Page 1

Something of nothing

Ray's OAM

Virtually blind

Downtown shutdown

We preview WTC's production of Much Ado About Nothing. Page 10

Traf RSL president Ray James honoured. Page 4

Vision Aus' new virtual reality kit helps planners and families understand sight problems. Page 9

Warragul club The Sporty will call last drinks tomorrow. We ask why. Page 8

Thursday 14 June 2018

No. 44

tfi BawBawCitizen

Waterford connection

Roundabout to knock out house A Warragul house will be demolished to make way for a major intersection reconfiguration. By William Kulich @WillPJK

Baw Baw's own black hole finder, Rod Stubbings, will soon record his 300,000th observation. We caught him at his observatory. Page 6


Councillors approved a plan to overhaul the Sutton Street/Tarwin Street/ Pharaohs Road intersection at their meeting last night. Under the plan, Sutton Street will extend west beyond Tarwin Street to the present sharp bend in Pharaohs Road, where a roundabout will be constructed with connection to the Waterford Rise estate. Critically, the alignment of the extended Sutton Street will be roughly straight, cutting right through the house at 1 Tarwin Street. A standard t-intersection will connect Tarwin Street to Sutton Street. Despite his house of over 17 years facing the bulldozers, the property's owner told councillors he believed the design "is probably the best option for that intersection." "I can’t hold up progress and I know progress is going to happen," he said. "I know I’m going to lose my place and I just want to


be properly compensated." The search for a new house might prove frustrating, however, as the owner relies on a wheelchair to get around. In excess of $100,000 has been spent on bringing 1 Tarwin Street up to disability standards. On moving the motion to approve the plan, Central ward councillor Danny Goss acknowledged the difficulty faced by the owner and said the impact "needs to be handled with a lot of care." A report on the process for acquisition of the required land will be considered by councillors at a future meeting. The estimated cost of the project is $2.718 million, with funding to be sourced through the Developer Contribution Plan. Once connected to Waterford Rise, the new intersection will become a key connection for many living in Warragul's north and west. A report presented to councillors notes that "residents living along Sutton Street and Pharaohs Road will likely experience additional traffic volume in the future, [largely as a] result of continued development."

Sourced from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Saturday 5-11 Showers Sunday 3-11 Showers


Shower or two

Monday 4-12 Showers clearing Tuesday 2-14 Shower or two clearing

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14 June 2018

About Edition number: 44 Publishng 5,000 copies Fortnightly from 5 July 2018

Car clocked at 107kph Cops catch alleged cycle and computer thief in Trafalgar

Publisher/ Editor/ Designer William PJ Kulich The publisher takes responsibility for political comment made by this paper. Uncredited articles, photos, and editorial graphics (except in some What's On and Just Browsing listings) are by the editor. FormerlyWarragul & Baw Baw Citizen An image of the impounding posted to social media by Baw Baw police.

Contact us Mail PO BOX 1111, Warragul, Victoria, 3820 Social media (now also on!) @BawBawCitizen Email (all matters) Read online

Advertise New rates and new options! Our full colour ad prices start from as little as $65 including GST! We also have new deals for repeat advertisers. See all the options at Next edition: Thursday 5 July 2018.

POLICE • A Glen Waverley man was clocked travelling 107kph through the Trafalgar township on Saturday. Police taking part in Operation Regal, a four-day statewide traffic operation, pulled the 53 year old over and impounded the car. While police are yet to specify where the speed was measured,

a photo posted to social media by the Baw Baw Police Service Area shows a car being loaded onto a towing vehicle on Princes Highway. The highway speed limit through most of the Trafalgar township is 60kph, with several traffic lights and other intersections on the stretch of road.

POLICE • Baw Baw CIU is investigating after a bangle and two bags were stolen from a Trafalgar home. A police spokesperson said an unknown offender might have gained entry to the Princes Highway address using a key hidden near the door.

A bangle with two oversized pearls, worth $2,000, and two CHANEL handbags, valued at $500 each, have been reported stolen. The theft took place some time between 31 May and 3 June. Anyone with information can call Warragul Police on 5622 7111.

Bangle and bags stolen in Traf burglary

POLICE • A man will face court after being arrested in relation to a burgulary in Drouin last week. According to a Baw Baw police spokesperson, unknown offenders entered a house on McNeilly Road at some time between 1.30pm and 8.30pm on Wednesday 6 June. The offender allegedly took a 2015 model Fuji pushbike, a deep purple coloured women's bike, and a Macbook Pro laptop.

The Fuji bike alone had a value of $5,000, while the laptop was worth $3,500. All up, the stolen goods were worth around $9,000. The spokesperson said police later arrested a 20 year old Drouin man in relation to the burglary and alleged drug offences. The man was bailed to appear in the Latrobe Valley Magistrates' Court at a later date.

POLICE • A Drouin local walked in on a man attempting to break into their house on Friday morning. A Baw Baw police spokesperson said a Jamescott Drive resident walked into their bedroom between 9.45am and 10.15am on Friday 8 June to see a male standing at the window attempting to pierce the fly wire.

The spokesperson said the victim yelled out and the offender ran away without gaining entry to the building. The man was described as being around 165cm - 170cm tall, and was wearing a grey hoodie and pants. Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call Warragul Police on 5622 7111.

POLICE • A utility valued at around $20,000 was stolen from outside the Erica Pub earlier this month. Police say the red 2002 Mazda,

registration YMW 948, was parked on School Road and is yet to be recovered. Anyone with information can call Warragul Police on 5622 7111.

