Star Weekly - Melton Moorabool - 2nd April 2024

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Vintage cars drive auction

A working 100 year-old Dodge is one of about half-a-dozen vintage cars about to go to auction in Diggers Rest.

M.E Auctions is organising the sale that also includes a 1951 Daimler, a 1955 Mercedes and a 1969 Toyota bus, all in working condition.

There’ll also be “paddocks full” of other goodies including tractors, a forklift, machinery, implements, workshop and landscaping tools, PA gear, and more.

Seller Wez Rowe said he’s always had a penchant for buying and collecting unique items he likes at the “behest” of those around him. “I get to a point where I’ve got too much of a good thing and have to clear them out,” he said.

Mr Rowe said the Dodge ended up in his possession after a friend who was restoring it passed away from cancer in 2020. “Hopefully someone else can give it the attention it deserves,” he said.

There will be a viewing of the auction items on Friday, April 19, from 2pm to 4pm at 219 Diggers Rest RoadCoimadai Road, Diggers Rest.

The auction will be conducted online only, via live video stream from 10am on April 20. Details: saturday-20th-april-2024---diggers-rest

Rockbank growth rockets

The Rockbank-Mount Cottrell area has been declared the fastest growing region in the country for the second year running by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) comprises the growth corridor around the Western Freeway from Thornhill park, through Rockabank and Aintree, the southern part of Deanside, Mt Atkinson, Ravenhall, along with the less developed areas of Mount Cottrell.

The area’s population grew by 4299 people in the 2022-2023 financial year, the largest yearly population increase of any SA2 region in the country.

This is on the back of Rockbank-Mount Cottrellpullingoffthesamefeatin2021-2022, when it grew by 5000 people.

The ABS estimates that by June 2023 Rockbank-Mount Cottrell had a population of 27,259.

The ABS first recorded the SA2 area in 2011, with a population of 2660.

Thornhill Park Working Group member Matthew Pearse bought a block of land in the area in 2016, drawn by the great location and affordable price.

He said the rapid growth has brought positivesandchallenges-morefamiliescalling the area home brought certain infrastructure plans forward, but he feels there’s been a lack of accountability in actually delivering that infrastructure.

“It was easy to see how quick the area was developing by the time I moved in 2018,” he said.

“From the challenges of Alfred Roadd

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being closed for nearly 12 months, to delays of limited public transport options resulting in more residents being pushed onto the Western freeway…

“I want to see clear timelines in place in Precinct Structure Plans (PSPs), giving residents clarity of when projects will be delivered so families can make the decision where they call home and PSPs being enforceable from a state and local level so infrastructure projects are delivered in line with growth not based on decisions of the government of the day.”

Nearby, the Fraser Rise – Plumpton SA2 had the fifth largest population growth in the country – increasing by 3429 to 16,420.

Mayor mayor Kathy Majdlik said Melton’s greenfield suburbs are undergoing rapid transformation, but that also creates a lot of

work to do.

“People moving into newly created areas are often finding a community fast evolving around them, providing cultural and social connection,” she said.

“We have a great opportunity to set a benchmarkforgrowthanddevelopmentwhere services and infrastructure are planned and delivered in line with population increases.

“Our rapid growth is seeing significant government investment such as the new Melton Hospital, a new TAFE in Cobblebank, seven level crossing removals and a $650 million upgrade to the Melton line.

“We’ll continue advocating to the state and federal governments to improve roads and public transport, increase health services, provide more education options, and develop infrastructure to create local jobs.”

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Wez Rowe is auctioning off a collection of vintage cars. (Damjan Janevski) 397403_01

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Vision for future of Lake Caroline

A revamp of Lake Caroline is a step closer, with Melton council voting to endorse a draft strategytoguidethedevelopmentandupgrade of the lake and surrounding reserve.

In October 2022 Melton council began its Lake Caroline Masterplan and Activation Strategy project, and a draft of the master plan was tabled at a council meeting on March 25.

Lake Caroline is a popular spot for residents to enjoy social connection, exercise and take in thelocalwildlife,however,thereportidentified the reserve is 20 years old and elements of the original design, such as the boardwalks and

play equipment, are due for renewal in coming years. Water quality has also deteriorated which is a significant barrier for users at particular times of the year. Currently there are no strategic documents to guide the siting, design and delivery of these works, which this document aims to rectify.

The draft strategy also identifies opportunities for activation between the lake and surrounding commercial and residential areas.

The strategy identifies three guiding principles for development – ecology, connections and activation.

With in these three themes there were 17 suggested initiatives including connecting the northern ecology cascade and wetland system, a mid-lake crossing to connect the south and west of the lake and a generous event lawn at the northern end of the lake.

More than 500 submissions were received during community and stakeholder consultation undertaken last year.

Top suggestions included markets, seasonal celebrations and festivals, floating cafes, and rentable boats.

Melton councillor Steve Abboushi said the 500 submissions are testament to how valued Lake Caroline is by residents.

Thousands expected to mark Eid

To celebrate the end of Ramadan, Minhaj-ul-Quran Victoria is inviting the community to join Eid in the Park in Mount Cotrell.

Minhaj-ul-Quran Victoria Inc. is a communityeducationandwelfareorganisation established in October 2011 to cater for the educational, welfare, religious, spiritual, social and cultural needs of the Muslim community of Melbourne and Australia.

This year will be the 13th Eid in the Park hosted by Minhaj-ul-Quran, and the organisation is expecting up to 3500 guests.

Minhaj-ul-Quran centre director Dr Rafiq Habib said the day will commence with the

ritual Eid-ul-Fitr sermon and prayers at 10am followed by a meet and greet session and celebrations.

The activities will include market stalls including food, clothes, face painting and henna, and for kids there will be a jumping castle, fairy floss, an animal farm and more.

“As Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end and completion of one of the five pillars and an obligatory duty (Fasting) of Islam, therefore, at Minhaj-ul-Quran, we feel that it must be celebrated on such a grand level with fullest enthusiasm and passion which reflects the true brotherhood, friendship and community spirit,”hesaid.“Bringingthewidercommunity

Freeway works’ final stretch

Work on one of Victoria’s most crucial trade and travel routes is set to wrap up soon, with crews completing asphalting works along some of the busiest sections of the Western Freeway through Moorabool.

More than $9.2 million of asphalting works are nearing completion on sections of the freeway, westbound between Hopetoun Park to Leigh Creek and eastbound from Gordon to Myrniong.

The project is being delivered as a part of a $770 million “major road maintenance blitz” that also includes works at multiple locations on the Western Highway at Windermere and Trewalla.

Roads and Road Safety Minister Melissa Horne said the state government is hoping the road upgrades will support regional growth.

“Located in the heart of Caroline Springs, the surrounding reserve and lake is unique in its amenity, open space and local ecological value,” he said. “But, the lake is nearly 20 years old and parts of the original design are due for upgradesandrenewalaswellasstrategicvision for the site’s long term future.

“This draft master plan sets out a vision and principles to guide the future development and activation of the lake at its surrounds.

“I’d encourage the community to have their say on this important document when consultation opens next month.”

The draft strategy will go up for public consultation from April 19 to May 6.

Have your say on the roads

RACV is asking Victorians, including those in Melton and Moorabool, to provide feedback about how safe they feel on roads in regional Victoria as part of its My Country Road survey.

Thesurveyusesanonlineinteractive map that shows high-speed roads with largeconcentrationsofcrashescausing death or serious injury in regional Victoria between 2018 and 2023.

Participants can provide feedback by clicking on one of the highlighted roads and filling out a survey or nominating another road.

RACV Automotive Services general manager Jackie Pedersen, explained how RACV is using the survey results to help make regional roads safer.

together and sharing with them the happiness and joyfulness of Eid - Through this we aim to build bridges among different communities and promote the unity in diversity and community cohesion.

“Minhhaj-ul-Quran Victoria is striving for to cater the educational, spiritual, religious, social and cultural needs of the children, youth, women, men and senior citizens of the Muslim community of the Mount Cottrell and the surrounding area.”

Eid in the Park will be held at Minhaj City, Minhaj-ul-Qur’an Victoria, 167-177 Faulkners Road, Mount Cottrell on April 10, subject to moon-sighting.

“We want to gather as much data as we can to encourage the state government and local councils to make commitments that deliver safer regional roads and help save lives,” she said. “RACV conducted the first My Country Road survey back in 2021 and31regionalroadswerehighlighted as having serious safety issues. Of these, 16 have seen infrastructure upgrades commence or committed to

“We’re supporting one of Victoria’s fastest growing regions by upgrading the Western Freeway – the West’s busiest freight and travel route,” she said.

“This upgrade means getting produce to market faster, a smoother ride for workers and a safer journey for families.”

The Western Freeway is a key freight route foragriculturalindustriestogettheirgoodsto market, serving as an important connection for commuters to jobs and services in Melbourne, Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh and Melton.

Crews will be on-site at multiple locations along the freeway, with reduced speeds and traffic management in place.

The works are scheduled for completion by the end of May 2024, weather permitting.

“In 2023 there were 174 deaths on regional Victorian roads, that is an almost 30 per cent increase on the previous year. Given these tragic numbers, it is more important than ever that Victorians help us to make country roads safer by completing this

The survey will run for six weeks.

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Minhaj-ul-Quran centre director Dr Rafiq Habib. (Damjan Janevski) 395070_01

Aid demand ‘through the roof’

Demand for emergency support from the St Vincent de Paul Society is “through the roof” in the Moorabool area.

Michael Ryan is the president of the St Vincent de Paul Society Ballarat Regional Council, which manages the organisation’s work in Moorabool and Ballarat.

St Vincent’s has two volunteer-run relief centres in the area, which are open three mornings a week and can provide emergency material aid of food and domestic products, and some support for education expenses and utility bills.

Mr Ryan said that in the past 12 months

demand had gone “through the roof”, with one centre seeing a visitation increase of 300 per cent, and people requiring about 30 per cent more in assistance across the board.

“These stark figures underscore the urgent and growing need for support in our community that the St Vincent de Paul Society is responding to,” he said.

“In the current cost of living climate household budgets are under huge stress and the need is growing exponentially.

“People are struggling. It’s the worst I’ve seen.”

MrRyansaidthatthepressureisevengreater on single-income households, and there’s a sense of anxiety in the community, which can

have other negative knock-on effects.

“Clearly the cost of food and the basics of life have gone up,” he said.

“It’s really tough to meet those expenses… [for some] there’s a sense of disbelief that they need to come for assistance.”

Meeting the community demand is stretching the resources of St Vincent de Paul Society thin.

“The need in the last 12 months as far outstretched any budget allocations,” he said.

“The number of volunteers is [also] inadequate to deal with the surge - it’s rewarding work but it’s also really challenging emotionally.Ourvolunteersdoanamazingjob but it’s challenging.”

Tales of migration via multimedia

On the back of the success of three sold-out shows at the Melbourne Museum, Simon Reich is bringing his show Bonegilla: The Migrant’s Journey to his home town of Melton as a part of the Melton Heritage Festival.

