Archive for the ‘Geelong’ Category


Geelong is a city going through a turbulent transition, stranded between its history and its future. Its modern legacy as a stronghold of heavy industry – led by Ford, Alcoa and Shell – is fading fast.

Ford has been closing its Geelong manufacturing works for some time, with the final jobs to go by 2016. Alcoa has announced that its ageing aluminium smelter and rolling mill would close in August, at a cost of 800 jobs. Last year Qantas axed just under 300 maintenance jobs at the nearby Avalon Airport and Target sacked 260 workers from its Geelong head office.

Geelong has a long history as a city, and with that, a long history of being able to rebuild itself from problems past. There is little doubt Geelong will reinvent itself as a smart city of the future on the back of its tourism, agriculture and, service industries, as well as its role as a port, and  its role as a hub for new industry, such as carbon fibre manufacturing.

The inevitable and immediate pain of future uncertainty looms for Geelong’s recently unemployed. One of the major problems with widespread job cuts to similar industries to an area in a short period of time is that it creates a situation where there are too many workers looking for what little work is still available. As Professor Louse Johnson explained during my interview with her, about one third of workers will find work in a similar industry, maintaining a similar standard of living; another third will find work in lesser jobs, reducing their standard of living. For the other third, it’s unlikely that they will work again. The question of whether to remain in Geelong, the bedrock of many workers’ lives, beckons also.

Fitter and turner Jay Craven, 24, was made redundant by Ford in Geelong in an early wave of job cuts. The atmosphere of redundancy is not a good one. The media seem to know information before the workers do, and there’s a general sense of despondency in the air as colleagues and friends turn on each other in a battle for job survival.

Whilst many of his colleagues tried to find work in and around Geelong to varying degrees of success, Jay decided to apply for a jobs in Melbourne. After a period of applying for jobs without luck, a family friend suggested he apply for a maintenance job at Yarra Trams. When he found out that he got the job, the decision to head down the highway was an easy one. Unlike some of his colleagues whom were rentrenched in Geelong with homes and young families, Jay’s only attachment was a sentimental one, having lived in the area his whole life.

Jay now lives in Preston with his sister, who also works in Melbourne. He is really enjoying the change, believing his fresh start will allow him to better develop a career and grow as a person. No one likes seeing people lose their jobs, but for Jay, redundancy was was the catalyst for a positive change in his life.

Supplementing Summer

Posted: October 8, 2012 by Jesscatherine5 in Deakin University, Geelong, Health, Social Issues

Introductory video…

The sun is streaming down, not a cloud in sight. The warmth is like a heater on your back and side of your face – creating those unsightly clothing tan lines. Flowers have bloomed all around you and all you can hear is the sound of birds singing happily to each other… Summer is on its way.

You put on your pair of bathers, over-excited and pre-empting a beach day. You look in the mirror and suddenly all those warm, fuzzy feelings have left. You now know where your ‘winter warmth’ has been hiding – you must do something about it.

Fitspiration” (Fit Inspiration) Pages on Instagram and Facebook showing images of thin, ‘beautiful’ females- pulling some 129,000+ followers/likers.

“Get a tan, fall in love, lose weight, join a gym, EAT CLEAN”

Sound familiar? Well you are amongst the majority. There is something about summer that causes a mass frenzy amongst the female population in the western world. It sparks a time where the body-conscious remember how self-conscious they really are, the fit train like athletes, and the rest of us try to follow suit.

This year amongst the 20-something generation of females, there has been a significant rise in awareness surrounding weight loss – ‘clean’ eating, exercise and weight loss supplements have all entered into people’s everyday vocabulary and lifestyle. Not only have these elements become lifestyle changes and choices for a vast majority, but have more-so become an obsessive craze that is trending throughout the country.

Interview with Fenix Fitness personal trainer, Gareth Chapman-

Gone are the days of deriving nutrients, vitamins, minerals and weight loss by natural means – we have become a Supplementing Society.

