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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

More pets being killed despite spending For more than two years I’ve been watching as the pet loving people of Mornington have been trying to convince Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to improve the outcome for unclaimed pets that end up in the pound. This group has presented petitions, held rallies, attended council meetings and written to the council with suggestions to reduce the number of healthy pets being killed. Improving re-homing rates benefits all ratepayers as there is a financial cost as well as a moral one when these healthy animals are killed. In 2016/17 there were two dogs and 15 cats killed every month on average with each incurring a vet’s fee. Looking at the last quarter’s statistics it appears that outcomes are becoming worse with three dogs and 20 cats being killed every month. What puzzles me is why we invested $900,000 in a new shelter and staffing it on a Saturday morning only to have a few cats a month made available for adoption and no dogs - ever. In the same period the council were killing 23 pets a month and sending 24 pets a month to rescue groups to do all the rehoming and vet work for free? I expect my pet registration fee to cover the cost of re-homing pets, I do not want to burden charities with the work my council should be doing with my money. The council doesn’t expect a charity to collect refuse or fix the roads for free - so why expect them to take our unwanted pets? I guess because they can. With the council collecting almost $1.5 million each year in pet registration fees I think it should be doing more to stop killing healthy, re-homeable pets. Mel Ellis, Mornington

Pain of parting

tiful, sensuous, feminine, attractive …”. It must be like living in a horror movie for you Brian. You have awoken from your carnal beast-like slumber in the 21st century to find that it is not acceptable, nor fair, to treat women as objects for your pleasure, but also that all the attempts to proposition you have stopped. I wonder why? One reason is that there is a cultural shift away from beauty being a shallow definition; as beauty is from within. Heather Forbes-McKeon, McCrae

Courageous women Misogyny and homophobia - Cliff Ellen only needs to add racism to take the trifecta (“Comment and confession” Letters 5/12/17). Get a grip Cliff: lewd comments are sexual harassment and I might add that no males in my immediate vicinity have had to be corrected on inappropriate and obviously unwanted behaviour towards women, so perhaps the gentleman doth protest too much. Women should be celebrated for having the courage to speak out about sexual harassment and employers are learning that these unwanted actions are not to be tolerated even by ‘’cissy looking bosses from the Navy”. Mel Farnbach, Balnarring

Men, and women “Not always men” (Letters 12/12/17) written so eloquently by Tony Nicholl, has touched my heart. It is not always men, yet all the advertisements would lead one to think it was. There are more ways to hurt someone deeply, other than physically. The advertisements need to more fairly tackle the issues surrounding family violence. I can only hope there will be a male counterpart to Rosie Batty, to stand up for the rights of men, especially in relation to children. Christmas: Peace on earth and goodwill to mankind. It starts in our homes. Susan Snowdon, Seaford

No signs to attraction

How we love our dogs and, more particularly, how they do love us. In Mt Eliza dogs abound as they do in Mt Martha, Seaford and Sorrento and most other places. A happy day with your dog is a happy day indeed; at home they stare at you in wonderment and think how extraordinarily clever and caring you are. There are golden retrievers, Labradors , little white dogs that bark their disapproval and in Mt Eliza a very tall Irish wolf hound along with the oodles of poodles and labradoodles. spoodles, and so on. But none are dearer than was my beautiful bouncing beardie who died on Monday. At one time she was known as the Queen of Mt Eliza, but she was not given to that affectation and just thought of herself as Kelsey, my constant companion who could round up anything, stop any fight in the dog park and dispense any fox to fox heaven (if there is one). There comes a time dear reader when the life of our beautiful companion comes to an end and, if we take a dog on, we must also be prepared for its demise. It is not too hard with Kelsey. Why? Because she loved me unconditionally and would not want me to endure any pain on her account. But I am. Tony Nicholl, Mt Eliza

Times have changed Brian A Mitchelson (“Paying the Price” Letters 12/12/17) “ … women were women then: beau-

