Southern Peninsula News 24 August 2021

Page 1

Southern Peninsula

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WALKERS out exercising on Rosebud foreshore on Sunday were observing the distance limits of the lockdown rules. Picture: Yanni

Fines for lockdown rule breakers Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au FOUR people staying at an Airbnb at Rye last week were each fined $1860 for being outside their five-kilometre limit while the landlord was fined $10,900 for hosting them. The peninsula’s local area commander Inspector Terry Rowlands said the business fine was a “warning applicable to all Airbnbs” against hosting guests from outside their areas. “Local police … supported by other specialist areas are actively in the community ensuring that any blatant and obvious breaches of the CHO directions are enforced,” he said.

“The fines for those beaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions are severe for both individuals and businesses alike. “I should stress … that there is also an onus and applicable fines for other B&B owners who rent out their holiday homes during the restriction period. These fines are also hefty.” Police last week fined an alleged Mount Eliza party host $200 for not wearing a face mask. They were also assessing whether to fine him $1817 for refusing to comply with a direction requirement relating to alleged incidents in Clendon Close, off Tower Road, Saturday night 14 August (“Police turn away party-goers” The News

17/8/21). Inspector Rowlands said messages from health officials has been clear “particularly around the reasons to leave home”. “Victoria Police are committed to ensuring these reasons are adhered to,” he said. Inspector Rowlands said most people on the peninsula were “doing the right thing in ensuring our safety during the pandemic”. “I’d also like to thank those in the community who let us know when those around them choose to ignore the CHO directions.” Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said welcomed the

increased police presence to deal with lockdown violators. “Under the direction of the Chief Health Officer we are all required to stay home yet we are hearing from our community that visitors from Melbourne are travelling to the peninsula to use short stay rental properties,” she said. “This is not complying with lockdown regulations and there are hefty fines for those involved, including for the owners of short stay rental properties.” Cr O’Connor said having visitors from Melbourne and elsewhere travel to the peninsula during lockdown “puts our community at greater risk of

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a COVID-19 outbreak”. “We have one of the highest populations of older people in the state and they are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus,” she said. “These are tough times and this lockdown has tested the resilience of us all. Ignoring the rules and travelling beyond your five kilometre zone is not going to help us get out of lockdown sooner.” Cr O’Connor said with vaccination rates increasing daily, it was “hopefully only a matter of weeks before the worst is over”. Anyone suspecting a short stay rental property is being misused can call 000 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.


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Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021


NEWS DESK

Pandemic a blow for the needy Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au A WELFARE agency that provides support services to disadvantaged people on the Mornington Peninsula is grappling with a range of issues exacerbated by the pandemic. While the number people seeking help has “always been high”, Southern Peninsula Community Support CEO Jeremy Maxwell says COVID-19 has increased the price of housing “profoundly affecting the cost of living for vulnerable people”. “Overall, we have seen a large increase in people impacted by homelessness,” Mr Maxwell said, adding that every year the service provides emergency relief to more than 1600 people and their families. “The bulk of housing options are in the private rental market, and since the rental moratoriums ended in March, rents have skyrocketed,” he said. “Forced evictions have escalated and the pressure from that, as well as loss of income and challenges, such as lockdowns, has seen high numbers of people with family violence and mental health issues. “The level of complex problems in all of our emergency relief programs is growing and, without our efforts, would largely be unmet. We are the only agency that does what we do in our part of the peninsula, which is to provide a complex holistic support framework for those in need.

“We are seeing a group of people who have never had to negotiate the welfare system, married couples on low incomes, older people who have lost their partners, and young people who are all being affected.” Mr Maxwell said a $7500 donation from Flinders District Lions Club would finance outreach programs: Southern Peninsula Laundry and Shower (SPLaSh) and Southern Peninsula Homeless Connections which will “especially help those sleeping rough on the foreshore or in their cars who are doing it hardest”. Mr Maxwell said many of the users were not “engaging with the main housing agencies because of trust or behaviour issues”. He said the Connections program that started last November aimed to build trust and connect people with other agencies which did not have outreach programs. Demand for the service had been so strong – with 93 clients in its first few months – that the person running the program was “overwhelmed”. Mr Maxwell said the programs worked together to provide food, toiletries, warm clothing, tents, sleeping bags and a whole range of different things to get clients out of trouble. “Sometimes we receive donations that help with these things but lately, with the demand being the highest it’s ever been, we are needing to buy a lot,” he said.

Sailors return after Olympic challenge

On course: Will and Sam Phillips in racing mode out on Sagami Bay during the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Supplied

OLYMPIC sailors Sam and Will Phillips, and Tess Lloyd and Jaime Ryan, have returned to Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club after competing in the 49er and 49erFX class races at the Tokyo Olympics. Their races were held on Sagami Bay, about 90 minutes’ drive south west of Tokyo, at Enoshima. “On the water on a clear day you can see Mt Fuji in the distance,” Sam said. “It’s often a welcome reprieve to get out there after the heat of the concrete boat park, although it’s still hot wearing only our Lycra sailing gear.” Sam said the races were typical of big regattas, with mostly light to moderate onshore sea breezes, but their world-class competitors were a “little faster and sharper and the experience off the water a bit more controlled than usual”. He said COVID-19 regulations were strict: “We were tested every morning and had strict protocols surrounding our movements. “Going for a run meant running up and down the hotel corridor, which was 90-metres long if you included the bend. “Despite all these restrictions the Japanese people were super friendly and welcoming.” After a 12-race series the Phillips brothers finished 12th, which they admitted was “not the result we were after”. “It was a pretty humbling experience to be part of such an awesome Australian sailing team at the Olympics,” Sam said. “It was also just nice to have the opportunity to compete again after 18 months. “Throughout the games there was a real sense among the athletes that we were all lucky to have the opportunity to be competing in sports.” Stephen Taylor

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Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021

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Police patrol

Southern Peninsula

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Three arrested, charged at Hastings THREE men arrested in Hastings last week are allegedly linked to a series of crimes in Hastings and Tyabb over the past month. The men, in the mid-20s, are accused of causing affray at the Kings Creek Hotel in Frankston-Flinders Road; stealing a delivery rider’s moped when he dropped off a pizza at a Hastings house; taking tools and supplies from a Tyabb plumbing outlet and stealing items and causing damage at Hastings Junior Football Club. Detective Tony Henry, of Somerville CIU, said CCTV footage showed one of the alleged robbers wearing a Power Rangers outfit when $20,000 in tools and supplies were stolen from JKJ Plumbing in Tyabb, Tuesday 16 August. He said the costume, as well as the pizza delivery rider’s bike, a range of plumbing tools and screw drivers and jemmy bars, and football equipment, were found at a Hastings house where the men were arrested last week. Other items are still missing. Hastings Junior Football Club secretary Carol Buckley said a firstaid kit, footballs and a ball pump had been taken, and that intruders had caused extensive damage when trying to rip out the club’s airconditioner and an outside awning, Wednesday 28 July. Three men have been charged with multiple counts of burglary, handling stolen property and breaching bail conditions and remanded to appear at Frankston Magistrates’ Court at a late date. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers 1800 33 000.