Pre-workout supplements which once used to be primarily used for Body Building has now been targeted toward and taken by more and more people in their everyday workouts. A new age of supplements under the banner of ‘Thermogenics’ have been introduced to increase weight loss. They work by increasing the body’s core temperature therefore increasing heart and metabolic rate; burning more fat whilst idle and even more when working out. With containing the ability to do these things, one must ask the question, how safe are these supplements and when is enough, too much?

Rianni Lancaster for GNC Vitamins in Geelong speaks to me about the benefits and risks surrounding supplement usage.

For a list of Thermogenic foods in a natural sense, visit this website.

For a list of 18 essential Vitamins for women visit this website.

The dangers surrounding these pre-workout supplements have been alive in the media lately with the pre-workout, ‘Jack3d’ recently banned throughout Australia.

“Jack3d is a pre-workout supplement that has been designed to boost people’s energy, strength, and endurance so that they will be able to work out harder, allowing them to achieve their fitness goals more easily. It also boosts mental alertness so that users will be able to better focus on their workout routines and their other tasks” according to the Jack3d website.

Before the nationwide ban, it had come to light that people were using the synthetic stimulant in their workplaces to stay awake and alert. Here is an article describing the usage that became apparent in the mines:

With knowledge comes experimentation, and experts believe it’s only a matter of time before these pre-workouts are mixed into a fatal concoction in the hunt for a weight loss miracle.

Before starting a pre-workout supplement routine, it is advised you consult your doctor beforehand.

For more information visit your local vitamin store.

Interview with Fenix Fitness Member Care manager, Bek Musgrave-

BMI Chart. For more information and to calculate your own BMI visit:

The call to add over 6500 hectares of internationally significant heathland at Anglesea to the Great Otway National Park has landed on the desk of Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke.

Geelong Environment Council and other nature conservation groups  have written to Tony Burke requesting that the unused 6,480 hectare portion of Alcoa’s Anglesea Coal Mining Lease  be added to the Great Otway National Park giving it protection for all time.

Alcoa’s open-cut brown coal mine at Anglesea is surrounded by botanically unique heathlands .

They are home to many different species such as the critically endangered New Holland mouse,

the rare white-footed dunnart

the white-footed dunnart

and swamp antechinus.

With 79 orchid species it is considered one of the most orchid-rich sites in Australia.

Despite requests to add the unused part of the mining lease to Great Otway National Park, in October last year, the state government re-leased 7,145 hectares of heathland back to Alcoa. The new 50 year lease took effect on 1st February this year.

The lease had been granted to Alcoa in 1961 by the Bolte government. This was to operate the open-cut mine and 150 megawatt power station to power Alcoa’s aluminium smelter 35 kilometres away at Pt Henry.

Only 665 hectares of the lease are planned for the current and future mining of coal. The rest is co-operatively managed between Alcoa, Parks Victoria and Department of Sustainability and Environment.   Alcoa had sought the second 50 year term of its lease to provide the business certainty required to secure future investment in the Anglesea and Geelong Alcoa operations. However this does not secure the protection of the heathlands.

Earlier this year, Alcoa, which already receives government subsidies, was given a bail-out package of over $40 million. This was to help keep the Point Henry smelter operating in Geelong for at least two years.

Joan Lindros, President of GEC, believes the leased mine site and surrounding heathland could be sold to “the highest bidder”.

Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) also want National Park protection for Anglesea heathlands. Simon Branigan,  VNPA Marine and Coastal Project Officer says that this would give the heathlands “…the highest level of protection…”

Anglesea power station is the smallest coal-fired power station in Victoria. According to Environment Victoria, it could be replaced with cleaner energy sources including renewable and gas.

At the time of this report there has been no comment from Minister Burke’s office.

AS the 2012 London Paralympics come to an end, so too does the personal struggle and anxiety for 24-year-old Loretta Nolan.

The Geelong Magistrate’s decision to charge Paralympic gold medallist Daniel Bell with breaching a personal safety intervention order, burglary, stalking and entering a private place without lawful excuse is a reason to smile for the pretty Geelong local.

