said that they could exempt us from this year and next, but for the first two years, we needed to pay.

“I was like, ‘Why is that?’ And she said that the rule was that within 12 months we needed to build, and if we were not building we needed to contact them and let them know that it is an owner-occupied property - but we didn’t know this,” Mr Fernando said.

A vacant land tax is a chargeable fee from the SRO, but only to property that is vacant for more than six months in inner and middle Melbourne, and still does not apply to one’s PPR.

It was on 10 December 2016 when the Fernando family signed a contract for land in Clyde North, the land was settled in 2018, and before the family could sign a building contract with Ranshe Homes, Mr Randolf de Silva, then-director of the company passed away.

After choosing Smarthomes as their next builder, construction began in February 2019 with the family moving in soon after.

Mr Battin, who is currently handling the situation said that “the Fernandos have complied with all the details they were provided, the government is inferring that Mr and Mrs Fernando failed to read a section of the website about applying for an exemption”.

“This request is just a way for the government not to return the money, for now, the next step is we will await the minister’s response to the other questions we have put in,” he said.

After the Fernando family attended Parliament on 20 March with Brad Battin MP, Mr Fernando recalled the Treasurer promptly tell-

ing them that they needed to pay the land tax, and that “there wasn’t an answer or anything”.

“I just want to know, what is this rile, and who should have been the one to have told us?

“I mean before buying the house there was no information and no one told us that we had to do this, so why should I pay?

“I didn’t sell it, and I can’t use the vacant lot as an investment property; I just didn’t understand, but that was the explanation that was given to me by the SRO agent,” he said.

The family never owned an investment property and had been renting after selling their original home while their current residency was being built.

“If it was my investment property by all means, I would happily pay the tax, that’s the rule and my accountant would have advised me on that, I would have gotten a bill and I would have paid it.

“But I lost money on this one because I had to pay for its mortgage and at the same time my family was renting, so why on Earth should I pay more tax?” Mr Fernando said.

The land tax was also issued on the same month their newest child was born, putting unprecedented stress on the family.

Currently, both the Fernando Family and Brad Battin MP are waiting for further updates, with hopes of further details and an amendment to the land tax.

Treasurer unswayed by SEMMA plea to stop tax rises

A South East manufacturers peak body has called for a Parliamentary inquiry as its campaign against steepling land taxes and valuations failed to move the state’s treasurer.

Honi Walker, who is chief executive of South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance (SEMMA), said that at a sought-after meeting with Treasurer Tim Pallas, he “basically ignored our request for a freeze (on land tax rises) for manufacturers and passed us to the Valuer General Victoria (VGV).”

The alliance were then “irate” with the response from VGV which reportedly said: “If you don’t like the valuation – then object”.

The land tax rises were introduced as part of the State Government’s ‘temporary’ Covid Debt Repayment Plan.

SEMMA, backed by an emphatic survey of manufacturers, is calling on a cap on the hikes which are “gouging” manufacturers to cover the Government’s “Covid debt burden”.

A Hallam firm’s land tax bill soared more than $119,000 in the past year – tripling from $58,575 to $177,400.

It’s a move that will cost jobs and investment as well as hinder business’s ability to compete interstate and overseas, SEMMA argues.

“Our members are hurting,” Walker said.

“These increases have been felt across

our entire membership base and the effects will be felt at the consumer level when we are forced to increase our prices to cover these tax hikes.

“If you thought the cost of living was high now – just wait until manufacturers and the supply chain pass on their land tax increases. It just doesn’t pass the pub test.”

SEMMA argues that manufacturers should be exempt from land tax rises due to providing an “essential service” and putting “our sovereign capability” at risk.

Meanwhile SEMMA was hopeful that its call for a Parliamentary inquiry will be heeded.

Walker said the land valuations were a result of VGV’s contracted valuers who use a “complex calculation” with a 10 per cent statistical variation.

“Suffice to say, you need an economics degree and a degree in land valuation to work out these increases.”

The Government argues that the land tax scale remains “progressive” – in that smaller property owners pay proportionately less than those with larger landholdings.

A spokesperson said the Treasurer met with SEMMA and “will continue to engage with industry”.

“We’re continuing to invest in Victoria’s manufacturing industry to help local businesses innovate and expand as they are key to growing our economy and supporting local jobs.”

10 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 28 March, 2024 NEWS
The Fernando family in front of their home in Clyde North, with Sameera Fernando on the left with their newborn and Shamini Fernando on the right with their daughters. Picture: ETHAN BENEDICTO SEMMA chief executive Honi Walker has stepped up the campaign against land tax hikes on manufacturers.

We’re building big near you and there will be transport disruptions

As part of Victoria’s Big Build, we’re easing congestion by building better roads in Melbourne’s south east. We’re also removing dangerous and congested level crossings and building the Metro Tunnel.

What we’ve done

Finished building new lanes and upgrading four key intersections on Hall Road between Carrum Downs and Cranbourne West

Opened the new inbound Princes Freeway exit ramp and widened the existing outbound exit ramp at McGregor Road in Pakenham

Upgraded four intersections on Western Port Highway – at Thompsons, Hall, Ballarto and CranbourneFrankston roads

Upgraded eight new intersections so far as part of the Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road Upgrade

Train disruptions: Buses replace trains in both directions

Cranbourne and Pakenham lines 13 to 14

Road disruptions:


roads, lanes and ramps Thursday, 28 March, 2024 | STAR NEWS 11 Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Check before you travel at
AprilCaulfield to Westall
Freeway, Berwick 6pm to 7am, until early April Lanes closed at Clyde Road in both directions
Warren-Cranbourne Road, Cranbourne East Until mid-2024 Closed between Berwick-Cranbourne Road and New Holland Drive Camms Road, Cranbourne East Until mid-2024Closed at Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road, Pakenham South 7pm to 6am, 24 to 27 March Closed between Southeast Boulevard and Ballarto Road Clyde Road, Berwick 8pm to 6am, 26 March to late April Closed northbound between Kangan Drive and Enterprise Avenue Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road Service Road, Cranbourne 26 March to late MayClosed between Clarendon and Marklin streets Healesville Koo-Wee Rup Road, Pakenham 8pm to 5am each night, 7 to 19 April Closed between Princes Freeway and Peet Street Princes Freeway, Pakenham 8pm to 5am each night, 7 to 19 April Gippsland-bound entry and exit ramps closed at Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road Ballarto Road, Pakenham South 7am to 6pm, 8 to 13 AprilWestbound lane closed on eastern side of Healesville Koo Wee Rup Road Brunt Road, Beaconsfield 8pm, 9 April to late AprilClosed at the level crossing

‘Egg-splorers’ on the hunt

With funding support from Community Bank Beaconsfield District, BPNH hosted its annual family Easter egg hunt event on Saturday 23 March, with children of all ages keeping out a keen eye for the hidden chocolate goodies.

The event also included a petting zoo, a visit from Piggy from Community Bank Beaconsfield District and face painting.


12 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 28 March, 2024 NEWS
The Easter spirit was alive and well at Brentwood Park Neighbourhood House in Berwick over the weekend. Star photographer STEWART CHAMBERS was busy capturing all of the Easter fun and games on the day. Nilani and Senudi (rear) enjoyed the Easter egg hunt with Yeri, Diana and Diyon (front). 397003 Bennett with a sheep, one of many animals at the event. 397003 Akoonah Park Men’s Shed members Lindsay, Jack, Ian, Brian and John cooked up some snags. 397003 Alisa, 2, from Berwick enjoying the Easter egg hunt. 397003 Piggy from Bendigo Community Bank Beaconsfield with Berwick MP Brad Battin at the start of the Easter egg hunt. 397003 Nelith and Johnny from Berwick find some eggs under a tree. 397003 Matilda. 397003 Pippa. 397003 Ayca. 397003

Managing risk in business


Ever thought about what could possibly go wrong in your business?

If you are like most business owners you may very well be thinking that there aren’t enough hours in the day to deal with what actually needs to be addressed already without creating more potential headaches!

Nevertheless, putting some time aside each month to consider potential problems can be of tremendous benefit and may well save you a lot of time and cost in the long run.

The reason for this is that if a problem happens that you had not had not anticipated, chances are that it will occur right when you are already busy.

The temptation then may well be to come up with a short-term fix just to simply get it off your plate as quickly as possible.

The problem is that these interim remedial solutions can often backfire since not considering all the implications may cause unwanted effects elsewhere, whereas a bit of time spent when things are less busy may enable a more rounded and ultimately better solution.