Bonegilla: The Migrant’s Journey is a 1.5 hour multimedia performance about the journeyofWorldWarIImigrantsthroughthe Bonegilla Migrant Camp outside Wodonga that features first hand interviews, migrant’s own photographs and videos, sound design, a string quartet by members of the Melbourne SymphonyOrchestraandlivegrandpianolive music.

Mr Reich was inspired to write the piece by his father, who was one of 500,000 people who passed through the camp.

Mr Reich said the show’s city run attracted 600 people.

“Seeing the show finally come to life after four years of preparation, interviewing, video editing and composing the musical soundtrack, was truly a marvellous experience,“ he said.

“I remember sharing my vision with my wife of having two screens, immersive sound design and a live musical soundtrack and she remarked that she didn’t understand what I

meant... When she saw the show for the first time at the Melbourne Museum, she told me that was exactly what I had shared with her four years earlier.

“But the thing I remember the most was the tears, laughter and crowd response to the material within the show.“

Now, Mr Reich is excited for the show to be performed free on Saturday, April 20.

“It’s a thrill to bring this to Melton, as I have had a lot of local support for this project,“ he said.

Details: https://libraryevents.melton.vic.

MovingforwardMrRyansaidhecan’tseean end in sight to the issues people are facing, but hopes governments pull whatever levers are at their control.

“I can’t see what’s happening now changing muchoverthenext12to18months.Thiscould well be the new normal,” he said.

“It’s incumbent on governments to understand how difficult it is for people and do everything in their power to put downward pressure on the cost of necessities. It’s their obligation and responsibility.

“On a personal level we’re in a very difficult time for a lot of people. As a community we need to be conscious of what’s going on and be kind to people.”

Investing in growing suburbs

Melton council has been announced as one of eight local government areas to receive a share in $9 million from the state government’s Growing Suburbs Fund.

Suburbs Minister Sonya Kilkenny announced the 14 projects to receive funding on Wednesday, March 27, including $2 million for Melton council’s new open space precinct in Aintree which will include state of the art facilties, all-abilities playspaces, an off-lead dog park, fitness trail, skate park and soccer fields.

“Whether it’s parks, play spaces, sporting or health facilities, we’re delivering important infrastructure for communities in some of our fastest growing suburbs,” she said.

“We’re investing in these growing suburbs, to ensure they remain great places to call home, where communities can thrive.”

The projects are positioned within areas representing 23 per cent of Victoria’spopulation,allofwhichhave witnessed growth surpassing the state average over the last two decades.

Mitchell, Hume, Cardinia, Mornington Peninsula, Whittlesea, Wyndham, and Casey City councils were also awarded funding towards a variety of projects through the fund.

The Growing Suburbs Fund represents a $435 million state governmentinvestmentovernineyears to provide critical local infrastructure.

With the 2023-24 allocation, the fund has now supported 360 projects.

Details: suburbandevelopment.vic.

Melton council welcomes government’s stamp duty reform

Melton council has welcomed a new state government reform that will abolish stamp duty on Victorian commercial and industrial properties.

The state government introduced the Commercial and Industrial Property Tax Reform Bill 2024 in late March, which aims to transform commercial property tax by abolishing the upfront cost of stamp duty and replacing it with a more efficient Commercial and Industrial Property Tax.

From July 1, when a property is sold, it will transitionintothenewsystem,withstampduty being payable one final time on that property, and then after ten years the Commercial and

Industrial Property Tax applying at a rate of one per cent of the property’s unimproved land value.

To fund their final stamp duty payment, eligible purchasers can access a transition loan provided by the Treasury Corporation of Victoria on commercial terms, freeing up capital for businesses so they can expand or employ more workers.

Owners of residential, primary production, communityservices,sport,heritageorcultural properties will not be affected by the reforms.

Existing stamp duty concessions for commercial and industrial properties, including the regional concession, will all

continue to be available for the final stamp duty payment – and existing land tax exemptions will also apply to the Commercial and Industrial Property Tax.

Melton council Events, Arts and Economic Development manager Heidi Taylor said Melton City Council welcomes any reform that fosters economic growth and attracts investment in the community.

“This reform aligns with our commitment to supporting local businesses and stimulating economic development in the City of Melton,“ she said.

“Council is committed to reviewing and adjusting our strategies to accommodate these

changes,ensuringourindustriallandplanning initiatives remain responsive to the evolving needs of our community and businesses.“

Ahead of the July 1 start date, the government will provide educational support on the reform, including helping industry and taxpayers navigate the transition to the new scheme.

Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas called the abolished stamp duty “one of the least efficient taxes in the Federation“.

“We’ve worked closely with industry to deliver these changes, supporting Victorian businesses to grow and expand faster without the burden of stamp duty,” he said.

Simon Reich (right) and musicians performing the multimedia show Bonegilla: The Migrant’s Journey. (Adrian Bruch)

Ambos fighting to ‘have a life’

In eight years of working as a paramedic, mostly around Melton, Michael Toussaint said he still can’t predict what each day will bring.

“You don’t really have a standard day to day. I’ve had days where I’ve delivered babies and met wonderful unique people, days where I’ve genuinely saved lives and I’ve had days where I’ve been spat on and attacked by patients or their families when I am just trying to help,” he said.

Despite the challenges, he still loves what he does.

“I love that I can be there for my community duringwhatisoftentheworstdayoftheirlives. I can’t think of any job where you consistently get to help people all day every day like we do,” he said.

However, Mr Toussaint and other members oftheVictorianAmbulanceUnionfeelthatthe conditions in their line of work have created an environment where pressure leads to high staff turn over, and, after a year of attempting to negotiate a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) with Ambulance Victoria (AV) the union is taking strike actions.

Union secretary Danny Hill said the EBA is about making the job more survivable with better work-life balance, reasonable workload, and ensuring paramedics get home to family on time.

“Without that we will continue to lose the experienced workforce,” he said.

“While we have made ground in some areas, most of the workforce are only being offered a three per cent increase to wages and little change to working conditions. These are the people who gave everything they had to the community during the COVID pandemic.”

These are themes Mr Toussaint can relate to all too well.

“Every day paramedics are forced to do 800 hours of overtime in Victoria,” he said.

“Iworkedonroadthewholewaythroughthe COVIDpandemic,thosedayswereconsistently

some of my worst. During that time I was seeing critically ill people most days, many of whom died from COVID and our treatment options were limited.

“Wewerestuckinthosewhitesuitsdrenched in sweat for 12 to14 hour shifts and often we were forced to do two, three, even four hours overtime on top of that.

“I’ve seen colleagues collapse from heat stroke stuck sweating in plastic suits outside the hospital in the sun. I think a huge number of ambos left during this time.

“I’m a working father. Both my partner and I are ambos and trying to juggle our work rosters with the overtime I mentioned means sometimes I’ll go days without seeing my daughter. It’s heartbreaking.”

Mr Hill said it’s conditions like these that have resulted in more than half of the AV paramedic workforce having less than five years’ experience.

The union has assured the public its strike actions won’t affect patient safety, and instead will focus on creating public awareness, including members speaking with media, displaying campaign messages on ambulance vehicles, not collecting billing details, and crews that are ramped at hospitals for greater than 40 minutes will activate their beacons.

Mr Hill said the union has been bargaining for over a year now and hasn’t been able to produce an outcome “that really improves the lives of hardworking ambos”.

“Ambos are dedicated to saving lives, but they deserve to have a life too,” he said.

AV chief executive Jane Miller agreed patients won’t be affected during industrial action.

“Ambulance Victoria respects our people’s right to take protected action during these negotiations,” she said.

“AVcontinuestonegotiateingoodfaithwith employee representatives towards a mutually beneficial Ambulance Victoria Enterprise Agreement 2024.”

Tuesday, 2 April, 2024 MELTON & MOORABOOL STAR WEEKLY 5 STARWEEKLY.COM.AU NEWS New landholder guide on
and easement safety Detailed information about easement safety and permitted activities within the Western Renewables Link proposed route is now available for landholders, with a focus on agriculture and farming. The Landholder Guide: Easement safety and permitted activities covers: • Agricultural, farming and general activities allowed in the Western Renewables Link easement • Safety clearances • Safety assessments and permits to work • Guidelines around transmission tower bases Many farms currently operate under the 6,500 kilometres of existing transmission lines across Victoria. Within the proposed Western Renewables Link easement (up to 50m either side of the transmission line) permitted activities will include: • Cropping • Grazing • Market gardens • Orchards and horticulture nurseries (excluding buildings) • Water storage dams (subject to sufficient clearances) • Lateral and centre pivot irrigators including end guns (large gun-type irrigators not permitted) A copy of the Landholder Guide: Easement safety and permitted activities is available at Scan the QR code to visit our webpage on farming with the Western Renewables Link and to download your copy of the Landholder Guide. 1300 360 795 PO Box 638, Ballarat VIC 3353 The proposed 500kV Western Renewables Link transmission line from Bulgana to Sydenham will carry renewable energy to homes and businesses across Victora and into the National Electricity Market. This project is urgently needed to reduce congestion on the existing transmission network, unlock more clean energy and help put downward pressure on electricity prices. 12678439-AP14-24
Melton paramedic Michael Toussaint and his daughter. (Supplied)
6 MELTON & MOORABOOL STAR WEEKLY Tuesday, 2 April, 2024 12655763-MP14-24

RSPCA’s low-cost vaccination days are returning to the western suburbs, following recent successful clinics. (Supplied)

Low cost vaccinations

RSPCA Victoria is making it’s return to Melbourne’s western suburbs to offer more low cost pet vaccination days to locals in April.

The clinics, run by an RSPCA Victoria vet, are aimed at making veterinary care more accessible for people and their pets, during the cost-of living crisis.


Thursday,April11,attheWestvaleCommunity Centre. The team will also be in Melton on Wednesday, April 24, at the third Melton Scout Hall.

Speaking about the clinics, RSPCA Victoria head of prevention Rebecca Cook said they were looking forward to returning to familiar clinic locations.

“At our last clinic in Melton we saw 51 local pets and their owners, and we can’t wait to hit the road again and meet more furry friends,” Ms Cook said. “We have now held 57 low-cost

vaccinationeventsacrossMelbourneandsaved each pet owner at least $50 on average per pet.”

Appointments at each clinic must be booked online in advance with limited places available. Those with more than one pet must book a separate appointment for each animal.

For $59, a dog or cat will receive their preventative vaccines and be checked by an RSPCA veterinarian to ensure they are fit for their vaccinations.

Due to nation-wide shortages of the F3 vaccine, the team are currently unable to vaccinate cats, however, can still do basic health checks.

Pet owners can also receive professional advice on how to keep them healthy now and into the future.

To book your four-legged friend a low-cost vaccination visit vaccinationclinics/


School stabbing

Police have charged a second teenager following an alleged stabbing at a school in Melton South on March 26. Emergency services were called to Wilson Road following reports a teenager had been stabbed just after 3pm. A 16-year-old boy sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital where he remains. A 17-year-old boy self-presented to a police station later that day where he was arrested and charged with affray. A second 17-year-old boy also attended a police station where he was charged with Intentionally cause injury, affray, assault with a weapon and possess controlled weapon.

