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Elpho Info

Community Newsletter for the Elphinstone, Faraday, Sutton Grange and Metcalfe districts
September 2014 Volume 63
Articles and advertising for the
December Elpho Info are due by
Friday 14th November 2014.
Email your articles, photos, etc
Gill at the shop is the contact for
billing queries.
Elpho Info is a member of
the Community Newspapers
Association of Victoria.
Fiona Gatt (editor)
seeking your
For our 2014 project, planning
and community development
students from La Trobe University,
Bendigo will visit Elphinstone to
learn about the area, design planning
concepts and meet with locals.
The sessions will provide an
opportunity for students and
Elphinstone community members to
discuss current and future planning
issues and projects and consider
what the future changes in the town
and surrounds will mean for the
development and character of the
town. It will also be an opportunity
for locals to learn more about land
use planning, current planning
controls and to consider strategies
for the future.
How can you take
The staff and students from the
universitys planning program will
be working at Elphinstone Primary
School on Friday 5 September
3:00-5:00pm and on Saturday 6
September 10:00am-12:00pm.
The students will be doing a short
presentation of their work at The
Elphinstone Hotel from 2:00-
3:00pm Saturday 6 September.
Community members are
welcome to drop by and attend at
any of these times and we welcome
your input and we are happy to
discuss current and future planning
matters with you. For further
information, please contact
Andrew Butt
This endeavor is being run by
students and staff from La Trobe
University and is supported by the
Elphinstone Progress Association
Elphinstone Primary School
Saturday 6 September
7.00pm sharp
Elphinstone Hall, Olivers Lane
Tables of 8 $10 per head
Loads of prizes, games,
Bonus points for best themed table
BYO drinks and nibbles
Tea and Coffee available
Bookings essential
Ph. Cassi 0422 524 649
Elpho Info 2 September 2014
With winter taking hold at the
beginning of the term we have
had several inside days and to
our astonishment we had snow
falling last month! All thoughts of
tobogganing down the oval were
dashed as it disappeared as quickly
as it came. We still have several
students thinking it must be summer,
though, as shorts and polo shirts
seem to be the uniform! It has been
very busy around our school lately,
especially the amount of parents
coming in to run clubs, teach Yoga
and, as part of our integrated art
unit, talk to the students about
working in the field of art. Sue
McLennan has been holding Yoga
sessions in each classroom which
has been a great way to start a
calm class. Alex Sanson, Zoe Amor
and Craig MacDonald showed the
students some of their creations and
what their profession is all about. Su-
Anne and Deita have run the Garden
club and Rebecca and Caroline have
been busy in the kitchen making
pasta and gingerbread men!

We had several grade 4/5 students
Elphinstone Primary School
Wright Street Elphinstone
5473 3285
who took up the challenge of
the Woorabinda Somers camp
last month near Yallourn in
Gippsland. Teneniel, Kody, Paris,
Angus, Matthew and Abi joined
many students from across the
Castlemaine region and had a
fantastic time with the unique
experience. Our 3/4 students headed
off to Lady Northcote Camp, near
Bacchus Marsh, last week and loved
all of the activities such as the giant
swing and flying fox! The Grade 5/6
students are venturing down to
Melbourne early next term for an
Urban Camp experience. Relying on
public transport all the way we will
check out some of the attractions
such as the Old Melbourne Gaol,
Parliament House, Eureka Tower,
The State Library and the Zoo. We
will even have an evening swim at
the Aquatic centre, body surfing in
the wave pool!

Inter School Football
Last month several of our students
represented the Castlemaine District
Small Schools in the Bendigo
carnival held at Catholic College
Junortoun. There were about 40
schools represented and 12 games
were being played at the one
time! Tom, Campbell Declan and
Brodie represented Elphinstone
and all made a solid contribution
to the team. We thank senior
Castlemaine Footballer and 4th Year
teaching student John Watson who
volunteered to coach the side, he
did a fantastic job. Also thank you to
our dependable parents from all the
schools who drove their children and
other students to the game. It was a
terrific day indeed!

Our 150th brick faces have been
ordered and we plan to have the
retaining wall of our outdoor stage
ready for our end of year concert.
There will be an opening ceremony
on the night so stay tune for details!
Brendan Stewart, Principal
TheCastlemaine District Small Schools footy team
September 2014 Elpho Info 3
The cold weather hasnt deterred
us from general maintenance around
the town, including removal of tree
guards, weeding and tidying up areas
which weve planted out including
the Jimmy Ball Flora Reserve, the area
opposite the pub and the arboretum
at the hall. Were planting a few
more trees and shrubs near the
arboretum as part of the working bee
at the hall on Saturday 30 September
organised by the Elphinstone
Facilities Committee. This is a great
opportunity to get to know some
fellow locals whilst pitching in to
clean up around the hall in readiness
for the fire season.