Another reason that risk management may

not be undertaken is that it can all seem “too hard” and hence gets placed in that wellknown bucket whereas the truth is that this is quite easy to do and simple to maintain. Here is how to do it.

The first thing to do is to create a ‘Risk Register’.

You simply succinctly define each identified risk (somewhere between 4 and 10 risks are usually enough) and associate a numeric ‘ID’ (identifier) with each.

For each risk, you then determine the likelihood that it will occur (where 1=’highly unlikely’ and 10=’extremely likely’), and then if it were to happen, what would be the impact (next column) where 1=’very low impact’ and 10=’catastrophic’. These two values are then multiplied together and the result put in the ‘Risk Result’ column.

Obviously, the higher the Risk Result, the more notice you need to take of it.

Once all risks have been identified, you

rank these where 1=’most serious’, 2=’next most serious’ and so on so that an ordered list of risks can be created. In the above example Risk C is clearly the one that will need most watching!

Once all the risks have been identified, create another table for all the risks that contains a column for ‘Mitigation Strategy’ (i.e. the things you will do to prevent the risk from materializing) and another column for ‘Contingency’ which are the actions you would take if the risk did actually occur. You then simply consider these factors for each of the defined risks and as appropriate undertake some preventative measures. In practice, you won’t necessarily need to mitigate every single risk, perhaps just the most important ones which you can assess using your derived risk ranking.

This table can then be reviewed on a regular basis (say monthly or quarterly) so that the risks and their associated ‘Likelihood’ and ‘Impact’ values continue to be reassessed.

This may then shift the ranking in the risk Register. It may well be that some of the risks go away over time and new ones will become apparent and should then be included into both tables. Keeping such a table up to date and accurate will provide many benefits and is part of good business practice.


Keep your kids busy and the planet happy

With the next round of school holidays quickly approaching, many parents and guardians may be scratching their heads trying to think of activities to keep their kids occupied. Read on to find out a few fun ideas to keep the kids busy in a sustainable way:

· Make your own backyard games: rather than buying new toys for the holidays, use a few common household items to create some fun games. For example, find empty plastic bottles, paint them white with red stripes and use tennis balls to make your own pin bowling set.

· Go on an insect scavenger hunt: create a checklist of insect pictures of the bugs and

other critters found in your backyard. Go outside with the kids and a magnifying glass and teach them about the little beasties around your home.

· Build a little veggie garden. Pick up a small garden bed from your local hardware store, along with enough bags of soil, manure and other products to fill it. Plant some easy veggie seedlings and use some icy pole sticks to write the name of the plants in the garden. Not only will these activities keep your kids entertained and happy for some time over the holidays, they will also benefit the planet! Originally published on Thursday, 28 March, 2024 | STAR NEWS 13 1/31 Princes Hwy, Dandenong VIC 3175 AnnMarieHermansMP 9794 7667 Wishingyouall theblessings, hopeandlovethat Easter celebrates. Happy Easter! 12678383-KG13-24
Prepare yourself with a variety of fun kids activities for the next school holidays.
benefit. NEWS
some time aside each month to consider potential problems can be of tremendous

Lack of action, they say

The Green Wedges Coalition is concerned the State Government’s new Green Wedge protection plan will not address the longstanding urban encroachment into green space.

Minister for Planning Sonya Kilkenny released the Green Wedge and Agricultural Land Action Plan 2024 on Monday 18 March that contains 20 actions to be implemented in the next three years.

It follows a 2020 consultation paper outlining 41 planning reform options designed to protect agricultural land and guide decisionmaking in green wedges.

“The peri-urban area within 100km of central Melbourne is home to some of Victoria’s most fertile soil and productive agricultural land. It punches above its weight – it produces enough food to meet 41 per cent of Metropolitan Melbourne’s food needs, including 80 per cent of its vegetables,” Ms Kilkenny said.

“Our precious Green Wedges and peri-urban areas are facing increasing pressure from over-development.

“They are at risk of irreversible change –once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.”

The new actions focus on preserving Green Wedges and agricultural land on Melbourne’s outskirts and tightening planning controls over developments.

In setting tight controls, the new action plan will prohibit new data centres in the Green Wedge Zone, Green Wedge A Zone, and

the Rural Conservation Zone and subdivision of small lots below the minimum lot size in some zones within 100km of Melbourne.

New conditions will be inserted for exhibition centres, group accommodation, and hotels.

A new permit trigger will be introduced for clean fill.

Casey is home to Green Wedges in areas aroundWesternport, Cranbourne South, Narre Warren North, and Harkaway.

The Green Wedges Coalition coordinator

Rosemary West said the new action plan had good intentions and correctly identified issues needing planning reform, including resisting land speculation and pressure to convert farmland to urban uses, retaining rural land for non-urban uses, and improving protection for agriculture and significant natural assets.

However, she pointed out the lack of real actions in the plan to effectively achieve these reforms.

“It has no actions to limit the spread of urban uses like schools, places of worship, or secondary dwellings in the Green Wedges,” she said.

“The Green Wedges will still be threatened by death from a thousand cuts. These urban uses rightly belong inside the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) where the students and parishioners live.

“We are disappointed that the very moderate proposals in the 2020 options paper to require schools and places of worship to be located adjacent to the UGB, on a main road with access to public transport and not in a Bushfire Management Overlay, has been dropped.”

Prior to the Victoria Planning Provisions by Amendment VC103 in 2013, places of worship, and primary and secondary schools were prohibited uses in Green Wedge Zones.

The 2013 amendment allows discretionary uses if they are considered appropriate.

Peninsula Green Wedge Protection Group, which formed in 2022 to oppose a proposed

large temple development in rural Pearcedale in Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge in a VCAT hearing, stood with the Green Wedges Coalition, stating that place of worship and other large urban developments should get specifically mentioned or refused in the new action plan.

“But we are happy that the State Government has chosen to further strengthen the GreenWedge and agricultural land protections with this new policy,” Pearcedale resident Craig Gobbi said on behalf of the group.

“We support actions in the plan to maintain the important non-urban purpose of the GreenWedges and avoid use and development that would adversely affect their future productive use or environmental significance. We also welcome the action to support preferred land uses and encourage uses that contribute to the non-urban landscape and character.

“We need policies like these to create zone consistency across the Green Wedges.”

Ms West said the coalition feared that Green Wedge protection would still largely be left to local residents, environment and Green Wedge groups, and sometimes councils fighting unequal battles inVCAT against cashed-up developers with KCs and expensive expert witnesses.

“WehopetherewillbetimeforMinister[Sonya] Kilkenny to consider closing some of the loopholes indicated above when she amends to the Victorian Planning Provisions to implement the actions in this plan,” she said.

Place of worship proposed in Green Wedge Zone

Shri Ram Janaki Charitable Trust Melbourne has proposed to change the use of its land in Cranbourne South to a Hindu place of worship and meditation centre.

The land at 104 Browns Road in the Green Wedge Zone is a low-density rural residential lot that currently contains a single dwelling, a swimming pool, a shed with an existing concrete slab, and paddocks with livestock. It is accessed through Browns Road.

The Trust intends to transform the shed into a place of worship, and apart from strengthening the existing structure, no extensions of any improvement are envisaged.

Holt MP Cassandra Fernando has written to Casey Council to support the application, stating that establishing a place of worship and meditation centre by the Trust would be welcomed by the Hindu community in the electorate, and across Casey.

“Hinduism is followed by 7.1 per cent of Holt residents, making it the third-largest religion in the electorate,” she wrote.

“However, I have been informed by my office that currently there is only one Hindu place of worship to support the religious and cultural needs of the growing community.”

The operation hours will be 9am to 1pm

and 5pm to 9pm from Monday to Sunday. A maximum of 50 attendants will be expected on the weekend night hours.

The facility will host six to eight Hindu cultural events annually. It will also run language classes on a fortnightly basis. One of the rooms in the facility will be converted into a meditation centre.

The proposal provides 15 standard car parking spaces and two disabled car parking spaces based on an average car occupancy of

3.33 persons.

The car park will be accessed from Kelly Road and the existing access for the residence on Browns Road will be retained.

The peak traffic hours are projected to be between 5pm and 9pm from Friday to Sunday, with 64 trips per hour.

The applicant believes the proposed place of worship will not impact traffic along Browns Road, Kelly Road, and their associated intersections.

No vegetation will be removed on site.

Six existing trees at the site have been assessed and two of them were identified with low retention values, not recommended to be incorporated into any design.

The removal of trees on site will be dependent on permit applications approved by responsible authorities.

