LETTERS Silent challenge I would like to support Greg Dixon’s comments (“Develop for jobs”, Letters, The News, 26/5/15). He has logically reminded us of the opportunities that are being lost on the Mornington Peninsula because of the selfish attitude of residents who are stuck in a time warp and are frightened of change. I have personally been affected by this attitude in Mt Eliza where minority resident groups are significantly influencing council and political decisions while claiming to be the voice of the majority. While Greg’s suggestion of public moratoriums is commendable I do not believe they will work. My experience has shown the resident minority groups are dominated by retirees with time to kill. They appear to network with similar groups across the peninsula and I believe would dominate any moratorium. Our challenge is to make the silent majority (90 per cent) aware of what is happening and to motivate them into action. I find it interesting that our local state and federal MPs have been part of the campaign in Mt Eliza that is preventing growth and employment opportunities. Per Carlsen, Mt Eliza
Destructive development Greg Dixon’s letter (“Develop for jobs”, Letters, The News, 25/5/15) strengthened in my belief that the way we run the world now will surely lead to the complete destruction of our natural environment and, with that, a very slow and sad end to our species on this planet. I believe a development at any cost attitude is mind-numbingly stupid. Yes we can have some development in infrastructure for tourism on the peninsula but, and that is the big rider, if it comes always at the expense of the environment – like the over-thetop development of the Arthurs Seat gondola or the overdevelopment at the RACV resort in Cape Schanck, or the mega development of a port at Hastings – any sane person on the peninsula would say no. When we have wall-to-wall housing and industry on the peninsula, no one will want to come here anymore and the magnificent Western Port world heritage wetlands will be a thing of the past. Of course with all these changes, the tourism jobs will finally be destroyed as well. It is not inevitable that we have to choose a change for the worst, as Mr Dixon advocates, but we can have a healthy environment and jobs for the future. But only if we realise that we need to create jobs in new industries like alternative energy production, in high-tech and researchbased jobs. Just think of a “Silicon Valley” on all that industrial land north of Hastings. This of course is almost impossible under the mind set of our present federal government, whose leader thinks climate change is crap. Mr Dixon would be well advised to have a go at the present leadership in Canberra and impress on them not to keep wasting our money on old and dirty means of electricity production. Rupert Steiner, Balnarring
Welfare reminders Why does your paper insist on reporting the whereabouts of animals in situations where they are vulnerable to those who would do them
harm, in this instance seals under the pier? On previous occasions articles such as this one have resulted in animals being subjected to torture and subsequent death. Claire Thonemann, Mornington Editor: In most instances the paper is alerted to the whereabouts of a seal by authorities or animal welfare groups that want members of the public reminded about animal protection laws.
Budget backlash I have come to the conclusion that the Labor Party, The Greens and the minor parties should pass the current federal budget without delay. Let the Australian people experience the full horror of this nasty, vengeful policy agenda of this conservative government, which mistakenly calls itself the Liberal Party. As always under the conservatives, it’s the vulnerable, the poor and the most disadvantaged who will suffer from these policies, be it pensioners, single-income families or the chronically ill, to name a few. By the time the next election is due, the people who voted for this mob will be thoroughly disillusioned with them once the full extent of these policies are implemented. The Liberal Party should be voted out comprehensively. Team Australia under Captain Abbott your policies are not in my name. Denise Hassett, Mt Martha
Thanks for advice The investigative skills on display by David Harrison (Council Watch, The News, 19/5/15) are a blessing to us all. Without his surprisingly thorough analysis (and I’ve just submitted my last university research essay) we councillors would never have discovered the folly of our actions. Without his informative column adroitly deploying an online home loan repayment calculator, I’d have had no idea that it costs more in interest to pay off a loan over a longer period of time. It’s something I really should know. If current trends continue, my generation and those that follow are unlikely to find a home on the Mornington Peninsula for under $1 million. Perhaps I should’ve majored in finance. It used to be that you’d have to trawl through archives of old periodicals and piles of textbooks in order to sufficiently prepare and reference a paper. You have my thanks, Mr Harrison, for showing me that quality analysis takes but a click of the mouse. Andrew Dixon, Mornington Peninsula Shire councillor
Council changes The resolutions passed by council last Monday complete a suite of procedural reforms implemented by council since the Red Hill Ward by-election last year. Community council meetings are now to be held once a year in each of the six wards and an informal agenda committee of councillors has been abolished as past its use by date eliminating cumbersome hard copy administrative procedures. Planning matters not decided by officers under delegation have now been streamlined into council meetings on alternate Mondays and the Development Assessments Committee has
We Specialise in the 6DOHVRI
)LUHSODFH6\VWHPV 6/42 Hartnett Drive, Seaford PH: 9770 4011 :ZZZSHQLQVXODÀUHSODFHFRPDX(LQIR#SHQLQVXODÀUHSODFHFRPDX PAGE 14
Southern Peninsula News 2 June 2015
