SHEPPARTON: A RISE in arrests made on drug related offences in the region has once again brought to light concerns about the spike in the use of the drug Ice, a dangerous and powerfully addictive form of methamphetamine that is sweeping across our community.
According to Victoria Police records, between July 2011 and June 2012 an astonishing 362 drug offences were recorded in the Shepparton area after arrests were made, with a 40.9 percent increase in recorded offences from July 2012 to June 2013, which were documented at 510.
Shepparton Police Crime Investigation Unit, Detective Senior Sergeant Will Watkins said, “The statistics are a reflection of the success of our dedicated unit who focus on arrests made relating to drug offences in the area, but that is not to say that the use of drugs is not becoming more prevalent every day.
“We are coming across drugs in one form or another on a daily basis.
“There is harm done to the community in both physical aspects and in monetary value. More than $8M of monetary harm has been done to the community from September 2012 until today and there is quite a substantial amount of that that we can contribute to drug related offences.
“These drugs are made in backyard laboratories where the person making them has no real idea of what they are doing, don’t measure quantities correctly and often use poor quality apparatus.
“We are hearing that it is being widely accepted in the younger community and we need to change that culture so that it is not accepted.
“Our primary concern is to preserve life and drugs are not just a criminal offence, they are a health issue,” Detective Senior Sergeant Watkins said.
If anybody has any information relating to drugs in the area, contact Shepparton Police on 5820 5777 or drop into the station at 155 Welsford Street in Shepparton, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit the website at https://crimestoppers.com.au/
For another instalment of the effects Ice is having on our community, see this week’s edition of The Adviser.
THE first of five key projects to be brought into the light through the Make Shepparton Greater campaign was officially opened for community input last week, with Greater Shepparton City Council asking for input on Shepparton’s rail services.
Over the coming months leading up to the November election the campaign will put the focus on construction of the Goulburn Valley bypass, an increased and improved passenger rail service, the redevelopment of GV Health, the revitalisation of Shepparton’s CBD and the Shepparton Court redevelopment all in a bid to ‘Make Shepparton Greater.’
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Jenny Houlihan said, “The first project we are focusing on in the Make Shepparton Greater campaign is an increase in the number of passenger rail services between Shepparton and Melbourne.
“The key issues around passenger rail are the lack of services, the timetabling of existing services and the accessibility of services.
“I encourage residents to fill out a survey, to help us inform the State Government and the state opposition of the need to increase and improve rail services between Shepparton and Melbourne.
“This is the first stage in the campaign and there will be many opportunities for residents to get involved at each stage,” Cr Houlihan said.
Greater Shepparton City Council CEO, Gavin Cator said, “We all know we can’t get a train into Melbourne before 9am, we also know that Bendigo, Ballarat and other areas have better train services. We’re 15kms further from the Melbourne CBD than Bendigo and they have 19 services going back and forth during the day and we don’t. Where is the equity in that?” Mr Cator said.
A community forum will also be held from 10am to 12pm on Wednesday, March 26 at the Eastbank Centre on Welsford Street in Shepparton, which will provide the community with a chance to raise local issues in regards to rail services in person with the public transport ombudsman and to hear from Public Transport Victoria and V/Line representatives. The rail service representatives will discuss the services they provide, how they operate and any issues the community has experienced and how to seek help if needed.
For further information, contact Greater Shepparton City Council Access and Inclusion Officer, Louise Dwyer on 5832 9592.
To have your say and fill out the Shepparton Passenger Rail Services Survey, pick up a copy from council’s Welsford Street office in Shepparton or visit www.makesheppartongreater.com.auRead this item & comment
THE Great GMCU 2014 $25,000 Giveaway continues to be an important promotion for the region, generating business and promoting the local business community at its best.
Now in its eleventh year, The Adviser is proud to continue to be an integral part of the region’s largest shopping promotion and its continuing success in The Great GMCU 2014 $25,000 Giveaway.
The Adviser Managing Director, Geoff Adams said, “Each year the competition receives huge support and with the response this year from supporting businesses we anticipate a potential 90,000 plus entries for this year’s competition.
“The Giveaway competition is a fantastic initiative and the support of the GMCU, the region’s own financial institution, continues to be strong.
“The most important aspect of the giveaway promotion is the ability to generate customer sales. During the 2013 promotion, more than 80,000 entries were received for the competition. That equates to more than 80,000 individual purchases of $10 or more across 160 participating local businesses. That’s exciting for the community as a whole.
“Our local businesses and the people behind them are our most important assets and now is the time to get out there and support them and you never know, you may just be one of the 16 lucky winners.”
PROMOTING LOCAL BUSINESS… Pictured, The Adviser Managing Director, Geoff Adams with General Manager, Will Adams. Photo: Alicia Niglia.Read this item & comment
IN the early 90s, Diane Gray and Ron Burchett, then owners of Cobram Windows and Numurkah Glass, saw an opportunity to expand their services by bringing the powder coating side of window and door production ‘in house’.
This foresight resulted in the purchase of GV Powder Coaters in Shepparton in 1993 and the move proved to be a successful one, as within just a few short years, the business took on a life of its own.
Starting out with a small crew of three staff members, GV Powder Coaters was predominantly used to produce and supply a strong and durable finish for aluminium doors and windows in a range of colours, but the business also regularly produced finishes for fencing products and gates for the local rural sector as well.
