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NEWS DESK

Peninsula on map for climate efforts Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au THE Mornington Peninsula has been recognised internationally as one of “two leading Australian councils” for its efforts to minimise climate change. An invitation for the shire to commit to a Compact of Mayors follows the attendance at this month’s Paris climate talks by the mayor Cr Graeme Pittock, Cr Hugh Fraser and the shire’s renewable resources team leader, Jessica Wingad, who was there to “learn the latest global trends and their potential application locally”. However, two councillors have now publicly criticised the Paris trip as being a waste of time and money. Cr Pittock and Cr Fraser have said they will repay any costs that exceed the $16,000 allowed to be spent over their four-year terms. It is understood that it cost the shire about $6000 for each of its three representatives to attend the United Nations climate change conference (COP21). Countries represented at the talks unanimously approved the COP 21 Paris Agreement which “strives to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, with the intent to pursue a 1.5-degree target”. Cr Pittock said his attendance at the conference ensured “that the voices of local leaders are heard, and city efforts, like those here at Mornington Peninsu-

la Shire Council, are recognised”. The first news release about the talks issued by the shire included verbatim descriptions of Australia’s climate change strategies supplied by the office of Flinders MP and Environment Minister, Greg Hunt. Last Thursday Cr David Garnock, within hours of the shire announcing the Compact of Mayors commitment and efforts already undertaken to achieve carbon neutrality, said it had not been necessary for the mayor to go to Paris to sign up for the compact. “These initiatives are a result of the enthusiasm of all councillors and senior shire officers to protect our precious environment on the peninsula, not as a result of the occasional participation of councillors or shire officers at international conferences,” Cr Garnock said. His comments followed those made in the previous week by Cr Andrew Dixon who claimed a post-Paris public briefing had been organised by the mayor “so that [the public] believe our Paris journey was totally hip and worth it”. On Facebook under the name “Billy Dixon”, Cr Dixon said those at the meeting would be buttered up with “free booze”. “I'm sure we had a phenomenal impact on global energy policies, but you'll hear all about it at our cute little slideshow,” Cr Dixon stated in response to an invitation from the mayor for the public to attend an “open presentation” of the Paris climate talks. Continued Page 8

Water, water everywhere: VANDALS smashed water pipes turning parts of Mornington Park into a lake last week

– under the gaze of the Matthew Flinders statue near Schnapper Point Drive. Shire Infrastructure Maintenance manager Niall McDonagh said workmen had been repairing the irrigation system ahead of the summer season when the vandals struck. The broken pipes were repaired Thursday after thousands of litres has gone to waste, with other maintenance works expected to be completed Friday. Picture: Yanni

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Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

22 December 2015  

Mornington News 22 December 2015

22 December 2015  

Mornington News 22 December 2015

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