12 June 2017

Page 10


National plan to track marine pollution A NEW database will provide the public with details about sewage being poured into the ocean, estuaries and rivers. The database developed by the Clean Ocean Foundation, which successfully campaigned to clean up sewage being pumped into the ocean at Gunnamatta, has been compiled with a $400,000 federal government grant announced by Flinders MP Greg Hunt in October 2015. Now based at Wonthaggi, the foundation’s head John Gemmill joined Mr Hunt at Gunnamatta on Friday to announce the establishment of the national outfall database, or NOD. Citizen scientists were recruited to monitor and take water samples from

many of Australia’s 274 sewage outfalls. It is hoped that the data to be shared by water authorities, the states and the Northern Territory will be used to benefit the marine environment in when plans are drawn up for developing infrastructure. “The NOD provides the crucial first step to cross-institutional data sharing and will be a vital resource for governments and the community alike,” a news release from Mr Hunt’s office states. “This important research will continue to monitor the impact of sewage on Australia’s marine biodiversity and ecosystems.” The work by the Clean Ocean Foundation is part of research being

undertaken by the Marine Biodiversity Hub under the National Environmental Science Program (NESP). The research in Australia’s temperate marine waters is aimed at to helping manage and protect coastal and marine environments. When announcing the grant to the foundation in October 2015 Mr Hunt said work on the outfall database would see “fishers and surfers … become citizen scientists”. Mr Gemmill said since forcing changes at Gunnamatta the foundation had been “steadfastly focussing on addressing outfalls from a national approach, because our oceans know no borders”. Keith Platt

Where it all began: Clean Ocean Foundation head John Gemmill, right, returned to Gunnamatta with Flinders MP Greg Hunt to release details of a national sewage outfall database. Picture: Yanni

Police patrol

Engine failures end pursuits TWO cars being driven off at speed in desperate attempts to get away from police ground to a halt when their engines failed. In one case, a Somerville man about to be pulled over for a random breath test in Bittern allegedly drove at a police car and then sped off down Frankston-Flinders Rd at speeds up to 160kph, 8pm, Friday 2 June. Sergeant Peter Martin, of Somerville Highway Patrol, said the Commodore station wagon bearing false number plates was next seen driving at 90kph in Bungower Rd near Peninsula Link “with smoke pouring from its exhaust” and its engine about to die. Sergeant Martin followed the car to Balnarring Rd, Tuerong, and forced it to stop but the driver allegedly refused to get out, locked himself in the car – and started smoking an ice pipe. Police smashed the car’s side window with their batons and dragged the man out. He was hit with batons and sprayed with OC foam before being handcuffed and taken to Mornington police station where he failed a drug test. The man, 35, appeared before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court the next day and was remanded to Frankston Magistrates’ Court on Friday 9 June charged with conduct endangering persons, dangerous driving, and using methamphetamine and the drug GHB. He did not apply for bail and the case was adjourned to Frankston Magistrates’ Court, 7 July. His car – for which he paid $800 – was impounded for a month at a cost of $950. His female passenger, 30, of Tyabb, was charged with outstanding warrants and using the drug GHB. A court date and place had not been determined, Friday. *** EARLIER the same day, a 31-year-old woman was caught after her car’s engine blew out during a pursuit in Langwarrin, just after midnight, Friday 2 June. Somerville Highway Patrol members spotted the silver Mitsubishi without number plates allegedly driving at 125kph in an 80kph zone along Frankston-Cranbourne Rd, Langwarrin. The car sped up when police attempted to pull it over on Peninsula Link, reaching speeds of up to 180kph. But the hard running was too much for the hatchback’s engine, which conked out on the side of Frankston-Flinders Rd, Baxter, allowing police to catch up and pull the driver and her three passengers over. Police searched the car and allegedly found an axe underneath the driver’s seat and a knife in her handbag. The Hampton Park woman was also found to be driving an unregistered car without a licence. She was charged with 17 offences, including speeding, dangerous driving while being pursued by police, conduct endangering life/ serious injury, disqualified driving, using an unregistered motor vehicle, possessing a controlled weapon and refusing to undergo a preliminary oral fluid test. She was bailed on strict conditions to appear at Frankston Magistrates’ Court, 21 August. Her blown-out Mitsubishi was impounded for 30 days at a cost of $960.


Frankston Times 12 June 2017

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