Bulmans Road works

Bulmans Road between Piccolotto Drive and Sovereign Boulevard will be closed to through traffic between April 2 and 13. Traffic and pedestrian detours will be in place. The closure is required to complete pavement, asphalt, kerbing, drainage and line marking work during the school holidays, when traffic volumes are typically lower. Work on the western side of Bulmans Road is now complete, with the newly installed car parks in front of Arnolds Creek Reserve and Saint Francis Catholic Church now open. The new bus interchange is also operational and work on the new shared user path has also been completed.


Melton & Moorabool Star Weekly @starweeklynews


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Advocacy group continues work

Diggers Rest advocacy group Dream launched publicly 12 months ago and member John Verdon said it’s been a “big year” for the group, but also has his eye keenly on future development for the area.

Dream officially began back in September 2022, but in March 2023 launched its public-facing Facebook group with the goal of engaging with the local community to meaningfully express to all levels of government the needs of the growing community and to drive change to meet identified shortfalls.

Mr Verdon said he is proud of the group’s achievements so far, highlighting that the

group had advocated for and influenced the allocation of a school crossing supervisor for Vineyard Road, the update of the town sign at the main entrance of Diggers Rest, the Flore Park upgrade, more bins and regular cleaning of the central retail precinct, a review of potable water and landscaping in the suburb, as well as advocating for ongoing issues such as maternal and child health services, public transport and road safety.

“There has been a significant positive change in council’s responsiveness to Dream’s requests for support,” he said.

“Many of the items listed in our achievements above came about due to council and developers being very receptive to the local feedback and where possible

taking action.

“The State government via [Sunbury MP] Josh Bull and others have also been very supportive.”

MrVerdonsaidmovingforward,thegroup’s advocacy focuses are for the full duplication and safety improvements for Vineyard Road, the delivery of the Diggers Rest Community CentreandencouragingDiggersRestresidents to consider running for council.

“The South Sunbury Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) has Vineyard Road planned as six lane arterial road for the Sunbury side and the Diggers Rest PSP has Vineyard Road planned as a four lane road. Unfortunately only small portions of the road on the Diggers side have been duplicated,” he said.

“We absolutely must have council deliver our community centre for the suburb as soon as possible. We continue to be perplexed why the delivery of this asset has not been brought forward to meet the population demand…”

A Melton council spokesperson said the delivery of a community centre in Diggers Rest is earmarked for 2028, subject to future decision of council, and duplication of Vineyard Road is identified as part of future planning but is a declared VicRoads corridor and ultimately a decision for the Department of Transport and Planning.

Currently, Dream has 26 core members and almost 250 Facebook followers. Mr Verdon acknowledged the support the group has received from Diggers Rest residents.

Get ready for an immersive LEGO experience

The Art of the Brick Immersive Experience LEGO exhibition, featuring Nathan Sawaya’s renowned creations, is heading to Melbourne in April.

Nathan Sawaya is a former New York City corporate lawyer turned world-renowned contemporary LEGO artist. He gained recognition for his unique

approach to art, using LEGO bricks to craft large-scale sculptures, life-like portraits, and imaginative installations.

His exhibitions not only break attendance records globally, but also challenge the traditional perception of art and LEGO, making his shows a significant attraction for adults and children.

“We are thrilled to bring the Art of The Brick Immersive Experience to Melbourne. This city’s vibrant culture and appreciation for the arts make it the perfect home for our exhibition,” Sawaya said.

The exhibition is on from April 14 at the Showgrounds. Entry fees from $22.90 for children. Details: https://theartofthebrickexpo. com/melbourne/.

Order now on 12677561-MP12-24

New vision for the Melton Weir

A Melton councillor is hoping plans for the Melton Weir could turn it into the “jewel in the crown of Melton”.

The Draft Melton Weir Parkland Strategy was adopted at a council meeting on Monday, March 25, and outlines a guide for the development and use of parkland around the Reservoir.

The main objective of the strategy is to improveaccessandrecreationalopportunities and transform the weir into a recreational drawcard for the City of Melton and wider Melbourne.

Initial stages of the project included a detailed site assessment and background analysisasaswellasconsultationontheweir’s existing uses.

Councillor Julie Shannon said the Melton Weir is home to some of the city’s biggest events and most active local clubs.

“Melton Weir is an important local asset and we have the opportunity to transform it into a recreational drawcard not only for our residents, but people from the wider metropolitan region as well,” she said.

“Council wants to improve access and recreational opportunities to the Melton Weir and surrounding parklands.

“This draft strategy provides direction for the development of surrounding parkland, as well as amenity and infrastructure upgrades.

“I look forward to hearing the feedback from this next round of constitution and the strategy being finalised.”

The draft plan suggests a number of upgrades along the entire length of the weir including new bike and walking paths, multiple new viewing platforms, picnic area, basketball half-court, outdoor gyms, a potential waterfront cafe, new fishing platforms and more.

The draft plan also mentions potential for a boat ramp at the end of Clarkes Road

Life-changing scholarships for girls

Fourstudentsfromthewesthavebeenawarded life-changing Harding Miller Education Foundation scholarships.

The Harding Miller Education Foundation provides high-achieving young Australian women experiencing hardship with tools, resources,andsupporttohelpthemreachtheir full potential and build pathways to tertiary education and fulfilling careers.

The scholarships are awarded to students in Year 9, and at the end of Year 10 the recipients are invited to reapply for another two years of support.

The most recent recipients are Aaliyah Berry and Charlotte Gauci from Kurunjang SecondaryCollege,MeltonSecondaryCollege’s

Holly Carr and Werribee Secondary College’s Maynadi Khaled.

Each scholarship recipient receives a new laptop, high-speed internet, face-to-face and online tutoring, online homework assistance, prepaid expense cards to cover school essentials such as textbooks and excursions, as well as study skills resources and a personal coach to guide them over the four years of the scholarship.

The four years of scholarship support is valued at more than $20,000.

CharlotteGaucisaidshefeelsveryproudand privileged to receive the scholarship.

“I currently live with my mum and two siblings in Kurunjang. My mum does her best

toprovidemewitheverythingIneedbutbeing a single mum of three, financial difficulties do exist,“ she said.

“‘… this scholarship will allow me to have access to resources that will assist me in achievingmygoals,reachmyfullpotentialand ease the financial burden on my family.”

Harding Miller Education Foundation chief operations officer Caroline Hill said the Foundation is proud to be providing vital support to help promising young girls reach their full potential.

Applications 2025 will open from July 15 to September 18, 2024.

Details: http://www.

following a study by Better Boating Victoria and Southern Rural Water but it will require its own feasibility study.

Councillor Bob Turner said said the project committee was put together in 2013, so it’s good to see some movement.

“It’s been extremely slow over the years so thank you to the counsellors that run it now and are really pushing…” he said.

“We really need to see this happen, this is could be the jewel in the crown of the City of Melton.”

Public comment on the draft Melton Weir Parkland Strategy will be open from April 19 to May 6.

Revamped grants program open

Melton council has a “new and improved” community grants program that is now open for applications.

Now available all year round, not-for-profit organisations based in the City of Melton can apply for grants up to $5000 across five categories including environment and nature, festivals and events, sports and hobbies, healthy and safe living, and the arts.

Applicationscanbesubmittedatany time and are reviewed immediately.

Council has also established three new community funds to support residents and groups – the $1500 New Groups Fund, for establishing new clubs, groups or associations, the $2000 Resident Achievement Fund for supporting residents who have been chosen by a governing body to participate in an activity and the $600 FairGo4Youth Fund for providing opportunities for disadvantaged young people to participate in local extracurricular activities.

Melton mayor Kathy Majdlik said council values the hard work of dedicated local clubs, organisations and community groups.

“Their work in bringing us together and supporting our wellbeing is a big part of what makes the City of Melton a wonderful place to live, work and play,” she said.

“If you’re part of a group, club or organisation that helps deliver great outcomes for residents, I’d encourage you to apply for a grant.”

Information sessions and workshops will be held during March, April and June.

Details: communitygrants

Feedback wanted on Greater Western Water’s pricing

Water bills may raise slightly for tenants and decrease for home owners in Moorabool and most of Melton if an Essential Services Commission (ESC) draft decision on water services pricing is adopted.

The Essential Services Commission has released its draft decision on GWW’s proposed prices for water services for the four-year period starting on July 1.

This is GWW’s first price review, following the merger of the former City West Water and Western Water businesses in 2021.


Hobsons Bay, Wyndham, Brimbank, Whittlesea, Hume, Melton, Macedon Ranges and Moorabool council areas.

The ESC said GWW’s proposal will lead to a decrease in a typical annual customer bill for most customers, however, a data provided by the ESC shows a slight rise in prices for renters in the western region, which includes Moorabool, Macedon Ranges, and majority of Hume and Melton.

The proposal projects that by the 2027-28 financial year, typical water and sewerage bills for houses in GWW’s western region with an

average 150 kiloletre per annum consumption would raise from $348 to $374 for renters, while dropping from $1099 to $1052 for owner-occupiers.

For houses in GWW’s central region, which includes Caroline Springs, renter’s bills would reduce by $20, and homeowners by $2, in the same period.

Commission pricing executive director Marcus Crudden said GWW will deliver several key initiatives to support customer value.

“Among its key initiatives, Greater Western

Water will increase investment in assets to maintain service quality and reliability, responding to challenges from climate change and population growth, he said.

“Given ongoing cost of living pressures it is pleasing to see the business commit to increasedfinancialsupportthoseexperiencing hardship.

The draft decision is open for feedback until May 7 and the commission will hold a public forum on May 2.


Maynadi Khaled, Holly Carr, Charlotte Gauci and Aaliyah Berry. (Supplied)

Street Soccer scores in Kurunjang

Melton Young Communities in collaboration with The Big Issue provided a fun and exciting initiative that uses the power of sport to change lives.

Street Soccer provided equipment and supportive staff for a two-hour session where players took part in training and a friendly match at Kurunjang Recreation Reserve. Photographer Ljubica Vrankovic captured some of the action.

The crew puffed out from practise. Melton Council Young communities’ Aken Angok, participant Memphis Cordingley, The Big Issue’s Alan Clark participant Tyler Signal and volunteer Carlos Zantos at Street Soccer. (Pictures: Ljubica Vrankovic) 397261 Memphis Cordingley chasing down the ball., and Alan Clark showing the kids how it’s done. Tyler Signal honing his skills in a training drill.

Consumer group calls for more action on super scams

The federal government is being urged to introduce a superannuation industry anti-scam code.

Advocacy group Super Consumers Australia is urging the federal government to introduce a superannuation industry anti-scam code.

The group said such a code would prioritise the safety of Australians’ 24 million retirement savings accounts, which are worth billions of dollars.

