Southern Peninsula News 2 June 2020

Page 21

NEWS DESK

Centenarians have Village Glen celebrating IN May two residents who live at Village Glen were widely celebrated as they enjoyed their centurion birthdays. What an amazing achievement, even COVID19 couldn’t dampen the social distancing celebrations that were had! Col turned 100 on the 8th of May and has a wonderful story to tell alongside his beautiful wife Joy. Col fought for Australia in the Navy in the Second World War and on his return, he started his life with Joy. He has had many and varied passions over the years including working as a motor mechanic for his father, a chicken farmer, building his family homes, a keen sailor, a woodworker and he loved travelling the country in his caravan. He was a cricketer in his younger days and then a golfer, and always barracks hard for his muchloved Hawthorn Football Club. Maie turned 100 on the 19th of May and was driven around in style in an open top antique Mercedes Benz through her home at Village Glen. Alongside her late husband Harold, Maie’s life has been packed full. As a keen golfer, a big achievement for Maie was a hole-in-one in 1971, she was also a competitive walker and an all-round adventurer. Maie took up photography and captured all her trips such as the times Maie and Harold travelled on their boat. Maie climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge for her 80th Birthday, setting the pace for her family. Both Maie and Col have wonderful stories to tell and have lived every minute of their 100 years.

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

Doubtful that pool inspections will reduce drownings The state government’s concern over the number of infant drownings in home swimming pools and the requirement for safety fencing is justified and appropriate (“New pool rules next month” The News 18/5/20). When our pool was built and approved in 2000, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council required the design and construction of our enclosure to be compliant with the law as part of the domestic building permit process. The enclosure was inspected and approved before our pool was filled and used. It is surprising for pool owners that council is repeating the process for existing and compliant pools. Firstly, an existing pool has to be re-registered with the shire at a cost of $79 – for which the owner receives confirmation of the original construction date, building permit, and the enclosure standard in force at that time. The owner is then required to pay for an inspection of the enclosure for compliance with the original standard the current standard. The shire provides no details of local inspection agencies, so an on-line search is necessary, but unrewarding. We checked with one agency which quoted $450 to inspect our fence and access gate and an extra $150 if another inspection was required to validate work done to restore compliance. This would result in a new certificate of compliance being sent to the shire at a further cost of $20.40. This entire process is to be repeated every four years. We have kept our pool fencing in good repair since 2000. I guess there will be a very few cases where previously compliant fencing has fallen into disrepair and a few people who will say that if you can afford a pool you can afford the fees. In our view, this is a waste of money which is unlikely to much reduce the number of

accidental drownings.

Rob Fincher, McCrae

Thanks for the news Thank you to all the team at the Mornington Peninsula News group for continuing to publish community newspapers in this difficult time. While local papers are closing down all over Australia, you have kept going in what must be challenging circumstances. Apart from loving the rather vigorous debate in the Letters column, without you we would not know about issues like the attempts to protect local kangaroos through the virtual fencing or be kept up to date about what our local council is doing. I hope you continue to keep us informed about local issues for a long time to come. Marg D’Arcy, Rye

Do the maths This editor’s footnote piqued my interest: “The mayor Cr Sam Hearn and CEO John Baker have both elected to take a cut in their respective ‘pays’ from the shire” (“Modern methods mean council elections can be held” Letters 19/5/20). It’s not really intended as a criticism, but the remuneration of both gentlemen was not referred to, nor was the amount or percentage of “the cut” reported. For example, the mayor and the CEO may be on salaries of $500,000 a year each. If they intend to take a 20 per cent cut then your readers can do the mathematics. Conversely, if they intend to take a 1 per cent pay cut then again your readers can do the mathematics. You have reported that [Cr Sam] Hearn and [John] Baker “intend” to take a pay cut. Has this cut commenced and, if not, when do they intend

the cut to commence? And, for how long will their self imposed cut last for or conclude. For all we know, both gentlemen are in receipt of $500,000 salaries each and they will sacrifice 2.75 per cent of their income commencing from Monday 24 August 2020. If you don’t ask the questions, you will never know the answers. Even if Hearn and Baker refused to provide you with that information, shouldn’t you ask them why and, if they persist in not disclosing the information you seek, report exactly what the pair of them said? Peter Gerard Eddy, Hastings Editor: The available details were provided in the article “Budget blown by pandemic” published elsewhere in the same edition of The News.

Support for refugees How good is the support provided by voluntary groups and individuals in our community? They are numerous, but some examples are the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Refugee Council of Australia, Refugee Action Coalition, Rural Australians for Refugees, SisterWorks, Grandmothers for Refugees and various religious groups. They have offered their support and advocacy over many years and continue despite the COVID-19 restrictions and the barriers of government migration policies. Refugees and asylum seekers continue to live among us in our community and in detention. Many remain in detention centres and motels in Australia, on Christmas Island, in Port Moresby and at Manus Island. Many have been in detention for seven years without hope of an end to their captivity. Many are living in our community, for years, without financial or medical support except that provided by voluntary groups. As an Australian, I am proud and grateful to all those organisations and individuals who offer their time, expertise and money to support refugees. Their voices, and the voices of those who are experiencing detention, ensure that the stories and experiences of refugees are told, and their plight made known.

The strength of our civil society is what keeps our Australian values safe. Our federal government continues to maintain and finance an unfair and cruel regime in our name and with our money. We demand justice and a better deal for those who came to this country seeking safety. Ann Renkin, Shoreham

Back to ‘normal’ Because of the pandemic and to please retailers, I acquired a “tap and go” debit card, linked to our savings account and containing little more than our pension. Previously, we always dealt in cash, withdrawing sufficient each week and keeping it in wallet or purse. Pay as you go and when it’s gone it’s gone. Perfect budgeting, even showing a genuine surplus occasionally. Now, tap, tap, tap and you wouldn’t have a clue how much is left, if any. Economic chaos worse than Australia’s. It’s driving us mad. Yes, our credit card could be used, but we don’t do things that way. No debt is good debt. Bad luck, retailers, we’re going back to cash. Elegantly simple, it works for us. The mobile phone app to detect the virus won’t work with us either. My wife’s compact, elementary flip phone won’t accept apps and she likes it just as it is. I have a smart phone, but it is so large, uncomfortable and intrusive that I cannot carry it on my person. I forget to, anyway. It has some handy, novel functions, but is rarely used and resides on the kitchen table, data turned off. My total number of Facebook friends is zero, so it rarely beeps or twits. We have a landline. With no tourism, Mornington has almost reverted to the wonderful town it once was for all of us residents. I actually took a pleasant walk down Main Street. No hordes of tourists to make us shop elsewhere. No crowds of vacantfaced strangers blocking the pavements, ambling aimlessly, drinking coffee next to the gutter in obstructive enclosures; taking every parking spot. It’s good. Reclaim our streets. Brian A Mitchelson, Mornington Southern Peninsula News

3 June 2020

PAGE 13


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