WELCOME to the latest instalment of Looking Back Through The Years.
Here’s what was making news in the pages of The Express during these points of our proud history.
50 YEARS AGO
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1971
DAYS OF SMALL SHIRE ‘GONE’
Only one third of today’s municipalities in Gippsland would be in existence by the year 2000.
This is the opinion of Reg Lord, the former Morwell Shire secretary.
The days of the little municipality was gone, he said.
Rising costs and other factors would cause many of these small municipalities to merge.
Mr Lord was speaking to a meeting of Morwell’s rural ratepayers at Yinnar, called to consider the results of a recent deputation to Morwell Shire Council, which asked for a differential rate for farms.
RATE RISE PLANNED FOR MOE
An eight per cent increase in the Moe rate was planned last week.
Moe City Council, meeting in committee last week, agreed to recommend a general rate of 3.9 cents and a farm rate of 3.6 cents in the dollar on unimproved capital valuation.
The rate rise represents an increase of 0.3 cents in the dollar.
On an urban UCV valuation of $1600, this would mean an increase to one ratepayer of $4.80, from $57.60 to $62.40; or on a $1900 valuation, an increase from $68.40 to $74.10.
Total revenue would rise, if the rate is accepted by council, from $396,236 for 1970-71 to $427,708, an increase of $31,472.
NIGHT SOCCER IS BIG SUCCESS IN MORWELL
Night soccer in the Latrobe Valley could be a success if the Masut Trophy competition is any indication.
The Masut Trophy, organised by Falcons in honour of late committeeman John Masut, is played between the four Morwell sides.
The first game played on Tuesday night, November 9, saw Pegasus defeat Fortuna 3-1 in an even match.
On Friday night, Falcons played Rangers with another 3-1 score resulting.
FUN FACT: Lovers and Other Strangers was described as ‘The Funniest Movie This Year’ ahead of its screening at the Traralgon Village Drive-in.
40 YEARS AGO
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1981
GOVERNMENT STUDY URGES COAL-OIL START
A $2600 million coal-to-oil liquefaction plant which would use 30 million tonnes of brown coal a year should be set-up in Victoria as soon as possible, according to a report issued yesterday.
It is the Imhausen report, a study commissioned by the federal government and the governments of Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
From trials undertaken in Germany on coal from Victoria, the report predicts that the Victorian plant could produce 1.9 million tonnes of petrol and 920,000 tonnes of diesel fuel a year.
WHITLAM CRACKS THE WHIP
Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam appears to have created a new role for himself … the vocal conscience of the Labor Party.
He spoke on the need for keeping the ideals of the party above day-to-day politics during a visit to Morwell on Friday – and took a couple of hefty swings at Labor leaders for failing to maintain the standard.
Mr Whitlam and his wife Margaret were special guests at the McMillan Labor “Remembrance Day” ball at Kernot Hall and the former PM addressed one of the biggest audiences to have attended a function held at the new hall.
FIRST START SUCCESSFUL
A good old-fashioned plunge was landed at Traralgon races last Friday when Quarter Share won a division of the Maiden Handicap.
Trained by Ted Harvey, Quarter Share was a New Zealand maiden performer having its first start in Australia.
Early punters took 8/1 before constant backing saw Quarter Share firm to 2/1 favourite.
FUN FACT: Coles New World Supermarkets had rump steak on special for $5.69 a kilogram.
30 YEARS AGO
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1991
JOBS ROW LEADS TO SEC WALKOUT
SEC maintenance workers walked off site at the Morwell production centre yesterday in protest at what they say are continuing breaches of contract letting agreements.
Mechanical maintenance workers belonging to five unions voted to stay off site until a report back meeting at 7.30am today.
Although power is not threatened, unionists say the issue which prompted ‘’over 200 workers’’ (an SEC spokesman claimed 150) to leave the mine, open cut and workshops is serious.
Yesterday’s meeting endorsed a resolution that demanded ‘’an apology from the SEC and an undertaking to return the (external contract) work that’s been sent out on this occasion”.
GIPPSLAND’S ‘WORST FEARS REALISED’ – FEDS IGNORE FOREST INDUSTRY
The ‘’worst fears’’ of Gippsland forest industry workers were realised this week when the federal government excluded forest industry initiatives from its Employment Statement.
President of the Central Gippsland Branch of the Forest Protection Society, Helen Hoppner, said this when she blasted the government over the exclusion.