Super Consumers Australia says since 2022, up to 178,000 superannuation members across three super funds have been at a heightened risk of phishing scams due to known super fund data breaches.

A phishing scam involves a scammer sending fraudulent emails or text messages designed to steal a person’s personal or financial information.

Corporate data breaches lead to an increased risk of phishing scams because they expose members’ contact details and other information.

Heather Gray, the lead ombudsman for superannuation at the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), told Super Consumers that superannuation funds have fallen behind the banks in their ability to detect and prevent scams and fraud.

She urged funds to continue improving their scam prevention systems and to collaborate on a “shared understanding… as to what measures will be taken and to make sure that as far as possible, systems are strengthened so that it’s very difficult for scams or frauds to get through”.

According to Ms Gray, the level of scam prevention at super funds varies widely.

How AFCA rules on super scams

If a member complains to their fund about a scam and the fund doesn’t resolve the matter to their satisfaction, they can then take the complaint to AFCA.

AFCA can order super funds to repay the victim where the fund is liable for the loss.

“We would look at the whole of the circumstances and then assess whether the [super fund] acted fairly and reasonably in not compensating the member for the loss they suffered,” Ms Gray said. RebekahSarkoezy,policymanageratSuper Consumers Australia, said funds should be held to a much higher standard through the establishment of a mandatory super industry anti-scam code.

and claims there are some super funds who refuse to take up even the most basic account security controls like multi-factor authentication.

She said the absence of an industry anti-scam code is leaving consumers without redress if they do have their super stolen

All Retirees and Semi-Retirees are welcome to join the NEW

Ballan & District Probus Club

Meeting at the 1st Ballan Scout Hall, 60 Inglis Street, Ballan VIC, 3342 on the 15th of April at 10:00am

“A super anti-scam code would give the industry the clarity and incentives it needs to lift its game on scam prevention,” she said.

– Article courtesy National Seniors

Please scan the QR code to register interest

Please Contact Ethan for more information: 1300 630 488,

Journey back in time

Grandparents can take grandchildren to the zoo for free over the school holidays and embark on an unforgettable journey back in timeaszoosacrossthestatebecomeprehistoric playgrounds.

At Melbourne Zoo, visitors can venture along paths not normally open to visitors to discover 16 huge dinosaurs, their nests, and newly hatched young. For budding palaeontologists, there’s the chance to uncover a fossil in the sandpits, watched over by the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex.

In an Australian first, Dinos at the Zoo will also provide unprecedented access to the deaf and hard of hearing community, with Expression Australia creating a series of videos in Australian Sign Language (Auslan) to provide information on every exhibit, which is instantly accessible by scanning a QR code.

At Werribee Open Range Zoo, expect the unexpected as you encounter 14 awe-inspiring dinosaurs, smoking volcanoes, bubbling swamps, dino footprints, and unearth life-like dino fossils.

For an evening adventure like no other, Dinos After Dark will be available at Werribee for one week from April 7, offering a unique nighttimeexperiencewiththeseancientgiants. Within the Yarra Valley, step back in time along Healesville Sanctuary’s bushland Nature Trail where 16 dinosaurs roam, or for those who prefer a guide, join a free walking tour with a ranger.

Entry to all zoos is free for children under 16 years on weekends, school holidays, and public holidays. Dinos at the Zoo will be free with zoo admission and run until the end of the winter school holidays.

12 MELTON & MOORABOOL STAR WEEKLY Tuesday, 2 April, 2024
Explore dinosaurs after dark at Werribee Open Range Zoo. (Zoos Victoria)
FEATURING ... SENIORS Advertising feature

Downsize to a bigger life at Lifestyle Communities

Lifestyle Communities is a world where downsizing your home means upgrading to a more vibrant life filled with unlimited possibilities.

The Lifestyle Communities team are leaders in community living. They’re not just builders, they’re architects of unforgettable experiences, creators of lifelong connections, and designers of homes filled with an undeniable sense of belonging. They cater to the young at heart in their 50s and above, whether still working, retiring to reinvent, or just ready for a change.

Lifestyle Communities is a place where neighbours become lifelong friends and where warmth, laughter, and fun never get old.

Celebrating 20 years

Two decades of passion, innovation, and commitment have shaped Lifestyle Communities into a haven for those seeking a purposeful and joyful way of living.

Managing director and co-founder James Kelly says “Our homeowners are the heartbeat of our community. From day one, our mission has been clear: to be a ’business for purpose’ that enriches lives and fosters meaningful connections”.

“We set out to create a different experience for downsizers, to offer a space that strikes the perfect balance between connection and privacy, independence, and activity. With a clearly defined purpose and a steadfast commitment to this goal, 20 years later, we’re proud to say that we still lead the market in our product offering.”

Elevate your lifestyle

Enter a world of beautifully designed, low-maintenance homes surrounded by state-of-the-art amenities. The clubhouse is the pulsation hub of the communities and

will become your home away from home. It’s a sophisticated arena of leisure, social mingling, and wellness designed to make every moment a cherished memory. Community facilities include a fully equipped gym, croquet or pickleball court, a dog wash, games room, private cinema, heated indoor and outdoor pools, a workshop, shared electric cars and a fishing boat available at coastal communities. You can join friends for a delightful lunch, break a sweat in the gym, or unwind by the pool.

Constant evolution

With over 25 communities across Victoria, Lifestyle Communities sets itself apart with its unwavering long-term commitment to looking after its communities. They’re not just building communities; they’re nurturing them for the long haul.

“We reimagine, revitalise, and reinvent, ensuring that each community is aligned with our pursuit of excellence. Lifestyle Brookfield, our inaugural community, stands tall as a testament to our enduring dedication,” Mr Kelly said.

Holiday your way

Fuelledbypassion,thededicatedLifestyleteam are constantly striving to exceed expectations and create unforgettable experiences for their homeowners. They were proud to recently launch Club Lifestyle at Lifestyle Bellarine, which offers free seaside escapes to all Lifestyle Communities homeowners across Victoria. Homeowners can choose to stay in a cosy villa, bring their caravan down and enjoy one of the premium-powered caravan sites, or embark on a road trip in a fully equipped Lifestyle Motorhome.

It’s a Lifestyle revolution

For those yearning for a lifestyle that screams ‘cool’, a home that wraps you in luxury, recreation, and conscientious living, then Lifestyle Communities is calling your name. It’s not just a community, it’s a vibe where ‘unlimited’ is so much more than just a word – it’s a lifestyle!

For more information, visit

Tuesday, 2 April, 2024 MELTON & MOORABOOL STAR WEEKLY 13 FEATURING ... SENIORS Advertising feature 1300 50 55 60 111- 139 Coburns Road, Brookfield lifestyle brookfield By Lifestyle Communities® Life. Unlimited. Downsizer homes now selling. 12671087-AP14-24

More VLocity trains on the way

Work is now underway on Victoria’s latest order of VLocity trains which will carry more passengers to support growing demand on the Ballarat line where travel has bounced back to near 2019 levels.

Public and Active Transport Minister Gabrielle Williams visited Alstom’s Dandenong factory where work is underway on 23 new VLocity trains that will be rolled out in the west by 2027, designed to carry more passengers through Melton and provide more comfortable and reliable journeys in the Geelong and Bacchus Marsh corridors.

“We’re delivering record investments in public transport, supporting local manufacturing jobs right here in Dandenong,

while making our transport network more reliable and more affordable for regional Victorians,” she said.

“The new, bigger VLocity trains will support growing communities in the west, carrying more passengers and delivering more reliable services.”

The state government invested $601 million in the Victorian Budget 23-24 to build 23 new VLocity trains along with a $219 million investment for almost 200 additional weekend V/Line train services.

Whencompletedtheextratrainswillexpand V/Line’s fleet of 222-seat VLocity trains to 141, theVLocitytrainsaremoreaccessible,produce less carbon emissions and are more reliable

than V/Line’s older classic fleet.

Western Metro MP David Ettershank said VLocity trains are good for people in Ballarat, butreiteratedhisstancethatwhatpeopleinwest Melbourne really want is rail electrification.

“ItisgoodthattherearemoreVLocitytrains buttheseareBallarattrainsthatarealreadyfull bythetimetheyhitMelton,theyr’eoftenfullby the time they leave Ballarat,” he said.

“Our position is really simple, the government promised at the last election, electrification of the line. That’s what people of the west are expecting as part of the train plan for the western suburbs.

“Legalise Cannabis calls upon the government to honour its unequivocal

New bus route connects stations

A new bus service will connect Sunbury and Diggers Rest train stations for the first time. Public and Active Transport Minister GabrielleWilliamsvisitedSunburyannounced the new Route 475 service on March 26 that will provide much-needed public transport in residential areas that was previously not serviced by the bus network.

Services on the new route started last week.

The new bus route, 475 Sunbury station –Diggers Rest station will operate between the two stations, seven days a week. The services will run every 20 minutes during peak periods, and 40 minutes during the interpeak and on weekends.

Services start at 6am on weekdays, 7am on Saturdays and 8am on Sundays running through to 9pm every night.

Ms Williams said the state government was introducing new bus routes to service rapidly growing suburbs across the state and giving communities more reasons to leave the car at home.

Sunbury MP Josh Bull said this would make life a lot easier for many locals.

“Many locals commute between Diggers Rest and Sunbury for work and school, so we’re responding to local needs by introducing a new bus route to connect our growing communities,“ he said.

“We are helping people get where they need to go by building more connections between communities and with the local V/Line and Metro rail networks for onward travel.”

Service details are available on the PTV website. Details:

commitment to provide the people of the west with a modern safe electrified line and that’s not what this is providing.”

Regional network patronage increased by 28 per cent for the year ending December 31 2023 and was 97 per cent of the 2019 calendar year patronage.

MeltonMPSteveMcGhiesaidtheadditional VLocity trains will provide more reliable journeys for passengers travelling to Melton, Bacchus Marsh and Geelong.

“We’re continuing to deliver record investments in public transport across the state,withnewVLocitytrainstosupportbetter journeys for passengers as well as local jobs,” he said.

Easter school holiday action

With Easter arriving, so are the school holidays, and in Melton and Moorabool there’s a range of activities on for kids to explore.

Moorabool council has a stacked programacrosstheLerderdergandBallan libraries, with an Alice in Wonderland themed escape room, a slapstick curcus with Mister Ants, Movies in the Marsh, philosophy and science sessions and magical workshops where you can learn to create Gnome Homes, dreamcatchers, nature wands and more.

Moorabool mayor Ally Munari said there’s plenty going on for kids these school holidays.

“There’s a real magic theme which will be fun for kids. All the details and bookings for these great activities can all be made on our website,” she said.

Melton also has a range of programs for all ages, with library activities including create your own herb library, craft a board game, and write your own adventure story.

There’s also the Primary School Program from April 2 to 12 at the Bridge Road Community and Children’s Centre where participants can visit Werribee Mansion, Atherstone Traffic School, and Kryal Castle, commemorate Anzac Day or join an end-of-holidays party with an inflatable jumping castle.

