News and Media Releases

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  • 30 Mar 2024 6:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Since its inception, Advance Morwell has achieved a lot:

    • Made several Parliamentary Submissions including into the closure of Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations, and the Rural and Regional Committee of the Victorian Parliament Centres of the Futur

    • Successfully lobbied for CCTV to address CBD behaviour issues

    • Successfully opposed TRU Energy Mine’s buffer zone claim

    • Provided significant funding to the Morwell Rose Garden for the publication of their history

    • Successfully lobbied for replacement of old CBD Subway and initiated Legacy Place to recognise Sir Stanley Savige, founder of Legacy

    • Completed Airlie Bank Homestead Restoration

    • Successfully lobbied for the new railway platform to be co-located with the bus terminus

    • Organised numerous Christmas and supported other promotions and community celebrations

    • Organised TV advertising to promote Morwell Businesses post COVID

    • Opposed bank closures in the Morwell CBD

    • Organised Celebration of Roses community events

    • Staged Gippsland Band Concert and reintroduced Morwell Christmas Carols

    • Produced "Shopping in and around the Morwell CBD”  booklet

    • Organised CBD decorative banners and Christmas decorations 

    • Completed “Morwell Rose Town” initiative (stickers and rose tubs)

    • Supported introduction of Latrobe City Gift Card

    • Successfully lobbied to replace Morwell’s Community Service signage

    • Installed town entrance welcome signage

    • Actively participated in the Morwell Town Common Committee of Management

    • Installed musical instruments in Legacy Place

    • Successfully lobbied to convert the derelict Ampol Station site into parking

    • Supported the Antiques and Collectables Show and the 100th anniversary of the 1st Morwell Scout Group

    • Consistent Christmas Events in Morwell

  • 21 Mar 2024 6:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Airlie Bank homestead and farm occupy a special place in Morwell’s history.

    The history of Airlie Bank Homestead in Morwell Victoria dates back to 1879 when David Ogilvy built Airlie Bank.  David Ogilvy and his family lived there until 1897 when it was sold to Robert Bridle, his wife and seven of their ten children.  The Bridle family occupied Airlie Bank until 1959.

    Consisting of the homestead, outbuildings and farm of 263 acres including a large brick cheesehouse and cellar standing between the house and nearby Waterhole creek.  The original homestead was made up of a brick home, a detached timber kitchen, a bathroom and pantry on the south side, and a detached four-bedroom timber building on the north side.  The major water supply was provided by a brick-lined concrete-rendered underground tank and a couple of smaller underground tanks. The cheesehouse and cellar were later used for grain and chaff storage.

    The building survived the floods of 1934 and the disastrous bushfires of 1939.  More bushfires in 1944 destroyed the grain and chaff storage buildings. The farm was later sub-divided into what is now known as the Bridle estate

    The last of the Bridle family left Airlie Bank in 1959 and although occupied for a number of years, it gradually fell into disrepair and became a target for vandals.  Airlie Bank was later given to the then Shire of Morwell by the Bridle family

    Airlie Bank Homestead has been restored under the guidance of the late Max Williamson and Advance Morwell and was re-opened to the public in 2000. From July 2010 Airlie Bank Gallery has hosted a magnificent display of dolls from every corner of the world under the name of “Bev’s Wonderworld of Dolls”. This display is now closed & relocated.

  • 18 Mar 2024 6:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Morwell has a large variety accommodation, suiting all tastes and budgets, and is an ideal base from which to explore the Latrobe Region.

    Only a short drive away are the picturesque hills of the green Strzelecki Ranges which beckon visitors to the Morwell National Park, there is the historic mining village of Walhalla, the unique Tarra Bulga National Park, numerous beaches and several snow resorts among many other local attractions.

    Our sporting facilities are excellent, catering for every need, ranging from a golf course, a golf driving range, tennis courts, bowling greens, tenpin bowling, squash and many other popular sporting activities.  We also have an eight screen cinema complex and leisure centre complex along with a range of cultural and social clubs.

