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Southern Peninsula An independent voice for the community

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Wednesday 21 October 2020

5974 9000 or email: team@mpnews.com.au www.mpnews.com.au

First day was a picnic, for the teddies

Picture: Yanni

AFTER more than three months of remote learning, foundation to year 2 students at Eastbourne Primary School, Rosebud started the new term with a teddy bears picnic. “We wanted to reduce the anxiety and relax all the children and remind them of how much fun school life can be,” Shae Haney, the foundation teacher who organised the day, said. She said the event saw students and teachers “enjoy school as it should be, plenty of learning, excitement and relationship building and fun”. “Remote learning has been difficult for everyone and our school community has been sensational at providing the best online education possible,” Ms Haney said. “It has also been important to make sure everyone is feeling positive about the return to face to face learning.”

Signing up against quarry Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au CONSERVATION groups are stepping up their campaign against a proposed quarry right next to Arthur’s Seat State Park. The #SaveArthursSeat petition passed 18,000 signatures last week. “We have seen an incredible outpouring of community concern about this new quarry proposal,” Michelle de la Coeur, of lead campaigner Peninsula Preservation Group, said.

“We have been inundated with inquiries from people across the Mornington Peninsula and the greater Victorian community wanting to understand its potential impact on the Arthurs Seat State Park biolink, remnant bushland and our native animals, including koalas and other small mammals. “We have also seen a steep escalation in interest from the Red Hill Consolidated School community with questions raised about potential air quality impacts and longer term community health if the proposal is approved.” The various groups are concerned

that the Ross Trust – which operates Hillview Quarries – is preparing its own environmental effects statement to support its application to dig a new quarry on previously untouched bushland at 115 Boundary Road, Dromana. Hillview CEO Paul Nitas said of the EES: “We are finalising the last of the existing conditions assessments, which include ecology, the proposed quarry footprint/buffers, landscape and visual. “The EES assessment studies will continue for another 12 months, which will include possible impact assessments, technical reference group

evaluations, community information sessions and then for public exhibition prior to lodgment. “When complete, it will be heard by Planning Panels Victoria [and] we anticipate a decision in the first quarter of 2022.” Some parents of children at Red Hill Consolidated School, which is only several hundred metres south of the quarry site as the crow flies, paraded with placards against the proposal last week. “Ross Trust what about our children’s health”, one placard read. Oth-

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ers read: “Off our seat: No to new quarry”. The Save Arthurs Seat group says many bush species but especially koalas are under threat from the quarry slated to produce 70 million tonnes of granite over the next 70 years. The group is urging residents to oppose the quarry beside an existing Hillview – formerly Pioneer – quarry at 121 Boundary Road that they say will destroy natural habitat as well as the biolink that animals traverse to access two sections of the state park. Continued Page 8

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Southern Peninsula News

21 October 2020


NEWS DESK

Hastings cleans up Tidy Towns awards HASTINGS was named Tidy Town of the Year 2020 at the Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Towns – Sustainable Community Awards, Saturday 10 October. Several Mornington Peninsula projects won state awards or were highly commended in their categories: Education Award winner St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School’s The Sea is my Best Friend program which saw tudents increase their knowledge of the area through fortnightly walks to Woolleys Beach and learn about the Boon Wurrung people’s perspectives. Mornington Peninsula Shire won the Community Award for helping coordinate the evacuation of 4000 people from bushfirethreatened Mallacoota. Boomerang Bags Mount Martha was highly commended for making scrubs for nurses at Rosebud and Frankston hospitals. The Hastings-based Dolphin Research Institute won the Environment Award for its ‘I sea I care’ program now running at almost 100 schools in the Melbourne metropolitan area. Josie Jones won the Litter Award for a map of Australia made in conjunction with Melbourne Zoo from16 kilograms of litter from Rye. Students at Advance Community College were commended for identifying social and environmental issues impacting Hastings and tackling littering and illegal dumping in reserves and playgrounds with Mornington Peninsula Shire and Good Shepherd. Rye Community House was ighly commended for its Zero Waste Festival which brought together Crop Swap Rye, Southern Peninsula Repair Cafe and Rye Boomerang Bags. Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Youth Services team was highly commended for its Rap4Rap project which saw young people team up with the Indigenous Hip Hop Project. Westernport Secondary College’s Harrison Hansen won the Young Legend Award for mentoring year 3 and 4 students in their transition to secondary school and running the year 7 camp. The Dame Phyllis Frost Award was won by Jacqueline Salter for her role as a Mornington Peninsula Landcare facilitator. Mount Martha Farmers Market was awarded for its Sustainable Table which has eliminated all single-use items from the market site and the Washed-Up Not Wasted station for shoppers to wash and return cups, cutlery and crockery supplied. Details kvb.org.au

Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Youth Services team at Hastings was highly commended for its Rap4RAP project, left, in the Sustainable Communities section of the Tidy Towns awards. Mount Martha Farmers Market was awarded for its WashedUp Not Wasted station, below, which encourages shoppers to wash and return cups, cutlery and crockery supplied. Litter Award winner Josie Jones, far left, worked with the Melbourne Zoo to make a sculpture for the Plastic or Planet Exhibition with National Geographic. She made a map of Australia out of 16 kilograms of litter from Rye.

Court bid over rules

Trees down as wildlife moves out MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire planning compliance officers conducted an “urgent inspection” at a Rye property earlier this month after neighbours complained of unauthorised and extensive tree felling. The department’s manager Paul Lewis later confirmed that “trees were removed from shire land [the nature strip] without consent”. He did not mention tree felling inside the property, adding: “The matter is still being investigated so we cannot comment further at this stage.” Outraged neighbours said the owners had “cleared the block of every single tree” as well as several large trees on the nature strip, displacing wildlife, including baby magpies, parrots and rainbow lorikeets. They said large stumps on the nature strip had been “further stripped down” last week. The tree clearing was done by a professional tree lopper, with several machines brought in. Mr Lewis said the shire had recently made changes to the rules around vegetation clearance and urged “all residents to contact the shire or check our website to determine whether a permit is needed to remove trees”. Stephen Taylor

NOT one to do things by halves, Sorrento restaurateur Julian Gerner is leading what’s been described as a “novel” and “bold” High Court bid to force a relaxation of Victoria’s tough COVID-19 lockdown rules. The proprietor of Morgan’s bar and restaurant and former owner of The Continental hotel will argue that the five-kilometre rule and essential worker permits are a disproportionate response in the fight against the virus. Mr Gerner will contend that the restrictions go against citizens’ implied rights of freedom of movement within the states to take part in personal, family, recreational and commercial activities – in short, to go about their normal business. The action is seen as a pre-emptive strike by businesses – notably the Un-

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lock Hospitality group – against a any extension of the tough stage four restrictions which have devastated economic activities – particularly in the hospitality industry. Sources said the High Court would hear the case on 6 November, while Premier Daniel Andrews was scheduled to announce seome relaxation of the measures on Sunday (19 October). Mr Gerner, who would not comment on the action as it was before the court, hired prominent silks Bret Walker, SC, and Michael Wyles, QC, to mount his case. Monash University constitutional law expert Luke Beck has described the legal challenge as “novel” and “bold” but not without merit. “There are examples of bold arguments being successful before,” he was reported as saying. Stephen Taylor

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Southern Peninsula

NEWS DESK

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Eastern brown snake. Picture: Rene Martens

Snakes spring into action SNAKES are starting to emerge from their winter hibernation to bask in the sun and search for food and a mate. However, there is nothing to fear provided precautions are taken, according to Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) senior wildlife management officer, Rebecca Dixon. Her tips for living safely and close to snakes include leaving them alone and not attempting to capture or harm them. Ms Dixon said all snakes were considered venomous and highly dangerous and urged property owners to maintain lawns and clean up around houses “as snakes are attracted to shelter such as piles of rocks and timber, sheets of metal, and building materials”. She said snakes were often found around watercourses

and parks. “There are a variety of different snakes found in the urban fringes and suburbs of Melbourne, with the tiger snake and eastern brown snake the most common. “Both these species are highly venomous and dangerous to humans, but it is rare for them to bite people. Most snake bites occur when people try to capture or kill a snake.” Snakes would bite dogs and cats if they felt threatened and “the best course of action” was to take pets from the area or tie them up while the snake passes. “Snakes are generally very shy and prefer to keep away from people and often when a snake is found in a backyard it’s because it’s moving through the area to other habitat,” Ms Dixon said. For more advice call DELWP on 136 186 for call a licensed snake catcher.

