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NEWS DESK

Minister yet to roll on skatepark plan Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au STATE Planning Minister Richard Wynne is now the deciding factor in whether or not a skateboard park is built close to Mt Martha Tennis club’s courts. Mr Wynne has been asked to approve changes to the Mornington Peninsula planning scheme enabling the shire to compulsory recover land it has leased to the tennis club until December 2023. The shire’s property and strategy manager Yasmin Woods expects to get the all clear to advertise the proposed planning scheme change “in the next two to three months”. The shire’s grand plan for a $825,000 skatepark on the former parade ground came to a halt when it was realised the chosen site – approved by Heritage Victoria – was leased to the tennis club. “All changes to the Mornington Peninsula planning scheme require the Minister for Planning to give us the approval to begin the process to amend the planning scheme,” Ms Woods said last week in response to inquiries from The News. “In this instance, the planning scheme is required to be amended to introduce a public acquisition overlay to the land in order to allow council to acquire the land required for the skate park.” The skatepark has been problematic since being added to the shire’s major projects list in 2012. The theory of balance and speed

Hot music THE Hot Flushes are coming back to the peninsula, with a show at Mornington Library on Thursday 2 March. The female vocal quartet caters performs a range of music, from show tunes and popular music from the 1930s to the 1970s. No bookings required. Details of library events: ourlibrary.mornpen.vic.gov.au

Welsh style KIRKS Hotel on the Esplanade in Mornington vibrated with the sound of Welsh music in the traditional style with more than 200 people attended the Australian Welsh Male Choir inaugural ‘singing in the pub’ event last Wednesday. As well as traditional favourites such as Calon Lan and Gwahoddiad, the choir sang their own song composed by musical director Tom Buchanon, The Male Voice Choir Anthem. The choir is on three-week tour of Asia, taking in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. The next pub session will be Wednesday 29 March, 8pm.

Pound petition Stalled: An artist’s impression of the $825,000 skatepark Mornington Peninsula Shire has planned next Mt Martha Tennis Club’s courts.

combining for a successful outcome is more easily obtained for a skateboarder taking a vertical drop than for the planning department to clear the way for the skatepark near Mt Martha House at the corner of the Esplanade and Kilburn Grove. Nine months ago, after councillors became aware of the problem with the lease, they were also told that it could only be revoked “by agreement”.

The tennis club continued to refuse to give up its rights to the land and the council was forced to seek the minister’s help. In an earlier report to council Ms Woods said the design of the skatepark is site specific and approved by Heritage Victoria in 2015, three years after being endorsed by council. Ms Woods said the leased land included an area where the club wanted

to build another tennis court but advice from Heritage Victoria “is that the proposal would not be endorsed by the approval authority”. No explanation was given as to why Heritage Victoria would approve a skatepark but not a tennis court. Ms Woods said it was not possible to estimate how much compensation the shire would have to pay the club under the act.

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire is considering a 1300-signature petition calling on it to modify the way it manages the animal shelter in Watt Rd. The petition was more the work of Rosie Fisher – rather than Doris Campbell as reported in The News 28/2/17 (“Shire pussyfoots around cat issues”) – and was presented to the council at its recent meeting. The petitioners want the shelter to open for a minimum three hours a day for casual public visits; the council to be more pro-active in seeking new homes for cats and the adoption process to be made simpler.

Boy stung by ray and bike thieves Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au

THE now out of production BMX bike stolen from a school camp at Rosebud.

A BOY attending a Rosebud foreshore camp got a painful surprise when stung by a stingray, then a worse one when he discovered his prize Pilgrim BMX bike had been stolen while he was receiving treatment. Mornington boy James Gardner, 12, was enjoying the camp’s activities and standing knee-deep in the bay when he was stung. “He got such a fright and it really hurt him,” his mother Fifi Gardner said. “He started yelling to the other kids to watch out because he didn’t

know what it was and, by the time he got back to shore, he was beside himself. “Although the wound was only small the pain escalated due to the toxins released.” But worse was to come. While being attended by the camp organisers, his bike and six others belonging to children at the camp were also stolen. Next morning, a group of James’s mates walking near a nearby skatepark saw several boys attempting to sell the stolen bikes to skaters. They ran back to the camp and told some parents, which led to James’s dad, Jeff, and another father confronting the thieves in an effort

to get the bikes back. After a bit of verbal jousting, they were only able to retrieve four of the six bikes, with James’s two-year-old bike among those still missing. “My son is heartbroken as he saved for two years on his own for this bike,” Ms Gardner said. “The Pilgrim BMX is no longer in production so cannot be purchased anymore. “My son is recovering well but what a low-life act. “We are desperate to find it or have it surrendered.” Rosebud police are investigating the bike thefts and anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

A bandage covers the painful sting from a stingray sustained before the BMX bike was stolen.

EVERY KEY WINS A PRIZE

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THE RYE HOTEL

2415 Point Nepean Road, Rye Beach www.ryehotel.com.au | 5985 2277 Southern Peninsula News

7 March 2017

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7 March 2017  

Southern Peninsula News 7 March 2017

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