The News Headlines
Wednesday January 18, 2017
Letters to the Editor
From The Mirror,
January 15, 1997
Community calls for new Foster skate park
• There is a lot of community support for a new
skate park in Foster.
A PROPOSAL to construct a new, modern and safe skate park in Foster is
attracting a groundswell of support among skaters of all ages.
Over 800 people, mostly residents of Foster and district, have joined a
Facebook group calling for such a skate park.
Long-time skater and Foster resident Don Potschka is a member of the New
Foster Skate Park committee.
He explained: “Foster and the surrounding area has a large number of
children ranging in age from preschool to late teens. Many of these young
people are looking for a free activity that is outdoors and active, such as
riding scooters, skateboards or BMX bikes. Modern skate parks act as a
community hub for these young ones and their families.”
Mr Potschka said the need for a new skate park had been long recognised in
the community, but over the last 10 months the groundswell of support has
grown considerably and been organised into a Facebook group.
“People might argue that we already have a skate park, and this is true, but
the reality is that there are some serious safety concerns regarding the
current skate park in Pioneer Street.”
The current skate park, said Mr Potschka, is now close to two decades old
and the concrete is rough, worn and in many parts unrideable.
“Since the skate park was built, construction and design of modern parks
have changed considerably. While those involved did the best they could at
the time, modern parks are safer and more usable by a broader range of users
“The current bowl’s design is very challenging, with very few participants
able to fully utilise the park’s features safely.”
Members of the newly formed New Foster Skate Park committee have met with a
representative of South Gippsland Shire Council on three occasions already.
There is general agreement that a new park, serving as a community hub, is
desperately needed. The need to have the park situated in a more central
location, perhaps at Foster Showgrounds, was also discussed.
“It is expected to take several years before this project will become a
reality, so as a community the most important thing we can do now is
demonstrate our support,” asserted Mr Potschka.
Foster IGA supermarket management have kindly shown their support, and now
shoppers can allocate their shopper swipes to help fund the new skate park.
Known as the “Swipe2Sk8” campaign, it begins tomorrow and continues until
the park becomes reality. A special feature week runs from tomorrow
(Thursday January 19) and will run for a week until January 26.
New Foster Skate Park committee member Jenny Cockerill explained: “In order
for the park to happen the Foster community needs to show the shire we are
serious. Swiping the IGA reward card is our primary way of funding the new
skate park. If 30 Foster families do this every weekly shop then we will
meet our goal in less than four years.”
Committee member Janine Best added: “This skate park is a vital community
asset. It provides an opportunity for youth to participate in a fun and free
activity that is active and healthy. It costs nothing to help out, so if
your family can sign up and donate your shopping points to this community
cause it will mean a great deal.”
Anyone interested in following the progress of this much-needed community
asset is invited to join the Facebook page New Foster Skate Park. Also log
in to your member rewards account for your Foster IGA swipes and allocate
points to the New Foster Skate Park or ask IGA staff for assistance if
$100,000 for Welshpool basketball stadium floor
THE basketball stadium at Welshpool’s Arthur Sutherland Recreation Reserve
is to get a new floor.
That was the exciting news this week, after confirmation from the Minister
for Sport, John Eren, that South Gippsland Shire Council’s application for a
$100,000 grant from the 2017-2018 Sport and Recreation Victoria Community
Sports Infrastructure Fund had been successful.
The shire will manage the project, and it and the Welshpool Basketball
Association will contribute $50,000 each in order for the $200,000 project
to go ahead.
Recreation reserve president David Grylls said he was “ecstatic” that the
funding bid had been successful.
“I am extremely pleased,” he said. “The community has been after a new floor
for the stadium for several years.”
Mayor Ray Argento also welcomed the news. He paid tribute to the community
members who campaigned so hard for a new floor for the stadium and expressed
his gratitude to the government for granting the funding.
The money is expected to come through in the next couple of months, after
which it is hoped work can begin quickly, fitting in around the basketball
season. The senior summer competition is due to begin shortly. Welshpool
Basketball Association currently has around 180 registered players of all
ages from all over the district. The association runs two competitions a
year – one for adults and one for all ages.
The money will go towards totally replacing the floor and possibly further
refurbishment work, such as painting inside the stadium and replacing the
safety padding and seating.
Positive outlook for Alberton FNL
“THERE have been too many rumourmongers and ill-informed people who have
been spruiking to anyone who would listen, that the Alberton Football
Netball League would be a mini minor league and would fold within two years.
Those people need to take a good look at themselves and not open their
mouths without knowing the full facts.
“If they want to know the facts all they need to do is talk to one of the
board members,” declared a fired-up Alberton Football Netball League
president Barry Stride.
“The AFNL is thriving! Its seven clubs are in a very positive frame of mind
and will not stand by and watch a league that has been operating for 120
years fall by the wayside due to results of the independent review.