Dont forget if youre interested in
becoming a member of ELMA contact
me on 5473 3118 for further details.
May you all enjoy some sunny
Spring days ahead!
Sue McLennan
Elphinstone Land
Management Assoc.
We continue to nurture our plantings at Jimmy Ball Flora Reserve.
Elpho Info 4 September 2014
Elphinstone Fire Brigade
We were proud to see Elphinstone
Fire Brigade members, involved in
the Black Saturday bushfires, recently
presented with National Emergency
medals at a ceremony for District
Brigades held at the Kyneton Town
Hall, following an earlier round where
our Captain had received the same
medal. The National Emergency
Medal is an initiative, sanctioned
by the Queen, in recognising the
efforts of those involved in a national
emergency. It is a major award (with
only two events eligible thus far -
Black Saturday, and the Queensland
Floods 2010-11/Cyclone Yasi) and
the criteria is based on sustained or
significant service.
Distinguished guests included
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson,
members of CFA hierarchy and MLC
for Northern Victoria, Amanda Millar,
who presented the medals. The
Chief Officer paid tribute to all medal
recipients, making an emotional,
heartfelt speech and saluting them in
a moving gesture to the group.
At the conclusion of the ceremony,
our members travelled back to
Elphinstone, gathering to reflect
on the fateful day, and marking
the honour of the occasion, at the
Elphinstone Hotel.
During the winter period,
which has been a fairly quiet time
operationally for the Brigade, the
focus has been on training led by
our hardworking 2nd Lieutenant
Christopher Slee. Our members
have participated in various
courses including Crew Leader,
Low Structure and BA, and some
have also updated their First Aid
skills. We have also recruited some
new operational members who will
soon embark on their Wildfire (also
called Minimum Skills) course. Once
again, the Brigade mentors have
risen to the occasion in assisting the
new members with the necessary
preparation required before
undertaking their Minimum Skills
course. The recruits have received
driving tuition, water pumping and
drafting techniques, and instruction
in the safe use of equipment such as
hoses and various types of branches
(nozzles). The Brigade is gaining
more depth all the time and, thanks
to the selfless efforts of our mentors,
continues to do so.
Whilst the return of our old friend
El Nino was predicted strongly in
the first half of the year, the weather
predictions for his comeback have
tempered just slightly in the second
half. However, the conditions in
Elphinstone do not need El Nino to
be present for us to experience a very
real threat to lives and property from
bushfires, even as early as Spring
given the right conditions. Therefore,
early property clean up and
preparation is vital. The western side
of Elphinstone is possibly our biggest
concern where safe access and egress
for large Fire Trucks, in many parts, is
All property owners are encouraged
to think about their personal fire
plan. Given the weather conditions,
fires can escalate very quickly and
we would therefore encourage
those people who think they can
defend their properties themselves,
to think and re-think long and hard
about the consequences. Key factors
can include physical fitness of the
participants, vegetation risks, the
condition and width of the roads
within your area, a water supply not
dependant on electricity, and the
emotional stability to deal with such a
situation. If you have doubts in these
areas, your doubts could quickly turn
into panic when faced with several
of these factors all at once. The
affect of emotional stress in heat and
smoke cannot be underestimated,
leaving well-intentioned individuals
breathless and unable to continue
with their plan, within a matter of
minutes. Unfortunately you cannot
depend on a fire truck to attend
at your property as resources are
limited. Making arrangements for
your loved ones and pets, and leaving
early on high risk days, may well be
your safest option.
The Brigade will once again notify
residents of our annual Fire Ready
community meeting in the coming
months and would encourage as
many residents as possible to attend.
The session is very informative,
and there are always interesting
questions, where locals can raise
their concerns to the specialist CFA
facilitator. Following question time,
we hope that you would stay on and
chat with Brigade members, over
a cuppa. We would love to see you
there. Further details to come.
Tracey Franze
Top row: Paul Denham, Luke Farley, Mike Wassing, Josh King, Amanda Miller,
Joshua Cody, Michael Djoric, Gary Pollard and Euan Ferguson.
Bottom row: Kath Chapman, Bernadette King, Peter Farley, Graeme Allen
Not present, because of a CFA training course, but also medal recipients: Mark
Ware and Christopher Slee
Elpho Info 5 September 2014
May Jun Jul
mm mm mm
Elphinstone 1988-2003 75 82 79
Castlemaine 1966-1994 62 52 62
Harcourt 1968-1994 73 65 77
Elphinstone 2013 38 125 1/2 80
Rainfall by Wes Watson
Many thanks to local resident Wes Watson for keeping rainfall
records and diligently passing them on to be published in this
Elphinstone Progress Association, Inc.