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POLICE are searching for men, above, who allegedly stole alcohol from the Thirsty Camel Bottle Shop on Nepean Highway, Mornington, Sunday 8 August. The men exited the shop without making any attempt to pay for a slab of Vodka Cruisers, slab of UDL cans and a bottle of Vodka with an all-up value of $220, at 8.25pm. The men are all believed to be in their late teens or early 20s. One was wearing a GANT brand grey hoodie and NAUTICA Competition brand shorts. Anyone with information or who recognises them is asked to contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000, submit a confidential report to crimestoppersvic.com.au or call Senior Constable Daniel Avion at Mornington police station 5970 4900.

A WHITE Ford utility being driven erratically on the Mornington Peninsula Freeway caused a Mazda ute to crash into the safety rail, become airborne and roll along the safety rail, Thursday 19 August. The 27-year-old Carrum Downs man driving the Ford was forced to pull over due to damage to his car. He then allegedly attempted to flee but was restrained by a passer-by until police arrived at 4.30pm. He was taken to the police station where he blew 0.224 per cent. He is expected to be charged with a number of driving offences. The 24-year-old Capel Sound man driving the Mazda was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Witnesses or anyone who has dash cam footage can contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000 or submit a report via crimestoppersvic.com.au

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PAGE 4

Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021


NEWS DESK

Council’s $1m towards COVID recovery Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council will cop a $1 million hit by waiving or reducing fees and charges in support of the business sector, community and the “most vulnerable” in the COVID-19 environment. The measures are part of a $10 million package of spending and support included in council’s 2021-22 budget aimed at helping peninsula businesses and organisations recover from the effects of the pandemic. It also includes $650,000 to re-establish outdoor dining during the warmer months; $2.2 million for a community grants program; $500,000 to fast track priority climate emergency actions and $490,000 for the Peninsula Trail shared path. Council adopted the package at its meeting on 27 July. The mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said the council was “seriously committed to helping our community recover from COVID”. “We know the pandemic hit the Mornington Peninsula’s economy more severely than most other parts of Australia. At its peak last year, 2205 jobs were lost and 59 per cent of our businesses were on JobKeeper, the highest rate in Victoria and third highest in the nation. “We’re not out of the woods yet. This $10 million package will provide

tangible financial support to some of the hardest hit sectors of our community and help our economy bounce back and become more resilient.” Major projects manager Davey Smith said a “key consideration was to ensure accessibility and a robust yet easy processes” in claiming the relief. “We do not want to exclude those within our community from accessing these waivers due to over administration and excessive process,” he said. Waivers and fee reductions will cover footpath trading (with or without liquor) of 100 per cent, expected to cost the council $174,000; events and live entertainment – 100 per cent for busking permits (costing the shire $3000) as well as Pope [Place of Public Entertainment] fees ($26,000), event fees and charges ($37,000), and the artists-in-residence program at Police Point – 50 per cent ($10,000). Sports’ club leases and seasonal licenses will receive half-fee waivers ($140,000) while children’s swimming lessons will get full waivers ($40,000). To help process applications the shire will employ temporary events and COVID-19 hardship outreach officers on salaries of $80,000 each. Sports clubs could gain further with the council voting to consider full waivers before the end of the financial year. Infrastructure planning team leader Grace McGuinness told the council research had identified “those areas

of the peninsula hardest hit financially by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns”. “Along with other recovery programs, waiver or reduction of these fees and charges will add to the assistance we are able to provide to target businesses, community groups and individuals most impacted by COVID-19 restrictions,” she said. These include food and hospitality businesses, businesses and community groups wishing to hold events, community sports clubs and the arts and culture sector. “Waiver or reduction of these fees will also contribute to reactivating the local economy,” Ms McGuinness said. “These waivers are balanced with the need to continue funding essential council services and the potential longterm impacts of COVID-19 on revenue and services.” The officers recommended a $410,000 COVID-19 hardship fund to cover fee relief and a dedicated COVID-19 hardship outreach officer to administer and support the program. Cr Antonella Celi said that as “restrictions are easing it is important there are no more delays” in getting the benefits of the waivers and fee reductions out to recipients. She said the appointment of officers to help applicants through the paperwork was money well spent. “We are responding to the community; it is a really good start,” she said.

THE COVID testing clinic at Frankston Hopsital.

Exposure site list grows VICTORIA’S sixth COVID-19 lockdown is nearing its fourth week. The vaccination hub at Bayside Shopping Centre in Frankston was named a tier two exposure site last week after a positive COVID-19 case got the jab there. Anyone who visited the vaccination centre on 16 August between 11.30am and 12.45 pm must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result. A statement on Peninsula Health’s Facebook page said that the positive case had no symptoms while at the hub. “The Frankston Community Vaccination Hub remains open and is safe for you to visit if you have a booking for your COVID-19 vaccination. To make a booking, please

call 1800 675 398 or you can book online through the Department of Health’s website,” the statement read. COVID-19 restrictions were tightened last week in a bid to quash the growing number of cases in Victoria. Additional restrictions were placed on the construction industry, with further staffing reductions put into place. Use of playgrounds, basketball hoops, skate parks, and outdoor exercise equipment has been banned, with exercise also now limited to just two people from a household. People can also not remove their masks to drink alcohol in public places. Brodie Cowburn

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Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021

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NEWS DESK

History portrayed in the Safe Hands of Sutton Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au IT would be fair to say that without COVID-19 Brett Sutton would be able to walk down the street unnoticed. That is not the case anymore. Never has a state’s chief medical officer been such a highly regarded, recognisable figure. His almost daily appearances on TV news bulletins alongside Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and references to his advice have made Professor Sutton a familiar figure (and voice) to anyone following the progress of the pandemic. St Andrews Beach-based artist Vicki Sullivan was casting around for a subject to paint for this year’s Archibald Prize when a friend suggested Prof Sutton. “I mentioned that I would like to paint somebody scientific as the requirements for the Archibald subject is that it be somebody prominent in the arts, law, politics or science and my friend suggested asking Brett Sutton,” Sullivan said last week in the midst of the state’s sixth lockdown. “I thought about it and realised I had nothing to lose by asking. Nothing ventured nothing gained. So, I fired off an email asking if he would consider allowing me to paint him.” She freely admits to having “shamelessly name-dropped” by mentioning Buruli ulcer expert Associate Professor Daniel O’Brien. To Sullivan’s delight Prof Sutton

