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An expedition with Sue to locate a White-faced Herons nest in the Strath Creek Pioneer Reserve yielded nothing, but on the way back we observed what looked like a mud nest of a White-winged Chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos) high up in one of the eucalypts. From our limited vantage point it was difficult to tell if 
Stick insects: Egg-laying techniques reveal new evolutionary map
December 19, 2018
Known for exceptional mimicry, stick insects have evolved a range of egg-laying techniques to maximize egg survival while maintaining their disguise including dropping eggs to the ground, skewering them on leaves, and even enlisting ants for egg dispersal. Scientists have now combined knowledge on these varied techniques with DNA analysis to create the best map of stick-insect evolution to date. Contrary to previous evolutionary theories based on anatomical similarities, the new analysis finds the first stick insects flicked or dropped their eggs while hiding in the foliage. It also finds that geographically isolated populations of stick insects are more likely to be related than those with similar features. The research, published in a special issue on stick insects in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, takes us one step closer to understanding these enigmatic creatures.
While the evolutionary history of most insect groups is well documented, stick insects have been hard to classify. Our new analysis has made great strides, showing that the evolution of stick and leaf insects cannot be solely based on anatomical features, says Dr James A. Robertson, based at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and affiliated with the Brigham Young University, USA. Linking their wide-variety of egg-laying techniques to their evolutionary history,...
I dont like whats happening in Tasmania in terms of commercial development of its wilderness areas. Its something thats finally starting to get a bit of press with The Weekend Australian Magazine and The Guardian recently writing about it.
When did national parks and the wilderness need to pay for themselves? What happened to protecting parks and wilderness for the flora and fauna they sustain? To preserve a space where theres been little to no human disturbance. Since when did helicopters and huts and standing camps become part of the wilderness experience?
Just some of what has been planned or already underway:
I dont want to spend my money in a state whose Liberal government only sees the environment for its developme...
The discovery of a new fish at a famous WA fossil site is in such good condition that it provides an exciting fresh glimpse into the evolution of species from 380 million years ago. The new fish - named Pickeringius acanthophorus (honouring the late Museums Victoria fossil collection manager David Pickering) - lived in the Late Devonian Period. Its beautifully preserved fossil skeleton was discovered by Flinders Universitys Professor John Long at the Gogo Formation, in the Kimberleys of Western Australia. This has become a world famous fossil site, containing superb 3-dimensional preservations of entire fishes in limestone nodules, and has so far yielded more than 50 species.
Pickeringius, about the size of a sardine, was one of the earliest ray-finned fishes a lineage that accounts for more than 98% of all living fish. There are about 30,000 ray-finned fish species alive today, but in the Devonian period, they were greatly outnumbered by other fish groups, with fewer than 30 species described worldwide.
The new find is especially significant because the braincase of this fish is exquisitely preserved. Devonian ray-finned fishes have mostly been found squashed flat, so the new discovery will enable CT scans of its skull at ANU, allowing palaeontologists to digitally render its endocast, and provide important information on early fish brain evolution. Only two previous Devonian ray-fins (Mimipiscis, from The Gogo Formation, and Raynerius, found in France) have had their brains subject to this level of detail.
The Pickeringius is distinctive for having enormous spiracular
openings on the top of its head, though these present a mystery to
palaeontologists. Most ray-finned fishes of this period had minute
spiracles, and these are now vestigial or lost in most modern
forms. The only living ray-finned fishes with well-developed
spiracles are African bichirs, which use them to breathe air at the
surface. Alternatively, modern rays (which are not ray-finned
fishes) use their spiracles to breath while they are on the seabed
(with their mouths and gills pressed under their body).
The fish is also excessively prickly, hence the name acanthophorus (which means spine bearer). The top of its skull is covered in little conical denticles. The underside of the...
Thank to court watcher Bill Thompson for the tip - after our story about IBAC charges a few days ago! Do you know more? Please let us know too. Bill wonders if there's any connection.
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) and Cumberland Lodge conducted a conference titled Towards Peaceful co-existence in the Middle East: challenges and opportunities. Co-hosted by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, the gathering drew participants from a broad range of Middle Eastern and European churches. A central issue was how states treat people of different ... Read more...
HISTORY DOCUMENTED Lost Sheppartons Geoff Allemand with his latest book, Sheppartonians, which features the people of Shepparton past and present including Raymond West. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
THE people of Shepparton past and present are something that quite often draws the attention of any local, and now you have the chance to read about some of their stories in Lost Sheppartons latest book, Sheppartonians.
Adorning the 80 pages are over 100 photos of people who have helped to shape our city, including Sir Andrew Fairley, Sherbourne Sheppard, Raymond West, Noel Hussey, Max and Yvonne Carlos, Darryl Twitt and Ross Freer, the Furphys, John and Agata Anderson and Alan Scott to name a few.
Lost Sheppartons Geoff Allemand worked together with writer, Margaret Marlow (nee Campbell) to create this latest historical book and its one you simply must get your hands on.
Geoff said, We carried out a poll on the Lost Shepparton Facebook page to see what our followers wanted to see in our next book and we had an overwhelming response to them wanting us to focus on people.
The name of the book came from a book called The Big Sheppartonian, A Life of Sir Andrew Fairley. We thought it was fitting because in a way, we are all Sheppartonians.
We tried to choose people who have given something back to the local community and we think we have done that fairly well.
To pick up a copy of Sheppartonians, visit Lost Shepparton at the Shepparton Heritage Centre (across the road from the Shepparton Police Station), visit www.myshepparton.com.au/lost-shepp-shop.html, or drop into NewsXpress at Riverside Plaza or Focus Cards & Gifts.
LEARNING FROM FISHING GURUS From left, Trellys Fishing and Hunting World Shepparton owners, Steven and Mary Threlfall, angler, Kayla Palanuik, professional fisher and guest speaker, Carl Jocumsen and Trellys team member, Ross Threlfall. Photo: Supplied.
ANGLERS assembled at Sheppartons Eastbank recently for Cod-ference, an annual event celebrating the official opening of the Murray Cod fishing season. The daylong event enabled fishers a great environment to boast about their catches, share stories, and receive top-quality advice from world-renowned experts regarding all things fishing.
Competitive fisher, Carl Jocumsen shared his incredible fishing journey, from small beginnings in Toowomba to competing in his first ever championship in the USA, the Table Rock Lake Bassmaster Open Championship 2018. The crowd were enthralled by Carls inspirational speech, especially considering Carl cut his teeth as a young angler fishing Murray Cod several years ago.
Also in attendance, Victorian Fisheries Authority chief executive officer, Travis Dowling explained the existing governments plans to get one million people fishing in Australia by 2020. There was much intrigue surrounding this particular speech, with Victorian fishing a majorly central focus.
Trellys Fishing and Hunting World owner, Steven Threlfall was in attendance and said, Some really great information was gained from this amazing fishing event. It was really handy to receive helpful feedback around the scientific, grassroots and even some of the political elements surrounding Australian fishing.
