Lara, Victoria, Australia - News from 2004

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Lara Visitors Map Initiative

The Lara Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with local shops and the Lara Community Centre have printed a Lara Visitors Map. The map is available free of charge through local shops and the Community Centre.

15 December 2004

Tidy Towns Awards for Lara

Lara received the following awards in the 2004 Tidy Towns Awards for Victoria's South West Region:

  • EPA Victoria's Protection of the Environment Award
  • Telstra Country Wide Community / Local Government Award

28 October 2004

Ambulance Shortage for Lara Residents

Ambulance officers who service the Lara area have raised concern over the lack of ambulance resources to cater for the region's growing population. The Lara area is currently covered by ambulance services based in Norlane, one of the busiest country branches covering the northern and western half of Geelong extending as far as Bannockburn and Little River. An ambulance station located in Lara is being pursued, however as yet no plans or funding have been secured for a Lara station. [ Geelong News, Wed 6 Oct 2004, page 21 ]

6 October 2004

Soccer Growth and Success in Lara

The Lara Soccer Club has undergone rapid growth in the six years since its inception, already fielding 13 full teams from under 7s to seniors, with over 130 girls and boys are involved in the club. The senior men's team won the final for Division 2 if the Western Victoria Soccer Association for the second year in a row, having only fielded a men's team for those two years. The final score was 1-0 with Kieran Moor scoring the only goal, best on ground including Tony Reed, Paul Schoe and Mark Ower. [ Geelong News, Wed 6 Oct 2004, page 23 ]

6 October 2004

Funding for Lara Sporting Club

Lara Sporting Club will receive $80,000 in funding for the development projects, including:

  • new change rooms and showers
  • lighting for the number three oval used for little league football
  • conversion of the number two oval into a soccer ground with irrigation and fencing

[ Geelong News, Wed 6 Oct 2004, page 23 ]

6 October 2004

St John Ambulance Recruitment

St John Ambulance Australia is working to recruit new members in the Lara area. The group provides training in first aid and opportunities for members to contribute to the community at public events. An information night will be held on Tuesday 26 October at 7:30pm at the St John Ambulance Hall, Lara Recreational Reserve, Mill Rd, Lara. Contact 0438 824257 for further detail. [ Geelong News, Wed 6 Oct 2004, page 25 ]

6 October 2004

Police Camp

Four boys and four girls from Lara have attended a three-day police camp run by Lara police at Anglesea. The camp was run by one male and one female police officer and was aimed to improve understanding between kids and police whilst also teaching life skills, covering issues such as drug and alcohol use. The camp was funded by the Lara Baptist Church, Lara Sporting Club and individual supporters. [ Geelong News, Wed 6 Oct 2004, page 25 ]

6 October 2004

Drug Proofing Your Kids Program

A new program has commenced in Lara in an attempt to tackle the issue of substance abuse amongst the community's youth. The How to Drug Proof Your Kids program is a six week program developed by Focus on the Family Australia, covering different types of drugs, risk taking behaviour and positive strategies for parents to better understand and nurture their children. The program is sponsored and run by the Lara Baptist Church, contact Pastor Glen Munday for details on (03) 5282 2500. [ Geelong News, Wed 6 Oct 2004, page 21 ]

6 October 2004

Prison Development

The new prison at Lara is currently under construction next to Barwon Prison. When completed next year, it will provide facilities for 300 inmates providing innovative new program targeting issues such as sex offences, drug and alcohol abuse and violence. The new prison will employ around 180 people. [ Geelong News, Wed 6 Oct 2004, page 24 ]

6 October 2004

Rare Bandicoots Transferred to Little River Earth Sanctuary

The Little River Earth Sanctuary has received transfer of four endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoots where they will be protected from predators in a natural habitat. The sanctuary provides a 170 hectare fox, cat and rabbit free enclosure where endangered species can be protected. [ Geelong News, Wed 6 Oct 2004, page 24 ]

6 October 2004

RSL Renovations

Renovations to the Lara RSL Hall are drawing to completion, including a sealed car park and landscaping, new toilets and a storeroom. The hall is an old Corio Shire office building which was originally built in the 1860s, used by the RSL for over 50 years. [ Geelong News, Wed 8 Sep 2004, page 30 ]

8 September 2004

Lara Lake Primary School Redevelopment1 September 2004

Stage one of the Lara Lake Primary School refurbishment has been completed, featuring seven new classrooms. Stage two involves the renovation of seven old classrooms into two additional classrooms, a staff room, a conference room and and new administration offices.