agreed, with the proviso “paint me in a good light … pardon the pun”, and came to her studio in January, at a time when there had been no COVID cases recorded in the community for some weeks. At the end of that day’s sitting, he would have been jolted by reports of a case apparently arriving from Sydney.“He was taking a well-earned vacation and I was able to do a pencil sketch of him and also took lots of reference photos to work from,” Sullivan said. “Later, when the painting was almost finished, Brett and his family came to see it and gave it the seal of approval, which was great.” Sullivan said she knew several people overseas who had died from COVID and was “very grateful” to Prof Sutton “for keeping us safe during the pandemic”. “I was an early supporter of adequate quarantine facilities. Unfortunately, the federal government did not act until far too late on quarantine and so we have had to endure many lockdowns,” Sullivan said. “If we had facilities like [the Northern Territory’s] Howard Springs in each state, lockdowns could have been avoided. “While nobody likes lockdown, I understand that without adequate quarantine and vaccine supplies, lockdown is all we can do to avoid situations like what has happened in so many countries, including the US and the UK and is now, sadly, happening in Sydney.” Sullivan believes her portrait of Prof Sutton, Safe Hands, will eventually be regarded as an “historical piece”.

“Throughout the ages, portrait painting has been one way to document history, and I feel that will happen to this painting in time. “One day, when this virus is under control, people will be able to look back and see who was dealing with managing the settings to limit its spread and save as many lives as possible.” Unfortunately, the Archibald’s judges did not see Safe Hands in the same light. “I have entered the Archibald 11 times and am still hoping to be selected to hang on the wall one day,” the optimistic and not easily discouraged Sullivan said. “Being a realist painter probably makes it a little harder to be selected here in Australia, as realism is not quite as valued here as it is in Europe and America where there are many opportunities for figurative realist painters.” Sullivan’s works have been shown four times in the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona and the Art Renewal Centre Salon exhibition at Sotheby’s in New York. Sullivan is a “full time as a portrait artist” with recent works including Swinburne University chancellor Graham Goldsmith and vice-chancellor Linda Kristjanson, Victoria University’s vice-chancellor Peter Dawkins and Judge Alan Smith from Riverhead in New York, which will hang in the Riverhead court. Undeterred with its rejection by the Archibald, Sullivan has entered Safe Hands, her portrait of Brett Sutton, in the Doug Moran Portrait prize.

VICKI Sullivan with her portrait, Safe Hands, of Victoria’s chief medical officer Brett Sutton and, inset, a separate “head study”. Pictures: Supplied

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Spotlight ready to shine after darkest hour Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au MUSICIANS and other performers who have done it tough over the past 18 months can see a spotlight at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel with plans for an artist’s hub and performance space at Main Ridge. The driving force behind the project is Mornington Peninsula Music Network president Heidi Luckhurst, who also leads the Frankston Music Community Network. “I feel as though it is my obligation to spread the voices and concerns of what I hear directly and pass it on,” she told The News last week. “Musicians, entertainers and venues are struggling. Hospitality is struggling. I’m sure the whole world is. I am doing my best to provide what support I can.” Ms Luckhurst has launched a Pozible campaign to raise $26,000 towards The Shed Theatre, a 100-seat artists’ hub and performance space at The Pig & Whistle, Main Ridge. The venue has been hard hit by continuing lockdowns for 200 days and counting. “They have put a massive financial dent into funds allocated to the future of our hospitality business and the launch of The Shed Theatre and Arts Hub,” she said, adding that any financial support “would guarantee this most-needed space”. Ms Luckhurst said her Facebook group of 80 or so out-of-work musicians communicated daily. “It has become apparent that we need to start the recovery of our entertainment

industry now,” she said. With the pandemic closing the doors of two of the peninsula’s original live music venues: Soundbar and Moonah Arts collective, The Shed was “hanging by a thread to keep its doors open”. “We have an amazing small rustic theatre willing to provide a space for artists and entertainers to perform, learn, create, collaborate supporting their wellbeing, lifetime of artistic development and social life,” Ms Luckhurst said. “As soon as lockdown ends we hope to open the doors, offering opportunities to our creative artists.” Ms Luckhurst said she had spent seven years volunteering and supporting the arts on the peninsula and had “never felt desperation like I’m experiencing now”. “I’m drawing on everyone’s heartache and fearful energy as they watch their hard work and inspiration dwindle away,” she said. The three projects most needed at The Shed include a PA system ($17,500); stage lighting ($5000) and live stream equipment ($3500). The link to the Shed Theatre project is: pozible.com/project/the-shed-2 Other links to the project can be found at mpmusic.com.au and thepigandwhistle.com.au

Creative goal: Heidi Luckhurst, pictured with musician Charlie Owen, has launched an online campaign to raise $26,000 towards a 100-seat artists’ hub at Main Ridge. Picture: Yanni

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Shire in bid to buy chapel land By Joseph Misuraca MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council wants to buy a small section of private land in Shoreham that was originally part of the outdoor Cyril Young Memorial Chapel. The land at 39 Marine Parade was erroneously included in the private block when subdivided in the 1960s, according to Cr David Gill. “Nobody, I believe, went and looked and saw what was there,” he said. If the land sale negotiations are successful, a heritage overlay will be adopted to protect the reserve on which the chapel lies. “I can’t reveal sums [needed to buy the land] because that’s in negotiation,” Cr Gill said. “But the council has determined they want to acquire some of the property where the owner has a section of the outdoor chapel in Shoreham that is really important historically.”

Meanwhile, the shire allocated $10,000 in May to maintain and restore the chapel. In 2020, the Shoreham Bush Chapel committee appealed for Moorooduc stone to use in the restoration works. “We were getting concerned because the stonework in the pulpit area, and the platform … we can see it sort of crumbling a little more all the time,” committee member [name required] said. [He or she] said the front wooden benches in the chapel would be restored first. The committee wants the chapel to be “a place of quiet reflection”. Cr Gill hopes the restoration will be complete by the end of 2022 or early 2023. “It shouldn’t look pristine or brand new – that to me would take away something. Even as it is now, it has a ghostly, eerie effect.,” he said.