Carl Jocumsen had audiences captivated with his unbelievable story. He was absolutely the highlight of the event for everyone and we are so grateful for his attendance.
ASSISTING THE YOUTH From left, The Bridge Youth Service CEO, Melinda Lawley, youth ambassador, Lauren Beks, three-year old, Luna Beks and Laurens fianc, Jayme Mathers. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
SOMETIMES in order to assist disadvantaged youth, you need someone who has experienced hardship first-hand to provide the genuine empathetic support needed to enable help and connection.
The Bridge Youth Service in Shepparton have recognised this need, recently announcing the commencement of the Next Generation Leadership Youth Ambassador Program and awarding the first ambassadorship to local young mum, Lauren Beks.
Diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder, Lauren has continually struggled to find her place in the world. However, through the ongoing support from The Bridge Youth Services, particularly from her mentor, Linda King, Lauren has successfully turned her life around and is now keen to employ her experiences of hardship to help and assist others.
Having utilised the service for almost 10 years, Lauren first began attending The Bridge as a teenager after she fell pregnant with her first child, Layne. Throughout this time, Lauren has returned often to The Bridge, seeking support in times of crisis at various points in her life. When she experienced homelessness, The Bridge was there to offer support. She received antenatal support then later, when Laurens second child Luna was born, The Bridge assisted again, attending appointments and helping out however possible.
With Layne and Luna now eight and three years old, respectively, Lauren still returns to The Bridge regularly to assist other young mums through the Young Parents Program and she is excited to utilise her ambassadorship to continue helping well into the future.
The Bridge Youth Service CEO, Melinda Lawley said, We were seeking a young person who has utilised The Bridge Youth Service and who is committed to the...
PART OF THE FAMILY Shepparton Villages catering manager, Geoff Scales celebrated more than 25 years of employment with the organisation, joining 22 others who were also recognised for their milestones at the AGM. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
TWENTY-THREE staff at Shepparton Villages were recognised for their long service milestones at the organisations AGM this year.
Clocking up 10 years was Wayde Vider, Geoff McKendrick, Glenys McQualter, Jillian Hall, Bryan Wayman, Susanne Taylor, Jackie Nightingale, Edward McNair, Kerri Sitters, Fiona Thomson, Melissa Lepp, Heather Dover and Alisha Brown. Clocking up 15 years was Dawn Rogers, Leanne Hotchkiss, Lynne Coe, Jodie Toohey, Sue Cahill, Joanne Whennen, Anne Maree Bramley and Virginia McPhillamy. Helen Pierce celebrated 30 years of employment and Geoff Scales celebrated more than 25 years.
Starting his stint with Shepparton Villages as second chef on December 21, 1991 and today carrying out his role as catering manager, Geoff Scales said, I have seen a few changes in my time. The stand-out moments would have to be seeing the construction of all the facilities; Mooroopna, the new Banksia and Arcacia and Maculata Place as well as the new production kitchen, which was a big deal for us.
Ive been cooking for 40 odd years and have gone from a pan and wooden spoon to now using a $70,000 Bratt Pan. There have certainly been many changes in technology.
I enjoy doing Christmas for the residents. We make everything ourselves including 3,000 shortbread and 3,000 rum balls, 1,500 Christmas puddings and 40 to 50 Christmas cakes. There is just nothing like putting on Christmas for them.
MAJOR north east Victorian roads have been made safer with critical works undertaken recently through a $51.5M investment into maintenance, resurfacing and rehabilitation on the arterial network.
Regional Roads Victoria north eastern regional director, Nicki Kyriakou said upgrades on the Goulburn Valley Highway, Murray Valley Highway and Glenrowan-Myrtleford Road (also known as Snow Road) would provide smoother, safer journeys for all road users.
We know how important safety is to road users travelling throughout north east Victorian roads each day, which is why weve committed to delivering these essential upgrades, Ms Kyriakou said.
Youll see our crews out this maintenance season, ensuring we provide a reliable road network for all Victorians.
Just under one kilometre of the Glenrowan-Myrtleford Road, Whorouly, has been upgraded between Trakton Road and Barneys Lane, with a further kilometre of road improved on the Murray Valley Highway near Ludlows Reserve, Ebden.
An overtaking lane will be rebuilt by the end of the year on the Goulburn Valley Highway west of Strathmerton, where thousands of vehicles travel each day on one of the regions key freight routes.
To keep track of these projects or check out what other works are underway or planned in your area, visit regionalroads.vic.gov.au
For more information on how to register for your Community Connect listing contact The Adviser via email at email@example.com. Please note listings are to be fewer than 55 words.
KYVALLEY CHRISTMAS DANCES will be held on Saturday, December 22 at 7:30pm, with music by Keith Stockdale and on Saturday, December 29 at 7:30pm, with music by Jos Dance Music. A good program with delicious supper, raffles and promises to be lots of fun. Held at Kyvalley Hall, 534 Scobie Road, Kyvalley. For further information, contact Bev on 0417 360 687 or 5852 1853.
ST BRENDANS CHURCH CHRISTMAS CHURCH TIMES are mass on December 24 at 10pm (with carols starting at 9:30pm) and mass no December 25 at 8am and 11am.
ORCHARD DAY CLUB meets on second and fourth Thursday of each month,
10:30am to 2:30pm at Shepparton RSL for friendly company, gentle exercises, mind games, cards, guest speakers, bus tours and a delicious lunch. All ages and genders welcome. Phone Judy on 5823 5941 or Betty on 5821 3838.
CONNECT MEDITATION GROUP is inviting the community to enjoy the benefits of meditation. One hour sessions are held every Monday at 6pm, Tuesday mornings at 10am and Thursday night from 7:30pm at Harmony Place, 9a Edward Street in Shepparton and admission is $8. For further information, contact Lisa 0419 562 790 or Roger 0427 541 611.
ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT RETIREES meets on the third Monday of each month at 9:45am at the Overlander Hotel, Benalla Road, Shepparton. Share group meeting will be at 9am. For further information, phone Bill on 5821 1854.
SOCIAL BADMINTON players meet at the Shepparton Stadium every Wednesday from 9:30am to 11am. New players, beginners to advanced are welcome. Enjoy a coffee and a chat after the game. Phone Julie on 0407 717 265.
ENABLING WOMEN GROUP meets once a month at Rights Information and Advocacy Centre, 190 Benalla Road, Shepparton. For further information, phone Sharon on 0429 621 843.
TRANSPORT TO CEMETERIES on the third Saturday of each month Goulburn Community Transport provides transport to the cemetery to visit loved ones. For more information, contact Vilma Ondrus 5831 3607 or Goulburn Community Transport 5831 8515. Shepparton visits are $3 and Pine Lodge visit $4.
MAINLY MUSIC program is held every Wednesday from 10am t...
KEEN FOR CAROLS From left, Sean French, Ruby Davies, Moara Smith and Merdi Yamfu cant wait to perform the childrens entertainment at Carols by Candlelight. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
WARM up those vocal cords and adorn your best Christmas outfit; Sheppartons annual Carols by Candlelight event is coming to town.