Where is the signage on the Mornington PeninsulaFreeway, Peninsula Link, Point Nepean Rd and even EastLink, that points visitors to The Eagle [gondola ride up Arthurs Seat]? You would think Mornington Peninsula Shire Council would be trying to encourage tourists to our area but, unless you already know the way, there is nothing to show drivers where to exit. With the influx of tourists in the next few months, there would be plenty of customers using The Eagle to see the lovely views of our the bay. Pick up your game whoever is responsible – council, VicRoads or the peninsula tourist group and get some signage out there. Dawn Cracknell, Capel Sound

Sights to behold A small percentage of Australians are suggesting Australia Day, 26 January, be re-named Invasion Day. With respect, they are way off the beaten track. We already claim title to Invasion Day, namely 26 December, once known in Rye as Boxing Day. This is not a complaint, rather a reality. Indeed, there are pleasures to behold right up to Australia Day, which we sometimes call Farewell Day. To some of us a visual spectacular. Females, beautiful as ever, in short shorts, soft dresses, even bikinis in Woolworths. All ages, including my preferred age group (30 to 69), some finding their way to my RSL drinking spot. Previously I’d never seen thighs until I was past 60. A month to ignore the ratbags, free of politicians. Do not forget to lock your garden hoses in your sheds. Cliff Ellen, Rye

Pool support I attended the 12 December Mornington Peninsula Shire Council meeting. Thank you to Councillor Antonella Celli for her continued passionate representation of the case for our much-needed 50 metre indoor pool at our

proposed Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre. Thanks also to [Crs] Simon Brooks and Frank Martin for their well expressed and logical supporting arguments. Our mayor Brian Payne showed strong leadership and well reasoned argument too. These four councillors have really listened to our community. As a resident of Rye and a regular Colchester Rd pool user I was really disappointed to witness other councillors ignoring overwhelming and diverse community feedback and playing politics once again. Don’t let up on this matter. Contact your councillors, particularly those who are trying to hold this up, and get a low budget solution. It is too important to our wider southern peninsula community and we are in real danger of getting a second rate aquatic centre. Keep reminding them that this aquatic centre is for the whole of the southern peninsula. It is not a new 25 metre pool for Rosebud. The detailed business case is posted on the council website. Make sure you look and keep fighting. We are too close to give up now. Carol Dickman, Rye

Screens have a purpose I immediately thought the same as Robin Cooper (“Screen scream” Letters 12/12/17) when I spied the shade cloth adorning the median strip throughout [Mt Eliza] village. It was only after deep introspection that I excused the apparent absurdity for the following reasons: There have been too many old age pensioners nicking across Mt Eliza Way many metres from controlled traffic crossings and pedestrian crossings trying to get to their banks, real estate agents, coffee shops, financial advisers, finger nail beauticians and travel agents. Collective OAP anxieties in what their properties are currently worth by the day as the many real estate agents vie for their commissions, where can I get my next coffee fix to cope with the stress of keeping up with the Jones or, increasingly, the Wongs, and how much am I worth today? Additionally, the need to stay young to compete with the millennials, and how can I cash in and spend the kids’ inheritance before they get me booked into one of the many retirement settlements being hastily planned for Mt Eliza, and now, sadly, Mt Martha? But Mr Cooper, the main reason for the abundance of shade cloth is to provide some healthy growing conditions for the new plantings and a more attractive village. My advice is to keep to the crossings and, if you can’t see above the screen when driving, sit on a cushion or elevate your drivers’s seat appropriately. I remain your friend, hopefully, and wish you a safe Christmas season Ian Morrison, member South Eastern Centre of Sustainability and Mornington Peninsula Ratepayer’ and Residents’ Association

Stop the sale Infrastructure Australia seems to be the front for the corporate takeover of the last publicly-owned asset in Australia. Its latest advice to government seems to be to flog off the state’s water infrastructure to private enterprise. This would of course only happen after “rigorous” safeguards are put in place to protect the ordinary user and the disadvantaged. I’m sure I have heard that mantra several times before. For instance, when electricity and gas was privatised. And wasn’t that a success for us consumers of these commodities? Not only are we paying through the nose for these utilities, but our energy security has evaporated. Keep infrastructure in government hands and make our politicians responsible for these services. Rupert Steiner, Balnarring