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Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021

PAGE 7


NEWS DESK

Deadly pet poison ‘may reappear’ Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au AGRICULTURE Victoria is warning that more cases of pet-food poisoning – which killed two dogs at a Mornington Peninsula pet hospital in the past month – may reappear in coming weeks. The two dogs were among six taken by distressed owners to the Peninsula Vet Emergency Hospital with lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting and jaundice consistent with liver disease. The cases occurred from mid-July to mid-August. Testing found the toxin indospicine in the blood and liver of the sick dogs and in pet meat samples. The naturally occurring contaminant is found in the indigofera plant from the Northern Territory. Dogs are especially sensitive to its toxic effects in meat from livestock that grazed the plant. Horses grazing where the plant grows are considered the most likely source. While there have been no more recent cases reported to the vet hospital, Agriculture Victoria and PrimeSafe – the authority responsible for regulating meat, poultry, seafood and pet food in Victoria – warn that more cases of indospicine poisoning may appear “in coming weeks”. Dr Wey Yen Loh, who heads the pet hospital’s emergency and critical care department, in Mornington-Tyabb Road, said of the six dogs treated “two progressed to develop severe liver failure and had to be euthanised. Four other dogs recovered after developing mild disease”. Agriculture Victoria said about 60 dogs had been affected across Victoria, with 21 dying. Cases were rife on the Mornington Peninsula,

Bairnsdale, Traralgon, and in the eastern suburbs. Dr Loh said the authorities had confirmed pet meat from the Maffra District Knackery was contaminated with indospicine between 31 May-3 July. It has been found to affect dogs “more significantly, whereas livestock that have grazed on these plants will end up storing the toxin within the muscles. Indospicine is not known to be toxic to humans.” Affected products sold at Backmans Greyhound Supplies, Seaford, had been recalled. The outlet was contacted for comment but referred The News back to the Maffra knackery. Dr Loh said contaminants may be present in pet supply products across Victoria. “We recommend anyone with raw pet meat sourced in the above dates dispose of it immediately to reduce the risk of exposure.” PrimeSafe and Agriculture Victoria have closed their investigation but warn the toxin may still be in products in pet owners’ freezers and that neither cooking nor freezing will destroy it. All pet meat, including beef and kangaroo, should be considered at risk of contamination due to the blending of pet meats during processing, the department said in a statement. “Indospicine can build up slowly when affected meat is consumed regularly by dogs. It can then reach levels sufficient to cause toxicity, so, if your dog has been fed pet meat matching the description, and they have not become unwell, do not assume your pet meat is safe. “Contact your supplier to confirm the source of your pet meat.”

Chasing change for suicide prevention and mental health awareness THE community is again being invited to participate in the annual World Suicide Prevention Day event that is being hosted by the local Suicide Prevention Network Chasing Change on 10 September. The day aims to raise mental health awareness as well as acknowledge those that have been lost to suicide. This year’s theme, Creating Hope Through Action, is a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and that the actions of individuals, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to someone who is struggling. Preventing suicide is often possible and the community is a key player in its prevention. Chasing Change volunteer, Rebecca Tyler, said, “our community can make a difference to someone in their darkest moments - as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour”. “We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide. “This year, Chasing Change would like to invite the community to participate in the annual Walk for Suicide Prevention in their own time and to tie a ribbon on the chain link fence along

the Esplanade at Mornington Park as a sign of their commitment to suicide prevention and recognition of those that have been lost to suicide. “If you would like to register to take part in the walk, Chasing Change will send out a free pack which will include information on local support services, a coffee voucher, Chasing Change merchandise and a ribbon to tie to commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day. “Chasing Change will be running an online campaign during the week leading up to 10 September where personal stories, messages of hope and resources will be shared across social media channels.” To register for this event and to learn more about Chasing Change visit: facebook.com/chasingchangespn OR register through this link: https://bit.ly/3mluwGsn If you, or someone you care about, is in crisis and you think immediate action is needed, call 000, contact your doctor or mental health crisis service, or go to your local hospital emergency department. For access to crisis support and suicide prevention services, call Lifeline on 13 11 44.

COUGH OR COVID COUGH? The only way to be sure is with a test at the first sign of any symptom.

For testing locations, visit CORONAVIRUS.vic.gov.au Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne

PAGE 8

Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021


Shire knocks back ‘spare’ land use Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au URBAN areas of the Mornington Peninsula are dotted with nature strips and small plots of public land. However, efforts to use some of this land for recreation, growing vegetables or even flowers, can turn into a bureaucratic minefield. Efforts last month to persuade Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors to back a group of Balnarring residents, the Elisabeth Park Project Group, to turn a slice of public land into a “community space” fell on deaf ears. No councillor spoke against the notice of motion proposed by Cr David Gill to help the residents near Elisabeth Street but, when it came to the vote, six of the 11 councillors voted against, meaning that Cr Gill’s suggestion was rejected. Because no one indicated their opposition, Cr Gill was not called on to further explain what the residents wanted. Cr Gill told The News that it was “very disheartening … to have a negative reaction on such a positive initiative”. Allowing residents to use the land would create “a safe, low-cost outdoor setting that could be a template for many similar wasted and disused spaces around the shire”. “It is only about 25 metres wide and 70 metres long, ideal for a neighbourhood community space,” Cr Gill said. Late last year Balnarring resident Greg Merlo was threatened with a

In a letter to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council the members of Elisabeth Park Project Group said they had “got together to brainstorm how to improve the little easement/park that connects Balnarring Beach Road with Bruce street”. The neighbours drew a plan and sought council support for the “minimal low key improvements. They offered to organise to organise working bees and asked, “how we can make this little dream become reality?” $2400 fine for growing vegetables (which he shared with neighbours) on a walkway between two properties in Wattle Street (“Red tape crushes a ‘community garden’” The News 18/8/21). The latest piece of land in question in Elisabeth Street, Balnarring is a former road reserve and a pipeline easement for underground sewerage, water and overhead electricity. Officially, its “development as a park is not identified in the shire’s play space strategy”. Adding strength to this assertion, a comment placed on the 27 August

council meeting agenda by recreation and open space coordinator Jo-Anne Elvish, listed a few obstacles to the residents being able to develop their own park. Included on the list was that the two house block-sized land was too small to be categorised as a park (again officially, it is a “minor level undeveloped area”) and, on the legal side of things, the Elisabeth Park Project Group would need to be incorporated and insured to receive any financial support from council. However, Ms Elvish was not entire-

ly against the land being formalised as a “koala corridor” with planting and a formal footpath and suggested an alternative would be for the shire’s natural resources team follow this path “to confirm what can be achieved in the space”. But it seems none of the six councillors who voted against Cr Gill’s motion liked the sound of this alternative. It is unknown if they read Ms Elvish’s suggestion. If they had, none of them mentioned it publicly at the meeting. Cr Gill is trying again this week (24 August council meeting), with

another motion that, if adopted, would broaden the shire’s approach to the public use of small pockets of land. He wants the council to “promote discussion and listen to input from our community, on views regarding roadside gardens (nature strips) in residential areas”. “The intention is to learn more about the issues and concerns and take guidance on community attitudes to improving our streetscapes and ensuring environmentally friendly outcomes for people living and working on the peninsula,” he said.

Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021

PAGE 9


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

‘Correcting the record’ over federal Pfizer negotiations Both Pfizer, the Australian government and Department of Health have previously rejected these unsubstantiated, unsourced claims about negotiations with Pfizer, including from the articles mentioned (“Mixed messages” Letters 17/8/21). They are false and I am surprised that an already discredited claim was published. The quote that I said we rejected the offer is fabricated. No such offer was made. No such quote has been made. The Australian government entered into an advanced purchase agreement (APA) with Pfizer for the purchase of their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, while ensuring safe and effective vaccines for Australians based on the medical advice from SITAG and the maximum doses available. In addition, Pfizer themselves stated to the Senate committee that “the supply of vaccine in Australia was developed following consultation with the Australian government and each agreement was based on the availability of doses and earliest schedule that could be provided at that time”. The government has followed the advice of SITAG at all times on both the selection and quantity of vaccines. Any assertion to the contrary is incorrect. With over 15.7 million vaccine doses administered at time of writing, our rollout continues to gather pace and I thank each and every Australian who has come forward to be vaccinated. Greg Hunt, MP for Flinders, Minister for Health and Aged Care, Somerville

Vaccine truth Thank you for Cameron McCullough’s excellent article on vaccines and COVID (“Seek the truth about vaccines from doctors, not ‘know-it-alls’” The News 17/8/21). It’s refreshing in this time of misinformation and those seeking “affirmation not information” to get someone advising people to speak to the experts, not your barista. This piece came at a good time for me. It’s been a hard week as it leads up to the one-year anniversary of the death of my mother in law from COVID-19. Every day I have to listen to the “opinions” of people fed misinformation about COVID-19 and the media who are not supporting the government health directions and undermining our leaders. It’s frustrating, heartbreaking and makes this time so much harder when you understand how much we have to lose. Thanks for continuing so show responsible journalism when it’s not always what people want but because it’s the right thing to do and, ultimately, will save lives. I know you will get the full force of the antivaccine movement unleashed on you because of this story, but I just wanted to say there are those of us who have seen what left unchecked this virus can do, and we thank you for doing the right thing. Take care and stay safe. Sharon O’Hehir, Dromana

Lockdown idiocy It appears the lockdown and the idiocy of some of the population is getting to you as it is with me (“Seek the truth about vaccines from doctors, not ‘know-it-alls’” The News 17/8/21). I just find the reaction of these (so-called) rational younger people are mind boggling. I guess it is because they have never been through anything dangerous (like polio, smallpox, tetanus or a big financial crisis) in their lifetime. I do hold hope for the future but do question the thinking processes of these younger (against me) people, they do need to stop believing all this crap being fed to them on social media. Keep up the good work. Barry Kirkpatrick, Mount Martha

Uncharitable changes [Flinders MP] Greg Hunt and his colleagues in the LNP are at it again by threatening the charitable status of public groups (“AGL allies at odds over charity laws” The News 17/8/21). It is hard enough for small local groups get-

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Southern Peninsula News

ting enough resources together to fight projects and proposals that clearly are against public or environmental interest without big government interference. I’m sure trusts like [Hillview Quarry owner] the Ross trust will be untouched. Hands off community not-for-profit organisations. Rupert Steiner, Balnarring Beach

Centrelink ‘win’ Flinders MP [and Health and Aged Care Minister] Greg Hunt has proudly announced on Facebook that the Centrelink office in Mornington will not be closed by his government. Wow, not doing something is now counted as some kind of achievement. I guess if you were the minister responsible for the vaccine rollout stuff up you would probably view sweeping your driveway as a noteworthy achievement. Ross Hudson, Mount Martha

Frightening future When observing the political grandstanding, egos and mistakes of many politicians in dealing with COVID-19, I shudder at the frightening prospect of how they will deal with climate change and species extinction that are already here. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have now been joined by three more carrying fire, floods and rising sea levels. All are riding straight at us but, unfortunately, it seems business as usual is the call for most Australian politicians. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns of seven tipping points related to potential areas of abrupt change. One I find particularly frightening is change to the Atlantic Ocean’s circulation, the Gulf Stream. There are huge climatic differences between similar latitudes in North America and northern Europe and it is quite feasible that a further slowdown or even a stop to the Gulf Stream will have disastrous results. It could render parts of northern Europe uninhabitable, at least for the present population. Where are they going to move to? My guess would be Australia, with or without our permission. We need clear vision and tight strategy to halt and, I hope, reverse the seemingly inevitable through: Politicians pursuing policies of true sustainability; protection of old growth forests; protection and enhancement of biodiversity; total commitment to renewable energy; and, economic support for third world countries to achieve these goals as well; Henry Kelsall, The Sustainable Future Association, Frankston

Numbers count There is a lot of local interest in matters published every week by The News and some also of state and federal proportions. There have been items promoting the creation of a new party to oppose [Flinders MP] Greg Hunt at the next election, and I thoroughly endorse those motives. However, the creation of a new party able to contest a federal election is now fraught with greater difficulty than when Pauline Hanson decided to take on the establishment. Little publicity has been given to Electoral Legislation Amendment (Party Registration Integrity) Bill 2021 introduced by the Assistant Minister for Electoral Matters on 12 August. This bill is an obvious collusion between the Liberal, National and Labor parties to kill off small emerging parties which are attracting growing support simply as an alternative to the failed major parties. This bill raises the minimum number of members for a viable party to exist and remain registered from 500 to 1500. A list of members must be provided within 90 days and failure to comply and remain compliant results in immediate deregistration. Groups with ambitions to form a new party or parties should be aware of these proposed changes and proceed on the basis that they will be passed. To marshal a group of 1500 people into a new party in an electorate the size of Flinders is a tall

25 August 2021

No rest for the whales I was among the fortunate on-lookers at Safety Beach on Wednesday 21 July when two adult southern right whales spent rested in the shallows close to the shore opposite the yacht club. Because of the lockdown there were few boats around while the whales enjoyed a peaceful time in this sheltered area. Suddenly, with a throbbing beat, a helicopter appeared and hovered overhead to get some shots for the nightly television news.

While it is important that news of such interesting animal encounters gets publicity, it seems a bit unnecessary to fly around so close, every time a whale shows up in Port Phillip. Remembering that southern right whales are among the most endangered species of baleen whale and one of the largest animals to ever have lived on Earth, some great shots could have been taken from a higher altitude, allowing these rare visitors a little peace before continuing their epic migration to Antarctica. Bill Boyle, Dromana

order and groups planning to create new parties should get together ASAP and find common ground to attract the numbers and the funds to launch an organisation of that size. One should not forget the events that destroyed One Nation by internal dissent. On the other hand, there may well be some icing on this cake if it thwarts the formation of small “independent” parties that are little more than a front for one of the majors to give support to crucial legislation. Barry James Rumpf, McCrae

