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Oil left on stove leads to Horsham blaze

ON THE JOB: Horsham fire crews work to stop house fire in mcLachlan Street, Horsham, yesterday afternoon. The fire started when a pan of oil on the kitchen stove was forgotten. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERA FORGOTTEN pan of oil on the stove resulted in a house fire in McLachlan Street, Horsham, yesterday afternoon.
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Home owner Paul Glaubitz said he put the pan on the stove and went out to his garage to do a quick job, but became distracted.

He said when he eventually returned inside, his kitchen was on fire.

"I saw flames shooting towards the kitchen fans,'' he said.

Mr Glaubitz, who lives in the house with his wife Pat, said his first reaction was panic.

"I turned the power off,'' he said. "I was going to try to put it out with a blanket but then I had to leave it. It's one of those stupid things. I've never done something like that in my life.''

Horsham Fire Brigade and police attended the fire after a neighbour noticed smoke.

Sergeant Julie O'Brien said police were driving past and also saw the smoke.

She said the fire had spread through the roof.

Sgt O'Brien said Mr Glaubitz did the right thing by leaving the house.

"It's a whole roof and kitchen damaged, plus smoke damage,'' she said.

Horsham Fire Brigade group officer John Davies said the brigade got the call out at 4.22pm.

He said he expected to keep working on it until about 5.30pm yesterday.

Mr Davies said one crew worked on the ground, while a second crew climbed on the roof to try to access the fire through the iron roof.

He said skylights in the house had melted from the heat.

Mr Glaubitz thanked police, fire crews and his neighbours for their help.

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Wimmera irrigation water sale waits for irrigator approval

A $25.2-MILLION deal to sell Wimmera irrigation water hinges on approval by 12 irrigators.
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GWMWater's Andrew Rose said 217 of 218 irrigators had received letters asking them to back the offer.

He said 12 irrigators were yet to accept the Federal Government's offer of $900 a megalitre.

Wimmera Irrigators Association submitted an irrigator-led group proposal to sell 28,000 megalitres to the government's Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities last year.

Despite irrigators being given a July 1 deadline to respond to the letters, Mr Rose said the authority and the irrigators association were working to finalise the sale.

The offer needs 100 per cent irrigator approval to go ahead.

Mr Rose said he was confident all responses would be received before the Federal Government's July 20 deadline.

"We received more letters in the post today. In some cases we are dealing with companies which need board meetings to give their approval, some are deceased estates and some are changes of address," he said.

"There is one irrigator in a remote location who has not collected the registered post letter.

"So far every one of the responses has been in favour of the sale. There are just a few minor issues that we need to work through to get it done."

Mr Rose said the $25.2-million sale would be a massive financial injection for the Wimmera.

Among the 218 irrigators is Horsham Golf Club which would receive $135,000 as part of the deal.

Wimmera Irrigators Association chairman Dale Frankel said he was anxiously waiting for the final responses to be collected.

"We have been working with GWMWater to help collect responses," he said.

"We have had to find irrigators from as far away as Darwin and Broome, even England.

"There is such a confident air about what is happening. There is no-one we can see who is opposed to the sale.

"I have come to realise that even though things have been happening quickly in the past few months, the bureaucratic process takes time to make sure every detail is correct."

Editorial - see Opinion.

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Horsham home on fire

HORSHAM Fire Brigade and Horsham police attended a house fire just before 4.30pm in McLachlan Street, Horsham, this afternoon.
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The fire started after home owner Paul Glaubitz put a pan of oil on the stove and went out to his garage to do a quick job, but got distracted.

When he eventually returned inside his kitchen was on fire.

About 14 fire fighters worked to extinguish the blaze.

For more, see tomorrow's Mail-Times.

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$12-million shopping mall still on its way for Horsham

DESPITE delays, a $12-million shopping mall development for Horsham is still on its way.
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Gateway Property plans to build a new Horsham shopping precinct including a new Target store, a chain store, seven specialty stores and a kiosk at the corner of Wilson Street and Park Drive.

It was originally due to be completed by 2013.

Horsham Rural City Council chief executive Peter Brown said Gateway Property had experienced issues with its planning permit.

He said he had spoken with Gateway's Ken Foss.

"I think originally he said he would start construction early this year,'' Mr Brown said. "I think it's taken him longer to organise everything than he thought it would.''

Mr Brown said Mr Foss was checking building costs.

"He's pulling together all the necessary permits,'' he said.

Mr Brown said he expected Mr Foss to make an announcement about the project in the next few weeks.

He said he was unsure when it would be completed.

The project was announced in October last year. At the time Gateway's town planner Brett Davis, of Davis Planning Solutions, said the development would create more than 92 permanent and part-time jobs.

He said there would be about 270 jobs during the construction phase.

