Southern Peninsula News 14 July 2020

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NEWS DESK

All clear for ‘essential’ ferry Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au POLICE checked and cleared all passengers for travel on the Sorrento to Queenscliff ferry after stage three coronavirus restrictions came into force on Thursday 9 July. The ferry is classed as an essential service, linking the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas. Although the Mornington Peninsula is subject to the restrictions Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula are not within the Melbourne metropolitan area. “During the next six weeks we expect that the only travellers on our service will be people that have a need to travel for one of the three permitted reasons,” Searoad Ferries’ operations

general manager Wes Oswin said. “The travellers will predominantly be trades and business people, government employees as well as emergency service personnel. “We also have a number of people, including medical professionals that live on one peninsula and need to travel as a result of their work.” Police cleared all passengers on Thursday’s 1pm service after they arrived at Queenscliff Sorrento and have since told The News that while no specific checks are being made at Sorrento, random checks are being made of motorists throughout the peninsula. Mr Oswin said Searoad Ferries had decided it was impractical to use thermal Cameras to check passengers’ temperatures “as most people are tick-

eted and board the vessel while seated in a vehicle”. Searoad CEO Matt McDonald said the ferry would keep running to a two-hourly schedule “for those services that need to travel for one of the permitted reasons”. “This includes travel for emergency services, essential supplies, work, education and medical purposes as outlined in the government guidelines.” The Department of Health and Human Services website says other vehicles can use the ferry if travelling to Gippsland or Phillip Island, but travellers “should plan your trip so that you don’t need to stop in an impacted area unless it is for one of the three reasons”. Details: dhhs.vic.gov.au/updatedrestrictions; searoad.com.au

Warning that fast food is recipe for ‘traffic holdup’ Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au SAFETY Beach businesses fear the establishment of a McDonald’s Restaurant or any large fast food outlet at a busy intersection will ruin their trade and litter the beach. It is believed that AA Holdings, which owns the BP service station at the Nepean Highway and Marine Drive corner, wants to redevelop and combine it with a McDonald’s outlet although, at this stage, the identity of the prospective eatery is unknown. Cr Antonella Celi, who said she was “aware of the community’s concerns”, said an application by Insight Planning Consultants to Mornington Peninsula Shire’s planning committee could be referring to any of several large restaurants/convenience stores. “It is a significant application but there’s no way of knowing who it is at this stage,” Cr Celi said. The shire’s planning services manager Lucas Gardiner said the site owner was not required to inform council of who the proposed tenant is. “Council has to assess the use of the land for a convenience restaurant and we are provided with information, including hours of operation and patron numbers to assess this,” he said. That’s cold comfort to Jim Mavrogiannis, who runs Zero 95 Dromana pizza bar and Laneway Espresso, both in Point Nepean Road. He said he feared a fast food giant would “kill businesses” along Point Nepean Road. “I love being here but this will put

Take away “disaster”: Safety Beach business people are concerned about plans for a fast food outlet on their patch. Picture: Yanni

us out of business,” he said. Mr Mavrogiannis said traffic to and from the restaurant would stifle trade. “The main entrances into Point Nepean Road and Marine Drive are often banked up now,” he said. “We hear McDonald’s are coming and it will be a lot worse. It’s an absolute drama already.”

Maria Pizzirusso, whose family runs the La Onda Latin Mex Restaurant in Point Nepean Road, was also certain the applicant was McDonald’s. “Yeah it is,” she said, adding that the size of the newcomer would “change the whole dynamics and landscape” of the area. “We are a small family owned res-

taurant and it’s bound to affect us,” she said. “There’s the environmental aspect to consider, too, with lots of waste, straws and wrappers, left lying around, and the traffic congestion would worsen because of the location. “We want to keep the area neutral, small and without all the extra stuff

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www.ryehotel.com.au 15 July 2020

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