    Local tourism icons include Morwell’s Centenary Rose Garden, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Gippsland Immigration Park and Powerworks.

    The Morwell Rose Garden

    Forming the western entrance to the Morwell Business District is the spectacular Morwell Centenary Rose Garden of international significance.

    The garden which proudly showcases about 3000 roses in manicured beds, is a community project undertaken by the "Friends of the Rose Garden", volunteers and sponsors with the generous support of Latrobe City Council.

    In 2009 this garden was presented with an Award of Garden Excellence by the World Federation of Rose Societies.

    This Rose Garden is an outstanding example of what a community can achieve with dedication and hard work.  A local councillor’s idea in 1991 was sold to the Council of the day.  A site was selected, public meeting called and a Steering Committee formed.  This committee has been totally responsible for the project comprising the design, fund raising, construction and on-going maintenance of the garden which was officially opened in November 1992.

    The Morwell Chamber of Commerce strongly supported the Rose Garden project, providing the Committee with funds to assist in the initiation of the project, with Advance Morwell providing ongoing support in recent years, through project funding.

    Crinigan Bushland Reserve

    The 100 acre reserve was the last patch of native bush in Morwell.  While it had been neglected,  Peter Ryan, a nearby resident, saw the potential of this site and gathered together a committee of 10 like-minded people.  This committee gained local council funding to have the area cleaned and regenerated.  The Reserve is now fenced, roads made and walking tracks which follow contours constructed.  In addition, a shelter, tables and chairs and breeding boxes have been provided.  All this has been achieved as a result of help from various local groups, community volunteers and service organisations.

    All schools in the area are Friends of the Reserve.  Little Athletics, Traralgon Harriers, local football and soccer clubs all use it for training.  It is also popular with horse riders.   The Reserve is now home for over 170 different plants and approximately 30 native orchids.  Native birds, and animals such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats are starting to return.  Amenities for visitors include an information booth and picnic shelter.  The committee continues to be aided by a large team of enthusiastic volunteers, and it has the continuing support of Council, sponsors such as the Lions Club of Morwell, the Rotary Club of Morwell, Advance Morwell, and the community.

    Bills Horse Trough

    Prior to the widespread use of motor vehicles, horses were widely used for farming, drawing heavy vehicles, and for personal transport.  In hot weather they often became distressed when drinking water was not available.  The animal loving Bills family sought to lessen horses’ distress by providing drinking troughs in various towns throughout Victoria and well beyond.In Morwell a trough was placed in Hazelwood Road opposite the then Town Hall, now the Regional Art Gallery.  The Morwell trough was special as it included an attached small bowl for dogs to drink from.

    In later years the trough was removed and taken to the Pony Club premises, where it fell into disrepair.  Recognising its historical importance, the Morwell Historical Society decided to return the trough and dog bowl to their original position.  Latrobe City Council and the Rotary Club of Morwell were responsible for repair and enhancement of the trough, before it was returned close to its original position in Hazelwood Road on June 7, 2010.

    Gippsland Immigration Park

    Morwell and the wider Latrobe City attracted many overseas migrants in the aftermath of the second world war, who made Gippsland their home.  Recognising their contribution to the region, The Immigration Wall of Recognition was established to record the names and achievements of those migrants who came to Gippsland and helped build our community.  It was officially opened in March 2007.

  • 12 Mar 2024 6:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It was the Government’s approved the construction of a railway line from Melbourne to Sale in 1873 that led to the development of the township of Morwell, with the first public sale of land taking place in January 1879 prior to the opening of the railway line in April of that year.   At this time there were around ten traders operating in the town, with a brickworks, pottery, butter factory, schools and cordial factory established in the following twenty years.

    The Shire of Morwell was formed in 1892.  Following fires in the commercial area in both 1890 and 1912, the Morwell Waterworks Trust was formed and in December 1913 a town water supply from Billy's Creek was connected.