Would-be daylight burglary foiled in Drouin

Ute stolen in Erica

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14 14June June2018 2018

Spate of plate thefts POLICE •Police are encouraing Baw Baw locals to consider anti-theft screws in light of several sets of plates being stolen this month. Between 1 June and 5 June the plates AES 722 were stolen from a black Toyota sedan parked on Arkana Court, Drouin. A Mitsubishi Outlander lost its plates, WMV 803, while parked on Waterloo Road in Trafalgar between 3 June and 4 June. On the same street at around the same time a Holden sedan with registration TJJ 000 also had its plates stolen. A Kia sedan had its plates (XTG 505) stolen while parked outside the bus depot on the afternoon of 5 June. Plates were lifted from a 2003 Mazda parked opposite the Drouin Uniting Church on Sinclair Street overnight on Saturday. The car's registration was SQK 077. Anyone with information about the thefts can call Warragul Police on 5622 7111, or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at, or on 1800 333 000. Anti-theft screws can be tightened easily, but lack the structure required for a screwdriver to easily loosen them. While not impossible to undo, they discourage casual offenders. You can find them at hardware stores or at Neighbourhood Watch-run Safe Plate events.


Council 'confident road users will adapt' to new Palmerston Street

Baw Baw jaw-jaw

BRIEFING • With the redevelopment of part of Warragul's Palmerston Street finally taking shape, some locals are becoming concerned about how the new one way section will work. As construction of the widened footpaths between Smith and Victoria streets has progressed, people have suggested that angle parking strips are now so close there's the potential for cars to reverse into each other when leaving spaces. But a council spokesperson told the Baw Baw Citizen the organisation is "confident that road users will adapt to the new parking conditions along Palmerston Street." "Once complete it is envisaged this will contribute to a thriving retail area," they said. Whether the short section of

road becomes notorious for bumper bumping remains to be seen, but one impact of the redevelopment is already visible: how traffic flows through town. Many people have also expressed confusion and frustration over the decision to stop traffic travelling west along Palmerston Street between Smith and Victoria. The section of road was part of a popular loop people would take around town when hunting for parking. The loop now involves detouring north to the Woolworths car park or Albert Street. To understand why Palmerston Street is now the way it is, we have to look to 2011's Warragul Town Centre Masterplan; the document which has guided the redevelopment of Palmerston Street. What we can't see yet is the

effect of the other major feature of that masterplan: Smith Street becoming south-bound only between Palmerston and Victoria. Why make that change? The council has long had the goal of forcing VicRoads to make Victoria Street the priority road at its intersection with Smith. VicRoads is responsible for managing Victoria Street, while the council has to maintain Smith and Palmerston. Forcing traffic off Smith Street is a way for the council to make it behave like a local road and not an arterial connection. That's also part of the reason behind the street's zebra crossings. Palmerston Street's one way direction was chosen to match up with Smith Street's future configuration. It's odd now, but will make sense in the future. Hopefully.

Get the picture? While Canon only discontinued its last line of film cameras in May, digital photography made film a thing of the past long ago. But while how to operate a film camera is starting fade from memory, even this millennial editor could tell something wasn't quite right with this poster, seen in the window of a national eyecare chain's Warragul store recently:

NEWS • A group of 20 people had to be rescued from the Labertouche Caves on the weekend. Police were notified at 10pm Saturday that the group of Australian Defence Force personnel has become lost. A police spokesperson told media the group consisted of five adults

and 15 school-age army cadets. All 20 were experienced and equipped for the expedition, which involved travelling further into the cave system than they had before. The spokesperson said a number of the group became fatigued while in the caves. Five group members left the

caves to raise the alarm. Police search and rescue, the State Emergency Service, ambulance, local cave guides, and police attended the scene. The majority of the group had been assisted out of the cave by 4am Sunday, with the last person extracted by 8am. No injuries were reported.

ADF cavers rescued in Labertouche

Tips, tidbits, and shout-outs.

That thing sticking up on Kylie's left is the film rewind knob. You can't take a photo while it's up. Maybe it's time for a new prescription . Baw Baw's new car rego stats The state government introduced new short term car registration options in January and is keen to show adoption rates. Data released by local MP Harriet Shing shows 3,620 Baw Baw residents are now paying quarterly, while 3,108 pay twice yearly.


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Student Desk & Chair

Samsung Tablet

Sony PlayStation 4

25 Reams of Reflex A4 Copy Paper for School

100 Reams of Reflex A4 Copy Paper for School

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Backpack full of Art Supplies

Student Desk & Chair

Stationery Pack

Wheelie Bin of Stationery & Toys

Backpack full of Art Supplies

Derwent Artist 72 Colouring Pencils

Winners will be announced at Snowfest Warragul - Friday 27 July 2018 How to enter Collect an entry form from Office Choice - Select Office Supplies, 166 Queen Street, Warragul and return it completed with artwork by Friday 20 July 2018.