This Sunday, December 23, the Queens Gardens is going to come alight, with songs of peace and joy echoing throughout the area. The free event is presented by Greater Shepparton City Council and commences at 6:30pm; however, it is recommended that guests arrive early in order to be assured a seat.
The family-friendly event will feature music from local artists and youth performers alongside Shepparton Brass and Wind and Goulburn Valley Pipes and Drums.
Of course, Santa Claus himself will be present at the carols and there will be food trucks, coffee, ice cream and glow sticks available for purchase. The event will conclude with a spectacular pyrotechnic display, presented by GMCU.
It is recommended that attendees bring along low chairs, nibbles, insect repellent, picnic rugs and cushions, to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable evening for all.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Kim OKeeffe said, The night promises to be a spectacular event. I look forward to joining many families and friends from around the region who come together to celebrate the festive season in a beautiful setting.
There will be a range of various local performers and entertainers who will showcase a mix of contemporary and traditional Christmas carols who I look forward to seeing.
I hope everyone who is attending has a wonderful evening enjoying all aspects of the festiv...
MORE than 180 Shepparton blood donors are needed between December 21 and January 7 for Australias Biggest Secret Santa exchange this Christmas.
The donors are needed to prevent a possible shortage of blood stocks vital to the treatment of cancer patients.
To celebrate this Secret Santa exchange, blood donors who give blood or platelets this December will receive a text message to let them know where their Secret Santa gift was sent. Theyll also receive a Christmas gift tag to give to a loved one saying theyve donated blood on their behalf.
Blood Service spokesperson, Shae Smith urged locals to give blood, saying it was the most important Secret Santa theyll ever do.
If Secret Santa is about giving anonymous gifts, designed to make someones day, then blood donation really is Australias ultimate Secret Santa exchange.
Blood will be needed by road accident patients, pregnant mums, cancer patients and even premature babies every day this Christmas and New Years.
To make an appointment to give blood or find out more about Australias Biggest Secret Santa, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au
WITH the summer temperatures already having risen over 30 degrees, the presence of snakes across regional worksites including farms and properties, pose a higher risk of snake bite.
More than 3,000 snake bites are recorded in Australia each year, with up to 500 people requiring antivenom. With Australia being home to around 140 different species of snake, and approximately 100 of these being venomous, its crucial that we are educated and prepared if a snake strikes.
Brenniston First Aid & Workplace Safety director, Pia Abrahams is urging all business owners to take necessary precautions to minimise workplace hazards and provide workers with access to a suitable first aid kit.
Most importantly, outdoor workers should be trained in snake bite first aid, known as the pressure immobilisation technique, and always carry an easily accessible snake bite first kit. First aid should be administered even when a bite appears minor or the patient has no symptoms, Abrahams said.
If a snake bite occurs, speed and immobilisation are vital to impede the spread of venom. Using a compression bandage and ensuring the patient is remaining as calm and still as possible will significantly increase their chance of surviving a life-threatening snake bite.
Snakes may be more prevalent on agricultural, road transport, construction and land management worksites in warm weather.
They are typically found in cool, dark, protected areas such as under buildings and near sheds, around rubble and stored materials, in electrical switch boxes and long grass. Its also not uncommon for snakes to enter unattended open vehicles.
If you or a work colleague is bitten by a snake, dial Triple Zero (000) immediately and then administer first aid for snake bite.
REST AND RELAX Proud Traditional Thai Massage owner, Kathy Khongsthidporn suggests giving the gift of relaxation this Christmas. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
CHRISTMAS is the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes it can be extremely stressful too. Thats why its important to look after your body and ensure you feel refreshed and rejuvenated for the New Year.
At Proud Traditional Thai Massage, staff can assist in loosening muscles and providing much-needed freedom from tension. Whether it is a 30-minute or four-hour session, clients are massaged to release and remove physical tension.
The friendly staff offers a combination of Thai massage and oil massage, all in a nice, clean and relaxed environment. Proud Traditional Thai Massage has also enlisted extra care to ensure maximum relaxation in the Maude Street space.
Treat your loved ones to relaxation this Christmas with one of Proud Traditional Thai Massages excellent gift cards. These can be made up to suit any budget, with $20, $30, $50 and $60 options available and for a limited time, they are running a great deal where you can buy six gift cards and receive one for free!
Proud Traditional Thai Massage owner, Kathy Khongsthidporn said, At the end of another hard year, its best to gift friends and family with a relaxing massage.
This is even the perfect gift to give to yourself! Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and relaxed over the busy time of year.
Give the gift of relaxation this Christmas. Drop into 272B Maude Street, Shepparton or call 5858 5446 to book a massage.
The following is from Save Public Housing Victoria
Have you seen the ABC documentary about Waterloo called There Goes Our Neighbourhood?
Quote All over the globe public housing is under siege.
And now its Australias turn.
Whichever major party is in power across Australian states the despicable covert privatisation of Public Housing and public land is likely to continue, because whats driving it is money, power and mega-profits.
Homelessness of course will worsen!! The homeless, to our shame, are our internal refugees
Personal testimonials (1)
At a meeting in Gronn Place in West Brunswick earlier this year, we heard from Louise who spoke about her sisters experience in Millers Point in Sydney.
Here are some
extracts from her speech.
When the government said they wanted to renew Millers Point, they said the main reason was that it was costing too much in maintenance. I can tell you right now, they spent nothing on maintenance. People had to paint their own places, had to replace their own stoves. The government spent nothing.
In Millers Point, to get them out, they offered them the world not telling them they were finding them alternative accommodation by throwing those (public) tenants out. The same pretext they said to existing tenants, Youll only be out for 3 monthsand well fix the place up. In the meantime, they brought in people from Millers Point.
Theres two reasons why people live in Public Housing. The first reason is they choose to because of their community. Secondly, they cant afford any other accommodation, either temporarily or permanently. There has to be a place in our society for people who cant afford to buy or pay high rents. Everybody is a citizen.
Regarding the displacement process underway in Melbournes inner-city under the Labor government
Louise: People have mentioned the government coming along with pieces of paper and smiles on their faces. What happens is they tell lie after lie. The minute people give up their place in Public Housing theyre heading down the road of homelessness for a number of reasons....
Donald Trumps rejection of trade agreements and aggressive use of unilateral tariffs, and One Nations similar policies in Australia have tapped into resentment of current neoliberal trade policies, which for many people have not delivered promised jobs and growth, and have contributed to growing inequality.
Trump and One Nation have mobilised this resentment from a conservative and racist perspective, fanning ultra-nationalist and anti-immigrant sentiment. But their simplistic responses of high tariffs on imports will not magically restore lost jobs. Building walls and discriminatory migration policies based on fear will not improve peoples lives but will bolster militarism and the danger of war.
AFTINET is part of the global movement of progressive groups supporting peace, human rights and global solidarity. We are not opposed to trade, but want a more just global trade system
What Trumps rupture with some neoliberal trade policies does demonstrate is that they are not immutable economic rules resulting from market forces, but political decisions that can be changed. As advocates for trade Justice we must seize the opportunity to challenge bad policy and develop alternatives which benefit the majority, not just the top 1%.
