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LETTERS

Letters - 300 words maximum and including full name, address and contact number - can be sent to The News, PO Box 588, Hastings 3915 or emailed to: team@mpnews.com.au

‘New low’ in asylum seeker treatment For many years now, I have grown increasingly concerned about the inhumane way successive Australian governments have been treating asylum seekers and refugees who have come to our country by boat. For me, the latest plan to deprive medical evacuees from Nauru and Manus Island of income support and a place to live has reached a new appalling low. Consequently, I jumped at the chance to join my fellow Grandmothers Against the Detention of Refugee Children outside [Liberal MP for Flinders] Greg Hunt’s office in Hastings in order to present a letter and petition imploring the Coalition to reverse its harsh policies on refugees. Imagine our surprise and shock when we found the door to the office locked and no one willing to receive us or our letter even though they knew we were coming. Apparently, the Australian Federal Police had ordered the staff not to open the door, no doubt, on government orders. This is a new low for democracy when voting citizens are unable to present a peaceable protest to their local member of Parliament. We felt locked out of the democratic process. We were outraged, of course, by this treatment but it was nothing compared to how refugees on Nauru and Manus must feel as they remain locked out of our country in conditions that severely threaten their well-being. It is time to give them a fair go. Let’s encourage our politicians to bring them here and allow them to reclaim their lives. Jean Pengilly, Hastings

Running round the clock So, Cr Hugh Fraser has been overseas on another fact-finding trip. This time he was able to look at industrial waste treatment facilities and their operation (“China trip seeks new source of power” The News 5/9/17). Soon after a previous overseas trip by the councillor, ratepayers got the Sorrento seawall which was targeted with graffiti within days of completion and continues to represent a major falls risk for some pedestrians. Now we are told that the Metropolitan Waste and Resources Recovery Group would like to see “an advanced waste treatment facility located in Melbourne’s south east, by 2022”. In Europe and the US, these massive facilities operate around the clock with convoys of large, articulated trucks delivering all manner of waste materials – toxic and benign. I hope that Cr Fraser will tell ratepayers where such a facility could be located, either in the Nepean ward or some other councillor’s ward. He might also indicate which roads the truck convoys might use? Wayne Chamley, Blairgowrie

Protests over waste Cr Hugh Fraser might care to include in his report to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council the following extract on waste to energy projects in China recently published by the Yale School of Forestry: “A group of several dozen Shenzhen residents fearing that landfilled waste ash, leachate, and airborne pollutants from the future Shenzhen East waste-to-energy plant will make their way into the reservoir and the air has launched a legal battle to halt the project. Their hope: to force authorities to relocate the waste-to-energy plant away from the reservoir, away from their communities, and closer to lesspopulated areas on the south China coast. Theirs is one of dozens of protests and lawsuits that have sprung up in China in recent years over the spread of waste-to-energy incineration plants, a technology that the central government and regional authorities view as essential to dealing with China’s rapidly growing solid waste problem. Over the past few years, protests against planned incinerators have taken place in Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Shandong, Hainan, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces. Several have turned violent, exposing significant public distrust about these facilities.” Bill Holmes, Sorrento

Please back trial After negotiating with Mornington Peninsula Shire over many years to have direct adoptions from its Community Animal Shelter in Watts Rd, Mornington, it has finally happened (“Pound opens with adoption time trial” The News 5/9/17). Thank you [journalist] Stephen Taylor and the MP News Group for the publicity over these years. There is now a six-month trial that started on Saturday 2 September to open the shelter to the public for direct adoptions each Saturday, between 10am and 1pm. Unfortunately, the shire has not advertised this publicly. If you are looking for a new furry member to add to your family, please visit this shelter. Remember, this is a trial, let’s make it work. Help put the community back into our Community Animal Shelter. Doris Campbell, president MPRRA

Lack of interest Since the last election, the Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allen, has been very keen to announce big increases in public transport to look after her own seat of greater Bendigo, with the spin that, “The Andrews government is listening to locals...” What absolute rubbish. We now read that [Liberal] Nepean MP Martin Dixon tried to table a petition in state parliament of 1574 signatures from concerned local residents about our lack of public transport on the peninsula (“Transport petition stalls” The News 5/9/17). That “listening” Labor government refused to even look at it. This is further evidence of something every resident of the peninsula should know. Dan Andrews and Labor have no interest in us whatsoever. Peter Grey, Rye