14 June 2018

Strong themes In this section, our editor is creating short music playlists to accompany the edition's headlines. You can find each for these songs online, or get our free email updates ( for a version with links. Downtown Shutdown The Presets The timing couldn't be better. Released as a single a few weeks before the announcement Warragul club The Sporty was to close, Downtown Shutdown is a new sound for Aussie dance duo The Presets. With a heavy disco influence and vocals from Shepparton's St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Choir, it's hard not to stay still while listening. Shutdown features on new album Hi Viz, a release which reinvigorates the sound of Hamilton and Moyes. Other tracks push a more raw club sound which, while modern, pulls a lot from the dance floors of the 1980s and 90s. California Queen Wolfmother The Queen's Birthday pick came down to a choice between two 2009 releases: this, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Dragon Queen. Given the recent royal wedding with an American bride, the US link won out. After the band's tremendously successful self-titled debut album, second release Cosmic Egg had a harder time getting attention. But if you overlooked it almost a decade ago, now's the time to give it a shot. The release saw Wolfmother turn away from long psych tracks and adopt a punchier heavy rock sound, which the band has stuck with ever since. SPONSORED:

Ray awarded OAM for service to veterans NEWS • Trafalgar/Thorpdale Returned Services League president Ray James has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to veterans and their families. Ray is no stranger to the spotlight, though whenever he's acknowledged he likes to pass the thanks on to those around him. In 2013 he was named Baw Baw Shire Citizen of the Year, and in 2018 recieved the Trafalgar Community Development Association's Citizen of the Year award. Now with an OAM to his name as well, Ray wants to know who put his name forward "so I can have a word with them!" "I feel a bit chuffed," Ray told the Baw Baw Citizen ahead of Monday's official announcement. "It's a great honour to be seen by others to be deserving of such an award. "It's not just one person who does all that work to be honoured in such a way. Other people must think of you and what you've done or achieved to be worthy of such an award. "I think it's an honour." Ray has been integral to the

growth of the sub-branch, successfully getting the Trafalgar cenotaph moved to the RSL grounds, away from the busy highway. He was also key in the project which saw the Narracan Honour Board moved out of a largely disused council chamber and into the RSL. He is now overseeing another major project: the construction of a shed which will allow for bigger and better functions. "I think it's something that's just grown," Ray said when asked what has driven him to contribute so much to the RSL. "And this RSL was actually built by World War I returned service people. You can see their names on the honour board They built this RSL. They moved into it in 1921, so it's been here a long time. "Of course the town's change a lot since those days, the cenotaph, it was difficult marching against the flow of traffic on the highway and with the advent of mobile phones and people distracted when driving, it wouldn't have been long before there could have been a problem. Ray found out he was a contender for the honour around six months ago.

Ray stands with the Trafalgar cenotaph outside the Trafalgar/Thorpdale RSL

"I was told to keep it quiet and I didn't know whether to tell my wife or not," he said. "I did and she did a fantastic job. Didn't slap the gums too much." Ray is proud of what his RSL branch has come to mean for locals and veterans alike. He is especially proud of how inclusive the branch has become. "I've heard it said before, it has probably become an iconic place in Trafalgar," he said. "We have now what we call affiliate members, who are people who have some kind of affiliation to the services. That could be grandfather, uncle, auntie, within Australia

Dealing with Gippsland's 'Dirty Power' Scheduled power outages unplanned blackouts, and worse: when power gets “dirty”. We accept and have all learned to live with fluctuations in Australia’s electricity supply, but what is the difference between dirty power and a power outage? And how does “dirty” power affect our most expensive electronic assets? “Dirty power, often refereed to as a minor brown out, is when the power coming from the socket significantly fluctuates above or below the expected 240 volts without initially going out all together,” Jon Cavell of Warragul Computer explained. "There are a few simple signs of this phenomenon that we have grown used to: a lightbulb flickering slightly, interference on your radio, and in the worst case appliances actually going "BANG!" with components

literally blowing up. "Dirty power is much worse than no power.” Uninterruptible Power Supplies, UPS for short, are the way to protect your devices. They might just look like a big battery, but in a telephone interview Glyn Dowding of leading Australian UPS company PowerShield explained they do much, much more. "The domestic market usually overlooks the uses of UPS's, whereas businesses accept them as critical," Glyn said. "When your mains power goes under or over a safe level, the UPS takes over and feeds your devices clean, regular 240 volts from its battery until your power returns to normal. Often it only has to kick in for a few seconds, but that's all that's needed to get you through that damaging change in power. “Connected to your internet router, a UPS can

improve your internet quality with fewer dropouts. “Connected to your PC, a UPS will make your system last much longer and help prevent data loss due to unexpected shutdowns and drive failures. “Connected to your AV equipment the right UPS may even improve the sound quality of your amplifier!" “Australia has a unique power grid with the longest distances between power generation and power usage of any country in the world. “PowerShield’s Australian-engineered devices are designed for the ‘dirty power,’ corrosion, dust, and high temperatures of the Australian climate.” Jon added that “a wave of failed electronic devices often come into the store after a storm or change in power

generation events." “These are failures that may have been prevented with a quality UPS. “Upfront costs aside, UPS systems work out cheaper in the long run through more efficient and longer lasting hardware.” A UPS is likely a new concept to many readers, so heading out to look at what's available might seem a little daunting. What do you look for? Which are the good brands? "Starting with a model designed in Australia, such as one from PowerShield, is a great start,” Jon said. “Having the option to trigger a shutdown protocol on a computer in the event of a power outage is a very useful feature too. This gives your computer the chance to safely shut down after a designated period of time, even if you're not at home."

that you're affiliated with somewhere along the bloodlines. "It doesn't have to be direct. It can also include our allied forces. "It's quite easy now to become a member of the RSL. Anyone who comes in here doesn't get out the door without an application form. "It's those people who are going to see this RSL continue on. It won't be the service people one day in the future. The wars will be fought with drones, and [of course peace] is a dream we should all hang on to, but I encourage people to join the RSL and become involved, purely and simply because our core function is to remember."

Home security

"A UPS can also help keep your surveillance equipment online even if an intruder cuts the power to your house or office," Jon explained. "If cameras and recording equipment are connected to a UPS, you can record who steals or damages what. The system can then send the images straight to your phone over the internet, which is still possible if your router is plugged into the UPS! "It won't chase the crooks away, but you will have a record of everything that went on."