    Morwell’s development was further fostered following the establishment of the Yallourn open cut mine and power station in the 1920s and the opening of the Maryvale Paper Mill in 1937, all of which provided Morwell with opportunities for employment and trade.

    The State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) commenced work on the Morwell power station and briquette works in 1949 with production at the plant starting in 1956, which provided briquettes for domestic and industrial use, including in the production of Town Gas for Melbourne at an adjacent gasworks built by the by the Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria.

    Further development by the SECV at Hazelwood strengthened Morwell’s economy, which underwent subsequent retraction in the 1980’s and 1990’s with subsequent electricity industry restructuring and privatisation.

    Competitive Advantages

    Morwell has a number of competitive advantages that include affordable housing, well, developed infrastructure, a broad range of business activities and highly skilled workforce.  It has a vast array of social, sporting, cultural and educational facilities, which when combined with an affordable and high quality lifestyle, make Morwell not only a great place for business, but a great place to live.

    Morwell is located in the centre of the Latrobe City, the key industrial and commercial area of Gippsland in Eastern Victoria, and has an extensive and well-established range of services and infrastructure.  Morwell’s central locality (which provides the best location for servicing the Latrobe Region) and transport connections, such as Latrobe Regional Airport and the Gippsland Rail Corridor, make Morwell the ideal location for decentralised industry or commercial activities.

    Morwell is well serviced by retail businesses both in central Morwell and at Mid Valley.  It has an eight theatre cinema complex, excellent swimming and leisure centre and high level soccer, football and cricket facilities.

  • 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. 

    ANZAC Day

    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.

  • 21 Dec 2023 5:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Supported by Latrobe City’s Christmas Festivity Grant, Advance Morwell has been spreading some Christmas spirit in the Morwell CBD. 

    On Friday 15th December the Morwell Citizens Band brightened the afternoon, with Christmas music in Commercial Road outside of Manny’s Market.

    On Saturday 16th the music continued with free face painting outside of Subway and Santa was roving Commercial Road.

    Facebook posts encouraged Morwell shoppers to come along and join in the Christmas spirit and support their local traders.

    Supported by Latrobe City’s Christmas Festivity Grant, Advance Morwell partnered with several Morwell cafes to share the Christmas Spirit!

    Morwell shoppers were encouraged to get up early, get your coffee and get set to shop at their local traders!  With 50 customers at each café receiving a free regular coffee. 

    Advance Morwell thanks participating café’s Peachy Coffee House, Claudias Café, and Café Qu Bah for their support in this Christmas promotion.

  • 26 Aug 2023 4:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Local success story Aussie Broadband was awarded the prestigious ‘Hall of Fame’ award at Friday night’s Gippsland Business Awards.

    According to Advance Morwell Acting Chair Graeme Sennett, the local business community was thrilled to learn that Aussie Broadband has been recognised this way.

    “Aussie Broadband’s success is the result of many years of innovation, courage and determination.” Said Mr Sennett.

    “Its success is phenomenal and a great credit to Phil Britt and the whole team, who have taken Aussie Broadband from a small regional internet provider to the fifth largest telco in Australia and also being listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.” He added.

    Previously winner of the 2017 Gippsland Business Awards, Business of the Year award, Aussie Broadband was recognised for its growth, contribution to the community, innovative operations, and the support it provides to their employees.

    “To see a local organisation be so successful provides a great role model for small business operators.” Said Mr Sennett.

    “More importantly, for those in Morwell, it creates a great sense of pride to see a business that was started by a local, grow and prosper, while still maintaining its headquarters in the town.”

    “With so many Gippsland residents and business operators having supported Aussie Broadband over the years, it is very rewarding to see them recognised this way.” Said Mr Sennett.

    Further Information

    For further information contact Graeme Sennett, telephone 0417 509 149

  • 3 Aug 2023 7:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Morwell CBD has been robbed of its last bank branch, with the National Australia Bank (NAB) recently announcing the closure of its Princes Drive branch. According to Advance Morwell Vice-Chair, Graeme Sennett, the Morwell community is devastated by this latest banking blow.