Then,forteens,therearearangeoffree and low-cost incursions and excursions includinghighropesatAquaPark,flying fox, reptile encounters or hanging out at Melton Youth Centre.

Sunbury MP Josh Bull, Public and Active Transport Minister Gabrielle Williams and local bus driver Brent Purcell. (Supplied) from an outlet near you It'sFREE SCAN TO FIND YOUROUTLET 12665596-AP06-24

Joeys grasp second chance at life

with pain relief and colic medication to relieve trapped gas in their digestive system, which can occur because of stress and diet.

“They’ve had a tough start to life, but with plenty of care from zoo vets, nurses and their wildlife carers, both joeys are now starting to thrive,” Dr O’Dwyer said.

Two orphaned joeys have defied the odds and will eventually return to the wild following lifesaving care at Werribee Open Range Zoo.

The four-month-old common wombat and seven-month-old eastern grey kangaroo were each found debilitated by the side of a road next to their mothers who had died from road trauma injuries.

The Australian natives were each taken to wildlife carers who sought expert medical support from the team at Werribee Open Range Zoo’s RSPCA Koala Ward.

Veterinarian Dr Jen O’Dwyer said the juvenile wombat weighed just 380 grams and the kangaroo joey only 1.2 kilograms when they were first brought in for specialist treatment. The wombat, who has been affectionately named Myrtle, arrived from the Central Highlands district, while the kangaroo named Ruth was found in Bylands.

“Both joeys were found to be highly dehydrated upon arrival as they had not had access to their mother’s milk - an important source of energy, calcium and protein to support growth during early life development,” Dr O’Dwyer said.

Each was provided with round-the-clock feeds of specialised milk, supplementary electrolytes and oral rehydration therapy. The joeysunderwentthoroughexaminationsunder anaesthesia, which included blood tests, X-rays and ultrasounds. Kangaroo Ruth was treated for forearm abrasions, and wombat Myrtle was treated for pneumonia. Both were provided

“Myrtle, in particular, has grown and now weighs approximately three kilograms.”

Ruth was an inpatient at Werribee Open Range Zoo for three days in January and had a return check-up in February.

Myrtle had three separate visits throughout January and February to support her ongoing care.

“When we have cases like Ruth and Myrtle, where we can see them through their medical care and then on to being rehabilitated by carers, there is no better feeling,” Dr O’Dwyer said. “Health permitting, once they are old enough to fend for themselves in the coming months, they will be released back into the wild in a safe location nearby where they were originally found.”

Dr O’Dwyer said wildlife road trauma injuries are sadly common, however there are some simple steps to help reduce impacts to wildlife during road travel.

“Pay attention to road signage and try to avoid travelling during dawn and dusk as that is when animals are generally more active. If you need to travel during that time, be alert and aware at all times. If you come across an animalthatisinjuredordistress,pleasecontact Wildlife Victoria or your local wildlife carer who will be able to provide expert advice about the best course of action to take.”

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Joey wombat Myrtle undergoing a checkup, and Joey Ruth being cared for by zoo staff. (Pictures: Zoos Victoria)


Moonlite Theatre shows

Community theatre group Moonlite Theatre is bringing its production Ouch! to Bacchus March. The production incorporates three plays – ABC Murders, No Business Like…

The Stand Off and Birds of a Feather. April 19 at 8pm and April 20 at 2pm and 8pm at Holy Trinity Anglican Church Hall, 19 Gisborne Road, Bacchus Marsh. Tickets $20.

■ 0491 179 761 or

Mens Fella-Ship

The free Men’s Fella-ship social group is back at the Melton South Community Centre, meeting each Wednesday at 1pm. Men of all ages are invited to come along for a cuppa, a chat and the chance to make new friends. No bookings required. For more information, call the centre.

■ 9747 8576

Bacchus Marsh Ladies Probus Club

Enjoy fun friendship and fellowship at meeting on the first Thursday of every month at Avenue Bowling Club, Main Street, Bacchus Marsh. 10am to noon.


Melton Bird walks

Join the Eynesbury Environment Group for bird walks to discover the interesting landscape and beautiful creatures that call Eynesbury and surrounding areas home. Bring long pants, walking shoes, water, binoculars (available to borrow), camera, hat and sunscreen. All walks are free! All ages, bird watching abilities and interest levels are welcome.

April 20, Little Blind Creek: Meet at Melton Girl Guides. 1 Pinkerton Street, Melton. 9am to 11.30am.

Chatty Cafe Melton

Are you feeling lonely, isolated or just wanting to make some new friends? If so, Chatty Cafe is for you. The group meets on Friday mornings at 10am for delicious free coffee from Latin foods and wines at 10 Wallace Square, Melton.

■ groups/352071857283331

Women’s Support Group

Women’s Support Group Melton is for any women who feel they would like to attend a peer support group which is relaxed, friendly and non-judgemental. The group meets weekly at 1pm on Mondays (except for public holidays) at Djerriwarrh Neighbourhood House, 239 Station Road, Melton. The group can discuss most subjects that may be of help


Caroline Springs Rotary

The Rotary Club of Caroline Springs is inviting new guests to join its meetings in person or via zoom. Meetings are held every Wednesday at the Western Emergency Relief Network in Ravenhall from 7pm.


Melton Ladies Probus

Meets from 10am on the second Wednesday of each month at Melton Country Club on Reserve Road, Melton. All visitors are welcome.

■ Dianne, 9743 7446

The Gap on Graham

The Gap provides a place for Melton youth to hang out, socialise, play games and learn new skills. The centre holds a night for girls aged 10 to 18 years at 5 Graham Street, Melton, on Wednesday evenings. There is also a drop-in night for anyone aged 12 to 25 years old.

■ Val, 0414 769 605

Melton Men’s Group

Melton Men’s Group meets every Thursday from 5-8pm at Arnolds Creek Children’s and Community Centre, 19 Claret Ash Boulevard, Harkness. Focusing on senior men’s mental and physical wellbeing. Join the group for a cuppa and a chat, listen to guest speakers and participate in activities including carpet bowls, pool or table tennis.


Take weight off naturally

Struggling to lose weight? Struggling to get motivated? Want to try and do it in a friendly and less stressful atmosphere? Come and join TOWN (Take Weight Off Naturally) every Tuesday at 6pm at the Darlingsford Barn, Darlingsford Boulevard, Melton.

■ Catherine, 0416 612 517, or Bob, 0411 824 739

Parkinson’s support group

The Melton Parkinson’s Support Group meets on the second Thursday of the month 10.30am-12.30pm at Kurunjang Community Centre, 33-35 Mowbray Crescent, Kurunjang. New members and carers are welcome.

■ Helen, 0409 186 576

Melton Bridge Club

The Melton Bridge Club has weekly social bridge sessions at the Melton Library on Fridays from 10am-noon. Come along to play an exciting, social card game and have loads of fun. Bridge offers the suspense of poker, the cerebral qualities of chess and the excitement of athletic sports, all in a relaxed and social setting. If you like playing cards this is for you.

■ Rosemary, 0407 894 817

Melton Combined Probus Club

The Melton Probus Club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at the Melton Dart Club, 63a Reserve Road, from 9.45am.

■ 9746 0271

Melton Friendship Group

Join the Melton Friendship Group for singles 55 and older. Meet fortnightly for coffee and chat nights and organised affordable outings and events.

■ 0406 493 734

Melton Valley Ladies Probus Club

The Melton Valley Ladies Probus Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 10am at Melton Country Club. New members welcome.

■ Ann, 0425 705 150

Melton South Knit & Natter

All are welcome to join this social crafting group, running at the Melton South Community Centre each Monday from 10am-noon. Bring along any knitting or crochet projects and work on them while sharing tips, learning skills and catching up over a cuppa.

■ 9747 8576

Zonta club meets

Zonta is an international organisation bringing women together to support other women. The Zonta Club of Melton meets on the first Monday of each month at Melton Country Club, Reserve Road, Melton.

■ Suzanne, 0417 512 420

U3A Melton

U3A Melton offers among its activities a book group, Australian history and a gentle exercise class for those 55 and older who are retired or semi-retired who wish to stay mentally and physically active.

■ 0419 563 016

Boomerang Bags Bacchus Marsh

Boomerang Bags Bacchus Marsh make reusable shopping bags from rescued fabric. They need people to cut, sew, iron and market our bags. The group meets on the first Sunday each month at Darley Neighbourhood House 2-5pm.


Rose Carers Of Maddingley Park

The Rose Carers meet Wednesdays from 10am-noon at Maddingley Park, corner of Grant and Taverner streets, Bacchus Marsh, to maintain two beautiful rose gardens. New volunteers are always welcome – with or without experience.

■ Elaine Greenhall, 0418 171 119, or 0400 052 857

Melton Cycling Club

Melton Cycling Club meets for regular Sunday rides. There are three different riding groups to cater for different abilities starting at 7.30am. The rides finish at Lazy Moe’s for a cuppa.

■ 0403 057 003

Community singing group

If you love to sing, come join the Melton Singers. The group rehearses regularly and also performs at aged care facilities. The group is very relaxed and sings songs mainly from the 1960s and 70s. It meets Tuesdays at 10am.

■ Val, 0418 667 150

Melton Trauma Teddies

Melton Trauma Teddies are seeking volunteers to assist with knitting, stuffing, or stitching teddy-bears that go to children in their time of need.

■ Jean, 0412 931 498

Garden Club

The Bacchus Marsh and District Garden Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month except January, from 7.30pm, at The Laurels, 229 Main Street, Bacchus Marsh. Guest speakers and supper provided. Yearly membership $15. New members welcome.

■ Michelle, 0421 106 268

Community band

The Greater Western Community Band holds rehearsals on Thursdays

7.30-9.30pm at the Bridge Road Community Centre, 260 Bridge Road, Strathtulloh. The group welcomes musicians young and old, to come along and join in with their local band.Woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. The group is available to perform at events and festivals.

■ Sally Hamond, 0401 474 582

Over 50s Social Group

A friendly group of people aged 50 and older who enjoy each other’s company while attending events and outings such as dinners, shows, dancing, cinemas and more. If you live in the Melton area and would like to meet new friends, in a welcoming group environment, this is for you.

■ Marlene, 0498 329 290

BusyFeet Hillside

BusyFeet is a dance and movement class for children with intellectual and physical disabilities. Classes create a fun and inclusive environment for kids aged six to 16 to try new things and build social skills, as well as giving a chance for parents’ respite. It’s held from 11-11.45am Saturday mornings.

■ Ross, 0411 228 311

Sunrise Social Groups

GenWest Sunrise Social Groups are currently seeking new members for their Melton, Brimbank and Wyndham programs. The free groups are organised by Genwest and provide a social space for women, gender diverse and nonbinary people, who have a disability, chronic health issues and/ or mental health challenges.

