Pumas win ‘ugly’ battle

Justin Coole and Lynden Brewis lead a freight train to the ball Josh Bywater takes a screamer for the Pumas
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MDFL – Round seven of the Mininera and District Football League saw Moyston/Willaura get the job done against the Ararat Eagles at Alexandra Oval, in a match that Pumas coach Daniel Guinane described as scrappy and at times not pretty.

“At times we used the space well, but basic skill errors hurt us and the Eagles as well and in the end it just came down to a battle of ugly football,” he said.

The Pumas’ 39-point victory was soured by serious knee injury to gun recruit Trent Fiscalini.

Fiscalini, who left the field midway through the match, had scans in Melbourne yesterday to find out the severity of the injury.

In a low scoring opening quarter the Pumas managed to take an early advantage to lead 2.2 (14) to 1.2 (8) at the first change.

Guinane said he wasn’t impressed with how his side performed during the first quarter.

“I got into the boys a bit after quarter time, because I don’t think many of them were taking the game too seriously,” he said.

“After that more of them started having a real crack and that is when it opened up a bit more.”

The Eagles remained in touch at halftime, however a goalless third term cost the side any hope of a win, as Moyston/Willaura piled on 2.6 in wet and windy conditions.

Small forward Cal Stevens with three goals was the Pumas most prolific scorer, while Troy Jenkins was the home team’s only multiple goal scorer.

Guinane said the Pumas’ back six players were the difference in the end.

“If they weren’t performing we probably would have lost the match,” he said.

“Josh Day at full back was sensational and Rhys Cronin’s run off the half-back line was important.”

Moyston/Willaura captain Matt Peel made his first appearance for the season and was also among the side’s top performers.

For Ararat Nathan Wemyss, Nicholas Bulger and Aaron Jenkins tried hard all day and were named the Eagles’ best players.

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In wintery conditions Tatyoon came back from a four goal deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat SM&W Rovers by 12 points. in round seven of the Mininera and District Football League.

The Hawks showed great fight to claw their way back into the match, as the Bulldogs dominated play and looked to have all the momentum heading into the final term.

The second half saw Tatyoon play with a man down, after ruckman Damian Cameron was taken to hospital with a dislocated shoulder.

Heavy rain made scoring hard to come by, as both sides turned the ball over frequently as they looked to go forward.

Matthew Irving’s body work at full forward was critical for the Bulldogs and saw him slot three important goals, while Bradley Scott ran hard all match and gathered plenty of possessions.

As always for the Hawks, Sean McDougall and Aaron Bird won plenty of clearances in the centre and Andrew McDougall, Jarrod Blandford and Tim Barr used their big bodies to crash the contest and bring the ball to ground.

Tatyoon hit the front late in the final term and despite the ball entering SM&R Rovers’ forward line on several occasions, the Bulldogs were unable to grab back the lead with the Hawks going on to record their seventh straight victory.

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Wickliffe/Lake Bolac produced the highest score of the round to defeat Great Western 15.22 (112) to 7.6 (48).

The Magpies had plenty of contributors across the field, with Josh Keys (four goals), Tim Blake (three) and Danniel Smith (three) particularly lively up forward.

Joe Higgins kicked two handy goals from the midfield, while coach Brad Keilar and backman Ben Johnson also performed well in the big win.

Continued page 39.

From page 40

Great Western continued to show signs of improvement, with Shannon Notting (two) providing plenty of options in the forward line, along with Thomas McCord who also bagged a double.

Lions coach Darren Weavell said he was happy with the determination shown by his players.

“They had a best and fairest ruckman in Brad Keilar who managed to give them first use of the ball and we didn’t have anybody to stop him, but to the guys credit they stuck to the task and attacked the ball well,” he said.

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In the other matches Penshurst remains unbeaten easily disposing of Glenthompson/Dunkeld by 36 points, with Grant Ewing booting five goals, in a tight tussle between Caramut and Lismore/Derrinallum the Swans hung on to win by five points, while Hawkesdale/Macarthur enjoyed a nine goal win over Woorndoo/Mortlake.