“The worst fears of hundreds of forest industry workers in Gippsland had been confirmed by what the Prime Minister didn’t say in the much publicised statement,” Mrs Hoppner said.
Glengarry cyclist Lenny Van Berkel recently took out second place in the gruelling 1991 Alpine Endurance Race for Mountain Bikes held in the foothills of Gippsland’s high country.
Only a wheel length separated Van Berkel from eventual race winner David Loakes when they crossed the finish line after the 148km ride.
Although suffering from cramp for the last 30km, the leading riders were able to better the 1989 time by three minutes with a final winning time of five hours and six minutes.
FUN FACT: Australian cricket legend Doug Walters was scheduled to be in Traralgon on Tuesday, November 19, 1991 to sign his new book More Laughs On Us.
20 YEARS AGO
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2001
ON THE MOVE
The state government and Latrobe City Mayor Brendan Jenkins have denied claims several projects listed by the state government’s ministerial taskforce have stalled since their announcement earlier in the year.
Cr Jenkins argued there had been “a hell of a lot of progress” but conceded for a number of projects it was “better to get the format right” before there would be “people in jobs and … shovels in the ground”.
While a number of projects are well underway, there has been criticism aimed at the lack of progress on the demolition of the former Traralgon hospital and the abandoned Lurgi plant in Morwell, while the Premier’s investment tour of the region may not be held before February next year.
AN AUSSIE FLAVOUR IN THE FRONT YARD
Not many people can say they have a kangaroo and emu in their front yard, but Moe resident John Brandis can.
John came up with the idea to put a concrete kangaroo, emu and map of Australia in his front yard while walking by the Moe RSL.
“I looked at the memorial for the soldiers and I thought they should have a map of Australia down on the concrete to say they were from this country, that’s when the idea came to me and I thought, yep I’ll do it here (in the front yard),” John recalled.
“The concrete’s three-foot deep – it took 120 wheelbarrow loads, it was a lot of mucking around.”
STORM EDITION BREAKS THROUGH
Storm Edition broke a string of placings in major cup races to win the Wights Motor World Traralgon Cup on Friday.
A clear winner in perfect conditions, Storm Edition, trained at Cranbourne by Barry Barnes, had run second in this year’s Moe and Kyneton cups, and third in the Traralgon Cup last year.
Barnes said he never doubted the five-year-old’s ability to win a major event, claiming it was only a matter of time before the horse broke through.
For jockey Reece Wheeler, it was his biggest win to date and first Traralgon Cup winning ride.
Storm Edition won ahead of Rupert with Imax running into third.
FUN FACT: A charming farmlet with five beautiful acres for grazing cattle or caring for your ponies was listed for sale at $92,500 by Stockdale & Leggo Latrobe Valley.
10 YEARS AGO
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2011
STATE NURSING CRISIS ESCALATES
Latrobe Regional Hospital could be in crisis after nurses stepped up their industrial action statewide and starting closing one in three beds.
On Friday, Australian Nursing Federation members voted in favour of public hospital beds closures which took effect at 7am on Saturday.
LRH chief executive officer Peter Craighead warned patients may experience delays as a result of the nurses’ statewide campaign for better pay and conditions.
“The impact of closing a third of hospital beds may be felt by patients waiting for elective surgery and may lead to delays in the emergency department,” Mr Craighead said.
“The hospital is compelled to comply with the protected action; however the safety and wellbeing of patients remains paramount.”
EX-SERVICEMAN URGE AFGHANISTAN RETHINK
As the nation observed a moment of silence in honour of fallen servicemen on Remembrance Day, the sentiment among war veterans was that it may be time for troops to come home from Afghanistan.
While the consensus view was the Australian troops there should be fully supported, the war in Afghanistan had become increasingly disheartening.
GIFT TO DRAW WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETES
The inaugural Gippsland Gift will feature the Australian 120m Championships, according to Athletics Australia.
The event will feature 800 of Australia’s best athletes, including Olympic medallist Sally Pearson, who was this weekend named women’s world athlete of the year by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
They are set to compete for a prize pool worth more than $65,000. The event is tipped to generate about $500,000 in economic gains for the Latrobe Valley next month.
FUN FACT: The new-look Coles Traralgon was set for a grand opening at Stockland Traralgon on Wednesday, November 16.