Whats wrong with current trade policy
Fundamentalist neoliberal trade policy as practised by the Coalition Government aims to achieve not only zero tariffs but also zero other barriers to all trade and investment.
Each country should specialise in its most narrowly-defined competitive products or services, import everything else at the lowest possible prices, have no active industry policies and minimise other government regulation. Australia would be a farm and a quarry, with deregulated service industries like tourism and financial services.
This policy culminated in former Treasurer Joe Hockeys admission that his government decided to end all assistance to the car industry to reach trade deals with....
GLIMPSE INTO SPACE A long exposure photo of the International Space Station taken by local resident, Jason Hayward when it recently passed through our skies. Photo: Allie James Photography.
A CHANCE occurrence took place recently for locals Jacqui and Jason Hayward, who just couldnt miss the opportunity to look to the skies and snap a long exposure photo of the International Space Station when it passed through the skies over Shepparton while a spacecraft was attempting to dock to it.
Travelling at 27,000km/h and orbiting roughly 400km from Earth, the International Space Station is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, with the first long-term residents arriving in November 2000. It has been inhabited continuously since that date.
It is possible that Jacqui and Jason captured the moment that NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, and Oleg Konenenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos joined Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency), Serena Aun-Chancellor of NASA, and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos aboard the International Space Station.
GETTING TO KNOW SUE Sue Nalder is this week stepping down from her role as La Trobe University Shepparton head of campus. Photo: David Lee.
WITH La Trobe Universitys outgoing head of campus, Sue Nalder bidding her role farewell this week, The Adviser sat down with her for one last chat about some of her favourite things in life, her time at La Trobe and what her plans for the future are.
What is your favourite food?
A really good barbeque with friends and family, but I am particularly fond of the many wonderful different salads.
What is your favourite football team?
Ill have to say the mighty TigersRichmond.
What is your favourite book?
Over the past few years I havent read too many books, mainly articles for the university, but I do love autobiographies.
Is there a particular person that has been your biggest inspiration in life?
I would have to say my mum. She is 92 years of age. I have always been inspired by her strong work ethic and how she makes the most of each day. She always supports and encourages her family and friends.
If you could holiday anywhere, where would you go?
Our favourite spot the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. It has beautiful beaches and surf. I would love to go to Poland and explore one day though.
What has been your favourite moment at La Trobe?
It would be the turning of the sod of the new building at Fryers Street and its opening. It was symbolic of so many opportunities for our community in gaining a higher education. Its been a real community business where everyone has worked together to make it all happen.
What has been your biggest achievement?
With La Trobe it would be building up the school of business accounting department at the Shepparton campus. Personally, it would Ian and I having our five children and seeing them hap...
SEAT REMAINS INDEPENDENT Victorian Electoral Commission Shepparton election manager, Mick Bastian congratulated the re-elected Independent Member for Shepparton, Suzanna Sheed when the results were announced last week. Photo: Supplied.
RESULTS were announced last week for the Victorian State Election for the seat of Shepparton, with Suzanna Sheed retaining the seat as Independent Member for Shepparton District for another term.
Following the announcement of her re-election, Ms Sheed said, Im excited to announce I have been re-elected as the Independent Member for Shepparton District and have been given the privilege of being your representative in the Victorian Parliament for another four years.
A big thank you to the community for entrusting me to continue to advocate and deliver the outcomes we seek for our wonderful communities.
Id like to thank the Shepparton election manager, Mick Bastian and VEC staff for their ongoing efforts over the past few weeks.
I would also like to take this opportunity to once again thank my family, friends and volunteers for the great effort and support they have shown over my last term of parliament and the campaign period.
Running a campaign is a huge undertaking that requires an enormous amount of commitment and hard work. Id like to congratulate Cheryl Hammer, Peter Schwarz, Bill Heath, Murray Willaton and Nickee Freeman for putting up their hands and taking on the task.
While we may represent differing political views, I applaud all candidates who care deeply about their community and seek to make a positive contribution.
Liberal Candidate for Shepparton, Cheryl Hammer said, I congratulate Suzanna on being returned as the Member for Shepparton. I look forward to her delivering everything she has told us an independent could d...
EXCEPTIONAL ARCADE DISPLAY Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry CBD committee person, Wendy Crow admires the awesome Tower Arcade display. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
A BRILLIANT array of new Christmas displays has been expertly executed for all to enjoy in the Shepparton Tower Arcade. The gorgeous decorations, compiled by the Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry, utilises stunning window displays from local artists and community groups.
The Tower Arcade window displays are proudly submitted by Shepparton Textile Artists Inc., Goulburn Valley Quilters, Eastern Goulburn Country Womens Association and the Goulburn Valley Rail Club.
Also featured in the window displays is a unique textile design by local resident Ella Egan, titled Partridge in a Pear Tree. The delightful window display is an absolute eye-opener, made from Japanese maple wired and bent into shape, silk fibres, a felt trunk, homemade silk paper, hand-embroidered partridge and pears shaped out of fabric.
In addition to the window display, Wendy Crow from the chamber has utilised the glass roof by crafting star stencils that allow the skylight to pass through, to unique effect. There is also a stunning, enormous tree display on the western end of the arcade and bouquets and other displays utilised throughout.
The entire arcade showcases the spectacular efforts of many within the community and is absolutely worth visiting.
THE Coalition Government recently introduced legislation to establish a new, secure, revenue stream for drought resilience, preparedness and recovery, which will grow to be worth $5B.
The fund will help give out farmers tools to prepare for, manage and sustain their businesses through drought and will deliver infrastructure projects, promote the adoption of new technology and help improve environmental and natural resource management on farms.
Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud said the Future Drought Fund was a forward-looking policy which will pay off for decades to come.
Were guaranteeing long-term revenue to build drought resilience, Minister Littleproud said.
Minister for Finance and the Public Service, Mathias Cormann said the fund would start with $3.9B, growing to $5B over the next decade.
From July 1, 2020, $100M will be directed annually to fund a wide range of drought resilience projects, while the balance is reinvested the fund.
A predictable funding stream for drought resilience will enable Australias $60B agricultural industries to fulfil their potential.
The government will develop and publish the Drought Resilience Funding Plan to ensure a transparent and consistent approach to funding drought resilience projects.
The plan will be informed through public consultation and reviewed at least every four years to ensure it captures emerging priorities, Minister Cormann said.
More information on drought support is available at www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought
VICTORIANS are being urged to keep each other safe on the roads this festive season with the Andrews Labor Government and road safety authorities launching a pre-Christmas appeal to drivers, knocking on doors.
The devastating death knock that police make when a person is killed on Victorian roads is at the heart of a new Transport Accident Commission (TAC) campaign and road safety plea.
While the 195 lives lost so far this year is a record low for the start of December, it is no comfort for the families and friends facing Christmas without their loved ones.
