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Poll issues range from community to frogs Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au FOOTPATHS, foreshores ‌ and frogs. There is seemingly no end – and some cases no relation - to the variety of issues and concerns listed by the 50 candidates for the 11 seats on Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. Easily added to the three mentioned above are “over developmentâ€?, waste disposal, planning for coastal “villagesâ€? and, certainly an elephant in the room, how much councillors should be allowed to spend above their $29,000 a year stipend ($92,000 for the mayor). The candidates’ buzz word for this election is community. Although not a definable issue, community will be a frequent persuader used by candidates in their search for votes. With just four of the shire’s current councillors seeking re-election, the outcome is certain to be a game changer for voting patterns on the council. Although it’s guaranteed that seven councillors will not have been re-elected from the current council, some of the “newâ€? faces sitting in the council chamber after the 22 October election may be familiar, with several former councillors deciding it may be their time, again. New alliances will eventually be formed within the council, but for

now and at least a short time after the election, the shire’s newly-elected community representatives will be relatively free of old animosities. Like it or hate it, Arthurs Seat is again about to be equipped with a chairlift, or rather a gondola ride called the Eagle. Candidates old and new are singing its praises and probably relieved that’s one battle they will not have to face. Surprisingly, finding a site for a swimming pool at Rosebud may again soak up council time. Rex Griffin, a former mayor and still current councillor of the City of Whittlesea, has nominated for Seawinds ward. Mr Griffin is moving to his former holiday home at Dromana and says he has been a regular in the public gallery at meetings of Mornington Peninsula council for the past five years. He says the council has been “like a cesspool, with councillors arguing and fighting. Enough’s enough�. Mr Griffin says disposing waste off the peninsula is expensive and notes that the Rye tip “can be kept open for another 18 years�. He believes that with his help and experience the shire can get more money from state and federal governments. Regarding a swimming pool at Rosebud, or SPA (Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre), Mr Griffin says

“you can throw a pool anywhere� but enthuses about “how Lorne and other places have pools on the foreshore�. “There’s room down there [on the Rosebud foreshore]. It’s accessible and I can’t see a problem with it going there.� Former councillor and mayor (2011-12) Frank Martin, although living in Briars ward, is also seeking election in Seawinds. Mr Martin wants to see the councillors’ code of conduct “revisited and enforced�; is wary of the increasing number of high density developments; and wants changes to the special charge schemes for constructing footpaths: “we don’t need concrete footpaths everywhere�. Although previously a councillor in Red Hill ward, Mr Martin says he’s long had an affinity with Dromana, Rosebud and Rye. While wanting some clearing along the foreshore to make way for more tables and chairs, he says “SPA is done and dusted, as long as the pool goes somewhere�. Without “committing� to a preferred site Mr Martin said “SPA is gone off the foreshore at the moment. If it’s a no, no, no, [we should] go to the second best place�. Numerically, the Briars ward is the most interesting with 15 candidates contesting three seats. A plan to spend up to $825,000

on a skatepark is an issue, with the shire choosing to renege on a lease with Mt Martha Tennis Club to free up the chosen site. The site has been approved by Heritage Victoria, but it seems the shire overlooked the fact that it had leased the land to the tennis club until 2023. There will be at least two new councillors in the ward after the October poll and plenty of time to force a backflip and moving the skatepark to Ferrero Oval if Heritage Victoria will not approve any other site on the former parade ground. Among those seeking election to Briars ward is Kevin Murphy, secretary of the Mt Martha House management committee, which is opposed to the skatepark on the parade ground. Another Briars ward candidate, Stewart Lockie, said the skatepark proposal was backed by many families but questions were being raised “over why it has taken so long�. One of his aims, if elected, is to hear people saying "the shire are doing a good job". Steering clear of the skatepark, Briars candidate Rebecca Taylor is perhaps the first person to seek public finance for a shire election campaign. “Running for council is something I need to do in order to preserve the only stable frog population left in Mt Eliza. They live in a reservoir earmarked for redevelopment, but I

