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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

Aussies can fix anything, even the coronavirus recovery So much gloom and doom about how hard and long it will be to come out of the post coronavirus downturn, unemployment and national debt. We are Aussies and we will turn this around better and faster than the rest of the world. We have done it before and we will do it again. Let’s look at how we recovered after World War II when there were blackouts, curfews, rationing, people suffering from shell shock (PTSD), money was tight, business had been shut down, unemployment and, of course, everyone knew of deaths or serious injury suffered during the war. We pulled ourselves up by the boot straps and started to rebuild our country, our lives and our way of life. This was all done with 9am to 5pm shopping and pubs closing at 6pm. On Sundays most things were closed. Yet, we recovered quite quickly, building Aussie lifestyles that were the envy of the world. If our current “leaders” cannot lift their game to review that history we will find leaders who can lead us out of this. Our Aussie mindset and ability to “fix anything with a bit of fencing wire” will come through in new ideas and inventions, creating new jobs and businesses. We may need to wear masks for a while and get coronavirus vaccine shots. For a while we will holiday in Ballarat or Ballina instead of Barcelona. We will need to support our local farmers and industries, even if it costs a bit more. Let’s stop all this gloom and doom. We can choose to get over this quickly and be better than ever. Let’s start to prepare and think about how we can do it, because we have got nothing better to do right now. Brian Nankervis, Mornington

Don’t lose compassion All lives are of real value. It does not matter if they are black or white, female or male, sick or disabled, young or old, all should be of equal importance. One could argue that in real life this is not always so, but the important thing is that it should be, always. Forget this nonsense that has come into the thoughts of a number of Australians in the last month or so that older lives should be sacrificed to the economy “they have had their turn” and it is OK if young people may suffer illness and sometimes permanent injury from the virus, for the sake of the economy. A healthy economy is paramount to our wellbeing. We will recover from the damage done to it, just as we will recover from the virus. Don’t let us throw our morality down the gully trap. We will persevere and survive; we are strong Victorians. Mary Lane, Mornington

Quarry questions As a resident of Dromana and a passionate advocate for our environment, I am completely amazed by the spin being produced by the Ross Trust and Hillview Quarries regarding the proposal to quarry our beautiful bushland on Arthurs Seat for the next 70 years. So that everyone is aware of the full facts, perhaps these organisations can show the true size of the proposed quarry, the amount of bushland they are going to remove and the amount of dust generated by blasting, quarrying and many, many truck movements along Boundary Road, Dromana and other smaller roads? The Ross Trust website mentions “backing our biodiversity conservation strategy”, “ensuring Victoria’s biodiversity is conserved, protected and valued by all as part of a healthy and resilient environment” and “protecting Victoria’s threatened habitats and species”. How can the Ross Trust have these values but then apply to quarry virgin bushland on Arthurs Seat – a hole in the hillside 190 metres deep, removing 38 hectares of bush to create a quarry 43 hectares in size (four to five times the size of the current quarry)? How about being honest and up front so everyone gets to know the true facts and show the true size of the proposed quarry?

If this goes ahead you can say goodbye to high conservation value bushland, nestled in a state park as well as the health of local residents and say goodbye to tourism. Who would want to drive down and see part of the beautiful hillside removed? Once gone, it is gone forever. It has been left to Planning Minister Richard Wynne to decide, but what about the community. Alison Manning, Dromana

Government ignorant I totally agree with the mayor [Cr Sam Hearn] and feel that the state government doesn’t know what it’s doing (“Shire zoning makes sense mayor” The News 2/9/20). The government has implemented a disastrous lockdown with what appears to be limited thought and consultation after its own monumental stuff up. It doesn’t end there. It initially refused to use the contact tracing software that was offered until it eventually realised that NSW was doing it so much better. Sure, the numbers have come down, but I believe that would have still happened with a less strict lockdown and probably faster with better contact tracing. Unfortunately, the election is some way off as I don’t know one person that would vote for the government after this terrible performance and double standards (referring to not fining family groups in Casey). Mask wearing, I totally agree in and around shops and waiting rooms, but out walking and walking the dog? Come on. I may get within five metres of someone else walking, but runners are often only 1.5 metres away without a mask, where is the sense? David Milne, Mount Eliza

