Work progresses on Pomonal Speed Safe Initiative 16/05/2019 – 1:01pm Roads

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Work is progressing on the Pomonal Speed Safe Initiative after residents came out in force to vote for their preferred traffic treatment option at the town’s primary school.

The initiative originated from community concerns about the high speeds some drivers travelled through Pomonal, with four concepts developed and presented to residents last month.

Ararat CEO Dr Tim Harrison said residents were asked to vote on the four concepts, with the primary school idea proving the most popular.

Dr Harrison said data collected last year by the Council showed around 25% of vehicles travelled through the town at speeds higher than the 60kmh limit.

“Although there are plenty of traditional speed signs in Pomonal, drivers are either not noticing them or are ignoring them, which is extremely concerning,” he said.

“As a result, it was decided a more innovative approach was needed to give drivers greater visual cues that they are driving through a built-up area and need to slow down.”

Ararat Rural City Council received $50,000 from Regional Roads Victoria’s Towards Safer Speeds Challenge grant program for the project. Council surveyed the community and received fantastic ideas about how to tackle the issue, then engaged a landscape architect to develop four concepts that will help these ideas come to life.

Dr Harrison said that with limited funding, the Council could only implement one of the concepts at this stage so the community was asked to vote on their preferred option via email or letter, and at a drop-in session held in April.

However, he said that Council was now seeking more funding in a bid to complete the other three ideas.

The four concepts were:

  1. Pomonal Primary School – installing a pedestrian crossing, creating a gathering space for student drop off and pick up, landscaping, widening the footpath and installing public art.
  2. Sculptural town entrances – using local artists, creating large town entrance signs referencing the natural environment, surrounded by native landscaping.
  3. General Store intersection – road and traffic treatments to better delineate the intersection and better manage traffic flow, and the installation of large public art pieces
  4. Pomonal Community Hall – installation of a sculptural fence, landscape plantings, signage and grouped seating areas.

The Pomonal Primary School project was the most popular, with the intersection concept coming second, the town entrances third and the Pomonal Community Hall fourth.

The project is being driven by a group of committed residents including representatives from the Pomonal Primary School and the Pomonal Progress Association.

Dr Harrison said the drop-in session in April was really well attended with around 70 people calling in to view the concepts and vote.

“Those who dropped in included Pomonal Primary School students and it was great to see them come down as a group and take part in the consultation,” he said.

“Ararat Rural City Council staff, Regional Roads Victoria, and landscape architect Felicity Brown were all on hand to discuss the concepts, and there were lots of questions and positive discussion around the ideas.

“It was fantastic to see the community come out in force and show their passion and commitment to make their village safer for everyone.”

Image above: an artist’s impression of the Pomonal Primary School concept.

Investigation continues into double fatal in Cressy

Source: State of Victoria Police

Friday, 17 May 2019 07:34

Police and emergency services are still on the scene of a fatal collision which occurred in Cressy this afternoon (17 May).

A white Hyundai wagon travelling on the Hamilton Highway collided with a maroon Mitsubishi about 3.15pm.

Both occupants of the Mitsubishi, who are yet to be formally identified, died at the scene.

The female driver of the Hyundai sustained life threatening injuries and was trapped in the vehicle.

She has been airlifted to hospital.

Her female rear seat passenger has also been airlifted to hospital with critical injuries.

A 9-month-old baby who was in a child restraint in the back seat of the vehicle was un-injured.

The investigation remains ongoing and anyone who witnessed the collision is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at

Traffic is being diverted from the Hamilton Highway between Urchers Road and Ballarat-Colac Road until further notice.

Further information will be provided as it comes to hand.

Live Lost:

2019: 125

2018: 83

Leading Senior Constable Natalie Dean

Media Officer


Search for missing teen Lesley Johnson

Source: State of Victoria Police

Friday, 17 May 2019 08:40

Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate missing 13-year old Lesley Johnson.

Lesley was last seen near a shopping centre in Morwell on 16 May about 5.30pm.

Police have concerns for Lesley due to her age and she has a medical condition which requires medication.

Lesley is approximately 160cm tall, a fair complexion, long brown hair and green eyes.

Lesley is known to frequent the Latrobe Valley, Morwell, Moe and surrounding areas.

Police have released an image of Lesley in the hope that someone may have information on her current whereabouts.

Anyone with information about Lesley is asked to contact the Traralgon Police Station on 5172 2700

Alex Day

Media Officer


Search for missing teen Chantelle Toskic

Source: State of Victoria Police

Friday, 17 May 2019 11:07

Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate missing 17-year-old teenager Chantelle Toskic.

Chantelle was last seen in Matthew Street, Glen Waverley about 3pm on 4 May.

Police have concerns for her welfare due to the length of time she has been missing.

Chantelle is known to frequent the Richmond and Abbotsford areas.

She was last seen wearing grey leggings, black top and a white hooded jacket.

