Our hopes for the future of Morwell Exhibition

This free exhibition evolved from research into recovery from the Hazelwood mine fire. We listened and clearly heard that people wanted to do something positive about Morwell and to be part of conversations about the future.
Many community members and groups have contributed to the conversation and this photographic exhibition is the result of these discussions. Photographer Clive Hutchison beautifully captures their hopes for the future.
All are welcome.
Morwell Neighbourhood House, researchers from Federation University Australia involved in the Hazelwood Health Study, and the Gippsland Centre for Art and Design, Federation University have joined forces to co-host this exhibition
At the switchback gallery from 14th November. Find out more 

Hazelwood Power Station nominated for heritage protection.

Latrobe City Council has criticised the push for the Heritage Council of Victoria to consider Hazelwood Power Station’s nomination for heritage protection.

It is in the process of being decommissioned in preparation for the mine site’s transformation into a lake.

But Moe resident Cheryl Wragg wants the ageing plant to form part of a Latrobe Valley industrial history trail.

Morwell a finalist in the tidy town awards. 

Keep Victoria Beautiful judge David Moncrieff said Morwell would go up against other towns including Dimboola, Coal Creek, Rutherglen and Beechworth, also finalists in the cultural heritage section.
“Advance Morwell member Keith Brownbill presented a number of interesting projects at Morwell but the most interesting one was the conversion of the old Masonic Lodge to the Morwell Historical Society museum,” Mr Moncrieff said.

Latrobe Valley Express

Hazelwood Power Auction

THE Hazelwood power station will this week begin ­auctioning thousands of pieces of equipment and parts including furniture, tools and large machinery.
It comes as at least one ­private operator from South Australia has expressed interest in buying the plant’s large turbines.
Surplus equipment and parts — those not required for demolition works — will go sale at the first of a series of ­online auctions this week.

These include chairs, tables, desks, cabinets, office equipment, white goods, tools, shipping containers, electric motors, pumps and metals.

The online auction can be found at www.go-dove.com/en/events?cmd=details&event=641100

Couple wins Heritage Council of Victoria traditional trades award for South Gippsland project

Indisputably there could be no more deserving winners of the Heritage Council of Victoria’s inaugural Traditional Trades award last year than the couple who, in faithfully restoring a Gippsland ruin, went to the trouble of forging the brackets that hold the rainwater gutters in place.
Amateur enthusiasts Marcus Blyth and partner Joanne McFadyen also hand forged the picture holders that secure art to the acres of lath and plaster walling that also had to be remade at Woodcot Park, an 1840s “gentleman’s residence” at Tarraville, South Gippsland.

Read More…

Public Lecture – ‘General Sir John Monash, Engineer, Soldier & Nation Builder’

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A public lecture – ‘General Sir John Monash, Engineer, Soldier & Nation Builder’ is being held as part of the Annual Australasian Mining History Association Conference at Traralgon.

The Public Lecture is being presented by LtCol Bernard Mulholland RFD JP.

The event is being held on Wednesday, 27th September 2017, at 7.30 pm at the Traralgon Tennis Centre

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General Sir John Monash GCMG, KCB, VD was a civil engineer and an Australian military commander of the First World War. He commanded the 13th Infantry Brigade before the war and then, shortly after its outbreak, became commander of the 4th Brigade in Egypt, with whom he took part in the Gallipoli campaign. In July 1916 he took charge of the newly raised 3rd Division in northwestern France and in May 1918 became commander of the Australian Corps, at the time the largest corps on the Western Front. The successful Allied attack at the Battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918, which expedited the end of the war, was planned by Monash and spearheaded by British forces including the Australian and Canadian Corps under Monash and Arthur Currie. Monash is considered one of the best Allied generals of the First World War and the most famous commander in Australian history.

He later setup the SECV and his statue sits at Powerworks in Morwell.

National Science week at Powerworks

PowerWorks will be open every day during National Science Week between 10:00am and 3:00pm. There will open access to the displays with guided tours of the complex and some of the more significant points of interest in the surrounds.

PowerWorks overlooks the huge, recently closed, Morwell / Hazelwood open-cut brown coal mine.

Your hosts will be able to explain some of the engineering challenges that need to be overcome in rehabilitating the mine, as well as its 75-year history. The tours will appeal to all ages, from primary school-age and up, providing both a historical and technical perspective of Victoria’s brown coal industry.

The PowerWorks museum includes interactive, scientific displays and models of the gigantic boilers and dredgers that have (and continue to be) relied upon to maintain the stable and reliable supply of electricity that has helped build Victoria’s economy. See the science of converting brown coal into steam and then electricity and the advancement of higher-efficiency, lower-emission technologies which are now in use elsewhere in the world.