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Cr Michael Ryan blasts State Government

Cr Michael RyanHORSHAM Rural City councillor Michael Ryan has slammed the State Government for allowing CMI Industrial's Horsham foundry to close.
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The historic foundry, which manufactures car parts, will close on Friday, leaving 29 employees out of work.

CMI Industrial, Melbourne, went into voluntary receivership and administration on April 26 and then liquidation at the end of May.

The move affected up to four sites across Victoria, but the Horsham foundry is the only site to close.

Cr Ryan said he was disappointed with the decision.

"Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty says the government will do everything it can to help - I don't know what that means," he said.

"I don't think the government has.

"As for the State Government's Ararat Prison debacle - and I use that word politely - the prison expansion, which has gone into liquidation, is a government project and there is a Horsham business in difficulty."

Cr Bernard Gross said he also had concerns about CMI.

"We need to have some discussion with CMI, the liquidators and the government over this whole matter," Cr Gross said.

"CMI, as we know it, stems back to the old foundry north of May Park where the hotel now is and the service station.

"It has served Horsham for more than 100 years."

The CMI website said the business could trace its history back to 1872 when it manufactured wood heaters.

Cr Ryan requested council meet Mr Delahunty to discuss the implications of the CMI closure and Ararat Prison project for Horsham, as well as meet with CMI.

"We need to ensure enough is being done," Cr Ryan said.

"It's too easy to walk away and say it's not our problem, but it is.

"We need to do something and honour our commitment to the region."

Cr Gross said in hindsight, council should have been quicker to act on the CMI closure.

"We should have thrown our weight behind the move to save CMI," he said.

"But we now have an opportunity to attract other operations to our region.

"It is very much part of council and Wimmera Development Association work to roll up our sleeves and see what can be done.

"Lots of Australian jobs are moving offshore and if it continues, we will become a nation of consumers, not producers.

"We are losing so much important industry and we cannot allow any more to lapse in the future."

Council's corporate and economic director Tony Bawden said a council representative attended a CMI meeting at Wimmera Business Centre on June 25.

WorkCo, St Laurence and University of Ballarat were present at the meeting, along with representatives from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Centrelink.

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Carbon tax in the spotlight for Wimmera farmers

WIMMERA farmers can learn how the carbon tax might affect their businesses at a BCG Grains Research Expo tomorrow.
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The expo is at Birchip P-12 with breakfast available from 7.30am and will include a carbon tax session from 1pm to 2.30pm.

BCG member and farmer David Smith will facilitate the session.

Australian Farm Institute project officer Renelle Jeffrey will speak at the carbon tax session.

The institute believes the carbon tax will negatively affect the grain industry, along with the livestock industry.

Ms Jeffrey said increased processing overheads would affect grain producers' bottom line. She said there would also be increases in on-farm costs.

"Anything that contains energy is likely to come under the jurisdiction of the carbon tax, so that will affect fertilisers like nitrogen products in particular,'' she said.

National Farmers Federation president Jock Laurie said the carbon tax would hit Wimmera farmers. He said it would make them less competitive on domestic and international markets.

"High input costs such as electricity and fertiliser are already putting considerable pressure on the farm bottom line and these costs are set to rise under the carbon tax,'' he said.

"The additional costs that farmers will wear from the carbon tax will make us less efficient, and as a result, less competitive.''

The Federal Government will give the farm sector $1.7 billion to help with new carbon tax costs, through initiatives such as the Carbon Farming Initiative and Carbon Farming Futures program.

BCG chief executive David Chamberlin said BCG received money from the Carbon Farming Initiative to look at ways farmers could reduce nitrous oxide and methane emissions through efficient grain production and efficient finishing of lambs.

Climate champion, farmer and Nuffield scholar Jennifer Hawkins will share her insights into the initiatives at the expo. Ms Hawkins used her scholarship to study carbon trading.

Mr Chamberlin said BCG members could enter the expo for free. He said it was $30 for non-members.

Organisers said people could call BCG on 5492 2787 or email [email protected]南京夜网.au for more information.

For more on the Grains Research Expo, see this month's

Wimmera Farmer inside today's Mail-Times.

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Hungry driver loses his licence

A QUANTONG man caught driving while his licence was suspended told police he was hungry.
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Patrick Chenoweth, 27, pleaded guilty in Horsham Magistrate's Court on Wednesday last week to having driven while authorisation was suspended, having used an unregistered motor vehicle and having forged identification plates.

Magistrate Ian von Einem fined Chenoweth $500, with conviction, ordered him to pay $69.70 costs and suspended his licence for two months.

Mr von Einem warned Chenoweth could have gone to jail.

He said Chenoweth had driven after losing his licence before, and his new offending might breach an existing community-based order.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Belinda Ryan told the court that police officers stopped Chenoweth while he was driving in Horsham on May 9 at 3.30am.

Members found Chenoweth's car was not registered and its expired registration plates belonged to a different car.

They also found his licence had been suspended due to a breach of a VicRoads bond for demerit point loss.

