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April 2011

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Civic warrior gets green send-off A WHO’S who of the region’s environmental and citizen activist movements farewelled Friends of Frankston president Richard Laverack last month at an afternoon soiree in Samuel Sherlock Hall. Richard, an architectural draftsman, is travelling by sea and train to Spain to fulfil a lifelong dream – working on Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí’s famous Sagrada Família church in Barcelona, construction of which started in 1882 and is expected to be completed in 2026. Enjoying a cuppa or beverage were Friends of Frankston founders and members Pat Bentley, Mary McConnell, Cr Alistair Wardle, former Frankston councillor Judy Wachendorfer, Hilary Poad, Jim Kerin, Greg Wishart and incoming president Peter Anscombe. Continued Page 2

Casey may sue over gas tip By Mike Hast CASEY Council is likely to eventually sue Frankston Council for part of Casey’s compensation settlement of $13.5 million for residents of Brookland Greens estate affected by the methane gas leak. Frankston Council chief executive George Modrich has consistently stated Frankston has received legal advice that it is not liable for any remediation costs. More than $100 million is being spent on excavating the tip and installing a clay liner on the two sides closest to homes as well as more gas vents and other works. Frankston Council has already contributed at least $3 million to the clean up costs. Last year Casey asked Frankston for about $10 million. Last year it was reported Frankston

would not be liable as there was a clause in its legal agreement with Casey that allowed it to opt out with no liability if the other party was negligent. The Times believes Frankston will have to find a new law firm as it and Casey used the same one during the class action. Casey Council and the Environment Protection Authority on Friday 25 March agreed to an out-of-court settlement that will see estate residents share $17.5 million after lawyers are paid about $6 million. A class action involving about 750 residents was run by Slater and Gordon, which will receive about $3.9 million of the $6 million legal costs. Casey and the EPA, which agreed to pay $10 million, continue to pursue claims against nine other parties in the Supreme Court.

They include technical consultants and landfill managers who provided advice or managed the landfill on behalf of Casey. Frankston and Casey dumped household rubbish at the Stevensons Rd landfill in Cranbourne until it closed in 2005. In August 2008, the EPA advised about 30 residents to evacuate the estate when methane gas from the former tip, which was operated by Casey on behalf of the two councils, reached dangerous levels. Rubbish dumped by Frankston Council took up 28 per cent of the landfill and now Casey will attempt to force Frankston to pay compensation. The tip was established in 1992 by the former City of Cranbourne at a sand quarry in Stevensons Rd. The first “cell” or hole was filled by 1994 at about the

time when Cranbourne amalgamated with Berwick to form the City of Casey. As sand was extracted and other holes became available, Casey and later Frankston dumped rubbish there. Up to 10 cells were used between 1999 and 2005, but none were lined with clay to stop methane gas escaping. Methane is created by decomposing rubbish. The EPA allowed the tip to operate without lining the cells based on a landfill established by the former City of Camberwell in the 1980s. This tip had a basalt base. By 1994, world’s best practice for landfill management was for tips to be lined. At Stevensons Rd, Casey installed vents after the tip closed, but some methane gas escaped laterally and was detected in a section of the Brookland Greens estate, which was first

established in 1999. In 2004 the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal allowed Brookland Greens developer Peet and Company to reduce a buffer zone between a new part of the estate and the tip from 500 to 200 metres, but in 2008 and 2009, gas was found up to 1000 metres from the old landfill. Casey and the EPA agreed to pay $23.5 million last week, but the deal is yet to be confirmed by estate residents and must be signed off by the Supreme Court by the end of April. About 750 Brookland Greens property owners will get between $6000 and $130,000, with the 30 households evacuated in 2008 expected to get the highest amounts. Some property owners claimed their homes were worth up to $200,000 less at the height of the gas scare.

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‘Literacy villages’ across peninsula for the young By Keith Platt HASTINGS, Crib Point, Balnarring and Somers are at the forefront of a program to improve literacy among young people from birth to 18. The Western Port region is the first of 12 “literacy villages” being created across the Mornington Peninsula and Frankston. A second village north of Frankston – including Carrum Downs, Skye and Sandhurst – will follow close behind and provide a reference point to Western Port, which already has some existing literacy programs. Each village will have a mayor coordinating activities of various “stakeholders”, which could include municipal councils, schools, kindergartens, libraries, community groups and residents. Former shire councillor Brian Stahl is the “literacy mayor” of the Hastingsbased village. No mayor has been appointed at Carrum Downs. The mayors will be expected to meet on a regular basis to discuss what is happening in their respective villages while working with project officers to develop action plans, seek sponsorship and access resources to promote literacy “and other support as required”. The scale of the villages encompassing two municipalities is a first for Australia and, if successful, is likely to be seen as a model for other areas. Mornington Peninsula CEO Michael Kennedy and Frankston CEO George

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Modrich have for the past year worked closely with the regional director of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Peter Greenwell, in creating the literacy villages program for the two neighbouring municipalities. Dr Kennedy said statistics showed the level of literacy of children starting school on the peninsula was “well below state levels … they were arriving at school but were not ready to learn”. “This means they are not having access to every opportunity to reach their potential. It’s a very significant issue. If they get off to a bad start it is a struggle to catch up.” Dr Kennedy said the village concept would work at two levels, with the shire operating at the “big village” level, providing health care for children, libraries and “raising awareness of literacy”. “The local villages will be shaped by the needs of each area. Mornington and Mt Eliza might be different to Tootgarook or Hastings where there are already neighbourhood renewal programs. “We want to be a community-driven project that’s supported by the councils and government. We don’t want them bogged down by bureaucracy. “I expect the levels of success to be measured over a long time.” Carol Coulson, project manager of the $1 million three-year Frankston/

Mornington Peninsula Literacy Partnership, is based at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development offices in Frankston. “We want to improve literacy,” Ms Coulson said. “Many people who get involved in the criminal justice system and the unemployed have low levels of literacy.” Ms Coulson said most of the money for the literacy villages program coming from state and federal governments would pay for staff “and getting the message out about the importance of literacy”. Data would be collected about literacy levels among young people in each of the 12 village areas while decisions were yet to be made on specific activities. “There’s no definitive plan, but we’ll look at targeting communities through public forums, newspapers, newsletters and shopping centres. We’ll be doing many different things although we’re not sure yet just how it will evolve” Ms Coulson said. “We’ve had two meetings in Hastings and Carrum Downs and there’s already a strong network supporting literacy at Hastings,” Ms Coulson said. “Because it was already working in Hastings we chose a contrasting area, Carrum Downs, where there was nothing established. We will role the experiences from these two pilot projects into the next ones.” June has been set as the target date for launching the entire project, including naming of the 12 villages.

Rotary welcomes new citizens By Judy Berends LOCAL dignitaries, Rotarians, families, friends and Rotaractors celebrated Rotary’s 106th Birthday on February 23 in the Pentland Gardens in Frankston. Funds raised this year went to the Flood relief program, assisting flood victims in Queensland and Victoria. The occasion was used to welcome our newest Australian

citizens at a citizenship ceremony, which is an annual event for the Rotary Club of Seaford Carrum Downs. The presentation of certificates of naturalization was carried out along with the presentation of books on Melbourne and Australian native plants. The Mayor of Frankston City Council, Cr Kris Bolam was assisted by two of his staff, as

well as by President Louise and Secretary Jennie, in the carrying out of these duties. As usual, it was a wonderful evening to welcome new Australian citizens. Family and friends were also present. For more information about the Rotary Club of Seaford Carrum Downs please contact Secretary Jennie Leslie on 0418 179 269.

A warm welcome: Some of Australia’s newest citizens pose for the camera.