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Rats look back: 2006 and 2007

Richard Tucker was one of the Rats� most prominent forwards in 2006. Tucker continually kicked multiple goals throughout the year, including a season high seven against Horsham United in round 15.ARARAT – Round seven in the Wimmera Football League is Heritage Round and to mark the occasion the Ararat Football Club is holding a gala night on June 9 where it will select a team of the decade.
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In the lead up to the night The Ararat Advertiser is casting an eye over the highs and lows of the Rats’ seasons between 2001-2010.

Season 2006 was one of the most successful for the Ararat Football Club in recent years, with the reserves and under 17 teams winning the premiership, the under 14s finishing runners-up and the senior team returning to finals for the first time in two years.

After a long pre-season campaign coach David Law and his charges, including new recruits Adrian Gibson, Paul Dalziel and Josh Cunningham, lost to Horsham and Warrack Eagles in the first two weeks of the season.

The Rats won the next five matches to climb back up the ladder and by the end of the home and away season the senior side sat third behind the Demons and Dimboola, with experienced players Dale Bligh, captain Matt Jackson, Paul McLoughan and Richard Tucker flying, along with young-guns Alan Batchelor, Bradd Wilson and Aaron Searle who all had break out years.

The qualifying final saw Ararat face the Roos at City Oval and it was back to the drawing board for Law after a 48-point loss.

The side then travelled to Dimboola to take on Horsham United in a do or die semi final and in an injury plagued match the Rats suffered a heartbreaking defeat by six points.

“We had no bench by the end and in the extremely warm conditions we simply had no rotation in the second half. Our onballers had no chance to rest,” Law said following the loss.

After taking Ararat’s senior side from the bottom of the Wimmera Football League ladder in 2005 to a double chance in the following year’s finals, Law decided not to seek reappointment in 2007.

Some of the other highlights during the season included former Toohey Medallist Glen Antonio notching up 200 senior games in round seven and the return of favourite son Scott Turner to the red and white for six matches.

Matt Jackson and Doug Walton took on the role as joint coaches of the Rats in 2007 and had to deal with a mass exodus of players before their campaign had even begun.

Much of the senior side, which finished in the Wimmera Football League’s top three the previous year, decided not to play on in 2007.

However, it was not all doom and gloom for Jackson and Walton, who acquired the services of several big men in Mick Fratin, Gary Smith and Mitch Welsh.

After a round one bye, the Rats narrowly went down to Minyip-Murtoa the following week, before suffering a series of big losses in the following weeks.

The first win for Ararat came in round five against Warrack Eagles, where under 17s’ player Aidan Bell made his debut with a six-goal haul.

The Rats then managed to string together consecutive wins against Horsham Saints and the Burras mid-way through the year, however for the rest of the season it was tough going for the side.

Senior captain Dale Bligh broke his arm in round 14 against Dimboola and his absence put more pressure on Fratin in the forward line.

The powerful full-forward relished the extra responsibly and was instrumental in the Rats’ final round 23-point victory over the Saints.

Fratin was rewarded for his first year back in the red and white by taking out the club’s senior best and fairest award and was also Ararat’s leading goal-kicker with 33 majors.

With only four wins at the end of the home and away season the team finished a disappointing eighth on the ladder and once again missed out on September action.

“It’s been a tough year compared to what I am use to (after winning the 2006 premiership with Tatyoon),” Walton told the Ararat Advertiser at the end of the year.

The Ararat Football Club is holding a function at the Ararat Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, June 9 where it will announce the Team of the Decade. Tickets will need to be purchased prior to the night. For further information contact Murray Jensen on 0422 608 458.

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Healthwise holds off opposition to win

ARARAT – Healthwise held off a fast finishing Debbie Robb’s Hairdressing to claim victory in the latest round of Ararat City Tennis Club’s Wednesday night men’s winter competition.
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Healthwise got away early in the night, with William Bell and Norm Woodhams particularly dominant, however Debbie Robb’s closed the gap in the middle period of the match.

Rick Thomas and Craig Cooper did all they could to get their side over the line in the final set of the night, but it wasn’t enough as Healthwise hung on by two games.

Ty Waring covered the court well and returned some incredible shots for the winning team.