The planning application will be advertised until 2 April.

14 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 28 March, 2024 NEWS from an outlet near you It'sFREE SCAN TO FIND YOUROUTLET 12665938-FC04-24
Opposite 104 Browns Road in Cranbourne South. 397762 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERSKelly Road, a dirt road close to 104 Browns Road in Cranbourne South. 397762 This Green Wedge land in Pearcedale has been earmarked for a proposed temple development. 365405 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

Upgrades moving along

Major Road Projects Victoria has started the next stage of work for the Berwick-Cranbourne Road intersection.

Works to upgrade the intersection of Berwick-Cranbourne and Narre Warren-Cranbourne roads has moved to its second stage, with traffic switched onto the newly built lanes last week as part of fully completing the intersection in mid-2024.

Last week, the crews reopened Cameron Street to traffic at Berwick-Cranbourne Road, with drivers now able to turn in and out of the temporary intersection, except for right turns into Cameron Street from Sladen Street.

Detours are in place via Thompsons Road, South Gippsland Highway, Broad Oak Drive, and Berwick-Cranbourne Road.

By upgrading the intersection in two stages, the project has avoided fully closing BerwickCranbourne Road and Sladen Street at Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road, keeping the road open throughout our works.

The crew has also reopened Rochester Parade, giving residents easier access to homes, Hunters Green Retirement Village, and Hunt ClubVillage shopping centre.

Works are now underway to upgrade the Camms Road intersection, which is set to open in mid-2024.

The traffic lights were also switched on recently at Lyall Street and New Holland Drive, creating a four-way signalised intersection, including new pedestrian crossings.

While Lyall Street was closed, crews installed a large amount of underground drainage, relocated utility services, and added extra lanes.

Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road is closed between New Holland Drive and BerwickCranbourne Road until mid-2024 as the crew completes works on the intersection. Gwenton Avenue will remain closed at Berwick-Cranbourne Road until mid-April, with detours in place via Eliburn and Elmslie drives.

During work, the crew has installed lighting

and over 600 metres of kerbs, laid approximately 3,000 tones of asphalt, built a new shared-use path for the community, and relocated major underground utilities.

The crew has future-proofed the local gas network by decommissioning over 520 metres of unused gas services below the road surface and installing wider gas networks below the new road, making it more reliable for years to come.

Pictures: SUPPLIED SouthGippslandHighwayandCameronStreet.

The Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road Upgrade features more than nine kilometres of shared walking and cycling paths, providing a better connection to the nearby residents and educational institutions, Casey Stadium, Casey RACE, and the Cranbourne main street shopping area.

The crew has been forging ahead with works along the project, with major works underway at Camms Road and South Gippsland Highway

as well as finishing works at Kingdom Drive, Majestic Boulevard, and Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road.

Once complete, this project, alongside the Hall Road Upgrade, which finished major construction in February nine months ahead of schedule, and recent upgrades to Thompsons Road and Western Port Highway will make it easier and safer for the community to move around Cranbourne.

Camms Road and Rochester Parade intersection upgrade. Berwick-Cranbourne Road intersection upgrade.


Tell us about yourself and your job in Connected Libraries!

I’m a customer experience officer here at Bunjil Place Library.

What do you love the most about working for your job?

Recommending great books to our patrons!

What was your most memorable moment during your current role in your job? Being named as a character in The Other Bridget!

If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

A cat - as long as it lives in a home like ours where she gets absolutely spoiled.

What were you like as a kid?

Only child so was a bookworm.

What event, past or present, would you like to witness?

Can’t think of one.

Which six dinner guests, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

Patrick Swayze, Carole King, Barbra Stresand, Jane Green, Kristin Hannah, and my husband. What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Friendly, outgoing, hardworking.

What would you do on your perfect day off?


Where is your happy place?

Home with hubby.

If you had to compete on MasterChef, what dish would you cook?

A cake.

Where is your dream holiday destination?

Anywhere where I can read and relax.

Connected Libraries customer experience officer Janine Kimberley. 393610 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

THREE … autumn activities

1 Visit a winery

It is one of the best times of the year to visit a winery in Victoria. Savour the newly harvested fruit and learn about the winemaking process.

2 Attend an autumn festival

There are plenty of stunning autumn festivals to explore around Victoria: the annual Grampians Grape Escape, Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival, and Pyrenees Unearthed Wine and Food Festival.

3 Host a potluck

It’s the perfect time to bring the family and friends together for a potluck. Dine with the brisk breeze and the smell of crisp leaves. Try different homemade recipes. Enjoy the cosy atmosphere.

Or, read the full digital edition as it appears in print now! Read the latest Autumn Edition of your favourite family magazine Autumn Edition magazine Read it now Scan the QR CODE Pick up a printed copy of Casey Cardinia Kids Today Magazine from outlets everywhere. OR VISIT: 12676619-ET13-24
with Connected Libraries customer experience officer Janine Kimberley

Celebrating women, culture

Large-scale woven sculptural installations, moving image works and striking paintings will don the Bunjil Place Gallery as the collection called Kungka Kunpu, or Strong Women, lands on Tuesday 2 April until Sunday 21 July 2024.

In partnership with the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Tarnanthi program, Bunjil Place will feature major contemporary works by celebrated women artists from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.

AGSA director Rhana Devenport ONZM said, “Kungka Kunpu (Strong Women) reflects the adaptive genius, energy and dynamism of Anangu culture”.

The collection tells the inspiring tale of women supporting one another through generations, expressed and interpreted through a multitude of art pieces.

MsDevenportsaiditisa“nationalshowcase for the artistic excellence, creative diversity, innovation and cultural depth of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art”.

“It recognises the APY art movement as a vital source of contemporary art production in Australia today.

“This exceptional travelling exhibition gives audiences outside of South Australia a rare opportunity to experience AGSA’s far-reaching and impactful Tarnanthi program,” Ms Devenport said.

Kungka Kunpu features major contemporary works by more than 60 Anangu women artists that centre on caring for Country, mapping significant sites and life-sustaining practices of the desert while sharing narratives of family obligations and relationships.

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard AC voiced her support for the exhibition, saying that “Strong Women, the theme of Kungka Kunpu, is a message of empowerment with a

relevance that stretches far beyond Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara [APY] Lands”.

Ms Gillard, now the current chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London at ANU also added that

“it impacts women in all parts of Australia and all corners of the world”.

“This touring exhibition represents a singular opportunity for the views and voices of Aboriginal women, sharing traditional wisdom

about the importance of female strength, to be seen and heard around our nation.”

Kungka Kunpu includes works that have been crafted from diverse materials including Tjanpi Desert Weaver’s sculptural installations made from tjanpi (grasses) and other objects.

This works ties together local knowledge and cultural meaning, serving as an interpretation of Tjanpi Desert Weaver’s collective practice and the important role of Tjanpi for Anangu artists.

Artist Mrs Kaika Burton said “we have very strong feelings towards our grasses, we love them”.

“They have sustained our lives forever, so when people ask us about our tjanpi and we say they have Tjukurpa, we really mean it,” she said.

New technology in the form of moving images helped capture the vision of young Anangu artists, with the exhibition featuring a cross-generational film of the same name, Kungka Kunpu that first premiered at Tarnanthi in 2019.

Combining live action and animation, artist Kaylene Whiskey explained that “we want our film project to show a strong, positive message about life in a remove Indigenous community”.

“Us young women here in Indulkana love to dance and have fun and make each other laugh, we’re proud to live on our land and hold on to our culture and language,” she said.

Among the exhibiting artists in Kungka Kunpu (Strong Women) are Angkuna Baker, Kunmanara (Wawiriya) Burton, Nyunmiti Burton and Mrs Kaika Burton.

Other artists present also include Sylvia Ken, Kunmanara (Militjari) Pumani, Rhoda Tjitayi, Tjanpi Desert Weavers, Kaylene Whiskey and Yaritji Tingila Young.