believe natural habitats in suburban areas add value to communities,� she states in her pitch for support on the GoFundMe website. Ms Taylor also mentions the need for better parking and desire for a system “that doesn’t see [pre-school] children travelling outside their communities or left with no place at all�. The Briars ward has three councillor vacancies; five candidates are contesting the single-councillor Cerberus ward; eight in the two-councillor Nepean ward; six in Red Hill, which is also represented by one councillor; 10 in three-councillor Seawinds ward; and six candidates are after the single seat in Watson ward. Councillors not seeking re-election are the mayor Graham Pittock, Anne Shaw, David Gibb, Andrew Dixon, Tim Rodgers and Tim Wood; Lynn Bowden resigned in May. Fifteen of the 50 candidates are women. At the start of the previous fouryear council term four of the 11 councillors were women. Candidates’ names are listed on the Victorian Electoral Commission website: www.vec.vic.gov.au/MorningtonPeninsulaElection/Candidates/

Bid for private hangar abandoned Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au A MORNINGTON Peninsula council candidate has withdrawn an application for a planning scheme amendment that would allow planes to be on her property abutting Tyabb airfield. Lisa Dixon and her husband Ken Ingersoll had sought approval to amend planning rules over their property in Stuart Rd, Tyabb. Ms Dixon says she intends to stand for the Watson ward seat left vacant since the resignation in May of former councillor, Lynn Bowden. “It has been a massive journey, not to mention the financial and emotional toll it has placed on us,� Ms Dixon said in a letter asking the shire’s strategic planning manager Allan Cowley to end the amendment process.

The shire’s decision to exhibit the planning scheme amendment came despite a 2014 ruling that any decision on use of the site must wait until completion of the Tyabb Airfield Precinct Plan which is expected to begin this month. Objectors claimed the move would give the Peninsula Aero Club member Ken Ingersoll “backdoor approval for a hangar in spite of the still-valid 2004 reasons for it not being there� (“Anger over hangar plan� The News 19/7/16). Tyabb and District Ratepayers’ Group sees the use of private land to store aircraft as “an incremental expansion of the airfield�. Ms Dixon’s letter to Mr Cowley thanked him for the “inordinate amount of time and effort you have spent over the past five years in trying to deliver an outcome for the No. 2 shed at 62 Stuart Rd�.

The shire has not been able to provide The News with details of how much it has spent on processing the planning amendment requested by Ms Dixon and Mr Ingersoll. Ms Dixon has also asked council to not order demolition of the shed, saying that they would continue to abide by a Victorian and Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) ruling “of leaving it vacant�. “I wish to make it clear that should I be, or not be, successfully elected to council in the upcoming elections, I will be striving forward to seeing an eventual plan come into fruition for the betterment of the Tyabb community,� Ms Dixon stated in her letter to Mr Cowley. She also sent the letter to many people “due to the fact that over time they have been directly dragged into this through a number of channels�.

Ms Dixon said “personal attacking from the Tyabb ratepayer group - while not acceptable - was born out of the continual frustration of being promised a township plan. We were the ‘cat’ to kick to make themselves heard�. Ratepayers’ group members Peter and Val Davis said in July that there was still a VCAT order in force prohibiting use of the land for aircraft storage, which would lapse if the amendment application was successful. In 2011 Mr Ingersoll was ordered by Frankston Magistrates’ Court to pay a $10,000 “bond� for building the shed without a permit in 2010 and for storing 11 aircraft on the site. VCAT also ordered Mr Ingersoll to stop using the shed as a hangar and remove any aircraft. The couple’s Low Density Residential Zone land is on the east side of the

Tyabb airfield, and contains a house and two large sheds. Mr Cowley told the council in April that a VCAT order to remove the shed “was deferred pending broader consideration of issues relating to the Tyabb airfield and is no longer in force�. “In this case a site specific amendment under Clause 52.03 (Site Specific Exemptions) is proposed, to make the most limited change possible in order to enable the use of the existing building by the owner of the property for private storage.� The preparation of a precinct plan for the Airfield was one of the recommendations of the Tyabb township plan adopted by council in May 2012. Shire officers have recommended that the amendment be abandoned. “This will not prevent consideration of a new amendment proposal in future.�

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Mornington News 27 September 2016

Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

27 September 2016  

Mornington News 27 September 2016

27 September 2016  

Mornington News 27 September 2016