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NEWS DESK

Ratepayers pay for monitor stay Crazy days of summer: South Sudanese youths get into the swim of things at Frankston beach. Picture: Supplied

Sea day lays safety groundwork FRANKSTON Multicultural Centre volunteer Andrew Jang, 17, is living proof of the benefits of beach education days at Frankston beach. Like many at the Tuesday 23 January education day put on by Life Saving Victoria for 50 South Sudanese youth and children, Andrew saw the benefits of swimming and water safety. After a year of swimming lessons, he is now working as a pool lifeguard at Peninsula Aquatic and Recreation Centre, Frankston, with his older sister Nyajema, 25. The education day was one of 100 half-day, fun, educational excursions run by Life Saving Victoria each summer. They aim to improve water education among members of new

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communities who are over-represented in drowning statistics. They also aim to provide jobs and volunteer positions to those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, such as South Sudanese youth, to improve their inclusion and also to improve diversity in the aquatics industry and in surf lifesaving. Also at the education day were South Sudanese youths Chotnyang Puok, 17, and Yauda Rock, 18, who are also training to become lifeguards. “Role models like Andrew and Nyajema inspire others to do great things for the wider community – pursuits they might not have previously considered before fun days

like today at the beach,” LSV multicultural projects manager David Holland said. “Improved settlement, water safety knowledge and diversity in aquatics are the big winners.” Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke said even though it was “very hot” he “had a great time meeting the 50 kids from culturally and linguistically diverse communities acquiring the skills they need to stay safe in the water this summer”. “Life Saving Victoria is teaching safety techniques for snorkelling and body-boarding, survival strategies for those in difficulty, and how to rescue another swimmer who is in trouble – all while having fun and playing games.”

A MONITOR sent to Frankston Council to report to the state government on “governance issues” at council will be paid $1200 for each day of the stay. Ratepayers will foot the bill for monitor Prue Digby’s work at council and will also pick up the tab for travel expenses. The Labor state government confirmed when asked that the municipal monitor’s remuneration is fixed at $1200 per day, and must be paid by Frankston Council in accordance with the Local Government Act. Ms Digby is expected to work at least two days each week for a possible full 18-month term of appointment, meaning ratepayers may ultimately pay more than $180,000 for the monitor’s wages while she attends council meetings. “Ms Digby will keep an eye on the council and report back to the government on its progress,” Victorian Local Government Minister Marlene Kairouz said. “The monitor is there to ensure Frankston City Council is acting in the best interests of ratepayers.” Ms Digby’s appointment term runs from 13 December last year until 30 June next year. The monitor will hand interim reports to the Minister’s department. Before last month’s public council meeting, Ms Digby advised The Times to direct any questions about her role

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and work to the Local Government Minister’s department. It is understood the monitor and council CEO Dennis Hovenden have advised councillors, who are elected representatives not council employees, not to speak to the media to try to ensure “media control” about contentious council matters. Last month’s council meeting, the first attended by the monitor since her arrival at council and the first streamed near live online, featured bouts of bickering between councillors in the council chamber (Council ‘circus’ on show, The Times 5/2/18). The mayor Cr Colin Hampton, chairing the meeting, accused Cr Glenn Aitken of “staring” at him during the at times fractious four-and-a-half hour proceedings. Council CEO Dennis Hovenden and then mayor Cr Brian Cunial named themselves as complainants to the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate when it was announced by the state government the inspectorate had recommended a monitor be appointed at Frankston Council. Last week The Times revealed the Inspectorate separately cleared two councillors, Kris Bolam and Steve Toms, this month after investigations into complaints received from senior council staff alleged the councillors directed council staff in contravention of the Local Government Act. Those investigations began before the monitor’s appointment was announced.

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PH 9785 1887 Frankston Times 12 February 2018

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12 February 2018  

Frankston Times 12 February 2018

12 February 2018  

Frankston Times 12 February 2018

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