For more information visit au/events/kungka-kunpu-strong-women Thursday, 28 March, 2024 | STAR NEWS 17 Sunraysia Prune Extract is a food and not a medicine *Fornaturalconstipationrelief;Save20% offervalidfor12-monthsubscription. Subjecttoterms&conditions. Freefromchemicalsandonehundred percentnatural Morethan70prunesineveryjar Naturallyrichinantioxidants,vitaminsand mineralsincludingpotassium,dietaryfibre, magnesium,VitaminK,BoronandSorbitol Helpsrelieveconstipationnaturally Helpspromoteguthealthand improveddigestion Enjoyateaspoondaily,ormixwith anyfood,tea,yogurtoruse incooking Wehavethe naturalanswer Constipated? GetyourDailyDoseofRegularity withSunraysiaPruneExtract TM From 99c perday* 1800 778 637 ScannowtoSAVE20%*plusget$5offyourfirstorder 12666754-FC10-24 NEWS
Iwantja Young Women’s Film Project featuring Kaylene Whiskey, Leena Baker, Leonie Cullinan, Betty Muffler, 2019. Picture: IWANTJA ARTS


18 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 28 March, 2024 They know business... what do they know about Footy? Find out each week with Berwick Star News Tip Stars! Our local business leaders are Footy Mad! They love tipping and they are very competitive. Follow them every week and celebrate our regions Tip-Stars! Congratulate or console them when you see them… Can you beat our Tip-Stars! BERWICK TIP-STARS Sponsored by Sponsored by 12674926-CB10-24 12676836-MP12-24 (aged 5-12 years) INCLUDES UNLIMITED TEA, COFFEE, SOFT DRINKS AND JUICES 12676057-KO12-24 Phone: 9330 0702
Homewood South East Orthodontics Phone: 5945 0607
Price Star News Group Phone: 9796 1777Phone: 5945 0613 Mark Wright Berwick Nissan Marcus Uhe Star News Group
8796 6222
Wahab Berwick Mazda Phone: 8725 1900
Bonnett Lexus Phone: 5941 7677 Tim Fidone Robot Building Supplies Phone: 9709 2530
Scott Berwick Toyota Phone: 9709 1900Phone: 0412 930 177
Sklepic Berwick Kia Matt Ketteringham Barry Plant Berwick Brisbane Carlton Fremantle St Kilda Melbourne Western Bulldogs Sydney Geelong BYE Brisbane Carlton Fremantle Essendon Melbourne Western Bulldogs Sydney Geelong BYE Brisbane Carlton Fremantle St Kilda Port Adelaide Western Bulldogs Sydney Geelong BYE Brisbane North Melbourne Fremantle Essendon Port Adelaide Western Bulldogs Richmond Hawthorn BYE Brisbane Carlton Fremantle St Kilda Melbourne Western Bulldogs Sydney Geelong BYE Brisbane Carlton Fremantle St Kilda Port Adelaide Western Bulldogs Sydney Geelong BYE Collingwood Carlton Adelaide St Kilda Melbourne West Coast Sydney Geelong BYE Collingwood Carlton Fremantle Essendon Port Adelaide Western Bulldogs Richmond Geelong BYE Brisbane Carlton Adelaide St Kilda Port Adelaide Western Bulldogs Sydney Geelong BYE Brisbane Carlton Fremantle St Kilda Melbourne Western Bulldogs Richmond Geelong BYE Round 3
vs Collingwood North Melbourne vs Carlton Fremantle vs Adelaide Essendon vs St Kilda Port Adelaide vs Melbourne
Bulldogs vs West Coast Richmond vs Sydney
vs Geelong
Gold Coast Suns and GWS Tipstars Leaderboard
Scott .......................15
Price ........................15
Ketteringham ............11
Sklepic...................8 Mark Wright........................7 12678673-AI13-24 *Apologies to Andrew Sklepic who’s tips had been entered incorrectly showing results of 3 correct but he did score a total of 5 for Round 2 5 5 7 3 5 5 6 7 6 6
Andrew Thursday, 28 March, 2024 | STAR NEWS 19 CALL 1300 666 808 ADVERTISE with us and get better results CLASSIFIEDS EARLY DEADLINES EASTER Classified deadlines for Thursday, 28th March issue as follows: Tuesday, 26th March at 11am 12676102-SM12-24 DRAFTING All residential houses, extensions, garages and carports. Phone BARRY 9704 0148 After 6pm G6102263AA-dc17Jun V Public Notices and Event V Drafting SAME DAY TV ANTENNA SERVICE • 40 Years Family Owned & Operated • 25 Year Warranty • Senior/Pensioner Discount 0488 816 557 FAST FRIENDLY EFFICIENT #1 in BERWICK Phone 7am-8pm| FREE QUOTES 12619666-KO29-23 GUTTER CLEANING POWERFUL VACUUM LEAVES NOTHING BEHIND Pressure Cleaning/Solar & Window Cleaning Satisfaction Guaranteed from $165 Call Jeff on 0411 314 104 12564021-MS34-22 20% off Exterior Window Cleaning with any Gutter Clean Real Estate section of Network Classifieds. V Antennas V Guttering Sell it local Needcash? SAXON FENCING Palings, Pickets, Colorbond Fences & Gates Prompt and Reliable Service Phone 0419 775 259 or 8751 4016 C1101420-JO46-13 V Fencing & Gates Andrew Craven Phone Andrew on 0408 585 508, 5998 1127 Support your local tradesman for ALL your concreting needs! C1085227-JO32-13 J.L. Hutt Electrical 24 HOUR SERVICE ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ Jason 1300 644 698 12438941-CG04-20 Placing your classified advert is so easy... Online: (24/7) Phone: 1300 666 808 (Open 8.30-5pm Mon-Fri) Email: (include your name, address and phone number) We accept payment by: VISA/MASTERCARD/EFTPOS (1.5% credit card processing fee applies. Cheques and money orders can be posted in or hand delivered to our local office) Ask about our discounted ongoing advertising rates and how choosing more newspapers gives your advertising more impact and saves you money... Deadline for all classifications is 11am Wednesday 12435765-SN02-20 A & F CONCRETING • SPECIALISING IN ALL TYPES OF CONCRETING/ CONCRETE PATTERN, SLABS • FOUNDATIONS ETC. • ALL DOMESTIC & INDUSTRIAL NO JOB TOO BIG OR SMALL FREE QUOTE ANY TIME RING 9700 4378 C63804-BG25-8 V Concrete Products & Services V Deadline BERWICK ELECTRICIAN Local, Honest and Reliable •Senior Discounts •Upfront Pricing •All Electrical Work CALL JACKSON 0480 022 406 Rec: 34611 12622961-HC30-23 $55 OFF A GRADE ELECTRICIAN Qualified & Licensed For prompt & reliable service No job too small • EV Car Charges. Lights, Power Points, Phone, & TV Points. CCTV. Rec 23156. Call for a free quote Mark 0401 523 330 12612952-KG24-23 SHEPHERD ELECTRICAL Public Notice NOTICE OF AN APPLICATION FOR AN AMENDMENT TO A PLANNING PERMIT Any person who may be affected by the granting of the permit may object or make other submissions to the Responsible Authority. An objection must: •be made to the Responsible Authority in writing to, Manager Planning, P.O. Box 1000, Narre Warren 3805 or emailed to • include the application number and site address • include the reasons for the objection, and • state how the objector would be affected. The Responsible Authority must make a copy of every objection available at its office for any person to inspect during office hours free of charge until the end of the period during which an application may be made for review of a decision on the application. The Responsible Authority will not decide on the application before: 11 April 2024 If you object, the Responsible Authority will advise you of its decision. The land affected by the application is located at: 25 Hyssop Drive HALLAM VIC 3803 Lot 194 LP 204975H The application is for a permit to: Removal of Covenant N588262M and Development of Two Dwellings The applicant for the permit is: A Singh C/- Planning Sense The application reference number is: PA23-0576 - (Tram Huynh) You may look at the application and any documents that support the application at the office of the Responsible Authority. City of Casey Bunjil Place 2 Patrick Northeast Drive NARRE WARREN This can be done during office hours and is free of charge. Documents can also be viewed on Council’s website: 12679897-KG13-24 V Public Notices and Event 12669420-MS07-24 CALL OUT FEE* $0 REC26011 *$0 call out fee on all paid and completed jobs, same day service when available. SeniorsDiscount Upfront Pricing Same day service Call Joey 0480 014 823 BERWICK ELECTRICIAN On time, Local, Family owned DID YOUHAVEPOLIO? Effectsofpoliodolinger. PolioAustraliainvitessurvivors,carersandanyone interestedtoafreeinfo sessionatDandenongon Wednesday,3rdMarch2024, at11am Bookinglink: ContactDevalinatoRSVPon 0466718222 devalina@ All Types of Domestic & Commercial Work ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ★ ฀ ฀ ★ Call Chris: 0416 079 689 - 5940 7264 L&L ELECTRICS ฀ 1198421-ACM37-15 Call 1300 666 808 From plumbers to pest control, carpet cleaning to building services, dry cleaning to computer repairs, lawn mowing and more, Network Classifieds has been connecting local businesses with the local community with our Trades and Services each week. Speak to our classified team and find out how easy it is to advertise. Start building your brand today and be seen every week in Network Classifieds Trades and Services. Grow your business with TRADES & SERVICES SAME DAY TV ANTENNA SERVICE • 40 Years Family Owned & Operated • 25 Year Warranty • Senior/Pensioner Discount 0488 816 557 FAST FRIENDLY EFFICIENT #1 in BERWICK Phone 7am-8pm| FREE QUOTES 12619664-AA29-23 12662038-SN03-24 “Local paper is the most established and best way to reach our local community” - Sussan Motoring section of Network Classifieds. Buy&Sellinour V Trades Business Profile V Electricians V Public Notices and Event Trades & Services General Notices


Narre Warren Senior Citizens Centre

If you are over 55 years old, newly retired, or new to the Casey area and looking for something to do, come and join us.

