29 August 2016

Page 5

NEWS DESK

Training targeted for councillors Second strike Neil Walker neil@baysidenews.com.au

ister Natalie Hutchins said. “Asking candidates to tell the public about training undertaken highlights the importance of improving standards in local government.” The Times asked Frankston Council and neighbouring Kingston and Mornington Peninsula Shire councils to confirm how much councillors at each council had spent on training in the past four years. Training expenses are listed in a collective ‘Conferences and training’ figure in councils’ annual reports so a breakdown in spending between the two categories was requested. Frankston’s nine councillors have collectively claimed $10,225 for training expenses since 2013-14 and $42,068 on conferences and training in total. “Undertaking directorship courses can be beneficial for newly elected

CANDIDATES for election as councillors at October’s council elections across Victoria will be encouraged to answer a voluntary questionnaire outlining candidates’ experience and suitability for public office as part of a plan to better inform voters before they cast their votes. New candidates will, for the first time, be asked for details of any previous training undertaken to prepare for life as a councillor and incumbents seeking re-election will be asked to state their attendance record at council meetings during the previous fouryear council term. “Victorians voting at this year’s council elections will have more information about their candidates than ever before,” Local Government Min-

councillors who may not have a business background so they can understand annual reports and budgets,” Frankston mayor Cr James Dooley said. Kingston Council corporate services general manager Paul Franklin said its nine councillors had spent a combined $5135 on two training courses. Mornington Peninsula Shire was unable to confirm how much its 11 elected representatives claimed in training expenses in this council term amid ongoing tensions between councillors about expenses entitlements during this council term. “Council will release figures relating to council expenditure on training and conferences over the current term later this month,” shire chief financial officer Matt Green said. There was no legislative requirement to list councillors’ expenses in

annual reports prior to the 2015-16 financial year but both Frankston and Kingston councils did so. The shire only began listing expenses in annual reports in 2014-15 but heralded itself as a “proactive … leader in local government reporting in Australia” in that year’s annual report. Shire councillors collectively spent $44,881 on conferences and training in 2014-15 alone, the only figures available at this stage, outspending Frankston’s total of just over $42,000 over three years and dwarfing a total conferences and training spend of $11,343 over three years at Kingston Council. Any completed questionnaires by councillors and council candidates will be available online at the Victorian Electoral Commission’s website before 22 October council elections.

Blokes help out at men’s shed RETIRED men looking to contribute back to the community and enjoy mateship with fellow retirees are invited to join Langwarrin Men’s Shed. The men’s shed, established in 2012, offers a place to meet where men of all ages can meet, share stories, hobbies, skills and experiences while working on woodwork, metalwork, cooking and computer projects. The group also raise money for charities and recently built library cubbies for Frankston Council. “The cubby can be packed away

and transported to any location to inspire young minds, such as community centres, kindergartens and schools,” Frankston mayor Cr James Dooley said. Langwarrin Men’s Shed representatives will be showcasing previous projects in the lead up to Father’s Day on Sunday 4 September at Karingal Hub Shopping Centre, 330 Cranbourne Rd, Frankston on Monday 29 August until Friday 2 September, 10am-4pm at the Centre Court. New members are always welcome.

Mateship: Langwarrin Men’s Shed president Kevin Coward, left, and committee member Gary Schober help each other on a metalwork project. Picture: Gary Sissons

NEPEAN H ARING

for builder

A FRANKSTON builder, Ashleigh Maliki, has been fined $3000 in total for carrying out building work when unregistered. Consumer Affairs Victoria took Mr Maliki, also known as Ashley, to court after complaints about the quality of his building work. The 29-year-old, trading as Maliki Constructions, agreed to a carry out domestic building work in September 2014 worth more than $50,000 without being registered and did not provide a contract to a customer as required by law. Mr Maliki harassed the client after complaints about his work. In February 2014 Consumer Affairs Victoria alerted the public about the business practices of Mr Maliki’s antenna installation company A & D Cabling Services. The consumer watchdog received more than 50 complaints about Mr Maliki’s business and advised Victoria Police that Mr Maliki “engaged in intimidating behaviour towards customers, including elderly customers”. When contacted by The Times, police could not confirm whether Mr Maliki had been investigated without specific details of alleged offences. Other consumers alleged they were misled about ‘free’ quotes and charges that would apply. One elderly customer reported a verbal quote of $200 turned into an invoice for nearly $1800, without approval for the extra costs. A & D Cabling also traded as Digital Antennas Today. Mr Maliki was unable to be contacted about the latest court case which saw the builder fined in Frankston Magistrates’ Court last month. Neil Walker

Ph: 9783 7520 FRANKSTON: 13 Hastings Rd CRANBOURNE: 185 South Gippsland Hwy

Nepean Hearing is a member of Independant Audiologists Australia We are not owned by a hearing aid manufacturer We do not work to sales targets or receive commissions See us for unbiased advice on your hearing levels www.nepeanhearing.com.au Frankston Times 29 August 2016

PAGE 5