■ health-wellbeing-programs/

WANT YOUR EVENT LISTED? Community Calendar is made available free of charge to not-for-profit organisations to keep the public informed of special events and activities. Send item details to Star Weekly Community Calendar, Corner Thomsons Road and Keilor Park Drive, Keilor Park, 3042, or email to by 9am Wednesday the week prior to publication This week’s photographer’s choice picture is of Belle Hadiwidjaja ahead of a Maribyrnong skating event. (Damjan Janevski) 397118_01



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3 Less wet (5)

5 Bug (coll) (6)

6 Girls’ name (9)

7 Fastening (5)

8 Senile decay (11)

10 Collections of songs or photos (6)

12 Prioritising material possessions (11)

15 Type of rocks containing silica (9)

17 Exaggerated self importance (9)

18 Climb (6)

21 In ancient architecture, a horizontal design (6)

23 Metal rod for stirring a fire (5)

25 Celestial being (5)

28 Utter (3)


Using the nine letters in the grid, how many words of four letters or more can you list? The centre letter must be included and each letter may only be used once. No colloquial or foreign words. No capitalised nouns, apostrophes or plural nouns ending in “s”.

Today’s Aim:

19 words: Good

28 words: Very good

38 words: Excellent


No. 179

1 What is the largest train station in the UK?

2 In relation to trees, what does deciduous mean?

3 Pedro Pascal (pictured) starred alongside Nicolas Cage in which 2022 film?

4 Which continent are capybaras native to?

5 What type of food is a chimichanga?

6 The book cataloguing website Goodreads was launched in which year?

7 Is Paraguay a landlocked or coastal country?

8 True or false: Otzi the Iceman, a natural mummy from 3105BC, had tattoos?

9 The world’s first electric tram line operated in which country?

10 Hazard signs are typically black symbols on what colour triangular background?

Tuesday, 2 April, 2024 MELTON & MOORABOOL STAR WEEKLY 17
No. 179 No. 179 No. 179
To solve a Sudoku puzzle, every number from 1 to 9 must appear in: each of the nine vertical columns, each of the nine horizontal rows and each of the nine 3 x 3 boxes. Remember, no number can occur more than once in any row, column or box. No. 179 73 564 7 954 8 913 82 924 27 47 6 71 2 13 456 easy 23 9 538 6 48 84369 341 26 98 817 94652 medium 43 9 2195 12 6 57 85 2 564 1
612 56 4 75 hard
after, daft, deaf, deafer, defeat, defer, deft, defter, draftee, fade, fare, fared, fate, fated, father, fathered, fear, feared, feat, feather,
fret, haft, hafted, heft,
FEATHERED, federate, feed, feeder, feet, fete, feted, free, freed,
hefted, raft, rafted, reef, reefed
ERRED FEEDS GRADE HERDS INANE IRATE LET-UP LIONS LURCH NAMES NIECE OILED OMENS PACTS PAGES PIANO PSALM RELAX RENEW RIFLE SABRE SEXES SHEEN SHIES SLABS SOLAR SPATE SPEWS SPIED STEAM SWOON UNFIT USAGE USING WISPS 6 LETTERS ALARMS GOATEE READER WARBLE 7 LETTERS ASSAULT ATTIRED HAPPIER OATMEAL OFFSETS TAWNIER 8 LETTERS INITIATE PRACTISE RELIANCE RELOADED 12 345678910111213 1415 1617181920212223242526 W A H J S T M Y I V F X B Q U Z K N L C D G P E R O Insert the missing letters to make 10 words – five reading across the grid and five reading down. NOTE: more than one solution may be possible 05-04-24 Puzzles and pagination © Pagemasters | 612785493 971538246 467253819 784369152 523674981 259817364 395421678 846192735 138946527 easy medium hard 713526948 376954281 695143872 924831567 489612735 847265319 568479123 251387694 132798456 274835169 621478953 157324698 518697432 843951276 932586741 369142587 795263814 486719325 1 14 7 20 2 15 8 21 3 16 9 22 4 17 10 23 5 18 11 24 6 19 12 25 13 26 EO 1. Waterloo 2. Shedding (leaves) seasonally 3. MassiveofWeightUnbearableThe Talent 4. South America 5. A deep-fried burrito 6. 2006 7. Landlocked 8. True 9. Russia 10. Yellow ANSWERS:
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Petrol power fights back

While the battle rages for the high ground of the top tech, and expensive, electrified territory of the automotive world, a rear-guard action from the internal combustion engine bargain basement is taking place.

Micro cars such as the MG 3, Suzuki Ignis, Fiat 500 and Mazda 2 are leading the charge to defend ICE(land). The latest call to arms comes from Kia with its upgraded Picanto. What are its chances?

Sadly, gone ta-taas is the popular GT, replaced by a pair of GT-Line legionnaires. Kia says it has called on the company’s footy-like ‘Opposites United’ (How do they think of ’em?) philosophy for the new range, leading to a modern, sporty design highlighted by a new headlamp set-up, ‘ripped’ radiator grille and reshaped front bumper.

Out back, the tail lamps and bumper have been tweaked.

The new Picanto comes in two trim levels –Sport and GT-Line – with prices coming in at $17,890, plus on-road costs, for the entry-level five-speed manual. The four-speed automatic sells for $19,490, while the flagship GT-Line auto tops out the range at $21,290. On test was the latter.

Priceisnottheonlysellingpoint,ForPicanto buyers it’s welcome to Kia ‘seventh heaven’ with the maker’s class-leading seven-year warranty and capped price servicing at 12-month intervals, plus up to eight years roadside assist.


On GT-Line, further from above, a daytime running light strip extends across the leading edge of the bonnet, pushing out the headlamps with emphasis on the width.

Newly designed wheels – 14-inch alloys on the Sport and a 16-inch machine finished diamond cut quartet for the GT-Line.

Power folding side mirrors with integrated warning indicators are now standard across both trims, with GT-Line boasting heating too. Seven exterior paint finishes are on offer, with Adventurous Green being new to Kia.


Premium leatherette features as standard on steering wheel and gearshift knob across the range, with the latter also scoring a D-cut sports steering wheel. Leg room, especially in the back is at a premium, while head room is not so.

The driver’s side footwell is not welcoming to larger feet. Pedal space is cramped. Keyless entry is tainted by the need to use it the steering column lock to start the motor.

Boot space, with rear seat backs up is briefcase-like 255 litres; with the seat backs folded, a respectable 1010 mm.


Gone are the analogue gauges, replaced by a 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster, making the perfect match for the carry-over 8-inch touchscreen – with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – perched atop the central dashboard, beneath which are air-con (no climate) controls with easy-to-operate large knobs.

GT-Line rear occupants also benefit from the addition of USB-C charging ports.

Engines / transmissions

Nothing (new) to see here – the Picanto carries over the existing 1.2-litre MPI non-turbo engine, mated with either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, putting power to the ground through the front wheels.


With young drivers in mind, the Picanto GT-Line is equipped with a range of Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems as standard across both trims. These include blind spot collision avoidance Assist rear BCA, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist, and lane follow and lane keeping assist. difference in performance between the former 1-litre three-cylinder motor and the carry-over four-cylinder unit. Low on torque, the GT-Line auto is in no rush to get going, nor is it up There’s a reversing camera and rear parking sensors but nothing at the front, which is a pity because of the stubby nose.

Passive safety is in the hands of six airbags – dual front, front side and full-length curtain.


There appears to be little for smart overtaking while on the run. Tootling around town is more to its liking.

The maker puts the fuel consumption on the combined urban / highway cycle at 6 litres per hundred kilmetres. Over a week of average work the test vehicle recorded 7.1 k\litres per 100 kilometres.

The ride and handling were reasonably comfortable – some bumps and lumps along



Kia Picanto Sport manual $17,890

Kia Picanto Sport automatic $19,490

Kia Picanto GT-Line manual $19,690

Kia Picanto GT-Line automatic $21,290

Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Kia dealer for drive-away prices.

the way, considering the short wheelbase (2400 mm) and steering came up with good reaction to driver input. Feedback was solid but the tyres could not avoid chiming in with annoying road noise on course surfaces. However, the Picanto gets a ‘gold medal’ for parking. Pick a spot – almost any spot – and the compact is quick to reward the driver in forward or reverse.


Kia lines up its Picanto to broaden the appeal of its mini hatchback, sacrificing its popular GT in the move.

Kia Picanto GT-Line.
(Pictures: Supplied)

Summer season grand final joy

There’s been grand final fever across Melbourne’s north-west in recent weeks, as the summer sports finish up their seasons. There’s plenty of good stories from across all competitions and here is six of them.

Yarraville Club

Yarraville Club’s second XI came away with premiership glory in one of the most stunning fashions.

Facing Keilor in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association’s Patrick Quinn Shield, the match went down to the final over.

Keilor made 8-270 before the Clubbers hit

the winning runs with two overs remaining and only one wicket left in the shed.

The Clubbers finished 9-273 with 17-year-old Jacob Jebara, who was batting at 10 sealing the deal with 15 not out off 13 ballsandshowingcomposurewellbeyondhis years.

Sunbury United

Sunbury United managed to pull off a thrilling win in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup second XI competition.

While both of the clubs first XIs were in semi final action the same weekend, a lot of attention turned to the second competition.


Epping made it back-to-back titles in the Diamond Valley Cricket Association B-grade competition.

While there was finals heartbreak for the Barclay Shield side, the Pingers second XI brought some joy with another premiership.

The North Eltham Wanderers were sent in and made 9-206 from their 80 overs.

Pingers skipper Steve Trowbridge took three wickets.

There were a few nervous moments for the Pingers as they slipped to 2-4 but were able to bounce back and get the runs with nine overs remaining.

The Pingers finished 7-208.

Jaedyn Kearney top scored with 60, while Jordan Mckernan made 50 not out. It was the Pingers sixth grand final in eight seasons, with the Pingers winning their fifth title.

United made 163 as it was bowled out in the 71st over. Skipper Adam Billinghurst top scored with 44.

Romsey, the reigning premiers, pushed the total all the way, but fell short, bowled out for 161.

James Hughes and Cooper Boyes took three wickets each for United.

Altona Sports

Altona Sports third XI came out on top in the Western Suburbs Churches and Community Cricket Association division 6 competition against Vic Bangladeshi SC Green.

After securing second spot on the ladder in the home and away season, the team led by Varun Kumar played the arch-rivals and top of the ladder Vic Bangladeshi in what was anticipated to be a great game and a spectacle and it lived up to the hype.

Sports decided to bat and ended up scoring a mammoth 228 in 35 overs, led by Ravikiran Girradi who scored 53 and well supported by the veterans Amit Arora with 42, Nilesh Nerurkar with 34, Swapnil Kaushik with 27 and Ali Raza with 24.

Vic Bangladeshi didn’t have a good start with an early run out, but their batmen steadied the ship and were on track with the run rate until Ankit Batra (2-53), Ravikiran Girradi (3-38), Raza (2-12) and Sudhir Sharma and Kumar with one wicket each bowled the opposition out for 204 in 32 overs.