been abolished. I can see no reason why council would depart from any rule or practice of that committee enabling persons to make verbal submissions to council on a planning matter. These resolutions build on earlier resolutions of council in October 2014 and March 2015 abolishing the Special Purposes Committee and introducing measures to promote greater transparency in dealing with matters of council business which fell within the statutory definition of confidential items but which did not actually contain confidential information. Council has also put in place an orderly, regular system of alternate Monday briefings and council meetings not before 5pm. Council has resolved that all briefings are to be in writing except with the leave of the mayor, and measures were introduced by council to ensure brevity and conciseness of briefings. Equally importantly, council’s resolution of October 2014 put in place a simple procedure enabling a ward councillor quickly to call in a ward planning application by a simple email to be dealt with, not by officers under delegation, but by councillors in council. This new procedure replaced a cumbersome Notice of Motion procedure unacceptably delaying the determination of the planning matter. Council meeting procedures and briefings have been simplified and regularised. A multilayered complex of council committees has been dismantled and the community will now be able to review the whole suite of council business at one fortnightly public, open and transparent council meeting. Hugh Fraser, Mornington Peninsula Shire councillor
Foreshore handover When Mornington Peninsula Shire took over the management of the foreshore (it seems like an eternity ago), there was great fanfare with photos showing a councillor and a couple of directors walking around like a conquering army surveying their spoils. They threw in a horde of contracted manpower, equipped with mowers and the masses were hoodwinked into thinking the shire was going to do a good job. Fast forward to a few months ago when, on the apparent say-so of a couple of councillors and Rosebud Bowling Club, the little park in central Rosebud was decimated because “people didn’t know the park or, apparently, the bowling club was there”. A shire officer told me that the shire has selected areas where it is responsible and the rest of the foreshore is left to fend for itself. When Parks Victoria had control of the foreshore it was all maintained, not just pockets. If the shire can’t handle the responsibility of the entire foreshore, perhaps it should hand it back to someone more responsible. John Cain, McCrae
Winter warmers The Winter Blanket Appeal 2015 is off to a great start. We collected a magnificent carload of blankets and knitted garments from the Hastings branch of the Bendigo Bank last week. The branch also has several bags of donated wool available for knitters helping this project. With cold weather setting in, the need for warm clothing and blankets is even more acute. Blankets, scarves, beanies, mittens, jumpers for
Peninsula Curtains and Blinds
adults and children as well as unwanted knitting wool can be left at any peninsula branch of the Bendigo Bank. All donations go to Southern Peninsula Food For All and on to needy peninsula families. Many thanks to our knitters and blanket donors, more are welcome. Fran Henke, Hastings
Volunteers denied As a result of several complaints about the poor conditions for animals at the Mornington Community Animal Shelter, volunteers have now been banned for most of the day since mid-February. Is this an appropriate way for Mornington Peninsula Shire to treat its hardworking and valuable volunteers? Shame on you, shire bureaucrats, for caring more about money than the poor, defenceless animals in your shelter. Rosy Fischer, Mornington
Thanks for support On behalf of the Leukaemia Foundation and Victorian families living with blood cancer, I would like to thank the readers of your publication for their generous support of World’s Greatest Shave in 2015. Thousands of people across the state made good on their pledge to lose their hair for a little while to help others for a long while. It confirms what we already know – Victorians are a generous bunch who will do everything they can to help a mate. Like in previous years of the campaign, we were again inspired by the diversity of people who signed up and their reasons for taking part. One milestone celebrated this year was that of 56-year-old Michael Lewis who shaved his head for the 13th time at Federation Square during our official weekend. Michael said shaving was a light-hearted way he could show solidarity for people going through cancer treatment. Incredibly, over the past 14 years Michael has raised more than $160,000 for World’s Greatest Shave to help continue the search for cures and to support families. This year about 3000 people in Victoria will have their lives changed by the diagnosis of blood cancer. World’s Greatest Shave is the Leukaemia Foundation’s most important fundraiser, the money raised will be used to find life-saving treatments and provide free, emotional and practical support such as accommodation for regional families who need to move to the city for treatment. Thanks to shave supporters in Victoria, more than $3.3 million has been raised toward our $3.95 million goal. We encourage your readers that it’s not too late to be part of this powerful movement to beat blood cancer. You can sign up and participate in the coming weeks or simply make a donation to World’s Greatest Shave at worldsgreatestshave.com or by calling 1800 500 088. Stephanie Hechenberger, general manager, Leukaemia Foundation Victoria
Letters to the editor can be sent to The News, PO Box 588, Hastings 3915 or emailed to: email@example.com Name, address and a daytime phone number are required for verification purposes.
is excited to introduce Courtney Bedin into the family business. Courtney is the 3rd generation of Bedin to start at this successful local business. Peninsula Curtains and Blinds was originally founded in 1980 by Vic Bedin. Vic’s son Mark Bedin is now the Managing director, and it is with great pride that Mark welcomes his own daughter Courtney to the team. Courtney started at Peninsula Curtains at the beginning of the year and is in the process of studying Interior Design. Courtney is looking forward to joining the Decorator team, and being on the road to visit customers and work with them on decoration solutions. Courtney has a passion for anything creative and has natural talent in decoration and design. She is focussed on developing her talents and learning from the wealth of knowledge that the industry and her colleagues have to offer. She is already becoming an asset to the future success of Peninsula Curtains. With our famous Celsius sale now on, give Peninsula Curtains a call on 59754665 to arrange for RQHRIRXUTXDOL¿HG'HFRUDWRUVWRDWWHQG\RXUKRPHRUEXVLQHVVLQWKHLUPRELOHVKRZURRPDQGWDNH advantage of the extra discount you’ll receive!
Southern Peninsula News 2 June 2015