Tell me more!

Those with complex power needs can request a one-on-one, obligationfree conversation with Glyn from PowerShield – just ask Jon to set up the meeting! For all other UPS and tech enquiries, visit Jon at Warragul Computer Repair – 6 Smith Street, Warragul.

Your friendly local techs Repairs, Sales, Advice 6 Smith Street, Warragul 56 232 777

Protect your gear next financial year Get 10% off stocked PowerShield UPS systems at Warragul Computer Repair until Friday 13 July

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14 14June June2018 2018


The Gloaming

Who grows the growers? OPINION James Allen

Baw Baw a 'netherworld' between Melbourne and the Valley NEWS • Former KPMG demographer Bernard Salt was in Warragul yesterday to speak to councillors and council staff about where he sees the region going. Bernard opened by describing Baw Baw as being a "netherworld" - not quite city, not quite country, but a place which will develop.


He said agricultural land across the country should be more highly valued as the planet heads toward 11 billion people later this century. "We have what the world will progressively want in great volumes over the next our decades," Bernard said. One of the more interesting contentions of Bernard's

presentation was that Melbourne should support "sub-regions" in areas like Dandenong. "I see a Chatswood or Parramatta type CBD in Dandenong, with a big feeder area," he said. With bigger businesses based in centres closer to regional Victoria, he said access to work for people in areas like Baw Baw would improve.

I dug up a slab of concrete buried under a half-metre of red soil in my veggie garden last week. It’s one of the many artefacts I have accidentally uncovered that hint at the sprawling dairy operation that once occupied my modest block just north of Warragul some fifty years ago. I have wondered at times what that farming family might have made of my occasional flailing efforts to make the land productive again in the few hours per week between working a desk-bound day job and raising a young family. The land is now a “lifestyle property,” which is a synonym for any small picturesque parcel of land that is cheap enough to be serviced by a middle class income, but too expensive and undersized to make unsubsidised primary production a serious business prospect. On my particular patch the volcanic soil runs deep, yet the only thing it nourishes today is capeweed and some lawnmower ruminants. And therein lies a dilemma that is emerging throughout ruralurban fringes, like Baw Baw, where population and property prices are surging. There are those, like me, who have land

but neither the skill nor time to make it truly productive. And then there are those, particularly young aspiring farmers, with the time and skill to farm but for whom the prospect of affording their own patch of soil plus farm startup capital seems to be fading. The community of Eurobodella on the south coast of New South Wales are experimenting with a solution to this problem. With the average age of farmers in Australia exceeding 53 years, they recognised the need to support new farmers entering the sector. To do this, they are connecting tenant farmers with landowners under land share agreements, supporting young farmers to access affordable patches of dirt that may otherwise remain unproductive. Baw Baw is a grower’s paradise. We need to “grow” our young growers to keep the sector strong into the future. The State Government’s recent inclusion of agriculture among its free TAFE courses will help, but our young growers also need a place to grow. Smallhold tenant farming is nothing new, but perhaps the time is right for a renaissance. — James Allen is a public servant, wannabe homesteader, and cohost of The Gloaming, Gippsland’s own podcast. Follow him on Instagram or Facebook @thegloamingpodcast.

Kalamaki: Greek roots, fresh local produce "Fresh" is not a word many would associate with takeaway food, but great produce is key for Warragul's Kalamaki Skewers. "Our Greek heritage, and cooking in the Greek style, comes from good, clean, fresh ingredients," venue owner Foti Koutsotheodoros said. "And we're happy to say that almost all our suppliers are local. We use Moreland's Meats for our meat, and Lean & Green for our vegetables, herbs and spices." Fresh, local produce allows Kalamaki to serve meals with flavour the staff are proud of. Meat is marinated daily for service that night, and all ingredients are carefully chosen. "We choose local suppliers because you can guarantee the freshness is there, and most importantly because of the service," Foti said. "We do as much as we can locally. We like how local support us, and we like to support our locals."

When ingredients cannot be found locally, they are sourced very carefully. A great example is the pita Kalamaki uses for its mouthwatering souvlaki. "We found what we believe to be the best fresh pita for our souvlaki," Foti said. "It comes to us fresh and unfrozen. "The company is Melbourne-based, but they are run by the oldest pitamanufacturing family in Greece. "We used to use these guys when we ran the Liberty Inn. History goes that in 1922 they were the first family in Greece to start making pita in commercial quantities. "Since then the family has migrated to Australia, and for the past 18 years they have been making pita bread in Australia." Want to try it yourself? Kalamaki Skewers is at 85 Queen Street, Warragul, and is open Tuesday to Saturday.

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14 June 2018

Rod Stubbings: Star Man FEATURE • Rod Stubbings spends a surprising amount of time looking through tubes. The Tetoora Road man's day job as a plumber pays the bills, but for the past 32 years he has spent his nights studying the stars. But we're not talking laying back and watching; from his scratch-built home observatory, Rod searches for changes in light from variable stars and reports his findings to professional astronomers. He has even discovered a black hole. "People are actually quite surprised when I tell them what I do," Rod told the Baw Baw Citizen. "I was doing a sewerage job for a client and I talked about astronomy and what I do, and they said 'oh, you're a dark horse you are!'" Rod got into astronomy in 1986 with a telescope ordered from Reader's Digest. "I started fairly late, I was probably 31 when I first had an interest in astronomy. I wish I had started when I was a lot younger," Rod said. "Basically I wanted to look at Jupiter and Saturn. I bought my first telescope, took it out, and wondered 'where are the planets?' "I couldn't find anything. So I bought a book on astronomy without a telescope and learned the sky from a book, and then that told me where to find the planets. "So I finally found them and then started to learn all the

