February 5th, 2023Just sayin’…
By Donna Kelly
IT’S the start of a new year, well just past the start, but there are a few things which seem to linger longer – and I have been thinking about them.
First up is the Daylesford Hospital. We all know the building is dated and not
designed for the number of people moving to the region. There is also a lack of
doctors after hours – and let’s face it, no-one likes to Zoom.
During last year’s state government election I asked Minister for Health and
Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas a number of times if she was going to provide
the money needed for the hospital’s redevelopment. She’s a good pollie because she
avoided answering the question every time.
So here’s a public query – is the state government going to give us the money for
this vital community service? Or are the politicians waiting for the hospital to fall into
such disrepair, or worse, something going pear-shaped with a patient, that they just
close it down? That would be a disaster but I could see it happening.
Next up, where is the report from the Local Government Inspectorate
investigation into the Hepburn Shire Council and the purchase of The Rex? It started
in June 2019 so that is coming up to four years, and that’s a long time by anyone’s
standards. As far as I know everyone involved has long been interviewed so why the
wait? Meanwhile, the council starts another search for staff accommodation.
Related to The Rex is the provision of public toilets. The Rex was bought after a
former council CEO went for a chat in 2016 with the building’s owners about why
they had closed the public toilets inside the building. The building is now in private
hands and may, or may not, eventually offer public toilets.
But for now, and a long time, there have been no public toilets near the lower
roundabout in Vincent Street, and none even near the shops/businesses in Howe
Street. We have all been asked by visitors – generally pregnant women, people with
young kids in tow or the elderly – where the nearest toilet is. As a tourist town, where
we hope people will spend some of their money eating and drinking it’s embarrassing
to point people up the hill with a “good luck!”.
Finally…hold on, I realise this is pretty Daylesford-centric so feel free to turn back
the pages to the Clunes textile exhibition, or the French House at Trentham, or films
at Lyonville, or even the EV charging station at Creswick…or read on.
So finally, what happened to the Big Rainbow? Lots of voting went on with the
first part of the Tinder promotion and then Hepburn Shire residents got to vote on
where in Daylesford they wanted the Big Rainbow to end up, voting finished, and
then…nothing. I have asked the council and even Tinder’s PR people where the next
“big” thing will go and zilch, zip, nada.
The choices were Victoria Park, the Lost Children’s Memorial, the Daylesford
Community Skate Park or Lake Daylesford. I suspect it will be announced as part of
the ChillOut Festival in March and they will unveil it at Carnivale Day at Vic Park.
Hmmm. Personally, I think that would be a mistake.
Vic Park is nice but apart from a few events, the football and netball, and the dog
walkers, it’s pretty empty. It would also be open to vandalism. And really, if we have a
“big” thing we need somewhere with parking, amenities, lighting and people. I’d go
for the Lake. But I guess it’s a case of “watch this space” for all of the above.
Anyway, I hope your 2023 has started off well and if it hasn’t, I hope it gets
better. My New Year resolution is to get a life and think less about all of the above,
especially at 4am. As you can see, it’s not working so far. Just sayin’…