Trees axed

Help Afghans

Flag rules followed

In the light of the reported chaos and seeming rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, Australia should follow countries such as Canada and the UK and increase our humanitarian intake of Afghan refugees and offer extra places to people living in extreme danger. Three thousand people from our current planned intake is not enough. That number is part of our current annual humanitarian intake of 13,750. Australia has in the past generously offered a safe haven to those in danger over and above our annual intake of refugees. Afghan people already in Australia, many on temporary protection visas, have not been eligible to make applications for their families – often their wife and children - to come to Australia. Their applications should now be accepted by the Home Affairs Department as a matter of priority. It is time to immediately provide for more family reunions. Family members back in Afghanistan now face heightened danger. Refugees on temporary protection visas should be granted permanent protection visas after years of the uncertainty. Their return to Afghanistan is no longer an option. The reason for their fleeing from their homeland over the years is clear as our role in Afghanistan for the last 20 years attests. In this emergency I along with many Australians expect the federal government to act responsibly and with compassion for Afghans in Australia, as well as the continuing rescue of those supporters of our forces fleeing from Afghanistan. Ann Renkin, Shoreham

Trail blazers We too would like to endorse the remarks regarding the resurfacing of the Bay Trail from Morris Street, Tootgarook to Shirlow Avenue, Rye (“Gold standard” Letters 17/8/21). We would like to inform the users of the Bay Trail that our past councillor, Hugh Fraser, and the relevant employees of Mornington Peninsula Shire Council were responsible for bringing forward, by five years, the upgrading of this section of the trail. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Fraser for his efforts in fast tracking the upgrade along with all his fine work for the community while serving as our councillor. Mary and Lester Walkenhorst, Tootgarook

I’m distressed by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s chainsaw gang that is destroying trees around Mornington. The team has cut to the ground coastal tea trees and other species in the Whitby and Herbert Street area without regard for the environment. I hope that no further destruction is carried out within Mornington. Gary Down, Mornington

I was alarmed to read an allegation that flag protocols are not being properly observed on the flag pole located in Sorrento (“All a flutter over flag protocol” Letters 18/8/21). Many people are confused about the proper way to fly a national flag and much of this misunderstanding stems from the role yardarms and gaffs play in proper placement. Flagpoles without a gaff require the national flag to be flown from the masthead, with the state flag located on the left and the house flag on the right. However, positions change when a flagpole is fitted with a gaff. With a gaff, flagpoles must always position the Australian flag on the gaff (which is the position of honour). This harks back to the sailing days when galleons at war positioned their national flag over the transom on a gaff to safely protect it against falling spars. For anyone still doubting the correct protocols I suggest they consult the Australian National Flag Association website: anfa-national.org.au The Sorrento gaff rigged flagpole conforms accurately to Australian flag protocols. I am sorry my devotion to this role- has unwittingly- been besmirched. Rob Tucker, Sorrento

Powered off The feed-in tariff for [power from] solar has been reduced again this time by 11 per cent. Adding insult to injury, it has also been decided that electric companies can charge solar owners when they feed into the grid. Why? Simply put, the energy companies have not reinvested into the grid. Part of their charge to us is to cover upgrades and maintenance. We know from their lack of maintenance contribution to the bushfires that does not happen. So why would anyone purchase a solar system today, especially with the prohibitive cost of storage batteries to thwart this? How will this ideologically-motivated, neoliberal pseudo-Christian extremist government be able to take credit for clean energy even though it continues to ignore the problem. Australia has one of the highest uptakes of rooftop solar in the world, but maybe not for much longer. In summary: God save us from the shortsighted politicisation of intelligence. Joe Lenzo, Safety Beach


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SOUTHERN PENINSULA NEWS

Page 4


100 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK...

‘The Standard’ takes an election stand Compiled by Cameron McCullough THE election to fill the seat so long occupied by Mr Downward is exciting an extraordinary amount of interest. The reason is on the surface. Mr Downward, in allying himself with the Labor Party to defeat the Government, lost the support of a great body of electors. Of those electors some were Nationalists, some were supporters of the Country Party, most were men and women with no respect for the wirepullers, paid organisers and touts of any party organisation. All were, however, agreed on a few simple points. They want a Government which will develop the resources of the State as a whole and of this district in particular, on sound lines, squandering no money, pandering to no class. They want, further, to choose their own parliamentary representative, and to give him his mandate. That being so, they were righteously indignant when they found that a coterie in Melbourne had selected Mr W. S. Cook, not as the candidate of the clique, but as the candidate for whom the people of Frankston, Somerville, Hastings, Wonthaggi and of other parts of the electorate were to vote. For this attempt to drive us like a flock of sheep there is absolutely no justification. It is a piece of gratuitous impertinence, a piece of impertinence resented by all thoughtful men and women from end to end of the electorate. Of Mr Cook there is no unkind word to be said. He is a cultured,

upright citizen; he is not old, but he has passed the age at which a man should enter on a parliamentary apprenticeship. But even were he an experienced parliamentarian in the very prime of life, the electors would say “No”, when a little group of anonymous wirepullers in a Melbourne office dare to foist him on a constituency they had not so much as condescended to consult. As the “Age” has pointed out, it is the meek acceptance of this offensive dictation of cliques, which has brought our political life to its present sorry level. Happily, however, we are still free. An obscure coterie can lay the snare full in our sight, but we need not walk into it. Mr Sambell, aware though he is that party organisations are powerful, has courage to assert his own independence; to say that he will make his appeal, not to a group of unknown despots in Melbourne, but to the great body of electors in the constituency. The sole question is, whether we, as electors, are going to return the man who asks for our votes, the man whom we called on to fight the battle, or are we going to desert him, and return one for whom Melbourne orders us to vote. Mr Sambell is in the prime of life; he knows the roads and the waters, the requirements of the district, as only one who has been actively engaged in local matters can know them. He lives in the part of the electorate where he can be most readily reached

by the majority of the electors, whether they travel from Stony Point or from Moorooduc. The seat has been held by a Mornington man for very many years, and no exception has been taken to Mr Downward on that ground; but the seat must not be regarded as belonging to Mornington. The people of the electorate as a whole want things done. Mr Sambell is an energetic man, an engineer, who will speak with authority on local requirements on the matters which affect our comfort and our incomes. As to the good government of the State, there isn’t a brass farthing to choose between Cook and Sambell; that being clear, it would be simple madness to choose a lawyer who is entitled to enjoy ease with dignity, when we are offered the services of an engineer who is just entering on his best years as regards intellectual life and vigor. *** A SMOKE social was held at Mr Macafee’s residence on Tuesday evening, the occasion being a send off to Constable Dyball, who has been stationed here for the past three years and has now been removed to Kiewa to take charge of that station. The chair was occupied by Mr P. Wheeler, who spoke eulogistically of the guest of the evening, both as a private citizen and as a constable. Other speakers followed, and thoroughly endorsed the remarks of the chairman. During the evening a presentation was made of a handsome travelling

rug and suitcase, on behalf of a few friends, and a smoker’s outfit from the Gazeka and Humming Birds. Constable Dyball feelingly responded and thanked them for their expressions of regard and useful gifts. Various other toasts were proposed and responded to, a pleasant evening terminating with Auld Lang Syne and God Save the King. *** THE friends of Mr Edward Sage will regret to hear that he is still very seriously ill, his medical adviser holding out no hope of his recovery. *** LIEUT H. V. Mays, who, at the last elections, acted as campaign secretary to the Hon. A. Downward in the Mornington Electorate, has been selected to oppose the Mayor of Carrum (Mr Frank Groves) for the Dandenong seat in the Country Party’s interests. *** CR David White, of Mordialloc, has been elected President of the Victorian Protestant Federation in succession to the Rev. G. A. Judkins, who recently visited Frankston. *** MR John Robertson, the well known Carrum estate agent, was at one time foremost in Scottish concert circles throughout New South Wales and Victoria. It was he who had most to do with the formation of the old Caledonian Society at Richmond. *** MR W. S. Cook, the Nationalist candidate for the Mornington electorate, will speak at Frankston tonight.