Negative Opposition I am led to believe that if the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, had used police to quarantine travellers in hotels, the Opposition leader, Michael O’Brien, would have screamed “police state”. No matter what Labor does, it’s wrong. Nor was it mandatory to use the armed forces, it seems it was an option, deemed not to be the best one. The failure was trustingly delegating the responsibility for this simple task to private security contractors. A mistake. Contractors will always maximise profits for the owner or shareholders. Profit has to be top priority. Many will cut corners, reduce standards, employ cheaper labour, sometimes even get away with negligence. Compare privately-run aged nursing homes to state government ones. Michael O’Brien is always negative, doesn’t offer constructive criticism, always looking for a “gotcha” moment and failing. Forever just nagging like a bitter wife. He is the best asset the Labor party has; in fact, I sometimes wonder how much they are paying him. Brian A Mitchelson, Mornington

Pathetic government We have a new descriptor for politicians from one of your correspondents. Pathetic. It certainly applies to the Premier Dan Andrews and his government. Never mind all the scandalous behaviour that went on before. We now have the pathetic handling of the coronavirus quarantine debacle. He may have started off in this pandemic with some defensible actions but now we have Victoria converted to a police state, early states of emergency and disaster now prolonged with connivance of minor parties in the Upper House (what deals were offered?), and no one prepared to take responsibility for the now pathetic state of affairs. No one can explain where the oppressive curfew came from. I believe the parlous state and inadequacy of the Victorian health department can be sheeted home to Andrews and his time as health minister. The way the population is treated is worse than any socialist state and the police are in a frenzy of domination of an initially co-operative

and accepting populous but now rapidly turning to anger. The pathetic Andrews government is trying to turn a lot of public servants into deputies with the power to invade peoples’ homes for very nebulous reasons. That is truly pathetic. Peter Grey, Rye

Region: think twice It seems rather shortsighted of Mornington Peninsula Shire to try to get the peninsula rezoned as regional because of the pandemic restrictions (“Shire zoning makes sense - mayor” The News 2/9/20). We are now at the stage where restrictions will be eased and life returning to a new normal. In asking to be zoned regional the shire needs to consider how it will effect our future funding and our relationship to metropolitan Melbourne. While I do consider the peninsula as regional the phone numbers are different and there is little public transport, for instance - it is a big step to take and the shire and the community need to carefully consider the pros and cons of taking such a step. The restaurant owner taking legal action against the curfew is drawing comparisons between Mussolini and the state government (“Court challenge to power of the Premier” The News 22/9/20). Under the Mussolini regime she would be unable to take an action to court and probably would have been arrested and imprisoned, most likely in secret. The only government that conducts secret trials in Australia is the federal government in the cases of Q11, Witness K and Bernard Collaery, the latter a lawyer who was representing his client. Oppressive regimes curtail the freedom of citizens to leave the country. Again, something our federal government is doing. Marg D’Arcy, Rye

Mixed up politics The state MP for Mornington Peninsula is Liberal and the MP for Geelong Labor. One might assume there is some political bias as to why one is deemed regional and open while the other is deemed metro and closed, even though the case numbers are the opposite (“Shire zoning makes sense - mayor” The News 2/9/20). Michael Capek, Mornington Editor: The Mornington Peninsula has three state MPs: David Morris, Mornington (Liberal), Neale Burgess, Hastings (Liberal) and Chris Brayne, Nepean (Labor).