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Southern Peninsula News

21 October 2020

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VOTING in the election to fill 11 vacant seats on Mornington Peninsula Shire Council winds to a close on Friday (23 October). The results will not be announced until next month. Friday 13 November could be an ominous day to remember for those who miss out on a place around the decision-making table for the next four years. But for those who win, it will mark the start of a council faced with an enormous job of bringing everyone in the municipality back from the economic and social setbacks caused by COVID-19. Five of the sitting councillors are seeking reelection, which means that at least six of the 11 councillors will be new faces. However, such a big turnover is not new to the shire. In 2016 just three of the 11 sitting councillors were re-elected. Any councillors elected under a so-called “single issue” ticket will be expected to quickly acquaint themselves with myriad other issues facing the shire. The election will also be recognised as the first fought primarily through social media, mostly on Facebook. Debate has been intense and at times volatile, so much so that screen shots are being kept as possible evidence in any court cases that might be launched as a result. Several community and business groups have published results of questions sent to the 43 candidates across the shire, providing the answers

online so voters can make up their minds on who would do the better job (it pays about $30,000 a year plus benefits). Peninsula Aero Club went so far as to circulate names of its preferred candidates in each ward. The club’s president told The News in late September that it was a “fanciful notion” that the club could make a “pseudo PAC takeover of the shire, which is flattering to think we could do so… Personally I think singling out PAC is tantamount to attacking voters (PAC is a legitimate and registered voter) and is undermining the democratic process of people and organisations voting rights,” On 5 October, a letter “authorised” by Mr Vevers was distributed saying “the time for change is now”. The letter, after outlining how the council had for two years “waged war” against the club, named candidates “we think will listen to the community and be most supportive of working with local businesses and helping to grow local jobs”. The letter concluded with a plea to “please support these candidates in your ward and ask your friends and family to as well. Let’s build a better more prosperous community on the peninsula and save our airport”. The shire’s action against alleged planning irregularities at the Tyabb Airfield are scheduled to be heard early next year by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The action was launched after the shire hired a QC to investigate operations and planning permits at the airfield. Keith Platt

Opinion, but no vote FRENCH Islanders have reacted angrily to suggestions that their island home be “absorbed” into the Mornington Peninsula. The French Island Community Association has urged voters in the upcoming Mornington Peninsula Shire Council elections to reject the suggestion by Watson Ward candidate Stefan Borzecki that the shire the take over the island. The islanders cannot vote in the election but want “peninsula residents to reject Mr Borzecki's campaign on our behalf”. The surprise suggestion by Mr Borzecki was made in an advertisement in The Western Port News on 29 July. He said incorporating French Island into the shire would “double our green wedge/parklands and coastline”. Community association president Noel Thompson said French Islanders did not share Mr Borzecki’s “interests”. “Mr Borzecki did not seek to inform himself in any way whatsoever of community opinion and, as an ex-property owner on the island, should have been aware of community sentiment on this issue,” Mr Thompson said. “French Islanders cherish and will fight to maintain their off-grid and unincorporated status.” Mr Thompson said making the island part of the peninsula “may involve huge cost to council and current ratepayers for roads and waste services, with only 70 properties to collect rates from on the island.”

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No stranger to the island, Mr Borzecki, last year sold his 200 hectare property there after being frustrated at not being able to develop a wind farm. The property was bought for $3.5 million by a Chinese company that he says has built similar projects in the Philippines and China (“Wind farm hope from China” The News 16/7/19). Mr Borzecki said he had tried to develop the remote property as a 12-turbine wind farm “capable of supplying green energy to the whole Mornington Peninsula”. When contacted by The News last week Mr Borzecki predicted the island would eventually be added to either the peninsula or Bass Coast Shire, which already includes Phillip Island. “It’s only a matter of time and it’s a question of do we [the peninsula] want to get involved?” he said. It’s a wonderful green wedge area and would double the amount of national park on the peninsula.” He said 11,000 of the island’s 17,000 hectares was already national park and would be attractive “for [the peninsula’s] marketing purposes”. He said the islanders — who pay no car registration or licence fees — were being subsidised by the state. Mr Borzecki lives alongside his Yaringa Boat Harbour at Somerville where he has planned a $95 million, 180-apartment development around an inland waterway and where Hart Marine owner Mal Hart plans to move his Mornington boat building business. Keith Platt

Quarrying with a difference In 1984, the owners of Hillview Quarries, the philanthropic Ross Trust, gifted a large parcel of land between the two existing quarries at Dromana to the State to form a significant part of Arthurs Seat State Park. Over the past 50 years, profits from Hillview quarrying has underpinned the Ross Trust’s ability to donate over $138.7 million to projects across Victoria in support of children-at-risk, education, arts, culture and the environment and to stay true to our founder Roy Ross’ purpose and vision. The Trust and Hillview quarries combined, have donated $19.2 million to the Mornington Peninsula in grants and products for community projects.

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Political pedigrees on show in council poll In his maiden speech to the Legislative Assembly in December 2006, Mr Morris thanked Arthur Ranken among others for their “efforts … way beyond the call of duty” in working towards having him elected. Mr Morris, a former councillor and president of the former Shire of Mornington, was 19 when he joined the Liberal Party in 1975. Mr Ranken resigned from Nillumbik Shire Council in late August before registering as a candidate for Mornington Peninsula Shire. In a news release announcing then Cr Ranken’s resignation, Nillumbik CEO and former Mornington Peninsula CEO (2014-2018) Carl Cowie said: “On behalf of councillors and council staff, I would like to thank Cr Ranken for his work, representing Swipers Gully Ward constituents as well as the broader Nillumbik community and also for his support of the work of council officers over the course this term.” Steve Holland, who is also being backed by Mr Morris for Briars Ward, told The News that he had been an active Liberal Party member for more than a decade. “However, I am not endorsed or support by the Liberal Party in my local council campaign. I am open and honest about my affiliation, I think that’s important so that people know what my values are,” Mr Holland said. Mr Batty said he was a member of the Liberal Party but was keen to emphasise that neither he or Mr Ranken and Mr Holland were endorsed as council candidates by the party. “I’m a member [of the party] but standing as an independent,” he said.

Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au STATE MPs from both the major parties have now become involved in campaigns being run by candidates in this week’s Mornington Peninsula Shire Council elections. Mornington Liberal MP David Morris has posted his personal how-to-vote card on his Facebook page, listing Briars Ward candidates Steve Holland, Bruce Ranken and Stephen Batty. In August, Nepean Labor MP Chris Brayne made an early entry in the campaign by providing Facebook space to Jared Tipping in Seawinds Ward, Melissa Goffin and Claire Thorn, Red Hill and Sarah Race, Nepean (“Anger over MP’s poll roll” The News 31/8/20). Mr Brayne also used the shire’s trademarkprotected and corporate intellectual property logo in his post. Amanda Sapolu, the shire’s head of governance and legal, said the logo should only be used for council endorsed business and not by candidates in their election campaigns. The logo was still on Mr Brayne’s Facebook page last week. Mr Morris’s entry into the campaign did not go unnoticed, with Mr Brayne alerting The News to his involvement. Cr Hugh Fraser, seeking reelection in Nepean Ward, sent a screen shot with the comment: “Liberal politics alive and well in local government.” Two of the candidates endorsed by Mr Morris have impressive Liberal Party pedigrees. Mr Ranken is the son of long time party member Arthur Ranken and the brother of Kate, who is married to former federal MP, Bruce Billson.

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Southern Peninsula News 21 October 2020

PAGE 5


NEWS DESK

Cakes make the menu Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au

Colourful cards say thank you WALLS at The Bays Hospital, Mornington, are brighter and more colourful thanks to thoughtful contributions from students at St Macartans Primary School. Visual arts teacher Kristy Hayes said that at the beginning of term 3 she called the hospital to ask if she could send in some artwork to cheer healthcare workers and patients. “We were aware minimal visitors were allowed,” she said. “Hospital reception loved the idea and invited us to drop off some work.” Ms Hayes and foundation to year 2 visual arts teacher Andrea Kirkpatrick collected some of the works of leaves and beach boxes completed at the end of term 2 and dropped them off. To complement this, year 5 students made watercolour cards and letters thanking nurses and doctors for their hard work during the pandemic. “Because of the five kilometre restrictions, I made a video slideshow of all the art work and

With love: St Macartans Primary School year 5 student Holli Penpraze makes a thank-you card at home during distance learning. The image was supplied by her mum, Michelle.

messages and emailed it to reception to share with the staff,” Ms Hayes said. “It was wonderful to see students show such initiative and become engaged in creating work for this purpose. The children's artwork included messages of thanks, inspiration and hope. “Hospital staff were so grateful they sent us a picture of our art hanging on the walls.”