    “Over recent years Morwell residents have slowly seen the closure of all their CBD bank branches, significantly impacting both our business community and those who rely on in-person banking services.” He said. Having been driven to move banks multiple times over recent years, Morwell residents and business people are now facing a real challenge as their last CBD bank branch closes its doors. “Despite the banks’ claims that services are available on-line and that use of over-the-counter services is diminishing, their closure poses a significant threat to Morwell’s economic stability and well-being.” Said Mr Sennett. "Over the years, our local bank branches have provided essential financial services to residents and businesses and their presence has been an integral part of our community, providing economic support, banking and employment opportunities." He added.

    According to Advance Morwell, the closure of the CBD banks has disproportionately affected Morwell’s elderly and vulnerable community members who face real difficulties accessing banking services without a local physical branch. Mr Sennett said, “The impact on local businesses, who rely on these banks for day-to-day financial transactions is significant. Morwell traders now incur additional costs, security risks and time wastage as they must travel to Traralgon or Moe to do their banking.” “While we are fortunate to still have a Commonwealth Bank Branch at MidValley, it is difficult to access and requires traders to carry their cash through the shopping centre and car-park; a real safety risk” He added.

    As our big banks close branches and chase profits, they are ignoring their social and community obligations, and in their wake, leave towns suffering, with empty shops, job losses and future economic development undermined. Advance Morwell has called on the NAB to reconsider their decision and explore alternative solutions to maintain a presence in our town.

    Collaborative efforts are needed to preserve the economic stability of Australia’s small towns and ensure access to essential banking services for residents and businesses everywhere. “It’s time that all levels of government work together to advocate for the retention of these banking services or to seek new and creative ways to address this critical issue.

    For further information contact Graeme Sennett.

  • 19 Dec 2022 5:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Supported by Latrobe City’s Christmas Festivity Grant, Advance Morwell has partnered with a number of Morwell cafes to share the Christmas Spirit!

    From Friday 16th December, 50 customers at each café will receive a free regular coffee and get to enjoy some entertainment provided by local musicians James and Shanyn.

    Advance Morwell thanks participating café’s Peckish Café, 38Forty Café, Claudias Café, Alfresh2go, Café Qu Bah and The Daily Café & Foodstore for their support in this Christmas promotion.

    A big thanks also to James and Shanyn for their great music and to Latrobe City for providing the Christmas Festivity Grant.

    We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and encourage everyone to shop local in 2023.

  • 31 Aug 2021 6:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Advance Morwell commends the Victorian Parliament’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee for establishing this important Inquiry into the closure of the Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations.

    The Latrobe Valley in south-east Victoria has a long and proud history of brown coal mining and power generation. Its abundant brown coal resource has powered the region and Victoria for the best part of the last century, providing affordable and reliable electricity and underpinning the state’s economic growth and prosperity.

    Increasing renewable energy generation and the urgent need to meet national and international emissions reduction targets, coupled with the ageing nature of the Latrobe Valley’s brown coal-fired power generators will ultimately see the retirement of these assets in the years ahead.

    The closure of the Hazelwood Brown Coal Mine and Power Station in March 2017 and the projected closures of EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn and AGL’s Loy Yang assets in 2028 and 2048 respectively present one of the most significant challenges to the Latrobe Valley in its history.

    The transition to a carbon-constrained economy will have undeniable impacts to the local economy and community. The safe, secure and well-paying jobs that the sector has provided to generations of

    Latrobe Valley families are slowly fading.

    There is an urgent need to plan for this transition to ensure that the Latrobe Valley, which has contributed so much to the state’s economic growth, continues to prosper in the decades ahead.

    Read the release in full below. 

    Parliamentary Inquiry into Closure of Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations - Advance Morwell Submission.pdf

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Incorporated Association Number: A36948L.                                                                                                                                               Address: PO Box 1061, Morwell Vic 3841  | Graeme Sennett, Acting Chair
 | Tel:  0417 509 149   | email:

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