Mornington News 16 February 2021

Page 6

NEWS DESK

No shire compo for firefighters MORNINGTON Peninsula ratepayers will not have to pay $10,000 to Rye CFA because of a “muck-up” by a “junior officer”. The CFA was told by the officer on behalf of the shire that it could not hold its annual tin rattle because of safety issues. CFA volunteers traditionally approach motorists for donations every January at the corner of Dundas Street and Nepean Highway. The shire, after “banning” the tin rattle, later admitted its traffic and transport team did not have the power to stop the collection (“Shire backs down on tun rattle ban” The News 1/2/21). It said there had been a mix up, and the decision was a police matter. But this was cold comfort to the CFA, whose captain, Glenn Diamond, said members had been looking forward to the day and the usual banter with motorists. He said the tin rattle had been a major fundraiser for more than 10 years usually raised about $10,000 (“Tin rattle ban upset for firefighters” The News 25/1/21). At the council’s Tuesday 9 February meeting Cr David Gill said it was necessary to “look after our volunteers … [especially those that put their lives at risk”. The loss of income meant the CFA would be unable to buy new equipment. C Gill said the $10,000 was “on a very small scale for us to recompence what was a muck-up.

“I’ve been told [by council officers that it wasn’t a muck-up - well I think it was”. CEO John Baker confirmed that a council officer sent a letter “denying the right” for the CFA to conduct its tin rattle. Councillors rejected Cr Gill’s motion to pay the CFA and compensate any other volunteer organisation that protected community health and safety but were unable to hold roadside collections because of COVID-19. Keith Platt

Beach activities BEACH Patrol Mount Martha and Waste Wise Mornington Peninsula are holding a community event at Mount Martha beach, 8.45-11.30am, Sunday 21 February. It will feature a beach clean, craft activities, mini container deposit scheme, education by the Dolphin Research Institute and kids’ craft. Prizes will be awarded and a free coffee in your BYO cup for the first 50 people to register on the day. Limited places are available. Register for free at reg.eventgate.com.au/ Event/23199/MountMartha-BeachPatrol-Event Those attending are asked to wear enclosed shoes and to bring water in a reusable container (no single use plastics). Bring gloves, tongs and bags to participate in the beach clean.

Picture: Gary Sisson

Traffic returns to Main Street MAIN Street Mornington will be progressively reopened to traffic this week after being closed over the busy summer period. Extended outdoor dining areas on the road and in car parking spaces, as well as footpath trading, began to be removed from the close of business on Sunday (14 February). Contractors hired by Mornington Peninsula Shire will progressively remove water-filled barriers. Bus stops, taxis and parking will return to normal from Tuesday. The shire said visitors and residents

“enjoyed the atmosphere and vitality created by the temporary closure to traffic”. It said traders had “embraced” the extra space for outdoor eating and sales and customers “felt it easy to relax in a safer, less crowded environment”. The shire said most people surveyed had given it a score of”either nine or 10 out of 10”. “The enthusiasm and effort shown by businesses in making the best of this opportunity has been very welcome,” the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said. “Many thousands of visitors and

locals enjoyed our new-look Main Street and the additional COVIDsafe outdoor dining this summer. It proved a great success in our efforts to support local businesses during the pandemic. The shire said its survey found the public would like to see the street remain closed for longer, while many Main Street businesses wanted it reopened. The shire said it would take further feedback from traders and residents before evaluating plans for next summer. Stephen Taylor

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