In 1997, due to increasing demand, GV Powder Coaters installed facilities to allow for ‘in house’ abrasive sandblasting, which not only reduced the need to contract the service externally, but also provided a whole new service for the business.
GV Powder Coaters abrasive sandblasting equipment utilizes tough garnet grains, which work cleaner and achieve a smoother result with high efficiency.
Over the years as demand grew for GV Powder Coaters’ services so too did the moderate sized team and the production capability.
The other thing which has changed over the last 21 years is the quality in innovation of powder coating products. GV Powder Coaters only use Australian made and produced products which include Dulux brands designed specifically for applications where colour and gloss retention are critical as well as AkzoNobel products which offer versatility across all coatings.
Over time, the demand for powder coating has grown to encompass everything from domestic, industrial and agricultural materials right through to household items, basically, anything which is made from aluminium or metal can be powder coated to a clients chosen colour or finish.
In 2001, long time manager of GV Powder Coaters, Shane Grandell purchased the business from Diane and Ron taking his own experiences with the business and driving it to further grow the business potential and reach.
In 2012, Shane sold the business back to the Gray family in preparation for his retirement, with daughter and long term accounts manager, Kimberley Baldi purchasing the business.
Kimberley said, “We’ve always just tried to provide our clients with quality work at a good price and with a good turn around, it’s as simple as that.
“It’s been a good 21 years, we’ve been fortunate to have a good team who have helped us in ensuring our clients receive the best quality service.
“We’d also like to thank our customers for their continued support over the last 21 years and look forward to continuing these relationships into the future.”
STRONG AND DURABLE… GV Powder Coaters is celebrating 21 years of business in the Goulburn Valley. Photo: Alicia Niglia.Read this item & comment
THE announcement made last week, that the Victorian Coalition Government would be providing $22M toward a $100M investment package to secure SPC Ardmona’s future, has already begun to return confidence to Shepparton.
With the company now under contract to stay in Goulburn Valley for the next five years and an upgrade of the Shepparton plant’s equipment set to begin, the investment also includes a $78M investment from Coca Cola Amatil.
The government’s portion of the investment however, has been provided under proviso that the upgrades are completed within two to three years and that not a cent is to be spent on redundancy packages or debts. The upgrades, including the installation of new boilers and new lines to accommodate for new products, are set to be installed by locals helping to create more temporary jobs while the upgrades are completed.
Federal Member for Murray, Sharman Stone said this is not only great news for the Goulburn Valley but for all Australians who will continue to have access to top quality Australian processed fruit.
“This is just such good news.
“SPCA has been overwhelmed with support from the Australian public since the Federal Government decided not to give them an innovation grant of $25M. Within days sales of SPCA products had gone up by over 50 percent.
“This announcement has shown how powerful we are as consumers and how much value we place on Australian grown and processed products.
“This investment package has meant that 750 direct jobs from the Shepparton factory have been saved, along with more than 5,000, which were linked to the factory.
“Workers have been very loyal to the company during the time of uncertainty and I have to pay credit to them.
“We’re already seeing numbers of new start-ups and investments in Shepparton.
“I am in constant discussions with the local business people and it has been a long, slow period for some businesses for quite a while.
“There certainly is a more upbeat feel now and people are feeling more confident. We had a cloud hanging over our local economy and that cloud has now been lifted after last week’s decision.
“We will now be planing to work towards a strong sustainable future beyond the five year horizon.
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“There was still plenty to do and I will now concentrate my efforts on changing laws to stop dumping and improving food labelling laws and I will continue to stand up for our electorate and do all I can to help us prosper in the future,” Dr Stone said.
AFTER the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Food and Confectionary Division Secretary, Tom Hale last week claimed that “almost all” of the “400 or so” SPC Ardmona (SPCA) plant workers are still on an old Enterprise Agreement giving them redundancy payments capped at two years, has been flagged as “simply wrong” by Federal Member for Murray, Dr Sharman Stone.
Information provided by Dr Stone stated that of the 1,000 or so SPCA workers in the facilities in the Goulburn Valley only 187, or less than 19 percent are grandfathered on the old agreement, with those numbers continually shrinking as people retire or leave.
Federal Member for Murray, Dr Sharman Stone said, “This is simply wrong.
“SPCA renegotiated this redundancy condition back in 2012 capping payments at one year.
“Mr Hale can’t seem to even get the right numbers for employees working in the facilities.
“The real pity is that such statements divert attention from the real reasons why food processing in Australia is being wiped out.
“Mr Hale should have been focussing on the Anti-Dumping Commission forwarding its recommendations to the government asking for the imposition of duties and tariffs on the dumped Italian canned tomatoes. Of the over 100 Italian exporters checked, only two were found not to have significantly cheated on price. How can SPCA or anyone else compete on such a tilted playing field?
“We also have to curb the excessive market power of the big supermarkets which squeeze prices paid to their Australian fresh and manufactured food suppliers so low that many cannot survive.
“We have to address the fact that too much contaminated imported food is escaping the official inspection system creating real food safety issues. Serious levels of lead contamination found in two out of eight samples of Chinese canned peaches on our shelves has to be a wakeup call. Our labelling laws make it too hard for the shopper to identify which is the entirely safe Australian grown product so they can buy with certainty.
“The high Australian dollar has knocked out the competiveness of our home grown exports.
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“These are the real issues hurting Australian food manufacturers like SPCA. Attempting to blame workers for their own industry crisis is just not fair, and leaves the real problems unresolved,” Dr Stone said.