1 September 2004

Heritage Listing for the Hume and Hovell Monument

Lara's Hume and Hovell monument on the Princes Highway was erected in 1924 in celebration of the centenary of Hume and Hovell's exploration of the land to the south of . [ Geelong News, Wed 8 Sep 2004, page 30 ]

1 September 2004

Geelong News Announced New Lara and District Supplement

The Geelong News will contain a monthly special feature Lara and District News. Community representatives: Libby Bate, (03) 5282 1936; Don Robinson (03)5282 1587; Herb Picker (03) 5282 1657; Vivian Fry (03) 5282 2725.

4 August 2004

Plan for Lara Town Centre Redevelopment

The City of Greater Geelong has received $45,000 from the Department of Sustainability and Environment to engage a team of urban designers, traffic engineers, retail and economic analysts and landscape architects to prepare an Urban Design Framework (UDF) for the Lara town centre. The purpose of the UDF is to determine how the area including The Centreway, Austin Park, the train station and the bowling club should be developed in the future. It will focus on new buildings in that area, along with improvements to roads, footpaths, parks and car parking.

Following extensive consultation with the community and key stakeholders, such as property owners and traders, a preferred plan for the development of the centre has been identified by the Project Steering Committee and the consulting team for further consultation.

The key features of the plan for the new Lara town centre proposes:

  • diverting Station Lake Road to avoid dividing the shopping district
  • a new, full-line supermarket
  • a town library next to Austin Park
  • a new police station
  • a town square
  • six new specialty shops
  • new housing in central Lara
  • a new community centre
  • re-configuration of Austin Park
  • a new bowling club with synthetic greens

The preferred plan is described in a project information sheet, which may be collected from Wednesday 28th July at the following locations:

  • APCO Service Station
  • Clickety's Hair Dressing
  • Lara Bowling Club
  • Lara Cafe
  • Lara Community Centre
  • Lara Newsagency
  • Sweet Affair Cakes and Coffee (Sixways)
  • Video Ezy

Council encourages and looks forward to any comments you may have. There is an opportunity for you to comment on the preferred plan via feedback slips on the bottom of the project information sheet, or alternatively put your comments in a letter and mail it to Ian McCartney, Coordinator Strategic Planning, City of Greater Geelong, PO Box 104, Geelong VIC, 3220 by 16 August.

4 August 2004

Recent news from local council

Recent items of interest for Lara from the Windermere Ward include:

  • New supermarket and shops - Lara is getting a new supermarket and 6 shops. Station Lake Road will run around the rear of the town square allowing all shops to stay together with a new library in the plans together with new bowling facilities.
  • The Lara pool is receiving $60,000 of works, including a roof on the change rooms, a sprinkler system and landscaping around the toddler area, and a new boiler.
  • Hovells Creek walking track is being extended to link Steamside Reserve with Hoffmans Walk, via the RSL and then under the Hume Bridge on Station Lake Road. This will link central Lara with the bay with only one railway crossing to be navigated.
  • A new toilet block for Austin Park ($150,000)
  • Elcho Golf Course tee to green work ($100,000)
  • A new roundabout and car park to cater fro Lara Primary and Lara Secondary families ($230,000)
  • A gym is being planned for Lara next to the Lara Swimming Pool
  • Irrigation and fencing of the Lara Sporting Club number 2 ground
  • The Limeworks in Forest Road will be filled and parkland created
  • Power to the baseball facility ($20,000)
  • Chirnside Park (Benjamin Drive) to receive a new playground and BMX track

1 August 2004

Lions Club of Lara Citizen of the Year Award for 2003-2004

Libby Bate was awarded the Citizen of the Year Award for 2003-2004. Libby was a former assistant principal at Lara Primary School and has been president of the Lara Chamber of Commerce since 1999. She has been a member of the Lara fire brigade for 30 years, for 25 of those as either president or secretary or the ladies auxiliary. Libby is also convener of the Lara Litter Prevention Taskforce, assistant secretary of the Geelong Cancer After Care Group and secretary of the Lara Heritage Festival.

24 July 2004

Lara Lake Preschool Redevelopment

Work on the new preschool will start in July and the $676,000 centre should be operating in 2005. The preschool currently operates in a building owned by the Lara Uniting Church. The new preschool is funded by the City of Greater Geelong, providing a vital education facility for the Lara community. [ Geelong News, Wed 30 Jun 2004, page 11 ]

30 Jun 2004

New roundabout and car park from Lara primary and secondary schools

A new roundabout and car park will be built outside the Lara primary and secondary schools to improve safety for school children and parents. The project will cost $235,590 and will be constructed at the conjunction of Waverley Rd and Rigel Rd, with the car park entry at the northern end of the main football oval. The roundabout is intended to relieve traffic congestion outside the schools during peak drop-off and pickup times. [ Geelong News, Wed 16 Jun 2004, page 13 ]

