21 August 2018

Page 11

Mornington

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Hotel serves up a treat for droughthit farmers THE Grand Hotel, Mornington, has joined hundreds of hotels, clubs and restaurants across Australia in backing the Parma for a Farmer campaign. The campaign aims to help drought-stricken farmers by putting $1 from every parma sold towards buying a bale of hay to feed hungry sheep and cattle. Grand Hotel manager Cameron Price said the campaign would run throughout August. “It’s going really well as we hope to raise $4000,” he said. Those wanting to donate online can visit the Buy a Bale website. Daniel Failla

THE Grand Hotel’s Hannah Richardson carries a Parma for a Farmer to a hungry customer. Picture: Gary Sissons

‘Gifts’ good for networking – mayor Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au TICKETS and invitations for council officers and councillors to attend sporting events are a “perfect example” of the type of “gift” that can benefit Mornington Peninsula Shire, according to the mayor Cr Bryan Payne. “It’s amazing who you meet in these super boxes,” he said. Cr Payne said sporting events “in particular … break down all barriers”

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and help forge beneficial networks”. He had no problems with the shire’s CEO Carl Cowie accepting two $300 tickets from recruitment firm McArthur to a corporate box at an AFL game in May. The shire’s gifts, benefits and hospitality register shows Mr Cowie also accepted finals tickets from McArthur in September 2016. McArthur was this month hired by council to find suitable candidates for the shire’s top job, which has a pack-

age of about $400,000. Cr Payne said he had “noted” Mr Cowie’s entry in the gifts register and brought it to the attention of other councillors. “That consultant [head of executive search Nick Kelly] was not at that event,” Cr Payne said. Cr Payne said he had “no problem” with shire officers accepting gifts “as long as they’re disclosed - if they’re not disclosed, we have a problem”. He said there were many benefits for

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shire staff to network with government staff and company representatives. The mayor has previously criticised Mr Cowie’s reluctance to declare a Mediterranean cruise taken by he and his wife aboard a luxury liner hired by prominent businessman and shire property owner, Lindsay Fox. Mr Cowie eventually listed the cruise in the register in March, putting the “estimated value of gift” at $8400 (“CEO adds cruise to gifts list” The News 23/4/18).

Cr Payne said that he would not have accepted such an invitation during his days as a municipal CEO. Mr Cowie said on Friday it was appropriate for shire officers to accept invitations from private firms “where hospitality provides an opportunity to undertake business of a common purpose”. Invitations were not accepted if they “have potential implications for council’s reputation or image or may cause an actual or perceived conflict of interest”. Continued Page 10

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