Tyrepower kicked off its match with Eastick Homes in great fashion, with Andy Tucker and Alex Drosg big winners over Brad Harricks and Wayne Gason, 10-4.

No player was able to win three sets for the night in an even contest and although Eastick Homes was able to score the last two sets of the match, Tyrepower came out winners by seven games.

In the final match of the night, Retravision had a much needed win over Mitre 10.

In the first set of the night Duncan Giles and Jim Zvar performed well to give Mitre 10 an early advantage, but Mick Verdon and Wayne Jerram turned the tables in the next set with a comfortable 10-0 victory.

Retravision didn’t look back from that point onwards, going on to record an easy win, with Jerram’s drop shots and well placed lobs the highlight.


Healthwise 2-37 def Debbie Robb’s Hairdressing 2-35

N Woodhams, T Waring drew with R McGregor, R Thomas 6-6; W Bell, C Potter def A Cooper, D Holster 9-5; N Woodhams, W Bell def R McGregor, A Cooper 6-7; T Waring, C Potter def R Thomas, D Holster 7-5; N Woodhams, C Potter drew with R McGregor, D Holster 5-5; T Waring, W Bell lost to R Thomas, C Cooper 4-7.

Eastick Homes 2-32 lost to Tyrepower 3-39

B Harricks, W Gason lost to A Tucker, A Drosg 4-10; D Rowe, K Hurst drew with G Hurst, A Kalluri 6-6; B Harricks, D Rowe lost to A Tucker, G Hurst 3-7; W Gason, K Hurst lost to A Drosg, A Kalluri 5-6; B Harricks, K Hurst def 7-5; W Gason, D Rowe def A Drosg, G Hurst 7-5.

Retravision 4-42 def Mitre 10 2-21

D Beer, B Pietsch lost to D Giles, J Zvar 4-8; M Verdon, W Jerrram def L McDougall, W Reed 10-0; D Beer, M Verdon def D Giles, W Reed 6-5; B Pietsch, W Jerram def J Zvar, L McDougall 10-0; D Beer, W Jerram def D Giles, L McDougall 7-2; B Pietsch, M Verdon lost to J Zvar, W Reed 5-6.

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Josh Barry named singles champion

Chalambar�s Bill Waterston in action. Brendan Kaczynski from major sponsor Brendan�s Australian Tours (right) makes the presentation to Setsplay Champion Josh Barry (centre) and David Ryan. Pictures: PETER PICKERING.
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Former setsplay winner David Ryan

ARARAT – Warracknabeal’s Josh Barry is the 2012 Brendan’s Australian Tours Setsplay Singles Champion after taking out the final at Ararat Bowls Club.

Thirty two bowlers travelled back to Ararat to contest the championship and were greeted with pleasant weather and fast greens.

In the semi finals Barry defeated Chalambar’s Shane Todd in three straight sets, whilst David Ryan from Strathmore dispatched Warrnambool’s Bill Tory, but took four sets to do so. Barry went on to defeat Ryan in an epic five set battle in the grand final.

Winning the championship saw Barry claim $1000 prize money, while his name now goes onto the honour board at the Ararat Bowls Club.

In accepting the title and the prize money Barry thanked the Ararat Bowls Club for conducting the chanpionship and paid special acknowledgement to Brendan’s Australian Tours for sponsoring the event


Round of 32

Bill Waterston def Andrew Sharp; Clive Padgham def Neil Coates; David Ryan def Fred Reus; Brett Tory def Dave Russell; Stan Meale def Brian Scott; Bill Tory def Len Kean; Vince Moloney def Wayne Roberts; Jing Robertson def Peter Paterson; Darren Gordon def Don Price; Kevin O’Keeffe def Deb Steed; Josh Barry def Milton McKinnis; Terry O’Farrell def Peter Kaczynski; Graeme Robertson def Stephen Field; Shane Davis def Peter Summerhayes; Shane Todd def Michael Pech; Mick Dowd def Kevin Pye.

Round of 16

Bill Waterston def Clive Padgham; David Ryan def Brett Tory; Bill Tory def Stan Meale; Jing Robertson def Vince Moloney; Darren Gordon def Kevin O’Keeffe; Josh Barry def Terry O’Farrell; Graeme Robertson def Shane Davis; Shane Todd def Mick Dowd.