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PAGE 2 Frankston Times April 2011

Civic warrior friends say farewell Continued from Page 1 Also at the send-off for Richard Laverack were joined by author Sheila Newman and James Sinnamon of candobetter website; Richard’s brother Peter Laverack, editor of Frankston Argus; Frank Hart and Kath Hassell of Frankston Beach Association; Alan Bryson, secretary of Frankston Greens, and Jill Verhardt of Mornington Peninsula Greens (holding one of Richard’s presents, a signed T-shirt, in our photo); Joyce and Simon Welsh of Westerfield,

the historic property in Frankston South; Brian Cuming of Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council; Barry Ross of Defenders of the South East Green Wedge; Bill Beaglehole; Cr Brad Hill; Ross Pickard of Peninsula Arts Society; Rhys Walkley of Seaford Community Group; Jill Quirk of Sustainable Population Australia; Margaret McGrath of Frankston North Community Group; Gillian Collins of Friends of the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve; and many others.

‘Early bird’ deal for casino conference

Crash call: This was left abandoned about hundred metres away from where, two days later, ratings from HMAS Cerberus died after their car hit a concrete power pole at Crib Point. Picture: Snez Plunkett

Call to crush hoon cars CARS of hoons “should be crushed after their first offence” was the call from a majority of people at a meeting in Frankston Arts Centre last Tuesday night. About 100 people were at the meeting called to tackle hoon driving, organised by Frankston Council and chaired by Cr Glenn Aitken. Cr Aitken said a vast majority of people called for tougher hoon driving laws and they were backed by attendees including federal MP Bruce Billson and state MPs Geoff Shaw, Neil Burgess, Donna Bauer and Jude Perera. “The state government is bringing in new laws on 1 July, but they’re just not tough enough,” Cr Aitken said. He said recent statistics about social disorder showed people were more concerned about noisy, hoon drivers and dangerous drivers than drug-taker

and graffiti vandals. “The Australian Bureau of Statistics crime victimisation survey figures show 13 million Australians claim to be affected by hoons and bad drivers,” he told the meeting. “People feel unsafe in their homes, property is being damaged and, worst of all, hoon drivers are taking the lives of pedestrians and other motorists. “Frankston Council has called for stronger laws to combat hoon driving, as have many other municipalities; the laws are out of touch with community expectations.” He said police were frustrated with hoons being taken to court but receiving a slap on the wrist. He called for stronger laws to combat “this rising selfishness of a minority of drivers; this mongrel mentality”. Cr Aitken said he called for a show of hands of people supporting the

crushing of cars for first-time hoons and for cases of bad speeding: “There was a sea of hands; almost everyone in the room.” Frankston’s hoon hotline is 1800 NO HOON (1800 66 4666). • Two hours after the Frankston hoon meeting, two naval ratings aged 20 and 22 who were attending a live-in course at HMAS Cerberus in Crib Point were killed and three critically injured when the station wagon they were in slid sideways into a concrete pole beside The Esplanade at Crib Point. Police said alcohol and excessive speed were involved. A 19-year-old was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition, and an 18-year-old and a 26-year-old were flown to The Alfred. All five were two months away from joining the fleet. Mike Hast

AT least one of Frankston councillor has put up his hand to attend a fourday conference at a Queensland casino to find out about the latest trends in aquatic centre equipment. The trip will cost $2500 a councillor and although Cr Colin Hampton was the first to show an interest, councillors have been told there is $10,000 remaining in the annual conference budget. The purpose Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association Evolution 2011 Conference and Trade Exhibition runs 9-12 May on the Gold Coast at Jupiters Hotel and Casino. An officer’s report to council’s 4 April meeting said the forum “will provide an opportunity for delegates to learn about the latest attractions and trends in the global aquatic market … the introduction of new and innovative attractions and industry products as well as explore the increasing trend of water park products being installed into municipal aquatic centres”. “The conference format will be sup-

ported by a great mix of educational experiences, wonderful social networking activities and opportunities to visit a wide range of international and Australian manufactures and suppliers who will be displaying the latest in technology, aquatic play and amusement rides, products and services that will assist in increasing guest satisfaction and profitability,” the report stated. Speakers at the conference include Bob Rippy, chairman of the International Association of Amusement Park and Attractions and owner of Jungle Rapids Family Entertainment Centre; Paul Pei, marketing director of Ocean Park Hong Kong; Jim Seay, president of Premier Rides USA. If council pays by 8 April it can get an “early bird discount” full registration for $1000 or $750 for standard registration. Accommodation at Jupiters is $389 without breakfast and return airfare is about $301.

Wheelie top event coming to town TOP skateboard, scooter and BMX riders will be showing their skills at Frankston’s Wells St Plaza as part of the National Youth Week Festival from 11am on Saturday 9 April. Winners of last year’s skateboard, scooter and BMX competitions at the Frankston skate park will be among the riders. Other youth week attractions include

performances from the 2010 Kool Skools winning bands, African drumming workshops, airbrushing workshops, glitter tattooing, face painting, and the WHAT Truck 2011 sticker design competition. Frankston Library is showing a free movie, Transformers: Revenge of the fallen, from 6pm on Thursday 7 April. Bookings: 9784 1020.

Frankston Times April 2011



Pool add-ons come pouring in By Keith Platt THE cost of building an aquatic centre at Samuel Sherlock Reserve, Frankston, is already rising. Extra expenditure already flagged includes $500,000 relocating a cricket club, $30,000 for new cricket nets, a $24,000 phone survey and up to $10,000 for councillors to attend a conference at a Gold Coast casino. On top of that a pavilion needs to be provided for a baseball club at another reserve and cricket clubs have already been given free use of other grounds. The survey of 500 randomly-chosen resident phone subscribers will ask whether or not they even want a pool, despite council committing to spend $18.5 million ands the state government $12.5m. The survey will also ask residents

what sort of extra features they want at the centre, which is what councillors going to the Queensland conference will also be looking at (see ‘Early bird deal for casino conference’ Page 3). The latest add-ons come after protracted negotiations with Frankston YCW Cricket Club which musty leave its home at the Samuel Sherlock Reserve to make way for the aquatic centre. Writing in council’s 4 April agenda, recreation coordinator Jacqui Anderton said Peninsula Reserve in Frank St was the “preferred location for the club” but would need an estimated $495,000 spent there to bring it up to requirements. Council had previously said the club would not be disadvantaged by any move. YCW will be at Peninsula Reserve

for the 2012/13 cricket season and until then will use the Ballam Park east oval. Meanwhile, Ballam Park Cricket Club will get free use of another council-owned ground. Frankston Baseball Club, also based at Samuel Sherlock Reserve, is working with council officers on pavilion designs at its new home at Robinsons Rd Reserve. YCW only agreed to move to Peninsula Reserve on 8 March after discussing a possible five sites. Ms Anderton said $200,000 had originally been allocated for the move, but YCW “emphatically refused to consider Peninsula Reserve because it near proximity to housing might jeopardise its chances of getting a liquor licence, a major source of income.

The club also said it was concerned it would lose its identity as a Frankston club, lose the connection with its junior members and sponsors. After a series of meetings YCW listed Ballam Park east as its first preference with Peninsula Reserve coming second on the list. As well as extending the pavilion, there are question marks over the irrigation system and the adequacy of drainage at Peninsula Reserve, which is a retarding basin. YCW can stay at Samuel Sherlock Reserve next season although, because of the 2012 start date of the aquatic centre, will have problems if it makes the finals. If council delays work on the Peninsula Reserve pavilion YCW may have to stay a full year at Ballam Park.

Ms Anderton said the cost of “general ground renovation works” and an audit of Peninsula Reserve’s irrigation system could be absorbed in the 2011/12 sporting reserves maintenance budget. However, any repairs to the irrigation would be added-on costs. “Council is committed to the development of the regional aquatic centre at the Samuel Sherlock reserve and therefore, the relocation of the Frankston YCW Cricket Club. “The club is deeply concerned about their long term viability and desire that an alternative venue is secured as a matter of urgency. “Significant progress has been reached in the negotiation process where the club has agreed to move to the Peninsula Reserve facility following significant capital improvements.”