Police have released an image of Chantelle in the hope that someone may recognise her and provide information on her current whereabouts.

Anyone who sees Chantelle is urged to contact Glen Waverley Police Station on 9566 1555.

Leading Senior Constable Natalie Dean

Media Officer


Search for missing brother and sister

Source: State of Victoria Police

Friday, 17 May 2019 20:19

Police are searcing for a Preston brother and sister, Pol Douris and Maria Dourios.

The pair were last seen getting off a bus on Murray Road in Preston on Thursday, 16 May.

Pol, 16 years and 8-year-old Maria are known to frequent the Heidelberg area and the Bell Street mall.

Images have been released in the hope someone recognises them and can provide information on their whereabouts.

Pol was last seen wearing a black jumper with a white hood, black pants and carrying a black/green back pack with a motif of a skeleton riding a skateboard.

Maria was wearing a lilac/pink jacket with a hood, black tights and black shoes. She was carrying a purple backpack with a unicorn motif.

Anyone who sees Pol or Maria or has information on their whereabouts is urged to contact Preston Police Station on 9479 6111.

Creina O’Grady

Media Officer


Appeal for witnesses following ramming of police car

Source: State of Victoria Police

Friday, 17 May 2019 23:07

Frankston Crime Investigation Unit detectives are appealing for dashcam footage and witnesses after a marked police car was rammed in Frankston early this morning.

Somerville Highway Patrol members were travelling east on Cranbourne Road when they checked the speed of a brown/bronze Land Rover Discovery travelling in the opposite direction just after 2am.

The car continued travelling west before stopping at a red light at the intersection of Lee Street.

The police vehicle, which had conducted a U turn and was following the car, pulled up several metres behind the car.

As both vehicles waited at the intersection, the driver of the car in front put the vehicle into reverse and slammed into the front of the police car causing extensive front end damage.

The car, with false number plates ABP 926, was last seen driving off at a fast rate of speed on Cranbourne Road, travelling west towards Frankston.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or may have dashcam footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at

Creina O’Grady

Media Officer


Construction Underway at Nagambie Recreation Reserve

Source: State of Victoria Local Government 2

Friday, 17 May 2019

It is out with the old and in with the new at Nagambie Recreation Reserve, with construction well underway on the refurbishment of the clubrooms. 

The old panelling and toilet and shower fittings have been removed to make way for a brand new fit out for the building. 

Plumbing has also commenced and works on the clubrooms are expected to continue over the coming months, with construction scheduled for completion in the later part of 2019. 

The end result will be a complete refurbishment of the clubrooms, including:

  • Female friendly facilities including updated toilet and change room facilities     
  • Updated toilet and change room facilities in the football rooms to adhere to relevant sporting guidelines
  • An all-abilities toilet and shower facility including a baby-change station     
  • Designated umpire change rooms with toilet and shower facilities     

The upgrade has a total budget of over $250,000, including $100,000 from the Victorian Government’s Country Football Netball Program, $100,000 contribution from Strathbogie Shire Council, $30,000 contribution from Bendigo Bank and in-kind support from a variety of the local user groups. 

Strathbogie Shire Mayor and Nagambie Lakes Ward Councillor Amanda McClaren said it is fantastic to see works underway on such an important community project. 

“The Nagambie Recreation Reserve has been in desperate need of an upgrade to ensure it’s ongoing use by a variety of sporting groups,” Mayor McClaren said.

“It is great to see works happening at the site and we look forward to seeing the finished product, which will be so much more accessible for our whole community.” 


Patients Pay The Price For Scott Morrison’s Botched NDIS

Source: Government of Victoria 2

Victorians with a disability are stuck in hospital for more than three months after they are ready to be discharged due to Scott Morrison’s botched rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

New analysis has revealed the extent of the delays being confronted by hospital patients who are either waiting for an approved NDIS plan, or who can’t access the services they need which would enable them to return home.

These unacceptable delays are creating unnecessary stress on disability patients and their families who have already suffered enough. It also means hospital beds are being occupied unnecessarily, putting more strain on our hardworking nurses and doctors.

Not only is the Morrison Government unwilling to fix the NDIS for Victorians with a disability, they refuse to properly fund our public hospitals, putting nurses and doctors last.

The analysis of Victoria’s health service data reveals up to 80 patients in public hospitals were ready for discharge at the time of the snapshot, but couldn’t be due to a lack of supports in place due to issues with the NDIS.

Disability patients who have been assessed as clinically ready to leave hospital are forced to stay an extra 107 days on average due to a delay with the NDIS – a total of 8,522 bed days.

The data also reveals which hospitals and health services are hit hardest by Scott Morrison’s botched NDIS rollout, including:

  • Alfred Health – 1,770 total days spent in hospital by patients ready for discharge
  • Monash Health – 1,690 total days spent in hospital by patients ready for discharge
  • St Vincent’s Health – 802 total days spent in hospital by patients ready for discharge
  • Bendigo Health – 179 total days spent in hospital by patients ready for discharge.