With almost one person killed every day between the start of December and Christmas last year, drivers are being urged to slow down, plan their trips and make safe choices when hitting the road these holidays.
The campaign was developed to remind people about the tragic outcomes of risk-taking behaviour on the roads and urges people to think about the ripple effect of the choices made.
Last year, 23 people died on Victorian roads from the start of December to Christmas Day, and six people lost their lives between Christmas and the New Year.
The police and the TAC will have a strong presence across the state these holidays, with extra police shifts and community information campaigns to curb the number of people being killed on country roads.
TAC lead director road safety, Samantha Cockfield said, The festive period is a busy, high-risk time on Victorian roads with people taking longer trips, and attending social events, so our message is to avoid fatigued driving, drink and drug-driving, distractions, and slow down.
For more information on how to register for your Community Connect listing contact The Adviser via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note listings are to be fewer than 55 words.
MUSIC FOR HOSPICE will be held on Thursday, December 13 at the Cricketers Arms Hotel, Mooroopna with guest artist Marke Kelly.
THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE CONGUPNA TALLYGAROOPNA LANDCARE PROJECT at the former Tallygaroopna Railway Station Site will be held on Saturday, December 15. Commencing at 10am with a look around the park and morning tea before the opening. Note, the Seymour Heritage Train will also be coming through around this time. For more, contact Trish Moss on 0427 298 288.
NEW YEARS EVE DANCE NIGHT will be held on Monday, December 31 at the Sir Ian McLennan Centre, Mooroopna. The dinner dance will run from 6pm to 1pm. A two course cold buffet and dessert will be held at 6:30pm. The cost including tea/coffee is $26. Entry after 7:30pm is $10. Tickets must be pre-booked and paid for by Sunday, December 15 with through Trish on 5412 6744. The music will be by guest artists, The Kendells, Joyce Yates, Merri Winter and invited guests.
SHEPPARTON PRESBYTERIAN PARISH will have Christmas Day services on December 25 in Shepparton (168 Hayes Street) from 9:30am and in Kyabram (Church Street) from 9:30am.
MONDAY EVENING AUSSIE CROQUET will be held at the Shepparton Croquet Club, 37 Winston Street, Shepparton commencing from Monday, January 7, 2019 from 6:45pm for a 7pm start. Cost per person for each day of play is $6 for members, $10 for non-members and school children free. All equipment is provided. Wear flat soled shoes. For enquiries, phone Gwen on 5821 546.
ROTARY CLUB OF MOOROOPNA would like to introduce the developing Rotary Satellite Club of Mooroopna which, when fully formed will be the Rotary Club of Kialla. The club meets each Wednesday at 6:30pm at McGuire College, Wilmot Road, Shepparton (no dinning). You are welcome to visit and get to know the members.
ESHCOL DAYLIGHT LODGE meets from 10:30am on the fourth Monday of every month. New and unaffiliated members are welcome to join and partners are welcome for lunch. For further information or enquiries, phone 5824 1274 or 5825 2142.
SHEPPARTON SOROPTIMIST CLUB meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Peppermill Inn, GV Highway in Kialla from 6pm for a 6:30pm...
HERE TO HELP From left, GMCU Shepparton loans manager, Rob Chaston and branch manager, Dallas Moore are encouraging everyone to plan ahead for the new year. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
CHRISTMAS is a great time of year for spending time with family and friends. It is also the perfect time to reflect on the year that has been and to begin planning for the year ahead, something GMCU Shepparton are experts in assisting with.
If you are planning to buy your first or next home in 2019, starting now is a great way to ensure you are well prepared and ready to buy when you find the ideal property.
When looking at possible purchases, make sure you have researched the area you are buying in. How are the surrounding suburbs expected to grow in value? Are there any proposed developments that may impact the area? Look at the comparable properties in the area to work out how much youre prepared to pay.
Another important first step is to think about how much you might need to save for your deposit, or to understand how much equity is available in your current home. Talking to your financial institution early is a good way to make sure you are on the right track. They can also help you understand the different finance options available and the best ways to boost your savings.
GMCU Shepparton branch manager, Dallas Moore said, At GMCU, we recognise that buying a home is much more than the process of getting a home loan. Supporting our members throughout the whole buying experience is an important part of what we do, right from the earliest stages of planning for purchase.
Our team are always only a phone call away if you have any questions at any step along the way.
GMCU has ten branches located throughout the region, each with experienced lenders who can help homebuyers with their choices, including branches in Shepparton, Mooroopna, Kyabram, Benalla, Echuca, Numurkah, Euroa, Seymour and Kilmore. Visit the website at www.gmcu.com.au or contact the Shepparton GMCU branch on 5821 903...
WHILE some of the younger visitors to Santa Claus at Capeview Mitre10 Leongatha found the experience a little terrifying, most children were delighted to see him.
HitFM Gippslands Santa On Tour program was in Leongatha on Saturday and will continue on to various locations across the region to celebrate Christmas.
Visitors came to have their photo taken with Santa and do Christmas shopping while they were there.
THE Korumburra community is set to celebrate the Christmas season during the towns annual celebration Christmas In Korumburra on its main street on Saturday, December 15.
An initiative of members of the Korumburra Business Association (KBA) and supported by the Koringal Womens Service, Lions and Rotary clubs of Korumburra, the event caters for families and is free.
KBA president Noelene Cosson said the focus was for children to wander through Commercial Street and enjoy free activities including lolly jar guessing games, a CFA display and music.
Its not really a Christmas celebration without Santa Claus so children are welcome to have a free photo taken with him during the day, Ms Cosson said.
We are very pleased to be organising this free event and are very grateful for all the assistance from the community groups.
Not to be missed will be the South Gippsland Concert Band and the school choirs from Korumburra and St Josephs primary schools.
The event from 9am to midday is expected to draw a number of visitors to the towns centre on Commercial Street and unite the community to celebrate the Christmas spirit.
THE Federal Court has ordered former Murray Goulburn Co-operative managing director Gary Helou to pay $200,000 in penalties for being knowingly concerned in Murray Goulburns false or misleading claims about the farmgate milk price it expected to pay dairy farmers during the 2015-16 milk season.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chair Mick Keogh said, The penalty imposed against Mr Helou reflects his seniority at Murray Goulburn and involvement in misleading representations about the farmgate milk price.
Murray Goulburn admitted to making false or misleading representations in breach of the Australian Consumer Law when it represented to farmers in Victoria, South Australia and southern New South Wales on February 29, 2016, and subsequently until April 27, 2016, that it could maintain its opening milk price of $5.60/kg of milk solids.
South Gippslanders reacted to the penalty on The Stars Facebook page, with Darren McInnes writing, Disgraceful for a man who ruined the Devondale brand and Darren Eastwood saying, Petty cash for him.
Mr Helou has admitted he was involved in the misleading representations made by Murray Goulburn. This included not informing farmers of risks known to Murray Goulburn and making unfounded assumptions that Murray Goulburn could achieve its milk powder sachet sales targets.