Cities still backing Labor’s CAD plan FRANKSTON and five other metropolitan cities have commissioned a study that backs up the previous Labor state government’s decision to develop them as central activities districts (CADs). The Liberal government elected last November has stated that it will review Melbourne’s metropolitan strategy – which includes the CAD proposals. The study by SGS Economics and Planning will form the basis of a joint submission to the state government by

the six councils: Frankston, Greater Dandenong, Maribyrnong, Hume, Whitehorse and Maroondah. It is seen as the first towards attracting government investment by demonstrating where the greatest need exists and where that investment will yield the greatest return economically, socially and environmentally. A study shows that improving transport infrastructure within the six cities could lead to a $900 million benefit in labour productivity.

Another $1.3 billion could saved by building 42,000 “infill dwellings” instead of developing new suburbs on Melbourne’s fringes and expanding “radial road and public transport infrastructure”. Having Melbourne surrounded by six minor “capitals” – defined as a polycentric urban structure – was a central plank of the former Victorian Labor government’s December 2008 Melbourne@5million policy statement.

Exactly a year later COAG (Council of Australian Governments) agreed that by 1 January 2012, all capital cities will have long-term strategic planning systems that meet nationally consistent objectives, with a core commitment to promote the three themes of productivity, sustainability and liveability. COAG said the plans would include climate change, improving housing affordability and tackling urban congestion and it would consult local government which it saw as key partners.

The COAG Reform Council was established by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) as part of the arrangements for federal financial relations to assist COAG to drive its reform agenda. It reportts to COAG on reforms of national significance that require cooperative action by Australian governments. The decision by the six cities to hire SGS Economics and Planning to investigate the CAD plan was made by the mayors of the six designated cities.

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PAGE 4 Frankston Times April 2011

THE Hickinbotham Easter Sunday Family Fun Day is on again at Dromana, with live music on stage from 11am to 5pm. A great line up of music with a mix of styles for all ages. When he first started the Family Day back in 1999, Andrew Hickinbotham never imagined it would grow to be such a fantastic event. “We love the fact it has evolved into a true family outing where everyone can have a great fun day, whilst at the same time, raising money for local charities that provide crucial support roles within the community.” Running from 11am to 5pm,

this year’s Family Day features loads of things to keep the kids occupied including The Grand Grape Squash, The Pink Lady Chocolates Bilby Hunt, Easter Bonnet parade, Painting competitions, CFA display, Laser tagging, Animal Petting Farm, Sand Wizard art, Sheep Lotto, Face painting, Harley rides, auction, and more. It is a true country style Family day, with the event being held beneath the gums in the winery surrounds, so put in your collapsible chairs or a picnic rug and come to be entertained. The local scout groups will be cooking egg and bacon

rolls, steak sandwiches, baked potatoes and poffertjes. Their will be proper coffee available, and wood fired pizzas. Entry is $20 adults and children under 12 are free (each child receives a complimentary voucher for The Bilby Hunt and Animal Petting Farm ). The proceeds from the day go to the support of worthy local charity groups. Hickinbotham Winery is at 194 Nepean Highway (near Wallaces Road) in Dromana. The day is proudly supported by Mornington Peninsula Shire, Big Bang Media and Pink Lady Chocolates.


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‘Dob a dump’ hotline plan By Mike Hast FRANKSTON Council may start a “dob in a dump” hotline for complain about unsightly houses, vacant land and commercial properties. The hotline is one of a suite of moves to rid the city of junk-filled yards as well as force landowners to tidy up empty, vandalised buildings and overgrown vacant land with damaged and graffiti-covered fences. The council could issue notices to property owners to maintain their properties to the “council’s satisfaction in keeping with reasonable community expectations”. Other possible initiatives include: • Strong marketing campaign to notify residents about the unsightly properties campaign. • Putting more Local Laws officers on the beat to investigate messy properties, including hiring one officer and buying a new $35,000 vehicle for two officers who currently share a car. • Sending a brochure to real estate agents to inform home owners and occupiers about the campaign. The move to spruce up the city comes from Cr Glenn Aitken, who put up the idea at the council’s meeting last month. He says the city has dozens of untidy vacant blocks where developers have pulled down houses prior to seeking planning permission to build units or commercial buildings. There are existing commercial buildings boarded up and unoccupied, waiting to be redeveloped or replaced. “The problem is most noticeable in Seaford along the Nepean Hwy where I suspect some residential property

owners are ‘land banking’,” he said. The council had knocked back many development proposals as they did not fit planning guidelines, he said. “We’ve received plans for units to be built from boundary to boundary, which is a bad outcome. “Developers trying to use the maximum area of land for units or commercial premises has been a trend for quite a few years.” Others had little or no open space, no allowance for landscaping, and inadequate setbacks (distance from footpaths or roads and neighbouring properties). Cr Aitken says “ugly” developments are also a problem, places with “boxy” buildings and bad layouts. “Frankston went through a period of courting any kind of development from the 1970s onward and ‘proper’ town planning did not start until much later than other municipalities,” he said. Recent years had seen a dramatic rise in real estate values, but people who owned property in Frankston and lived in other places were not interested in building good developments, he said. “It’s easy for some to just pay the rates, do nothing and wait for values to rise further.” Three iconic commercial buildings close to the city centre on the Nepean Hwy have also attracted attention: the Ambassador Hotel complex, which includes Ambassador Apartments; the building on the Wells St corner occupied by Dimmeys until 2007 but vacant since then; and the 12-storey Peninsula Centre, once described by actor Barry Humphries as “the worst building in Australia”.

Cr Aitken wanted the council to ask the state government to give it powers to force owners to better maintain their properties, but a report to be discussed on 4 April says the council already has this power. The city’s Local Law No. 7 gives council officers the teeth to deal with abandoned vehicles, illegal dumping of rubbish, overhanging branches, dilapidated buildings and unsightly properties. The council can issue a notice to force the owner or occupier to carry out the work. It also has the power to undertake the work and then recover the cost. The report states fixing unsightly properties could see an increase in property values. “Providing a pleasant and well-maintained property appearance encourages other property owners to improve the maintenance of their own properties, and would entice visitors to the municipality with resultant increase in trading activities and revenue from council services, [for example] car parking.” Fixing properties would also reduce “habitation for vermin and rodents”, create a more vibrant suburb, and engender a “sense of community pride”.

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Golden mile a rusty row FRANKSTON environmentalist Jim Kerin says the Nepean Hwy north of the city should be a golden mile, but instead is a rusty row. “By any comparison, the strip is superbly situated. To the west is Melbourne’s longest stretch of banksia woodland that protects what many believe is Melbourne’s best beach,” he said. “To the east, most of the original blocks are bounded by Kananook Creek and further east is the internationally listed SeafordCarrum wetlands. The area is well serviced by public transport, schools, hospitals, a university and TAFE, and boasts above-average cultural and sporting infrastructure. “But a quick survey of the five kilometres between Eel Race Rd in Carrum and Beach St in Frankston reveals more than 25 vacant allotments, some derelict buildings; many with permits for mediumdensity development that date back to 2002. “Frankston’s planning scheme is the root cause of the problem.” He says council’s decision in 2000

to earmark the strip for higher density development occurred without fully understanding state planning policy. “Frankston’s planning scheme has produced development applications that are not well aligned either to local or market expectations. “City planners encouraged a different style of higher density development, but not of the same quality as Kingston or Bayside.” The planning scheme had deterred many purchasers seeking detached or semi-detached homes and also encouraged land banking and the “warehousing” of properties with building permits. “Also, a number of developers lost their shirts due to Frankston Council’s promotional hyperbole. “The number of vacant sites is proof the system is not working. “There’s a certain desperation in Frankston to make things happen at any cost. The municipality has been undersold – and councillors must play a greater role in shaping Frankston’s planning framework and better overseeing council officers’ decisions.”