MOUNT Eliza resident Joanne Gunnersen believes Christmas is a time for giving, not receiving, and has seen her bountiful taste treats raise more than $162,000 for the Cancer Council of Victoria over the past 12 years. The founder of Christmas Cakes for Cancer, Ms Gunnersen has worked diligently to develop Joanne’s Handmade Christmas Cakes from baking 200 cakes at her home when she started in 2008 to a high of 10,500 in 2017. The money goes to fight bladder, pancreatic and kidney and other “insidious and hidden” cancers which, she says, tend to be under funded. This year, because of dampened demand caused by COVID-19, the number of gift wrapped cakes is more likely to be much lower. “If I do 2000 I will be over the moon,” she said. A trial of shortbreads will add to the tally. That’s still a monumental task for one woman, but help from volunteers, friends, friends of friends, and sports and community groups who come to her home to wrap, load and deliver the taste treats has made Ms Gunnersen’s task a little easier but no less rewarding. While busily cooking the cakes at home in the early days, Ms Gunnersen tripped and fell over, breaking her leg and arm. Frustrated at not being able to stir her big copper pot with its 10 kilograms of cake mix and brandy, she realised she needed to get someone else to do the cooking. Enter Gen U in 2010 – which used to be called Karingal – but which is now a Geelong based disability organisation. Professional chefs supervise the cooking process that gives jobs to those with mental and physical disabilities. “I couldn’t get over what they accomplish there,” she said. “They are very clever and to see the joy on their faces is wonderful.” Employees at Gen-U call Ms Gunnersen the

Joanne Gunnersen at home in her kitchen. Picture: Yanni “Cake Lady” as they bake and wrap and send the cakes off to volunteers in Ms Gunnersen’s converted workroom, who finishes them off with the traditional red bow. Always with a “couple of cakes in the oven” when she’s at home, Ms Gunnersen said her grandmother gave her the recipe for a traditional boiled Christmas cake when she was a child. They contain only the best quality ingredients and are packed full of fruit, but these days include a “bit more butter and brandy”.

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Southern Peninsula News

21 October 2020


for cancer fight

Simone Kelly riding in a jinker behind her pet horse Taffy had become a familiar sight around Mount Martha. Picture: Keith Platt

Taffy’s days have drawn to a close

She sources ribbons, cellophane, sticky tape, printing and brochures from peninsula suppliers. There is no doubting the cakes’ popularity as all her corporate customers make repeat orders and this year came her first overseas order, from Los Angeles. A wealthy English couple takes back 40 cakes each year after spending six months in Australia. The cakes range from a stocking filler (200 gram), at $10, Star (300g) $15, Log (800g) $25 and round (2kg) $60. There is a minimum order

of 20 stocking filler cakes. The dates and locations for cake collections – usually the first few days in December – will not be known until the government releases new restrictions and dates. “We are planning many scenarios and the front runners at the moment are having various contactless collection points,” Ms Gunnersen said. “Those locations will be published on the website and Instagram as soon as we know them.” Details: email jogunnersen@gmail.com

THE days of spotting the small horse pulling a made to measure jinker along Mount Martha streets and footpaths have gone. Taffy the horse has died. On vet’s orders, his owner, Simone Kelly, had been exercising Taffy by getting him to pull the jinker. Taffy had become a bit overweight and unfit grazing with his cow and goat mates in the paddock which forms part of the six-hectare Woodclyffe property off the Esplanade. The vet gave him his marching, or trotting orders, when checked for a hoof complaint. Ms Kelly and Taffy soon became popular regulars along the Esplanade and nearby streets, especially with children. “It’s amazing how many people stop to chat, especially parents with little children,” Ms Kelly told The News in 2015 (“Taking Taffy for a stroll” 20/7/15). Sadly, it seems horses can sometimes have too

much of a good thing. Ms Kelly called last week with the news that Taffy had died of colic, a result of eating too much “rich, spring grass”. The 16-year-old horse had been operated on in vain at a Narre Warren animal hospital. “I used to limit his time in the paddock and make sure that he also had his proper feed,” Ms Kelly said. “It’s very sad because he could have lived to twice his age.” Mount Martha-based equine vet John Bowers said colic in horses “equates to abdominal pain or a sore tummy”. “It can be as mild as we have with overeating, such as when horses eat feeds that increase bowel gas. This expands the bowel and produces pain. “Or it can be severe when the bowel is twisted or severely compromised and can cause death.” Colic is one of the main causes of premature death in horses. Keith Platt

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Southern Peninsula News 21 October 2020

PAGE 7


Police patrol

NEWS DESK

Club goes quiet after sound theft THE area outlined in blue shows the proposed quarry at 115 Boundary Road, Dromana. The red area is the old Pioneer quarry at 121 Boundary Road. The white area further to the right is the Hillview Quarry Drive site.

Protesters dig in over quarry plans Continued from Page 1 Jane Fenn said removing the biolink meant animals would be left on land cut off from the state forest that is “too small to sustain life”. She said the group was facing a huge challenge in mobilising opposition due to COVID-19 restrictions. “We have to get the message across via social media and emails.” The group is petitioning the Premier Daniel Andrews, Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio and Planning Minister Richard Wynne to ask: “Surely we aren’t going to wait until our koalas are on the brink of extinction before we step in to protect them? This is a moment for Victoria to step forward to protect its bushland, koala and other wildlife habitat, and communities.” The group is also urging supporters to post their opposition on federal environment minister Sussan Ley’s Facebook page. The senator was recently pictured holding a koala. “The minister’s recent announcement that she

would move to protect koalas in NSW, ACT and QLD but not Victoria also struck a chord,” Ms de la Coeur said. “Victorians don’t understand why our politicians would wait until our koalas are on the brink of extinction before acting. It is within the reach of both the federal government and the state government to stop this proposal now. We need them to take action.” Peninsula Preservation Group’s Mark Fancett said in 2013 members fought against Hillview’s attempt to convert the empty Pioneer quarry into a rubbish tip. “The proposal was rightfully rejected by the EPA,” he said. This time around, he said, Hillview had bypassed council in applying directly to the state planning department for approval of [the new] quarry. Mr Fancett said the proposed quarry would be “five times the size of the existing site” and “will destroy 37 hectares of remnant bushland to open a 43 hectare, 190 metre deep pit for granite mining”.

He said on the group’s website: “It’s on high conservation value bushland nestled in a state park and will destroy the Arthurs Seat landscape. “It’s in the wrong spot, it’s a stupid idea, and it’s not needed. “State parks are no place for a quarry. This is about revenue for Hillview.” The Ross Trust describes itself as a “perpetual charitable trust offering funding to biodiversity conservation – conserving and protecting Victoria’s biodiversity so it is valued by all as part of a healthy and resilient environment”. Nepean MP Chris Brayne said he “continues to have concerns about this project”. “It’s currently going through an environmental effects statement which will involve a submissions process, hearings and then the panel will make a recommendation to the minister,” he said. “The community will be asked to make submissions and I will call on groups and individuals throughout the peninsula to make submissions.”

THIEVES stole 10 speakers and eight drivers from a shipping container behind the Crib Point Football Club, in Colin Parade, from 8-11 October. The drivers are used to amplify sound through the speakers. Eight of the speakers, collectively valued at $1352, were to be installed on the lighting towers around the football ground and are designed for outside use only. Two smaller speakers, valued at $159 each and white in colour, were also taken. Anyone with information can contact Senior Constable Tim Jamieson at Mornington Peninsula CIU, 5978 1400.

Six times the limit A MORNINGTON man had an expensive trip to the shops, early Wednesday 14 October. The 31-year-old pulled over at 2.50am in Rosebud told police he was on his way to buy cigarettes. A preliminary breath test indicated alcohol on his breath. He was taken to Rosebud police station where he returned a reading of 0.316 per cent. The man will be summonsed to appear at Dromana Magistrates’ Court at a later date. His car was impounded at a cost of $1145 and he was issued a $1652 infringement notice for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions.