Murray Goulburns misrepresentations meant farmers were not informed of the likelihood the final milk price would fall below the opening price. This was important information for farmers as it would have influenced the business decisions each farmer made, Mr Keogh said.
Farmers were denied the opportunity to plan for the impact of the reduced milk price on their businesses between February and April 2016, including implementing measures to reduce their exposure to a decrease in the milk price or shopping their milk around to other dairy processors.
The ACCC did not seek a penalty against Murray Goulburn because as it was a co-operative, any penalty imposed against it could end up being paid by the very farmers that were misled.
We were conscious not to seek penalty orders that would adversely affect farmers for the wrongs committed by Murray Goulburn, so we focused on obtaining appropriate orders against the individuals involved in the conduct, Mr Keogh added.
As part of the resolution of the proceedings, Mr Helou has undertaken to the court that he will not be involved in the dairy industry for three years.
In August 2018, the ACCC resolved its proceedings against Murray Goulburns former chief financial officer, Bradley Hingle, after he consented to an order that he pay a contribution to the ACCCs costs and gave an undertaking to the court that he wouldnt be involved in the dairy i...
By Trudy Murphy
OH, what a night!
Saturday nights Carols in the Drome in Leongatha was a carols to remember with amazing performances from local bands, Leongatha Childrens Centre, local schools, Lisa Pellin Dancers, Combined Church Choir, South Gippsland Brass Band and drummers, Ashley Geary, Jackson Patterson, Adrian Darakai, Kiarna Smith, Britt Lewis, Kerryn Lockhart, Jen Holm and Jessica Stein, who delighted the crowd with her warm and friendly compering of the night.
The morning began with the decision to go ahead with the hope reports of wet weather were wrong. That paid off with a little help from above!
The attendance was fantastic with more than 1000 people and the new location near the LDNA netball courts was a hit with everyone. The close proximity of amenities and the roads made moving around the site easy.
New carols committee member Claire Williams passion for the community and enthusiasm lifted the quality of the childrens activities with go-karts, jumping castles and mini golf, all free for children to enjoy.
The carols stall with glow gear, popcorn, ice cones and fairy floss was busy all night, with all profits going towards next years carols.
This event wouldnt be possible without the wonderful support and help from community members and businesses.
The committee wishes to thank volunteers who helped on the night, Leongatha Mens Shed, SES, stage manager Matt Saario and Neil Warren.
Sponsors were South Gippsland Shire Council, Chairo Christian School, Ezyas Car Wash, St Peters Church, The Star newspaper, Aldi, Michaels IGA, Woolworths, Freeza, Leongatha Business Association, Country Cart, Ryans Trucks, SAFE Scaffolding, Leongatha Lions and Lyric Theatre.
Thanks to 1000-plus people who joined us for our community carols. It was a wonderful atmosphere and its really special seeing everyone having a great time enjoying the talents and expertise of our local people, the committees Trudy Murphy said.
STUDENTS at St Josephs Primary School, Wonthaggi, wowed their friends and family with their annual Christmas concert on Thursday, December 6.
The Christmas concert was based on John Burlands Christmas Star.
Christmas Star is a collection of songs and narration that retells the events leading up to and including the birth of Jesus Christ.
The concert was performed by the whole school with each student given the opportunity to play a role.
They performed a matinee to warm up, which was followed by a night performance on the same evening.
The students have worked hard to prepare for the concert since the start of term four.
IF ever there was a more important job than spreading joy to children the world over, Santa Claus is yet to have discovered it.
Mr Claus hails from the Nordic, snowy regions of the North Pole. Each year on Christmas Eve and early Christmas Day, he delivers toys, with the help of his faithful team of reindeer and elves, to millions of children the world over, filling empty stockings hung in homes.
It is by no measure a mean feat to reward the worlds children with festive season gifts; and to that end, he concedes the busy delivery schedule requires a team effort from all involved.
It might sound obvious, but steering reindeer can be a little tricky at times, especially in snowy conditions. Thats why I love visiting Australian children during their summer Christmas without snow, I get to deliver far more goodies for the Aussie boys and girls, Mr Claus said.
Times have changed a little and I admit that our sleigh could do with a few upgrades to its navigational and compass equipment to aid flying around the world at top speed. Sometimes Dancer gets a little antsy in cool conditions.
But I have to say my wife Mrs Claus makes everything possible. Without her reindeer care, toy preparation and not to mention cookie production with my trusty team of elves, none of this would be possible. Its truly a team effort.
We would all like to extend our warmest wishes of appreciation to all our reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. To all our elves that make toys at our North Pole factory and care for our reindeer, we thank you too.
Mr Claus always gives his time to all, and The Star notes that of all the people he waved to during our interview, each and every person reciprocated the joy.
Is there anything about Santa Claus you didnt know? Perhaps its his red pyjamas worn to bed and when he gets up in the morning, he awakens to Jingle Bells.
He also credits his energy levels to a daily hot chocolate with a sprinkling of elf dust.
All in all, he reiterates that Mrs Claus always keeps him on his toes, though his knees have received a good work out throughout the years.
It must be all the well behaved children contributing to that.
GIPPSLAND Football Netball League released its 2019 fixture last
Round one will kick off on April 6.
Leongatha and Wonthaggi will both host home games in round one against Maffra and Warragul respectively.
The first local derby will be battled out at Wonthaggis home ground in round three on April 19.
They will meet again in a Sunday match at Leongatha on July 14 in round 12.
The finals series will begin with the qualifying final on August 31 and will culminate in the highly anticipated grand final clash on September 21.
The venues will be announced as the season progresses.
WITH the mercury already exceeding 20 degrees by the 8am start
time, it was shorts and singlet tops all round at
Sultry conditions saw 53 participants form a steamy train of colour along the Great Southern Rail Trail for the 59th event and regular local Leo Argento summed it up nicely; The going was tough, but the tough kept going.
Nick Argento was first to finish in a time of 20.56 minutes with Sarah Lewis the first female across the line along with her super Parkdog Raven in 22.32.
Congratulations to Keiron Bryant, Jane Frith, Ben Cleary, Dylan Baido and Sue Best who relished the sticky conditions to record new personal bests.
First time Koonwarra parkrunner Jamie McColl reported that Heartbreak Hill was tough at the end but otherwise the course was very good, and he should know.
Hailing from Linwood parkrun near Glasgow, Scotland, Jamie is a vet who is eight months in to his two years travelling around Australia. He recently spent time in Perth and has completed a number of parkruns in the west.
Further back in the field a good spirited walk/run leapfrog battle developed when Kelly and Steve Fuery slowly overtook Pamela Derrick and Charmaine Clifford.
Their positions switched back and forth a few times along with a jovial exchange of banter before Pamela and Charmaine surged ahead and the Fuerys were happy to concede.
Light hearted competition aside, Koonwarra reinforced its reputation as the friendliest parkrun when Bob Robinsons car was found to have a flat tyre post-event and Steve Fuery, Mark Burns and Charmaine Clifford all kindly offered to change it for him.
Being the friendliest parkrun does have one drawback.