MP should have known Nepean MP Martin Dixon has been in the political arena long enough to know if a petition that he speaks to would meet the requirements of the parliamentary rules before he presented it (“Transport petition stalls” The News 5/9/17). I feel also sure that the staffers in his office in McCrae would also be aware. As I have stated many times before, Martin Dixon has had ample opportunity to plead our case for better public transport on the southern peninsula but has chosen not too. For many years, there have been various times when several deputations were made to the government of the day but, to no avail. The Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers and Residents Association organised a bus trip into parliament culminating with a demonstration on the steps of parliament house. Incidentally, Martin Dixon failed to come out and speak to the group. It’s not Mornington that needs an upgrade, as it has several buses pulling into Main St. Rosebud is poorly serviced by the 788. In fact, if you don’t own a car, you are a virtual prisoner down here. I don’t recall the “Peninsula Residential Parks and Villages Group” ever representing itself at any past public gatherings on the southern peninsula. Governments of both persuasions have refused to recognise the plight of the residents of the southern peninsula regarding public transport, so for Martin Dixon’s staffer to suggest the refusal of the petition by Labor was political, is farcical. I wonder just who is being political? John Cain, McCrae

Housing the homeless I refer to Denis Mason (“Unwelcome neighbours” Letters 5/9/17) who seems to be under the impression that I support nine-storey developments in Brighton, Balnarring or anywhere else. I absolutely believe in appropriate planning and in no way support nine-storey developments, but I saw the demonstration against the

Water safety: Flinders MP Greg Hunt joined swim coach and water safety expert Laurie Lawrence and someone dressed as a bird to launch a new app designed to reduce child drownings. Picture: Supplied

Advice online to avoid child drownings SWIMMING coach and water safety expert Laurie Lawrence launched the Kids Alive – Do the Five water safety app with Flinders MP Greg Hunt at Pelican Park, Hastings. “Children need constant and active supervision when they’re in, on or around the water. With the summer months approaching, vigilance is the key to keeping young children safe around water,” Mr Hunt, who is also health minister, said. “Kids Alive is a great program and the new app provides more useful and practical tips to help us keep our kids safe around any body of water – whether it’s the bathtub or the ocean.” Lawrence said the Kids Alive App was free in Apple and Google Play stores and was aimed at parents and young children – with music, car-

toons and ebooks focussed on home, pool, beach and farm water safety. “Drowning statistics in the under-five age group are reducing, but this is not a time to become complacent. Let’s spring into summer and use fun messages via the app to educate parents and young children,” he said. A report published last year by Royal Life Saving Society Australia listed 21 drowning deaths of children under five. “While this represented a 30 per cent decrease compared to the 10-year average, even one death is still one too many,” Mr Hunt said. For details of the app and the Kids Alive – Do the Five program go to kidsalive.com.au/ or visit the app stores to download.

development lead into comments about the fear of drug addicts moving into the neighbourhood. Having seen the failure of housing commission multi-storey dwellings and the isolation they produce I most certainly disagree with high rise housing, but my point is that everyone deserves to have a roof over their head regardless of the reason they are homeless. Ideally I would like to see the homeless housed within the community where they can receive the support needed to change their lives. Mel Farnbach, Balarring

put the rail under road. Some of us are fighting hard to stop this madness. Others are pathetically resigned in acceptance and will complain after it happens. Some are just selling up and moving house. It is sad, very sad, that a beautiful part of Victoria – our home - will be ruined for future generations. Jennifer Wilcox, Carrum

No way out Even those who voted Labor in the last election, did not vote to have their beautiful beachside ruined by sky rail. Most of us in our small Carrum community are angry that this monstrosity will ruin our coastline and way of life. What will be built will not resemble those pretty images you are seeing. Come to Carrum, Seaford and Frankston and see how graffiti appears on any blank wall or concrete. We didn’t vote to have our local access road closed either. They are not just removing a crossing, they are removing a road, our road, Eel Race Rd, which allows us to get onto Nepean Highway. We will only have one way out via McLeod Rd, which is already crowded and dangerous. Our narrow local streets, filling up with high density apartments, can’t cope. We have two schools in the area and all those parents and kids will have to battle their way in and out of the schools. And, what about emergency vehicle access? Historic buildings and businesses are going to make way for a boulevard nobody wants. A shocking waste of money that could be used to

Excessive rates We are curious to find out how Frankston Council can justify the excessive level of rates being charged to householders in the city. Having recently moved from the City of Port Phillip to a property in Frankston South which has a lower capital improved valuation, we are astonished to find that the rates on our property in Frankston South are more than $2000 higher than on our previous address in Port Phillip. Not only is the general rate higher in Frankston but there are added charges, such as the municipal charge $155.60, garbage for a 120 litre bin $321.50 and green waste bin $135.50. These services are all included in the base rate by Port Phillip Council as well as twice-monthly street sweeping and free at call hard waste collection. Both Port Phillip and Frankston have extensive beaches and reserves to maintain in addition to the suburban parks and reserves. If our property was 800 metres further south in Mt Eliza the general rate charges by Mornington Peninsula Shire would be $1187 lower and the waste charge is only $197 as compared to Frankston’s $321.50. What ultra extra special services can we expect to receive from Frankston to justify the excessive level of rate charges? Graeme Burt, Frankston South Mornington News 12 September 2017

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12 September 2017  

Mornington News 12 September 2017