A comprehensive report will be published in “The Standard” next issue. *** MR and Mrs R. Sprigg, of Sth Yarra, were amongst the visitors to Frankston on Sunday last. *** MRS Mary Anne Ward, wife of Mr Ernest S. Ward, late of Hastings, died at Rippon Lea on Sunday last at the age of 44 years. *** THE Government statistics state that there has been a decreased output of potatoes in the Mornington county for the past season – 14,241 acres giving 33,473 tons as against 46,125 tons from 13,227 acres the year before. There was 3,985 tons of onions and 42,077 bushels of maize produced last season in this county. *** THERE is a shortage of vegetables in the Melbourne market. The Dandenong and Carrum supplies are nearly exhausted, and supplies from Westernport, Dalmore and Somerville are not expected before Xmas. Carrum was once an extensive vegetable gardening district, and one of the chief sources of supply for Melbourne, but the district is being rapidly populated by dairy farmers. *** THE Commercial Travellers’ Association presented Mr. J. B. Jolly, of Frankston, with a costly piece of silver-plate on Saturday last. *** From the pages of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 19 August 1921

Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021

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ACROSS 1. Not as old 4. Russian liquor 7. Of the heart 8. Delight 9. Sewing yarn 12. Edge of highway 15. Magnificence 17. Mariner

18. VCR, ... cassette recorder 21. Cellophane cover 22. Ore veins 23. Begged

DOWN 1. Sailing 2. Tidier 3. Horse restraint 4. Other way, ... versa 5. Vibrant 6. Wheel spindle 10. Removed fluid from 11. Whiskers

13. Originated 14. Touched with hand 16. Photographer’s tool 18. Calf meat 19. Has 20. Lantern

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THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE... AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

Postcards from the Fridge: How I Lost The Plot Before Finding It By Stuart McCullough THIS was the week. The week I could no longer ignore the incontrovertible and mounting evidence that I had well and truly lost the plot. There will be some who assert (somewhat unfairly) that I never had a tight grip on it to begin with, but the fact is that weeks of lockdown have finally loosened whatever grip I had and the plot has drifted off like a helium balloon. Goodness knows where that thing will end up. It happened on Sunday. I finished my run and wandered over to the local coffee shop, mask now firmly in place. As I always do, I ordered a small skinny flat white with one. I waited patiently as the barista weaved her particular magic until my name was called and I stepped forward to collect my caffeinated prize. It was then I made the mistake that I’d successfully avoided making the entire pandemic - I raised my take away coffee to my lips and attempted to drink it through the mask. Skinny flat white immediately cascaded down my face and splashed across my chest. Others turned their faces away in abject disgust as coffee began to land in big, dark drops on the footpath. Even the barista looked horrified. I did what any reasonable person would do under the circumstances – I continued trying to suck flat white through my mask. For something thin enough to allow you to breathe, a mask is surprisingly resistant to liquid. Soon, what had been droplets turned into a veritable waterfall as coffee tumbled down my front before splashing across the footpath. I can’t have been the first. Surely others have experienced the ‘forgot I was wearing a mask and attempted to drink a coffee’ syndrome? There are many different types of mask. I’ve stuck with orthodoxy and have been wearing surgical masks. It makes me feel as though I fit in as well as suggesting I’m more qualified than I actually am. However, a light blue surgical mask really highlights coffee stains around the mouth region. Essentially, it ruins the mask forever. It also makes you easy to spot – passersby are left in no doubt as to what’s

PAGE 16

Southern Peninsula News

Reassembled bones from the backyard

happened. Possibly as a result of feeling humiliated, possibly because I was under-caffeinated, I over-reacted by deciding to spend the day gardening. If, as I suspected, I had lost the plot; there was some chance I might find it buried somewhere in the back yard. Those who consider gardening part of their routine probably can’t appreciate how bizarre it is for me to be in the garden. Besides mowing, we’ve mostly left each other alone. A respectful distance if you will. But here was I, violating the very neutrality that had kept us all safe up to now.

25 August 2021

I’ve not lived at this address for long. To that extent, this particular garden is a mystery to me. There are some raised garden beds completely overrun with grass and weeds, which seemed like a logical place to start. Using the wonder-mattock I bought just before lockdown, I ripped up the garden beds and fished out as much of the grass as I could. It was then that I started to discover more surprising artifacts. In an ideal world, this would be the part of the story where I told you about the gold doubloons, diamonds and other treasures I discovered. But if

the past eighteen months has taught us anything, it’s that an ideal world doesn’t exist. Instead, I found a menagerie of random household items. A foam ball, a toy car, tinsel (leading me to speculate that previous occupants may have grown their own Christmas tree, decorating it ‘in situ’ rather than dragging it into the living room) and, somewhat alarmingly, bones. The more I dug, the more bones I discovered. There were moments when I thought I’d soon be calling in Forensics before it became obvious that these were animal bones. In lockdown, you’re supposed to start new hobbies, and for an instant I considered trying to re-construct the skeleton into a museum display before deciding that skeletal modeling was not a skill I wanted to take into the post-pandemic world. Then it struck me. With all the force of a skinny flat white with one that you’ve inadvertently attempted to drink while still wearing a facemask. These were, most likely, the remains of a cat. In fact, these weren’t raised garden beds at all, but a shrine to a revered family feline that I had inadvertently managed to desecrate. Other cats would be out for revenge. I would have to go into hiding – which is hard to do when you’re already in lockdown. I’m not sure how, precisely, but the catkingdom will exact its revenge. I now live in fear that there’ll be a knock on the door and I’ll open it to find Mr. Mistoffelees standing on the porch before punching me in the nose and storming off. In the middle of the week, there was a knock. Naturally, I was nervous. But rather than finding an angry Mr. Mistoffelees bent on wreaking vengeance waiting for me, I found a box. In that box I found food. Coffee, milk, donuts, cheese and a pizza. Sent by a family member for no reason at all other than to make me feel better. I rummaged around the bottom of the box before pulling it out. And there it was – the plot. Just when I needed it most. Thanks. stuart@stuartmccullough.com


