21 July 2015

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21 July 2015

Cloud nine

Your guide to what’s on this weekend for peninsula families

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Tuesday 21 July 2015

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Homeless nightmare HOMELESSNESS is a growing concern across Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula. SalvoCare records show there were 2,200 “unique clients” seeking emergency housing in Frankston in 2012-13 and 600 “repeat clients”. Volunteer organisation Community Support Frankston reports 444 people with no fixed address needed help from the agency last year, up from 292 in 2013. Christian Youth and Community group Fusion Australia is turning the spotlight on the problem of youth homelessness with a fundraiser that also aims to show people what it means to sleep out in rough conditions. A ‘Sleep In Your Car’ fundraiser will be held at Mornington Park early next month to raise awareness of youth homelessness. Sponsored participants will give up the comfort of their bed for one night to raise money for Fusion’s work with local youth at risk. Fundraising and resource manager Stephanie Byrne hopes Frankston and peninsula residents will gain an insight into the troubled lives of those less fortunate. “We’re encouraging people to give up their bed for a night to help someone else find theirs.” Former Melburnian of the year, Brendan Nottle of The Salvation Army, will give a keynote address to describe what homelessness on the peninsula looks like, within the wider context of Australia. The ‘Sleep in your car’ fundraiser will take place from 5.30pm on Friday 7 August at Mornington Park, Schnapper Point Drive, Mornington. Entry is $5 but is free for participants who choose to sleep out in their car overnight. See sleepinyourcar.com.au for full details. Cold comfort: Heather Dwyer, left, Breck Curtis, Ashleigh Dobson, Jade Bell and Stephanie Byrne will sleep out to highlight youth homelessness and raise money for Fusion Australia at a Sleep In Your Car fundraiser early next month. Picture: Yanni

Toxic foam killing coast plants Mike Hast mike@mpnews.com.au TOXIC foam produced in large amounts during strong winds in May killed coastal vegetation at Mt Eliza like it had been sprayed with weedkiller. The foam is generated when a high tide coincides with a strong westnorthwest wind. It is whipped up by the wind and waves, and blown inland. The most recent event was during the big blow on 6 May and results of scien-

tific tests just released reveal the foam contained anionic surfactants (used in detergents) and hydrocarbons (mostly found in crude oil and then refined into fuels). Foam and foam residue samples were collected by Jeff Yugovic of Mt Eliza Coastcare and sent to a laboratory for analysis, paid for by Mt Eliza Association For Environmental Care, one of the region’s oldest conservation groups. Dr Yugovic, a biologist, told The News that salt spray was known to damage coastal vegetation but not


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salt-tolerant plants such as Australian salt-grass, which has been severely affected by foam at Mt Eliza. “Damage to coastal vegetation caused by surfactants from sewage outfalls deposited in sea spray has been observed in Europe, on trees planted around metropolitan beaches in Australia, and in Victoria at Barwon Heads,” he said. “The evidence suggests the toxic foam and vegetation dieback is caused by water pollution, in particular surfactants, possibly sourced from the

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Western Treatment Plant directly across Port Phillip from Mt Eliza.” Dr Yugovic said he had noticed dieback at Mt Eliza last June but decided to collect foam in May and get it tested. “The foam was on the beach and foreshore all day. It’s quiet difficult to collect in windy weather and keep in a bucket.” He said dieback appeared about a week or two after the foam was blown ashore. Dr Yugovic said had also seen dieback at Mt Martha many years ago

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near Helena and Augusta streets and now realised it may have been caused by toxic foam. “In very strong wind, the foam is blown well inland, sometimes landing on the coastal tea-tree scrub canopy on the plateau above the coastal bluff, which it also damages,” he said. “The foam attaches to any surface. It damages and generally kills foliage like a contact herbicide. In some locations a brown sludge is left by the foam, which dries to become a residue. Continued Page 8

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