Charges follow raid A MOUNT Martha man has been charged with possessing cannabis and GHB, two counts of possessing the proceeds of crime, handling

Let our residents and their families do the talking…

the whole l the hard work that . We are Congratulations on al Mornington has done en Gl ge lla Vi at ity un comm ch a caring our loved one is in su always grateful that and careful place. s, uch and kind regard Thanking you very m and Daniel Michael, Rose, Chris

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Southern Peninsula News

21 October 2020


With Stephen Taylor

stolen goods and breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions. The charges follow a raid by Frankston CIU detectives on a Rosemary Crescent, Frankston North short-term rental house, 1.20am, Thursday 15 October. The 27-year-old was bailed to appear at Frankston Magistrates’ Court on 7 July 2021. Officers also arrested a Frankston North man and woman after allegedly finding the drugs as well as mobile phones and a large number of tools thought to be stolen.

Lighting his fire A MAN who twice stole firewood from a Blairgowrie house is being sought by police. The man, above, is captured on CCTV walking down the side of the holiday house on Melbourne Road, 4pm, Wednesday 30 September, and taking an armful of firewood. He carried the load to the front and hid it under bushes. Police believe he left on foot and came back later. This follows a similar theft of firewood by the man on 27 July when he was seen loading firewood into a dark coloured Land Rover Free-

lander, registration unknown. The man is described as Caucasian or Southern European, 65-70 years, grey hair and wearing dark clothing. Anyone who saw the man or who know his identity is asked to contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000 or login to the website bddy.me/34HycI4 quoting incident number 200271158.

Arrest after principals report on ‘squatters’

Plant withdrawal

Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au

A COUPLE who stole a pot plant from a planter box outside the Bendigo Bank at Mount Eliza are being sought by police. They were last seen getting into a white commodore with false plates WTB546, 1pm, Tuesday 13 October. They are described as Caucasian, in their early 20s, and wearing leisure wear. Anyone recognising them is urged to contact Senior Constable James Cameron at Mornington police station 5970 4900. Police said that while click and collect is an option offered by multiple plant retailers, this couple appears to have gone straight to collect.

Baldry’s ‘river’ BALDRY’S road at Main Ridge, below, was more like a river last week. So, unless you’re driving a hovercraft like James Bond in Moonraker, police suggest you steer well clear of it. They say the depth of water on flooded roads can be deceptive and hard to steer through. Anyone finding a flooded road on the Mornington Peninsula without any sort of emergency services present is urged to call 000 and let them know.

REPORTS of underage drinking, graffiti attacks, verbal abuse of neighbours, assaults, throwing rocks and leaving rubbish in the Somerville prompted a fast response from Hastings police. Senior Sergeant Warren Francis-Pester met with Hastings MP Neale Burgess last week after Mr Burgess was told by the principals of Somerville Secondary College and Somerville Rise Primary School about anti-social behaviour on school property. They blamed a group of six “squatters” in the wetlands behind the two schools for the offences. While patrolling the problem area, Saturday 10 October, as part of the new Operation Miscreant, Hastings police spotted eight youths drinking. The group fled, but officers managed to grab one youth who allegedly resisted arrest and assaulted officers before running off. The police visited nearby bottle shops to check CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the offender. They then rushed to Somerville Recreation Centre after hearing reports of trouble and found the youth who they claim had previously assaulted them. Senior Sergeant Francis-Pester said the offender again resisted arrest but, after a struggle, he was taken to Hastings police station and interviewed with one of his parents present. The 17-year-old was charged and bailed to appear before a children’s court charged with four counts of resisting an emergency worker, two of assaulting an emergency worker, one of refusing to give his name and address and one count of consuming liquor under age. His bail conditions include living at home,

not going within 50 metres of Somerville Rise Primary School, Somerville Secondary College or the surrounding wetlands, and to be at home 8pm-8am unless attending work or accompanied by a parent. The police are making further inquiries in their efforts to identify the other offenders. Senior Sergeant Francis-Pester said the outcome was a perfect example of when people in the community work together by passing on information. “Outstanding results can be achieved in serving and protecting our community and prosecuting persons who offend,” he said. “Operation Miscreant is a Hastings police permanent operation which is intelligence driven from the community to deal with local issues. It’s already bearing some impressive fruit. “There is a culture among police that there is no greater privilege than to be in the service of the community, so it is always disturbing when one of my members is assaulted in service of the public. “In these pandemic times, this type of offending is even more outrageous. I am certain that our magistrates will take a dim view of this type of conduct.”

Bag stolen CLEANERS at The Briars historic property, Mount Martha got a fright when they arrived for work, 11pm, Saturday 17 October. No sooner had they opened their van than a man wearing a balaclava and carrying a kitchen knife jumped out of a dark-coloured car and grabbed a bag they were holding. He then drove off. Sergeant Simon Noonan, of Mornington police, said there was nothing of value in the bag.

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LOCKDOWN PICTURES 1

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THE spiritulism and solace found besides the sea again came to the fore in this week’s crop of readers’ Lockdown Pictures. The sculptures of Bill Straede (9) show reverance can be found in the smallest spaces of a garden and Fi Martin’s shot of Luke sailboarding (7) illustrate the joys of exercising alone. Helen Dalton found inspiration in reflections at Rye beach (1) while Ranald McDonald noted that Flinders rocks (2). Liz Peel liked a single outcrop (3) at Blairgowire. Moving onto wildlife that knows no boundaries, John Paglia was unable to identify a bird at Langwarrin (4) although the New Holland honeyeater (8) was no stranger to Kim Thompson. Tom McCullough was intrigued by social distanding seagulls (5) and Tony Ashurst felt the absence of friends portrayed by her dogs (6). Graham Thomas thought this sunset was a fitting end to te day (10). Readers are invited to send and share their own pictures, with a short caption, to: lockdown@mpnews.com.au

Burn off restrictions eased for October Mornington Peninsula Shire will again ease burn off restrictions on small properties throughout October 2020 to allow residents to burn off for fire prevention purposes. Coronavirus has had a significant impact on all of us, please consider the potential impacts of smoke on your neighbours if you must burn off or have no alternative to remove vegetation.

For the month of October, Open Air Burning is permitted only on Fridays and Saturdays between 9am and 4pm on land between 500 and 1500 square metres, provided that: • your property is within the Mornington Peninsula Shire Bushfire Prone Area • for the purposes of fire prevention • no more than 1 cubic metre of vegetation is burnt at any one time • the fire is not within 10 metres of any neighbouring dwelling • the General Fire Safety Provisions are followed at all times.

Outside of October, Open Air Burning is prohibited on properties smaller than 1500 square metres.

Open Air Burning regulations for land more than 1500 square metres and more than 40,000 square metres remain the same.

For more information visit our web page or contact the Environment Protection Unit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/openairburning 5950 1050 PAGE 10

Southern Peninsula News

21 October 2020

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Southern Peninsula News

21 October 2020


LETTERS

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

Warning councillors: behave or face voter backlash I received my Mornington Peninsula Shire Council voting papers last Friday. Sitting down over the weekend to ponder on whether to cast a valid vote or not, I thought I would give it one last chance. Over the years I have noticed that people who run for council either want to get in to state or federal politics and use the council as a training ground or have a pet project that they want to get through. In earlier days, the council was made up of people who (in most cases) wanted to improve the shire and looked at the big picture of such things as affordable rates, good quality roads and sporting grounds and rubbish collection. In other words, what should the shire council do to make the life of its residents stressless and make those residents glad to live in such an enjoyable setting. Over the years we seem to have gradually lost the way with outlandish spending on things that are the responsibility of state and federal governments, not the shire. The last straw was the truly outlandish amount wasted in naming the new Rosebud aquatic centre (reportedly $200,000). It’s easy to do when it is someone else’s money. I was taught a good lesson when I was in business: “When spending company (council) money, ask yourself if it was my money would I spend it on whatever the expense was?” Most times I could justify the expense, sometimes not, so did not proceed. I have lived in Mount Martha since the early 1970s and would not want to live anywhere else. The Mornington Peninsula has a lot to offer in the way of countryside, small villages and some larger shopping areas to cover most items that people need in their day to day living. So, be on notice that unless you get back to the basics for all the residents of the peninsula “and stop wasting money” then, from the next election in four years, I will be voting invalid. Barry Kirkpatrick, Mount Martha