stars, and basically self taught myself the whole sky." Rod can navigate the night sky in the same way most of us can find our way around a map of our town. It's impressive - he can pull Jupiter, Saturn, or umpteen other planets, nebulae, or other objects into view at a whim. But it's variable stars which have most of his attention. "After a couple of nights looking at planets you kind of get bored of it, so I stumbled on variable stars, [through which] you can actually make a contribution to science. "I was spending that much time out there, I thought I might as well make it worthwhile. "Variable stars change in brightness. Our sun's a stable star and doesn't change in brightness, but there are all different life cycles of stars out there and they are all at different stages. Some pulsate, some are eclipsed by other stars so the light changes, some are explosive.

"I concentrate on the explosive stars,"

and their physics is of particular interest to professionals." Rod notes down his observations and sends them to the American Association of Variable Star Observers, as well as the Variable Star Network - a global professional-amateur network of

researches in variable stars. Last month he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his earliest variable star observation recorded in the AAVSO International data base. To help him make his observations Rod uses a 22" telescope, which allows him to see very, very deep objects. Deep in this context doesn't necessarily mean far away, it's more about the brightness of stars. "If you look at the stars at night with your eye, the brightest stars have a magnitude of one; that's a bright star," he explained. "Then as they get fainter you go to magnitude two, three, four, etcetera. The faintest star you can see with your eye is magnitude six under a reasonably dark sky. "With binoculars you can go to magnitude eight. A small telescope might be able to go to magnitude 11 or 12. "With this telescope I observe and study stars at magnitude 17 easily, so I'm looking deeper into our galaxy." The telescope allows Rod to measure whether any of the hundereds of stars he monitors have changed in brightness. It was these observations which led him to discover a black hole. "I recorded the brightening of a star called V4641 Sgr, and sent out an alert notice that attracted immediate attention around the world," Rod recalled. "There were x-rays coming from that part of the sky a month before and they didn't know where they

was coming from, so that night they turned the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite onto that star. There were x-rays pouring out of it and they said 'that's not normal. Normal stars don't do that.'" "The next night all the radio telescopes around the world looked at it, and they realised there was a black hole sitting beside that star and gobbling up part of it. "It only lasted for one night. When I saw it I recorded how bright it was, the next night it had already faded.

"To this day I'm still the only one who's ever seen it that bright."

"That was in 1999. I still follow V4641 Sgr every night, waiting for the next outburst." Unsurprisingly, monitoring stars takes a lot of patience, but the rewards can be very satisfying. "I found a new variable star once," Rod said. "The star was called WR 53, a massive star 25 times greater than our Sun. I had been watching it for five years because someone said it could vary a bit but it's been recorded and documented as no variation whatsoever. "I'm pretty patient so I just kept looking at it, and after five years I noticed one night

it just dipped, it actually had an eclipse. So I got credited with the discovery of a new variable star, and I wrote a paper on my findings and got it published." Rod has memorised some 700 different stars that he observes during the course of a year. Not only has he memorised their names and locations, but also their magnitudes. "If one star is even 0.1 brighter than before, I notice," he said. "I just recently recorded 293,000 visual observations of variable stars to date. "If you break that number down that's probably 30 observations on every night for the past 25 years. He laughs and adds: "so I don't get out much!" "I'm aiming for 300,000 by the end of the year. There are currently only three people world wide who have made 300,000 observations in the past 100 years of variable star astronomy. There was Albert Jones in New Zealand, he's passed away, and two Japanese observers, Hiroaki Narumi and Taichi Kato, who have done over 300,000. Hiroaki Narumi is still observing. "There's Gary Poyner in England, he's getting close to 300,000, and he's been observing for over 45 years. I think I will be the fastest observer to ever do this, in a time frame of 25 years." Rod describes the 300,000 observations as "a little goal" he has set for himself. It's a huge figure, but still a good way short of one of the people he


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being conducted online including settlement, stamping, and registration of the transfer of title through online conveyancing platform PEXA. The benefit of the electronic system will be the significant reduction in paper documentation, immediate lodgement, and funds being cleared on the day of settlement.

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14 14June June2018 2018

has most admired in the field. "Albert Jones is a legend in visual variable star observing, he did over 500,000," Rod said. "He was observing from about 1960 and went until he was 92, when he passed away. "In the last few years before he died, I got to know him pretty well. He actually contacted me and said he admired me for what I was doing [...] recording exploding stars. I documented a lot of new stars that had never been observed before, found out how they behaved and this revealed the true nature and reclassification of such stars. So he was envious of me and coming from Albert that meant a lot. "Before he died, he gave me a whole list of his stars he wanted me to actually observe for him because he wanted to keep the historical light curves going. I still do now with respect to Albert." Baw Baw's skies provide a good foundation for Rod's work, although urban growth has created more light pollution. Rod even moved away from Drouin to Tetoora Road in order to avoid light from new estates. "Over the years I've noticed light pollution is increasing, from Melbourne and the Latrobe Valley, but generally there's still a pretty good dark sky out here," he said. "Things have changed quite a bit in the west, around where Pakenham is. I've noticed that quite a bit, and of course there's the new Pakenham racecourse now which is quite bright.