Chenoweth told police he had taken the registration plates from another vehicle.

He also said he was 'desperate for something to eat', having not eaten for three days.

Victoria Legal Aid solicitor Jacqui Parker said her client had an intellectual disability, was not well-organised and usually had a weekly shopping trip with a support worker.

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Wimmera Business Awards nominations now open

ABOUT 40 people including past winners attended the 2012 Powercor Wimmera Business Awards launch at Wesley Performing Arts Centre in Horsham on Monday.
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Wimmera Development Association executive director Jo Bourke said nominations were now open for the annual awards.

"We're encouraging businesses to have a look at the 13 different categories, which range from manufacturing, retail and tourism to primary industries, and apply," she said.

"We also have a section for skilled migration, an award for trainee or apprentice of the year and a young leader in business award.

"These awards are a great way to showcase what businesses are doing, with award winners used to promote our region to potential residents or investors."

Ms Bourke said the association would run a series of information sessions on the awards.

There will be sessions in Horsham and Stawell from 6.30 tonight.

The Horsham session will be at Wimmera Business Centre, while the Stawell session will be at Northern Grampians Shire Council's office on the Western Highway.

There will also be sessions at St Arnaud and Warracknabeal tomorrow and at Edenhope, Kaniva, Hopetoun and Nhill next week.

Ms Bourke said nominations for the awards closed on July 30, with the black tie awards dinner to be in Horsham Town Hall on September 28.

She said people could visit www.wda南京夜网.au/ for more information or to nominate.

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Horsham Rotary Club farewells first female president

ROTARY CHANGEOVER: Horsham Rotary Club's new Paul Harris Fellows Denise Queale and Chris Hood, pictured with newly inducted 2012-13 president Franz Turri and past president Loloma Puls at the club's annual changeover dinner. Picture: KAITLYN OPIETHE reign of Horsham Rotary Club's first woman president ended with the club's annual changeover dinner at Westlander Motor Inn on Friday.
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President Loloma Puls, the first woman president in the club's 84-year history, inducted president-elect Franz Tursi as 2012-13 president.

About 90 people attended the dinner, with the theme for the 2012-13 Rotary International year being 'Peace through service'.

Mr Tursi said the club would strive to embrace the theme and the challenges of the year ahead, including attracting new members.

The club also presented two Paul Harris Fellowships, the highest honour an individual club can bestow.

Denise Queale of Riverside received a fellowship for her many years of service to the Wimmera community.

Mrs Queale is not a Rotary member, but has been involved with numerous other clubs and organisations and has supported Horsham Rotary Club since her husband joined more than 20 years ago.

With tears in her eyes, Mrs Queale said she was shocked to receive the award.

"I am a partner, not a member, but I have worked with Rotary for a long time," she said.

"I'm really thrilled to get this."

Rotary member Chris Hood of Horsham was also emotional when accepting his award.

A former Apex member with clubs at Donald, Nhill, Kaniva and with Jardwa Apex Club in Horsham, Mr Hood joined Horsham Rotary Club four years ago.

Since then, Mr Hood has been on the club's youth committee, international committee and Horsham Spring Garden Festival committee.

He has also edited the club's bulletin, helped set up the club website and been involved with numerous other community activities.

"This award was utterly unexpected I'm totally overwhelmed," Mr Hood said.

"As I understand it, this award is given to people who have been involved with Rotary for years and I've only been involved for four years.

"It's an incredible honour to receive it."

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Northern Grampians businesses gain easier access to tourism

NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council has changed its Tourism Industry Participation Policy to provide tourism operators, businesses and tourism associations with clearer and more equitable guidelines.
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Businesses that council classes as attractions will now automatically receive level two services.

Level two services include having brochures displayed in visitor information centres, inclusion on council's tourism website, access to discounted workshops and access to familiarisation tours.

As part of the review, the annual fee for businesses to secure level two services will be cut from $600 to $150.

Council removed an option for businesses to do 10 hours of volunteer work in lieu of the fee.

Cr Ray Hewitt said the changes made the policy more efficient.

"Before these changes being made, there was some confusion as to what constituted 'acceptable' volunteer activity and whether the work being done was encouraging active development of tourism as an industry sector,'' he said.

"The removal of volunteer hours will eliminate this confusion and decrease the additional administrative burden on staff.''

Cr Hewitt said council reduced the annual fee to make it a more accessible option for businesses.

"We believe the changes are warranted and will greatly improve the way the Tourism Industry Participation Policy operates within our shire,'' he said.

Cr Hewitt said all Northern Grampians Shire businesses automatically received level one services and benefits such as the Business Assistance Scheme and access to professional advice and support.

He said businesses could access level two services by being classified as an attraction by council, becoming a member of a business or tourism association or paying the annual tourism services fee.

Council adopted the Tourism Industry Participation Policy in February 2010 to encourage business owners and operators to actively contribute to the shire's tourism industry.

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