Council politics Please welcome the Liberal Party machine to our local council elections. At a meet the candidates Briars Ward town hall session Thursday 15 October, candidates were requested to declare any party membership. It came out there are three Liberal candidates, one Greens and no Labor in Briars. The Greens’ transparently sees them declare endorsement to the Victorian Electoral Commission, however it’s not Liberal Party practice to follow suit. Coincidently, the three Liberal candidates are preferencing each other. Some will call this ward stacking. In our proportional voting system if one of the three gets enough of the primary vote the other two preference flows combine to push him above the quota and so is then elected. It’s not illegal and I don’t imply any wrongdoing, so welcome to the new norm for democracy on the peninsula. Kelvin Stingel, Blairgowrie

Psychological stress I am a clinical psychologist practicing in Rosebud and I am extremely concerned about the impact on residents’ mental health due to restricted times people can walk their dog on McCrae dog beach now that daylight saving has started. Residents’ mental health is very fragile presently due to COVID-19, especially if they live alone. A walk on the beach with their dog is often the one outlet they have. They also have the opportunity to meet others, which is vital to psychological wellbeing. Most don’t go if they can’t take their dog. For elderly people to get to the beach before 9am or after 7pm when they have all day in isolation is far too restrictive. I would suggest all day access, at least while COVID-19 is on and much more flexibility when it is over. Julie Cornwell, Rosebud

Obey dog rules We have a fantastic foreshore reserve in Hastings, with excellent facilities, yet I find it difficult to take my young family there. My children are afraid to go to this park because of

past experiences with dogs knocking them over. Reassuring them that we only go to areas where dogs are required to be on leads seems futile in the face of largescale non-compliance. Are dog owners aware that dogs are expected to be on leads in the southern part of the reserve, or why these rules are in place? It is clearly signposted right along the walking track. Every time I walk past the Pelican Park precinct, I encounter dog owners openly flouting these rules. On any given day, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council could make a fortune in fines should it decide to enforce the penalties that the signs refer to. Many dog owners may be tempted to think, “but I know my dog won’t stray far and attack anyone”. The problem with this way of thinking is that upon seeing your disregard for the rules, other dog owners feel justified in letting their own dogs off-lead, until breaking the rules becomes the accepted norm. I’m sure all would agree that not all dog owners have dogs that know how to behave off-lead. Please, dog owners, think about why the rules are in place and follow them. There is a huge clearly signposted off-leash area at the northern end of the foreshore for you to let your dogs off lead. Let your dogs run there and respect the rights of other park users who wish to enjoy the southern end of the foreshore without concern for errant dogs knocking over their kids and gatecrashing their picnics. Russell Ward, Hastings

Hands off crabs What is happening with the targeting of our local spider crabs that come into the shallows to moult every year is the equivalent of the roses being removed from the annual flower and garden show (“Spider crab ‘harvest’ threat to festival” The News 5/10/20). Thousands of people look forward to the flower show and come to see and smell the magnificent roses, even though they may be short-lived, and even though there are hundreds of thousands of roses elsewhere in Melbourne. But what if a group of people suddenly decided to come to the flower show to pull all the roses out at the roots and drag the rose bushes by the dozens back into their cars simply because they were so easy to access and there was no law yet that said they couldn’t? Now substitute roses for spider crabs. How devastating for locals and the marine environment that this practice has recently emerged and is now being tolerated and defended by those who suddenly want to reduce the spectacle of the spider crabs to nothing more than low grade fishing stock. What an indefensible assault against a grand, eagerly anticipated annual event promoted by Sir David Attenborough himself that is now being ruined for everyone. Some people are arguing there are millions, even billions of spider crabs in Port Phillip all year round (is there any scientific proof of that?). Let the crab catchers go after those millions of crabs then, but not come to pillage huge numbers of crabs when they come into our local piers each year as the community eagerly await their return. This is not about how many crabs are in the bay, it’s about making sure an important local tradition of celebration isn’t destroyed. Leave the spider crabs alone when they are moulting. Chris Morton, Rosebud

Let pines live I’m trying to understand the current push by some zealous residents and Mornington Peninsula Shire for pine tree removal under the justification that they are non-indigenous environmental weeds. The newer first generation peninsula population in conjunction with the shire is determining an alternate identity of the peninsula landscape with no consideration to planting history and heritage. It seems nonsensical in the extreme to be removing aged trees when we are deep into climate change, bushfires have ravaged the country, wholesale land clearing is occurring, and wildlife is being lost at an alarming rate.

It’s vital that more trees are planted, so why target pines when we are actually the non-indigenous environmental weeds. Peter Avery, Flinders

Final lost to women It was hard to understand why the women’s AFL finals were cancelled. However, the Tigers’ coach has given us the answer with his quote of the week: “It is a big boys’ game.” Geoffrey Lane, Mornington

Takeover intended The president of Peninsula Aero Club, Jack Vevers’ claim that “a pseudo PAC takeover of [Mornington Peninsula] Shire … is a fanciful notion”, which itself appears to be highly dubious given the PAC how-to-vote card that appeared on social media last week allocating a preference number for every candidate in every ward of the shire for the current election (“Proairfield candidates want state to act” The News 5/10/20 and “Deadline close for most unusual poll” 12/10/20). There is apparently nothing “pseudo” about the PAC intention – it seems to want a real takeover of the shire. Let’s trust the voters reject such foolishness without hesitation. Brewis Atkinson, Tyabb

China deals Aussie Sadler describes [China’s] President Xi Jinping as world enemy No 1 and therefore suggests [Victorian Premier] Dan Andrews is betraying Australia by signing the memorandum of understanding for the Belt and Road Initiative (“Chinese colony” Letters 13/10/20). I wonder then how he felt about [federal Treasurer] Josh Frydenberg and the Foreign Investment Review Board giving approval for Mengnui Dairy to pay $1.5 billion for Bellamy’s, an Australian infant formula group in November 2019, or the lease of the Port of Darwin in 2015 to Landbridge, a Chinese Company? Despite the federal government’s anti-Chinese rhetoric, the reality is that we depend on exports to China of our natural resources and agriculture, not to mention the reliance of universities on the custom of Chinese students, to sustain a healthy economy. The concern about the possibility of China to buy our coal is an example of our reliance on that trade. Marg D’Arcy, Rye

State of blame What world does this lady live in (“Lockdown necessary” Letters 6/10/20)? She praises Victorian Premier] Dan Andrews for imposing this lockdown for the good of the community, but fails to mention that Victoria has had 90 per cent of all Australian COVID19 deaths and 74 per cent of Australian COVID-19 cases. This is a severe indictment on this state government and its total incompetence in handling hotel quarantine which has forced this severe lockdown. My husband and I have lived on the Mornington Peninsula for 50 years and have many active and healthy friends (seniors) who have not contributed COVID-19 statistics because they have: Obeyed all the strict rules set down by Mr Andrews. No one is able to visit friends or relatives and the five kilometre rule makes life hell. Seniors wear their masks; stay home (apart from time out for exercise) and don’t gather in large groups. No one we know of has increased the numbers of the COVID-19 horror. They have not flocked to the beaches in large groups every time the sun comes out or taken part in mass protests against the lockdown. Most seniors spend money as they see fit. Grey nomads normally go north for a couple of months in winter, many go overseas. It costs money but this year no one can travel even locally, thanks to Dan. Sick people do spend – it costs a lot of money trying to get better. Yes, families with younger children are vulnerable and their care and futures are important. Seniors have been there, they have worked all their lives, put kids through school and deserve a happy retirement. Lynn Ibbotson, Mount Martha

A safe place Australia’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is seen by some people who are not stationed in Victoria as incompetent and disorganised.