‘I feel so relieved that he has been punished for what he did to me, for all the fear and anxiety that he caused me’ she said. The prosecutor indicated that Bell broke into Miss Nolan’s home address entered her bedroom and left bodily fluids on her personal belongings. ‘I was just relieved that I wasn’t home at the time, the thought of what could have happened if I was there makes me sick’ she continued.

Ms Nolans former residence, where the incident occurred.


A fear shared by the whole of the Nolan family with brother Kieran Nolan indicating, ‘that the whole incident left the family stressed and upset’.


Awarded an Order of Australia for his swimming contributions in 2005, the court indicated that although Mr Bell has Asperger’s syndrome, he was fully aware that what he was doing was wrong’.

The London Paralympics mark a personal triumph for Miss Nolan, with the court detailing that if it was not for the charges Mr Bell would have competed.  They are the first games Bell has missed since joining the Paralympic swimming squad in 2000. ‘I am glad that he misses out on the games’ she detailed ‘he doesn’t deserve to swim for our country when he does these things, I was sad and fearful because of him so I’m glad that he cannot compete’.

Bell pleaded guilty to the charges against him and has been placed on an 18 month community based order with the condition he receives rehabilitation and treatment in an effort to discourage re-offending. ‘I only wish that he had received a suspended sentence rather than his community based order so there will be harsher consequences if he re-offends, just as a precaution’.

Shop to your hearts discontent

Posted: October 1, 2012 by abeanderson in Geelong
Tags: , , ,

Controversial plans for the construction of a shopping complex in Highton’s prestigious estate off Scenic Rd. look certain to be given the go ahead, after the City of Greater Geelong Council put the bid to an independent panel earlier this week.

Lascorp Development Group plan to re-zone land they recently purchased from the Barrabool Hills Baptist Church, at the corner of Stoneleigh Crescent, and Province Boulevard in Highton.

Centre plans located at the proposal site. The overwhelming community feeling is represented fittingly by a youth’s graffiti on the sign.

Local Councillor Rod Macdonald believes that the project will add much needed infrastructure to the area still in its infantile stages.

Mr. McDonald along with nine other councillors recently delegated the shopping centre proposal to an independent panel, who will refer back to Council after a deliberation period of around a month, with a recommendation on the viability of the proposal for the area.

Ultimately however, the decision of forging forward with the project rests with the council.

Landscape view of the proposal site.

Many local residents have spoken out however against the external independent panel, believing that as the comprising members aren’t from the area, or even from Geelong, they couldn’t possibly gauge a complete understanding of the problems a shopping centre such as this could cause for nearby residents.

“How could they possibly believe that people from Melbourne or somewhere other than Geelong could be the people with the best knowledge of the area and the community, and the best to decide where our future in our area is headed,” said Highton mother of two Carol Finch.

Resident vexation with the impending proposal does not stop here, as further fears include that the centre could impede potential bay views, lower housing prices and create unwanted associated noise.

“We bought land in this estate because it was described in the brochure as having tree-lined boulevards, wonderful open space and views. There wasn’t any mention of a supermarket, associated noise, traffic jams and semis making late-night deliveries,” said disgruntled estate resident Dawn Jencke.

Outbursts about the proposal have also stemmed from the plans’ potential effect on pre-existing local independent businesses such as those on North Valley Road, an increase of traffic in the area leading to the destruction of the quiet community feel, as well a danger to children playing in the area.

Current residents of Province Boulevard Dennis and Debbie Jeneka feel helpless when talking about the effect that the shopping centre, which set to be completed directly across the road from their family home, will have upon their day-to-day lives.

Not all estate residents however share this pessimism towards the proposal.

Highton resident of 22 years Alannah Bisinella believes the shopping centre is imperative for residents in the estate and the expansion of local infrastructure.

“There’s going to be another 2000 homes built in the area in the next couple of years, and the surrounding shopping centres can’t even currently cater for the volume of customers they are getting out of this area,” Ms Bisinella stressed.