Time for reason Where did all this hate come from on the letters page? The late Victorian premier John Cain was much more circumspect than his Mornington Peninsula namesake in criticising those who had a different view of the world (“Political case” Letters 22/9/20). I wonder whether he has any views on the large pay increases that the state government and their underlings have just accepted vis a vis the thousands that they have driven to unemployment and who they expect the Commonwealth to provide for? There are other letters in last week’s paper which are inaccurate and in line with the false claims made at the last election that “they will sell Medicare if they win”. More reasoned and honest debate would enhance the stature of your letters page. Peter Strauss, Mount Eliza

Chaos theory The farcical Victorian inquiry into the hotel quarantine disaster shows an incredible spate of lies and/or an absolute admission by heads of government of their totally incompetent departments who know nothing, did nothing and could not have cared less. Are we surprised then at the chaos and lack of clarity and transparency of this totalitarian, socialist and uncaring government? It all comes from the top. Kay Grey, Rye

Flight path fears As one of the residents [surveyed by] Brewis Atkinson I support his actions in harnessing the thoughts of unhappy residents who live in the flight paths or are impacted by the air traffic from

Tyabb Airfield (“Information lacking” Letters 9/9/20). As a resident with sufficient courage to express their views on the air traffic and its direct impact on me and, despite having twice informed the president of Peninsula Aero Club that I had not complained, I was “rewarded” by at least four low level aircraft flyovers just metres from the top of our roof. My neighbour asked if I was being harassed by the airfield. A few days later we had a visit from two female police officers again asking me whether I had complained about the airfield. Am I surprised about the VCAT (Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal) situation? No. For at least 15 years I have been complaining to the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council which has pretty much paid lip service and ignored residents’ complaints in general, and set bad precedents through its lack of prompt action, particularly when it comes to the airfield. It is about time the council started to at least show some impartiality and deal with residents’ complaints, one of them being substantiated by the National Geographic finding that residents’ health is negatively impacted for those living in the vicinity of aircraft flightpaths. The council also has to address the issues of amenity, safety and privacy for residents. Shelley Beattie, Somerville

Disturbed weekends I would like to see some reduction in the noise and traffic out of Tyabb airport. The planes fly at low level over my property, whether they are taking off or landing. Some are only about 50-90 meters above the pine trees, which suggests they are lower than they should be. At times I and others in this area are bombard by planes about every 15 to 20 minutes and, when this starts early on a weekend, there goes any sense of a sleep in. While the so-called church hour is gone, I fear that this will unleash a barrage that will not be tolerable. While we have all been in lockdown, we have had peace and quiet over the skies of Somerville, Tyabb and Hastings. Clearly this is not going to last. When things return to “normal”, I would like to think that some sense of decency prevails and the noise and traffic levels will not be excessive. I would hope that the airport would be a good neighbour and respect those who live here, and respect decent hours. I cannot chainsaw or mow early, why on earth do we have to put up with this terrible noise from planes. Dr Ian Munro, Somerville

Weighty problems I strongly reject the Peninsula Aero Club president’s allegation that I used “clever and misleading wording” when referring to the lack of a legally enforceable cap on how many aircraft can take off in a day, or in an hour, from Tyabb Airfield (“Missing details” Letters 15/9/20). I make the following points in response. Firstly, it is true that there is no restriction on the number of aircraft that can take off or land at the airfield. Most aircraft that use the airfield have a weight at take-off below 2041kg and under the relevant permits the number of them that can take off or land each day is unrestricted. A restriction is placed on daily use of the airfield by aircraft weighing more than 2041kg. Secondly, local residents care about the noise aircraft make, how frequently they make it and when they make it. Because the noise an aircraft generates has much more to do with technology than weight, the over-2041kg restriction on takeoffs is overshadowed by the absence of a limit on under 2041kg take-offs. Thirdly, the permit restrictions only placed on use of the airfield by heaver aircraft, as cited by [letter writer] Jack Vevers, show exactly why the current permits need to be updated. They currently give little protection against excessive aircraft noise and mean that noise experienced by local residents can increase far above where it was in 2018/19. In addition, I noted in my letter that aircraft not on an emergency operate at night. This is also an ongoing amenity issue regarding noise. No one I know has a problem with aircraft on emergencies using the airfield 24/7. However, 90 per cent of the 827 Tyabb adults I surveyed in 2018 wanted a night-time curfew for aircraft not on an emergency. Brewis Atkinson, Tyabb Mornington News

29 September 2020


Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

Mornington News 29 September 2020  

Mornington News 29 September 2020

Mornington News 29 September 2020  

Mornington News 29 September 2020