How cozy for them, living away from the awful lockdown Victorians have endured for months while watching other Australians enjoying a reasonably free lifestyle and with less fear of contagion or financial hardship. They have no idea how hard it has been or how stoic most Victorian citizens have been. It is ludicrous that the borders in the European Union are open when Australia’s internal borders are shut because the Europeans have thousands and thousands of virus cases every day and this includes the United Kingdom. The US has 220,000 [fatal] cases and still counting, whereas Australia has 900 over six months. I know where I feel safer. Mary Lane, Mornington

Assess facts I see John Cain’s letters becoming more meandering and less logical as the COVID-19 crisis goes on (“Different approaches” Letters 13/10/20). On one thing he is consistent [Victorian Premier] Dan Andrews is the best. Dan Andrews can do no wrong. Let’s deal with some of Mr Andrews’ key achievements: 800 COVID-19 related deaths; the worst run hotel quarantine system; the most ineffective COVID-19 tracing system; a team that has collective amnesia when facing responsibility; setting records for time in lockdown. The list could go on and on. Assessment of Mr Andrews should be based on facts, not just blind bias. Robert Hampson, Sorrento

Travel safe The Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not go to South Australia for a holiday, he went (on 25 September) for the LNP annual general meeting, which he is entitled to attend (“Different approaches” Letters 13/10/20). I believe he took a short family holiday to the outskirts of Sydney in July. It would be a really good idea, in my opinion, if Mr Cain left the PM’s family out his letters. The only “safe” COVID-19 country is New Zealand – a safe travel zone has been established with that country. All other returning travellers have to quarantine for 14 days. Perhaps Mr Cain can do a little research in future. Victoria will not be accepting any international flights for the foreseeable future. Mr Cain displays a playful sense of humour by suggesting that Daniel Andrews should be running the country as he “believes in health before wealth”. This beggars belief. Are more than 100 appearances before journalists a badge of honour? [Sky News commentator and former chief of staff to prime minister Tony Abbott] Peta Credlin certainly doesn’t think so and got some reluctant action from our premier. Our hardworking restaurant owners (and business people in this state generally) are suffering terribly and Mr Cain chooses to belittle their efforts. Prince or pauper indeed. Kevin Kahalane, Mornington

Reject gas plan I just became aware that AGL is asking for a planning change in its proposal for a dirty liquid gas import facility at Crib Point in Western Port. It is asking for Planning Minister Richard Wynne’s approval to grab chunks of the beaches and foreshore adjacent to their proposed liquid gas factory at Woolley’s Beach, an area where people enjoy picnics and launch kayaks and canoes. This is part of AGL’s plan submitted in its EES that has taken two years to cobble together and opens up more questions than it answers about the desirability, sustainability or the need for this travesty. In typical state government fairness, the local community was given a “generous” five weeks to trawl through the more than 10,000 pages of the EES to make strong, informed rebuttals to many of the spurious and sometimes misleading assertions about the oh so environmentally “benign” and socially “desirable” Ramsar wetland “improving” floating time bomb for Western Port. Obviously the company’s socially “caring” attitude shows strongest in the proposed grab of our pristine foreshores for personal and shareholder gain. If ever there was a project that should be killed off as soon as practicable, it is this one. Rupert Steiner, Balnarring

Southern Peninsula News

21 October 2020

PAGE 13


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Council called before Minister to settle deadlock Compiled by Cameron McCullough THE councillors of the shire of Frankston and Hastings have received a communication from the Minister of Public Works requesting them to attend before him, at his office in Melbourne, on Tuesday next, 19th inst., for the purpose of discussing the present position, and arriving at an amicable settlement of the dispute which has caused a deadlock for nearly three months. *** AN open air meeting, under the auspices of the Frankston branch of the anti-liquor league, will be held in Bay Street, under the electric light, on Wednesday evening next, at 8 o’clock. Ex-Senator Watson will deliver the address, and, according to an advertisement in another column, “will refute the anti-prohibition lies.” *** SOLDIERS from the Caulfield hospital will visit Frankston on Sunday next, and will be entertained at afternoon tea by the local ladies. Gifts may be left with Mrs D. Petrie, Mrs Ward or Miss Gregory. *** A GRAND bazaar, organised by the Somerville ladies’ hall committee, will be opened in the Somerville Horticultural Hall on Friday, 22nd October, at 8 o’clock, by Major Conder. Features will be the Diggers’ stall, book stall, and all sorts of novelties. The bazaar will be continued on Saturday. *** MR D. E. Manson, of Frankston College, is now forming shorthand and typewriting classes for which a

Melbourne expert has been specially engaged. Intending pupils are advised to enrol at once. *** THE committee of the recent hospital ball at Frankston desire to specially thank Mr A. Bailey, of the Frankston Nurseries for his kindness in supplying the palms and ferns which contributed so materially to the success of the stage decorations. *** A PUBLIC meeting, under the auspices of the local branch of the Victorian Protestant Federation, will be held in the Frankston hall on Friday, 22nd inst. See advt. *** MR George May received a warm welcome from his fellow committeemen at the Frankston Sports Club meeting on Monday night. Mr May recently returned from a health trip to Queensland, and appears to have greatly benefitted by the change. *** MR D. E. Hoban, the ex-President of the Shire of Frankston and Hastings, has returned to Melbourne after his trip to Western Australia, where he visited the various goldfields and a great deal of the back country. He covered over 5,000 miles and is in the best of health. His next jaunt will probably be to sunny Queensland en route for the Old Country. *** AT the Mechanics’ Institute, Frankston, tonight, the Hon. A. Downward, M.L.A. will address the electors

on current politics. On Saturday night, Mr Downward addresses a meeting at the Town Hall, Hastings. *** TONIGHT, at the Kismet Hall, Chelsea, the Frankston Pictures will present their first programme at that place. Dustin Farnum will be starred in a Paramount feature. The Chelsea people have promised a hearty welcome in the shape of liberal support. As Carrum does not at present boast a picture enterprise, it has been suggested that the Frankston Pictures make a start at Carrum. At the present time, that move is no contemplated, but the immediate future may see a change in that respect. *** AT a recent meeting of the Frankston II’s Football Club, members presented Mrs C. Wood with a silver mounted biscuit barrel in recognition of services rendered, during the past season. Mr H. Morrison made the presentation and Mr Hector McComb spoke in suppport. Mrs Wood suitably returned thanks. *** MISS Ivy May, who was specially engaged to contribute. songs and dances at the Frankston Pictures on Saturday night, failed to put in an appearance, or notify the management. The audience were disappointed, but the management were not to blame. The writer of these notes would suggest these names – Misses Dulcie Carr, Vera Nuttall, Addie Goble, Freda Cuthbert, Rosa Sinclair and Mr Fred Hayes – as artists likely to “go big”

with local audiences. *** THE social at Moorooduc, under the auspices of the Victorian Farmers’ Union, on Wednesday, October 6th was very successful. Musical and vocal items were rendered by Mrs Cook, the Misses Unthank, and Mr Kerr, whilst Mesdames Andrews, Lucas, Wilkinson, and Miss Slaney provided refreshment. Mr Bradford acted as master of ceremonies. *** DURING last week, Messrs James Ellis and Phillip Hunkin, the well known Benalla storekeepers, purchased building allotments at Frankston. Mr F. Patterson, of Strathmerton, also secured a block. *** ON Saturday, November 13th the first annual picnic of the employees of the Vacuum Oil Co. Pty Ltd will be held at Mornington. Several hundred employees will be present, together with the company’s directors. Had excursion boats called at Frankston, the picnic would have been held here. The Progress Association should get busy, and rectify the injustice. *** A PUBLIC meeting to consider the ways and means of honoring returned soldiers was called recently at Mornington, but the meeting failed to materialise! *** AT the Cheltenham Police Court on Wednesday last, Stanley Hournies was fined £2, with £2 10s costs, for having

assaulted Rupert Mains, farmer, of Balnarring, in the Mornington train on Saturday, October 2nd. *** THE Frankston Fire Brigade requires recruits. Those who desire to become members are advised to see Mr D. H. Petrie, or meet at the brigade tonight at eight o’clock. *** BLOCKS, quarter acre size, in Nolan St, Frankston, near Hastings Road, last week brought £30 apiece at a sale in Melbourne. The upset price was £15. Mrs Rogerson was the purchaser. *** WHEN speaking at Somerville and Tyabb recently, Mr Dowling stressed the necessity, for opening new overseas markets for surplus fruit. This has now been done – the State Government having arranged for the opening of markets in India and China. *** MEMBERS of the Melbourne Piscatorial Club are urging the abolition of mesh netting in Port Phillip Bay, as they allege that, from the economic standpoint, it is the most wasteful form of fishing yet devised. It was stated that 320 miles of mesh net was being used in the bay. The Rosebud fishermen have already asked for a closed area. *** MRS Geo. Shepherd, of Somerville, has been indisposed for some weeks, but is now convalescent. *** FROM the pages of the Mornington Standard, 15 October 1920

GALLERY TALK Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery has evolved over many years. In the summer of 1969–70, an exhibition was organised in the foyer of the 1885-built Mornington Shire Council offices by two key Peninsula residents: the Shoreham-based art critic, author and artist Alan McCulloch and Director of Mount Eliza’s Manyung Gallery, Betty Meagher. The show had a stellar lineup of important works by artists like Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, John Perceval and Fred Williams. Alan McCulloch went on to become the founding director of the Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre, as it was then known, and acquired over 1000 works for the collection. He also oversaw major fundraising activities for the purpose-built gallery at the current Civic Reserve site in Mornington. We are looking forward to reopening to the public sometime soon to share our 50th anniversary exhibition MPRG: FIFTY. For the most up to date information on when the gallery will re-open please keep an eye on our website. We hope that before the end of November we will be able to open and share this exhibition and the wonderful collection we should all be proud of.