“The AFNL will still be a very strong competition in all grades of football
and netball in 2017 and beyond.
“It is the intention of the seven remaining clubs and the board to turn the
league into a family orientated league - one that all the local communities
can get behind to ensure its sustainability way into the future.
“There will be twilight games, night games, Sunday games, half-time
entertainment for kids at selected games to ensure all the community
participates and gets involved.
“Contrary to previous reports, all clubs are indicating they are in the
process of recruiting well and looking forward to working together for the
season ahead,” said Barry.
The season will commence on Saturday, April 1.
The League’s philosophy going forward is Community and Participation.
There will be four grades of Saturday football - seniors, reserves, thirds
and fourths, with the opportunity for some ‘friendly fifths’ games for boys
and girls aged seven to 11.
The football structure will provide games for boys from 11 years to
represent their clubs at junior level up to under 18 and then move into the
There will be seven grades of competitive netball, 11 & under, 13 & under,
15 & under, 17 & under, C, B and A grade, all playing in line with the
There will be a final four, with finals commencing August 26 and the grand
final on Saturday, September 9.
With the unanimous support of the clubs, the AFNL has adopted football
By-Laws to ensure that all boys and girls up to the age of 12 have the
opportunity to represent their clubs.
In the thirds and fourths competitions teams will play with even numbers on
the ground. Permits will be available to allow clubs to exchange players on
the day to ensure that every player gets a game. Sixteen players a side is
also an option for all clubs.
Under the restructured AFNL, clubs will be engaging with their families to
create the best possible environment. There will be events and promotions
supported by the AFNL Board and AFL Gippsland to entertain boys and girls of
all ages on game day. Football and netball in 2017 in the league will be an
occasion for all the family to enjoy.
The outcome of the AFL Gippsland independent review has resulted in a
seven-team league in 2017. It may not be the outcome many had hoped for, but
the clubs remaining are confident and determined to uphold the well-earned
reputation of Alberton as a strong league.
Looking into the future will see the AFNL working closely with AFL Gippsland
and AFL Victoria to get the league an 8th side for the 2018 season.
Clubs will operate under a salary cap of $120,000 for each club, the same as
the newly created West Gippsland League. Clubs will also operate in
accordance with the AFL Player Points system with an initial allocation of
48 points for each club. This system provides for clubs who require
additional points to cater for new players who join them, to make individual
AFNL remains affiliated with AFL Victoria. It maintains a relationship with
AFL Gippsland but, at the request of the clubs, is now responsible for its
own administration. Lynn Whelan has been appointed League Co-Ordinator and
will carry out all administration tasks and act as League Treasurer.
Each club will have two representatives attending all special general
meetings of the league to ensure both football and netball issues are fully
considered; this is how all clubs now operate.
The AGM of the AFNL is to be held on February 8, and it is expected that all
current board members will seek re-election.
All clubs are determined to make 2017 a successful season.
There will be changes in playing personnel as there are each year, but clubs
are working hard to replace those players who have moved on and to remain
competitive within the league. It promises to be a competitive season in
both football and netball with all clubs looking forward to the challenges.
Tarwin and MDU have new senior coaches, with the 2016 coaches reappointed by
the remaining clubs.
Clubs will be looking forward to the support of their communities to ensure
that their sustainability well into the future is ensured.
Farmers’ market in Foster
THIS month’s feature producer is Fisher’s Farm Produce, now known as Blue
Tree Honey Farm.
Sharon and Rob Fisher have been coming to the market for about two years,
bringing local honey. They have supplemented their offering with honey from
other places in Victoria during this time when the supplies of local honey
haven’t been strong.
Sharon and Rob keep their own bees and are actively involved in the local
beekeeping community. The past three years have seen honey supplies very
patchy. Taking too much honey from a hive means the hives need to be fed,
and with very inconsistent weather and flowering, a lot of beekeepers have
left more honey in the hive to ensure enough food for the bees. At the
moment, Gippsland Roundleaf Box honey is available, as is Orange Blossom,
Ironbark, White Box and Red Sallee. All will be available for tasting.
Sharon is also a dab hand with preserves and will be taking over the mantle
formerly held by Catherine McGlead, who has retired from her commercial
kitchen. Sharon will have bread and butter pickles, tomato relish, beetroot
chutney, blackberry, raspberry and strawberry jams, Pinot Noir jelly,
apricot and plum jams available this weekend.
Sharon and Rob opened their farm gate store last week in Dumbalk, after two
years in the planning and works, so you can also visit their store Wednesday
to Saturday 10am to 4pm for Devonshire teas and to see a working hive.
Call in and see all of your favourite local producers at the Prom Country
Farmers Market this Saturday from 8am to 12noon. The Prom Country Farmers
Market is held in the grounds of the Foster War Memorial Hall in the Main
Street. Bring your own shopping bag, and come along to enjoy the friendly,