1 November 2016

Page 38


Ban on bikes after fatality TOUGH new legislation introduced into state parliament last week to get so-called “monkey bikes” off the streets gives police the power to seize and impound the miniature bikes and fine owners up to $3109. If police find a monkey bike and no rider comes forward to claim it, the bike will be impounded and crushed after three months. Riders found not to have a valid motorcycle licence will be charged with unlicensed driving. Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke said the legislation came about after monkey bikes were involved in an incident that claimed the life of Carrum Downs mother-of-two Andrea Lehane, who died after being struck in a shopping centre car park late last year. Mr Edbrooke said he and Carrum MP Soya Kilkenny “lobbied very hard to ensure that police are armed with the appropriate powers to ensure our community is safe from the obvious risk that illegal motorcycles pose”. Mr Edbrooke described the legislation as “a win for our community”. Ms Kilkenny ran a community forum to hear concerns about the bikes soon after Mrs Lehane’s death. “I said that we were going to take steps, including working with police, and we are doing just that”.

Ban on way: Monkey bikes will be impounded and crushed and unlicenced owners fined when legislation introduced into state parliament last week passes.

“These new laws will never bring Andrea back to her family. But giving police the powers to impound and destroy these bikes will help keep our communities safe and, hopefully, prevent any more unnecessary and utterly tragic accidents and deaths in our local communities.” The ban on monkey bikes was welcomed by senior Frankston police. “Given the terrible tragedy that occurred in Carrum Downs last year, and the on-going nuisance and criminal behaviour exhibited by riders of these types of vehicles, local police welcome any extra tool to rid them from our streets,” Southern Metro Region Superintendent Glenn Weir said. Previously, police only had the pow-

er to fine offenders for riding an unregistered vehicle, which in some cases may extend to a fine for speeding or reckless driving. Monkey bikes can still be used on private property, such as a gated farm. Some other types of miniature motorcycles that meet statewide standards will remain legal under the new definition of a “miniaturised motorcycle” in road safety laws. “We’re not going to stand by and watch another person hurt on our roads by these dangerous bikes,” Premier Daniel Andrews said. “We’re protecting road users and pedestrians. Now, Victoria Police will have the power to crack down on riders who are caught doing the wrong thing.”


Letters - 300 words maximum and including full name, address and contact number - can be sent to The News, PO Box 588, Hastings 3915 or emailed to: team@mpnews.com.au

Dog ban ‘ransom to protect a few birds’ We are writing to you with regards to the banning of dogs on the Mornington Peninsula National Park ocean beaches from 1 November (“Dog bans to help end angered birds”, The News 18/10/16).. We and many others are bewildered by this decision, which will have a huge impact on the dog walkers. The decision to ban dogs is to protect the hooded plovers. Are we being held to ransom by a few birds? We have resided near 16th Beach, Rye, for the past 20 years and walk our dogs most days and conform to regulations by being off the beach by 9am. The morning beach walk is a great way to socialise and dogs are a great catalyst for people to walk. We thought Parks Victoria’s motto was “healthy people, healthy parks”. The area we live in has narrow, winding roads, no footpaths and poor drainage. Where are we supposed to walk when these roads are flooded? We pick up the rubbish on the beach, report wildlife in distress, report abalone poachers and put our fires. The hooded plovers are not under threat by domestic dogs; studies have shown they are more vulnerable to foxes, feral cats, ravens and high tides. On 18 October, high tides and large swells brought the water level above the area zoned for the hooded plovers. Maybe Parks should start banning High tides and large swells. This issue could be resolved by better education and better signs on each entrance leading into the national park. This decision seems to satisfy the minority and astounds the locals. We cannot believe the tail is wagging the dog. We dog walkers also care for the national park and its wildlife and our beautiful beaches, we should not be penalised for the sake of a few. Wayne and Brenda Harding, Rye

Ramp not needed I could not resist, so I put the proposition to a number of Rye locals passing through Rye RSL’s smoking area: “The fourth boat ramp will revitalise Rye.” Needless to say I was met with


Fairway to go: David Bennetto (teeing off) is watched by David Newport, Jim Olver, Jack Rixon and Darcy Jarvis at Devil Bend Golf Course during last Friday’s golf day to raise money for a bus for Mornington Special Developmental School. The day included 18 holes of golf, sausage sizzle and light refreshment for each player, as well as prizes for best scores, nearest the pin, lucky score prize and a raffle. The small school caters for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Picture: Yanni

positions to councillors will definitely have detrimental impacts. Mr Cowie, an unelected employee whose salary is paid by ratepayers, has decided that he will take it upon himself to compromise some of the essential roles of councillors even before they take their seats. Ratepayers may well ask why some of the senior positions within the shire were not evaluated and possibly amalgamated. I could suggest two at least. Ratepayers should not become too alarmed at this point. After the planning debacle in respect of the Continental Hotel [Sorrento] and the adjacent shire-owned car park, I believe the tenure of the CEO and some of his acolytes might be truncated. Wayne Chamley, Blairgowrie