Spice Up Elphinstone
On the 14th June at least 80
people turned up to the Spice Up
Elphinstone event helad at the
Elphinstone Hotel (pictured right).
The event celebrated the launch
of the Elphinstone Town Plan, a
working document, over one year in
the making.
During the process the Elphinstone
Progress Association Inc (EPA)
was formed and so the Spice Up
Elphinstone event was also a chance
to celebrate this new group and for
new members to sign up.
Thank you to everyone who attended
and enjoyed the fantastic curry meal
provided by Nigel and Anje Pickup,
and thank you also to Mani and Chris
for their hospitality.
Grant to design the town
The EPA has been sucessful
in obtaining a grant from the
Foundation for Rural & Regional
Renewal to hire a professional
planner to design the town centre.
Where is the town centre you ask?
Well this was one of the issues that
was popular during the surveys and
the Elpho Expo in 2013. It seems
the town would like a well planned
and good looking central area that
we can all be proud of. The area
that the planner will look at will be
from the school, down past the pub
and war memorial, over the rail line
and across to the Post Office. Shell
look at things like seating areas,
footpaths, drainage, vegetation,
toppings, bus stop, parking and
more. Planning will start in early
2016 and the EPA will communicate
more about how people can
contribute ideas in early 2016.
New notice board
At the time of writing the new notice
board was not yet installed but by
the time you are reading this, with a
bit of luck, when you pull up to the
Post Office you will notice a shiny
new, large notice board with room
for all of Elphinstones groups, as
well as community notices and
business offers. The new noticeboard
is magnetic and not a pin board. Feel
free to post your notices. Gill at the
shop has the keys. If you have any
feedback about the layout that has
been set up then please contact the
New website
It doesnt look all that fantastic yet
but has been
set up as a place to host a digital
copy of the Elpho Info and to provide
information and news about the EPA
and general town news. If you want
to help out email
Australia Day event
The EPA is proposing that
Elphinstone runs an annual event
on Australia Day. Local beer brewers
would run stalls, there would be food
stalls, kids activities, etc. The event
would be a fundraiser for the EPA,
with all proceeds going back into
the town - and it would also be the
chance for Elphinstone to be known
for an annual event (once more).
Ideas and help welcome.
Fiona Gatt
Elpho Info 6 September 2014
In previous articles for The Elpho
Info Ive written about Shires ageing
infrastructure, in many instances a
legacy of the 1850s gold rush era.
Now the saga continues, the most
recent high profile items being a
closed theatre and a condemned
Most people will be familiar with
The Phee Broadway Theatre next
to the Castlemaine library. Perhaps
your children or grandchildren
have performed there in a dance
concert, or in a school play. You
might be a regular theatre goer
and patronise the Bendigo Capitol
Theatres touring program which
sends a season of performances
to The Phee, or you might even be
part of a performing group yourself
and have strutted the boards of
the theatre in a local production.
So it was with consternation that
councillors received a recent report
on the closed theatres condition,
informing us of a seven figure sum
that was required to return it to a
useable state. Wed only just formally
signed off on the 2014/15 annual
budget, having queried, puzzled over,
wrangled and negotiated capital
expenditure of close to ten million
dollars. We felt that wed spread
allocations as fairly as possible, but
there remained many items that had
to be put into the Not now, later
pile. And now here was an urgent
call to repair, restore and re-open the
Shires only theatre. Emails began to
arrive from distressed users, parents,
A message from our councillor
supporters; councillor briefings
from experts and council officers
took place. Councillors talked among
themselves. Could we justify the
expense? Where would the money
come from? One bright idea was to
look at money left over from last
years capital budget, but we quickly
remembered that wed agreed, in a
formal council meeting resolution,
to allocate all underspends to
progressing Stage One of the Wesley
Hill Junior Sports Hub as soon as
possible. Theyve been waiting for a
long time.
Eventually a plan began to emerge
as theatre users, including the
Castlemaine State Festival, discussed
with council staff what works were
essential for a skeleton operation
and what could be added later, to
bring The Phee back to its previous
level of functioning. On the night of
the council meeting when a decision
had to be made stay closed or
re-open the public gallery was
packed. Phee Broadway herself, who
ran the first nine Castlemaine State
festivals, told the meeting about the
1994 conversion of the old library
hall into the theatre, then the 2004
addition of the foyer. The structure of
the building itself is very old, dating
back to the 1860s. When it came to
the item in the agenda, councillors
agreed unanimously that the Phee
had to re-open. There were modest
sums in the budget allocated to
non-essential works in the theatre,
which we agreed to direct towards
the restoration. To find the rest of
the money, we agreed to use part of
the budget allocations towards two
infrastructure items which were
unlikely to be completed this year
due to delays. Putting these amounts
together gave us sufficient funds to
get the theatre open and operating
in time for the next Festival. Of
course thats not the end of the
story. Further works will be needed,
spread over the next few years.
