September, 2018

The changing face of business in Stawell

STAWELL’S Central Business District appears more active and alive than it has for a number of years.
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This can be attributed to businesses new and old, flourishing at the hands of owner/operators who are both fresh and experienced.

Justin Barber and Daniel Digney at Hammer and Gad.

Nineteen year old Rachael Hedges is the newest and youngest person to take on the retail challenge.

Ms Hedges has not long opened Indigo Lane, a store stocking clothes for babies and beyond.

While her mother runs the business side of the operation, Ms Hedges is behind the counter full time along with one other part time staff member.

Ms Hedges said she recognised a need to make children’s wear more available and affordable.

“There has been a good response from people so far,” she said.

“They are glad to see a shop that offers more children’s clothing,” she said.

“We’re all aware that shopping in country towns can be costly, but what we’ve tried to do is encourage more people to shop locally by making it more affordable,” she said.

When the opportunity to purchase the family friendly cafe/restaurant/bar Lillies and Lattes in Main Street arose, joint owners Justin Barber and Daniel Digney jumped at the chance.

“Daniel and I have both wanted to run our own businesses for a long time and we saw a big opportunity here and room to grow,” Mr Barber said.

“This may sound weird coming from a younger person of Stawell, but we love Stawell and we thought why not? It was that simple.”

Lillies and Lattes caters for all ages at all times of the day.

“We don’t try and market to any specific demographic. We want everyone to feel welcome,” Mr Barber said.

“We also provide entertainment, live music, disc jockey and pool (eight ball) competitions to accommodate both young and older people.

“The food is great, the coffee is great, the beers are cold and we are proud to employ 14 people.”

As the weather heats up Mr Barber has promised even more developments in the coming months, including a new night menu.

“We really want something for the people of Stawell to do after 6pm. We shouldn’t have to leave Stawell every weekend to have a good time,” he said.

Mr Barber has encouraged the people of Stawell to focus on a future where tourism and new businesses are key to keeping the town economically viable.

“That can only be done by people taking a risk and going for it,” he said.

“We need to think outside the square and we need to lead by example.

“There are a lot of people that are having a go, both young and old and its great. We still need more people to jump on the bandwagon, you will be surprised at how contagious a positive attitude can be.”

Northern Grampians Shire Council’s Business Services and Tourism Officer, Shelly Chalmers, heaped praise on the determined and positive nature of the young entrepreneurs.

“Just to show the enthusiasm for being here and that they want to get in and have a go is fantastic and very encouraging,” Ms Chalmers said.

“They are so enthusiastic, it’s really good for Stawell,” she said.

Council’s Manager Economic Growth Debbie Bach said the growth in business driven by our youth has helped to reinvigorate the town.

“We’re very pleased to see them taking that step,” Mrs Bach said.

“It is a big step for anybody to go into a business, let alone when your that young, so we think it is a really positive thing for the town.

“It sends out a really good message to everyone, that young people are prepared to stay here and be involved in our community.”

And with even further developments on the horizon, the present positive vibes should carry the town well into the future.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Alan Jones’ mystery talkback caller: who is Barbara?

Who is Barbara?Alan Jones received a call from an eccentric character, but is Barbara a real-life listener or a Barry Humphries protege chanelling the world’s favourite dame?
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Alan Jones must have thought he met his kindred spirit.

Finally, the long-haired, latte-sipping, quinoa-eating, over-educated, under-appreciating yahoos of Sydney had met their match.

Their biggest crime? Booing former Liberal prime ministers at Gough Whitlam’s funeral.

Incensed conservative warrior and talkback caller Barbara decided she had had enough when she called Alan Jones’ 2GB radio show on Thursday.

Armed with a cat and an Ocker-via-Oxford accent, Barbara took aim.

Kindred spirits: Barbara and Alan Jones Photo: Supplied

“Did you see those idiots booing our prime minister and John Howard and his wife as they went into the hall,” she said.

“I did,” Jones said. “Cheered Julia Gillard.”

“Yeah well that’d be right wouldn’t it,” said Barbara.

“Absolute disgrace, you see ’em there with their scarves and their soy lattes and their problems that they have with their university funding. Go out and get a job!”

Music to Jones’ ears, t’was.

But then Barbara went too far. Soy lattes are one thing, organic cookies are quite another.

“All our tax dollars are being munched up by them, they all look well fed too, with their organic cookies and their products they get from the bloody organic home-grown such and such, you know.”

Jones knew. Jones knew he was being had. “Brilliant,” he said. And so did Twitter.

This is brilliant satire. ‘Barbara’ (and her recidivist cat) take Alan Jones for a ride: https://t.co/M6OXMI7d6O

— Ben Doherty (@BenDohertyCorro) November 6, 2014But before everyone had too much fun, Barbara found the voice to take a couple more swipes.

“Who’s the little fat fella… the Palmer man… he’s okay, I don’t mind him but I think he needs to go on a diet,” she said.

All of it was too much for Jones, “Will you be my social commentator?” he asked.

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Fire bombers arrive at Stawell Airport

AS DRY conditions continue, emergency services staff in the Wimmera are making preparations earlier than usual for the coming fire season.
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Department of Environment and Primary Industries Wimmera Fire and Land District Manager Russell Manning said forecasts showed that parts of Victoria were at above average risk of bushfire and grassfire this summer.