Landfill ‘collapse’

Leading the way: Dog leads have been placed on fences marking beach access tracks at Mornington Peninsula National Park.

dumbfounded confusion. A two-question follow up being “Who is the [Mornington Peninsula Shire] representative for the Nepean ward?” and “Have you ever met Cr Hugh Fraser?” Negative both. The idea of revitalising Rye is probably a good one, and without being a smart Alec and not particularly wanting to criticise Hugh Fraser’s efforts on behalf of Rye, we need a fourth boat ramp like we need another hole in the head. Cliff Ellen, Rye

Support goes missing Your revelation that our new councillors will have fewer support staff provided to them from the Mornington Peninsula Shire (“New councillors to lose support” The News 25/10/16)) raises a perennial question: is the tail beginning to wag the dog? The decision by CEO Carl Cowie to make redundant two of the [four existing] support

Southern Peninsula News 1 November 2016

The election campaign to keep the Rye landfill open has all but collapsed. The Rye landfill site would close only to landfill. Residents would still be able to dispose of green waste, cardboard, old chairs and such at Rye. Landfill waste would no longer be carted from heavily permanently populated parts of the shire – Mornington, Mt Eliza, Somerville, Baxter and Hasting - to be dumped at the Rye landfill. It could be just as easily be carted the same distance, with no additional environment impact, to the international standard landfill centre at Hampton Park. Closing the Rye site to landfill, would reduce council greenhouse gas emissions by 48 per cent at a small additional cost of $27 a year a household. This would open up the Rye, Tootgarook, Boneo and Fingal areas to much needed recreational and tourism investment. This would provide desperately required employment to these areas and relief to the long suffering Tootgarook residents living north of the Rye landfill. As to shire debt reduction the landfill advocates have overlooked the shire’s published accounts and budget. Shire debt will be down by $31 million from $43m inherited in 2012 to $12m by 30 June 2017. Hugh Fraser, Rye

Right to protest It is everyone’s right and responsibility as a member of our civil society to peacefully stand up and voice our opposition to policies which are not humane or fair. A rally is one of the traditional ways we have to let our elected members of parliament know when we feel that current policies are immoral and detrimental to people, and which are ultimately affecting Australia’s usually high international standing on matters of human rights.

There is a rally on Saturday 5 November at 1pm in front of the State Library, Melbourne which is being held because of the increasing concerns for the asylum seekers and refugees who are now stranded on off shore detention centres. Given all the publicity and reports now clearly showing the detrimental effects of long term detention on people, particularly children, this is an opportunity to show that this situation is not acceptable to Australians. Closing the camps and bringing the refugees here is the key message of this rally. It is supported by many reputable organisations including Grandmothers Against the Detention of Refugee Children. Everyone concerned about Australia’s current policies on refugees should use their right to protest. Ann Renkin, Shoreham

Cancel the Cup Here’s a way to boost national productivity – cancel the Melbourne Cup. All work stops for two hours nationally and effectively for two days in Victoria, just to celebrate a cruel and violent event. Ever since Archer became famous for winning the first Melbourne Cup while already injured, a race in which two other horses died, countless other horses have suffered catastrophic injuries on the race track after being whipped mercilessly and pushed past their limits. Last year Red Cadeaux was killed after breaking a leg during the race. The year before, one horse broke his leg and another died of a heart attack after the race. Researchers at the University of Melbourne have discovered that half of the racehorses they studied had blood in the windpipe, and nearly all of them had blood deeper in the lungs (close to 90 per cent). Apart from trauma to the respiratory system, most horses suffer from stomach ulcers. Studies both in Sydney and in the US, have discovered that over 85 per cent had lesions in the stomach lining. Many horses had deep, bleeding ulcers within 8 weeks of starting race preparation. Sick and injured horses may also be given steroids, which can mask pain or make a horse run faster. Most broken down horses don’t make headlines; they’re just quietly shipped interstate where they’re slaughtered for human consumption. There’s nothing “sporting” about a pastime in which animals routinely suffer and die. It’s time for the nation to stop the race that stops the nation. Des Bellamy, special projects coordinator PETA, Byron Bay

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