Quarter Finals

David Ryan def Bill Waterston; Bill Tory def Jing Robertson; Josh Barry def Darren Gordon; Shane Todd def Graeme Robertson.

Semi Finals

David Ryan def Bill Tory; Josh Barry def Shane Todd.

Grand Final

Josh Barry def David Ryan 8-3, 3-7, 7-2, 2-7, 7-1.

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Helper slams state government over prison

“Ararat has a long history of supporting the jail, which in turn supports Ararat’s local economy,” Member for Ripon, Joe Helper said.ARARAT – Member for Ripon, Joe Helper, has joined Ararat in calling for the Baillieu Government to take action to avoid the collapse of the Ararat Prison project.
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“The $400 million project supported about $8 million of economic activity a month in the Ararat region. This equates to a considerable investment by local contractors and businesses who have geared up to support the project during the construction phase,” Mr Helper said.

“Not only has work and revenue from the job ceased but many contractors and their workers have been left hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket. This situation will have an immediate and devastating impact on up to 400 contractors and their families. That impact will of course flow on to their local suppliers who are also out of pocket.

“Ararat has a long history of supporting the jail, which in turn supports Ararat’s local economy.

“The former Government invested millions of dollars across Ripon and managed many major projects without having them become the train wreck this appears to be. That is not to say that we did not encounter problems with those projects. Major projects because of their complexity, have the potential to create major problems. It is the Government of the day’s responsibility, to appoint Ministers who are competent to manage their portfolio areas, including these major projects.

The Baillieu Government, guided by convoluted ideological principles, seems to believe that because the project is delivered through a public private partnership, it is completely insulated from any risk or responsibility and the current situation will be resolved with Government Minister’s heads in the sand.

“What Mr Baillieu does not understand, is the people of Victoria, particularly those from around Ararat, have a vested interest in seeing the project completed, as he should. The prison is public infrastructure and cannot be left half built.

“Many people in Ararat have had their lives turned upside down by the events of the past weeks and all are looking to Mr Baillieu to show leadership; to take control of the situation.

“It’s time Mr Baillieu and his team rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

“Mr Baillieu, the contractors, workers, their families and the people of Victoria expect you to work through these problems, that’s why you’re paid the big dollars.”

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Emergency exercise at Challicum Hills

Emergency services gather at the Pacific Hydro Wind Farm at Challicum Hills, Buangor.ARARAT – Dozens of emergency services flocked to the Pacific Hydro Wind Farm at Challicum Hills, Buangor to perform a rescue.
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There was no cause for concern, however, as the operation was a mock exercise set up to test the effectiveness of plans and response to an incident at height within a wind turbine generator.

About 35 members from the Ararat Police, Ararat and Ballarat Country Fire Authority and Ambulance Victoria, Ararat Rural City Council and observers from other local government agencies were involved in the operation.

Regional Emergency Management Inspector for the Grampians region Matt Wood said the mock rescue ran very smoothly.

“What we did was we role played a 75 kilogram dummy as one of the workers from the wind farm and he was at the nacelle of the wind tower and fell over hit his head and was unconscious,” he said.

Police and Ambulance officers were the first to respond to the situation, with paramedics ascending the wind tower, 68 metres high, to assess the ‘patient’.

“After assessing him they concluded that it had to be a high angle rescue extraction and that is when the CFA High Angle Rescue team from Ballarat attended and put the dummy into a litter and abseiled him down the inside of the tower,” Mr Wood said.

“The best and most effective method for that wind tower is lowering him down what is called a crane shoot on the inside.”

There were four objectives of the rescue operation:

To test the Pacific Hydro Australia employees’ knowledge of and adherence to the Pacific Hydro Emergency Response Plan.

To test the participants in a practical emergency response scenario.

To evaluate the effectiveness of cooperation between responding agencies.

To assess any identified gaps or deficits in training or equipment required.

“The idea is that it is an identified risk within our Municipal Emergency Management Plan, so you exercise the risks to work out whether those planned outcomes can be achieved,” Mr Wood said.

“There were some very minor things to pop up out of it which were mostly administrative and organisational areas, but all the emergency services worked really well together and co-operated.”

