30 July 2019

Page 9


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An independent voice for the community Your weekly community newspaper covering Safety Beach to Portsea For all advertising and editorial needs, call 03 TUERONG rider Georgia Connolly will saddle up for a run in the women-only Magnolia Cup at Goodwood in Britain on 1 August. She is the first Australian to compete in the race for Wellbeing of Women, Britain’s leading women’s reproductive and gynaecological health charity. Connolly will turn amateur jockey for the race, held on Ladies’ Day during the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Other competitors are high-profile women from the worlds of business, sport, fashion and the media, including Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton, British model Rosie Tapner and Irish television personality Vogue Williams. The jockeys are reportedly on tough training programs and must pass a rigorous fitness test before competing. Most have ridden as a hobby, but will face a new challenge as jockeys reaching speeds of up to 45kph. Connolly is the first Australian selected to ride in the Magnolia Cup. The experienced eventer has two horses in work at her Tuerong property. “I am absolutely delighted to have been selected for the race, especially when it benefits such a worthwhile charity,” she said. “It’s going to be a steep learning curve but I’m very competitive, so fingers crossed if I put in the hard work I can place – if not win.”



Wednesday 31 July 2019

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Saddling up for charity ride

On course: Famed horse trainer Gai Waterhouse and Tuerong rider Georgia Connolly are teaming up to compete at the famous Goodwood racecourse, UK. They are Victoria Racing Club Ambassadors.

Ulcer study ‘now a trial’ - mayor Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au FEARS over the environmental effects of using chemicals to kill mosquitos have raised questions about the methods being used on the Mornington Peninsula to investigate the flesh-eating Buruli ulcer. The Beating Buruli in Victoria: Mosquito Control Study was launched on the back of a $2.4 million federal government grant announced by Flinders MP and Health Minister Greg Hunt in September 2017 to “get to the bottom” of the causes of the ulcer.

Increasing numbers of Buruli ulcer cases are being reported, mainly on the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas, but also extending as far north along the coast of Port Phillip to Sandringham. Scientists suspect the ulcer is caused by a bacterium which infects humans bitten by a mosquito. A scientist not involved in the study doubts that its methods would “pass the usual university research ethics committee approval”. There are also growing fears that the chemicals being used to kill mosquitos will poison other insects, including bees, and creatures that eat them.

Shire councillors were told last week that there is a “paucity of information” confirming mosquitos were to blame for Buruli ulcers. The effectiveness of efforts to run trials to control mosquitos could be jeopardised by the number of residents deciding to opt out of the study being run by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Doherty Institute, Barwon Health, Austin Health, CSIRO, Agriculture Victoria, The University of Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula Shire. More than 10,000 signatures have been added to an online petition pro-

testing at the use of chemicals to kill the mosquitos and the study managers say residents can choose not to be involved. “When the government money was made available it was called a study, now it’s more like a trial,” the mayor Cr David Gill said last week. His comments followed confirmation that in March properties in three streets in Rye were sprayed with a chemical to kill mosquitos. Those streets were the first of 76 locations selected for the study. Cr Gill says the federal government is not keeping a close enough watch on


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how the money announced by Mr Hunt is being spent. On Friday he questioned whether the government normally makes large grants to other levels of government “without knowing how it is going to be used?” “I would find that very unusual,” Cr Gill said. He said councillors were not involved in any decisions connected with the study “and I’m very disappointed there has been no proper public consultation or an effort to carry out an environmental effects study”. Continued Page 7

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