Narre Warren Seniors is a friendly Club and we can offer you many activities. Our main Club day is on Wednesdays from 9.30am to 3pm. On the first Wednesday of the month we enjoy socialising with our members and, on the next three (3) Wednesdays we have live entertainment wherein you can do some line-dancing if you wish and enjoy an afternoon cup of tea.

There are also weekly activities on other days of the week, which include the Garden Group Club, Indoor Carpet Bowls, Line Dancing, Table Tennis, friendly Card games, and a Gentle Exercise class. We are located at 192-196 Centre Road near the Narre Warren Station.

· Phone us at 9704 0015 or 0426 736 467 or email us at: for more information

Mental Health Peer Support Program Cranbourne Group - Free

The program is based on a 12-step program of personal growth, mutual help, and support. Participants share challenges and solutions in a supportive and structured peer-to-peer format within a confidential, caring, and sharing community.

· The meetings are weekly and go for about two hours. 10.30am to 12.30pm Thursday, excluding school holidays, 7/9 Selandra Boulevard (Balla Balla Community Centre), Clyde North. For any enquires contact Grow Victoria on 9528 2977/1800 558 268.

Balla Balla Community Centre

Located in Clyde North, the centre has vacancies in the following classes: Introduction to Creative Writing, Conversational English, Yoga, Zumba, Playgroup, Balla Balla Bubs (0-12 months). Morning Melodies is back! Share a morning of music, enjoy a cuppa, or scones with jam and cream, and make new friends along the way. · Enrolments can be made online at ballaballa. or by phoning 5990 0900.

Casey Cardinia Life Activities Club

Are you newly retired or new to the area or just wanting to enjoy your freedom or expand

Craft Classes

Do you enjoy craft making?

Join Berwick Activities Group’s Elizabeth to discover the world of papercraft and have a chat with like minded people.

You will be introduced to a range of papercraft techniques through a new project each week.

your social life?

Casey Cardinia Life Activities Club can offer you stimulating activities such as weekly social/chat activities with low-key in line dancing if you want to tap your feet and enjoy an afternoon tea. Day, short and long trips away via coach and flights, a weekly morning coffee club, monthly Saturday country pub lunches, monthly evening dineouts, weekly table tennis club, walking groups, seasonal daytime musical theatre outings, and more.

· Come along and get to know us by visiting us on a Thursday at 2pm at Brentwood Park Neighbourhood House or join us on a Wednesday at 10am for a Coffee at Little Sparrow Fountain Gate. For more information, contact enquiry officer Gloria on 0468 363 616.

Cranbourne U3A

Come along to Cranbourne U3A meet new friends and have fun doing interesting classes. We are

Casual attendance is welcome.

Timbarra Community Centre 20-26 Parkhill Drive, Timbarra Way, Berwick $5 per class, all materials supplied. Contact or phone 9704 1863.

· Tuesdays from 10am to noon.

a not-for-profit group for over 50 retired, or semiretired people. Our latest class will be Resin Craft, where we will be creating small items such as earrings, necklace pendants, coasters, and more. Great for small gifts for your friends. Come along and give it a try. Class materials will be provided for the first 4 weeks to give you an opportunity to try out a large variety of casts and molds. We have lots of samples to give you inspiration. Our usual craft, music, chess, table tennis, and calligraphy classes are all open to new members. Come along and give it a try. Our rooms are in the Cranbourne Library Admin building, enter from the Casey Radio entrance, next door to L’Arte Cafe. We are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm.

· Our website is - Check it out for more information or come along and talk to one of our friendly members who will show you around.

Merinda Park Learning and Community Centre

Located in Cranbourne North, it has vacancies in the following classes, learn to speak, read, and write in English - all levels, Monday to Thursday; Early Childhood Education classes - four hours on a Friday, government-funded, great to do before enrolling in a Certificate class; Computer classes every Wednesday morning and afternoon and in Hazaragi Wednesday evenings; Crochet and chat every Wednesday morning with a crochet teacher for free.

· Enrol now for our funded three and four-yearold Kinder Program with sessions up to five days a week. 9.30am to 2.30pm every day with structured play.

Seated Movement Sessions (Chair Dancing)

Would you enjoy exercising from the comfort of your chair?

Join the Berwick Activities Group for some seated movement sessions including fun and uplifting songs and different styles and eras of music. An opportunity to get moving and enjoy the company of others.

Timbarra Community Centre, 20-26 Parkhill Drive, Timbarra Way, Berwick. $8 per session. Contact or phone 9704 1863.

· Wednesdays from 10.45am to 11.30am.

Berwick Springs VIEW Club

Affiliated with The Smith Family, the Berwick Springs VIEW Club is a not for profit organisation, with the aim to fundraise to support Learning for Life students.

The club currently supports seven students of varying ages with their education expenses and are about to take on an eighth student.

Throughout the year, the club has a couple of special fundraisers, as well as casual morning tea and lunch for interested ladies. The club is always looking for new members in all age groups. For more information, contact Shirley on 0419 878 481 or email berwicksprings.viewclub@

· The club meets on the first Monday of each month in the Berwick Springs Hotel function room from 11.30am, where members enjoy a lunch and then host a guest speaker.

20 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 28 March, 2024 1 HOUR EMERGENCY PLUMBING ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ESTABLISHED 30 YEARS STANDARD RATES ON WEEKENDS ฀ ฀ ฀฀฀ ฀ ฀ SEWER BLOCKAGES –MACHINE CLEANED ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ 7 DAYS 0419 136 181 - 0419 136 151 1158529-PB42-14 V Plumbing ADVERTISERS PLEASE NOTE Anyone advertising a puppy, dog, kitten or cat in Victoria for sale or re-homing will need a source number from the Pet Exchange Register and a microchip identification number. It is now an offence to advertise unless the source number and microchip identification number is included in the advertisement or notice. For further information, call 136 186 or visit 12423634-SN31-19 V Pets&Services DISCRIMINATION IN ADVERTISING IS UNLAWFUL The Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1995 makes it unlawful for an advertiser to show any intention to discriminate on the basis of sex, pregnancy, race, age, marital status, political or religious belief or physical features, disability, lawful sexual activity/sexual orientation, HIV/AIDS status or on the basis of being associated with a person with one of the above characteristics, unless covered by an exception under the Act. As Network Classifieds could be legally liable if an unlawful advertisement is printed, Network Classifieds will not accept advertisements that appear to break the law. For more information about discrimination in advertising, contact your legal advisers or the Equal Opportunity Commission. Call or visit us online! Motoring section of Network Classifieds. Buy&Sellinour CALL OR VISIT US ONLINE! V Professional General Classifieds section of Network Classifieds. Celebrations ECONOMY TILING All Bathroom Renovations • Bathrooms • Toilets • Kitchens • Decks • Water proofing • Walls and Floors Free Quotes Call 0432 550 066 or 8707 5522 12678983-KG13-24 V Tiling Hot Winter Specials Pensioner Discounts • Brivis Gas Ducted Heaters • Daikin & Rinnai Splits • Installs - Service - Repairs • Duct inspections & Repairs 9702 4410 REC 17042 PIC 38148 AU 06212 12541726-HC12-22 V Heating NEED NEW STAFF? Fill your position online 12565959-HC35-22 Employment section of Network Classifieds. Oakfern Tree Care P/L Fully Insured Phone Geoff 0418 340 825 C316291-KK18-5 Pruning Removal Stump Grinding V PositionsVacant 0451 771 837Lic. no 122277 LOCAL PLUMBER Leaking taps Burst pipes Hot water Blocked drains Gas heating Leak detection CCTV inspection Pipe relining Storm water Sewerage 24/7 SERVICE 12670933-SM09-24 Employment ADVERTISERS, in this section are qualified practitioners and offer nonsexual services. V Massage Therapists DANNY THE HANDYMAN local handyman CARPENTRY DECKING, PERGOLA DOORS, WINDOWS, LOCKS ALL REPAIRS WOOD ROT REPAIR REPLACE PERGOLA POST GENERAL REPAIRS PAINTING EXTERIOR/ INTERIOR PLASTER, WATER DAMAGE DRYWALL REPAIR GUTTER REPAIRS GUTTER CLEANING TILING INSTALL/REMOVE BLINDS INSTALL TOWEL RACK INSTALL TV WALL MOUNT HANG PICTURES, MIRRORS PROMPT & RELIABLE FREE QUOTES FULLY INSURED YEARS OF EXPERIENCE NO JOB TOO BIG OR SMALL 0470 472 850 CALL DANNY 12643213-AA42-23 METAL WORK CUPBOARD, 1800H, 460W, also compressor + air hose reel $60ea. 0413 961 119. LIC111639 *$0 call out fee on all paid and completed jobs, same day service when available. CALL OUT FEE* $0 BERWICK PLUMBER On time, Local, Family owned SeniorsDiscount Upfront Pricing Same day service 12669321-MS07-24 Call Kieren 0488 822 284 Pruning & Removal of Trees & Shrubs Stump Removal Hedges Mulching & Mulch Sales Full Insurance Cover 0409 14 15 19 HIGH TREE TREE SERVICE ABN 20 410 687 524 Autumn Special THIS MONTH ONLY OFF 25% Rick Kruyt FREE QUOTE 124 8 4 888S N1 0 -21 Find us on Facebook Rainbow Club 48 Davies Avenue, Sunshine North 0468 693 833 SWA6566B $110/ 30mins Open 7 days 12652832-AI48-23 V TreeLopping/Surgery V HandyPersons V Plumbing V AdultServices V ForSale Trades & Services General Classifieds