The entire operation took about two and a half hours to complete, which Mr Wood said was a bit longer than expected.

“It ran a bit longer than anticipated, but it was the first one that we have had and the agencies had to work out what equipment to take up to treat the patient and to retrieve him, so I thought it worked very well in the time frame,” he said.

“Now they’ve got some experience in the makeup of the towers and how to ascend and descend I think they could shave some more time off.”

The Challicum Hill Wind Farm was one of the first of its kind built in Victoria and as such to move up and down the towers requires navigating several ladders.

Mr Wood said turbines at the more recently built Waubra wind farm, north-west of Ballarat, have lifts built into the structure, which would make rescue operations much simpler.

With wind farms becoming more frequent in the district, Mr Wood said operations similar to this will become part of regular training.

“The community can be reassured that we are identifying the risks to the community and we are exercising them so that we’ve got an adequate response plan,” he said.

“All involved said it was very worth while and they now understand the complexities of getting an injured person out of the top of the wind farm and really appreciate how the agencies worked co-operatively together to assist.”

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Farm shed fiasco

Ararat Rural City Council’s municipal building surveyor has reported that possible changes to the Building Practice Notes will add considerably to the cost of development on farms and place increased burdens on the farming community.ARARAT – Ararat Rural City Council’s municipal building surveyor has reported that possible changes to the Building Practice Notes, which indicate that in future toilets and disabled access will need to be installed in new farm sheds, will add considerably to the cost of development on farms and place increased burdens on the farming community.
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Municipal building surveyor Neil Povey attended a Building Commission seminar, where the draft Building Practice Notes were presented. The Building Code of Australia is updated annually in May and the seminars are to inform building practitioners on upcoming requirements.

Mr Povey said different types of sheds are treated differently in the Planning Scheme. A planning and building permit is required for a shed to store equipment and goods including motor vehicles, and must be associated with a dwelling, whereas a shed for storing farm produce or goods is treated separately, and doesn’t require a building permit in most circumstances.

Council has exempted these farm sheds from building permits in the past, but in the future, as a result of the practice notes, farm buildings other than small hay sheds and small machinery sheds (size not defined) will be classified a factories (Class 8) and building permits will be required to be approved before construction commences. By being classified as Class 8, essential services requirements such as toilets and disabled access will need to be installed, and this will have considerable cost implications.

“I am of the opinion that there are very few instances when these essential services/disabled facilities are warranted for typical farm buildings, and this is further reinforced by the history of few if any risk incidents associated with most of these buildings and their occupants,” Mr Povey said.

“These regulatory requirements will cause expensive additional costs for the preparation of these documents, and will significantly increase the building permit fee costs in line with commercial building development rates. Approval time delays will result, and in our case sourcing alternative solutions/exemptions will be a major issue, as I am not aware of anyone in this region who has the skills required to prepare suitable submissions. Such documentation could cost up to $1000 per solution, and there could be several alternative solutions required per permit.

“There are obviously some instances when some levels of ESM’s are justified, and this generally is when the development involves the employment of staff. However in the instances of dairies, large haysheds, piggeries etcetera, workforce involvement is minimal if nonexistent for most of the time, and the exemption process is simply another financial impediment on the rural sector.

“I am of the opinion that either separate classifications or regulations should be incorporated for various farms buildings, or a Minister’s Direction or similar should be able to be issued by the commission (as exists in South Australia) which provides legal exemption from irrelevant regulatory requirements.”

Cr Gwenda Allgood said this issue astounded her.

“These farmers are doing it tough and I haven’t met a farmer yet that isn’t very conscious about everybody getting access to their shearing shed,” she said.

“This exemption needs to be provided on an individual case basis and these to be prepared by accredited access consultants by which there is no one in this region. Where do you bring them from? This is just absolutely going over the top, I don’t understand where these people are coming from.

“The documentation for a start is going to cost a thousand dollars and there could be several alternative solutions required for a permit.

“Who’s going to build any sort of a shed? If you’ve got horses, look out, you’re going to have to have a disabled toilet.