Weathering times I enjoy your “100 years ago” articles, so you may be interested in much older times from the 1803 Collins Settlement at Sorrento. Tongue in cheek, I don’t know who to blame for the early weather as there was no coal, industries, only big Aboriginal tribes on Arthurs Seat and seasonal mussels and fish on the peninsula. From the diary of the Rev Robert Knopwood, Collins Settlement, Sorrento 9 October 1803 to 31 January 1804: Sailing into Port Phillip, strong gales, hard squalls, pm fresh breezes, clear weather. Then some light breezes, some rain, but generally fine until Mon 31, rain,

much lightning, 10 am dreadful tempest, severe lightning, which continued through November into December with references such as thunder, tempests, wind too strong to go fishing, extreme cold hard gales - a respite for Christmas Day with fine weather for a couple of days, the lightning and rain again by the 27 Dec, New Year’s Eve not bad but by the morning of Jan 1 very cold with rain which persisted until; a hot day Jan11 then hot weather until Jan 15, yes rain, thunder lightning heavy winds and two men drowned in boat when trying to come back from Swan Island. At last hot weather, up to 120° and Thurs 19 Jan strong hot NW wind at 9am and the country all on fire about Arthurs Seat and to the NE of it. They were probably p[leased to head off to the Derwent, “Fri 27 Jan 1804, the majority on aboard the Ocean to sail to what became Hobart. As a follow-up, in the 1939 Christmas when Dromana had become a popular holiday camping area, there was a bushfire on Arthurs Seat, the wind changed and blew the fire through Dromana, one casualty was the Women Haters’ Society Hall burned down – divine retribution. Keith Murley, Blairgowrie

Help is at hand Some people may find the festive season difficult, particularly those experiencing isolation, loneliness or mental health issues. These experiences can all be heightened as we are bombarded with messages of family celebrations, gifts and holidays. As well as this, thousands of young people may be facing big life changes over the coming months, such as starting a new school, awaiting exam results for higher education opportunities or beginning a job. Losing the normal routine and structure of school, regular contact with friends or having to financially support themselves can make this time particularly challenging. Some young people may have less parental contact leaving them vulnerable and changes in their mental health going unnoticed. Families and friends are key in helping a young person get support. Knowing the signs and symptoms something might be wrong and then how to get help is important. For anyone supporting a young person they don’t need to be able to solve everything. However, noticing changes and signs that something isn’t right is a good first step. Being withdrawn, not wanting to be with friends, not doing the things they would normally enjoy, ongoing worry or irritability are just some of the things to look out for. As the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, headspace provides support to young people aged 12-25 who are going through a tough time. This can include support around mental health, physical health, work and study or alcohol and other drugs. The website headspace.org.au has resources for young people, families and friends covering different mental health issues and self-care strategies. Help can also be accessed via eheadspace. org.au providing online and telephone support 9am-1am daily, including Christmas Day. Jason Trethowan, headspace CEO

Season of belonging For many Australians, the festive season is one of joy and connection, where friendships and family are celebrated, food is shared and holiday plans are made. For others that sense of togetherness, warmth and belonging will not be felt, and an acute sense of loneliness will take hold. Christmas Day might be lunch for one, sleeping rough or spent with the paralysing uncertainty of not knowing where family is, after being separated because of war or conflict. At Red Cross loneliness is not something to be ashamed of. We’re there for people who have nobody else: calling and visiting, driving them to appointments, offering one-to-one support to those struggling with mental illness, or giving a warm welcome to those seeking safety from violence or persecution. We know loneliness doesn’t discriminate. It stealthily creeps into our lives, no matter our age, gender or ethnicity, and takes hold when tragedy happens, like losing a loved one, a divorce or losing your job. Red Cross is calling on you to make this the Season of Belonging, by taking simple steps. Be kind on social media, say hello to your neighbours, volunteer or check on someone you know is in trouble. Wenda Donaldson, director Victoria Australian Red Cross Mornington News

19 December 2017


Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

19 December 2017  

Mornington News 19 December 2017

19 December 2017  

Mornington News 19 December 2017