27 September 2023

News in Brief

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Award nominations now open

For over 60 years, the Australian of the Year Awards have celebrated the achievements and contributions of Australia’s finest.

Nominations for the 2024 Awards close at midnight on 31 July 2023.

The Awards can be nominated at this PS News link.

Students at camps

Thousands of Victorian students are heading out to school camps to develop new skills and connect better with classmates and teachers.

The Victorian Budget 2023/24 allocated $299 million over four years to increase funding for the Camps, Sports, and Excursions Fund (CSEF), which means schools will also have more flexibility with how they staff school camps with teachers and support staff.

Bendigo airport going up

Travellers flying into or out of Bendigo can expect a more pleasant experience with the first stage of the Bendigo Airport terminal complete and a new terminal is on track for completion in December.

The Minister for Regional Development, Harriet Shing said airline staff were now operating from the new building with the departure lounge, cafe, screening area, restrooms, office space and equipment shed now complete.

New Institute Infection

A new Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID) is to join Melbourne’s Biomedical Precinct by being built next to the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

The State Government is to allocate up to $400 million to deliver the institute, which will bring together three of Victoria’s leading research organisations – the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, the Burnet Institute, and the University of Melbourne – forming the largest centre of infectious disease expertise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Work on the new institute is to begin early next year, which will create around 350 jobs in the design and construction phase alone.

Fishing for school holidays

More fishing fun for the school holidays have been more fun than normal with thousands of rainbow trout stocked in more than 80 lakes across Victoria.

From the Mallee’s Rainbow Lake to Guthridge Lake in Sale, Lake Pertobe in Warrnambool and 15 waters across metropolitan Melbourne, Family Fishing Lakes across Victoria offered families colourful adventures in the great outdoors.

Fishers were reminded that in Family Fishing Lakes, a daily bag limit of five trout applies, of which only two trout can exceed 35 centimetres.

EPA fines State water manager

Victoria’s Greater Western Water Corporation (GWW) has been fined $9,246 by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) for failing to properly manage a large discharge of sediment to Deep Creek in February this year.

North-West Regional Manager at EPA, Scott Pigdon said EPA officers were called to a Portingales Lane, Romsey site on 24 February after reports of a large volume of discoloured water moving down Deep Creek.

“The officers saw a brown coloured plume of water discharging from a catchment dam from a nearby site which was being developed by GWW Contractors for the future irrigation of reclaimed water to the immediate area,” Dr Pigdon said.

Emergency Services for blood

The 2023 Emergency Services Blood Drive has kicked off, with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) calling its members and their families to roll up their sleeves to save lives.

CFA Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO) Glenn Pröbstl said the annual Blood Drive, held by Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, encouraged emergency service members to make a significant contribution to those in need by donating blood and plasma.

ACFO Pröbstl (pictured) encouraged CFA members to donate from now until 31 August to be a part of this challenge.

New parks for growing groups

Three new parks featuring nature playscapes, picnic and barbecue areas, revitalised creeks, wetlands and frog habitats are on the way for Melbourne’s growing outer suburbs.

Releasing Parks Victoria’s plans for the new parks, Minister for Environment, Ingrid Stitt said the parks at Clyde, Kororoit Creek and Werribee Township would create 720 hectares of green open space for their communities.

“The parks will provide new walking and cycling tracks delivering tourism and education opportunities and improve Melbourne’s liveability,” Ms Stitt said.

Information on the new parks can be accessed at this PS News link.

Tourism on the way

Victoria’s tourism industry is set off for the world with a new $3 million Visitor Servicing Program now open.

Grants of up to $625,000 will be available for Regional Tourism Boards, local councils and other tourism organisations to develop innovative tools and ideas that allow visitors to easily book and plan visits, access information and connect with our state’s best experiences.

Also available are grants of up to $50,000 for Regional Tourism Boards and local councils.

Buses ready to roll

The State’s bus fleet is moving towards being cleaner and more sustainable with funding in this year’s budget for the Zero Emissions Bus roll out.

Backing Footscray’s first zero emission buses, nine new electric buses now service popular routes across Melbourne’s west, including Williamstown, Moonee Ponds, Footscray and Sunshine and the Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll has declared that from 2025, all the new buses on Victoria’s public transport routes would be zero emissions.

“We’re investing in cleaner technologies, supporting local manufacturing and delivering a more modern, efficient and reliable bus network that gets passengers where they need to go,” Mr Carroll said.

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