“With the dry conditions and at least a dozen fires already this spring, we have brought forward some of our annual arrangements to ensure we are fully prepared.

“This week at DEPI Horsham 15 new project fire fighters are undertaking general firefighter training, which has included instructions in bushfire management, equipment use, safe work practices and a range of other fire operational activities.

“They will be fully trained and accredited ready for fire work in coming weeks.”

Mr Manning said with the fire danger period commencing on Tuesday, fire lookout observers had now commenced work at Mt Arapiles, Mt Bepcha near Rocklands, Reids in the Grampians and Big Hill at Stawell.

CFA and DEPI have secured their fire aircraft earlier than usual this season. Mr Manning said two fixed wing fire bombers would be located at Stawell, a Firebird helicopter at Horsham and a fire spotter plane will also be located at Stawell.

“Given the dry conditions, the early start to harvest and the number of fires already this season, we are well prepared,” Mr Manning said.

“The helicopter will arrive four weeks earlier than usual enabling the two specially trained hover exit teams, which are flown in to remote fire locations, to be trained about a month ahead of schedule,” he said.

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Northern Grampians Shire supports Walk to School program

NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council is working with primary schools once again to coordinate the 2014 Walk to School activities, after receiving funding from VicHealth.
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Cr Karen Hyslop from the Northern Grampians Shire Council joins Meagan and her sons Brandon and Dillon McCaliff.

Walk to School is a VicHealth initiative and is a month of activity that encourages primary students across Victoria to walk to and from school as often as possible throughout October.

Councillor Karen Hyslop said VicHealth’s Walk to School month highlights the benefits of walking for children, such as improving fitness, friendships, their confidence and the environment.

“Northern Grampians Shire Council is delighted to be part of this important initiative and will assist the participating schools with their activities during October,” she said.

“Last year we had one local school participate in the Walk to School program, this year we have four and we are very happy to have the Skene Street School on board.

“We want to encourage more kids to walk, scoot or ride in the shire because exercise is fantastic for children’s health and reduces the environmental impacts associated with driving.”

Brothers Brandon and Dillon McCaliff, who attend Skene Street and 502 schools respectively, will both be participating in this year’s program.

The boys’ mum Meagan said her family had moved from Melbourne and were excited to be taking part in the Walk to School event.

“This is a great program for us to be a part of. When we lived in Melbourne there is no way my children would have been able to walk to school,” she said.

By getting involved in the program, schools will be helping students learn healthy habits and achieve the 60 minutes of physical activity recommended for children each day.

All participating schools will receive student certificates to celebrate their students’ achievements, and will be in the running for regional prizes provided by VicHealth.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said children who walk to and from school build healthy lifelong habits, become more familiar with their neighbourhoods and make new friends with other local children.

“Unfortunately, Australian children are now among the world’s least active. In the 1960s, one in 20 children were obese and today it’s one in four,” she said.

“One of the first steps to combatting this concerning trend is to encourage kids to walk as often as they can, particularly walking to and from school.

“Last year, 30,000 students from more than 300 primary schools in Victoria joined us for Walk to School, walking more than 410,000 kilometres in total and with our schools from Northern Grampians Shire Council on board, we hope to exceed those numbers this year.”

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Palmer rejects Lambie’s Remembrance Day protest

Clive Palmer says he doesn’t support Jacqui Lambie’s call for soldiers to hijack Remembrance Day ceremonies and turn their backs on government MPs in protest against their meagre pay rise.
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But Senator Lambie did not retreat on Thursday and said Palmer United would block legislation in the Senate in protest, despite leader Mr Palmer saying her individual opinions were not the party’s policy.

The RSL, government and opposition have condemned Senator Lambie for trying to score political points on one of the Australia’s most solemn days.

And in a sign of division within the PUP camp, Mr Palmer has also distanced himself from the idea.

“No, but I understand the anguish that servicemen feel for the way they’ve been treated,” he responded when asked by Fairfax Media’s Breaking Politics if he would back his Senator’s protest.

“It’s not something I would do. Senator Lambie’s free to do what she does, she’s elected by the people of Tasmania to represent their interests,” Mr Palmer said.

“She’s got a particular understanding of the veterans community having served this nation for over 15 years in a uniform, something that very few journalists have ever done, so I think we’d be loathed to criticise others,” he said.

But he stressed that Senator Lambie’s ideas were not PUP policy.

“Individual members can say what they like whether they’re right or wrong and we’ll discuss it in the partyroom and the policy will be determined, she’s never gone against our policy, she’s always voted in Parliament with the team,” he said.

Senator Lambie did not back down on Thursday and went further and threatened to block the goverment’s legislation in the Senate during the final three sitting weeks if the pay rise was not increased.

“I can tell you we’re doing our own protest up there, Palmer United Party, I see a lot of legislation that’ll be coming up from the House and going back,” she warned.

“It’ll be a game of tennis so I think this is the straw that broke the camel’s back for Palmer United, we’ve had all but enough of it,” she told Sydney Radio 2UE.

The RSL said Senator Lambie’s protest idea was an insult to the Australia’s war dead, who are honoured in a bipartisan fashion on November 11.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.