Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : November 11 2015 Contents THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2015 - PAGE 5
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SERVICING SOUTH GIPPSLAND AND PHILLIP ISLAND
128 McKenzie Street, Wonthaggi
Dr Andre Chiaradia is pictured at the penguin weighbridge in place at the pen-
guin parade, which monitors the weight of penguins coming ashore nightly.
Penguins watch their weights
II appears that the human obsession
with weight watching also transcends to
the penguin world.
But for penguins, being heavy is better
-- it is a sign of good health.
When penguins cross the beach at Phil-
lip Island every night, they are closely
monitored by a weighbridge system.
The penguin monitoring system or
weighbridge, is celebrating its 20 year
anniversary this month. The system has
revolutionised the way researchers collect
weight and attendance data on penguins.
Over the 20 years it has been in place,
the weighbridge information has helped
to inform more than 30 students at hon-
ours, PhD and post doc level and is also
responsible for over 50 scientific publica-
"Initially, the system documented about
50,000 records per year," said André Chi-
aradia, penguin biologist with the Phillip
Island Nature Parks, this week.
"We have recently upgraded the system
to the 21st century, and we are now able
to record over 20 million data points per
"We now know that penguins go on
honeymoon; fledglings return to the is-
land in less than one year after hatching
;and some individuals are super achiev-
ers -- they work harder, feeding more
than their partners, year after year" said
The weighbridge data also tells us how
hard penguins are working to find their
food, and ultimately gives us hints on the
health of the marine system of the Bass
Strait, he added.
Now, with help from a team of national
and international scientists and a grant
from the Australian Research Council,
scientists are able to use this informa-
tion further, to determine how much fish
penguins have caught; and to determine
a way to provide food security for future
generations of penguins.
The penguin monitoring system was
upgraded recently thanks to a generous
donation from AAT Kings.
New Phillip Island Nature Parks Board
THE newly appointed Board Mem-
bers have commenced duties and
were welcomed to their first Board
Dr Danielle Auldist, Shelley Laven-
der, Kay Spierings and Liz Stinson
joined re-appointed Board Members
Stephen Davie, Kevin Love and An-
drew Paxton along with re-appointed
Chair Jeff Floyd.
"Collectively our new Board Mem-
bers will be able to share their ex-
pertise in a wide array of fields such
as project management, science and
governance, business management
and corporate administration, eco-
tourism operations, and international
business development," said Jeff
"On behalf of the Board and the staff
at Phillip Island Nature Parks, I would
like to welcome our new Board Mem-
The Board undertook a tour of
the new Antarctic Journey attraction
which is under construction in the
Nobbies Visitor Centre.
Board members were delighted that
the project is progressing on schedule,
with the new attraction due to open
before Christmas 2015.
Construction on the exciting new
Penguins Plus viewing area is also on
schedule with the structure taking
shape both below and above ground,
and the new boardwalk almost com-
The opening will be in mid-Novem-
Visitation numbers for this time of
year are exceptional, with a notable
strengthening in the domestic market.
The commencement of the partner-
ship with RACV is a significant con-
tributor to the increased domestic
CEO Matthew Jackson signed a
Memorandum of Understanding
between the Nature Parks and the
Chengdu Giant Panda Research Cen-
tre during his visit to China in Sep-
tember with Victorian Premier, the
Honourable Daniel Andrews MP.
"World class conservation manage-
ment and internationally recognised
research programs exist at the very
core of our two organisations, and the
mutual exchange of our strategies and
methodologies will inform and en-
hance our practices and procedures
to ensure even greater achievements
and outcomes," said Mr Jackson.
Mr Jackson also met with key op-
erators in China to launch the Antarc-
tic Journey attraction in conjunction
with WWF, and was delighted with the
continued support of the Nature Parks
and overwhelming endorsement of the
Biennial Conference on
Research scientist Dr Rebecca Mc-
Intosh will be attending the 21st Bien-
nial Conference on Marine Mammals
in San Francisco in December 2015.
Dr McIntosh has recently had a paper
published in the Elsevier Marine Pol-
lution Bulletin entitled: Drivers and
annual estimates of
marine wildlife entanglement rates:
A long-term case study with Austra-
lian fur seals.