Legal eagles can help adult students find support FREE advice on the support available to students of single parent families is available from Peninsula Community Legal Centre. The centre’s principal lawyer Victoria Mullings said many parents do not realise that they may still be able to obtain financial support for their child who is legally an adult. “The Family Law Act provides for a child to receive financial support from both of their parents, if required, to complete their education,” Ms Mullings said. “There is also an obligation to provide ongoing financial support for a child who is over 18 years and has a disability. This financial support is known as Adult Child Maintenance and the amount payable, if any, is calculated

according to the financial resources of both parents and any income earned by the child.” The centre helps parents and students in separated households to apply for financial support. “Either the parent with whom the child lives or the adult child can apply for financial assistance from the other parent,” Ms Mullings said. For information about free legal services or if you would like assistance in obtaining financial support to complete your secondary or tertiary studies, call Peninsula Community Legal Centre on 9783 3600 or visit www.

Costs come with statue ‘gift’ By Keith Platt IF Frankston Council decides to accept a “gift” statue of champion boxer John Famechon it will need to spend $45,000 on its installation and about $1500 a year on maintenance. The statue offered by businessman Rob McCarthy will be made and presented to the city once 15 statuettes have been sold for $12,000 each. Council was knocked back when it asked the Sydney-based sculptor Stephen Glassborow to pay for the installation from the $180,000 raised by selling the 30cm high statuettes. However, officers have told Frankston councillors that the city can afford the costs associated with the gift. Mr McCarthy has used a similar model to raise money for statues of footballer John Coleman at Hastings and boxer Lionel Rose at Warragul. Glassborow’s $30,000 statue of cyclist Sir Hubert Opperman unveiled in 1994 at Rochester was made with support of the French government, Rochester Shire, Pacific Dunlop, Rotary and Lions. If the Frankston project goes ahead the Famechon statue will most likely be erected at Ballam Park, where sporting grounds are used for Little Athletics, cross country running, football, soccer, cricket, scouts, youth and children. Ballam Homestead is nearby as are play centres, secondary schools and Naranga Park School. Council officers say the scheme has been successful elsewhere, although drawbacks include not knowing how long, or if all the statuettes could be sold

and the cost of installing the 4.5 tonne plinth and statue. They also say other statues could eventually be installed at Ballam Park, suggesting Olympian Debbie FlintoffKing as one person council might like to “recognise in the future”. The officers also urged that council enter into a contract with the sculptor. While the Famechon project was “likely to be positively received by the community … there may be some debate in the community on the appropriateness of celebrating a figurehead of what many consider to be a violent sport”. John Famechon was born in France in 1945 but moved to Frankston at a young age where he was involved with the community, including helping police run the Frankston Blue Light Boxing Club. In his prime, Famechon overcame Les Dunn to become Victorian Featherweight champion in 1964, defeated ‘Scot’ Johnny O’Brien in 1967 to become Commonwealth Featherweight Champion. He became WBC Featherweight World Champion on 21 January, 1969 after defeating Cuban Jose Legra at the Albert Hall in London. He defended his crown against Fighting Harada of Japan, and defeated his rival again six months later. With a career record of 56 wins - 20 by knock out, six draws and five losses - Famechon was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles in 1997 but another 21 years would pass before Frankston’s was in a position to induct him to its hall of fame in 2008.

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No cross currents for ocean-going couple By Keith Platt CRISS-crossing the ocean to far off countries in a 12-metre yacht is a test of seamanship. A couple living aboard that same boat for 21 years is a test of friendship. Seemingly passing both tests with flying colours, Allan and Lyn McLean sit back below deck at Hastings recalling their journeys together. As one recounts a particular experience the other might gently interrupt – generally correcting a date or length of time spent in a particular storm or port. But no offence is taken. There are no accusatory glances or barbed retorts. “Ninety per cent of women don’t enjoy sailing,” Lyn says. “But I Iove it. I was brought up in the bush and didn’t see the ocean until I was 17.” Allan: “We’ve never had an argument while on the boat.” Lyn quietly reminds him of his reaction when blood from her cut hand stained a new sail. “You’ve got to have a sense of humour to make it work,” she says, recalling severe stomach pains five days from Hawaii and the page Allan marked in a book detailing burials at sea and “how to retrieve the Aussie flag”. “We enjoy the passage most – it’s not just the destination,” says Allan. The McLeans are obviously comfortable in their space, albeit one that is a bit confined. Their voyages aboard the Robert Perry-designed fibreglass-hulled Tayana class yacht add up to about 200,000 nautical miles, or 370,400 kilometres to landlubbers. But statistics are just numbers and in no way reflect the reality of the journey. The McLeans speak quite calmly about storms and incidents that were quite the opposite. After 18 hours in a storm with 60knot winds off South Africa during their first major trip, the McLeans’ boat literally fell off the crest of a 14-metre wave, taking them in a 180-degree roll before it self-righted. Anchored off Venezuela one night they became fearful and suspicious when surrounded by fishing boats. At that stage Allan carried a firearm on the boat and made a show of it while pretending to check the rigging before making their way back out to sea. “It happened to a friend of ours. He disappeared and his trashed boat was eventually found,” Allan says when asked about pirates. “Generally you avoid other boats when far out at sea. “International law says boats should stay 150 metres away as that area

‘We enjoy the passage most – it’s not just the destination’

In from the cold: Sailing couple Lyn and Allan McLean high and dry aboard their boat Svanika at Hastings where it was placed on a cradle for repairs, left, and among the ice flows in Alaska (above) during one their epic voyages

around your vessel is seen as Australian territory.” One brush with a much larger ship “1000 miles from nowhere” left Allan and Lyn feeling very vulnerable. They had been drifting in light airs in the Pacific when they spotted a ship on the horizon. As it approach, they could see it was a 42-metre (140-ft) fishing boat with several men on the deck. The McLeans spoke by radio to someone who said he was the skipper and “we’re bringing you water and fish”. The McLeans sent a message back: “Negative. They are not needed.” But the larger vessel continued in their wake and eventually lowered a small boat with at least eight men on board.

“They came roaring after us,” Allan said. Lyn: “They gestured for us to stop and we had no hope of outrunning them.” “They came alongside and were very happy and friendly, offering us boxes of bottled water and two tuna.” Relieved, but still disinclined to get too close, the McLeans eventually found out the men were from the Marshall Islands and that their boat had been a gift from the Australian government. “They obviously saw our flag and wanted to give something back to the country that had helped them,” Allan said. “I felt very humbled and ashamed. They were just trying to help us.” Together, the McLeans have sailed


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around the world, working and making friends wherever they land. Usually they try to find work, as a means of making some money and, more particularly, because it allows them to “meet the locals, the real people”. Similar reasoning sees them avoid docking at large commercial marinas, although this time they can save money, as anchoring at a beach or in a port is also cheaper. Allan, 71, had owned game fishing boats but never a yacht before buying Svanika in 1986. The previous owner gave him a short lesson in sailing and the rest has been picked up through practice. Immediately after surviving falling down the wave off South Africa (and patching up Lyn’s cut head) Allan re-

called the lessons of a book written by famed solo round-the-world sailor Jon Sanders, rigged a small sail and gained enough steerage to see out another 12 hours of the storm without serious incident. Eventually guided into port by the coast guard, the McLeans still correspond with the people from the St Lucia lighthouse who maintained contact throughout their ordeal. Some of their best memories come from a year spent sailing the coast of Brazil and then to the icy waters of Alaska. Now heading back to their home port Townsville, the McLeans plan to take time away from the sea, buy a ute and head into the bush with their latest mode of transport – a powered paraglider.

Counselling service to help those in need GISELA HARRIS has established a professional councelling practice in Tyabb. Her aim is to provide quality service at an affordable price to all people who may need help in addressing issues that are causing them concern. For example, a problem that is causing you to feel anger, resentment, hatred, jealousy, revenge and wishing someone harm can cause you to suffer illness, failure and poverty in your own life. The perfect solution can be as simple as changing one’s perception about the situation. “Whatever you give out in thought, words or actions must come back to you. The law of cause and effect is immutable and unchangable.” Sessions are by appointment only. Please ring between the hours of 8am - 6pm Monday to Saturday. Call (03)59 774 259 or (0448) 717 355.

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Frankston Times April 2011



New launches: Akuna crosses in front of Ranger III off Queenscliff last Friday week, above, and Ranger III off Point Nepean National Park.