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25 August 2021

PAGE 17


SOUTHERN PENINSULA NEWS

scoreboard

Orritt and the Smashing Pumpkins SOCCER

Langy lad: Langwarrin’s Sam Orritt in action against Moreland Zebras at Lawton Park earlier this season. Picture: Darryl Kennedy

By Craig MacKenzie HE’S played football in more countries than perhaps any other player on the peninsula and he has a close connection with the Smashing Pumpkins. His career has seen him parade his skills on pitches in England, Scotland, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia and he’s spent much of 2021 showing what he’s capable off with a team that calls Lawton Park home. Life for Sammy Orritt started in Doncaster in Yorkshire 28 years ago. Life for Orritt the footballer started in California at the age of three and the Smashing Pumpkins introduced him to the game and provided the springboard for what was to follow. His father was in the quarrying and mining industry and the Orritts moved to the US when he was only six months old. “Believe it or not my first team was called the Smashing Pumpkins and they ran a program for three- and four-year-olds,” he said. When Orritt was “five or six” the family returned to England and he played with local club Retford United up until under-11 level when he trialled with Nottingham Forest “for 12 to 18 weeks”. Orritt returned to Retford but shortly after moved to Epworth Colts “to play with lads I knew from school”. He played with Epworth for two seasons before signing with Rotherham United in 2007 and playing in the under-15s. He had two seasons there but suffered a knee ligament injury that took almost a year to recover from and when he was released he joined Lincoln United. During his time there he scored in the FA Youth Cup but in 2011 the opportunity came to take up a college scholarship in the US. The Ziada brothers, Keegan and Bryce, well known to local soccer fans here through their connections to Mornington and Berwick City, were to play a part in Orritt’s decision to join South Carolina’s Limestone University. “Initially I was going to go to Michigan but they signed Keegan from Limestone so I ended up going there and playing with Bryce,” Orritt

said. It was a great move. “I probably had the best four years of my (football) life to be honest. “The lifestyle suited me and I made some really good mates that I’m still in touch with. “It was like being in a pro environment but you were getting your (academic) education at the same time. “I majored in PE and sports management with a minor in business in the end and that’s helped me later on. “I work for a heating business as their internal sales manager.” Orritt’s time in the US included two summer seasons playing with Canadian club Toronto Lynx in the Premier Development League.

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BECOME A CRICKET UMPIRE IT’S YOUR CALL! PAGE 18

Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021

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“You’re not allowed to be paid to play but your accommodation is taken care of and they give you food vouchers and vouchers for local restaurants rather than pay you directly.” While playing with Limestone Orritt won AllAmerican honours in 2013 and 2014 and was named conference attacking player of the year in 2014. In 2015 he returned to England and contacted a number of clubs. Scottish side Kilmarnock notified Fife-based Cowdenbeath who offered him a trial. “I did well and had a couple of pre-season games – one against Hearts – before they signed me. “I was there for about six months and in all honesty I didn’t enjoy it there.” Orritt was living in York and making the roundtrip to Scotland but the closure of the Forth Bridge due to emergency repairs in December 2015 was the final straw. “I’d just had enough and I ended up signing with Bishop Auckland.” The irony of that move wasn’t apparent until March 2017 when he arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, to take up a deal with Coastal Spirit thanks to a former teammate at Toronto Lynx who was then playing with Canterbury United, another Christchurch-based outfit. His stint there was short-lived though. He took advantage of a suspension early in his time with Coastal Spirit to visit his uncle in Melbourne in May that year. That was when family friend Chris Marshall, long-serving assistant to current Oakleigh Cannons coach Chris Taylor, arranged for Orritt to go down to Mornington. “I loved it over here.” Shortly after Orritt signed with the Dallas Brooks club and his impact was immediate. “I think I scored 11 goals in 10 games. “I’ve been robbing a living off that ever since,” he said with a laugh.

“We had a good side and we had a tight group of lads who looked after me.” Orritt had another two seasons with Mornington but eventually felt impelled to move. “I’m an ambitious player and I wanted to play at the highest level I could. “No disrespect to State League but I didn’t want to be stuck there for another year and get in a rut.” Orritt spoke to Mornington head coach Adam Jamieson who understood the player’s NPL ambition. Orritt emailed a few clubs to find out if they were interested and this led to his switch to Langwarrin but things didn’t go well in his initial preseason there. “I’d broken my collarbone in my last year at Mornington and I tried to recover from that without surgery. “Just before Christmas (2019) Langy played Melbourne Victory in a pre-season game and I took a bit of a weird fall and did it again. “I didn’t want it to keep happening so I decided to bite the bullet and have surgery. “I was on track to be ready for the start of last season before COVID hit which actually allowed me to fully recover and to get fit again. “Last year being called off wasn’t so bad for me because I had a bit of fire in the belly and wanted to give myself the best possible chance of coming back and breaking into a new team. “This year with the on-off it’s been two weeks here then two weeks there and you can kind of keep yourself motivated but this latest lockdown has really knocked the wind out me. “I think it’s because it’s so late in the year and it’s been harder to keep motivated and to keep going.” Orritt has had to adjust to playing in the NPL and what is required from him at Langy is different to what he has been used to. “I wouldn’t say it’s a bit slower than State League but lads want to play football a bit more where State League is more hell for leather. “With me being a high intensity player I’ve got to get into the routine where you’ve got to let people have the ball sometimes rather than trying to win it back as soon as you can which is what it was like with teams I’d played for previously. “Scott (Miller) has been really good. “He talks you through things and how he wants you to play and when you’ve got someone who does that and gives you individual instructions it makes it a lot easier.” We mightn’t see Orritt in action again in 2021 as ongoing COVID restrictions look likely to scupper the season. His deal with Langy is for this year but he’s keen to stay and is positive about the club’s short-term prospects. “If Scotty and the club want to keep me then I’ll be there. “The people that are down there every week and the people that run the club are great and I really enjoy knocking about with the lads there. “Maybe next year if we can keep everyone then we can certainly make a push for promotion.”

The Mornington Peninsula Cricket Umpires Association (MPCUA) is seeking to recruit both newcomers and experienced umpires to its ranks for the 2021-22 season and beyond – female and male applicants are most welcome. • • • •

Open To New Recruits (Training Provided) Are you an Ex-Player keen to stay involved in the Game? Saturday Afternoons 1 - 7pm Attractive Match Payments

For further details or an expression of interest please contact: Paul Tuff, Director of Umpires – 0417 169 718 paultuff@bigpond.com Garry Seaborne, Secretary – 0422 432 915 garry.j.seaborne@gmail.com


Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021

PAGE 19


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25 August 2021


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