“The mind absolutely boggles as to where these people are coming from. I’m sure if they came out and drove around the country side and had a bit of a look at how we look after each other they would realise that these things are absolutely ludicrous, how could somebody come up with this?

“It’s really serious and you have got to stand up here nearly every meeting and fight these things. If you don’t fight them they go though to the keeper and you have to put up with them.

“It’s just ridiculous.”

Cr Anne Marshall said sometimes toilets were required for shearing sheds, and probably some of the very modern shearing sheds would have them.

“But I think that disabled access for that industry, which requires really able bodied people to do the work, is a bit far fetched and I really hope that I don’t have to put a toilet in the next hay shed we build,” she said.

“I think if you’ve got some type of factory type process in these sheds, well, yes… but for most farm sheds it is certainly not a requirement.”

CEO Andrew Evans said the requirements would not be retrospective.

Mr Evans said that while the requirements were only in draft stage at the moment it was expected for them to be implemented.

Council agreed to write to the Building Commission, Victorian Farmers Federation, Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay, the MAV, all State Local Members – including Members for Lowan and Ripon, Hugh Delahunty and Joe Helper – and other appropriate bodies highlighting the issue.

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Ararat Lions uphold motto of serving community

The Lions Club are well known for their catering, with Bill Metcalfe and Mick Watson pictured hard at work.ARARAT – The Lions Club of Ararat will celebrate its 40th anniversary in June.
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The club officially received its charter in June, 1972 and was founded by 21 men including the still active John Dunn. The club was originally exclusive to males but over the years this has changed and women can now be a part of the Lions Club.

Some of the longest serving members of the Club are John Dunn who has been serving for 40 years, and Les Clark and Eric Wilson who have each served for 37 years.

The first Lions Club was formed in the United States in 1917, with the idea of a world group dedicated to the service of humanity. Nearly 100 years on the club is now the largest humanitarian club in the world with clubs in 197 countries.

The first club in Australia was formed in Lismore New South Wales and by 1976 there were 1000 clubs around Australia. As of March 31 2006 there were 1473 clubs with 31,056 members Australia wide.

The Lions Club of Ararat was called upon early in its life to fund raise for large appeals.

In 1974 Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin and after a quick whip around the local pubs, the club was able to send $2000 to the people left suffering in the wake of Cyclone Tracy’s path and later would raise another $10,000 for the appeal.

As well as raising money for many organisations in the early days, the Lions Club have also assisted in the clean up of the 1976 Streatham bushfire as well as the Avoca/Maryborough fires in 1985 and provided a significant donation towards the Ararat and Stawell Fire Appeals.

Over the years thousands of dollars have been spent on facilities at the increasingly popular Green Hill Lake.

The Lions Club was involved in the development of the blue stone barbecue area well as the boat shed.

During the days when the Aradale asylum was in operation, members of the Lions Club would visit the institution monthly, handing out lollies and cigarettes, which were eagerly awaited by the patients.

One way the Lions raised funds in the past was through collecting rags, but in 1982 its Project Shed was burnt, along with bales of rags worth several hundred dollars. The Lions Train and catering equipment were also lost, but the Apex Club kindly offered to share its shed with the Lions, later handing the lease of the shed over to the lions when it disbanded.

Most significantly, the Lions Club of Ararat has helped raise well over $100,000 dollars for the Ararat Hospital over the last 40 years as well as donated a portable x-ray machine, helped finance the hospital intensive care ward and sponsored a two bed ward for the hospital. The first item they donated to the hospital was a TV to the children’s ward all those years ago and in those days any equipment donated was matched three to one by government grants.

The former Pickford House, the Patricia Hinchey Day Centre and Ararat Retirement Village have also been beneficiaries of donations from the Lions.

Fund raising for the provision of hearing dogs as well as walking frames for young locals Tania Moss and Jared Gibson were big projects taken on by the Lions members.

The State Emergency Service, St John’s First Aid, Ararat Ambulance and the Ararat Eisteddfod have all been assisted over the years by Lions, while just a few weeks ago the Lions donated $1000 to the AusKick program.

In recent years catering has become the main source of income for the club, including catering for Australia Day breakfasts, Moyston Boxing Day Sports, the Ararat Jailhouse Rock Festival as well as many other events.