The Penguin Parade has enjoyed
very high penguin numbers through-
out October, with over 3000 penguins
crossing the beach on at least two oc-
casions, and numbers regularly over
2000 penguins per night.
This has led to outstanding viewing
opportunities and experiences for visi-
Melaleuca House takes shape
CONSTRUCTION is underway
for a new housing development in
Cowes with the framing of the com-
munity amenity block of Melaleuca
This will soon be followed with
the pouring of the concrete slab for
the first of the five residential units.
This development is part of the
Melaleuca Lodge complex and of-
fers an alternative style of living for
single retirees over the age of 70.
It is a $900,000 project being de-
veloped by the Melaleuca Commit-
tee of Management; and is being
constructed by local tradesmen and
with building materials supplied by
The plans consist of 10 individual
units -- in two blocks of five -- and
with a community common area in
This area includes a kitchen, fully
equipped laundry, toilet, dining and
lounge area for the 10 residents.
The concept for this style of living
is the brainchild of Melaleuca Lodge
administrator John Batty who has
held a firm belief in providing ac-
commodation for local residents
living on their own.
It is an option that enables them
to continue to live independently
but to enjoy the benefits of commu-
nal living. In this way, residents will
be able to stay at home and access
government services available to
them such as home help and dis-
"It is an exciting project," said
John Batty as work began last
"We are now investigating a so-
lar energy system that will provide
us with an efficient and affordable
source of power," he said.
Since applications opened in Au-
gust of this year, Melaleuca House
has attracted interest from within
the community with two units al-
ready being allocated.
In being a small housing develop-
ment the Melaleuca committee is ex-
pecting the remaining eight units to
be filled for the official opening on
July 1, 2016.
An open day is also being planned
in the near future to enable prospec-
tive buyers to have a first-hand look
at these new and comfortable units.
The purchase of each single
bedroom unit requires a bond of
$140,000 which is refundable at the
time of departure.
Further enquiries can be made
through John Batty by phoning Me-
laleuca Lodge on 5952 3266.
Melaleuca House is situated at
172-174 Settlement Road, Cowes.
The first stage of the new Melaleuca House development in Cowes is now taking shape with the construction
of the community amenity block. This lifestyle development is expected to be completed by June next year.
A birthday book for all one year olds
MATERNAL and Child Health
Nurses across the shire now present
a book to every child turning one in
the Bass Coast and South Gippsland
The presentation is part the Victori-
an Government's Best Start program,
which aims to help parents recognise
the benefits of reading to their child,
from an early age.
The book is presented by Maternal
and Child Health Services, who work
with Best Start to develop an early lit-
eracy strategy, to each child attending
their 12 month appointment.
The importance of reading to chil-
dren from birth is well established
and research links this to better edu-
Best Start is a Victorian Government
early years initiative directed by a local
Partnership Group, which includes
representatives from Bass Coast
Health, Bass Coast Shire, Noah's Ark,
Ramahyuk District Aboriginal Corpo-
ration, South Gippsland Shire Coun-
cil and Uniting Care Gippsland.
The Maternal and Child Health Ser-
vice is a free service available to all
families who have children from birth
to school entry age.
Its nurses undertake health and de-
velopment checks for children at ten
key ages from two weeks up to three
and a half years.
The nurses also provide a wide
range of information, advice and sup-
port to mothers, fathers and family
members about health, parenting and
the early years.
To make a time to see your local
Maternal and Child Health Nurse in
Cowes, San Remo and Grantville call
One year olds throughout the Bass Coast Shire and beyond can look for-
ward to being presented with a lovely book, as part of a Maternal and Child
Health initiative, in conjunction with the state government, to promote the
benefits of parents reading to their child from an early age. Celebrating this
initiative are maternal and child health nurses who work throughout the
Bass Coast and South Gippsland shires. Pictured with some of the books
the local one year olds are about to receive are nurses, from left, Chris
Stone, Katherine Anderson, Katherine Hamilton, Rebecca McFarlane, Ber-
nadette O'Connor, Maureen Boston, Kim Mihai and Marg Barter.
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