"We're losing the night sky so gradually that people don't quite realize what we're giving up. With reasonable skies, it's actually kind of easy to get into astronomy. The key is learning how to find what you're looking for. "A lot of people don't know the sky. I learned from books, these days people use apps. (Google Star Map is a good example.) "You've got to go out regularly to know the sky; people go out just once and look at it and think 'that's good,' but I suppose you have to be a bit more hooked to go out night after night. "Just learn the sky so you can recognise some of the bright stars, and just keep learning. There's a lot of good objects you can see out there with even just binoculars or a two inch telescope.

"You can see Jupiter's four moons in a pair of binoculars."

You can find out more about Rod, his observations, and his observatory, through his website, rodstubbingsobservatory. Image: Rod's observatory, which is home to his 22" telescope 'Infinity' Front page image: Rod using his telescope

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14 June 2018

Downtown shutdown ENTERTAINMENT • After 23 years and around 1,200 weekends spent partying, popular Warragul nightclub The Sporty will call last drinks this weekend. For venue owner Justin Dash, the decision to close the club didn't come easy. "I probably started thinking about this six months ago," Justin told the Baw Baw Citizen. "I didn't quite realise so many people would be talking about it as much as they have. I knew there would be a reaction to it but I didn't think it would be anything on the scale of what it has become. "We started selling tickets to our last night [one day] at 3pm and sold them out in three and a half hours." That was 650 tickets in an afternoon. So if the venue can still draw a goodbye crowd large enough to reach capacity, why is The Sporty closing doors? The nightclub is part of the larger Railway Hotel, which has recently seen success in other parts of its business. "We renovated the rest of the pub probably three years ago now, and are desperate for a function room, for an extension of our bistro, and for somewhere for people to have drinks Friday night," Justin explained. "It became a thing of the bistro is too nice to let that

go, but we had to sacrifice something. The nightclub was it. "Having said that, it was a big decision doing it because it is so old, but it's a decision which the staff were quite happy with because they're sick of it too. It's hard work." Justin has owned the Railway for the past 12 and a half years, and in that time he has seen the club scene change dramatically. "When we first got here it was an eye-opener for me because I'd never done nightclubs before," he said. "It was pretty full-on with the football clubs and the local community, because it is just a local nightclub, and then the whole Melbourne Sound or Melbourne DJ thing came into it where all these big DJs started coming around and you had to have them. "Any big Melbourne DJ - you name them, we've had them. We've had interstate ones in there too.That was the test because all of a sudden you go from an average nightclub, just a local one, to having these big name DJ lists where you're paying thousands of dollars a week. That was up to $10,000 a night for some lineups." But times are changing and what young people want from night venues has taken a different direction. "The whole Melbourne scene has disappeared," Justin said. "These DJs [charging

thousands an hour] are now getting only $1,000 or $1,500. "And I've noticed probably in the last six months or longer that the people coming out are coming out for more social reasons than to see these DJs. They're not coming out for that anymore, they don't care. "People like to go for a drink, but they don't want to be bombarded by music. They want to talk and have a conversation with a nice atmosphere." Justin is planning to pull the Railway Hotel's 5am license back to 1am and focus on providing a more lounge-like atmosphere for patrons. It's a big change for the venue. It's also a change which might allow the Railway to avoid an apparent downturn in Victorian nightclubs. "I know a lot of the Melbourne nightclubs are struggling too, because they used to have those headliners we had. People would come to them. "Now all of a sudden they've got to think a bit harder - 'I'm just another venue, same as everyone else, and if nobody's coming here because of the DJs then what are they coming for?' "I did notice a drop-off around here, probably about six months ago, and we realised people weren't coming for the Melbourne DJs. We thought 'okay, we'll turn this around and just have local ones.' It has been good for everyone."

NIGHTLIFE: Queen's Birthday Eve 2018 @ The Sporty

Railway Hotel owner Justin Dash. All photos by William PJ Kulich NIGHTLIFE covers what's happening at Baw Baw's events, gigs, and clubs. If you want the Baw Baw Citizen at your event, email

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Luggage sale Travel in style with great luggage from Carrington Place! For a limited time get big discounts on selected luggage floor stock. Where: Carrington Place Leather & Luggage 14 Napier Street, Warragul Open: Mon-Fri: 9am-5.30pm, Sat: 10am-1pm, Sun: closed.

Comfy travel gear Make the trip as great as the destination with Go Travel accessories from Carrington Place. Made to a high standard with practical designs. Where: Carrington Place 14 Napier Street, Warragul Open: Mon-Fri: 9am-5.30pm, Sat: 10am-1pm, Sun: closed.

14 14June June2018 2018

Virtually blind


Laptops built to last HP's ProBook range of laptop computers are built to a standard we are proud to stand by. Our selection of ProBooks feature: • 15.6" ultra-wide viewing angle full HD matt screens, • Quad Core 8th Generation Intel i5 CPUs, • Windows 10 Professional, • Lightning fast solid state storage, • Alloy tops, • Quiet, active cooling, • Finger print readers, • Backlit keyboards, • dedicated 2GB NVIDIA graphics, • High quality speakers, • and sleek, smart design. All for our special price of $1,399 including setup! Bonus: we're offering Baw Baw Citizen readers a free, high quality HP travel bag with purchase - just mention this ad! Where: Warragul Computer Repair; 6 Smith Street Warragul. Open: Mon-Fri, 8am-3pm

Night and day: screenshots of the demo showing the improvements made to a standard living space to assist people with limited vision