The dreaded Koonwarra jaw cramp struck again, this time afflicting Philomena Smith who talked too much and suggested that Helen Patterson may have been a contributing factor.
While Philomena will make a full recovery, unfortunately the innocent barcode that was accidentally binned by another runner along with a bag of dog poo will not.
No naming and shaming; the Parkdogs are loved at Koonwarra, but the parkrun directors must thank barcode number 25 for its service and apologise that they did not love it enough to go rummaging through the bags of dog poo in the bin to save it.
Thanks go to this weeks fabulous volunteers Amy White, Neil and Judy Langstaff, Joy Morrison, Cindy Smith, Heather Smith, Lisa Riley and Kelly Fuery.
IT was a great summer Friday night for racing and the riders had
a fun night of competition.
Zoe Reiter had her first night of racing and Tom Fitzgerald had a night where his casual job enabled him to have a race.
In the first event of the night the one lap time trial Tom Fitzgerald clocked one of his best times ever 32.80 sec.
Zoe at her first try rode a 40.65 sec.
Renee Hardacre clocked a new personal best at 45.00sec, just ahead of Tom Geary at 46.30sc.
Kate Geary had a time of 50.50 sec, just quicker then Emiley Hadicke 51.00sec.
The juniors raced a three lap scratch race as the next event.
In a spirited sprint finish, Tom Geary was first over the line followed by Renee and a determined Emily in third place.
The senior race over six laps saw Tom edge out Zoe for the win.
The riders had to front for a one lap handicap.
In the junior race, Emiley (45m) made full use of the mark and did not allow any riders to get around even though they ridged the handicap.
Renee (10m) was second whilst Kate (20) had to settle for third.
In the re-handicap, the riders gave the handicapper a hard time as Tom Geary, lifted from Scratch to 15m, bolted around the field to score an easy win with Emiley (35) holding on for second and Kate (20) again taking third.
The seniors had Tom Fitzgerald on scratch chasing 50m to Zoe.
He rode hard early and bridged the gap to cruise through for the win.
However, the handicapper lifted Zoe to 100m in the re-handicap and that saw her take the win.
The juniors were split into two teams for an Olympic sprint over one lap.
The team of Tom Geary and Emiley Hadicke won (45.26sec) by the narrowest margin over Renee and Kate (45.33sec).
By this time of the night, club coach Tony Smith had arrived with the motor bike.
This allowed Tom Fitzgerald and Zoe Reiter to do a 10 lap motor paced scratch race and Tom secured the win in a close finish.
The juniors all had the chance to grab a ride behind the motor bike and improve their pedalling efforts.
To finish the night riders were given a slow race on the grass.
This helps develop their balance abilities on the bike.
Tom Geary needs plenty of practice as he fell to the grass almost at the start.
After trying hard all night, Kate Geary was the slowest and hence had a win.
The club needs to see all the seniors who have come to training get organized for a Friday race night and boost the numbers. The Wednesday night training sessions all seem to have more riders than the Friday race night.
Next Friday is the last race night before the Christmas break; however there will be two more nights of Wednesday training.
FINE centuries to Sahan Perera and Amila Ratnaike have put
Leongatha Town in a commanding position against Koonwarra/Leongatha
RSL after day one.
The pair added 255 runs for the second wicket with opener Perera powering his way to 170 runs which included 22 fours.
His partner Ratnaike has now reached almost peak form and scored 118 runs which included 11 fours and four 6s.
Ratnaike was first to fall but Madura Madusanka took over where he left off, making 64 runs. With James Lloyd retiring hurt on 26 and Lahira Jayakody making 33, Town would go on to make 5/461 from 75 overs at a run rate of 6.15 per over.
To say Koony will have its work cut out would be a gross understatement.
Despite the carnage Tom Elliott still managed to pick up 3/89.
Top side Imperials could have the edge over foster in their clash.
Imps made 166 but importantly has Foster 4/18.
For Imperials Luke Rogers was the top hitter with 36, opener Gary Sauvarin made 24 while Kristian Gray was elevated to opener and made 19.
Harvey Griggs was the standout bowler for the Tigers claiming 5/36, taking wickets right through the order.
Imperials bowled Fosters Graeme Watkins out for a duck and is in the box seat for a win.
The match between bottom sides Miners and Poowong Loch sees Miners very much in the box seat.
After bowling Poowong Loch out for 157, the Miners are already 1/53 and looking good.
For Poowong Loch opener Jacob Bardwell scored 59 with eight 4s. Colin Knox chipped in with 36. But not enough in the middle and at the tail saw the team pull up short.
Yashas Alwis took 5/50 including opener Magnusson form a duck and Alan Jenkins for just eight.
Miners Dinesh Magana Arachchige started well with 26 before being dismissed but opener Cameron Thomas remains 13 not out so have a good archor for a win this Saturday. MDU has the bye.
These opening words of Tolkiens The Hobbit could equally apply to the little Spotted Pardalote that arose apparently out of nowhere from the grass in front of us while we were trying to photograph a White-winged Triller for a previous post on this blog. In fact the pardalote emerged from the insignificant hole in 
Question: Im aware of the Buddhist exhortation not to kill, but my cats health is declining and theres no doubt his pain can only be managed for so long. When, if ever, is it okay to put your pet down, and how do you work with it when the time comes? Answer: These days, ... Read more...
In the valley the three snakes to watch out for (according to popular wisdom) are the Red-bellied Black, the Eastern Brown and the Tiger Snake. All three are classed as dangerously venomous and depending on the local environment one of the three will dominate. All are snakes of the Elapid family. That is having hollow 
On the 80th anniversary of William Coopers historic protest about Nazi Germanys treatment of Jews, Monash University in partnership with John and Pauline Gandel has launched the William Cooper Indigenous Scholarship Program. Indigenous elder, Yorta Yorta man and human rights activist William Cooper famously led a protest and attempted to hand a petition to ... Read more...
Economists have GDPs. Workers have KPIs. Athletes have PBs. But what about social justice activists? Could there be a Social Justice Measure (SJM) for how much a person cares about justice? If such a calculation was possible, I wonder if the unit of measurement might be the kilometre, and the measure might be something ... Read more...
In a revegetated gully at the back of our place there is a wealth of bird chatter at present. But the songs of two birds in particular dominate for much of the day, and it sounds like a battle to see which can impress the most. They are the Rufous Whistler and White-winged Triller. 
The William Cooper Legacy Project together with the Jewish Community Council of Victoria invite you to their Remembrance Walk at Flagstaff Gardens on evening of 6 December 2018. This will be followed by a smoking ceremony and Chanukiah lighting at Peppercorn Park, Alexandra Gardens. Remembering William Cooper Recommitting To His Legacy! As members ... Read more...
Zen priest Lin Shutt teaches a short meditation to foster compassion for beings in search of refuge. Many people think Buddhism is about getting rid of desire. Really, our main focus is on promoting non-harming in the world. We look at how we can alleviate suffering. Given the social climate of the world today, ... Read more...