Time and time again, Victoria has called on Scott Morrison and the Federal Liberals to fix the gap between the NDIS and mainstream services, but they’ve refused.

In Victoria there are 40,000 people with a disability who need to transfer to the NDIS by the end of June this year because the Morrison Government has not only sat on its hands, but also squandered $1.6 billion to prop up their budget bottom line.

That means 40,000 are waiting desperately for the support and services they deserve – creating unfair stress on individuals, carers and families.

While the Labor Government is investing $2.5 billion in 2019/20 towards the NDIS, the Federal Liberals are going to whatever lengths necessary to keep their contribution secret.

It’s just another reason why you can’t trust the Federal Liberals when it comes to the NDIS.

Quote attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan

“This is more proof Scott Morrison has completely botched the NDIS – and once again it’s people with a disability who are paying the price.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“Our hospitals are busy enough without having to accommodate patients who are ready to be discharged but have nowhere to go, but Scott Morrison and the Federal Liberals are ignoring the issue and putting patients last.”

Commissioner For Senior Victorians Reappointed

Source: Government of Victoria 2

The Andrews Labor Government has announced the reappointment of Gerard Mansour as the Commissioner for Senior Victorians for another four years.

Mr Mansour is widely respected and an outstanding advocate for the needs of older people, with over 30 years of leadership experience within the aged and community services sectors.

He was first appointed as the inaugural Commissioner for Senior Victorians in 2013.

As Commissioner, Mr Mansour provides advice to the Labor Government on the needs and interests of senior Victorians – particularly those who are vulnerable, at risk or disadvantaged.

Mr Mansour’s 2016 report Ageing is Everyone’s Business has informed the government’s response to the issue of isolation and loneliness among older people.

He has also provided significant policy advice on the prevention of elder abuse, and supporting multicultural and emerging communities.

As the Ambassador for Elder Abuse Prevention, Mr Mansour has also worked to increase awareness of abuse among seniors and encouraged older Victorians to take action to protect themselves.

In partnership with the Office of the Public Advocate, he developed Your voice – Trust your choice, a booklet providing tips for seniors making enduring powers of attorney.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan

“Gerard Mansour is an outstanding advocate for senior Victorians – respected, considered and knowledgeable about the issues facing older people.”

“I am delighted to reappoint him for another four years and look forward to working with him to continue addressing issues such as elder abuse, disadvantage and loneliness among senior Victorians.”

Quote attributable to the Commissioner for Senior Victorians Gerard Mansour

“I am looking forward to continuing my work with the Victorian Government, and Minister Donnellan in particular, to promote the important role that senior Victorians play in our community.”

Track Brings Year-Round Benefits For Ballarat

Source: Government of Victoria 2

Ballarat’s premier thoroughbred racing and training venue will now be able to operate no matter the weather, with the launch of Ballarat Turf Club’s new synthetic training track.

Minister for Racing Martin Pakula today officially opened the $10 million track at Ballarat Racecourse, which has been supported by the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Racing Industry Fund.

The new 1900 metre synthetic track replaces the club’s former inner grass track and will provide a sustainable surface that will allow the training of more than 500 horses year-round.

It will also take the pressure off the existing outer turf racecourse, allowing Ballarat Turf Club to host more than 70 race meetings and sets of trials and jump-outs each year – rain, hail or shine.

The investment in Ballarat is consistent with the Labor Government’s support for a new synthetic training track at Flemington announced earlier this year, further expanding the state’s racing and training facilities.

The funding package at Ballarat included $4 million from the Government while Racing Victoria, Ballarat Turf Club and Country Racing Victoria provided a combined $6 million towards the works.

Since December 2014, the Government has approved more than $5.8 million to support 21 thoroughbred events and 11 infrastructure projects at the Ballarat Turf Club.

The racing industry in the Ballarat region generates $155.9 million for the Victorian economy annually and helps to sustain 1300 full-time equivalent jobs.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula

“There are more than 500 horses that use the world-class training facilities at Ballarat and this new synthetic track will ensure they can train on a quality surface no matter the weather.”

“Allowing more race meetings as well, the new track will provide significant benefits to the industry and more widely to the Ballarat community so we’re thrilled to be able to provide this support.”

Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

“This is fantastic news for Ballarat as the new all-weather synthetic track will ensure Western Victoria’s busiest racing and training venue continues to provide first-class facilities for Victoria’s racing industry.”

Quotes attributable to Ballarat Turf Club Chief Executive Lachlan McKenzie

“The new all-weather track will enable us to run race meetings regardless of weather conditions and guarantee all participants a safe, consistent and even track in the western part of Victoria.”

“We will be able to use the track for meetings when turf tracks in our region are too rain-affected for racing.”