HEALTH • I'm sitting in a dark room. It's a sunny day outside but all that's coming from the balcony window is glare. Vision Australia has a new piece of kit, a virtual reality headset and software which allows people with good or acceptable vision to experience the difficulties faced by people who are vision impaired. The room I just described was an example of a typical apartment or living room, and struggling to see in the shadows is only the start of my troubles. Virtual reality headsets use head tracking and clever optics to trick people's brains into thinking they're somewhere else. Looking down to see I'm in an armchair is odd, because if I tried putting my arms on them they'll feel like they've just gone straight through. I look up to the window and suddenly can't see. "This is cataracts," Vision Australia Gippsland regional manager of client services Beryl Raufer explains. She has control of the laptop which

is powering the VR headset. The glare from before is worse. Much worse. Looking toward the door knocks out almost all my vision. "It's like looking through ground glass," Beryl commented, before showing me what life is like with macular degeneration ("a big amoeba in the middle of your vision"), diabetic retinopathy (like looking through a cow's spots), and glaucoma (that's tunnel vision). My prior impression of what living with cataracts would be like was completely wrong. The reality is different but no less bad. In fact, it's worse - I hadn't realised any strong light source could effectively blind you. And this is why Vision Australia has invested thousands of dollars into this VR experience - I'm certainly not the only one who didn't understand. Families, friends, and even many health professionals have no real idea of what living with vision impairment is like. "I see this as being really valuable for us to be showing health professionals so they understand what their patients

are coming to them with. But also families who think 'oh, gran could see if she really tried,'" Beryl said. She then taps a button and suddenly, the lights come on and the space is transformed. The walls are white and furniture stands out against them, doorhandles change to a bright colour on dark doors, tripping hazards have been moved, the rug replaced, and a sheer curtain hangs over the window. Beryl turns the cataracts layer back on and the effect is nowhere near as bad as before - the curtain has diffused the light. What many people and designers don't understand is how simple decisions like having furniture which contrasts with the things around it can greatly improve the quality of life of people who struggle to see. Vision Australia presently has one VR headset in the state, and in its time with it the Gippsland branch had a tremendous response from local healthcare providers finally able to experience what their patients are managing.

YOUR LOCAL EXPERTS IN: Shoe Repairs Save time: your 'dead' watch is repairable Key Cutting Car Key and Remote Programming Engraving Bag Repairs Watch and Jewellery Repairs Many people have a broken watch stashed away in a drawer. Whether it's a grandparent's pocket watch or something more modern, it's there because people think it'll be too expensive or impossible to repair. But that's not the case, according to Luke from Warragul Multi Service. With training from Rolex and Omega, he has had years of professional experience bringing timepieces back to life. "A lot of people think their watch is beyond repair, and are surprised when it can be repaired, and for a good price too," Luke said. "The majority of repairs for modern watches we can do on

the spot, with it only taking five or ten minutes." That's not to say antique repairs are difficult. In many cases there are still suppliers for parts, and Luke loves to work on old watches. "It's definitely rewarding," he said. "It's often someone's great grandfather's pocket watch or something. It's nice to bring that sentimental stuff back to life. "We do everything from the most basic repairs - watch batteries, band pins, band replacement, glass, hand replacement - up to the more advanced stuff." Luke provides free quotes for work, so stop wasting time and get that watch our of your drawer!

Find us on Facebook and at 4 Smith Street, Warragul


14 June 2018

Something great . . comes of nothing

The lead cast of Warragul Theatre Company's Much Ado About Nothing (L-R): John Black (Signor Leonato), Isabel Stephens (Beatrice), Abel Ferguson (Count Claudio), Dayna Tampaline (Hero), and Adrian Darakai (Signor Benedick)

ENTERTAINMENT • Shakespeare fans: you know The Scottish Play, but have you heard of The Spanish Play? Warragul Theatre Company is putting its own twist on the comedy Much Ado About Nothing, and they're pulling in local musicians to do it. "Directing this play has been a lot of fun because it's a funny play," director Steve Wiegerink told the Baw Baw Citizen. "It's a play that has a bit of a cultural thing, we've added a bit of a Spanish flavour to what is essentially an Italian play, so that's weird. "We're doing this because I'm kind of aware that there's a Spanish musical presence in this area. I approached a number of musicians, and fortunately Peter and Hedy Kirkbride have agreed to be involved. "They've added this kind of musical flavour to it. Why Spanish? Basically because of that reason. Because I knew there was an opportunity to bring in other local artists, musicians." This is one of the beauties of Shakespeare's works. They're so well known that audiences almost expect changes to be made to keep the format interesting. "There are so many components to this," Steve said.

"We've got the music, we've got the dance, there's a lot of opportunity for the actors to play these largerthan-life characters. "There's a lot of twists and turns in the narrative and a lot of humour too. So coming to it as a director, there's a lot to sink your teeth into." "I've had Rod Williams assisting me as a text advisor, and he's been able to clarify anything that was stranger than usual. "Of course, if the cast has had trouble understanding anything or has needed clarification, we've had Rod there. "It has just been a really smooth process and a fun one and coming off the back of Measure for Measure last year, which we were really pleased with. "We've got a lot of the cast back from that, as well as lot of new faces. It's a talented cast, a funny show, and lots of great, engaging characters. It is going to be huge." Warragul Theatre Company is a community organisation with volunteer actors. One of the new faces Steve mentioned is Elise Clyde, who plays Margaret. "This is my first production for a long time," she said. "I actually studied drama with Wiggy back in the early

