Letters to the Editor – October 24 2023

Sale resident Hayden says he must pay someone to clear the foliage in absence of a green bin. Photo: Hayden Nichol

Severe October

IN the wake of (this month’s) unexpected severe weather events, it’s still hard to believe that it’s only October.

As we look back on the past weeks, we have a lot to be thankful for, and I’m reminded once again of how strong our community is.

We faced two extreme weather events within just 48 hours. Out of control bushfires stretched over 20,000 hectares across Heyfield, Briagolong, and Loch Sport. Then, we were hit by a major flooding event, starting in Glenmaggie heading downstream to Tinamba, Newry and all the way down to the Port of Sale.

Our top priority has always been the safety of our community.

We quickly activated an official Emergency Relief Centre at the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex in Sale, with our team of trained relief and recovery staff stepping up to provide support. Despite the unique weather conditions shifting from fire to flood, our team continued to provide shelter, comfort, and regular updates to support our community.

I want to share my gratitude to everyone who came together to help, from our team spanning Emergency Management, Built Environment and Roads, Local Laws, Customer Service, Communications and Media, and those who took time away from their usual duties to support the emergency.

Crews on the ground worked tirelessly through the night, putting up road closure signs across affected areas. The conditions were tough with fierce wind, rain, and heat but they did what was necessary to keep our communities safe.

I also want to extend my thanks to the front-line workers who came from all parts of the state to support the emergency response. Our entire community is grateful, and we know that the impacts felt would be far more devastating if not for this support.

While the rain brought much-needed relief to many farmers in our area, the embers of the fire still smoulder in the ground. I want to thank everyone who shared important emergency warnings and messages.

Being prepared and knowing where to find official emergency messaging are the top things you can do to keep yourself safe in a bushfire or flood event.

Recovery efforts are now well underway, and although the past weeks have been challenging, our community’s resilience continues to be at the forefront.

As we inch closer to the Summer months, we will continue with our vital preparedness work, bringing together agencies and the community to be as prepared as we can for the months ahead.

Ian Bye

Mayor of Wellington Shire Council


Unreasonable rise

GREEN waste is evident and a maintenance requirement in every household.

We all need to mow, trim, and debranch.

Yet here in postcode 3850, if you would like to do these common tasks, you the ratepayer – can do – but at an additional cost.

Mmm? That seems fair.

Yes, there is tip option – not all have a trailer.

Local council made a promise that all households would have this basic requirement mid this year – 2025 is now the proposed introduction date.

I love Sale’s great community. I moved here from Ringwood. I am involved in the sports and love the great parks, lake etc.

Local council – pull your finger out – and you increased annual rates recently.

Hayden Nichol



Farewell to local Landcare

IN January 2000, former Wellington Shire Mayor John Jago challenged the community that Flooding Creek must flow again and the following March the first meeting of Flooding Creek Landcare Group was held.

At that time Flooding Creek was a dumping ground for everything including domestic, agricultural and commercial rubbish. Over time, environmental standards changed and clean-ups occurred.

Then over 15 very active years, Flooding Creek Landcare members volunteered thousands of hours of preparation, planting and maintenance, supported by council’s Flooding Creek Masterplan. There were private and crown land sites improved including the most visual ones of Ross Street Reserve, the Powder Magazine, Government Road and what is now the Flooding Creek Linear Park.

Many long-term committed members of the group made this happen with special mention of Deb and Bryan Ray, Peter Synan, John Hanlon, Greg Gilbert, Albie Coleman, Amy and Alex Slokolik and Brian Cantwell.

Wendy Phelan of the Sale Cubs and Scouts was a long term active supporter as well as Tim Rowe from Wellington Shire Council and Phil Taylor from the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.

Of course, schools were involved, Greening Australia, Fulham Correctional Centre and funding from state and federal governments.

Over the last few years, activity has waned, and having achieved the aim of Flooding Creek flowing again and with council creating many adjoining recreational areas, the Landcare Group has taken the decision to dissolve.

Of course there’s new opportunities for people who want to engage with Landcare through Maffra and Districts Landcare Network. But for now it’s to express thanks to those visionaries and committed workers who would say, it was fun, challenging, tiring, educational and most of all rewarding.

Jenny O’Neill



End of discussion

THE overwhelming thumping given by the people of Australia to the Albanese Voice should have a number of consequences.

The most immediate is the end of any further talk of the state government’s Treaty. The people of Victoria have spoken loudly that they are heartily tired of living in the past and dragging coals over old grievances that have no relevance to today’s world.

As the outstanding leader of the ‘No’ campaign, Senator Jacinta Price kept pointing out, she has Aboriginal heritage but is first and foremost an Australian and is tired of hearing that Aboriginals are “victims” and need to be compensated.

Please! No more talk of a divisive treaty!

Pat O’Brien



Centenary celebrations

WE would like to thank everyone who sent messages of congratulations, flowers, cards and gifts, and who attended mum’s celebratory Mass, morning tea and luncheon at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale.

We appreciate the long distances many of you travelled to make her day special. Also, a huge thank you to Bishop Greg, Fr Francis, Fr Jithin, Fr Aneesh, Mr Danny O’Brien MP, Mr Ian Bye (Mayor of Wellington Shire) and the parishioners and friends for their love and support.

Please accept this as our sincere thanks to you all.

Helena Klimas, the Klimas, Ayres and Collins Families