Southern Peninsula News 9 February 2021

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NEWS DESK Virus testing sites COVID-19 is still lurking around the community and anyone with cold or flu like symptoms, however mild, should get tested. Medical authorities say every test helps the community stay safe and stay open. Symptoms can include fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, headache, muscle or joint pains, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of sense of smell, altered sense of taste, loss of appetite and fatigue. Testing clinics on the Mornington Peninsula are at Eleanora House at the front of the Rosebud Hospital, in the clinic car park at Atticus Health Medical Clinic, Hastings, by appointment only, and at Rosebud Respiratory Clinic at the Rosebud Skin Cancer Centre. Tests are by appointment only. Frankston Hospital, on the corner of Yuille Street and Hastings Road, is also offering tests. For further advice call the 24hour Coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398, your GP or use the state government's online self-assessment tool.

Checking in VISITORS to Mornington Peninsula cafes, shops and businesses are being urged to check in using QR codes or by jotting down their names and phone numbers. Checking in properly – even if only there for a coffee – allows contact tracers to more easily follow up in the event of a positive case of coronavirus.

Make the most of container deposit scheme

Picture: DebbieMitchell

There’s no butts about need to protect nature THE sight of a blue tongue lizard eating a cigarette butt at Coolart Homestead, Somers brought home the dangers of littering. Waste Wise Mornington Peninsula’s Birte Moliere described the litter situation as being “out of control this summer”, with cigarette butts being the most littered item in Australia. Peninsula beach patrol groups collect thousands of butts every year. “Who’s ready to nip litter in the butt,” they ask.

HOLIDAYMAKERS staying closer to home due to COVID-19 restrictions, has led to more visitors to the Mornington Peninsula. The influx after months of lockdown and lost incomes has been a welcome relief for businesses needing tourist dollars. But a big downside, according to Waste Wise Mornington Peninsula co-founder Birte Moliere, has been “a growing amount of litter”. “One solution to our litter problem is a long overdue container deposit scheme where you get 10 cents for every returned can, plastic and glass bottle,” Ms Moliere said. She said that in 2019, Victorianbased beach patrol groups collected 21,014 kilograms of litter and 39,839 drink containers. This amount of litter would be drastically slashed under an effective container deposit scheme. Ms Moliere said the state government was yet to decide who will run its mooted container deposit scheme, due in 2023, with large beverage companies signalling they wanted to be in charge. However, environment group Boomerang Alliance says the companies should not be trusted. The group’s director Jeff Angel said: “The big beverage companies spent millions trying to stop governments from implementing a CDS, while allowing bottles and cans to litter beaches and waterways. “Their model means limited hours of operation, limited collection points and little use of automation to support our communities and environment. “This results in too many un-

Plastic everywhere: Rubbish on our beaches would reduce following the introduction of a container deposit scheme, says group. Picture: Supplied

claimed consumer refunds being kept by the beverage companies. “Victoria will be the last state to introduce a CDS, so we can learn from others and choose best practice. “Once established, the new infrastructure and management is hard to change, so it’s best to get the fundamentals right at the start.” Mr Angel said the peninsula “de-

serves an effective model: the “split governance model”. “More than 50,000 Victorians have already signed Boomerang Alliance's petition opposing CDS management by large beverage companies,” he said. “This is a legacy project that will play a key role in local waste and recycling rates for decades to come.”

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Southern Peninsula News

10 February 2021