2000s, and we just happened to bump into each other since [I] recently moved down here. "He kept me in the loop that this is happening, and I thought 'well, this is my passion. I can leave the kids at home with dad and come out and be me for a bit. It has been great and heaps of fun. "It just feels like coming home. Being with a group of like minds, being with a group of people who also have a passion for performance, coming back and doing Shakespeare has been... I sort of feel I've thrown myself in the deep end a little bit because it's not easy. But it has definitely fed my love of his language, and this play in particular is just so funny and his language just draws it out." Elise said she reccomends anyone interested in getting into drama to "just dive in." The play has also been a creative outlet for high school student Dayna Tampaline, who plays Hero. "I love it, it's almost like a stress relief for me from school and stuff," she said. "It's something to get my mind off work and home and school and stuff like that. "I was in the last play in November called Song Contest ("like Eurovision"), and I think since then I've fallen

in love with being in this company. It's really cool. "It's like a step up. I used to be in Warragul Youth Theatre." Another return actor is Isabel Stephens, who plays Beatrice. "This is my second show with Warragul Theatre Company; the first show I did was Measure for Measure last year," she said. "Being a part of the production has been really, really cool. I know a lot of the cast because of the previous Shakespeare we did, so it's a heap of fun because we all already kind of had that bond when everyone came into it. "It's a challenge, but it's really fun once you wrap your head around everything and all the wording. It's rewarding, without meaning to sound cliche. "If you're into foul play and dirty humour, Much Ado About Nothing is the perfect show for you!" Involvement in WTC has also helped Isabel with her secondary education university course. "It makes me want to put myself out there more so I can stand in front of a classroom and talk." Much Ado About Nothing is on from Friday 15 June to Sunday 17 June. Head to for details.

What's on //

14 14June June2018 2018

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Josephine Wants to Dance A story about dreams, believing in yourself ... and a dancing kangaroo. Josephine Wants to Dance is a brand new Australian musical based on the hugely popular picture book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley. Perfect for young audiences from 4 to 9 years and their families, and brought to you by the team that created the award-winning Pete the Sheep, this hilarious new work by Monkey Baa brings to life a tale about a bush Kangaroo you’ll never forget! Written for the stage by Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry. Directed by Jonathan Biggins with original music composed by Philip Scott and choreographed by Australian Ballet choreographer Tim Harbour. Where: Kernot Hall: 50-70 Princes Dr, Morwell When: Tuesday 10 July 10:30am and 1:30pm Cost: Members: $23.00, Children (U15): $15.00 , Full Price: $27.00, Concession: $24.00 Family of 4: $65.00 Additional family tickets: $5.00 Book:


Julius Caesar Brutus is suspicious. Cassius is conspiring. Caesar’s days are numbered. Loved by the people, Caesar’s power is growing – which is dangerous if you live in a world driven by ego and idealism. Those that rise too fast must be dealt with. For the good of the country. For the good of those who wish to be rulers themselves. Julius Caesar is Shakespeare’s political thriller, a masterpiece of intrigue and treachery. Stand witness to the assassination that leads to a life and death struggle for power in the Republic. Citizens mutiny, Mark Antony schemes, and the fate of Rome hangs in the balance. Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Director, James Evans, will direct a production that’s seething with rage, leaving audiences breathless at how quickly violence reveals the fragility of democracy. Where: Bunjil Place, Narre Warren When: Tuesday 31 July 8:00pm Cost: Members: $45.00, Full Price: $52.00, Concession: $48.00 , Group 10+: $45.00, Youth U/18: $25.00 Book:

Scratch your plans Trafalgar artist Nola Clark will host a demonstration of scratchboard art at the Yarragon Station Gallery on Sunday 1 July at 2pm. Her works are completed with stunning detail with all kinds of tools even tattoo needles!

This is our last monthly edition... ...before we begin printing fortnightly from 5 July! We're excited to bring you the content you love even more frequently. If you have a story tip, feel free to email it to More regular releases also means we have more advertising opportunities than ever! Our rates start

at as low as $65 inc! If you are interested in placing an ad, visit bbcit. co/advertise or email And to stay updated between releases, head to to sign up for our FREE email news updates!


Call David Edelman 0407 362 274

'There's never been a better time to sell' Your local expert property report, presented by Candappa First National and Michael Slaughter The Drouin and West Gippsland housing markets are continuing to grow at exceptional rates, but when is the best time to buy or sell? The Baw Baw Citizen caught up with Drouin's leading property experts and found the answer to both questions is now! "A lot of people think winter is not the best time to sell and try to hold out until spring when their garden's looking better," Shane Candappa of Drouin's Candappa First National Real Estate said. "The problem is you're not the only one waiting. There's more competition in spring, so winter is effectively the best time to put your house on the market." Shane said the combination of high demand, strong financial incentives for first home buyers in regional areas, and people looking for a country lifestyle with great connections make selling now in Drouin a great idea. "Drouin is the place to live, that's our slogan," he said. High prices are great for sellers, and according to Smartline home loan specialist Michael Slaughter "property prices in

the Baw Baw Shire are at an all time high, the best they've ever been." There are great opportunites for buyers as well, because...

"'ve also got the lowest interest rates in history." "It's time to buy before prices get any higher, and while interest rates are still at an all time low." "People come to me with concerns about interest rates going up, to whom I suggest looking at a fixed rate option. There are some great fixed rates out there which you can lock in. "You can get variable interest rates at 3.65% - you can lock it in. There are rates out there for 3.89% for two years, or you can lock it in for even longer at around 4%. "That's still really low when you look at what people have paid historically, the average interest rate has been around the 7% mark."

Thinking of buying or selling?

Want to know what your home is worth? Need finance? Visit Drouin's Property Experts at 149 Princes Way

Candappa Candappa First National 5/149 Princes Way, Drouin. 1300 DROUIN

Michael Slaughter 1/149 Princes Way, Drouin. 0490 451 698

Your local home loan specialist

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