Valley mining companies connect

LATROBE Valley mining technology and services companies forged international mining connections at a conference in Melbourne recently.

Thirteen international ministers and delegates from more than 30 countries attended the International Mining and Resources Conference on Tuesday.

Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio opened the three-day event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, welcoming ministers from Iran, Chile, Ecuador, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, PNG, Solomon Islands, Ukraine and Uruguay.

Ms D’Ambrosio said with the downturn in mining exploration and construction, Australia was entering the biggest mining boom in history.

“Victoria is set to benefit as the country’s biggest exporter of mining equipment, technology and services,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

VicRoads preparing for long summer

VicRoads is starting vegetation reduction works along its roadsides ahead of the summer period.

Acting regional director Henry Lam said the road authority had begun grass mowing, tree trimming and roadside ploughing after working with authorities who have predicted an early start to the fire season.

Key roadsides, including the Princes Highway between Stratford and Bairnsdale, and roads around Woodside, Yarram, Longford and Lucknow, will also be ploughed to create control lines.

Mowing is already underway in Baw Baw, Bass Coast, Latrobe City and South Gippsland councils, with other shires to follow shortly, and is being delivered under a new a commercial partnership with contractor Fulton Hogan.

Great start for playgroups

Victorian families will have better access to playgroups, with 41 new grants to help establish community playgroups announced as part of the State Government’s $50,000 Great Start Community Playgroup Fund.

Grants of up to $1000 will help parents starting a new community playgroup get the resources they need, like books, toys and play equipment as well as mentoring support, to establish a successfully run playgroup.

Playgroup Victoria is administering the fund and will assist and support groups establishing playgroups, with 41 grants announced so far.