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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Massive support for Festival dream!

Around 5,000 people came to the inaugural Festival of Glass on Sunday 20 February. The figure far exceeded the Festival committee's expectations and is a massive endorsement of a dream that's taken 15 months to become reality.

Thirty stalls presented glass in all its forms, including sculpture, jewellery, mosaic, stained glass, leadlight, moulded glass, slumped glass and etched glass. There was glass at the cutting edge (ouch!) and a blast of glass from the past with antiques and collectibles.

There were demonstrations of various was of working with glass, including bead-making, glass fusing, kiln forming, beadweaving, copper foiling and leadlighting. Short videos introduced people to the economics and local history of glass and to the extraordinary 'glass harmonica' invented by Benjamin Franklin.

For visitors, there was more to do than just look and admire, browse and buy. Lots of people brought glass items to the popular Old Glass Roadshow. Voting was fierce for the titles of best glass-related story, poem, song, painting or photograph and for best glass jewellery; and the raffle prizes (glass, of course) were so attractive that the raffle tickets nearly ran out!

Visitors overwhelmed by the scale and diversity of glass on show had a variety of musical alternatives throughout the day. The Festival showcased four local acts - The Gems, Judy McGovern, Paper (the band formerly known as Steer) and a local barbershop quartet.

The Lions sizzled almost as much as their sausages, but Rotary were as cool as their drinks; and the baked potato man out of potatoes - in front of a Potato Shed! 'This has never happened before', he said and booked-up for next year!

Finally, the Festival's commitment to sustainability was evident in various ways. A public drinking fountain dispensed with the need for plastic bottles and was accompanied by tips on being water-wise; extra rubbish and recycling bins kept the whole site clean and were accompanied by tips on recycling; and each stallholder was asked to think about the amount of energy consumed in their products and the nature of their packaging.

Thanks to our sponsors, including the City of Greater Geelong (Arts & Culture) and the Bendigo Bank for their support.

And now ... the organising starts for the 2012 Festival of Glass!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Further fabrications in council Minutes

After complaints that the draft Minutes of the council meeting of 25 January 2011 were inaccurate, a revised draft has been published that is even less accurate.

The draft Minutes recorded an officer saying that a report about public health issues associated with a proposed drain in Central Road 'will be made available', whereas he stated at the meeting that the council hadn't examined the issues, i.e. there was no such report.

DCSCA used the council's website to state that the draft Minutes were inaccurate (See 'Council Minutes invent report' [28 January, drycliftdays]). In response, a revised version was posted on the Council's web site that was even less accurate than the original! The revised version of the Minutes introduced entirely new material:
1. The revised version of the officer's reply ends, ‘... Council did not consider the need to commission a public health plan.’ The officer didn't say this at the meeting.
2. The revised version of the officer's reply includes a whole new paragraph: ‘Permitting development to proceed without proper servicing, which includes main drainage, in the view of the Council, would lead to public health issues. These issues may include, but not be limited to, flooding, damage to housing development, rising damp, pooling and stagnation of water, breeding of mosquitos, deposition of silt and general inconvenience to property owners.’ The officer said none of this at the meeting.

The Minutes are being used to give credence to the council's unsubstantiated allegations that the Central Road drain is really a matter of public health, rather than just a means to enable Pinnacle Holdings to build a retirement village. These unsubstantiated allegations are being used to justify - after the event - the highly contentious 'Special Charge' of many thousands of dollars that councillors voted unanimously on 25 January to levy on each household in the Central Road area.

DCSCA will continue to press the council to produce an accurate account of the officer's responses at the council meeting.