Melton Centrals

Melton Centrals took out the Western Region Junior Cricket Association under-13 mixed B Sunday premiership by defeating Point Cook.

Centrals finished the season on top of the ladder, having gone through the season undefeated.

In the grand final, Centrals batted first and made 6-150 from their overs with Tripjot Singh Saini top scoring with 28.

The match went right down to the wire, withPointCookfallingjustshort,finishing 7-146 off its 24 overs.

Centrals had four run outs while in the field which proved to be the difference.

For his magical batting and outstanding bowling Ravi wherein he picked up two wickets in over to end the opposition innings and win man of the match.

It’s two premierships in the past three seasons, having made the grand final on each occasion for the side.

Macedon Ranges Tennis Association

The Macedon Ranges Tennis Association’s Saturday mixed open competition wrapped up with the ‘Battle of the Blues’

At the start of the season all eyes were on competition newcomers Macedon; however, it was Gisborne Blue captained by Angela O’Brien that quickly captured everyone’s attention.

They were the team to beat all season and finished on top of the ladder.

The two Kyneton teams finished in second and third, while Gisborne Black snuck into fourth spot.

The semi-finals were played in perfect conditions with Gisborne Black, playing its first final in several seasons, proving to be no match for Gisborne Blue which won 42-24 games (6-0 sets).

It was Kyneton Blue which secured a win over Kyneton Yellow 41-28 games (5-1 sets) to set up the battle of the Blues in the grand final.

Kyneton Blue started the match strongly with Chloe Turner and Kerrie Sheawick winning their doubles 7-2, and Lachlan Hooppell and Ting-Yao Kao taking out their doubles 7-3.

Gisborne Blue’s Steve van Emmerick and Keira Simpson played superb tennis to secure a mixed set win in a tie break over Lachlan Hooppell and Kerrie Sheawick, but itwasallKynetonBluefromthere,takingout the remained three mixed sets 7-5, 7-5 and 7-3, and winning the grand final 41-25 games (5-1 sets).

Right: Epping’s second XI. (Pictures: Supplied) Sunbury United’s second XI. Melton Centrals under-13s. Kyneton Blue tennis. Yarraville Club second XI. Altona Sports third XI.

Warriors step up amid improved performance

The Western Warriors produced their best performance of the Victorian Netball League championship season to secure their second win.

After a couple of up and down rounds where inconsistency and turnovers proved costly, the Warriors showed a much improved performance against the Casey Demons on Wednesday night.

The Warriors led throughout most of the night, winning 68-58.

Warriors coach Kim Bailey said it was a really pleasing win.

“We didn’t play our best netball last week, but we went back to training and pulled it back tobasicsandtheintensitythatthegirlsbrought tonight was a real compliment to them,“ she said. “I’m really proud of their performance and it was all over the court. We had winners all over the court.

Julia Woolley had her best game for the Warriors.


quarter and did an outstanding job and then Jaz [ Fraser] just followed the game plan.

“We all needed to know what our roles were and we spoke about that before the game. I asked him on Monday night to go away, come back and tell me what your roles are and I did then and I stuck to it.”

Kim Borger shot 53 goals for the Warriors. Bailey said goal attack Julia Woolley and wing attack Simona Di Filippo both had their best games of the season.

She was also impressed with Vanessa Augustini.

the club to give more depth in defence, had a good game according to Bailey.

Bailey said she thought it was their most consistent performance and while she hadn’t looked at the stats, said they would have reduced their turnovers.

The Warriors under-23 team fell short against the Demons, 50-44.

Bailey said it was a good performance for the side which is understrength due to injuries.

The Warriors this week face the City West Falcons.

Bailey said they had to shut the ball down going into Emma Ryde, who provides a big target for the Demons under the ring.

She said the group was able to do a really good job of that.

“I thought Ellie Randall came on in that first

“We did our homework on this team and you know a couple of them we play for us and different teams so we had a bit of an idea of what we’re up against”

“We’re starting to see the likes of Vanessa Augustini come to fruition because she’s, you know, six months out and having a baby hasn’t playednetballforalongtimeandherworkrate there tonight,“ Bailey said.

“Just adding her in every quarter, every second quarter to bring that experience and that calmness back to the game really helped.”

Natalie Tommasini who made her debut for

Burras are ready to go

There’s been no sitting on past success for Diggers Rest in the Riddell District Football League.

Last season’s premiers have had a strong off-season and are ready to go again with their season kicking off on April 6.

Burras co-coach Jamie Lobb said they were ready to get things underway.

“There’s been good signs on the track,” he said. “We didn’t do contact training until after Australia Day.

“The guys went pretty hard by themselves before that and we have a Strava group and log runs.

“The guys are fitter than they’ve ever been. We’re in a good spot.”

Lobb said while it was good to fit at this stage it doesn’t always translate into playing some good football, but hopes they will again be up there.

Majority of the Burras premiership line up has returned. Jaycob and Lachlan Hickey have both returned to Melton, while Matthew Krul has signed with East Sunbury.

Mitch Jensen, who missed most of last season, will be a playing co-coach, which Lobb has previously said was a natural progression.

The Burras have added a few key signings to help fill the void of the departures.

Shaun Campbell, who has dominated for Parkside in the Western Region Football League, is the biggest name.

“He has been great,” Lobb said. “He has played some high level football before and his leadership will be amazing for us.

“He trained with a couple of the guys at a gym in Maribyrnong and they did a few sessions together.

“I think it wasn’t going to work out back at Parkside and we were able to accommodate his work. We’re happy to have him on board.”

LukeDelaheyreturnstotheclubhavingbeen playing in Western Australia and the Northern Territory more recently.

Lobb said he comes back as a one-point player which is handy.

TheothermainsigningisCampbellWearne, who crosses from Essendon District Football League premier division side Essendon Doutta Stars.

Lobb said Wearne would fill the void left in the midfield by the departure of Jaycob Hickey.

The most consistent side in the competition for a number of years, Lobb said not much will change.

“We’ve had two really good practice matches,”hesaid.“Thingshaveworkedwellfor us but we will need to tweak things a little to keep them guessing.”

One of the more exciting things for the Burraswillfinallybebeingabletoplayontheir new ground after a number of years on the junior oval.

The new club rooms are also set to be open after Easter.

“We’ve been training on the ground since Easter,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming and a s**t couple of years with temporary portables.”

The Burras start their season on the road against Lancefield this Saturday.

Lobb said they were looking forward to it, “Lancefield aren’t the team they used to be,” he said. “They got Riddell last year and we expect them to be better again.”

“We’ve got Falcons next week and running premiers and we know they’re just such an awesome team and have been together for a long time,“ she said.

“So that’s gonna be a test but I think what shone’ out tonight is that we can combine different combinations and they all still work and it’s just putting confidence in girls.”

United men play at home

Western United’s A-League Men’s side will finally get to play in front of its home crowd in Tarneit.

John Aloisi’s side is locked in for its first official game at the Regional Football Facility on April 6, taking on Macarthur at 3.30pm.

The green and black family will then be treated to two matches within four days, starting with a clash against Central Coast Mariners on April 13 before a blockbuster against Adelaide United on April 16.

Kick-off for the Mariners encounter is set for 3.30pm, while the Adelaide fixture will have the Regional Football Facility in all its glory under lights for the first time, beginning at 7pm.

A bumper crowd of more than 2,000 people flocked to the Regional Football Facility for the inaugural women’s side and there are set to be many more for this next major milestone.

Matchdays will once again be a festival of fun for the whole family to enjoy with activities for the kids, games and giveaways and the return of the drummers and the fan-favourite Brazilian BBQ.

After 21 matches, Western United’s men’s side sits on the bottom of the table with five wins and four draws for the season.

United sits 12 points behind sixth placed Western Sydney Wanderers.

Before United plays at home, the side was due to face Adelaide United on Good Friday, after deadline.

The women’s side was due to play its finalhomeandawaymatchoftheseason against the Central Coast Mariners, which was also after deadline.

United had already qualified for finals.

Calvaresi. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 360899_18
April 6. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 395273_63
Western United will be at home on

Ben Way scoops the Sullivan Medal

Romsey’s Ben Way has taken out the Sullivan Medal for the third time in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association.

The Sullivan Medal recognises the best and fairest player across the season in the GDCA’s top flight McIntyre Cup division.

Wayhadyetanotherstellarseasonasplaying captain-coach, leading by example en route to the club’s third grand final in three seasons.

Way scored 915 runs on the season with an average of 91.5.

He previously took out the award in the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons.

He said although he doesn’t set out to win individual awards, he was humbled by the recognition.

“I play for enjoyment and getting better as a club and as a coach and trying to improve everyone around me,” he said.

“It’s something at the end of the day where it’s great to win, but it’s not something I’m striving for.

“I’m sure it’s something when I’ll look back on down the track.”

TheawardcapsapositiveseasonforWayand his Romsey teammates, who fell just short of the ultimate success.

Both Romsey and Gisbone went through the regularseasonundefeatedwith12winsapiece, setting the stage for a memorable grand final.

Romsey batted first and made 212 off 80 overs, which was comfortably chased down by Gisbornein60oversforthelossoffourwickets.

Way was the shining light in the defeat, top scoring for his team with 63 runs off 152 deliveries.

His teammate Chris Burkett also put up a fight making 47 off 105.

However both players were dismissed by Leigh Brennan whose five wickets was a major determining factor in the match.

Brennan was also responsible for the run out of opening batsmen Matthew Milne.

Now 37-years-old, Way said he and his teammates are determined to look forward.

“When it comes to that stuff as a club we’re pretty good at moving on,” he said.


weekend and it’s not always going to go your way, there are two teams who think they’re gonna win, but only one can.

“We’ve been in the past three [grand finals], hopefully we’re in the next three.

“We’vegotagroupthatallgetsonreallywell, we enjoy our time together and try to get better every year.”

Waysaidhewasconfidentthemajority,ifnot all of his teammates would be returning next season.

Hewasalsonamedcaptainoftheteamofthe year alongside his teammates Matthew Milne and Jamie Taylor.

As an opening batsmen, Milne averaged 58 runs per game, the fourth best average in the competition.

Taylor received this season’s bowling award, finishing with 28 wickets at an average of 13.1.

Gisborne’s Riley Vernon was the league’s top scorer finishing the year with 1129 for an average of 81. He finished runner up in the Sullivan Medal behind Way.

Oliver Lees

Trembath’s solo journey

A golfer’s life can be a lonely existence, long hoursofpractisebyyourself,traveltoandfrom tournaments away from family and friends for long periods of time, but not so for the March Don Deeble nominee for this month, Jesse Trembath.

The 17-year-old, who hails from Point Cook has played football and cricket, made representative teams as an underage player of some ability.

But it wasn’t for him.

“I love individual sports, where you set the tempo and only have to rely on yourself,” he said. “I am comfortable in my own skin doing my own stuff. If I mess up, don’t practice the right way, it’s on me.”

Trembathtookupgolfwhenhewasfouryears old under the guidance of his grandmother Susan, who spent many a time talking about her hole in one at Altona Lakes.

