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Your weekly community newspaper covering Mornington, Mount Martha and Mount Eliza For all advertising and editorial needs, call 03 MORE THAN 260 students from schools around Mornington Peninsula had a say on solutions for global challenges during an environmental youth leadership program last week at Point Nepean National Park. The day was part of the national Kids Teaching Kids Week from 5-9 September, where more than 10,000 students explore locally relevant environmental issues. Primary and secondary students prepared for months to present to their peers on a range of issues such as protecting endangered marine and terrestrial wildlife, creative recycling, carbon impacts and climate change. Using the outdoor environment and historic buildings of the quarantine station as a base, students used use a range of tools to share their learnings, such as craft, quizzes, experiments, story-telling, music and games. Parks Victoria’s area chief ranger for Southern Peninsula, Kris Rowe, said the program provided a tangible link for young people to their local environment, and helped “the next generation understand how global issues impact special places like our national parks”. “We’ve seen dynamic community partnerships and mentoring programs emerge in the lead up to Kids Teaching Kids like the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Authority partnering with eager young environmentalists from Padua College to learn about wetlands and Parks Victoria Rangers sharing information with schools around threats to local marine systems,” he said. The Point Nepean day also featured a series of interactive walk and talks with peninsula experts.
Tuesday 13 September 2016
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Youth takes lead on environment Testing the water at Point Nepean as part of a project on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef are, from left, Matilda, Xaivea - Jae, Vance, Samantha and Ben. Picture: Yanni
Council backs spending rise Keith Platt email@example.com AFTER three meetings and sometimes bitter debate, Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors have finally adopted a new expenses policy. Basically, the policy gives councillors the right to spend up to $30,000 each over four years on such things as conferences and seminars ($16,000), education and training ($10,000) and entertainment ($4000). The aggregate is $14,000 a councillor more than the previously accepted,
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and disputed, amounts. The policy also introduced a ban on alcohol being supplied “before, during or after council meetings or briefings on council premises”. The shire’s communications and media manager Mark Kestigian said on Friday that about $27,000 had been spent on council’s liquor supplies in the past four years. The expenditure policy foundered at a special meeting on 6 September, with Cr Andrew Dixon saying the claimable amount for use of a private car on council business was too low. Last week the policy was amended to
bring the car allowance into line with that of shire staff rather than the 67 cents a kilometre rate set by the Australian Tax Office. The shire’s enterprise agreement allows staff to claim 88 cents a kilometre for a four-cylinder car and a $1.085 cents for larger vehicles. Under the new policy councillors will be given monthly reports on their expenses along with “an opportunity” to repay money spent on non-council business. Pressure for the expenditure policy follows a council resolution in April for Cr Antonella Celi to repay about $9000
of the $28,520 paid by the shire for her attendance on conferences and seminars. The decision was reversed in May. Legal advice obtained by the shire cast doubts on the $16,000-a-term spending limit for each councillor and that repayment of any perceived overspending could be forced. Councillors also receive a $29,000 a year stipend. The mayor gets a $92,000 a year stipend and under the new package is also allowed to spend an extra $3500 on conferences and seminars and $2000 a year on entertainment. Under the new expenditure policy
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councillors cannot claim for alcohol and are subject to more definite conditions for child care payments. The new policy states that child care payments cannot be made to someone who “normally or regularly” lives with a councillor. Rates are $31 an hour for day/evening weekday care; $42 an hour on weekends; and $53 an hour on public holidays. Councillors who voted to adopt the new expenses policy were Anne, Shaw, Andrew Dixon, Bev Colomb, David Garnock, David Gibb and Antonella Celi. Against: Tim, Wood, Tim Rodgers, Hugh Fraser and Graham Pittock.
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Mornington News 13 September 2016