Hastings base for latest sea pilot By Mike Hast THE bright orange pilot boat rounded the navigation mark off Queenscliff and turned south, smoothly accelerating to 22 knots and slicing through choppy seas with its trademark saw-toothed bow. Aboard were not the usual sea pilots heading out to Bass Strait to bring a ship through the notoriously dangerous entrance to Port Phillip, but the Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Kretser, his wife Jan and the Governor’s aide, Alisia Romanin. Just minutes before they had been escorted aboard Port Phillip Sea Pilots’ newest boat Ranger III by pilots’ chief Captain Rob Buck. A couple of hours before this, Mrs de Kretser had released a bottle of champagne to slide down into the bow of the 14-metre long pilot boat, which will be based at Hastings to carry pilots to and from ships using Western Port. Ranger III is the second boat built for the sea pilots by Mornington-based Hart Marine, following Akuna IV, which was lowered into Mornington harbour last June for sea trials and officially launched and named at Station Pier in Port Melbourne last November by Karen Needs, wife of then Ports Minister Tim Pallas. While the Governor and his party headed out towards The Rip at the entrance to Port Phillip, where they had a taste of the rugged commute of the 35 sea pilots, about 100 people celebrated on the top floor of 360Q, the restaurant at the redeveloped Queenscliff harbour. Hart Marine boss Mal Hart, whose father Frank is a former Western Port harbourmaster, talked with dozens of former and current sea pilots. His sea pilot brother Richard was nearby, chatting with his colleagues. Others attending included Inspector Stephen Guilmartin, head of the Williamstown-based Water Police; Port of Geelong harbourmaster Captain Dilip Abraham; Matthew McDonald, the new chief of Peninsula Searoad Transport, which operates the Sorrento to Queenscliff car ferry; Western Region upper house MP David Koch; and local councillors. Earlier, Captain Buck started the official ceremony at 11.30am sharp,

PAGE 10 Frankston Times April 2011

Boarding party: Governor David de Kretser and Jan de Kretser, left, boatbuilder Mal Hart, Port Phillip Sea Pilots boss Captain Rob Buck and MP David Koch in front of Ranger III. Pictures: Andrew Mackinnon of

giving a short history of the boats used by the Port Phillip Sea Pilots since the service started in 1839. “We started with sailing cutters, then cutters and graduated to high-speed launches,” he said. The service had always sought to have the safest and most reliable boats and, with the exception of the terrible tragedy in 1991 when the service lost a pilot and two crewmen, it had had an unenviable record, he said. Captain Buck was referring to the 12.9-metre long George Tobin, named after the service’s founder, which flipped stern over bow in treacherous seas, drowning the three men. The tragedy started a worldwide search for new designs, and the

next generation of launches were 16.5-metre long and powered by two 700-hp diesels, more than twice as powerful as George Tobin. In 2005 the service replaced the twin 700s with 800-hp diesels, while keeping an eye on pilot boat designs. Now it was replacing its five launches with boats designed by Pantocarene, a French naval architectural company that had revolutionised pilot and rescue boat design with its “beak” bow (see picture). Capt Buck said after deciding on the Pantocarene design, the service conducted a national search to find a boatbuilder and commission Hart Marine to build the first two boats. “We were fortunate to find an

experienced and professional boatbuilder in Mal Hart as well as continue our good association with Cummins diesels,” he said. “Ranger III is 14.3-metre long, with a 4.8-metre beam, draught of 1.5 metres and has a cruising speed of 25 knots, driven by two 455-hp Cummins.” Its unusual, big bow reduced vertical acceleration in heavy seas and gave a smoother ride. The new boats were self-righting. Capt Buck acknowledged the service’s boat repair depot and the crews who carry the sea pilots to and from ships. “We believe we have the safest pilot boats in the world. And without

further ado, I call on Mrs de Kretser to name this boat.” Jan de Kretser told the gathering she holidayed at Ocean Grove as a child, with her family staying in a building that was part Geelong cable tram and part shed. “If someone visited with a car, we’d all jump in and come to Queenscliff to watch the pilot boats and liners, so I was really excited and delighted to be invited down here today. “It gives me great pleasure to name this boat – I should call her a ship – Ranger III. I wish fair weather and good fortune to all who sail in her.” Mrs de Kretser released the champagne bottle and it broke perfectly first time, with the crowd murmuring its appreciation. The next time The News saw Mrs de Kretser, the Governor and Ms Romanin, they were walking beside 360Q having been dropped off at the jetty of the sea pilots station on the foreshore at the end of Tobin Drive and picked up by a car. Ranger III had been unable to linger for long at the jetty due to rough seas. The Governor and his wife had a spring in their steps, although Ms Romanin was looking a little worse for wear and was no doubt happy to be back on dry land. Ranger III was off on a second trip soon after, carrying retired sea pilots and their wives in the spacious cabin that looks more like a luxury bus than a boat. Akuna and Ranger carry the latest in high-tech equipment and are propelled by low-emission, low-noise, lowvibration motors. They have man overboard recovery systems, including a hydraulically driven underwater platform and rubber fenders all around the top edge (gunwale). As Ranger sliced out passed Shortlands Bluff, Akuna hove into view, bringing back to shore a pilot who had just clambered down the side of a container ship after taking it through The Heads. For the modern sea pilots, it’s a long way from when George Tobin and his fellow pilots used to camp on the beach at Queenscliff and be rowed out to ships in 30-foot whaleboats crewed by convicts.

Pressure on Parks after plover losses By Mike Hast PRESSURE is mounting on Parks Victoria to ban dogs from selected surf beaches in Mornington Peninsula National Park after another disastrous breeding season for the endangered hooded plover. From about 150 eggs, just nine birds reached fledgling (flying) stage and as few as five may have made it to the end of the season, which has just ended. The News visited Portsea surf beach last Thursday with southern peninsula resident Malcolm Brown, who has been defending plovers for almost 20 years, guarding newborn chicks, erecting warning signs beside tracks and on surf beaches, and lobbying Parks Victoria to ban dogs from plover breeding spots. “In some ways it’s been a good year for hooded plovers because it was so wet,” he said. “There weren’t many people on the beaches and the birds were able to lay more eggs and more chicks hatched, but, despite that, we still had a very high death rate. “We’ve had nine chicks get to fly, that’s called fledging, out of 150 eggs.” He said Mornington Peninsula National Park surf beaches usually get more than 100 eggs each summer season. “We’ve had just nine chicks reach fledgling stage, which is when they can fly. This puts them in a good position to get away from people and dogs.” He said Birds Australia has been banding some of the chicks and had discovered that hooded plovers can

Plover alert: A hooded plover chick exposed on the beach. Picture: Glenn Ehmke

live to 20 years. “This is fortunate as we only have 400 to 500 plovers in Victoria.” Mr Brown said 90 per cent of chicks that had hatched on the peninsula had been killed in their first 15 days. “They’ve been taken by silver gulls, kestrels, ravens and foxes, but a key factor is the birds being continual disturbed by people and their dogs. It gets to the point where they starve. “One of the unique things about hooded plover chicks is they feed themselves the moment they hatch. They are very independent early on. So if they are disturbed, they hide and don’t feed.

