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Bay watch back for summer

Councillor forced out of Labor Party

Neil Walker VOLUNTEER lifesavers are back out on patrol across bayside beaches for the summer months. Life Saving Victoria is expecting “another busy summer” with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting soaring temperatures even warmer than average across the state this summer. “We urge all beachgoers to assist our lifesavers by swimming between the red and yellow flags on patrolled beaches. If our lifesavers can’t see you, they can’t save you,’’ LSV operations manager Greg Scott said. “It’s so important that people realise just how dangerous beaches can be – even when the weather is nice.” The first lifeguard patrols for the summer months hit the sand and water on Sunday (2 December). Volunteer lifesavers patrol beaches on most public holidays and at weekends. The resumption of beach patrols by lifeguards comes in the same week LSV released its annual Victorian Drowning Report collating statistics and information about drowning deaths. The report stated there is a 99 per chance of at least one person drowning each year in Melbourne’s southeast region which includes the Kingston municipality. In the 2016-17 year, there were 45

Eyes on swimmers: Frankston lifesavers will also take to the sea on jetskis to patrol beaches this summer. Picture: John Billing

drowning deaths across Victoria, a 20 per cent rise on the ten-year average. Boat passengers should wear life jackets at all times, LSV says and children are at risk of drowning in home swimming pools if unsupervised. LSV principal research associate Dr Bernadette Matthews compiled the annual report and said paramedics also attended 54 non-fatal incidents involving water in Victoria during 2016-17, bringing the number of dangerous water-related incidents across the state to 99. “Drownings are shocking to both families of the victims and the public, especially because each drowning could have been prevented,” Dr Matthews said. “Non-fatal drownings gain less attention, but they also have far-reaching effects on families and also on the

victims, who may never fully recover. Including all drowning incidents gives a fuller picture and is important in formulating our prevention tactics.” A Play it Safe by the Water advertising campaign will air during the summer to remind beachgoers and swimming pool users to always be careful in and around water. “The most common activity immediately prior to a drowning is swimming, paddling or wading, representing 29 per cent of fatal and 26 per cent of non-fatal drowning incidents,” Dr Matthews said. Beachgoers are also advised to check weather conditions and read safety signs when visiting beaches. Information about patrolled beach locations and times is available at online.

A FRANKSTON councillor has been kicked out of the Australian Labor Party. South ward councillor Steve Toms had his party membership cancelled last month by the Victorian branch of the ALP. Cr Toms has been embroiled in a public stoush with Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke over Young St traders complaints that the street redevelopment works negatively impacted on businesses. The increasingly bitter argument mostly conducted online on Facebook culminated in Mr Edbrooke threatening to sue the former deputy mayor for alleged defamation in September. Cr Toms took to Facebook last month to announce the Labor Party had cancelled his four-year membership of the party. “For four years I’ve given blood, sweat and tears to the Labor Party and to the values it upholds,” Cr Toms posted on Facebook. “I was elected by the people of Frankston to be independent in conducting my role as councillor in the best interests of the people in our municipality. “In recent times I’ve come under attack from the local Labor Party here in Frankston for standing up for our hardworking and passionate local traders here in Frankston City over the long overdue and bungled state government Young St roadworks. Cr Toms wrote: “It is obvious that

Exile on Young Street: Cr Steve Toms, centre, arm in arm with Liberal MPs Neale Burgess and Chris Crewther. Pic: Facebook

the Labor Party do not like councillors that stand up for their community adhering to the councillors oath of office without fear.” He said there has been “a constant dirty smear campaign” against him and his supporters during the Young St stoush. “The Labor Party left me I did not leave the Labor Party,” Cr Toms said. Cr Toms did not return several calls about his exit from the Labor Party. It is understood that Cr Toms had his Labor Party membership revoked for allegedly being disloyal to the party and publicly attacking another member of the ALP. Neil Walker

Frankston Times 11 December 2017


11 December 2017  
11 December 2017  

Frankston Times 11 December 2017