14 August 2018

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NEWS DESK

The shire goes to town to tempt MPs STATE politicians and some business leaders were given a tasteful look at the Mornington Peninsula last week by the mayor Cr Bryan Payne, councillors and farmers. The team from the peninsula arrived at Parliament House bearing gifts of the types of produce available on the peninsula. Named A Taste of Mornington Peninsula, the shire-sponsored promotion is based on tourism and farming being the “key … that underpins the employment of thousands of Victorians”. Along for the ride with councillors were vegetable growers, wine and cheese makers, brewers, tourism operators and apprentice chefs. The peninsula’s key food producing industries are vegetables, poultry, grapes and wine (there are more than 50 cellar doors and 25 farm gates), livestock and seafood. Cr Payne said severe drought conditions across large areas of Australia “are a stark reminder of how important it is to protect our farming communities and the sustainability of agriculture across the country”. “[The] campaign highlights the importance of protecting the Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge which has bipartisan political support because of the vital role its unique environment plays in underpinning both tourism and agricultural activity,” he said. He said more than $1.1 billion was generated each year by agricultural production on the peninsula. Cr Payne said more than seven million visitors came to the peninsula each year “to experience wine and food from 500 registered food hospitality venues with hospitality being one of the region’s largest employers, employing over 4400 people”. “It is important to create a wider awareness both locally and internationally of the year-round attractions and tourism experiences including the growing farm gate agri-tourism sector,” he said. He said the Port Phillip and Westernport catchment was the second largest agricultural region in Victoria, producing at least 15 per cent of the total wealth generated from the state’s agricultural industry from less than four per cent of the state’s farm land. The 51,204 hectare Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge, about 70 per cent of the shire, includes Point Nepean National Park, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Arthurs Seat State Park, and the Devilbend Park, as well as wetlands that are recognised by international treaties, notably the Ramsar agreement. Landscapes within the green wedge are classified by the National Trust. Details: greenwedge.mornpen.vic.gov.au/taste-of-the-peninsula/

Something for all tastes: Mornington Peninsula Shire and members of the agricultrual sector join with MPs and business people on the steps of Parliament House to promote peninsula produce. Picture: Supplied

Anger as state takes over planning role Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au A STATE government-appointed advisory committee will decide whether a second German-based supermarket chain can open a store in Mornington. Planning Minister Richard Wynne has told Mornington Peninsula Shire that he will appoint a committee to “provide advice and recommendations” on plans by Kaufland to open six supermarkets around Melbourne. Mr Wynne’s move to help Kaufland progress through the planning process has angered Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Bryan Payne. Cr Payne said the advisory panel was “another example of Mr Wynne

impinging on the responsibility of local government”. He said it ranked alongside three-storey building heights that were imposed on the shire “with no consultation”. Cr Payne said it was obvious Mr Wynne knew before the shire about the plan for a Kaufland supermarket. He said taking planning decisions away from the shire “takes no account of the neighbourhood or environment”. “Usually ministers are asked to intervene when something goes wrong.” Cr Payne said. “We’re going to jump up and down about it. It’s an insult to local government and we’ve been bypassed once again.” He said too many decisions made at the state level “might be applicable

for inner [metropolitan] councils, but those rules don’t always apply here”. “They’re chipping away at our planning scheme.” The stores are planned for Mornington, Dandenong, Epping, Oakleigh South (including Kaufland Australia’s national headquarters), Coolaroo and Chirnside Park. The company wants to build its Mornington store at the corner of Nepean Highway and Oakbank Road, in from of the Bata shoe factory. The land is used as a site for the annual visit by Silver’s Circus and was originally designed to present a pleasant entrance to the town in the forward development plan adopted in the 1970s by the then Shire of Mornington. If given the go ahead, the Kaufland

supermarket would compete with Mornington’s existing Coles, Woolworths and Aldi stores. Woolworths and Aldi each have two supermarkets in the town and Coles has announced a second store at the former Masters Home Improvement store (operated by Woolworths) site in Mornington-Tyabb Road. Kaufland’s “hypermarkets” have been described as being a cross between supermarkets and Kmart. In a letter to the mayor Cr Bryan Payne, Mr Wynne said Kaufland’s consultants “have proposed an amendment to each relevant planning scheme in accordance with a site-specific control”. Mr Wynne said the incorporated document “is proposed to be included in

the [planning schemes]”. “The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will work with Planning Panels Victoria to determine timeframes for exhibition and public hearing, and the location,” Mr Wynne stated in his letter. Mr Wynne said an advisory committee “will provide a consistent, timely and transparent process for assessing the planning merits of each of the proposed stores”. Kaufland specifies that its sites are 10,000 and 20,000 square metres with the potential for 200 to 300 car spaces. The company is understood to have already bought several former Bunnings sites. Kaufland was asked to comment but did not respond in time for deadline.

Southern Peninsula News

14 August 2018

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