8 May 2017

Page 3

Stadium process audit voted down

Toy story brings joy A LIBRARY born in its founder’s living room will celebrate 40 years of bringing joy to children this month at an open day on Saturday 20 May. The Frankston Toy Library, now based at Ebdale Community Hub, first opened its doors to the community in 1977 at the home of founder Bev Le Bas. The library hires out toys, books and educational games and puzzles to children and hosts parent’s groups sessions for all the family in return for a minimal annual membership fee. Membership has grown to about 400 throughout several moves including a 1978 move to the Karingal Uniting Church, a 1985 relocation to the Mechanics Hall and 1995 shift to the Frankston Arts Centre before settling in at larger premises at Ebdale Community Hub in 2012. Everyone is welcome to come to our celebration, we will have free craft activities for children,” Frankston Toy Library vice president Tracy Lambert said. “There will be free fairy floss and popcorn and free facepainting, a sausage sizzle and lots of toys on show for kids to play with and explore.” Frankston Toy Library celebrates its 40th birthday on Saturday 20 May, 10am-4pm at Ebdale Community Centre, 20 Ebdale St, Frankston, all welcome. Official cake cutting at 1pm. See frankstontoylibrary.org.au or call 9781 3900 for more details.

AN independent review of Frankston Council’s handling of negotiations over a new lease for the Frankston Basketball Stadium has been ruled out of bounds while negotiations remain deadlocked. Frankston mayor Cr Brian Cunial used his mayoral casting vote at last Monday’s public council meeting to stop the commencement of an audit of “the processes and negotiations of the Frankston Basketball Association building extension project” after councillors voted 4-4 on Cr Glenn Aitken’s notice of motion calling for an immediate review. The mayor said the Frankston & District Basketball Association have been “very difficult to deal with” during lease negotiations. “They don’t want any rent reviews,” Cr Cunial said. Lawyers for council and the association are involved in lease negotiations and Sport and Recreation Victoria, a state Department of Human Services department body, is a party to talks between council and the FDBA. It is understood that council and the association are now looking at annual lease payments of about $60,000 each year plus an additional $20,000 after stage one works to install four new courts taking the total number of basketball courts at the stadium to ten. The association had previously accused council of “double dipping” by effectively wanting to raise rent to about

Many happy returns: Sienna is looking forward to celebrating the Frankston Toy Library’s birthday this month. Picture: Gary Sissons

$130,000 annually alongside $1 million of association members’ money being pitched in to the stadium upgrade. Council initially committed $4 million of ratepayers’ money, increased to $5 million last month when council waived the association’s $1 million contribution offer, to the expansion. The project also has $2.5 million of state government money and $5.2 million of federal government money from taxpayers. Cr Cunial said he would support a review of the lease negotiations after a deal is agreed if that is supported by councillors in future. He said it is customary for any mayoral vote to “maintain the status quo” and that would not include ordering an audit of the lease negotiations at this stage. “I would prefer the council gets an independent party in to investigate this [process],” Cr Aitken said at the meeting. “Failing that, I would suggest the [state] government may investigate the matter of its own accord.” FBDA president Greg Emery slammed the mayor’s latest public comments about lease negotiations. “The FDBA is concerned that mayor Cunial’s comments may mislead the Frankston municipality into believing that the FDBA is responsible for the lack of progress with the current lease negotiations,” he said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.” Neil Walker

Council ‘all at sea’ on port Neil Walker neil@baysidenews.com.au AN abrupt about turn by Frankston councillors withdrawing support for a container port at Hastings has plunged council into troubled waters. The Frankston and Mornington Peninsula Shire councils previously officially supported the establishment of a port at Hastings by a state government potentially decades from now. A second container port to service the Melbourne area will be needed when the Port of Melbourne reaches capacity. Councillors at last Monday evening’s public council meeting on 1 May voted to oppose the establishment of a port at Hastings after Cr Quinn McCormack urged fellow elected representatives to


oppose any dredging or deepening in the Ramsar-listed Western Port Bay to protect marine life, seagrass and tourism business. A 6-2 vote by councillors saw Frankston Council’s previous official policy stance, reiterated just last month at April’s public meeting, support a port at Hastings instead of an alternative proposal to build a second container port servicing Melbourne at Geelong’s Bay West. Councillors at the previous April public council meeting voted 5-4 to support a port at Hastings. “Western Port supports thousands of species of marine animals including colonies of penguins and Australian fur seals,” Cr McCormack said at the meeting. Oil spills and ship groundings due to “navigational errors” were also flagged

as dangers to Western Port Bay’s “marine ecosystem” by Cr McCormack. She noted there would be 47 million cubic metres dredged at Western Port Bay, “more than double what happened in Port Phillip Bay”. “Portsea beach is now sandbagged as a result of the dredging of Port Phillip Bay,” Cr McCormack said. Crs Glenn Aitken, Kris Bolam, McCormack, Sandra Mayer, Lillian O’Connor and Steve Toms voted last week to oppose a port at Hastings. Mayor Cr Brian Cunial and Cr Michael O’Reilly supported the port. Cr Colin Hampton was absent from last week’s meeting. He voted in support of the port in April. Crs Kris Bolam and Sandra Mayer changed their view on the port at Hastings between April and May’s vote. The pair backed a Hastings port in

April then decided to oppose it weeks later. When contacted by The Times Cr Bolam said “it is only natural to evolve on legacy issues” and he personally had doubts about the estimated economic boost to the region’s economy is the port is built at Hastings. Cr Mayer said she previously supported a port for “job creation” reasons “but I can’t support something which will have serious consequences for the environment”. “Since I can’t be certain that it won’t, and the port is a good 50 years away, I believe that our time and resources would be better spent on other job creating opportunities which have more certainty, less detrimental impact to the environment and can be achieved in our lifetime,” she said. “I understand the differing views of

our councillors and respect their right to voice their opinion on matters that affect our community and environment,” Cr Cunial said in a statement. “However, given the extensive consultation, investigation and advocacy undertaken by council over many years on this project, I consider this recent decision to be premature and lacking sufficient discussion as to council’s previous position.” The matter will now be debated again by Frankston councillors for a third time in as many months at June’s public council meeting. State Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke said council’s “flip-flop” on the port is “yet another example of Frankston Council wasting ratepayers’ money on their own personal political agendas and not consulting the Frankston community.”

CORANDERRK is a featured event of the Australian Heritage Festival ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and Belvoir


Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences are warned that this production contains images of deceased persons.

Photo: Tyson Mowarin

Saturday 20 May, 7.30pm

Coranderrk tells the story of the campaign to keep the Coranderrk reserve in Aboriginal hands, paying tribute to the resilience and adaptability of a community who lobbied the government and navigated a political system foreign to their own. Tickets: $27 – $55 Discounts apply.

Tickets: 03 9784 1060 thefac.com.au @the_fac | #thefac Principal Theatre Partner Frankston Arts Centre is a business unit of Frankston City Council

Frankston Times 8 May 2017


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.