12 June 2017

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Plane drama for dance teacher Neil Walker neil@baysidenews.com.au AN ACCLAIMED ballet dance teacher from Frankston South caught up in a bomb scare on a plane last month says she will not let the incident stop her travelling. Sandra McKay, who founded the Rosebud Ballet School, got right back on another flight on the day she was a passenger on a Malaysia Airlines plane where a man tried to break into the cockpit and allegedly threatened to blow up the plane. Ms McKay, 74, who was honoured with an OAM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this year for services to dance, was among passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH128 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur forced to turn back on 31 May due to the bomb scare. She was on the way to Kuala Lumpur to be part of a judging panel for a Malaysian dance contest. At first she and many passengers believed the incident was a medical emergency. “I thought someone had suffered a heart attack and they were trying to break the toilet door down but that was them bringing him down,” Ms McKay said last week. “The ‘bomb thing’ that was carried past me – I wondered what kind of medical equipment that might be.” The plane was diverted back to Melbourne Airport where police and fire

services waited to deal with the terror threat. “It was just like a movie. It was unbelievable,” Ms McKay said. “We were way back in the back lots. We could see the police cars coming but they stopped about a quarter of a mile away around us. “They wouldn’t let anyone near the plane because at that stage they didn’t know if it was going to blow up.” She said most of the passengers appeared calm during an hour-and-a-half wait for armed police to board the plane. “What could you do?” Ms McKay said passengers “were held for 11 hours” in the airport terminal and interviewed by authorities. “I realised later that we were all suspects as well. Apart from the fact we had landed and we knew security had been called there wasn’t another announcement about it.” The traumatic situation brought passengers together. “We sort of knew each other [after 11 hours]. I actually made two good friendships out of it. Some Malaysian people.” The 74-year-old, who regularly travels abroad, said she would not let the experience stop her getting on with enjoying overseas trips. Sri Lankan man Manodh Monaragala Marks, 25, has been charged with threatening to destroy, kill or injure people on an aircraft and recklessly threatening to detonate an explosive device. The device was a music p­ layer.

Bomb squad moves ‘explosive device’ from near Hastings house

Plane scare: Peninsula ballet teacher Sandra McKay was caught up in a bomb scare onboard a flight to Kuala Lumpur. Picture: Gary Sissons

THE BOMB Squad took away an “explosive device” from outside a Hastings house, 12.30pm, Sunday 4 June. Hendersons Rd was blocked off for several hours when police isolated the “smouldering object” believed to have been thrown from a car. The object was later taken away for forensic examination. Mornington Peninsula CIU detectives on Monday could not discount the theory that the package was a bunch of sparklers taped together and lit – or whether it was something more dangerous. Detective Senior Constable Shane Moodie said it was unclear why the device was placed outside a particular house. Senior Sergeant Peter Drake said police took the potential danger seriously. The area was made a crime scene and cordoned off. “We are not sure what the person’s intentions were because the homemade device was away from the house in the tree-line, but there may be something more behind it,” he said. Detective Senior Constable Brooke Manley, of the Arson Squad, said she could not say what the device was made from, but that it was the subject of an “active forensic examination”. “It is a strange situation and we are appealing for witnesses to come forward,” she said.

Board pay revealed by council Neil Walker neil@baysidenews.com.au FIVE board members of a company set up by Frankston Council to manage the Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre are collectively paid $116,149 each year. Frankston mayor Cr Brian Cunial confirmed last week in response to questions from The Times that Peninsula Leisure Pty Ltd chair Roseanne Healy receives $33,185 and four directors sitting on the board are paid $20,741 annually. Frankston councillors voted 5-3 at last month’s public council meeting to instruct Peninsula Leisure directors “not to enter into or tender for projects outside their core obligation, that being the man-

agement of PARC and the Pines pool”. Peninsula Leisure was established in 2012 to manage PARC and council subsequently handed the company responsibility for managing the Pines Forest Aquatic Centre in Frankston North. “The board of Peninsula Leisure has strategically guided PARC to ensure it has achieved its financial sustainability target two years ahead of schedule,” Cr Cunial said in a statement. “As the primary shareholder of Peninsula Leisure, Frankston Council appointed an expert board of directors with extensive experience and astute strategic intent to establish the best management of our sporting, recreational and leisure municipal facilities for the long-term benefit of our community and to enhance

the local experience.” The mayor said councillors had voted to limit Peninsula Leisure’s “in response to assertions made recently that Peninsula Leisure has been in negotiations with a neighbouring municipality over management of leisure centres”. The Times reported last month that Peninsula Leisure had been talking to Mornington Peninsula Shire council last year about possibly taking over management of some shire sports and recreation centres (“Sports ‘in the swim’”, The Times 15/5/17). Peninsula Leisure CEO Tim Gledhill said the board of directors is scheduled to meet 11 times this year. “Other board meetings will be considered based on the strategic strategic

needs of the business,” Mr Gledhill said. The CEO said board meetings minutes are not publicly available “for commercial in confidence reasons”. Cr Cunial said council had pegged Peninsula Leisure board members’ remuneration at “70 pre cent of the councillor allowance, with the chair paid a supplement of 60 per cent of this amount”. The directors’ pay is “indexed against councillor allowances which have been set until November 2020”, the mayor said. Frankston’s mayor of the day sits on the company’s board as a non-voting “observer” during each 12-month mayoral term. The directors of Peninsula Leisure are – chair Roseanne Healy who is also a

director on many South Australia company boards; remuneration and reward committee chair Barbara Crook; strategy and marketing committee chair David Shilbury; audit and risk committee chair Simon Allatson and Phillip Johnson who is also chief financial officer of South East Water. The financials for Peninsula Leisure Pty Ltd, with 300,000 shares wholly owned by council according to ASIC records, are included within council’s annual budget. PARC won the statewide Aquatic Recreation Victoria Facility Management Award last year and there are about 850,000 visitors to the sports, swimming and recreation centre each year according to council figures.

Frankston Times

12 June 2017


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