17 July 2018

Page 8

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Centre of activity, information


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Stuart DavisMeehan, the new manager at Mornington Community Information and Support centre Picture: Yanni

THE new manager of Mornington Community Information and Support Centre is “very excited” about his job. Stuart Davis-Meehan started at the end of May after moving from Canberra to take up the role at the not-for-profit organisation that provides community information and support services to visitors and residents of Mornington, Mt Martha, Mt Eliza and Moorooduc. The centre is financed by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Services (through Community Information and Support Victoria), R E Ross Trust and donations. The visitor information service is open during business hours Monday to Friday as well as 10am-4pm Saturdays and 10am-2pm Sundays. The emergency relief centre is run by volunteers during the week. They provide hospitality, information and referral, food from the pantry, food vouchers, limited financial assistance, money for prescriptions, Telstra vouchers, free access to the internet, needle exchange, nointerest loans and the support of a community worker. Free meals are on offer Mondays from 5.30pm

in the Masonic Centre as well as a fresh food program from St Mark’s Uniting Church on Thursdays from 10.30am. A volunteering information hub is run on Tuesday mornings in conjunction with the shire. Volunteers also run the Beach End op shop at 70 McLaren Place which supports the work of the centre in a variety of ways, including financially. It is open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday and 10am-2pm Saturdays. The centre also has rooms to rent on a long or short-term basis and has a meeting room for hire. “As you can see, there is a lot going on at MCISC,” said Mr Davis-Meehan who has worked in the social and community sector for 35 years, including as a youth outreach worker, director of Newcastle Youth Service, as principal of the Margaret Jurd College, which caters to students with challenging behaviours, and as director of St John’s Care in Canberra. He also ran his own business, Key Insights, for 24 years. The consultancy business specialised in social research and strategic planning. He was also for a time the general manager of the Hunter Business Centre.

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Mornington News

17 July 2018

MORE than $1.5 million will be spent over the next five months on making Main Street, Mornington, safer. The state government’s safer cyclists and pedestrians fund is paying for the program which follows 29 accidents in the area between 2012 and 2016 – with 11 involving pedestrians and four involving cyclists. Ten of the crashes were regarded as serious. The Mornington activity centre and foreshore area is a hub for business, retail, tourism and education. Mornington Peninsula Shire says that

along with VicRoads it will aim to improve the area to “help pedestrians move around safely and address the crash history”. The works include raised pedestrian crossings and two refuge islands. The shire says community eedback indicated “overwhelming support” for the safety improvements as well as speed-limit changes. Downer EDI Works, of Hastings, will carry out the works which will start this month and take about five months to complete.

Squeeze on property prices Continued from Page 1 Mr Parkinson said it was possible to challenge a development refusal by the shire at VCAT, but this would mean a 10-month wait with no guarantee of success. “Everyone is standing back to wait and see what the planning minister decides,” he said. Another long-standing builder, who also asked not to be named fearing a “backlash”, said he was “not buying any [properties] because we don’t know what is happening”. “There’s a 50 per cent chance the [applications] won’t be approved and that’s creating uncertainty,” he said. Rob Bowman, of Bowman Real Estate, Mornington, said property prices “certainly have come off at least 15 per cent” while the shire’s proposed minimum subdivision size remains undecided. “We would normally send out emails to build-

ers regarding properties coming up for sale and the phones would go into meltdown – that isn’t happening anymore,” he said. “Everyone’s scared. The place is in limbo. The [proposed] planning policy is shabby and archaic and there’s been a lack of consultation.” Ms Zouzoulas said “community stakeholders and interested parties had the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed changes … of which subdivision was one possible change”. She said planning update meetings were held for consultants and applicants, and that letters were sent out to alert them to changes. Mr Bowman and the builders derided the value of the “stakeholder” meetings. “We got no word of them and it appears only certain people were invited and they were given very little information,” Mr Bowman said.