News

The year in review

by
January 04, 2018

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JULY

July 5: More users of the Benalla airfield are threatening to move their aircraft elsewhere after Benalla Rural City Council refused to budge on a sixfold increase in the cost of hangar leases from 75¢ to $5 per year per square metre.

July 12: Racism reared its ugly head at a football game in Benalla on Saturday with a star Mooroopna player at the centre of the incident.

July 19: Benalla P-12 College’s Hands On Learning students performed some important work in the hot-house at the Regent Honeyeater nursery at the CAL farm.

July 26: The farm women of Benalla were playing a leading role in the largest ever study of Australian women on the land, the Invisible Farmer Project.

AUGUST

August 2: Voluntary euthanasia looked like it could become legal in Victoria as Premier Daniel Andrews seemed determined to address the issue with a conscience vote in the state parliament.

August 9: When 54-year-old Goorambat resident Ann-Marie Greenway was diagnosed with aggressive metastatic breast cancer, she did not expect to be told to pay $60000 a year if she wanted to stay alive.

August 16: Benalla Senior Constable Kat Allisey, who has been a member of Victoria Police for more than 12 years, was rapt to be joining her fellow officers in celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Madge Connor and Elizabeth Beer — the first female officers in the state.

August 23: Benalla police lowered the boom on the region’s drunk and drug-affected drivers as part of Operation Hallmark.

August 30: Benalla Gliding Club — the club that brings our town international and national championships — was being priced out of its airport headquarters.

SEPTEMBER

September 6: Benalla Rural City Mayor Don Firth was already back at work after suffering a heart attack at home the previous week.

September 13: Estelle and Vienna Doig love exploring their family farm — especially the thriving canola crop — which is where photographer Rene Martens found them this week.

September 20: The bet365 Benalla Gold Cup on September 29 was set to be the litmus test for the spring cups campaign of Kiwi stayer Fanatic.

September 27: If you didn’t already have enough reason to attend Friday’s Gold Cup action — there were another two. Benalla AFL product Jarrad Waite and former Essendon, Port Adelaide, West Coast Eagles and Collingwood player Scott Cummings were to be trackside. OCTOBER

October 4: Member mourned — Tragedy struck the Benalla Gliding Club of Victoria on Saturday when a respected member who also served as club treasurer died after his glider crash-landed in fields near Benalla.

Richard Robinson, 75, had been a gliding club member for nearly 15 years and as treasurer was an important figure at the club.

October 11: Get behind Mark — Australia’s number one sit-skier, local man Mark Soyer, was seeking sponsors as he aimed to represent Australia at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Anyone can suffer a life-changing injury at any time, and Mark is an inspiration to people who might find themselves in such a situation.

October 18: Effort worth it — Former Benalla College student Jeremy Connell won the 2017 Victorian Apprentice of the Year award at a ceremony in Melbourne.

Jeremy recommended taking on an apprenticeship as a way of gaining employment and learning a lot along the way.

October 25: Spring fling — Two beautiful sunny days helped make the Benalla Spring Show a great success.

The crowds and exhibitions were much larger in scale than previous years and two committee members received life membership.

November 1: Superb second — Benalla’s Dylan Long secured his best result since joining Yamaha with a stunning second-place finish at round three of the Australian Supercross Championships.

Long had consistently improved since returning from injury midway through the year and was cleaning up as his fitness, race craft and speed returned to full tilt.

November 8: Solar proposal — A proposed $170million solar farm was already finding its future tough going after a community consultation at Glenrowan showed little interest in the 21st-century technology.

If the project — which will be sited near the town — is to get up it might see the locals dragged kicking and screaming into the era of environmentally friendly power.

November 15: Shed demolished — A piece of Benalla history — that had stood for more than a century — was demolished on Melbourne Cup Day.

The shelter shed, from World War I, will be replaced with a car park.

November 22: Energy supply fears — Benalla business Mirfak Pty Ltd faced paying a 100 per cent increased electricity bill, which a local MP said was a direct result of the Victorian Government’s failure to secure baseload power supplies.

And it could get worse; Benalla businesses and households could face power blackouts during the summer because of a predicted shortfall in energy.

November 29: Show of solidarity — Benalla’s White Ribbon Day was hailed a success with hundreds of locals marching down Bridge St to the Botanical Gardens in support of ending family violence.

One of the main goals of the White Ribbon Campaign is to educate the next generation and end the cycle of family violence, and the 2017 event went a long way in doing that.

December 6: Broken hearted and robbed — A Benalla burglary victim was pleading with thieves to return her last connection to her recently-deceased partner.

Still mourning the death, the theft of two love letters had cut out another part of her broken heart.

December 13: Gotcha — A police sting operation at an active school crossing nabbed six drivers running red lights in Benalla on a Monday morning, in just half an hour.

Benalla police were out in force educating drivers on the importance of obeying traffic signals.

December 20: Death-wish driver hits 211km/h — Two men were charged after they were picked up for speeding in Benalla, one of whom was travelling at more than 100km/h above the speed limit. Both vehicles were immediately impounded for a period of 30 days.

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