The Club holds weekly sausage sizzles using its barbecue trailer, known as the Purple People Feeder, which can be seen on site at Ahpee’s Lane each Saturday morning, raising money for community needs and worthy projects.

Forty years ago the Lions Club was told by an upstanding member of the community at the time that it would not last, but 40 years on it remains as strong as ever. With 34 members still in the club, attending bi-monthly meetings to discuss ways in which they can help the community of Ararat and holding true to their motto ‘We Serve’, the Lions Club has truly proven that it does indeed serve the community of Ararat.

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$15,000 in goods taken in Wendouree robbery

AN engagement ring belonging to a man’s dead wife was among $15,000 worth of goods stolen during a burglary in Wendouree, a court has heard.
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The thieves used a sledgehammer to smash open the victim’s safe, taking items including jewellery, passports and $7000 in cash.

Chantel Blazevicius, 32, yesterday appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court over her role as a driver in the heist.

Magistrate Michelle Hodgson said it was “clearly a planned and professional operation”.

The court heard that Blazevicius drove three men to a Wendouree property on the afternoon of August 3 last year, dropping two of them out the front.

The men allegedly entered the back of the victim’s home, searching for a safe they’d received a tip-off about.

On finding the safe they returned to the car for a sledgehammer and then went back to the house.

Allegedly, they also took items including laptops, cameras, watches and other small electrical items.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Bob Anderson said police later went to a Wendouree property after seeing Blazevicius’s car parked out the front.

But the officers were refused entry and had to wait to apply for a warrant. Smoke was seen coming from the backyard.

When the warrant arrived, police managed to recover many of the stolen items, including gold rings that had been flushed down a toilet and the charred remains of jewellery that had been burned in the backyard.

A laptop and more jewellery were found inside the house.

Defence lawyer Scott Belcher admitted his client had made a poor choice of friends, but he said she was no longer associating with them.

“My client instructs she was off track and out of control at that stage,” Mr Belcher said.

“We would concede it’s outrageous offending behaviour.”

Ms Hodgson adjourned sentencing to August 20 to enable assessment for a community corrections order.

“However, I haven’t excluded the possibility of a jail sentence,” she told Blazevicius.

“One of the most serious offences this court deals with is residential burglaries.

“It’s such an invasion of people’s privacy and their lives, and in this instance it was targeted.”

Blazevicius pleaded guilty to five charges including burglary, theft and handling stolen goods.

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Businesses support health service Murray to Moyne teams

East Grampians Health Service CEO Nick Bush, Ararat Woolworths Angelo Falzon, store manager Andrew Hill, EGHS Lorine Paterson and Woolworths Michelle Miocic at a cheque presentation for the Murray to Moyne Relay teams. Picture: PETER PICKERINGARARAT – East Grampians Health Service’s Murray to Moyne bike riding relay teams, the Cranks and Defibrillators, had an outstanding fundraising year which was boosted by a number of local businesses donating generously.
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Ararat Woolworths and AME Systems together with their associated business partners were two local businesses that contributed large donations to the Murray to Moyne.

Ararat Woolworths raised money as part of their corporate strategy to help local communities where they have a store. Ararat Woolworths raised a total of $2,250.25 by running assorted raffles and barbecues within the supermarket.

“We were delighted with the amount we raised by our local supermarket. Customers were more than happy to donate to East Grampians Health Service and we are more than happy to help contribute to such a worthwhile cause,” Andrew Hill Ararat Woolworths store manager said.

AME Systems together with their business partners, Hella Australia, Delphi, Caroll Australia, Tyco Electronics, Tycab Australia, Auto Electrical Imports, Kenworth Trucks, Fry’s Spares and ADM Customs, were able to raise $3,300.

Jason Shipcott, manager purchasing and supply for AME Systems, was also a rider in the event.

“I have personally been involved with the Murray to Moyne for several years now and we are delighted that our suppliers are willing to support our involvement with events such as the Murray to Moyne,” he said.

East Grampians Health Service chief executive officer Nick Bush acknowledged the support of all businesses for their significant generosity and donating to this year’s Murray to Moyne which had seen the largest amount raised for the Health Service.

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