Heart drives Harry through

On Saturday 23 March, Berwick runner Harry Bell ran 100 kilometres to raise more than $12,000 for Make-A-Wish.

Allured to raise money by bringing joy to children going through difficult times, Bell started the run at his home in Berwick and finished at the Esplanade, his 100-kilometre route taking him along the picturesque Beach Road and past several Melbourne monuments including the MCG.

Star News has documented his journey

Day 1 - 13 March

Following an intense period of training which consisted of 230 kilometres of running across the last 14 days, the taper-off period is well and truly underway. Bell awakened at 4am and is managing a few niggles via mobility work, but the early wake-ups are becoming difficult on the psyche. “Running that early can be a dark, isolated space. I’m trying to combat a few different niggles, but acknowledge I don’t need to rush through it.”

Day 2 - 14 March

Illness is starting to set in which has altered the routine Bell has stuck to since locking in for this training block. Bell slept for 10 hours last night, taking heed of the signs his body was sending and holding off training this morning. Believing the illness could spiral into a two-tothree day handbrake on his preparation, Bell chose to keep today’s training relaxed, but still went to the gym and had an evening run.

Day 3 - 15 March

Bell started today with a 15-kilometre run as he felt much closer to full health. Trying to juggle recovery between work was difficult, but necessary, to prime him as the run approaches. Juggling work with high volume in the gym and an intense running schedule has been a difficult component of the build-up. Bell’s workplace has been supportive of his endeavours, which has eased the pressure, alongside having the flexibility to alter his hours and work from home. Massages, ice baths, and a healthy working space in the office are all assisting the preparation.

Day 4 - 16 March

Bell ran 35 kilometres today, including 25 with a group, with the ability to run with others today something he cherished. The vast majority of runs in the lead-up have been individual given the high load that Bell is targeting. The emphasis has now shifted to relaxing, recovering and getting food in, and less on the distance run.“I’ve done the work so I have to trust the body to work as much as I can and smash it out on the day.”

Day 5 - 17 March

A day focussed on recovery. The closer the day gets, the more Bell wants it to arrive. Excitement continues to build and more people are getting behind the cause. Recovery day, went to gym and lounged around. Just let the body hopefully get back to full capacity so he has no issues going into Saturday.

Day 6 - 18 March

Ventured to Ballarat for a university graduation ceremony where Bell gave a speech. It changed up the scenery of the preparation, with Bell getting exposed to the strong running community that exists in Ballarat.

Day 7 - 19 March

The realisation of the positive impact that the money raised will have, although always front of mind, is starting to dawn on Bell. Make A Wish has been checking in everyday given the difficulty of the preparation. “Every dollar will turn more wishes into realities or help make some young kid’s dreams come true with a big wish so I know what I’m doing will do immeasurable good for the kids and these families.”

Day 8 - 20 March

Just three days out from the run, the load has dropped off 90-percent. Ice baths and compression boots are well ensconced in the daily routine. The wak-eup time has pushed back to 5.00-5.30; Bell is confident he’ll be able to wake up easily on Saturday and is prioritising rest for his body. The volume size of meals is increasing with a focus on dense carbohydrates.

Day 9 - 21 March

No running at all today, Bell getting the legs ticking over with a light early-morning bike session at the gym. Fuelling himself has been

an important factor in readying Bell for the run, with the runner strict on his meal preparation.English muffins with jam and breakfast smoothies have become staples of the morning routine, with lunch always at 12-12.30 and a pre-gym meal at 3.00-3.15pm all helping him lock in.

Day 10 - 22 March

Bell isn’t anticipating a good night sleep given the emotions surrounding today. Bell went for a relaxed 25-minute run and is hoping to keep the day as normal as possible given the emotions associated with it.”Today I woke up and felt ready to go; I got a lot of messages wishing me good luck. There is a lot of emotion I can’t describe and I’m feeling the support.”


It could not have gone any better.

There were no cramps, no niggles, rolled ankles or sore knees.

Bell woke up at 2.30am with everything laid out perfectly for him.

“Everything just clicked,” Bell said.

“It was surprisingly weird.

“I put a lot of training into it and I saw the rewards of it on the day.

“I thought there would be a point where I was like ‘geez this is hard’ but luckily that didn’t eventuate which is probably a result of the training.

“In terms of the run, mentally and physically, everything was all good.”

The night’s sleep had been as good as any in the last six weeks, generating a sense of freshness from when Bell took off just before 4am with mates Lachie Baker and Jesse Sands.

Bell highlighted the roll Sands played - having never run more than 25 kms, he ran 50kms which streamlined Bell’s mindset for the early part of the run.

“I knew he wanted to push his furthest distance but I thought he would go about 30!” Bell said.

“He rocked up on the day and said I’ve got 50, go and get me there and I said perfect.

“It took my mind off the matter of having to do 100, which helped the first 50 go a lot smoother.”

Harry’s Dad, Max, lit up the streets in a work van for the first hour of the trip.

The support crew all played instrumental roles in facilitating the run so Bell could focus

merely on the physical component, knowing everything else was taken care of.

The sun rose as Bell was in Mordialloc, and the blissful running conditions also helped the day run smoothly.

The chief source of difficulty was some difficulty processing food on the day, with Bell instead relying on carb-powder, gels and electrolytes.

There was a swell of emotions upon crossing the finish line.

“I got the euphoric feeling when I actually did it, and all my friends and family were there, but the actual emotion didn’t probably settle down until (Sunday) afternoon because I was still on that runner’s high,” he said.

“I was still locked in to getting the job done but reflecting on it, it was big, that’s for sure.

“I was happy, sad that it was over because I loved that build up to pushing myself for some-

thing that wasn’t just about me: that spurred me on when the training sessions were hard.

“To stop doing that now, I’m like ‘what’s next’.

“That empty feeling swooped in towards the end but in terms of emotions, there were a lot and it’s a moment I’ll probably never forget because it got to the point where I knew I had raised 10k and run 100kms.

“There was a pivotal moment where I stopped and was like ‘wow, everyone here has given back and raised a lot of money and given joy to people who need it most.

“It would be up there with my best achievements and it’s something I’ll remember forever.”

Those wishing to donate can do so via the following link: https://fundraise.makeawish. Thursday, 28 March, 2024 | STAR NEWS 21
Belltakessomedeepbreaths. HarryBellatthefinishlineofalongfundraisingjourney. 3978767 Pictures:SUPPLIED

Magical win for Maroons

A fighting half-century from Upper Beaconsfield (8/191) skipper Will Haines (73 not out) has guided the Maroons to the Casey Cardinia Cricket Association (CCCA) District Division premiership on Sunday.

