Page 5

Cost blowout on pool repair Neil Walker neil@baysidenews.com.au

Clubbing together: Jo Stanley signs books at Parkdale Library as part of a summer reading program. Picture: Yanni

Page turns on summer fun CHILDREN are being encouraged to switch off electronic devices and open a book this summer to be in the running for some prizes thanks to Kingston Libraries. This year’s Summer Reading Club was launched last Wednesday (28 November) at Parkdale Library by radio personality and children’s author Jo Stanley. Stanley read from her new Play Like A Girl book series to visiting pupils from Parkdale Primary School to kick off the Summer Reading Club running

from 1 December until Wednesday 31 January. The Summer Reading Club program is free to join and encourages children aged 5-16 who use Kingston Libraries to keep reading over summer. “There’s no need to be bored these school holidays when you can lose yourself in a world of adventure through the pages of a favourite book,” Kingston mayor Cr Steve Staikos said. “Young people can win a whole host of small prizes along the way and go into our major prize draw for an

iPad, $100 Westfield voucher and $50 Dymocks. So sign up and get reading for your chance to win.” Summer Reading Club packs can be collected from Kingston library branches. The Summer Reading Club is organised by Kingston Libraries and the Australian Library and Information Association, supported by the Mordialloc-Mentone Lions Club and Penguin Books. See kingston.vic.gov.au/library or call 1300 135 668 for more information including library summer opening hours.

THE BILL for fixing underground pipes to reopen the main swimming pools at the Peninsula Aquatic and Recreation Centre in time for the busy summer months could creep close to the $1 million mark. The PARC’s main 50-metre pool, aquatic playground and a learn-to-swim pool have been closed to swimmers since a plumbing fault on 12 October. Rust has infested pipe brackets and pipes three years after the $49.7 million leisure centre first opened its doors. Leisure centre management initially hoped to have the PARC pools open again by the end of October but “midDecember” is now a possibility according to Peninsula Leisure, the Frankston Council-owned company that manages the centre. “Currently we are still on track to reopen the PARC 50 metres and learn to swim pools by mid-December, with contractors working seven days a week to resolve the infrastructure malfunction, Peninsula Leisure CEO Tim Gledhill said last week. “Our members and the broader community will be advised immediately, once a reopen date is confirmed.” Pools were drained so plumbing contractors can access the defective pipes. Frankston councillors discussed the PARC pools closure and any rectification works behind closed doors since

it related to legal advice after council’s public council meeting on Monday 20 November. It is understood that about $17,000 a day is leaking from council’s balance sheet in lost income each day the PARC swimming pools remain closed to the public. Centre members have not been charged membership fees while the pools remain closed. Other PARC activities such as the gym and wellness centre are still open to visitors and members. The wash up over who pays for the near $1 million rectification works to fix the underground pool pipes may involve talks between council, the centre builders and insurers.

Hospital plans AN AMBITIOUS vision of the future of health and education in the Frankston region has been unveiled under a plan to base a health and education hub at a rebuilt Frankston Hospital in partnership with Monash University. Peninsula Health announced at its annual general meeting last Wednesday (29 November) plans for a $250 million rebuild of Frankston Hospital to include 115 more beds by mid-2021 and a $15 million clinical research and education centre at the new hospital. Monash University will commit up to $50 million to the project in a partnership estimated to bring 1000 jobs to Frankston during construction of new buildings and 500 full-time health, research and education jobs after completion.

Centre better after blaze KINGSTON Council will contribute $29,000 of ratepayers’ money to help rebuild the Patterson Lakes Community Centre after a fire at the Thompson Rd building in March. A new outdoor area to include an accessible ramp into the community centre, raised garden beds, a picnic table and outdoor seating and pathways will be built. “When fire damage caused the centre to close earlier this year it was a great loss to the Patterson Lakes community,” Kingston mayor Cr Steve Staikos said. “Council worked in partnership with the centre to get them back up and running by providing an improved kitchen and new sprung gymnasium floor. “We’re now thrilled to offer this

extra funding to help further boost the centre with a great outdoor space.” Councillors in May also voted to dish out about $40,000 to install a commercial kitchen for community use at the centre. About 14,000 books at a library at the Patterson Lakes Community Centre had to be individually cleaned before the centre reopened in April. See patlakescc.net.au or call 9772 8588 for information about classes and events at Patterson Lakes Community Centre.

Hosed down: Firefighters respond on evening Patterson Lakes Community Centre fire struck. Pic: Gary Sissons

Reward for skink sleuths SEVERAL elusive swamp skinks have been rediscovered in parks on the Mornington Peninsula. A small team of scientists and field naturalists from La Trobe University rediscovered the skinks (Lissolepis coventryi) which have not been caught in the area for 30 years. The last anecdotal sighting was in 2012. So far, 13 of these “mini Godzillas” have been measured and weighed after being caught in Elliott traps – which allow for live capture – and under tiles. “Self-confessed reptile fanatics find swamp skinks appealing due to their fussy and secretive habits. They live in swampy areas and shelter in burrows. They display highly territorial behaviour and can be aggressive to unwanted visitors,” team leader

David De Angelis, said. The skinks are black and gold and have a blue mouth lining. The scientists were creative in their efforts to observe the skinks: they installed low fences to create travel lines leading to surveillance cameras and baited their traps with honey, rolled oats, peanut butter and sardines. Scientists also checked beneath hundreds of concrete roofing tiles left in the swampy areas the skinks prefer. Continuing habitat loss is the biggest threat to this rare skink which is listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. Its survival is also affected by weed invasion, inappropriate fire regimes and introduced predators, such as

foxes and cats. “This collaborative project between Parks Victoria and the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria is a rare opportunity for members of the public to assist with monitoring this state-significant species,” Mr De Angelis said. “It is contributing to our knowledge of the swamp skink’s distribution on the peninsula and research into the most effective ways of surveying for it.”

Nice to see you again: Scientists are thrilled with the rediscovery of swamp skinks, which they describe as “Mini Godzillas”, on the Mornington Peninsula. Picture: Supplied Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News 6 December 2017

PAGE 5

6 December 2017  

Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News 6 December 2017

Advertisement