Farewell to the Morwell Popup Park.

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Latrobe City Council recently announced the closure of the Popup park that was erected at the corner of Tarwin St and Commercial Rd in Morwell. It was originally started as a temporary community space but became a popular meeting spot for young and old alike. Despite some opposition it was a real success, hosting many events and giving the CBD a touch of colour and creating a community in the process.


The park was originally funded by Vichealth as part of their Community Activation Program to transform a public space, get people active and create a longer term change in the community. The north-western end of Tarwin Street in Morwell was converted into a public plaza with synthetic grass, temporary landscaping, tables and seating, Wi-Fi, and a space for physical activity opportunities. The community was encouraged to participate in a range of fitness and movement classes such as tai chi, dance, giant chess, join walking groups, learn to cycle or participate in tug of war, bocce and sports.

Once it was given the go ahead by Latrobe City Council the park was transformed with the efforts of council employees and some working bees where the community participated.

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Activation of the space.

After it was setup it hosted many events such as Circus Oz, Australian Ballet and the Arts Centre Melbourne as well as an outdoor cinema, exercise classes, music and even a little free library which operated near the site.

The 50 mile market also utilised the site for buskers and after furniture and a shade sail was added it became a convenient place for families with young children and other members of the community to spend their time. This was primarily the result of its location near Tania’s Deli and other cafes and provided a sense of security because of the CCTV cameras nearby.

Movie Night!

The events hosted by the popup park were many and varied. In April 2016, Brett Glover and the Live at Spectrum Crew went to the Tarwin Pop Up Market and had a chat with some of the artists and organisers for Episode 03 of Live at Spectrum. A highlight of the episode was a performance by Nicky Bomba

Fantastic Music by Nicky Bomba
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Live At Spectrum 
Fun with drums.

In September 2016 people arrived at the popup park after walking 100kms from Pakenham to Morwell as part of the “Walk For The Valley“. The Earthworker Co Operative held the event as a fundraiser to go towards moving to Morwell and setting up a worker owned factory, and they are well on the way to manufacturing renewable products. 

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Earthworker Coop arriving at the popup park. 

In March 2017 local duo Dan Musil and Beau Atkinson were interviewed by Radio National at the Park and they played a set shortly before the imminent closure of Hazelwood Power Station

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Dan and Beau  “Humanize” Morwell

Latrobe City Council also announced their “Strength Led Transition” with the Mayor Kellie O’Callaghan outlining their plans for a community led transition.



One of the last events hosted at the park was a popup “free store” which was organised by volunteers from Morwell Neighbourhood House.


After a community campaign to keep the park it’s existence was extended for a period of time however the council decided to close it in August 2017. Although this was expected it was still a regrettable outcome. So what is next for activation of public space in Morwell? Perhaps a project called “Future Morwell” holds the key.

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Image: Reactivate Latrobe Valley 

Mere weeks after the Hazelwood Power Station wound down its eight generating units for good, the town of 14,000 people has been given a document outlining a radical re-design of its town.

The long-awaited ‘Future Morwell Urban Revitalisation Plan’ document, has been released and is bold in its vision to transform Morwell into the ‘Town of Gardens’.

A ‘Morwell Circuit’ is the first part of the project, starting with a State Government funded stage ‘A’ plan to transform Commercial Road between Hazelwood Road and Tarwin Street.” ~Latrobe Valley Express

It seems once one door closes another is opening to re invent our public spaces. You can support the future morwell plan at the Latrobe City Council meeting on the 21st of August. Many community members are excited about the re development of Commercial Rd and Tarwin St with a more permanent solution for people to utilise the CBD.

Removal of Gippsland Line Electrification at Morwell in 1995

When electrification of the Gippsland Line to Traralgon was completed in the 1950s, the Melbourne to Traralgon line was the longest electrified line in Australia. In the mid 1990s, the electric wires were cut down between Pakenham and Traralgon. This video clip shows the cutting own of the last wires of the Warragul Traralgon section at Morwell in June 1995 and shows the method used by the contractors.


Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 7.38.46 pmA worker removes the line at Morwell in 1995 (video)

Some more photos of trains using the line below:

Morwell Yard L 1165
A view of Morwell yard down end with L1165 shunting. 30.12.1986
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L 1163 shunts at Morwell whilst running an up goods. Dec. 30 1972
T400, Txxx Morwell
T400, Txxx Morwell
February 1979
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The “Gippslander” used to be hauled by electric L class locos as far as Traralgon where the overhead ended. At Traralgon the
L would cut off and a T class would be attached for the remainder of the trip to Bairnsdale.