The game was setup by offie Andrew McDonald, who took seven wickets, bowling in tandem with legendary leggie Scott Pitcher to put the clamps on the Officer innings.

The hosts were kept to 9/190, with Haines hitting the winning runs in the 76th over, his team eight down fittingly with McDonald at the crease.

Officer’s innings got off to a rollicking start as openers Jaswinder Gill and Chathura Imbulagoda both cashed in against the quick bowlers to propel Officer to 2/121.

It provided a launch-pad for the Bullants to bat Upper Beaconsfield out of the game, but the middle-order was unable to find the same tempo as the openers.

First drop Jack James, second drop Ash Smith and third drop Will Carlyle all faced at least 60 balls, but went at strike rates of 31, seven and 11 respectively.

Between the third and fourth wickets, there were seven maidens, including the five overs which immediately preceded the breakthrough, as the fourth-wicket partnership put on just six runs in 70 balls.

The partnership prior was seven off 45 balls and the one following 11 runs off 48 balls.

Then one run off 13 balls.

The slow bowling completely dominated the middle-overs of the game and effectively negated any benefit the Officer lineup looked to gain from the quick start.

With the two spinners bowling in tandem for most of the second phase of the first session on day one, Upper Beaconsfield fit 48 overs in before tea as they controlled the speed of the game.

The outfield was slow and the batters showed little endeavour against the searing accuracy, difficult angles and steep bounce of the tall Maroons tweakers.

Momentum had entirely shifted.

McDonald finished with figures of 7/77 off 37 overs – bowling unchanged up one end from the seventh over – while Pitcher’s 25 overs yielded 1/30.

The collective economy rate of the pair was just 1.49.

Despite going at a run-rate of 3.78 in the first 32 overs, Officer’s final score of 190 put the game in the balance – and all the momentum was with the visitors.

After finding runs easily in the first 10 overs, the Bullants were finally able to change the

course of the match for a period by picking up opener Corey Joyce and star batter Imesh Jayasekara in the space of four overs.

First change bowler Devon Gabriel-Brown claimed the wicket of Jayasekara, which was particularly crucial: after averaging 43 with the bat in another splendid season - including two game-winning knocks - he departed without troubling the scorers.

Nick Pastras was sent back soon after, while Josh Westra and Kyle Gibbs fell cheaply as the entire Officer bowling attack had threatening moments to help reduce the visitors to 5/77.

That brought Taylor Joyce to the crease, who did exceptionally well to take the scoring pressure off Haines, whose innings was pro-

viding the backbone for the chase. Each of his four boundaries came after scoring had briefly dried up, with his ability to release the shackles necessarily crucial in keeping Officer from building up serious and sustained pressure. Joyce scored 27 runs in a partnership of 38 with Haines before Noah Parraga got through his defences.

The experience of Scott Pitcher shone through when he strode to the middle as he scored just 13, but was in the middle for 14 overs, willing to take the game deep knowing the deep batting order his side possessed.

When Cooper Pursell got him with a slower ball, AJ Claxton, who has opened the batting in the seconds this year, played a part in a 27-run

partnership, with the team’s constant ability to keep the scoreboard ticking crucial to the result.

Claxton’s dismissal, the eighth wicket, kept Officer in it with the Maroons still 15 runs adrift, but it took just 30 balls for them to get over the line as the coolness of Haines and McDonald finished off the job.

In a battle between last season’s runnersup, and a team which has had a more recent taste of Premier, it was the one with more recent grand final experience which won out.

And they did it in a way which demonstrated a calmness in big moments which highlighted their takeaways from the 78-run loss in 2023-24.

Legendary leggie praises McDonald for seven-wicket haul

Upper Beaconsfield leg-spinner Scott Pitcher was full of praise for Andrew McDonald after the Maroons premiership in the Casey Cardinia Cricket Association (CCCA) District grand final on the weekend.

McDonald took seven wickets in a herculean bowling performance which saw him bowl 37 overs on the bounce, using his height to dry up the scoring.

Batters also struggled with the ball spinning different ways up either end as Pitcher and McDonald formed a lethal combination for much of the day, with the bowling partnership changing the momentum.

“He was really patient with the way he bowled,” Pitcher said.

“He didn’t get sucked in to bowling at the batter – he bowled to our plans which worked and he just toiled away on the same line and length.

“That was the plan and it’s what we executed.

“We just had to work in a partnership and try and stop the flow of runs when the batters first came together.

“We found they didn’t really like the slower bowling so we wanted to keep it as tight as possible and they got stuck in a hole a little bit and we took advantage of that.

“I was lucky enough to play a role at the other end, bowling 20-odd overs, and we really shut them down either side of tea and it fell in our hands a little the next day.”

McDonald’s performance follows a fivewicket haul in last season’s District Division grand final.

Pitcher was full of praise for the Maroons’ supporter-base who were vocal on the sidelines which played a role on Sunday as Will Haines dug deep, scoring an unbeaten 73 to guide his team home.

The proactive mindset of the visiting batters played a role in the outcome, with Haines the poster-boy of that, scoring just four boundaries but still scoring at a reasonable strike rate.

“He just rotated the strike a lot,” Pitcher said of Haines.

“Him andTaylor Joyce put on an important partnership and kept the momentum going at one stage.

“We made sure we weren’t getting stuck or bogged down.

“They’re allowed to bowl good overs but we have to turn the strike over which is what Will did really well.

“Every guy who came in supported him.

“It was a great batting performance and captain’s knock.”

22 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 28 March, 2024
Premiership XI: Josh Westra, Corey Joyce, Imesh Jayasekara, Nick Pastras, Will Haines, Kyle Gibbs, Taylor Joyce, Scott Pitcher, AJ Claxton, Andrew McDonald, Jayden Joyce. 396636
Picture: ROB CAREW Upper Beaconsfield celebrate after the winning runs are scored.The Maroons sing the song. The effort of Will Haines with the bat were match-sealing for Upper Beaconsfield. 396636 Pictures: ROB CAREW

Southside to shine

The inaugural $100,000 Ladbrokes Southside Challenge will highlight Victoria’s first Good Friday Night meeting on Friday 29 March, with the Good Friday Appeal set to be the big winner.

An initiative of Southside Racing, the Ladbrokes Southside Challenge is a maiden event to be run over 1300m, with the field made up of six runners trained at Cranbourne, and six runners trained at Pakenham.

There will be a maximum of one horse per trainer.

Leading Cranbourne trainer Mick Price will captain the ‘home’ team, while Pakenham based Peter Moody will lead the ‘away’ team.

The race will have a strong charity element

– one of several fundraising initiatives to be run through the night – with all proceeds donated to the Good Friday Appeal.

“We’re delighted to launch this exciting initiative at our first Good Friday Night meeting,” said Southside Racing CEO Neil Bainbridge.

“When Southside Racing made its submission to race on Good Friday night, we had a very clear vision that the timeslot presented a fantastic opportunity to create a community event that would not only engage people in our sport, but also support fundraising efforts for the Good Friday Appeal.

“The Ladbrokes Southside Challenge will showcase the trainers that have invested their training operations and trust in Southside, while supporting a very worthy cause.”

Other fundraising activities on the night include the auction of several unique pieces of racing memorabilia and experiences, race day raffles, as well as $5 from every general admission ticket being donated to the Appeal.

Southside Racing is Australia’s newest racing club and was formed following the merger of the Cranbourne Turf Club and Pakenham Racing Club.

Southside Racing is home to the state’s leading training facilities, producing approximately one third of all staters inVictoria.

It conducts over 60 race meetings and approximately 500 races each season while generating over $300m annually into the local economy.

Heartbreak for Casey-South Melbourne

Casey-South Melbourne has gone down in the Vic Premier Cricket grand final in heartbreaking circumstances, losing via reverse outright to a rampant Carlton outfit.

The Blues needed 251 runs in the last 36 overs of day three to claim the premiership and did it with five overs in hand as their experience came to the fore.

Carlton skipper and former Big Bash league player Evan Gulbis and Melbourne Renegades-contracted Mackenzie Harvey opened the batting with intent, scoring 88 runs off the first nine overs of the chase.

Young Casey lefty Harry Hoekstra broke through with the first ball of the 10th over, claiming Harvey for the second time in the match.

But, by that point, the run-rate required was at six runs per over, which allowed new batter Jai Lemire to put it into the deep pockets ofWindy Hill and run hard, in between his own boundary scoring.

Skipper Luke Shelton claimed Evan Gulbis for 62 off 37 with the first ball of his second innings spell, but it did little to disturb the Carlton psyche.

