10 September 2019

Page 7


Kaufland megastore rejected Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au

Picture: Yanni

Jet ski critics ‘demonise families BOATING industry association’s have condemned the “repeated and ongoing attacks on Victorian boating families” by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. This follows the council’s push for residents to back its tough stance against the behaviour of some jet skiers on the bay (“Shire pushing hard line on jet skis, The Times 27/8/19). The chair of the Personal Watercraft Industry Association and a past president and life member of the Boating Industry Association of Victoria, David Heyes said industry or user groups had “never been consulted in any of the [newspaper] articles fuelled by the [shire] and other minority groups”. He said “history condemns the behaviour of council and [Rye Community Alliance chair] Michelle Cheers’ hatred of the boating community with their position on the [Rye] boat ramp

upgrade and hysteria over PWC use on local beaches”. “Hatred has nothing to do with it,” Ms Cheers said in response. “It’s about everyone being able to enjoy the beaches and the water and not being affected by the noise and aggression of a minority group.” She said more than 6000 people had signed the alliance’s petition to ban jet skis on the southern peninsula. Mr Heyes said a lack of equality and the lack of sharing of the waterways is “un-Australian and demonises families and children just wanting to enjoy the waterways”. He said most PWC users were law abiding family people and “should not be marginalised for the actions of a very few”. Mr Heyes – who works for a multi-national company producing and marketing jet-ski propulsion systems

– said the boating community “supported tough regulations to deal with unlawful use of craft”. “If local residents are concerned about boating behaviours then they should vent their concerns over how the regulations are enforced and not be discriminatory about the boating public.” Mr Heyes said there had been “no reports of incidents or injury to bathers or jet skiers on the [Mornington] peninsula to date”. He said the 2000 jet skiers living on the peninsula were enjoying a “legitimate family recreational pastime with the typical rider demographic of a 45-year-old successful white collar professional trade person who is married with children”. Steve Taylor

THE state government has rejected the proposed giant Kaufland supermarket at the entrance to Mornington. Planning minister Richard Wynne last week ruled out the company’s bid to build a 4000 square metre retail mega-hub at the corner of Oakbank Road and Nepean Highway. He said the decision had been made after “community consultation raised concerns about the nature of the development and the site’s proximity to the green wedge”. “We’ve listened to the community and ensured the gateway to Mornington is properly planned. We’re taking action to ensure Victoria remains a great place to live, work and do business,” he said. The knockback follows strong opposition by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council which held public meetings to explain to residents the advisory committee process, the scope of the proposal and details of its own submission to the Kaufland Stores in Victoria advisory committee. (“Public urged to oppose Kaufland bid” The News 22/1/19). The council had been concerned that the supermarket, to be built outside Mornington’s existing shopping centres, had “been removed from the normal planning process to be assessed by the advisory committee under the direction of … Mr Wynne”. The mayor Cr David Gill said at the time there would be “major implications” to Mornington if the development was approved. “The proposed location is on the bor-

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der of the green wedge [zone] and will destroy the prominent entry gateway to Mornington,” he said. “The establishment of such a major retail site on industrial land … could have a major impact on the retail economy within Mornington village and result in vacant shops along Main Street. “Proper planning takes decades and one bad decision can ruin our strategy for shopping precincts overnight.” Mornington MP David Morris described the rejection of Kaufland as a “victory for every member of our community who stood up to be counted”. “Regardless of the merits of the particular business, the sheer scale of the proposal would have had an enormous impact on the town of Mornington, and it would never have been the same again,” he said. Mr Morris said the planning process had caused “unnecessary stress and considerable expense” to the community and the shire. He said it had been unnecessary for Mr Wynne to override council. “The [advisory] committee confirmed in its report that not only is a supermarket of this size prohibited on the site, but the proposal is, and was right from the start, inconsistent with both state and local planning policy. “Despite the minister’s claims to the contrary, the committee has also confirmed that the proposal was a defacto rezoning that would create ‘... a new, but unplanned activity centre for Mornington’.” Nepean MP Chris Brayne also welcomed the government’s decision: “When I heard about the Kaufland proposal, I went straight to [Mr Wynne] to make sure my opposition was noted before a decision was made.

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10 September 2019


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