You can check out our latest online programs at MPRG TV, including talks with Flinders resident Vera Möller and NSW based artists Locust Jones and Robyn Sweaney. We also have an online workshop about mastering watercolour and ink with local artist Rosie Weiss coming up on 14 November and a Christmas wreath weaving online workshop on 21 November. Over summer, MPRG will present the 2020 National Works on Paper, a prestigious biennial acquisitive exhibition, featuring many of Australia’s best contemporary artists. This year’s prize features 76 artists from across the country, selected from close to 1200 entries. Stay safe, stay inspired and look out for each other.

Danny Lacy Artistic Director Senior Curator

www.mprg.mornpen.vic.gov.au Civic Reserve, Dunns Road, Mornington Ph 5950 1580 Southern Peninsula News

21 October 2020

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ACROSS 1. Exhibits 7. Be heavier than 8. Tease 10. Huge spiders 12. Studies closely 14. Spy in group 16. Calm (sea) 17. Epidemic

20. People in book 23. Brought under control 24. Army toilets 25. Wooden post

DOWN 1. Resolve (conflict) 2. Wish for 3. Spiritual glow 4. Crushes (fly) 5. Strength of mind 6. Pure 9. Travels along runway 11. Cloudy eye condition

13. Ostrich-like bird 15. Cancel (mission) 16. Temperamental 18. Set fire to 19. Hysteria 21. Pour with rain 22. Common seasoning

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THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE... AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

Bill Gates: Succubus of the Universe (Or ‘Things the Internet Taught Me’) By Stuart McCullough SOMETIMES I feel a little sorry for Bill Gates. Not often, but sometimes. You’d think that his spectacular success and billions of dollars would shield him from both wild conspiracy theories and his abominable haircut, but apparently not. Even the most cursory glance at the Internet will tell you two things. Firstly, pretty much everything is the fault of Bill Gates. Secondly, there are a lot of different food delivery options out there right now. That has nothing to do with Bill, but they’re everywhere. Since cashing in his (micro)chips, Bill has taken an interest in philanthropy. Once upon a time in the not too distant past, philanthropy was considered a good thing and not something to be destroyed at all costs. In fact, the term ‘philanthropy’ comes from the Greek work ‘philanthropia’ which translates to ‘loving people’. Not normally the kind of thing you’d expect to make people bubble over with molten fury, but these are not normal times. Bill, so it seems, has become something of a target. The claims about Bill are pretty wild. So wild that they don’t bear repeating, lest it should inadvertently add further grist to the rumour mill. Suffice to say, COVID-19 is Bill’s fault. And his efforts to develop a vaccine will, apparently, either result in millions of people being wiped off the Earth or, alternatively, in Bill being able to control the thoughts of those who take it. I’m not sure what Bill would do if he controlled people’s minds. Probably tell them to always wear a pair of pressed Chinos and a sensible sweater. Had he really wanted to control people’s minds, Bill would have stayed at Microsoft. According to either an Essential Poll or, alternatively, something I managed to Google from the Internet, a staggering one in eight Australians believe Bill Gates was involved in the creation and spread of coronavirus. Confusingly, one in eight Australians also blame the spread of the coronavirus on the 5G network. It begs the question – is it the same one in eight who are blaming both Bill and 5G for the pandemic? Are

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Southern Peninsula News

they completely separate groups, each of which regards the other as heretics? Or is there some kind of ‘Venn diagram’ with an unknown degree of overlap between the two? Worryingly, the results are particularly poor for the 18 to 35 year old demographic, with one in five blaming Bill. Personally, I’m a little surprised that one in five 18 to 35 year olds have heard of Bill Gates, much less know enough about him to think he’s the source of all their troubles. I’d like to think that they’d misheard

21 October 2020

the question. Perhaps they mistook Bill Gates for, I dunno, Satan or BTS (if there’s a difference). Somewhat ironically, the webpage I looked at to research 5G conspiracy theories is chock-a-block full of Telstra adverts. I’d never thought of Telstra as having a sense of humour, but there you go. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, humankind went through a period of philosophical and intellectual enlightenment often referred to as ‘The Age of Reason’. This movement later

culminated an album of the same name by John Farnham. The video clip, in particular, really summed it up, as one J. Farnham stood on top of a large rocky outcrop while wearing a pair of Ugg boots; sporting a mullet that could be seen from space. (Clearly, the Enlightenment did not extend to fashion sense.) To make it even more miraculous, he was also wearing leather trousers. Ever gone mountain climbing in leather pants? I didn’t think so. But just as John Farnham eventually climbed down from that mighty apex, so too has humankind come down a notch. We’ve moved from the Information Age to the Disinformation Age with barely a pause. Remember when the Internet was ‘the Information Superhighway’? Nobody calls it that anymore. What we thought would be eight digital lanes of cruising comfort has turned out to be a gravel road loaded with potholes where, if you don’t hold tightly onto the steering wheel, you’re likely to end up in a ditch. Quite literally, anyone can say anything on the Internet and there’s almost zero accountability. Some might expect me to defend Bill Gates. Quite the opposite. Instead, I’ve decided to blame Bill Gates for everything. Out of milk? I’ll fall to my knees, raise my clenched fists to the sky and cry ‘Bill Gates!’ at the top of my lungs. Can’t find a shoe? Blame Bill. A lot of people think that the Bermuda Triangle is some kind of supernatural phenomenon that eats boats but, guess again: Bill Gates. In fact, floods, fires, El Nino, VHS rather than Betamax and the failure to screen ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ next year are his fault. From this day forth, millions will curse the name ‘Bill Gates’ down through the ages until…. It just occurred to me that everything I know about Bill I read on the Internet. Which, given all I’ve just said, should be treated with caution. In fact, I’m writing this story using a Microsoft program. Perhaps Bill’s not such a bad guy after all. Bill, if you’re reading this, the kettle’s on. Come on over for a cuppa anytime. stuart@stuartmccullough.com


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SOUTHERN PENINSULA NEWS

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ABC spotlight falls on Pines SOCCER

By Craig MacKenzie A TV show, a new home ground for 2021, community projects and hospital beds for Fiji … Frankston Pines has been a hive of activity recently. Last week the spotlight fell on the club’s four young Fijian internationals, Pines vice-president Victor Kumar and senior coach Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor who were interviewed by former Socceroos inhouse videographer Ben Coonan. Coonan’s company Side Netting had been contracted by Beyond Productions to work on a show commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation focussing on the lives of Pacific Islanders in Australia. There’s no working title yet for the program which is likely to have two episodes air before Christmas with the Pines’ segment expected to be part of the first episode. Kumar combines his administrative responsibilities at Pines with presidency of the Victorian Multicultural Sports Association, a Fijian community group which is now headquartered at Monterey Reserve after partnering with the local club late last year. Kumar played a pivotal role in the signing of goalkeeper Aeseli Batikasa, defender Penni Tuigulagula, midfielder Savenaca Baledrokadroka and striker Tito Vodawaqa who arrived from Fiji in February this year. They were set to spearhead Pines’ State 3 promotion push until the season was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. The quartet has been active during Melbourne’s lockdown by becoming involved in a series of community projects including shopping and gardening for locals in the Doveton area in which they live. They also have been working with Connect Community Care Frankston, a Christian volunteer-based organisation that assists the local community and have helped deliver a large number of meals to needy and vulnerable people in the Frankston area. The link with the Connect group came through the Play For Lives campaign spearheaded by former Socceroo and SBS football analyst Craig Foster, which aims to place professional athletes into the thousands of essential volunteer positions left vacant in the