16 June 2004

Recent news from local council

Recent items of interest for Lara from the Windermere Ward include:

  • Restoration of Lara Hall Flinders Ave.
  • Lara football ground upgrade - $250,000.
  • Lara tennis courts upgrade (in partnership with the State Government) - $80,000.
  • Little Athletics Goldsworthy Reserve Corio upgrade.
  • Lara pool maintenance - $38,098.97 spent within the last financial year.
  • Lara Structure Plan - produced in house by City staff.
  • Lara truck bypass via Broderick Road. Approximately cost $405,000, with the State Government contributing $180,000 and $225,00 from the Federal Roads to Recovery program.
  • Lara Lake Community Preschool Stage 1 - approximately $300,000.
  • School crossing and crossing supervisor for Darcy's Road.
  • Hovell's Creek walking track (from Princes Highway to town) $100,000 allocated this financial year.
  • R.S.L. upgrade. Joint dollar for dollar matching grant from the State Government - $214,000.
  • Armco railing on Hume bridge and Curletts Road Bridge - approximately $25,000.
  • Pedestrian access around Service Station at Sixways roundabout.
  • Significant increase to lighting in and around our town.
  • Upgrade of much of our street and traffic signage.
  • Graffiti removal - partnership with Lara Lions. Total City budget - $380,000.
  • Lara Lake and Lakelands path.

15 June 2004

History made as Avalon Airport welcomes first Jetstar flight

Jetstar, a new Australian low fare airline, launched operations from Avalon Airport near Lara, with 35 return flights to Sydney and Brisbane. The new operations at Avalon will provide new employment opportunities for the residents of Lara, as well as close-by alternative to Tullamarine Airport when flying interstate.

1 June 2004

Grant announced for Lara Primary School facility upgrade

The State Budget announced a $2,026,000 grant for works to be conducted at the Lara Primary School, to revamp the main wing and for the construction of a new art room and new student toilets.

29 May 2004

Lara Heritage Festival

The Lara Heritage Festival proved popular with the community again, with many turning out to see the parade, showing off our many local and regional community groups and organisations. The candle light parade and impressive fireworks display drew a very large crowd.

29 May 2004

Lara Red Cross raise $2,800 in March Red Cross Appeal

Thanks to the 'callers' and the community for supporting this year's appeal.

29 May 2004

Pancake Day 2004 raised $1,275

The Lara Uniting Church announced a total of $1,275 raised for UnitingCare Pex, to help provide food to needy families in the region over the winter months. Thanks to those individuals and local businesses who donated goods or money, and others who made and sold and bought the pancakes.

29 May 2004

Lara Lions raise $3,000 profit for Lara

With the help of Lara residents, the 2003 Christmas cake sales campaign cleared in excess of $3,000 profit which will be spent on Lara community and welfare projects.

31 Jan 2004

Award for Lara Cops

The Geelong Independent reported that the Lara Baptist Church presented the church's Australia Day Award and $1500 to the Lara police to help run a youth camp for disadvantaged children and to assist in payment for improved equipment for the police station.

30 Jan 2004

V/Line Services Disruption During Track Replacement Under Regional Fast Rail Project

Rail services will be disrupted from 5 January to 11 February due to an intensive works program for the Geelong line in which the 53km of track is being replaced. A media release from the Acting Transport Minister and Minister for Lara describes the current works, whilst the V/Line website provides information about coach replacements for train services during the period of disruption.

8 Jan 2004

Lara Structure Plan Announced

A plan has been developed which is designed to guide the residential, retail, environmental and recreational needs of the township over the next 10 years. The plan allows for Lara's population to grow to a maximum of 13,500 residents, and recommends an expansion of the main shopping centre and provision of a permanent library.

The Lara Structure Plan Public Discussion Document will be on display and available for comment from Monday 12 January to Friday 12 March 2004. It can be viewed free of charge at:

  • the City of Greater Geelong website
  • Corio Library, Cox Road, Norlane, during normal operating hours
  • Lara Cafe, 14 The Centreway, Lara
  • Lara Newsagency, 44 The Centreway, Lara

Paper copies of the Draft Plan can be purchased for $5 at the City of Greater Geelong's Corio Village Customer Service Centre or Myers Street office between 9am and 5pm weekdays.

The City of Greater Geelong is keen to gain your feedback on the Lara Structure Plan - Public Discussion Document. Comments should be made by Friday 12 March 2004 by email to or in writing to Mr Ian McCartney, Coordinator Strategic Planning, City of Greater Geelong, PO Box 104, Geelong, 3220. Phone enquiries should be directed to Ms Susan Williamson on 5227 0845.

26 Dec 2003