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Advance Morwell Annual Report: 2022/2023

28 Dec 2023 5:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


2022 marked the 25th year of operation of Advance Morwell and tonight we recognise another year of serving the Morwell and Latrobe City community.

This year has been a challenging one for Advance Morwell.  The unexpected loss of our long serving and highly respected Chair, John Guy OAM, was keenly felt by the Committee.  

John’s contribution to Advance Morwell was significant and like all his other commitments, demonstrated his passion for the town, its people and organisations, along with his willingness to serve.  

Despite many health issues over the years, John continued in the role of Chair representing and guiding Advance Morwell as we responded to a changing range of issues.  

It is largely due to John’s sound stewardship that Advance Morwell has been able to continue to represent the interests of our traders and townspeople.


Again, this year we experienced the challenge of obtaining suitable Committee Members who are willing to assume Executive Roles. This situation continues, as we are still seeking new committee members to help drive and represent the organisation.

While we have not had the luxury of a full committee, those members who have continued to actively support the delivery of our efforts must be recognised.  Those Committee Members include Graeme Sennett, Acting Chair and Secretary; Shashi Bhatti, Treasurer; Howard Williams, Membership Officer: David McInnes; Community Relations and David Burt, Business Relations.

It must be noted that in October, our Treasurer, Shashi Bhatti, experienced a significant motorcycle accident resulting in his being hospitalised for some time.  Despite this, he continued to undertake the role of Treasurer and we thank him for his diligence during this difficult time.

The Advance Morwell Committee meets monthly at the Morwell Bowling Club and we acknowledge the management and staff of the for their generosity in providing a venue for our meetings.

Business Sector

With changes in local business ownership, the Advance Morwell Traders Group became inactive some time ago.  The Committee has discussed reinvigorating this group and has made initial overtures to some local traders to assess interest.


Our membership base remains relatively steady.  We recognise and appreciate all our longstanding members and those who have joined more recently in supporting us to advocate for Morwell & Latrobe City. 


We again participated in Anzac Day, laying a wreath in remembrance of those  Morwell Residents who have served their country in times of conflict.


We continue to lobby both the Latrobe City Council and State Governments on issues affecting Morwell, Latrobe City and Gippsland. We have met with our Morwell Council representatives and have had continued contact with Morwell Councilors and our Member for Morwell Martin Cameron.

John Guy and Howard Williams continued to represent Advance Morwell on the Community Recovery Committee which was formed at the time of the Hazelwood Mine Fire and has continued over the years since.  An Emergency Plan for Morwell is the last remaining objective to be delivered.

Howard Williams is Advance Morwell’s representative on the Energy Australia Yallourn Environmental review Commitee, and we thank Howard for this work.

Advance Morwell was also represented on the International Rose Festival Committee.

Advance Morwell supported the establishment of the Latrobe City Business Chamber(LCBC) and through ongoing discussions organised 2022/23 honorary LCBC membership for all our business members.  We are awaiting a response to our proposal for continuing joint membership for our business members. 

We have continued to maintain a close relationship with Energy Australia through David Burt to ensure we have current knowledge of their plans for closure, new developments, and rehabilitation.

Mine Rehabilitation

We maintain an active interest in the management of Hazelwood Mine Rehabilitation Works.  Advance Morwell continues to monitor and be involved in discussions on the Mine rehabilitation as it progresses.

Latrobe Valley Authority, Transition Plan

The Advance Morwell Committee has maintained an ongoing interest in the Latrobe Valley Authority’s Transition Plan, hearing from LVA CEO, Chris Buckingham who advised that in developing the plan, the LVA has engaged with the community, factored in recent industrial developments and other international experiences.   Advance Morwell will continue to monitor developments.

Committee for Gippsland 

We have continued our membership of the Committee for Gippsland, utilising this relationship to lobby on regional issues such as the delivery of the Traralgon Bypass which is essential for the future of the transport industry in Gippsland.

Gippsland Rail Revival

It has been pleasing to see the continued progress of the Regional Rail Revival works.   

The location of the new Morwell platform is a direct result of lobbying undertaken by Advance Morwell in the early planning stages of this project. 

Initial plans impacted parking and Legacy Place, while providing a suboptimal arrival experience for rail patrons.  The offset platform arrangement as proposed by Advance Morwell overcame these issues and provided additional access from the Bus Terminal to facilitate intermodal transfers.

We continue to lobby for the completion of remedial works and reinstatement of town assets following construction.

Car Parking

For over five years, Advance Morwell been actively lobbying for improved car parking in Morwell.  

Over the past 12 months it has been pleasing to see the delivery of new car parking at Morwell Train Station, and in particular, on the site of the former Ampol petrol station and garage.  

Despite much resistance, we continued to lobby the Minister for this site to be developed as we felt it provided easy access to the station and in its undeveloped states marred the visual amenity of the railway precinct.

Additionally, the formalisation of car parking on the Commercial Road/Jane Street Bridge corner completes another of Advance Morwell’s requested town improvements – one which we first lobbied for in 2009.

We continue to work with Latrobe City on enhancing parking in the Morwell CBD

Community Support

Advance Morwell was pleased to support the Morwell Centenary Rose Garden with a significant donation of $8,000 to support their publication of a history of the rose garden.  The 100 plus page soft cover coffee table book is a credit to the writers and designers and we are pleased to have been able to support this initiative which catalogues the creation and development of one of Morwell’s most valuable assets.

Advance Morwell also donated $300 to 1st Morwell Scout Group in support of their 100th birthday celebration in December 2022 (deferred from 2021 due to COVID).  As one of the town’s oldest community organisations, it is important that this notable achievement was recognised.

Relocation of Musical Instruments

In November 2016, Advance Morwell organised for Morwell’s Legacy Place to become the home to three outdoor musical instruments.  Unfortunately, in July 2019 one of these items (valued at $7,000) was stolen.  This item was eventually recovered by police in 2022, following which Advance Morwell worked with Latrobe City to relocate this item and the remaining instruments to Town Common playground.  

Christmas Promotion

Advance Morwell organised a Christmas promotion held from Friday 16th to Friday 23rd December 2022, with six cafes participating.  Funded in part by the Latrobe City Christmas Grant, each café was provided with 50 coffees to give away and a music session provided by local guitarist James Harbor and vocalist Shanyn.  Feedback on the initiative was extremely positive, with additional café’s contacting Advance Morwell to participate.

In addition to contributing $1,000 from our own funds, Advance Morwell also utilised some of the Latrobe City Christmas Grant to support Rotary Community Fun Day providing Traffic Management, First Aid, Signage, ATM Hire and a mobile farm.

Member event

Advance Morwell worked with nbnLocal to organise a NBN information evening for members to be held in July 2022.  This was an education session, providing details on the nbn support services that are available for small business and residents.  While attendance was not as strong as hoped, feedback on the information provided was positive.

Website and Branding

 As part of a broader renewal plan, the Committee agreed to complete a branding refresh and update of the Advance Morwell website.  Work on these activities commenced in July 2023.

Contact Us:      

                                                                                                                                                                                ADVANCE MORWELL INC. |   ABN: 79 430 405 176 
Incorporated Association Number: A36948L.                                                                                                                                               Address: PO Box 1061, Morwell Vic 3841  | Graeme Sennett, Acting Chair
 | Tel:  0417 509 149   | email: admin@advancemorwell.org.au

To Advance Morwell and the wider Latrobe City through unity and active community involvement.

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