YOU’VE heard of Band on the Run. How about Santa on the Run? That was the theme on Christmas Eve when 50 young people and adults had great fun dressing up and running along the foreshore from the Portland Yacht Club to the skate park and back a couple of times. The idea was to raise money for good causes in the community, and the event was a great success,United Wayexecutive officer Nicole Reefman said. Portland Young Professional Network, the YMCA, Portland Tourist Association, Mighty Cheap, Powerhouse Productions and the Portland Observer also helped make the event quite successful, she said. “The competitors had a great time and we look forward to running this next year and expect to get more Santas running for a good ‘claus’ on Christmas Eve,” she said. “United Way would like to congratulate everybody who participated.” Line honours went to Cameron Mather, with Craig Keenan in second place and Rhys Egan in third. Best women’s times went to Shannon Malseed, Ellie Morrow and Jodie Morrow. The senior (over 16) male and female winners each received $100. For full results and more pictures, read Friday’s Portland Observer.
UNCERTAIN weather had accommodation operators worried this year, with accommodation filling up later than in previous years. However, despite the difference in booking times, operators reported consistent or higher numbers of visitors than last year. Portland Tourist Association president and owner/manager of Allestree Holiday Units, Jenny Klingberg, said numbers up until the first week of the New Year seemed good, but afterwards things were less certain. “A lot will depend on the weather and last minute bookings,” Mrs Klingberg said. She said last minute bookings and visitors extending their stays were much more common this year. “It was the last week before Christmas when people started booking,” Mrs Klingberg said. KywongCaravanParkmanager Del Rees said overall the park was busier, but bookings for the New Year’s period were full by this time last year. Ms Rees agreed with Mrs Klingberg that the difference was due to people waiting longer and booking later than last year. “Things are building up now on the camp sites,” Ms Rees said. “The powered sites have been booked out for a while, but I think people were waiting to see how the weather would turn out for the others.” Read more in Friday’s Portland Observer.
GLENELG Shire Council will write to local Members of Parliament urging them to introduce a mandate for local manufacturing contributions in wind farm contracts. The motion was moved in urgent business at last week’s council meeting by Cr Robert Halliday who said the council will advocate for the Manufacturing Alliance, local industry and the community as a whole to ensure jobs in the sector remain inPortland. Cr Anita Rank said if local manufacturing continues to be neglected it will have knock-on effects on the local economy, increasing unemployment and compromise other industries. Cr Rank also said populations in the district could drop as families were forced to leave the region for other work, further affecting local business and schools. Councillors agreed that State and Federal Governments need to introduce mandates to ensure local manufacturers are included in the construction of wind farms. Read more in Friday’s Portland Observer.
SURGERY and staff hours will be reduced at Portland District Health until July following a $257,000 budget cut by the Federal Government. PDH announced last week public hip and knee joint replacement surgery will be unavailable from March 1 until July, and no surgery will take place for two weeks during the Easter holiday break, affecting waiting times. Review of pay rates, a small reduction in hours across the hospital and reduction in air travel for surgical staff will be a part of the savings. State-wide, $107 million is being cut from hospital budgets as part of the Federal Government’s mid-year economic update. Newly appointed chief executive officer Christine Giles said the hospital has done everything it can to minimise the impact on clinical services. Currently the hospital has a six-month waiting list for elective surgeries, but Ms Giles says it will grow. “We still feel confident our waiting times will stay within the target set by the department… we’ll be keeping it under one year anyway,” Ms Giles said. Read more in Friday’s Portland Observer.
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