5 February 2019

Page 11

LETTERS Police patrol

Harbour ‘vandalism’

with Brodie Cowburn and Steve Taylor

Sex offender on the run POLICE are appealing for the public to help them locate a registered sex offender on the run. 37-year-old Joel Pregnell has not supplied police with his residential details, a requirement of his reporting obligations. He was last sighted in Hampton on 30 January in a stolen black Suzuki Swift, number plate 1LY 7UI. Police attempted to approach Mr Pregnell in Hampton, but he escaped in the vehicle. He is known to frequent St Kilda, Frankston, Bayside and the Mornington Peninsula. Pregnell is described as being unshaven, about 180cm tall, with brown eyes, a thin build, and short brown hair. He has a tattoo of a cross on his right cheek. Anyone who sights the man is urged to contact 000 immediately. Anyone with other information about his whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers. Have you seen this man: Police have released an image of Joel Pregnell and urge the public to call 000 if he’s seen.

Letters - 300 words maximum and including full name, address and contact number

Train driver attacked by the rock THE driver of a freight train was taken to hospital after being hit on the upper body by a rock thrown by “young people”, 9pm, Wednesday 30 January. Hastings police said the train was travelling south from Leawarra station towards Baxter when the incident occurred. The driver continued on to Tyabb train station from where he was taken to Frankston Hospital in a stable condition. Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Luba Grigorovitch said on Radio 3AW the unprovoked attack was unacceptable and put the safety of both the train’s driver and its passengers at risk. “No one goes to work to be in harm’s way. It’s completely unacceptable,” she said.

Operation Amity gets results THE Australia Day Long Weekend was a busy one for police in Frankston and on the Mornington Peninsula, with Operation Amity focusing on speed, fatigue, impaired driving, distraction offences and seatbelt compliance. Over the four days – Friday 25 January to Monday 28 January – police breath-tested 1161 drivers and drug-tested 38 drivers. Of these, 14 drink drivers and six drug drivers were charged.

Police also detected 23 disqualified or unlicensed drivers and fined 116 drivers for speeding. Twelve drivers were charged with disobeying traffic lights and 33 were caught driving unregistered vehicles. Three vehicles were impounded. Police also focused on boats and jet skis breaking speed limits and entering no-go zones, as well as checking on safety equipment and boat licences. Leading Senior Constable Greg Wolfe, of Somerville Highway Patrol, said two serious injury collisions included one in which an L-plater changed lanes on the Mornington Peninsula Freeway, Dromana, causing another vehicle to “take evasive action, lose control and overturn”, 5.45pm, Saturday 26 January. In the other serious incident a motorcyclist ran into a tree which had fallen across Coolart Road, Somerville, 10.30pm, Saturday 26 January. Police also targeted those drinking alcohol on the beach and littering and behaving offensively. They were also on the lookout for hoon and roadrage incidents, drivers using mobile phones, drink drivers and parking offences. Fines are $100 for having an open container of alcohol, $645 for being drunk in a public place and $806 for being drunk and disorderly – with the possibility of offenders spending time in the cells to sober up. Jet ski riders can be fined $317 for breaching speed and distance rules on the water, and $793 for riding unregistered or unlicensed on the water.

The Peninsula Field Naturalists Club is utterly opposed to the proposed safe boat harbour at Olivers Hill, Frankston. The proposal is vandalism of much loved public space. The twin breakwaters proposed would turn public space into an industrial looking breakwater, more like a port facility than the current jetty, which forms part of a beautiful unspoiled vista of golden beaches. It would completely wreck the view from the top of Olivers Hill. Sand movement has not been considered. All infrastructure of this scale disrupts natural seasonal sand movement, leading to bare rocky beaches in some places and unwanted sand build up in others, such as at Sandringham. There are much less damaging and expensive alternatives, such as using an upgraded Kananook Creek for the bad weather refuge and locating the Coast Guard in the under-utilised yacht club. This extraordinary infrastructure is for the benefit of the few - the boating public – and to the detriment of the many – the beach loving public. The work the Coast Guard does is to be commended, but not at any price or at any location. Please everyone, have a look at what is proposed. The scale of it will astonish you. Judith Smart, Peninsula Field Naturalists

Mornington more sensible than Rosebud

People are so gullible. The electrification of the rail line to Baxter was just a thought bubble expressed prior to an election to gain votes. It will not happen. Nor to Stony Point “to meet the ferry”. Now we have another thought bubble: A rail line to Rosebud. An extension of the electric rail to Mornington makes sense. The huge amount of free or cheap land available at Yuilles Road for parking and a bus/ train interchange would make it a lot cheaper and infinitely less disruptive than the same at Baxter. It would pay for itself. The rail easement is already there. If not for some thoughtless (or worse) elected representatives of a previous era, the rail could go all the way to central Mornington like it did for 91 years. How embarrassing. Mornington is a central hub for the district, increasingly so as time goes by. As new residential acreage is settled we will need more goods and services providers such as the proposed Kaufland [supermarket] complex. We already have a lot of petty little industries here and, although our council never pushes for any big job-creating industries to come here, it might happen given that once, when we had tariffs, it was so. Meantime, most of the proper jobs are north, in the big smoke. The need for a rail service to Rosebud for $5 billion? In the winter you’d only need two trains a week. Spend the $5 billion on free taxis for all to Mornington station, for 20 years. Brian A Mitchelson, Mornington

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5 February 2019

PAGE 11


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