“For 200 years there was no one coming to these beaches apart from a few Bunurong people and other tribes. There would have been lots of debris on the beaches; tea-tree that had been here for decades, so there was lots of cover for them to hide from predators. “There wouldn’t have been dogs and foxes. They would have had it pretty easy. “In a national park, the default should be no dogs and that’s the case with the vast majority of national parks in Victoria, throughout Australia and the world. “Dogs are allowed here because of an historic quirk. Before Parks Victoria

managed the beaches from 1988, they were managed by the Shire [of Flinders] and hooded plovers weren’t even on the radar. “In that time they haven’t really reviewed the dog situation. It’s only been the last few years when I and other people have been hassling them to review the situation. “It just makes sense that if you’ve got a chick that is a couple of days old and it’s on a beach in the open in a national park that it should be given the right to at least have a bit of a break from things that can be controlled. Now you can’t control foxes easily ... but it’s not hard to control dogs in a

national park.” Plovers start hatching around Melbourne Cup weekend and this is when plover lovers like Malcolm Brown arrive on the surf beaches with their binoculars and wearing safety vests to guard those first chicks. The last chicks fledge in late March. Mr Brown wants dogs to be kept off beaches for almost five months. “This is not a big ask; if you think about what is available to dogs on the peninsula -- 2000 kilometres of road reserves, 58 parks for off leash exercise; there’s a whole infrastructure for dog protection, vets and places buy food. All we’re asking is for a hooded plover chick to have 30 days grace from being harassed by dogs.” He says there should be a total ban of dogs in national parks but “if you’re going to have dogs on beaches, at the very least, if you know there are chicks on a beach, Parks Victoria should make it clear to people, and the public has to respond to minimise impact on the chicks. He said it was possible to allow dogs on beaches where hooded plovers don’t breed. It would be easy for Parks and the shire to send out notices to residents and provide brochures for visitors. “This summer we had 10 volunteer plover guardians, people who sat on a beach, read a book and gently informed people about plover chicks. “About 99 per cent of people said they didn’t know about the chicks and were happy to go somewhere else.” Details: Birds Australia website:

Drivers urged to go slow on the wildlife By Keith Platt WILDLIFE carers are appealing to drivers to slow down after the death of a koala in Red Hill that had already been twice released back into the wild after being treated for injuries. The koala’s luck ran out last month as it was crossing White Hill Rd. After suffering horrific head injuries it managed to climb a tree from where it was eventually rescued by Ian Gondos of the Australian Wildlife Assistance Rescue and Education group (AWARE) and Brenda Marmion of Crystal Ocean Wildlife in Dromana. The koala was so badly injured that it had to be put down. “We’re always having problems with cars hitting wildlife,” Ms Marmion told The News, adding that she was carrying a “pinky” wallaby and a similar aged brushtail possum in bags inside her jumper as she spoke on the phone. “The wallaby’s got head injuries, which are probably the result of it being thrown from the pouch by its mother who may have been chased by foxes or dogs. “I don’t know if it will live. It’s got cuts on its head, which is slightly swollen. It’s not doing too well.” Ms Marmion said the baby wallaby had been found at Red Hill while the possum had been found on the ground in the pademelons’ centre at the Moonlit Sanctuary wildlife centre in Pearcedale. The pademelon is similar to a wallaby but with shorter, thicker and a sparsely haired tail. Ms Marmion said some native ani-

Fatal hit: This koala had to be put down because of injuries it received when hit by a vehicle in White Hill Rd, Red Hill.

mals had been breeding up to three times in the past season “because the conditions have been so good”. Many koalas lived near White Hill Rd and she had asked council to erect signs warning of their presence “at the top and the bottom of the road”. Other native animals often brought into her wildlife refuge included flying foxes and birds caught in protective

netting over fruit trees. “The black netting is the worst, although they still get caught in the white nylon netting,” she said. “The animals don’t seem to get caught quite so often if the nets are stretched over a frame rather than draped loosely over the trees. “CDs hanging on strings reflect light, even moonlight, which can also help.”

Ms Marmion said the flying foxes were her “favourite” animals, but warned anyone handling them to be careful about being bitten. Flying foxes caught on the Mornington Peninsula were returned to the colony at Yarra Bend near Ivanhoe once they had recovered from any injuries, she said. Besides the two joeys nestling in-

side her jumper, Ms Marmion was last week nursing a ringtail possum, five sugar gliders, two koalas, two tawny frogmouths, a galah with head injuries, a crimson rosella and an eastern rosella. “It’s a quiet season, really,” she said. “But I’d like motorists to think about the injured animals and slow down.” Frankston Times April 2011






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New in Frankston “Blessed are cheesemakers” and all the good food producers! LOS ARGENTINOS has 15 franchises throughout Europe with the sixteenth just opened in Frankston - the first for Australia! Beautifully decorated with South American decor, the restaurant has a charcoal grill at front of house with steaks, lamb, ribs and chicken done to perfection. Fully licensed, seating 80 inside and 35 outside, Los Argentinos is fully stocked with a wide variety of South American spirits, wines from Argentina and Chile and local wines included. Margaritas are a specialty. The menu caters for everyone with steaks starting from 200 gram up to 750 gram. Traditional Mexican dishes are served along with a delicious array of desserts. Vegetarians are catered for and there is also a children’s menu. Takeaway is also available. Live entertainment with a South American band is on offer 4 days throughout the week. Los Argentinos is open 7 days per week from 12pm to 11 pm. Situated at 14 Beach Street, [ corner of Nepean H’wy] Frankston. Bookings are essential. Phone: 9783 7882.



ANDRIY and Taras Kogut (below) are the familiar faces of Blue Bay Cheese at farmers markets on the Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne’s kosher food scene. As founders of Blue Bay Cheese, the Kogut brothers come from a rich European heritage of cheese making in their homeland of the Karpathian Mountains, Ukraine. They now embrace Port Phillip and Mornington as their “sparkling inspiration” for a new life in Australia producing cheeses and fine food for the local market that would make their grandmother proud! “Each day our grandmother milked the cows and goats herself, taking great pride in having fresh yoghurt and cheese on the table for the family.”

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PAGE 12 Frankston Times April 2011

Like so many immigrants the Koguts say that survival in a new country has been a great motivator. Starting a new business has been a risk with many and varied challenges for the entire family. With a shared passion for food the brothers studied Agricultural Engineering majoring in Food Production and Processing Technologies in Kiev, graduating with the Bachelor degree in 1999. The Australian dream began in 2005 when the brothers opened the Cheese Factory in Mornington. Combining the Kogut’s passion and expertise, Blue Bay Cheese was to become a familiar face on the Mornington Peninsula. “Working with the public and selling our products at the farmers markets has been a great

way to meet people and establish a much valued client base”, said the brothers. With the manufacturing premises based in Mornington, the brothers have expanded the business to open a direct retail outlet for their produce. In 2009, BLUE BAY DELI was opened in Frankston making available its tasty wood fired smallgoods, cheeses, traditional authentic cakes and other European delicacies. The future is looking great! The brothers have now appointed an experienced chef and together with a dedicated team to run the deli shop, they aim to introduce even more freshly cooked specialities of the European and Eastern European cuisine.

The list of menu items include a full selection of crepes (nalesniki) with cheese, chicken, meat, cabbage and mushrooms; pierogi and pelmeni (Polish and Russian dumplings); traditional European cakes, poppy seed strudels and cookies. In addition the deli will also provide a variety of salads, soups and home cooked meals for takeaway. Frankston Blue Bay Deli will re-open for business on April 5 (Tue-Fri 9am- 5pm, Sat 9am2pm). 8 Young Street, Frankston. T. 9783-1714. Takeaway available. Please note that road works are still in progress. Blue Bay Cheese Factory open to the public Thurs &Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-noon at 6 Latham Street, Mornington.


Darren Hornsby, I beg your forgiveness By Stuart McCullough HIT film ‘The Social Network’ charts the origins of the phenomenon that is facebook. In the movie, a simple act of revenge in which a jilted young man seeks to humiliate a girl spawns an idea that becomes a billion dollar industry. But whilst the folks at facebook may try and convince you that it has moved beyond its vengeful origins, the site remains a potent weapon that, in the wrong hands, can wreak untold destruction. I continue to resist twitter and the rest, believing firmly that they are not a new frontier of communication so much as they are a massive time sink. Indeed, Stephen Hawking would be well advised to update his book ‘A Brief History of Time’ to confirm that the newest black hole in the universe is, in fact, facebook. Mostly, I’m oblivious to it. However, I am reliably informed that there is a page on facebook entitled ‘You Know You Went to Flinders College in the 1980s if……’ Lots of examples are listed. It is, I am assured, the nature of such things. One of them is ‘You Know You Went to Flinders College in the 1980s if you saw 20/20 Vision live in concert’. 20/20 Vision was the name of the band I was in during high school. This page has more than seventy members.