After the 09 fires a grove of Yellow Box saplings started growing on our property. Being a mecca for young invertebrates and therefore birds and other creatures I began monitoring the fauna that lived there. Now the saplings are trees and hard to access. So recently I found three Grey Boxes (Eucalyptus microcarpus) that have 
SOUTH AFRICA: Concerns have been raised, especially from Christians, that buying halaal or kosher foods amounts to funding religions. The concerns have been raised with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL commission), which hosted a seminar on the subject on Thursday. Religious leaders ... Read more...
Hanukkah (alternately spelled Chanukah), meaning dedication in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. The modern home celebration of Hanukkah centers around the lighting of the hanukkiyah, ... Read more...
Cockatoos are distinguished from other parrots by having a crest on the top of the head that can be raised, usually when landing or when excited. In some birds, like the Galah, the crest is barely noticeable and in others like the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo it is the distinguishing feature. Cockatoos also lack the feathers with 
9:52pm Im going to close down this brief liveblog, but I will be back in the morning with further analysis, including a focus on the Legislative Council.
9:51pm Lets revisit the Greens races. Lidia Thorpe in Northcote has fallen further behind, trailing by 1100 votes. The ABC is projecting that the Greens Tim Read is leading in Brunswick, but either way it looks very close.
The Greens have widened their gap on the Liberals in Prahran. It is worth noting, though, that the 2PP count is between Liberal and Green, not Labor and Green. Presumably Liberal preferences will favour Labor, which could see Labor win there.
9:47pm There are currently four rural seats where independents are in play, in addition to Shepparton where Susanna Sheed has been re-elected.
In Benambra, Jacqui Hawkins is on 30.5% of the primary vote, behind sitting Liberal MP Bill Tilley but well ahead of Labor, who are on 18%. Tilley is on less than 38%. We have no Liberal vs Independent 2CP count, but if Hawkins gains every Labor and Greens preference she will make a majority and thats ignoring another 9.5% of the vote with other candidates. Its worth noting that Benambra overlaps with the federal seat of Indi, held by independent MP Cathy McGowan.
Labors Mark Richards has a big primary vote lead in Morwell. Hes on 36.7%, followed by sitting independent Russell Northe on 18%, and a further 22% between the Liberal and National candidates. We dont have a Labor vs Independent preference count, but it seems clear that the Nationals wont regain t his seat.
Independent Ali Cupper is on 32% in Mildura, which puts her in second place. The ABC is currently estimating a narrow win for her, but its not clear if this is based on real preference data.
Independent candidate Tammy Atkins is on 20% in the Nationals seat of Ovens Valley. This is just behind Labors Kate Doyle on 20.4%, with sitting MP Tim McCurdy leading on 44.3%. Atkins would need to overtake Labor either on primary votes or thanks to minor candidate preferences. Its hard to see her winning but she has a chance.
9:38pm Following on my previous point, this map shows (in the underlying colours) the results of the 2002 state election, when Labor won 62 seats.
You can see that they held on to a core of inner south-east Melbourne. The green overlay shows seats which Labor is currently on track to gain off the Liberals.
9:05pm Lets discuss what is happening in the Liberal heartland of Melbourne.
The last Labor landslide was in 2002, when a precarious first-ter...
The Red Wednesday observance this Wednesday night 28 November at 7:30pm in the Forecourt of St Patricks Cathedral is an important occasion to show interfaith solidarity for people of all faiths globally who experience persecution *because* of their faith. Next Wednesday (28th November 2018), Aid to the Church in Need ... Read more...
Meditation practice awakens our trust that the wisdom and compassion that we need are already within us. The Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley invite you to a free Buddhist Meditation at the Senior Citizens Centre, Shepparton, on Saturday, 1 December 2018. Meditation practice awakens our trust that the wisdom and compassion that we ... Read more...
Guru Nanak Jayanti, also known as Guru Nanaks Prakash Utsav, celebrates the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. This is one of the most sacred festivals in Sikhism, or Sikhi. The festivities in the Sikh religion revolve around the anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus. These Gurus were responsible for shaping the beliefs ... Read more...
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AIDS Awareness Week
Mon 26 Nov Sat 1 Dec
2 volunteers required for 3hrs per shift to sit out front John Anderson Amcal Pharmacy (Wyndham Street) to hand out FREE red ribbons, lapel pins, magnets, notepads, enviro bags and more to raise awareness around HIV/AIDS this years national and international campaigns are know your status and HIV still matters. Please contact Damien on 0418 511 562 to register your interest. More info on Facebook.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Bunnings BBQ
Wed 12 Dec
4 volunteers required for 3.5hrs per shift to cook sausages/onions, serve food to customers (note: onions must be under the sausage, haha), handle cash, adhere to food safety practices, sell soft-drinks this will occur on Wednesday 12 Dec at the NEW Bunnings, Benalla Road, Shepparton. Please contact Damien on 0418 511 562 to register your interest. More info on Facebook.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Christmas Charity Gift Wrapping
Sat 15 Mon 24 Dec
2 volunteers required for 3hrs per shift to sit out front Shop 4 / 224 Maude Street Mall (entrance to Tower Arcade) to gift-wrap Christmas presents for general public wishing to make gold coin donations per gift. Please contact Georgie on 0401 168 229 to register your interest. More info on Facebook.
Unable to give your time? Prefer to donate? Thank you.
The camouflage tactics of the White Crab Spider (Thomisus spectabilis) have been previously documented but it has only been recently that I have seen them in action. Spring blossoms are a mecca for pollinators of all sorts bees, wasps, beetles and for amateur photographers like myself it is a time to get up close 
The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria partnering with the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District will conduct a Gambling Harm Forum in Shepparton on Tuesday, 27 November. Gambling Harm in Victoria The Study of gambling and health in Victoria found 70.1 per cent of Victorians gamble, most of whom (82.2 per cent) ... Read more...
Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed worldwide on 20 November, annually. In Australia, we also use the day to remember those in the community who have taken their own lives due to social barriers and isolation. Shepparton Interfaith Network will facilitate a remembrance service at Victoria Park Lake on the evening of 20 November. ... Read more...
The discovery of something that you have not seen before is cause for great excitement. Particularly when you are at home and think that you have probably seen all the birds, for example, that there are to be seen in the district. So excitement there was when a reported red, black and white bird (not 
GV Pride members and friends alike are invited to share in the joy and happiness of the holiday season @ Victoria Park Lake this Christmas ALL WELCOME! Meet us at the new BBQ pavilion on Wyndham Street (near the servo) BYO steak or anything fancy, but in the spirit of giving well provide FREE sausages, onions, bread, sauce, soft-drinks and salads! We may just have some bon bons and Christmas confectionary to share with you all too depending on whether youve been naughty or nice See you there! Ho, ho, ho! Please arrive by 12.00pm otherwise the BBQs might get hijacked by Christmas elves (i.e. random strangers!)
GV Pride Christmas BBQ all welcome! Sun 9 Dec Shepparton (11.30am 2.30pm)
Facebook event here.
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