The batting depth, poise and class of a perennial contender was on show, with each of the top five batters passing 35, and all scoring at a strike rate of more than 100.

It was a heartbreaking turnaround for Casey-South Melbourne, which at tea on day three appeared all but home.

State contracted opener Ash Chandrainsghe followed up a first inning half-century with a century, absorbing 263 deliveries and was a rock.

In a situation tailor-made for his oldschool

style of cricket, Chandrasinghe offered no chances and showed no signs of letting up despite the Blues trying several plans to dismiss him.

After Yash Pednekar, Ruwantha Kellapotha and Chris Benedek, in particular, had played a key part in resisting the Blues’ bowlers and hold on after securing first innings points, number 10 Nathan Lambden was the batter who faced the second most balls.

In an innings which needed to prioritise survival as they looked to bat 136 overs, he faced 85 balls stymying the momentum Carlton built up by taking 3/9 which was a significant moment in the game.

But he was undone with the first ball after tea, with Harry Hoekstra dismissed the following ball which gave Carlton the opportunity to chase.

That crushing turn of events for Will Carr’s men followed an outstanding display of bowling which enabled them to defend 212 against a typically high-scoring team.

After Carlton started their pursuit positive-

Rays down

Dandenong mid-season draft prospect Ben Hopkins was among a host of standouts in the Stingrays’ heartbreaking three-point loss to Geelong at Deakin University on Sunday.

The Stingrays went down 9.6 60 to 8.9 57 after Falcons key forward Zac McInnes was awarded a free kick with 30 seconds to play from virtually point blank range.

Despitetheresult,theStingraysplayed a style of footy that enabled several players to showcase their weapons in round one of the Coates Talent League.

Hopkins is also listed with North Melbourne’s VFL program, with the fruits of his preseason with the Roos on show as he won 27 disposals to go with five marks.

“We always knew his run and carry was there, and his kicking is something he’s working on, but has gone to another level,” Coach Nick Cox said.

“He had some exceptional moments with ground ball stuff and won some really important balls for us; not only one on ones but one vs two at times which is great because that is the stuff he’s been working on.

“You can just see that after training at VFL level he’s gotten better in that area.”

Vic Country representatives Cooper Hynes and Harvey Langford both spent time forward and on the ball showing their class, while aspirant Charlie Rowe played an important role and Harry Doughton carried on his form after a strong preseason.

ly, Hoekstra got the important breakthrough of Harvey to instil belief, with Carlton losing 10/97 after a 74-run opening stand.

The underdogs took nine wickets in the second session of day two, led by Ruwantha Kellapotha who spun a web around Carlton’s batters, taking 5/67 off 16.

Lambden was tireless with the ball in support of Kellapotha as that effort opened up a 41-run first innings lead.

Chandrasinghe, who was awarded the John Scholes Medal, was also the standout of the first innings.

The 22-year-old looked a class above as he made 53 off 106.

His dismissal, a misjudged pull shot which found a sweeper in the deep was the only misstep Chandrainsghe made all game, as he played with elegance and also caught well.

Kellapotha also played a key role with the bat, stabilising for the Swans after Yash Pednekar was dismissed in the first over.

The only two players in the lineup with state experience combined for 95 runs, with Kellapotha scoring 48 of those before snicking off to gully.

Chris Benedek was also a major contributor, willing to defend and absorb pressure in an innings of 52 off 158.

Usually a player who has attacking flair, Benedek was promoted to the First XI midway through the season after a series of significant scores in the seconds and played his most substantial hand in the final.

The right-hander paired his half-century with a second-innings knock of 25 off 76 and looked immovable until running himself out looking to come back for a third run that wasn’t on.

“What Langford did in the air adds another trait to his game and he had (several) shots on goal which showed special stuff,” Cox said.

“I thought his power around the ground and ability to get separation from stoppage at times was good too; it was a tough day with wind and he’s been working hard on his field kicking which was quite sound yesterday.”


There were seven locally listed players in action for the Rays on the weekend, with Tairon Ah-Mu, in particular, showing pleasing signs.

The strongly built 198cm Berwick junior and Haileybury College student won a team-high 12 hitouts to go with his two goals.

It was theVic Country Under-16 representative’s second taste of Coates League footy after a late season game last year.

“Tairon was a real presence for us up forward and did some nice things in the ruck,” Cox said.

After getting six games as a bottomager last year, fellow Wicker Kane Hurst showed he was also up to the level.

“He showed some real dash at times from halfback and won some big one-onones, so he’ll gain some confidence from the weekend.”

Beaconsfield key-position player Jordan Waters was thrown around positionally; Devon Meadows’ Toby Sinnema had some positive moments and Fountain Gate’s Coren Giliam and Lysterfield’s Riley Purton were also in action. Thursday, 28 March, 2024 | STAR NEWS 23
Ruwantha Kellapotha played a key hand with bat and ball. 395151 Picture: ROB CAREW Berwick’s Tairon Ah-Mu showed pleasing signs as a bottom-ager for the Stingrays in round one. 397661 Picture: BLACK BOOT PHOTOGRAPHY Cranbourne and Pakenham-trained horses from Southside Racing will compete for the $100,000 Ladbrokes Southside Challenge on Good Friday night at Cranbourne; raising funds for the Good Friday Appeal. 375565 Picture: ROB CAREW



Tuesday 2 April - Friday 5 April


10.00 am – 4.00 pm daily

Craft 11.00 am – 3.00 pm daily

Free entry

Come down and join us in the Plaza for some cubby and curated craft fun by Tiny Cupboard Creatives.

Our famous Cubby Village is the perfect place for kids and parents to play and let their imaginations run wild as they explore the different themed cubbies.


Tuesday 9, Wednesday 10 &

Thursday 11 April,

10.00 am – 1.00 pm

Free, no bookings required

Drop by Bunjil Place for free art and craft activities inspired by Kungka Kunpu (Strong Women) during the school holidays.

Children and their families are invited to get hands on and create their own works of art that explore themes and ideas from the exhibition.



Tuesday 2 April

Easter Bunny appearance 4.00 pm

Zootopia (PG) 5.00 pm

Thursday 4 April

The Bad Guys (PG) 4.30 pm

Tickets are $5.00 and includes an Easter treat

Over the Easter school holidays the Bunjil Place Outdoor Screen will be showing the furry family films Zootopia and The Bad Guys that will bring out the animal in you!

You can even meet the Easter bunny who will hop by before the Zootopia film.



Presented by The Wholesome Hour

Thursday 11 April, 10.00 am & 2.00 pm

Tickets $16.00

Polite Mammals is a totally wild, neo-vaudevillian variety show the whole family can enjoy. Celebrate animals of all kinds: real, imaginary, sparkly, stinky, polite and rude!

Inspired by iconic renegade 90s Aussie kid’s TV (The Ferals, Lift Off, Recovery).


Presented by A-List Entertainment

Friday 5 April, 8.00 pm

Tickets from $49.90 - $54.90

The Umbilical’s take the energy of live performance and the spectacle of cinema and smashes them together into a new show performed simultaneously on stage and on the big screen. It will blow your mind way more literally than you are expecting. Suitable for ages 12+.


Presented by Little Wing Puppets

Friday 12 April


10.30 am & 1.00 pm

Tickets Performance $8.00

A Little Bit of Blue is an interactive environmental detective story, told with puppetry.

The story begins with strange disappearances from Mrs Mavis Hooley’s home. Little things go missing: clothes pegs; a tea cup; a ball of wool. But then the thief takes it just one step too far. Mavis calls in a Detective to investigate. The children’s role is to help him solve the case.



Tuesday 9 April -

Friday 12 April

Daily sessions at 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm & 3.30 pm

Free, no bookings required

A world of imagination, costumes and stories!

The Nylon Zoo is a choreographed participatory event - you are the dancers and performers.

Children will be able to dress up and participate in a costume parade before settling inside one of the three installations for a storytelling session.



On show until

Sunday 7 April

Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Free event

Immerse yourself in the future of art and design from our local region. Bringing together artists across a range of media, Emergent 2023: Graduate Showcase Exhibition presents the next wave of artists, designers, makers and photographers at this very special celebration of contemporary art and design by graduating VCE and VET students.

24 STAR NEWS | Thursday, 28 March, 2024 Book now at, 03 9709 9700 or at the Box Office. Service fees may apply to phone and online bookings. 2 Patrick Northeast Drive, Narre Warren 3805 Brought to you by Film Program Partner WHAT’S ON EASTER HOLIDAYS 2024
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