Riding a wave to rock stardom: 20/20 Vision circa 1986 including the author, second from left (hand protruding cooly from his pocket). Little did they know that a lifetime of mediocrity awaited them...

There are comments, of course, along with photos. Mostly these are statements of remembrance and recognition, a sense of camaraderie born of shared memories and experiences. No wonder people find this stuff addictive – it so often answers the question that plagues everyone when they reminisce: whatever happened to ‘so and so’? But amidst this harmless fun there lurked something of a hand-grenade, a posting that did not come in

peace but to settle a score that I had no idea even existed. I didn’t know Darren Hornsby that well. He was a year or two older than me and was pretty quiet. We weren’t friends, but we weren’t enemies either. Or so I thought. It was short, it was sharp and it was devastating. Darren posted, ‘Yeah I saw 20/20 Vision play (crap)…..’ Whilst such a critique may seem harmless enough, those words are a dagger to my musical heart.

Unique home décor PEOPLE are travelling from all over Victoria (and interstate) to see the amazing art and home décor collection that is exclusive to Topez. Proudly based in Tyabb, Topez is fast establishing itself as the place to source unique one-off items for the home and garden. The Directors of Topez travel the world seeking the best quality merchandise with a focus on individuality and non mass-produced items. Whether you are renovating, building or seeking that special something for your home or garden, Topez may have just what you are looking for. Nowhere else in Australia will you find such a diverse range of premium quality décor products and international art.

USA comes to Tyabb DURING April, Topez is proudly exhibiting the controversial and surreal art of American artist Dale Mathis. Topez is the managing agent for Dale’s work in Australia. The intricacy of the dynamic integration of moving parts in each piece of work will leave you spellbound and captivated. Whether you are an art enthusiast or just appreciate great talent, you must see this exhibition. 16 Mornington/Tyabb Rd Tyabb Phone 03 9397 6644 Email: Open Thurs–Sat 9.30am– 4pm Sun 9.30am – 2pm

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I’ll be the first to admit that we weren’t exactly Radiohead, but we were best band the school had to offer. That we were the only band doesn’t really come into the equation. Number one is number one, no matter which way you slice it. As the singer, I often bathed in the adulation that being in a teenage rock band brings. Walking between the portables and across the quadrangle, my fellow students gazed at me in what I assumed was quiet

worship. I thought everybody loved us. Clearly, I was mistaken. Darren didn’t make his feelings known at the time - if he had some constructive criticism he wished to provide, all he had to do was speak up. I feel betrayed. Although I could try and draw some succor from the fact that Darren’s scathing assessment did not prompt a flood of similar comments, neither did anyone charge to our defence. This is in spite of the fact that of the seventy-plus people in the group, two are my sisters and one was a member of the band itself. Under these circumstances, such silence is disturbing. Rather than a disgruntled lone wolf, perhaps Darren is part of a silent but still angry majority who have been waiting all these years for the chance to stick their boots in. It’s as though he has bided his time, patiently anticipating the creation of facebook and social media where his true feelings can finally be revealed. I can’t recall him even liking music, and yet he has dismissed the finest efforts of our teenage years in a single word. How should I respond? Should I accuse him of having ears of clay or simply demand satisfaction and challenge him to some kind of dual? Sadly, whilst facebook gives you the option of accepting or declining an offer of friendship, it is completely without a function

that lets you organize pistols at dawn. The members of 20/20 Vision will soon reunite for the first time in more nearly twenty years. Whilst we could probably be forgiven for retaliating by way of a letter advising Darren that we’re not wild about him either, I don’t think that’s the way to go. I’d prefer to dust off the instruments and turn up unannounced to his house, set up on the lawn and start playing. Or, if that’s not possible, perhaps we could transfer some of the old cassettes to compact disc and present him with the very first copy of ‘20/20 Vision – The Anthology’. Facebook may be a fascinating portal into the past, but it’s also capable of delivering some fairly confronting surprises. When I first heard of the ‘You Know You Went to Flinders College in the 1980s…’ page, I assumed it would be filled with earnest debate as to which 20/20 Vision best encapsulates the spirit of the band, a full list of our live performances and a petition begging us to reform. Maybe even chord charts to allow our die hard followers to play along. But instead of fan worship all I found was criticism that’s twenty years too late in coming. Darren, had I only known how you felt. I am truly, deeply sorry.

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Mornington Factory is open to the public on Thursday & Friday (9am -5pm and Sat 9am-noon)

1/6 Latham St Mornington (off Bruce St). Melways Ref: 145 J3.

5976 4999

For a great family outing

The Market For Everyone Frankston Times April 2011



Entertainment AWARD-winning country music singer James Blundell had fallen on tough times recently, but has picked himself up and hit back with a new album. James was forced into bankruptcy in 2010 and moved back to his family property at Mt Malakoff in southeast Queensland. His girlfriend, former Australian Idol contestant Jesse Curran, stuck with him and is featured on his latest album, Woolshed Creek Creek.. “I should have shifted back to the family property 10 years ago. It has taken me 25 years to get back home and its pure serenity here,” he said. “I am currently building my new home on the property complete with recording studio and hope to be finished by May.” The former Toowoomba Prep School pupil got his break winning the Star Maker talent quest in 1987 and released Gidgee Bug Pub Pub,, which won him a Golden Guitar for best new talent in 1988. He then released the album This Road,, which sold more than 150,000 Road copies and featured the hit Way Out West,, recorded with James Reyne. West

Above: James columnist.




James grew up listening to The Seekers and Slim Dusty. In 2003, he wrote Postcards from Saigon,, protesting against the war in Saigon Iraq. He was also the voice behind the Qantas TV commercial singing Peter Allen’s hit I Still Call Australia Home Home.. His new album was recorded at home in the woolshed at Mt Malakoff with some great production by Paul Greene, a former Olympic sprinter now full-time singer-songwriter. Woolshed Creek was a real family affair with his father Peter Blundell

Snr and brother Pete Blundell singing backup vocals on Move Into the City and Milk Me Me.. Peter Blundell Snr performs lead vocals on the hidden track Old Paint. Paint. Pete Blundell also sang backup vocals on Fat Man in a Van while Pete Denahy was passing by and dropped in to lend a hand on the violin. “I have many memories of the woolshed including 21st birthdays, dances and romances,” James said. “Paul Greene turned up one day with his dog Jack and together with my and Jesse’s dogs Diesel, Flash and Honey and a supply of Jack Daniels, a smoking potbelly stove and a bunch of songs, we went to work and made Woolshed Creek Creek.. Best tracks include Fat Man in a Van, Milk Me, Billy, Juliana’s Footsteps, Can’t Love Alone, Move Into the City and Old Paint Paint.. And here’s a plug for Paul Greene’s dog Jack who is featured on “barks” at the end of Juliana’s Footsteps Footsteps.. James has been invited to an American festival in October and will go on tour after that. He also appeared at a flood relief concert in Toowoomba last weekend.