On an interesting note, estate resident Tony Cielo says that there is no coincidence that local council members including Mr. McDonald have levied so laboriously for the go-ahead of the centre.

“If the name Lascorp sounds familiar, it might be because they made anonymous donations to two subsequently elected local politicians (including McDonald) in the 2004 election period”.

Lascorp were unavailable for comment during the week.

Suicide In Australia

Posted: October 1, 2012 by jarrodshelley in Geelong, Health

Suicide in Australia is still a very taboo topic, and in the past couple of years, statistics for suicide deaths are at a steady rate.

In the year 2010, there were nearly double the amount of suicide deaths in Australia, compared to road traffic accidents.

Males made up three quarters (77%) of all suicides with 1816 reported deaths, whilst there were 545 reported female deaths.

Of all the age groups, males ages 34-45 years was far higher than any other age group, as shown in the graph below.

The number of deaths in Australia have plateaued out, and have not had a significant decrease in the past 10 years.

Lisa Castle, a member of the Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network (SPAN) here in Geelong, says that more needs to be done for suicide prevention.

SPAN holds annual walks for suicide awareness, signifying that suicide is a problem that isn’t going away .

Lisa, who lost her son Shaun in 2009, hopes that these annual walks on Australia Day continue to grow.

Lisa Castle is a member of the Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network in Geelong.

“We’ve got it branching off now, Ballarat is trying to get one up and running and Melbourne is too”, said Lisa. “Our goal eventually is to be national, so that we’re represented in every state, which would be fantastic.”

With World Suicide Prevention Day and R U Okay Day being held this week, there has been more people talking about the issue of suicide, especially through social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Both events aim for creating conversation around the prevention of suicide and to break down this issue for more open conversations.

Lifeline was founded in 1963, and last year answered over 500 million calls. However, nearly 4 out of 10 calls were abandoned due to long waiting times.

Government funding for Lifeline has not increased in 5 years, and with statistics out there to prove that suicide is a real problem, it is people like Lisa who have experienced this first hand, that are the ones getting angry.

Check out the ABC 7.30 report in the video below:

You can find out more about suicide prevention here:
Lifeline – 13 11 14 – Website
SANE Australia – 1800 18 SANE – Website
R U Okay – TwitterFacebookYouTube
Victorian Suicide Line – 1300 651 251

Geelong music scene alive and thriving

Posted: September 27, 2012 by danmea in Arts & Culture, Geelong, Music

We dance to it in clubs, listen to it in the car, sing to it in the shower, play it at weddings, funerals, birthdays and even over dinner, and it’s borderline unheard of to go into a shop that doesn’t have some form of it playing in the background.

Signage outside popular music venue, Beav’s Bar.

Music has permeated all aspects of today’s world, so it’s no great surprise that Geelong’s music scene is alive and thriving.

With international stars Jay Sean, Sidney Samson and Tommie Sunshine playing here in the coming months, the Geelong music community is in its prime.

Group Editor of Geelong music magazine Forte Magazine and Queensland music website Tsunami, Brigitte Stone, believes this is because of the talent Geelong is producing and the venues available.

‘The Geelong music scene is basically my career and at the moment we’re at a really exciting time.’

Local musician Will Gardiner, also known by his stage name Famous Will (or part of the duo Famous Will & Rach), is just as immersed in the music community.

‘The Geelong music scene is full of life,’ he said, ‘there’s an abundance of bands out there.’

However, with the growing number of performers, the question of whether or not venues are able to cater for their sets and the crowds they attract.

Busy Geelong hot spot Little Malop St- home to The Eureka Hotel and Beav’s Bar.

As it currently stands, there   is magnitude of clubs, pubs, restaurants and general event venues attracting performers.Geelong’s The National Hotel (commonly referred to as The Nash) was once the buzzing hub of the music nightlife, but with The Eureka Hotel, Home House, Beav’s Bar, The Pier, The Bended Elbow and the Barwon Club (to name a few) all pining for live acts, performances have been more evenly spread across the CBD.

