Mayor pays own way on Japan visit Cats meow: Claire Johnson, left, and Jess Hast in cosplay costume will be selling cat ears at the Japanese Festival. Picture: Supplied
Taste of Japanese culture at festival THE compelling and powerful sound of Japanese drums the size of wine barrels is sure to capture attention at Frankston High School’s senior campus in Foot Street on Sunday (6 May). Taiko drumming group Wadaiko Rindo will be one of several highlights at the 2018 Japanese Festival, presented by Frankston Susono Friendship Association and designed to celebrate the sister city link as well as showcase Japanese culture. The festival, from 10am-4pm, marks the 36th year of the sister city link between Frankston City and Susono, a city of 53,000 people on Japan’s main island of Honshu. The event will be officially opened at 11am by Frankton mayor Cr Colin Hampton accompanied by friendship association chairman Peter Patterson, and a representative of the Japanese Consul-General’s office. Now held every two years, the festival won a Sister Cities Australia national award for the 2016 event, and coorganiser Mr Patterson said this year’s festival would be even better, “a fantastic day of Japanese culture, music, food, activities, children’s games and entertainment”.
“We provide hands-on experiences for both children and adults,” Mr Patterson said. “There will be workshops for people to make Kyaraben, Japanese character lunch boxes, as well as kite making, origami, yo-yo balloons, mask colouring, hat making, fan colouring and other paper craft activities.” He said other highlights would include a Beyblade (spinning tops) tournament, an Okinawan Sanshin band playing ancient stringed instruments, Okinawan-style singers, and prizes and giveaways. Stalls will sell Nekomimi Mode cat ears and other products, Have A Nice Day goods handmade from Japanese materials, homemade Japanese sauces, and Harajuku sweet and savoury pancakes. Frankston High students and teachers who will visit Japan in September will be selling a variety of sushi rolls and drinks. Entry $2 a person or $5 a family. Details: Peter Patterson, 0419 581 023 or email: ptpatterson@optusnet. com.au See facebook.com/frankstonsusono for more details.
A POTENTIAL loss of “honour” between Frankston and Japan has been avoided after council’s mayor decided to pay for a trip to Frankston sister city Susono out of his own pocket. Some councillors at the 3 April public council meeting expressed concerns about the cost to ratepayers of the mayor’s proposed trip to the Australian Fair in Susono in September. A delegation from the Frankston Susono Friendship Association heads to Japan every second year and Japanese visitors come to Frankston in the alternate years the delegation stays at home. The cost of the Japan trip for mayoral airfares and accommodation is about $2000 in total. Frankston and Susono have had a sister city relationship for 36 years. Wuxi in China is another sister city of Frankston. Crs Quinn McCormack and Michael O’Reilly questioned the benefit of sister city relationships at the 3 April meeting. Cr O’Reilly said he opposed councillors taking ratepayer-funded overseas trips. Cr Kris Bolam said he had been a sceptic of the sister city concept but he has seen how Frankston children who head to Susono as part of the delegation “got a lot out of it” from “a cultural exchange” point of view. Cr Sandra Mayor noted “with the Japanese it is all about honour” so it is important for council to have a representative on the delegation. The councillors were split 4-4 (Crs
Bolam, Brian Cunial, Mayer and Steve Toms for and Crs Glenn Aitken, McCormack, O’Connor, Lillian O’Connor against) on ratepayers funding the mayoral trip and deputy mayor Cr O’Connor, chairing the meeting as the trip was debated since the mayor declared an interest, used her casting vote to ensure ratepayers would not pick up the trip tab. At the latest 23 April public council meeting Cr Hampton declared he would pay for the journey to Susono himself. The mayor told The Times he believes the sister city relationship with Susono is “a very close relationship” for more than three decades. “It has been built up and promoted by Frankston citizens — not by council,” Cr Hampson said. “Some of our kids have learnt Japanese and are translators because of it.” Frankston Susono Friendship Association chair Peter Patterson addressed councillors at the latest meeting and praised Cr Hampton’s commitment to the relationship between Susono and Frankston. “I believe there is a clear and high expectation that the mayor of each city will lead the visit to each city,” Mr Patterson said. “We already have 20 people committed to the delegation of which ten are students from Frankston High School.” Mr Patterson said association volunteers host Japanese festivals and work with schools who have Japanese as part of their curriculum. Neil Walker
Golf course petition drives dispute Neil Walker email@example.com A PETITION calling on Frankston Council not to offer a commercial lease on a public golf course saw council CEO Dennis Hovenden teed off that the proposal became public before councillors formally discussed the matter. South Ward councillor Brian Cunial read a 103-signature petition at council’s 23 April public council meeting imploring council to “keep Frankston’s Centenary Park Golf Public Golf Course in public hands”. A visibly frustrated Mr Hovenden urged mayor Cr Colin Hampton, chairing the meeting, to stop Cr Cunial read-
ing out the petition. Before he was interrupted, Cr Cunial said people who signed the petition were concerned “that a private lease over the course would result in cutting of maintenance [and] loss of local employment”. The mayor disagreed that the petition should be heard in confidence although did instruct Cr Cunial to stop reading all of the wording in the petition after the CEO’s intervention. Councillors had been due to talk about “Centenary Park Golf Course expression of interest” listed in the confidential section of the 23 April meeting agenda. The confidential part of the meeting is held after the meeting open to the public and press. At the start of the meeting, before
reading the petition at the public meeting, Cr Cunial declared an interest in the Centenary Park Golf Course matter, as council’s representative of the board of Peninsula Leisure Pty Ltd. “I have sought advice and it doesn’t exclude me from the vote,” he said. Peninsula Leisure was established by Frankston Council to manage the Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre (PARC) in 2012. A councillor or mayor of the day sits on the board as a non-voting member of the Peninsula Leisure board. A majority of councillors voted in May last year to stop any expansion plans by Peninsula Leisure without councillors’ input after it emerged the council-owned company showed interest in managing
neighbouring Mornington Peninsula Shire council’s sports centres. Five of the shire’s sports and swim centres were subsequently outsourced to private operator Belgravia Leisure late last year. When asked about the Centenary Park Golf Course expression of interest matter last week, council corporate development director Tim Frederico said the matter was “commercial in confidence” so no comment could be made by council. Peninsula Leisure CEO Tim Gledhill also declined to comment. “As a regional expert in sport, recreation and leisure, Peninsula Leisure’s focus remains on continuing to add value to the Frankston community,” he
said in a statement. “At this stage, we have no further comment.” The mayor said he is no longer a member of Centenary Park Golf Club when asked by The Times after the meeting. Cr Hampton had previously declared an “interest in common” at a public council meeting in January last year when plans to build a $14 million tennis centre at Centenary Park was discussed by councillors. Monitor Prue Digby, understood to be on leave, was not at the latest public council meeting. The monitor was sent to council by the Labor state government to assess “governance concerns” raised by the CEO and Cr Cunial when mayor last year.
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30 April 2018
Frankston Times 30 April 2018