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NEWS DESK

Panel called to decide terminal issue Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au A NEW ferry terminal at Sorrento has come a step closer to fruition following Mornington Peninsula Shire’s request for an independent panel to consider a planning scheme amendment for the project to go ahead. The panel to be appointed by Planning Minister Richard Wynne is likely to start hearings at the end of October. The hearings will coincide with investigations into the planned terminal’s effect on traffic. The panel’s findings – after reviewing submissions, including those already considered by council as well as the shire’s own positive response - will come back to council for a final decision. Council received 35 submissions on the proposal by Searoad Ferries, including 13 objections. At the end of June Mr Wynne told council he was appointing an advisory committee to “review the design and flow of traffic” from the ferry terminal and its effects on traffic to and from Sorrento town centre. Searoad’s $30 million project for a two-storey ferry terminal at Sorrento also includes extending and updating buildings at Queenscliff. The Sorrento terminal will be 9.5 metres high and include a cafe, shop, souvenir shop, “Museum at the Bay” and offices for the ferry operator. The plan also includes a new ticketing building and a larger staff car park. The terminal will have a retractable boarding gantry for passengers to

Edging closer: The Sorrento to Queenscliff ferry bertha at Sorrento where its operators Searoad Ferries wants to build a new two-storey terminal. Picture: Yanni

board the ferry directly from the building. The two ferries – which operate hourly 7am-6pm daily – each year, carry 1.5 million passengers between Sorrento and Queenscliff. The service is regarded as a vital road link between the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas and an integral part of tourism infrastructure. The council’s “proposal to facilitate” the terminal plan requires amending

the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme. The shire’s planning services team leader Rosa Zouzoulas has stated that most of the 22 submissions supporting Searoad Ferries’ plan were made “on the basis that existing facilities are inadequate and do not promote use of the ferry service”. In a report to council’s Monday 4 September planning services committee meeting Ms Zouzoulas said ob-

jections ranged from the plan being contrary to state regulations regarding commercial use of public land and the need to protect the environment. Ms Zouzoulas said the proposed planning scheme amendment would satisfy regulatory criteria and that “specialist reports” submitted with the proposal “find that heritage and coastal-environmental values will not be adversely affected”. She said the design of the terminal

“adopts a contemporary style … to maximise views of the bay and foreshore areas”. While it would not resemble an “historic building” it was “unlikely to detract from the value or character of the Sorrento heritage precinct”. Ms Zouzoulas said issues raised by objectors “cannot be resolved” and the independent panel should consider all submissions – including one from the shire.

Pier closed for repairs

Stay clear of hospitals

PORTSEA pier will be closed for about two weeks – depending on weather - for repairs. The works will include removing and replacing three piles and surrounding timber. The temporary closure will be effective during working hours with the pier being open to public outside of working hours. Depending on the ability to ensure public safety, partial access to the pier will also be available over the weekend with a safety barrier and signs installed for safety. Parks Victoria said other piers available for fishing or promenading included those at Sorrento and Rye. Parks Victoria is the port manager for Port Phillip and Western Port and manages over 40 piers and jetties. For information on piers and jetties around both bays call 13 1963 or visit www.parks.vic.gov.au

PEOPLE feeling unwell – especially with flu-like symptoms – should avoid visiting friends and family in hospital to limit the spread of the virus. That’s the plea from Peninsula Health, which is urging members of the public to take sensible steps to stop the spread of germs. Those feeling unwell should see their doctor for treatment and minimise their exposure to others. “This is the worst flu season this decade,” Peninsula Health’s executive director of medical services Dr Tim Williams said. “It is vital that we do all we can to keep the patients that we have in our hospitals and rehabilitation services flu-free. “So, those feeling unwell are asked to please stay at home and avoid visiting our hospitals or rehabilitation services.” To minimise the risk of contracting the virus wash your hands frequently with soap and water, throw away tissues after use, clean frequently-used surfaces and avoid sharing cups, plates and cutlery without washing.

Picture: Yanni

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12 September 2017  

Southern Peninsula News 12 September 2017

12 September 2017  

Southern Peninsula News 12 September 2017

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