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Mayor launches defence

Picture: Gary Sissons

Council cancels committee membership FRANKSTON Council has ended its alignment with the advocacy group Committee for Greater Frankston. Council joined the lobby group in May 2018, agreeing to pay $10,000 a year for membership (“Lobby group spreads influence”, The Times, 21/5/18). In March it told the committee that it had decided to withdraw its membership. The mayor Kris Bolam said the group had “tunnel vision”, and had become too preoccupied with the Green Wedge, Baxter electrification, and car parking. “Council is of the view that there are some philosophical differences with the

Committee regarding both policy and advocacy matters,” he said. “It is standard practice for a new council – such as the current Frankston City Council, which was elected late last year – to review relationships with and memberships of various organisations. Following a review, it was of the view that it was already undertaking significant advocacy and as such, membership of the Committee for Greater Frankston was no longer warranted. “Council believes the decision to end our membership of the Committee will ensure it is able to independently advo-

cate to all three levels of government.” Committee for Greater Frankston CEO Ginevra Hosking said “under the network’s charter, local businesses, notfor-profits, community leaders, local councils and other government entities can become full voting members at their own discretion.” “Since our committee’s formation in early 2017, we have worked constructively and collaboratively with Frankston Council on shared objectives and will continue to do so in the future,” she said. Brodie Cowburn

FRANKSTON mayor Kris Bolam has hit back at the ABC for publishing a story which read that a “lack of diversity” was a challenge in Frankston. The ABC article cited statistics from the 2016 census which showed far fewer people spoke a non-English language in Frankston compared to nearby Cranbourne and Greater Dandenong areas. It also quoted local residents and business owners. Frankston mayor Kris Bolam said “there has been some recent media suggesting that Frankston could be a more welcoming city for those from multicultural backgrounds.” “I wanted to go on record as saying that Frankston City is and always will be a welcoming place for people from differing communities, faiths and cultural backgrounds, and as a council we are always looking to identify new ways to enhance cultural diversity and connection in our city,” he said. “For those of us who choose to call Frankston City home, we have a lot to be proud of. For some, that might be that interfaith events at the Bait-ulSalam Mosque, located in Langwarrin. As recently as this past weekend we welcomed more than 100 members of the Muslim community to this beautiful place of worship where various faith leaders spoke passionately about caring for each other and accepting the cultural differences that make us all unique. It was a great honour to have been invited to attend and speak on behalf of council. “ The Committee for Greater Frankston is quoted in the article, which focuses on Frankston’s location at the end of the train line. A statement from the lobby group read “while the Committee for Greater Frankston appreciates any media coverage of the inadequate public

transport in our city – as well as the long-running call to extend the metro train line as part of the solution – the article’s focus on the lack of demographic diversity in Frankston was unbalanced.” “This is a symptom of successive governments’ inadequate planning to increase the variety of housing options as well as insufficient investment in our region’s transport infrastructure. It is not the fault of Frankston residents,” it said.

Local dancer in new show A LANGWARRIN dancer is set to star in a new show at Crown. Molly Kealey will feature in Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour this month. Ms Kealey, 20-years-old, is a student at Patrick School of the Arts under the direction of Todd Patrick. She is in her final year at the school. The dancer worked with Scimm Dance Company for three seasons within Platforms Youth Company before joining the cast of Dracula’s. Tickets from www.draculas.com.au/ tour. The show is restricted to guests over the age of 15 due to its content. MOLLY Kealey. Picture: Supplied

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Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

Frankston Times 11 May 2021  

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