“I bleed for the flood victims and anything we can do, we will. The Toowoomba concert was important and l probably knew half the crowd there.” James is dedicated to his sons Briar, 12, and Travis, 9, both talented musicians. Briar plays drums and Travis piano and guitar. What is JB playing in his car CD stacker? “At the moment l am listening to traditional R&B, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp and Kym Cheshire. I also enjoy Catherine Britt, Travis Collins, Kirsty Lee Akers and Dave Garnham.” James will tour with Catherine Britt in July and August, performing at the Apollo Bay Music Festival on 9 April, Hallam Hotel 3 August, York on Lilydale 5 August and the Karralyka Centre in Ringwood Thursday 11 August. *** LUKE Austen has released a new single Two Miles Down Down,, written by Troy Cassar-Daley. “The track is a working class song, depicting the lives of the men and women who go underground every day to make a living. Something l

minute break every hour on day one to play the one cent machines, followed by a break every two hours on day two and so on; sort of like restricting the smokes to the point of total abstinence. Maximum beer intake will be four pots per day. Morning half-hour walks followed by a half-hour swim. It will take a week. ***

the likes of “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News channel. Who knows, but one thing is certain, the differences between the 1940s and now are massive. Does power corrupt? You can bet on it. The big question is: who’s doing the corrupting? ***

with Gary Turner know all too well with my father spending 15 years as an underground miner,” he said. Look out for the new video clip Two Miles Down Down,, directed by Golden Guitar winner Duncan Toombs, on CMC soon. *** Top 10 albums 1. Woolshed Creek – James Blundell 2. Red Stiletto – Vanessa Lea & Road Train 3. White Flag – Katrina Burgoyne 4. Left of Center – Left of Center 5. Holding My Breath – Adam Toms 6. Better Late Than Never – Jason Lee 7. Behind Bars – Allan Caswell 8. Saturday Night Country – Various 9. Bad Machines – Shane Nicholson 10. Ultimate Country Driving Songs – Various

A Grain Of Salt NOW that time is catching up, I’m having thoughts along the lines of joining Darling, who departed six years back. Not voluntary thoughts mind, more likely coming from that mysterious monster hidden in my subconscious. The black knight! Like, what if there is something afterwards, controlling a register of bad deeds? The Catholic church is the world’s largest Christian church but, alas, I’m not a member. Does a social membership of an RSL carry any weight? I’ve never been to confession. Do they confess everything? Surely a furphy. Do people go to church “just to go” or do they really believe? Perhaps I should join as an eachway bet? Be frightening to arrive up there and have some bloke or, worse still, some female read out a long list of my misdemeanours. “Ellen, 99 bad deeds and four billion bad thoughts.” The black knight in the background, smiling, beckoning, with Darling alongside, awaiting the decision, brandishing a shovel. *** HAVE we ever experienced a political situation as we are in now? Nobody wants Gillard, fewer still want Abbott and almost everybody I speak with can

offer no tangible reasons other than instinct, which spells confusion. Kevvy Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull are now preferred to Julia and Tony. Why? Carbon tax and nuclear power go way over our heads, one party trying reason, another in opposition to everything and newspapers adding to the confusion and voters influenced by rising prices. And so it goes, with bias and ignorance, as always, reigning supreme. It’s not our fault, for mine. Both parties favour popularism in lieu of truthful information. In fact, like us, both parties appear to be running on instinct, which spells a loss of our respect. Even our floods, followed by the dreadful earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan involved backbiting. It’s all so very sad. *** DEAR Brendan, mate: Journey on down to the Mornington Peninsula (rather than Los Angeles) and meet me in the dedicated smokers zone of the Rye RSL. I’ll give you the mail on how to dodge the Channel 9 vultures as well as sound investments in term deposits. If you behave, I’ll allow you a five-

IF Wikileaks taught us anything (doubtful at best), it’s taught us that all governments lie, with the point being: do we care? And if they lie where does reality lie? As a kid watching those American war films, I was indoctrinated to the point of believing the Germans and Japanese were cruel races as opposed to our wonderful fairness, helped along by God’s will. And so to the American soldier who supplied information to Julian Assange and is now confined to a 12 by six-metre cell for 23 hours of every day with one hour for exercises with his legs in chains for months on end. Perhaps it began with Richard Nixon and his use of the weird American justice system to hijack and destroy one actor in the “Deep Throat” censorship case and continued on with

The most ridiculous and strange, fresh for you...

AS I see it, adaptability is the keyword in all relationships, but it must not impede your growth, as in forming your own opinions, your own form of creativity. The problem in some relationships is that one of the partners has too much say, and with it no knowledge of the need not to suffocate the other. True, we all need love and approval, and a feeling of belonging but there surely has to be more. Both require the ability to listen; easier said than done. Some say you make your own luck (generally famous actors or bigshot millionaires), disregarding the probability factor and so the vagaries of luck. Others suggest a path is already set at birth; others that the first seven or eight of life years sets the pattern. Maybe, maybe not; there is no clear evidence and all of these ideas occur

with Cliff Ellen in retrospect. Parents want their children to be handsome or pretty, and clever. They infuse them with their beliefs with the honest intention that they know best. Children, however, no matter their appearance or intelligence levels are all beautiful, and they all need love (like us) and they all have the potential for creativity. But do parents who want the best for their children want the same ideals for each other? If they don’t they should. *** “We are not satisfied with real life; we want to live some imaginary life in the eyes of other people and to seem different from what we actually are.” (Pascal, 1623-1662) When I was a kid, I fantasised about the advantages of invisibility. Alas, on reaching 70 there are none. Adios.


Bob moved in with his girlfriend and her enormous collection of old magazines. They took up an entire room. “It’s me or the magazines,” Bob insisted. When she refused to part with any of them, Bob left. As he told his friends, she just had too many issues. *** Two aerials on a roof fell in love and got married. The wedding wasn’t great but the reception was fantastic. *** A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with the fly-swatter. “What are you doing?” she asked. “Hunting flies,” he replied “Oh. Killing any?” “Yep. Three males and two females,” he replied. Intrigued she asked: “How can you tell?” “Three were on a beer can and two were on the phone,” he said.

PAGE 14 Frankston Times April 2011

RIddle Solution A blue house is made of blue bricks. A yellow house is made of yellow bricks. A red house is made of red bricks. An orange house is made of orange bricks. What would a green house be made of? ANSWER: Glass.

Sudoku Solution

Autumn Motoring Focus RS taking showrooms by storm

IF you visit your local Ford dealership in the near future, you may just be lucky enough to see one of just 315 Ford Focus RS’s that have come to Australia. If you are even luckier, you may become one of the lucky few to own one of these excepetional cars. “The buzz and excitement surrounding Focus RS has spread rapidly around the globe since it was introduced in Europe early last year, winning a host of motoring awards and receiving widespread critical acclaim for its outstanding combination of high-performance road car technology and every day Focus practicality.” explained Ford Australia President & CEO Marin Burela said. “Now it is poised to conquer the Australia market, setting a new benchmark for hot hatch performance in this country and creating a whole new generation of performance car enthusiasts in the process.” The Focus RS is being offered in just one comprehensively-equipped specification level and limited to three exterior colours – Ultimate Green, the signature colour of the latest Focus RS; Performance Blue, the colour of the original Focus RS; and Frozen White, a classic RS colour. Powered by a turbocharged Duratec RS 2.5-litre engine delivering 224 kW of power and peak torque of 440 Nm from just 2300 rpm, the RS is equipped with an arsenal of high-tech, high-performance components to match its exclusivity. Focus RS is fitted with

unique sports suspension, incorporating the patented Ford RevoKnuckle, along with a Quaife Automatic Torque Biasing Helical Limited Slip Differential, high-performance braking system and Tyre Deflation Detection System (DDS) for the 19-inch alloy wheels and bespoke Continental tyres. In addition to the largest wheel/tyre combination ever fitted to a Focus, a host of unique Focus World Rally Carinspired design elements contribute to the bold exterior of the RS, including: unique body panels flared wheel arches  custom bonnet design with integrated twin louvres side skirts  aggressive front and rear bumpers In fact almost every body panel on the sleek three-door body has been revised or modified. A twin-blade rear spoiler completes the exterior package, complementing the rear

bumper venturi and front bumper splitter to deliver the necessary downforce and balance the overall aerodynamic profile of the vehicle. Other exterior elements include automatic levelling xenon front headlights with washer system and rear parking sensors. On the inside, Focus RS boasts Recaro sports seats in partial leather trim, dual zone climate control air conditioning, rain sensing windscreen wipers, auto-dimming rear vision mirror and an eight-speaker Sony audio system with sixdisc CD player and USB input facility for iPod/MP3 player integration. Bluetooth hands-free with Voice Control system is also part of the equipment package, along with the Ford Key-Free System incorporating keyless entry and keyless start via the start/stop button. The Focus RS is being offered for sale with a Manufacturer’s List Price of $59,990.


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PAGE 16 Frankston Times April 2011









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April 2011  

Frankston Times April 2011