Wellington Shire Council Beat – November 21 2023

Tuesday’s ordinary Wellington Shire council meeting clocked in nearly 40 minutes. There were no apologies or declaration of interest.

Petition at Cobains feedlot

Geoff Mynard presented 10 signatures asking council to act on a feedlot at Cobains emitting pollution and a very bad smell. Mr Mynyrd is a lifelong resident of Cobains.

“This is a major concern to us, it is not a normal rural smell, its man made and its rotten,” he said.

Mr Mynard said he had received a report from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) that the owner had to place in holding pens at the bottom of the paddocks to stop the run off going into the drain, but Mr Mynard said this made the smell worse and affected 80-year-old gum trees, which he says are dying. He said this is impacting the primary school and nearby landowners who, depending on wind direction could not open their windows or hang clothes on the clothesline. Mr Mynard added the source is so toxic that its caused one family to leave.

An individual named Bev French has respiratory problems and Mr Mynard passed on a letter from her doctor to council staff.

Council will respond to this within four weeks.


Gender-based violence

COASTAL Ward councillor Marcus McKenzie spoke about violence within the community and called it “unacceptable”.

“From Friday, November 24 is the start of 16 Days of Activism … against gender-based violence in a national campaign that recognises and raises awareness regarding family and gender-based violence,” he said.

Cr McKenzie then said it was important to recognise the statistics of gender-based violence in the Wellington Shire area to improve the situation.

“Sadly, I’m going to have to provide our community with the hard facts.

“Wellington Shire Council is ranked number four out of the 79 LGAs (local government areas) in Victoria, for reported family and gender-based violence incidents in 2022.

“Victoria Police reported that for every 100,000 residents in Wellington they will receive 2827 incidents callouts of family and gender-based violence,” he said.

The speech was followed by a round of applause.


150th anniversary of the Woodside Primary School

COASTAL Ward councillor Garry Stephens attended the 150th anniversary of the Woodside Primary School and thanked the staff for running it. He said the school had “an amazing record for a small rural community for the fact that they’ve been able to keep that school going for so long”.

“Congratulations to the all the people connected to the Woodside Primary School and it was great to go out.”


The Youth Mayor’s final speech

Youth Mayor, Chloe Bethune presented her final youth council report saying that “a lot has happened” since the last report.

Ms Bethune noted the successful Wellington Youth Art Prize which received 75 attendees, and the youth council members attendance of cultural awareness training, Maffra Secondary College’s wellbeing carnival. The Youth Council will be involved with the 16 Days of Activism.

“It’s been absolutely amazing to say the least. I’ve seen myself grow and I’ve seen those around me grow as well,” she said.

“I would not be half the person I was without Youth Council.”


Wind farm update

Cr McKenzie attended the 23rd meeting of the Star of the South Community Advisory Group at the Yarram Recreation Reserve. There are no major updates about the planned development of Australia’s first offshore wind farm which is to be constructed from Port Albert to Woodside, but Star of the South do require new data for the project after the offshore wind area was reduced by 12 per cent. Cr McKenzie said the advisory group had an “incredible” community engagement record within the Wellington Shire community.



Wellington Shire green bin

An online comment received on November 10 by a Mr Hayman asked when the Wellington Shire will join the rest of Gippsland and offer a green bin as part of the waste processes.

Wellington Shire Chief Executive David Morcom said “there was a few matters at play” but didn’t specify what. Council said they will provide a response to Mr Hyman at a future date.


The next ordinary council meeting is on Tuesday, December 5.