Im confident that with continued
involvement of key local theatre
users and technicians in the planning
process, the Shire will in future have
a better, technically smarter theatre
than the one we had before.
What about the condemned
bridge? you ask. The bridge
across the Loddon at Vaughan has
been deemed to be unsafe. Expert
inspection has determined that it
cannot be repaired. The 44 gallon
drums full of concrete that support
the piers are evidence of its age and
quality of construction. The bridge
and access lanes are on Crown land
controlled by DEPI. There are both
European and Aboriginal heritage
considerations to be managed. The
Catchment Management Authority
has a controlling interest in what
goes across the river. Estimated cost
of replacing the bridge: $1.3 million.
Thats five times what we managed
to scratch together for the Phee
Broadway theatre. Vaughan residents
have been silent about their closed
bridge while an emergency access
ford was usable, but now that the
river is flowing, they have a long,
awkward detour. Councillors are in
agreement that the river crossing
must be reinstated. How are we
going to manage it? Ideas are flying
around, regulatory authorities are
being consulted. Watch this space.
Theres always something new in
council business, which is why, when
people ask me Do you enjoy being a
councillor? its easy to say yes. It has
its challenges, but its never boring.
You can contact me on
04660 04628 or email:
Christine Henderson
Elpho Info 7 September 2014
Happily in July The Elphinstone Hotel fnally opened the kitchen and our frst Saturday of being open
found us serving nearly ffty meals as word got out! Our dining room is open for dinner from Wednesday
through to Saturday, lunch on Saturday and Sunday roast. We have already hosted many quiet dinners,
birthday celebrations, fre brigade functions, and soon will run our frst wedding reception.
I am still fnding my feet in the kitchen but am enjoying both the work and working with the kitchen
crew. The menu is not fancy but does have something for everyone; recently we have expanded our
dessert menu and now have a short specials menu which will change each week.
So what is coming on for the next few months?
In September La Trobe University Town Planning will be visiting both the school and the pub to run a
town planning seminar.
First Sunday of September is Fathers Day and we will be doing Roast Beef as usual, but bookings are
already being taken so get in quickly to reserve a table.
Our next band is booked for Grand Final Day, September 27th in case you did not know, so come on
down to watch the game, have a beer, hamburgers, hot chips and then party into the night with Temple of
October sees us well into spring and we are hoping to move our music outdoors into the back yard, so
when we do bring a picnic or fsh and chips and join us for chill-out sessions.
Thankfully the end of winter is near and we can all start to get out and about and enjoy our litle patch
of earth.
The Elphinstone Hotel
Advertise with the Elpho Info
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with local customers than to place an ad. The Elpho Info is put together by
a volunteer editor with all proceeds of ads going to the Elphinstone Facilities
Management Committee - and back into our community.
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Book now for the December edition with Gill at the shop.
8 Elpho Info September 2014
Calder Hwy, Elphinstone, 3448
For all your Backhoe & Tip truck
Quarry and Road Supplies
Grader hire
Driveway & House Sites
Andy has 30 years local knowledge &
For further information phone:
0408 507 770 or 5473 3294
Articles and comments printed in this newsletter are the result of contributions from
local groups and relevant news articles pertinent to Elphinstone/Sutton Grange
and Metcalfe areas. Views may be refective of a group or organisation, and
are printed as information to all readers. Neither Elphinstone/Sutton Grange
and Metcalfe Progress Assoc. nor the Editorial Team are liable for any mistakes,
omissions or misprints. It prints and makes no representation as to the truth or
accuracy of any description and accepts no liability for any loss suffered by any
person who relies on any statement contained herein. The Editorial Team may
at time fnd it necessary to alter text so as to accommodate space, but will in no
way alter the validity of a story. They will endeavour to make these changes
with the authors.
Elphinstone Post Office
and General Store
5473 3200
Weekdays 7.30am-5.30pm
Saturday 8.00am-1.00pm
Sunday 8.00am-12noon
Public Hol8.00am-12noon
Gill and Dave
Looking for an activity program which includes fun,
ftness, meeting people, artistic outlet, recreation, great
world music?
Where: Over the Moon Dance & Yoga Studio,
9 Templeton Street, Castlemaine.
No partner necessary.
When: Fridays, 5.30 7.00 pm.
New people warmly welcome. All dances fully instructed
by a qualifed teacher.
Cost: $7 per session
Contact: Marie Ph 54733355, 0412 447 600
Elphinstone Playgroup.
Tuesdays 9:15-11.15.
Bring a piece of fruit to share.
Cost is $5 per session.
Contact Rebecca Paine on

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