Lights, camera, action: Pines gaffer Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor being interviewed for ABC TV. Inset: Pines’ Fijian internationals, from left: Savenaca Baledrokadroka, Tito Vodawaqa, Aeseli Batikasa and Penni Tuigulagula. Pictures: Ben Coonan, Side Netting. Peter Psarros

wake of the pandemic. But it’s not just local community projects that Pines have been involved in. Had anyone visited the Monterey Reserve clubrooms last week they would have found 40 hospital beds housed in the function area. This joint project between the club and the VMSA saw these beds flown to Fiji later in the week. The beds were donated by the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and Arjo Australia and free transportation was made possible by Praveen Prasad of Capital Transport and Ron Sharma of Swift Transport Services. Then came news the club has been trying to keep under wraps for weeks when Frankston council finally lifted the embargo on plans to relocate Pines to the newly upgraded Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve in Wedge Road for the 2021 season. This move has been facilitated by the $3.9 million makeover of Monterey Reserve with demolition of the existing clubrooms due early next year. It’s anticipated that building of the new clubrooms could start in Febru-

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that,” senior coach Taylor said. “I’ve spoken to council about the surface at Wedge Road and at the time I expressed some concerns about softtissue injuries that can come with artificial surfaces but I’ve been assured that council has seen to it that everything has been done in terms of shock absorption and things like that. “From what I’ve been told it looks like we’ll also have access to the grass surface there and be able to do recovery sessions on the grass if need be so I’m happy with that.” Taylor has firsthand knowledge of synthetic surfaces having guided Bentleigh Greens’ under-20s to a championship during his time with the NPL giant. He thinks that the pitch could be advantageous to his squad. “It should allow us to continue with a possession-based style and I think there will only be us and Monash playing on an artificial surface which could give us an advantage I guess. “If you are not used to it then it can be a bit tricky at first. “We might continue to play home games at night and it can be a little

ary and feature flooring roughly 1.5 metres higher than present and a glass front to enable spectators to watch matches from inside. There will be an embankment in front of the clubrooms and it’s expected that new dugouts will be built with Pines keen to situate the away team dugout on the outer part of the main pitch. Four new changerooms, male and female referees rooms, a new bar and new canteen are expected to transform Monterey Reserve into a first rate facility. It also will provide the club with an infrastructure base on which to develop its all-abilities and junior programs. At Wedge Road Pines will play on a FIFA-approved synthetic pitch constructed by the Tuff Group. The pitch consists of a combined synthetic turf product with sand and TPE infill on a preformed shock pad. There are now over 3000 such pitches worldwide and they come with a claim of state-of-the-art performance. “We could have stayed at Monterey but that would have meant operating out of portables and we didn’t want

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bit slicker with the dew you get as the night closes in. “Yeah it can affect the bounce a little bit. “My biggest thing with artificial surfaces is when you are playing in the heat of the day because they retain the heat like nobody’s business.” Pines now seem certain to conduct pre-season at Wedge Road provided Victoria’s public health response continues to corral the coronavirus. It also looms as the facility that will host a very important visitor should the clubrooms at Monterey Reserve not be available. Kumar and Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama are friends and Kumar hosted a business event for Bainimarama in 2018 attended by former Pines vice-president Daniel Plaiche. Kumar also met with the Fijian PM in September 2019 on his first official visit to Australia. “When he comes to Australia and when these restrictions here are eased he’ll be coming to the Pines 100 per cent,” Kumar said.


SOUTHERN PENINSULA NEWS

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Paralympics star sets sights on fourth games Brodie Cowburn brodie@baysidenews.com.au ELLIE Cole was just 16 years old when she waved goodbye to her Frankston High School classmates and jetted off for the Beijing Paralympics. By the time she returned her whole life had changed, and she was a three-time Paralympic medal winner. Cole was treated like a star by her classmates, a time she recalls with both fondness and a hint of embarrassment. “I still remember the pride the school had,” the star swimmer told The Times. “There were posters all over the place, and I’m a bit modest so I didn’t handle the attention that well. I asked them to take them down when I got back! “I was really fortunate to go to a very understanding school. I was in a team with other school athletes who were struggling with their workload, but my teachers were really great,” she said. “When I came home with my two bronzes and a silver all my schoolmates thought it was pretty cool, and they wore my medals around. Everyone was super proud and I still keep in touch with those friends now.” More than a decade has passed since Cole competed in Beijing. During that time her trophy cabinet has grown considerably, and now features six Paralympic gold medals. Cole is currently working hard to stay fit for the 2020 Paralympic Games, which thanks to the bizarre nature of this year, will take place in 2021. Cole is no stranger to adapting to difficult circumstances though, and has taken the delay in her stride.

“It’s been pretty difficult preparing, we had to push back everything for 12 months. So for this year we are trying to stay fit, but I think that athletes going through this coronavirus period can learn a lot and teach something to kids,” Cole said. “Everything is now back to a relative sense of normalcy, but we did have to get really creative with our training programs, including having Zoom training sessions.” In the 12 years that have passed since Beijing, Cole says that the perception of the Paralympics has improved. “It’s become a lot more professional,” she said. “Now I can train for the Paralympics full time without having to have a full time job. “A lot of people also didn’t understand what the Paralympics really were, but we really saw a jump in interest in Australia after the Commonwealth Games. Now I train with two Olympians, and they’re all really interested in how I do things.” Last week, through the Optus Olympics Unleashed program, Cole returned to her old high school for a Zoom session with sports students. She knows all about overcoming adversity having lost her leg at a young age, and shared her tale of resilience with the students that have done it so tough this year. “It’s really important to stay connected at the moment,” she said about struggling young people this year. “From my experience of going through life and being really adaptive, I know it forces people into making changes. It makes people feel uncomfortable. But, it makes everybody into top people.” SIX-time Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Cole. Picture: Supplied

Ruby Skye bounces back to best HORSE RACING

By Ben Triandafillou THE Jason Warren and Dean Krongold partnership has immediately struck winning form with new stable acquisition Ruby Skye on Sunday 18 October. Formerly in the hands of Sylvia Thompson, the seven-year-old mare has thrived in her new surroundings at Denistoun Park to win her way into the $500,000 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series on Kennedy Oaks day (November 5). With her last win coming up eight months ago, Ruby Skye shot straight back to somewhere near her best to take out Heat Five of the Country Series first-up for her new stable at Kilmore. Weaving a passage from the rear of the field, the daughter of Reset came with a determined run to knock off the race-favourite Lord Markel by a quarter of a length. With the victory, Ruby Skye secured her spot in the $500,000 final along with the Wendy Kellytrained runner-up Lord Markel. Warren/Krongold’s racing manager Steve Leonie was thrilled to make an immediate impact with a mare he’s been following for quite some time. “There’ll be a long time before a win gives me more pleasure than that,” Leonie said post-race with a grin from ear to ear. “I’ve been trying to get this horse for some time. I know that sounds terrible, but I love this horse, and always have. The Mcphee’s, from when I was at Luke Oliver’s, very kindly sent her down and I’m just so pleased that we got it done first-up for them. I am just beaming, couldn’t be happier.” Leonie believes the change of environment on

the Mornington Peninsula, with the use of the Balnarring beach, as well as the chiropractic work from Brendan McCarthy has worked wonders for the mare. “[Brendan] came and did her two or three days after arriving at the stables and the release that she showed, was as much as I’ve seen of any horse, so we were quietly confident coming here today,” he said. Now with the first-up win under her belt, Ruby Skye we’ll be targeted towards the final in three weeks’ time before potentially aiming at a country cup. “We’ll take that today and she’ll head to the final,” Leonie said. “I’d love to take her up to the Wodonga Cup for the Mcphee’s since it’s their local track. They’ve won it a few times with horses like Minnie Downs and god it’d be lovely to win another one for them.” The grin never wavered from Leonie’s face as their stable star Brooklyn Hustle heads into the Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) on Friday night in full flight. “She’s looking fantastic,” Leonie said. “She’s the best she’s been.” “A jockey that rode a treble yesterday at Caulfield (Ben Melham) spun her around on Monday and said ‘that was the best she felt’. James Winks spun her around yesterday at Moonee Valley and I think he’s a good judge, and he said ‘that’s the best she’s felt’ and we’ve got a Caulfield Cup winning rider on her on Friday.” Brooklyn Hustle heads to the Group One fourthup from a spell with her most recent run resulting in a fast-finishing fourth in the Group One Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley. Skye’s the limit: Ruby Skye gets back into winning form at her first run for her new stable with Jason Warren and Dean Krongold. Picture: Supplied

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