Local hotspot Home House are hosting live DJ sets from international acts Tommie Sunshine and Sidney Samson later this year, while international British heavyweight Jay Sean is also Geelong bound when he will play for up to 1000 people in October at The Pier.

However, musician Famous Will is wary about international acts headlining local venues.

‘It’s important that the ones that do come embrace the local talent and get them to open up their shows for them. That’d be really important to give them some status in their music and help them get fans and sort of bridge the gap between the people who have made it and the people that are trying to get out there,’ he said.

With support from the music community, growing venues that have ‘got the capacity to host exciting gigs’, and big names heading south-west of Melbourne, Stone urges more venues to host live gigs; whether they’re big names or local beginners.

‘The more venues willing to host live music, the better. It can only be a good thing. ‘There’s enough good talent and enough diverse talent … to have good quality music in a plethora of different venues on any given night,’ she said.

Gardiner says an emphasis on local talent should be maintained.

‘We need more venues to cater for the up and coming [but] the Geelong scene is absolutely fantastic, especially for beginners.’

However, the music scene is backing the growth with nearly 80% stating there was a place for live music in Geelong in an independent poll. As the music scene, and its resulting community of fans, participants and admirers, grow, the only sure element is that it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.

Stone says music is a pillar in the bayside city of geelong.

‘We’ve come a long way. Without live music, I shudder to think what Geelong would be like.’


Posted: September 27, 2012 by dgrixti in Geelong, Werribee

By Dayle Grixti 

GEELONG commuters are frustrated in light of train delays and recently announced changes to the Werribee line as part of the Victorian government’s Regional Rail Link project.

Train delays and cancellations on V/Line’s Marshall-Geelong-Melbourne line have seen a significant increase since early August, with a train on the Werribee line being delayed for at least 90 minutes last month.

V/Line customers’ outrage on Twitter.

While frustrated commuters continue to call for additional services and funding to increase performance, the Department of Transport has announced that V/Line services on the Geelong line will no longer stop in Werribee upon completion of the Regional Rail Link project.

In response to this announcement, the Geelong branch of the Public Transport User’s Association expressed concerns that travellers commuting between Geelong and Werribee will be inconvenienced by the planned changes.

PTUA committee member Paul Westcott labelled the changes an example of “how not to plan public transport services”.

“Vital connections at Werribee and North Melbourne, which have existed for over a century, will be broken,” Mr Westcott said during an interview with Go2News.

He argued that the Regional Rail Link is consuming funding that might have been used for long-awaited upgrades to the existing Geelong-Melbourne line, such as increasing rail capacity between Geelong and Werribee, which would have gone some way towards resolving reliability and overcrowding issues.

“V/Line itself wants to run 20-minute off-peak services to and from Melbourne,” Mr Westcott explained. “Such a service would [have been] very welcome and would mean that rail travel to and from Melbourne would become competitive with car travel.”

When contacted by Go2News, Regional Rail Link representative Sarah Chapman confirmed that Werribee would be removed from the Geelong line, with Geelong trains instead running through the new Wyndham Vale station before arriving in Southern Cross.

Geelong trains will no longer stop at Werribee Station as of 2016.

“To improve the capacity and reliability of passenger services on both the Geelong and Werribee lines, the Regional Rail Link will provide Geelong trains with their own dedicated line that starts before Werribee and travels through the Wyndham area,” Ms Chapman said.

However, Ms Chapman said that the Department of Transport was aware of the needs of people commuting between Geelong and Werribee, and that a work-around would be offered.

“The Department of Transport is currently investigating bus services, co-ordinated with train arrival times, from Werribee to connect to services at the new station in Wyndham Vale,” she stated.

Despite this, it is unclear how the connecting service will work and it has not been mentioned in Regional Rail Link documents.

The Department of Transport promises to release new information as more plans are made.

Find out more by visiting the Regional Rail Link website and keep track of further delays by following V/Line on Twitter.