Southern Peninsula News 9 June 2020

Page 5

NEWS DESK

Black lives matter here too

More time to register pool

By Barry Morris THE leader of the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Gathering Place in Hastings has spoken out against Aboriginal deaths in custody following the death of African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis, US. “Black lives matter here too,” Willum Warrain’s executive officer Peter Aldenhoven said. The shocking vision of George Floyd’s death that precipitated race riots across America paralleled that of the Aboriginal teenager slammed face first by a policeman into a Sydney footpath last Tuesday, Mr Aldenhoven said. Aboriginal people did not need reminding that 432 Indigenous Australians had died in custody since the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody took place in 1991. “We feel that Australia still turns a blind eye to our mob dying in jail,” he said. “Things have to change. The disproportionate rates of Aboriginal incarceration, of our men and women and, particularly our teenagers, are a national disgrace. “We need to close the gap when it comes to justice equality for our mob.” Mr Aldenhoven said one of the untold stories of the COVID-19 shutdown had been the difficulties Aboriginal families and partners had in visiting loved ones in prison. Virtual visits had become the norm. “On top of this, Aboriginal people are significantly more vulnerable to COVID-19 with Aboriginal people over 50 years of age in the high- risk

PRIVATE pool and spa owners on the Mornington Peninsula now have until 1 November to register them with council. The five-month extension from the original 1 June deadline has been granted because of the impacts of coronavirus on families and council staff workloads. The safety measures are being introduced to reduce the number of drownings of children under five. Over the past 20 years 27 youngsters have drowned in private pools and spas in Victoria. The coroner reportedly found that, in at least 20 of these cases, a non-compliant safety barrier was likely to have played a role in their deaths. The government introduced the regulations in December. Owners are required to register their pools and spas with the council for a one-off fee of up to $79 (“Pool register date looms” The News 19/5/20). Failure to register by the due date can result in a $340 on-the-spot fine. Once registered, the council will inform the pool owner of the date by which they must organise their first inspection and certification of suitable safety barriers. The deadline for owners to lodge their first barrier certification has also been extended. The cost of having a registered building surveyor or inspector certify the continuing compliance of their safety barrier every four years is about $300-$395, with the cost of rectifying faults depending on what has to be done. Details: vba.vic.gov.au

On the march: Some of the 1000 participants in last year’s Mornington Peninsula Reconciliation Walk and, inset, Willum Warrain’s executive officer Peter Aldenhoven. Pictures: Supplied

Last year, the walk from the Hastings foreshore to the Gathering Place, in Pound Road attracted more than 1000 participants and demonstrated the strong desire for improved relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia. During the period of closure, Willum Warrain has been supporting community members, (particularly elders) with food deliveries and grocery vouchers as well as running online

Gambling Harm Awareness Campaign The normalisation of gambling as an accepted form of entertainment is causing harm without us even realising it. In Australia we lose more money on gambling each year per person than any other country, with gambling advertising prominent across all media, particularly in sports.

To raise awareness of gambling related harm within our community Mornington Peninsula Shire is partnering with Gambler’s Help Southern and Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC). Gambler’s Help Southern provides confidential support to those concerned about their gambling or that of a loved one.

cultural catch-ups by Zoom. “We really appreciate the support of Westernport Community Support, Bunjilwarra, the Mornington Peninsula Shire and the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency – it has really made a difference to our mob,” Mr Aldenhoven said. “We certainly feel - to quote this year’s Reconciliation Week theme that we are all in this together.”

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category,” he said. “For non-Indigenous people, the age is 70 and above. “Against this unsettling backdrop, Reconciliation Week events took place recently, although extremely limited.” Mr Aldenhoven said the Aboriginal community was bitterly disappointed it was unable to run its annual Mornington Peninsula Reconciliation Walk because of COVID-19.

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Southern Peninsula News

10 June 2020

PAGE 5


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