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Reinforcements brought in to restore beach sand Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au

On stage for bushfire relief ENDURING 1990s band Chocolate Starfish and the Nola Lauch Band, pictured, will perform in Rosebud on 21 February at a bushfire relief concert. “The need for bushfire relief is still great and many are struggling for immediate needs,” Starfish lead singer Adam Thompson said. Chocolate Starfish became known in the early 1990s with their cover of Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain and original hit Mountain. Nola Lauch is a Kirrae-wurrung woman who has lived on the Mornington Peninsula for most of her life. She received a regional 2017 NAIDOC Artist of the Year award for her songwriting and live performances. “Like many people on the penin-

sula, we felt compelled to take action when seeing what was happening in bushfire affected regions across Australia,” one of the concert’s organisers Anthea Mackenzie said. “With these two bands playing, the night promises to reflect the best of Australian spirit and generosity.” All money raised will go to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund which provides financial relief to people facing significant loss as a result of the fires. The concert is supported by Rosebud Secondary College and will be held at the college theatre, the Southern Peninsula Arts Centre in Rosebud. Doors open at 7pm and tickets available at www.trybooking. com/BHTTE

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A MATE of the Premier Daniel Andrews has been enlisted to help restore the sand-depleted Portsea beach. Futurefish Foundation director David Kramer will join Mornington Peninsula mayor Sam Hearn, councillors Bryan Payne and Hugh Fraser, and shire CEO John Baker, in a working group including scientists from the Department of Environment, Lands, Water and Planning. Their brief is to bring sand permanently back to the beach. The latest bid follows a decade of frustration and despair and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on sandbags and rock revetments which failed to stop the sand loss. Described as a man with a “history of steering tricky but successful state government-funded projects”, Mr Kramer and the working group will oversee beach modelling and, hopefully, its eventual restoration. Although no time frame has been set for any proposed works – and no finance guaranteed – the group is “confident families will once again be enjoying a sandbag free Portsea beach”. Mr Kramer was behind decisions to abolish Victorian boat ramp launch fees and to buy out commercial fishnetting licences in Port Phillip and on the Gippsland Lakes.

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KNITTERS are at work in all seasons and those helping with the Winter Woollies Appeal would be grateful for donations of wool. Anyone with wool left over from unfinished projects or even never started ones who would like to clear the closet, please do. Donations can be left at the Hastings branch of the Bendigo Bank. Wool suitable for scarves, mittens, beanies and jumpers for school age children is best. And those are the items most in demand for those in need this winter. All knitted goods go to Southern Peninsula Food for All, working with St. Vincent de Paul’s Mornington Peninsula Conferences for the most needy local people on their lists. Last year Food for All president Ken Horwood, helped out with distribution, found a boy who couldn’t decide between two beautifully knitted beanies, so of course he was given both. “We are most grateful for the support of

stage” was to pump ashore a significant amount of sand to replenish the depleted beach and reduce wave action and sand movement. “Once the dredging is complete the experts are pointing to a return of the iconic beach with immediate settling of conditions,” he said. Cr Fraser said: “The Victorian community want their Portsea beach restored. The technical advice to achieve this is in hand but commitment and the money from the state government to do so is also required.” Cr Payne said: “Portsea beach was a unique Australian beach. It was one of only five north-facing beaches in Australia (including Darwin and Noosa).

Hastings and Dromana branches of the Bendigo Bank which for many years have acted as collection and distribution points for wool and knitted items,” he said. “And of course to those dedicated knitters who just love to knit to benefit others.”

Beach cleaners PILOT Real Estate is urging volunteers to help collect waste from Mornington beaches on Clean Up Australia Day, Sunday 1 March. Clean Up Australia Chairman Pip Kiernan said just 12 per cent of Australia’s 2.5 million tonnes of annual plastic waste was recycled, “with the rest ending up in our parks, roadsides, bush, waterways, oceans or in landfill as rubbish”. PILOT’s clean up site is Mornington Park and beaches. Volunteers can meet at the park’s gazebo on Flinders Drive at 10am on 1 March.

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“This is one of the highest priority projects for the Portsea community,” he said. “I want the people of Portsea to understand that this will be fixed at some stage and I am currently pursuing a meeting with Premier Andrews to discuss funding the restoration.” Cr Hearn said: “The council and the working group have a fresh set of eyes on this beach and will make its restoration a priority.” Mr Baker said: “We’ve had the right people in the room for several months now. We have completed some comprehensive modelling and we have two really good options to explore to restore the beach to its former glory.” He said a “preferred option at this

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On the rocks: A working group of experts and people with political connections hopes to permanently restore sand to Portsea beach. Picture: Gary Sissons

12 February 2020

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