16 June 2015

Page 5


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CELSIUS Treasure hunt: A full scale replica of the projectile fired by gunners from Pt Nepean intrigues Mornington Peninsula Justices Association chairman Graham Unwin, Southern Ocean Exploration’s Mark Ryan and Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices director Ben Loois. It was made by Mt Eliza Secondary College student Josh Daly.

It’s a long shot, but divers aim to retrieve historic shell PROJECT Longshot is a most timely event in the centenary of Anzac. So says Mark Ryan, of Southern Ocean Exploration, who addressed the Mornington Peninsula Justices’ Association last week. He described the circumstances surrounding the firing of the first British Empire shot in World War I – and the modern-day efforts of his volunteer divers to find the relic. Records show that war had been declared for only a matter of hours when gunners at Fort Nepean were ordered to “stop or sink” the German freighter SS Pfalz as it steamed for the Heads and open sea on 5 August 1914. Their "heave to" shot across the bow forced the ship to return to Portsea and internment for the duration of the war.

To search for the shell, the Defence department has allowed the exploration company use of a Royal Navy magnetometer - specialist sonar equipment – said to be capable of “finding a .22 shell buried deep in sand”. Mr Ryan admitted finding a six-inch shell inside the deep and fast-flowing Rip would be a “difficult mission”. “Our group of divers believe it is there and will make every endeavour to find it,” he said. “It can be found.” Mr Ryan said Southern Ocean Exploration was not a treasure hunting group. “Our main aim is to find ship wrecks, photograph them and submit reports to Heritage Victoria,” he said. “We were much encouraged by [former Premier] Ted Baillieu in 2013 to search for the long shot.”

Shire’s future rubbish target ups capacity THE landfill in Hampton Park likely to be the destination for shire rubbish after Rye tip closes is set to be expanded. Last week it was reported that French-based Suez Environnement, operator of the Hampton Park landfill, or tip, would expand to adjacent land that could take waste for many more years (“Quarry waste target again”, The News, 9/6/15). The Hampton Park landfill is a key plank in the shire’s future waste disposal strategy as it looks for sites to set up a so-called bulk haul centre that would take waste from smaller trucks and take it off the peninsula in larger vehicles. The shire is looking at several places for the bulk haul centre including Rye, Mornington, Tyabb and two sites in Dromana – a shire depot in Brasser Ave in the town’s industrial estate and the disused Pioneer quarry on the Arthurs Seat escarpment. Suez, asked by The News if it had bought more property for its Hampton Park landfill, said it had “no current plan to purchase adjoining property”. It was later revealed Suez had already bought the adjoining land, which is a sand quarry about to be closed and converted into a rubbish tip. Melbourne’s waste management authority, Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group, stated that the quarry had been bought by SITA Australia, now trading under the name of its parent company, Suez Environnement. It said the company had “purchased the Kingsvale site (adjacent to the Hallam Rd landfill site) from Rinker. The Kingsvale site is soon to be closed as a sandmining operation. This site could potentially be used as an extension of the existing Hallam Rd landfill, when the space at the Hallam Rd site is filled”. At a public meeting last month about the shire’s

draft Waste and Resource Recovery report, meeting chairman Cr David Gibb, who has been the council’s waste expert since 1999 and is now its representative on the metro group, said Suez’s Hampton Park landfill would be full in 13 years. Later a shire officer said the landfill had an expected life of 15-20 years. Mornington Peninsula Shire was subsumed into the metro waste group last August. It had previously been the independent Mornington Peninsula Regional Waste Management Group (trading as Peninsula Zero Waste) from 1999 until 2014. Cr Gibb was the peninsula group’s chairman. He and former CEO Michael Kennedy had fought off several previous attempts to force the shire into the metro region. Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group recently announced more organic waste would be diverted from landfill with the approval of a new organics processing facility in the southeast that would take up to 120,000 tonnes of green waste. “EPA Victoria recently granted a works approval to Sacyr Industrial for the construction of a new, fully enclosed, in-vessel aerobic composting and maturation facility in Dandenong South to process organic waste collected from kerbsides in eight council areas in the southeast of Melbourne,” the group stated. “Sacyr is one of three companies developing organics processing facilities in the southeast as part of the Metropolitan Organics Strategy to increase the recovery, processing and beneficial use of organic waste (garden and food) collected by metropolitan councils for the next 15 years.” David Harrison and Mike Hast


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Mornington News 16 June 2015


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