Playing on local courses at Kooringal and Sanctuary Lakes, Trembath continued his improvement and was soon identified by Golf Victoria.

A typical week for Trembath includes gym workfourtimesaweekwithafocusonstrength and movement for power and explosiveness.

On most mornings he will spend up to an hour on golf fundamentals, including his short game. After school it is match simulation, technical implementation and course playing.

“I learned very quickly that if you are not having fun you get down on yourself and you stop playing well,” he said.

“Ipracticewithaclosematesomenightsand the loser has 100 push-ups to do. These are the little challenges that make the game fun.”

Trembath has been selected in the Metropolitan Golf Club’s division one pennant team for 2024, something that he is very proud of.

“There are two of us who are the youngest in the team, it will be a great challenge.”

It comes after a breakout 2023 season.

He currently plays off +2. He holds the current course record at Kooringal Golf Club shooting a 63 in April last year, while he was a 2023 state team member, Golf Victoria high performance team and a Callaway “Next Program” representative.

Of his tournament wins in 2023 Trembath is most proud of his win in the Victorian Junior Amateur tournament.

“It was my first major title,” he said.

“I had to hang in there early and managed to prevail with a seven shot win.”

Trembath’s most recent achievement was as one of only two juniors to qualify for the Victorian Open at Thirteenth Beach.

He looked completely at home with the Pro’s and the crowd, missing the cut after 36 holes by one shot.

Trembath’s strengths are his putting and short game.

HesaidhiscoachBrandonRavehashadabig influence on his career along with his father, Craig Trembath.

“Dad won a gold medal for Australia as a shooter in the Commonwealth Games.

“We have a great working relationship, the older I get the more I listen to what he has to say, especially around preparation and focus.

It’s a family affair with his mother, Rachael arranging his personal travel and logistics, with Jesse saying his mum probably has the toughest job.

Ben Way has won the Sullivan Medal for the time. (Shawn Smits)

None better than Bessell

Darley all-rounder Kim Bessell has capped off her exceptional year in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association women’s competition by takinghometheleague’sbestandfairest player award.

She won the count with 14 votes, ahead of Sarah Bamford (Bacchus Marsh), Brooke Jeffery (Lancefield) and Taylah Logie (Kilmore) who all received 12 votes.

The 35-year-old said she was humbled andsurprisedbythebestandfairestwin and credited playing squash as a child for her superb hand-eye coordination.

“I was playing squash competitively from 12 to 19,” she said.

“My mum and dad owned a squash court, so I have been playing basically since I was two years old.”

It was a fitting conclusion to the season which saw Darley win the grand finaloverBacchusMarshincomfortable fashion.

After Bacchus Marsh posted 9-92 off 22 overs, Darley chased down the total for the loss of two wickets in 20 overs.

Bessel, who is also the team’s vice-captain, starred on the day hitting 72 not out as an opening batter. She also took two wickets from her four overs for nine runs.

Whether she was fielding, batting or bowling, Bessell made her presence felt throughout the year.

She led the competition in wickets taken (17), averaged 98.5 runs per game (394 total) and even led the competition in total catches (nine).

Trembath is undertaking his year 12 studies at Emmanuel College, with a focus on heading to the USA in 2025 having already has various college offers.

“Eventually when I finish college, I’d like to turn professional.”

He has just been selected by Golf Australia to represent Victoria at the upcoming 2024 Australian Junior Interstate Teams Matches in Perth in April.

The Don Deeble Sports Star Award is sponsored by the Yarraville Club Cricket Club, Strathmore Community Bank, the Deer Park Club, Ascot Vale Sports and Trophies and the Star Weekly Newspapers.

If you would like to nominate a monthly winner,emailingswrsportsclub@gmail.comor 0408 556 631.

Her versatility earned her the title of captain of the league’s team of the year as well as a team of the year nod in the Victorian Country Cricket League.

Bessell has proven herself as an all-round asset in the Darley sporting community,asshealsobooted122goals in the women’s football team which also won a premiership.

She said if she had to choose, she’d take hitting a boundary over taking a wicket any day.

But more than anything her heart lies on the footy field, where alongside her Darley teammates she’ll be looking to go back-to-back in the Ballarat Football League.

Jesse Trembath. (Supplied)

Cobras adopt growth mindset as season looms

New Bacchus Marsh coach Lisa Tyrell has adopted the mantra of “getting better together” as her side looks to improve in the Ballarat Netball League.

Tyrellwasannouncedasthenewheadcoach in December following the Cobras winless 2023 campaign in the A-grade competition.

The club had difficulties finding a regular starting seven throughout the season.

Facing the challenge of turning around the fortunes of a club that hasn’t won a game in two years is no small thing, but Tyrell said the playing group is taking a step-by-step approach to address their shortcomings.

“Ourmantraatthemomentisgettingbetter together,” she said.

“We’re really trying to work together as a team and they all understand we are trying to rebuild and improve.”

“We’re making the training sessions really simple and having a focus for each of the

sessions and making sure we’re telling the players the reason why we’re doing that.

“I think it has helped them get on board with the drills we’ve been doing.”

And rather than purely looking outside the club for the answers, Tyrell said there’s been a push over the pre-season to build a culture across the Cobras’ football and netball programs.

Tyrell praised the leadership of the new senior men’s football coach Dennis Armfield, who led a pre-season camp to Lake Dewar and invited all senior players.

Armfield played 145 games of AFL for Carlton and since retiring has held a number of high level coaching roles.

“They all got to work with each other and that was really special to see, the girls really appreciated it,” she said.

The Cobras also welcomed Ruby Barkmeyer and Maggie Caris from the Melbourne Vixens

to run a training program late last year, which Tyrell said was an invaluable experience for her young players.

“We did four sessions with them which has set us up nicely and we’ll continue with that training construct over the season,” she said.

The Cobras will aim to give more players from the under-19s program experience at senior level.

Both Abbie Buttigieg and Tyla Ryan have been selected to play B-grade after showing positive signs throughout pre-season.

The Cobras will face Ballarat in round one on April 13.

Tyrell said she was looking forward to the contest.

“From what I understand they’re in a bit of a rebuild themselves, so hopefully it will be a good match up,” she said.

Darley leaders named

Chloe Oughtred and Lilli Condon have been namedasco-captainsforDarleyintheBallarat Football League senior women’s competition, as it aims to defend last season’s premiership.

Both Oughtred and Condon featured in the Devils’ convincing grand final win against Redan.

Condon captained the team throughout the 2023 season in what was also a stellar season for her personally, ending in a three goal haul on grand final day.

Devils president Mark Shelly said it was an easy decision to retain Condon as skipper.

“Lilli’s leadership speaks for itself, she’s an exceptionalleaderonandoffthefieldandinall aspects of the club,” he said.

He also highlighted the promotion of Oughtred from vice-captain to captain.

“It speaks volumes of the regard in which Chloe is held by the coaching group and also by her peers,” he said. The Devils leadership group was selected through input provided from both players and the coaching staff.

Bessell, Madalyn Clarke and Maddy

Lister were also named as leaders for 2024.

Bessell had a dominant year playing as a forward for Darley last season, booting 122 goals across the season.

Taking into account finals games, Bessell averaged more than six goals per game.

Katelene Cook from Lake Wendouree and Jess Bokma were the second and third highest goal scorers slotting 73 and 51 goals respectively.

But Shelly said Bessell’s impact at the club goes beyond the scoreboard.

“It certainly gives the other players someone to look up to,” he said.

“It all helps our junior female footballers as well to have someone to aspire to be like.

“Kim’s a wonderful person in herself, and is thought of very highly not just in the women’s team but across the club.”

Shelly said connecting the junior and senior programs was a focus at the Devils.

Throughout the pre-season senior coach Brett Faulkhead has been spending time with under-14s and under-16s girls teams to develop their skills to give them a sense of what they might encounter should they continue football

Sports shorts

Ballarat CA

Darley is seeking an experienced and enthusiastic men’s coach for the 2024-25 Ballarat Cricket Association season. The person can be a playing or non-playing coach and will involve liaison with the club’s junior division and women’s team. Existing coach Dilan Chandima has signed on at the club in a playing capacity for a fourth season. The Lions missed finals this year.


Burnside Springs United has announced the extension of Cass Elorza contract as the club’s Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 5 coach. Elorza will be going into his third season as coach and is looking forward to expanding on from last season and help guide the up and coming youth players transitioning into the senior playing ranks. Burnside’s first XI made VTCA finals for the first time in the recent season but was knocked out in the semi final.

A-League Women

at the senior level.

The Devils will have 10 new players in the side this season.

Mia Williams Otutaham has returned and will play ruck after spending a season playing interstate.

“[Mia is] a really good in for us,” he said.

“Last season we didn’t have a designated ruck,thereweretwoorthreethatwentthrough that position.”

The Devils will play North Ballarat in a curtain raiser for the competition on Saturday, April 20, in what will be a particularly special occasion for the Roosters.

The round one fixture marks the club’s entrance into the senior women’s division. Ballarat is anticipated to join the league in 2025.

Shelly said it was great to see women’s football growing.

“We’re always trying to increase exposure so we’ve advocated strongly to get some night games for the women,” he said.

“Our first game is against North Ballarat at MarsStadiumonSaturdaynightandwe’llhave two or three night games throughout the year.”

Western United has confirmed forward Hannah Keane will miss the remainder of the 2023-24 A-League Women’s season due to injury. Keane left the pitch with a suspected injury in the 80th minute of United’s match against Western Sydney on Saturday, March 23. The club has since confirmed Keane has ruptured the patellar tendon in her right knee and will need to undergo surgery. United finished its regular season on Thursday night, having already qualified for finals.


Hillside kicked off its Essendon District Football League division 1 season on Good Friday. The Sharks faced Keilor Park for a second straight year on Good Friday. It was one of two division 1 matches played on Good Friday with Roxburgh Park hosting Craigieburn in the other match. For the result of the match and other EDFL Good Friday games, head to



Melton & Moorabool Star Weekly



Tuesday, 2 April, 2024 MELTON & MOORABOOL STAR WEEKLY 23
Oliver Lees The Cobras enjoyed a pre-season trip to Lake Dewar. (Supplied) Darley will be looking to go back-to-back this season. (Supplied)

Bellbrook Gardens Information Session

Bellbrook Gardens Country Club is excited to invite you to attend our next Information Session to be held at the Club House.

Light refreshments will be served.

This will be a great opportunity to visit our wonderful community facilities, view Villas for sale and learn more about retirement living.

Thursday April 18th at 10.30am

168 Underbank Boulevard Bacchus Marsh 3340

Please RSVP online to or FreeCall 1800 633 672

RSVP Essential – Places are limited

For any queries please contact Denise Sniegowski We look forward to catching up with you soon!


You’re Invited!
Your Retirement Haven BACCHUS MARSH Sole agents for Country Club Living FREECALL 1800 633 672 For Further Information Talk to Denise Sniegowski 0455 910 793 12679702-AA14-24
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